When you’re hosting on Airbnb, you may wonder what information you need to provide in your Airbnb host guidebook. I’ve done some research about what guests really need to know (or want to know), and I’ve compiled it below so you can continue to give your guests the best rental experience!
So, what information does the ideal Airbnb Guidebook contain?
- Include a welcome letter for your guests
- Provide rules and operation instructions for your guests
- Describe neighborhood amenities and attractions
- Make your guidebook appealing and durable
As you may know, Airbnb offers a House Manual on the app. Your guests can access important “need to know” info before they arrive at your rental, or even when they’re out for the day. However, one drawback of this feature is that you have limited space, and you may want to provide much more detail than the app will allow.
Your printed guidebook will serve as an enhanced “house manual” because it will contain all of the info that is on the Airbnb app, but since it can be as long as you want, you can include so much more for your guests’ convenience. I developed my own house manual template that I’d like to share with my readers. You can download it here.
Check Out This Rental Recon Article: Airbnb Essentials: 75+ Items Every Host Should Have For Guests
1. Start with a “Welcome Letter or Greeting”
It’s important that your guests feel welcomed and not stormed by rules and regulations, so a welcome letter or greeting allows your hospitable voice to be heard first and foremost.
A good welcome letter includes:
- A pleasant greeting. Be personable- tell the guests a little bit about you or your family, or maybe something interesting about the home itself.
- An overview of what they’ll find if they keep reading. Include the main topics that your guidebook will cover and encourage them to read on.
- Instructions for accessing the House Manual on the app for when they have questions but they’re out for the day.
- Your contact info for questions and concerns.
2. Provide Rules & Operation Instructions For Your Airbnb Guidebook
Remember to include any important operational info from your Airbnb app’s house manual. Clear and consistent communication is always a good idea when it comes to renting our your Airbnb.
Clearly state all of the house rules. Some must-haves include:
- Check-in and check-out times
- Quiet hours
- Overnight guests (unverified guests)
- Smoking rules
- Trash removal
Include directions for how to operate appliances or electronics, like…
- Keyless entry (if applicable)
- Coffee maker
- Sauna or hot tub
Give your guests tips to clear up confusion
Think about what you would need to know if you had stepped into this home for the first time. For example, do guests need to wait for the fridge to get down to temperature before they start loading in the groceries?
Does the heat cause crazy-high temps in the upstairs bedroom if you put it above 70 degrees? Does your sofa turn into a bed? In any of these cases, give your guests a heads-up.
Letting your guests know your home’s quirks ahead of time can save them a lot of irritation, and will likely cut down on the messages you receive from a confused guest.
All things “Wi-Fi”
Not only will you need to provide info on how to connect to Wi-Fi, but you could also include areas of the home where the signal is the strongest (and weakest), if applicable. Also, give your guests troubleshooting tips in case the Wi-Fi is a little temperamental.
Lastly, consider putting in a rule prohibiting the use of the Wi-Fi for file-sharing or systems, and communicate the consequences if the guest does so (some hosts monitor this activity and ask guests to leave if this rule is broken).
Tell your guests how to contact you
Guests may have questions or concerns. Portray yourself as open to communication and free to help by encouraging them to contact you if needed.
If you’re concerned about being woken up in the middle of the night for something minor, provide contact hours (for example, 8 am to 9 pm) and tell them what to do in case of emergency.
Other “need-to-know” items
You may want to reiterate various other need-to-know rules like…
- Keeping the house secure (locking up/closing windows) when guests go out for the day
- Parking rules
- Emergency procedures
How to find the extras in a pinch
Let your guests know where the extras are in case they run out of or can’t find any must-have items, like…
- Toilet paper
- Coffee filters
- Light bulbs
Check Out These Other Rental Recon Articles:
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- The 4 Best Airbnb Towels [2020 Review]- Towel Tips & Towel Essentials
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- Airbnb or VRBO For Owners: Pros & Cons 
- The 5 Best Sheets for Vacation Rentals [2020 Review]- Cotton, Microfiber, and More
3. Describe Neighborhood Amenities and Attractions
Now that you’ve covered the necessary rules and regulations, it’s time for the fun. Guests usually stay at Airbnbs for one of two reasons: business or vacation. Either way, encouraging your guests to let loose and make the most of their stay is always a good idea.
Your guests will want to know:
- All about your neighborhood amenities:
- Is there a pool? If so, include directions for how to access it, where they can find towels, and pool hours.
- Does your neighborhood have any special perks, like a park or biking/hiking trails? If so, provide a map or description for your guests so they can take advantage of everything your Airbnb and neighborhood has to offer.
- Places to explore during their stay:
- Provide your guests with a list of local attractions like museums, theme parks, or other interesting activities. If you’d like, you can give them directions and prices (if applicable).
- Are their outdoor activities your guests might want to do? If so, include information on hiking trails, popular tourist spots, or other special outdoor must-sees.
- What restaurants they should try out:
- You can provide a list of must-try restaurants based on your own tastes, or you could list one or two popular local restaurants per type (Mexican, Japanese, American, Coffee Shops, etc.) to make sure any guest could find something that suits them.
- Local grocery store options
- Guests will inevitably want to grab some food for their stay. Be sure to include local grocery store options and directions so they won’t waste time searching for snacks and meal items.
4. Make Your Airbnb Host Guidebook Visually Appealing and Durable
Okay, so it really doesn’t matter if your Airbnb host guidebook is visually appealing, but it may make an impression on your guests, so why not? Here are some ways to show your guests that you’ve left no stone unturned in giving them the best possible stay.
- Use a binder with a unique cover-image or with a placeholder for a picture on the front cover. In the place-holder, you could type out something welcoming like “Welcome Home” or “Our Place.” You can check out my house manual PDF template here.
- Add pictures from your own home as cover pages for each category of information that your guidebook will provide. For example, for the “Appliance and Electronics” section, you could take a picture of your kitchen and label the picture with a creative title like “Helpful Tips for Appliances and Electronics.” For your “Neighborhood Amenities” section, you could use a picture of the neighborhood pool or park swings. Of course, this is not necessary, but it could be a fun project for the over-indulgent host.
- Make sure you laminate the pages of your guidebook. You don’t want to have to fix or replace pages after each guest, so you want your pages to wear well.
- Secure the pages in a quality scrapbook or binder (remember to leave room for the margin space on the left side of your pages before you print- that way, the words won’t get cut off when you place it inside a binder).
Are there any Airbnb Online Guidebook Options Other Than What the Airbnb App Offers?
With the rise in Airbnb rentals over the past decade, options for guidebooks have also increased. If you host one or multiple Airbnbs, consider using this guidebook service for hosts:
Touch Stay is another option for your online guide book. Just enter RR10 at check out to receive 10% off your first year!
How Can I Create a Buzz Around My Airbnb Rental?
You can use your Airbnb guidebook to inform your guests about your social media pages (if you have any for your home/business) or hashtags that you want them to use when posting during their stay. This is a great way to get your guests talking about your Airbnb online, providing you with advertising without costing you a dime. You could put this information right after your welcome letter so that guests are more likely to see it. You could also put this info on your Wifi access page.
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