A real person helping real people with real estate
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By: Lisa Rogak
Never underestimate the power of an extra iPhone charger.
You’re expecting houseguests. Fun! You want them to feel welcome, comfortable, and — dare we say it? — maybe even a tad envious of your hosting prowess.
No need to moonlight at hospitality school. We asked Airbnb hosts with tons of great reviews on their cozy bungalows and light-filled island condos for some quick, easy (and cheap!) ideas to turn your guest quarters into a vacation haven. Be careful, though – your guests may not want to leave!
#1 Stock Up on Extra Chargers and Cords:
A dead phone equals getaway misery. Airbnb host Valarie D’Elia sets out a bowl with power strips and cords, outlet converters, and even an iHome speaker. Nothing sets the stage for feeling at home IRL like feeling at home digitally.
And that includes posting your Wi-Fi name and password in the guest room so they don’t have to bug you.
#2 Offer Sample-Size Toiletries in Your Bathroom:
Put your stockpile of Sephora samples and hotel toiletries to good use. Tiny shampoos and lotions arranged in a basket or vintage apothecary jar are as welcoming as they are practical. Guests will be relieved if they forgot their own, but even if they didn’t, they’ll love the luxury of washing their hair on the house.
#3 Raise Your Cleanliness Standards:
When you miss a dust bunny at home, it’s just your own skin flakes and dried up sneezes in your own corner. To guests, it’s disgusting at best and insulting at worst.
So clean it all. Airbnb even tells hosts to scrub the entire bathroom, not once but twice, including the toilet, sink, bath, and floors after every guest.
“We make sure you can smell the cleaner,” says Cheryl Trotta, who rents out her vintage bayside cottage in Warwick, R.I.
#4 Give It Your Personal Touch:
People choose Airbnbs over sterile hotel rooms because, in part, they want an authentic, personal experience.
So give it to them!
Trotta intentionally markets her rental as a family cottage and scatters pictures and family treasures throughout the cottage. Frame a couple of your childhood photos and hang them up alongside some mementos from your own travels.
How else would your guests discover that you were drum major of your high school marching band?
#5 Put a Radio in the Bathroom:
Your guests may like to sing along in the shower, but the real reason for putting some tunes in the bath is to provide them with plenty of, well, privacy. Add an essential oil diffuser — or poo-pourri drops — and you’re in business.
#6 Set Up a DIY Cafe:
If your guests are early birds — or will just want some occasional alone time — put a coffeemaker in their room along with a well-stocked basket of coffee and tea. Maybe even blow their minds with a mini fridge full of snacks.
To pull this off right, ask how they take their coffee in advance, and stock up appropriately.
#7 Designate Drawer and Closet Space Just for Guests:
If your guest room closet could be featured on Storage Wars, it’s time to rethink your stuff strategy.
Consider some serious Marie Kondo-izing — maybe donate your to-be-regifted pile and sell those designer jeans you’ll never fit into again — to make room in the closet and dresser for guest to have plenty of space (and the key word is plenty).
Label a few guest drawers and crack the closet so they can see there’s space to hang their clothes.
#8 Fancy Yourself a Travel Agent:
Give guests a local’s-eye view by filling a basket with menus from nearby restaurants, brochures from local businesses that cater to tourists, and a current issue of your community newspaper. It’s a great way for guests to feel like a local and customize their time in your town.
#9 Hang a Robe – or Two – in the Closet:
Bonding with their host over morning coffee is one of the best parts of staying with friends. But they can miss it completely when they realize they only packed a ratty grandma nightgown or — even worse — NSFW lingerie.
Help your guests feel right at home by hanging a couple of cozy (and freshly laundered), one-size-fits-all robes in the guest-room closet.
Not only can they wear their pajamas to breakfast without feeling self-conscious, but they’re also super-comfy and great to wrap up in after a shower.
#10 Expect the Unexpected with Extra Personal Supplies:
And let your guests know where they are so they won’t feel guilty for bothering you (or worse, go without!). Here’s a list of things that rock-star Airbnb hosts always keep in stock:
•Toothbrushes and toothpaste
•Towels, pillows, and extra blankets
•Replacement light bulbs
Being the perfect host is perfectly achievable. With a little forethought, you’ll start racking up your own stellar reviews from your friends and family. Get ready to be the house everyone vies to visit.