This is your start-to-finish guide for creating a killer Airbnb guidebook.
Why are guidebooks so important for vacation rentals?
Guidebooks represent one of the easiest ways to impress your guests and provide them with a great experience. Guests choose Airbnbs not only for the physical space, but because of the host’s ability to provide insider tips. Many guests aren’t from your city, and almost none will be from your local neighborhood. That means they don’t know the local “go-to” spots that you probably know like the back of your hand!
A good Airbnb host is like the concierge at a hotel.
They assist guests by providing answers to frequently asked questions. The good news is that one guest’s questions are likely shared by others.
- I’m looking for a good bite to eat. Where should I go? Any standout dishes on the menu?
- This is such a big city! What sightseeing attractions should I check out?
- I’m sick and need cold and flu medicine. Is there a 24 hour pharmacy?
- I’m craving a good cappuccino. Does that exist around here?
- I need to keep the kids happy. Any ideas?
The key to a virtuous circle of bookings is positive reviews. There’s no quicker shortcut to a good review than providing a stunningly useful guidebook. After all, communication, location and value represent half of the review criteria that a host is assessed against. Most importantly, a guidebook demonstrates a communicative host, living in a great location, providing valued guest experiences.
You can proactively answer guest questions by creating a welcome guide that showcases the best your neighborhood has to offer. This kind of guidebook helps your listing stand out from the competition, too. Your guidebook is publicly displayed on your Airbnb listing page (even before guests book your place). You can also print your guide and make it available in hard-copy format, once they arrive.
Airbnb guidebooks show off your knowledge of the local area, reinforce your credibility as a host, increase bookings and maximize your nightly rate from guests looking to stay in great spots with reliable hosts.
But the best part? The beauty of a guidebook is the mileage you get from a single small investment. You can reuse the guidebook with all future guests, and it shouldn’t need updating very frequently.
Therefore, as a low-cost, time-minimal investment, building an Airbnb Guidebook truly represents the low hanging fruit of your Airbnb success. So carve out some time to sit down with this post, and you’ll soon see a big difference the attractiveness of your property.
Let’s get started! Or scroll to the bottom to download the free template.
WRITING YOUR GUIDEBOOK
Step 1. Firstly, identify your target guests.
For example, are they primarily elderly vacationers? Families with young children? A couple on romantic getaway? Go back through your listings if you need a memory jog. In addition, think about age, gender, number of guests, budget, and their interests.
Step 2. Brainstorm relevant activities for them.
Look for activities that fit the interests and budgets of the guests you identified. If you have multiple segments, consider making two sections within your guide! Tip: You can find comprehensive community event listings on the Internet, like a town hall website, or on local bulletin boards.
Step 3. Make sure your activities cover a dispersed regional area.
In other words, some of your guests will only want walking-distance attractions, whereas others want to explore the wider region. For instance, try to cover the best spots in your own neighborhood, but also include some unique places that aren’t. From art galleries to coffee shops, your knowledge can be a huge gift to your guests!
Step 4. Make sure you’ve catered for seasonal variance!
If your area is susceptible to seasonal tourism, definitely include popular seasonal points of interest like apple picking. However, look for ways to showcase the best of your location at all times of the year, whether it’s snowshoeing in the wilderness or free summer concerts at the park.
When you’re ready to add your complete guidebook to the online listing, here’s what you need to do.
Now you can add your guidebook. Type the name of the particular place you wish to include within the relevant guidebook category. After that, Airbnb will automatically retrieve the official name of the place you wish to add, which you then select. Airbnb will also use Google Maps to automatically pull the address and a map of the spot you want to list.
This is done on an itemized basis, so it can be a bit time-consuming. Subsequently, you can select a sub-category for the place. You can provide a short description up to 700 characters for each place you want to list. Use this space to let guests know why you recommend it, or an ‘insider tip’ they can use when they go. You also have the option to specify what the place is good for, for instance Families, Late Nights, Budget-Friendly, Peace & Quiet.
If you’d rather, just add a note to your listing that you provide a current, customized guidebook for your guests. Then print your guide and provide it as a hard copy. Above all, remember that if your guide doesn’t appear in the online listing, it can’t attract guests!
You can download this post in worksheet form to do offline! In fact, we recommend it — sit down with a cuppa and imagine a perfect experience for your guests.
Additionally, many hosts use blank printables to communicate essential info to their guests, like the wifi password. Some are great framed behind glass so your guest can use a whiteboard marker on it, like a checkout to do list.
Either way, congrats! By creating a guidebook, you’ve just taken an important step towards happier guests, better reviews, and increased bookings for your vacation rental or Airbnb.
This has been an (edited) guest post from our friends over at Padlifter.