A Guide to Great Hosting
Are you a good… or a great host?
Most hosts provide a house manual in one form or another to their guests.
Sometimes, it appears as a few measly pages inside their guidebook, but most of the time, that still leaves guests wondering.
Having a well-written, detailed Airbnb house manual can set you apart from the competition.
Let’s find out why.
Table of Contents
Why You Need an Airbnb House Manual
An Airbnb house manual or guidebook is a great way to point your guests in the right direction in town—but many hosts forget to include details about the house.
To be a great host, you need an Airbnb house manual that gives guests all the need-to-know information in an easily digestible way.
It gives your guests a better experience and can save you time by fielding most of the questions your guests may have.
I’ll show you how step by step and provide you with a checklist on what to include.
How to Create A Great Airbnb House Manual
It turns out there’s a lot more information that you need to give your guests than you think.
You’ll even want to include some things that feel like common sense.
Here’s an easy checklist with examples for each section on what to include. Let’s dive in.
First things first.
The first page of your Airbnb house manual should give basic information that your guests need—and may not have written down themselves.
- A short, sweet welcome message
- The listing address
- Your (or your manager’s) contact information
- The Wi-Fi password & details
- Check-In/Check-Out ties
- Parking Instructions
Here are some tips and examples of messages that might work:
If you would like to craft an excellent welcome message, here are a few tips:
- Personalize: Address guests by name, express excitement, and highlight unique features.
- Be Clear: Provide essential information concisely—check-in/out, WiFi, and rules.
- Stay Positive: Infuse warmth, use friendly language, and convey your readiness to assist.
Example: “Welcome to your home away from home! We’re thrilled to have you as our guest. This cozy haven is equipped with everything you need for a delightful stay. If you have any questions or need assistance, feel free to reach out. Enjoy your stay and make wonderful memories in this beautiful space!”
This section could be pretty dull, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some tips that will help you out a little:
- Specify Times Clearly: State check-in/out times for smooth transitions.
- Be Flexible: Welcome special requests, providing flexibility when possible.
- Express Gratitude: Use a positive tone when welcoming and thanking guests for a memorable stay.
Example: “Check-In/Check-Out Times:
Check-In: 3:00 PM
Check-Out: 11:00 AM
We hope these times suit your travel plans. If you need flexibility, please let us know in advance, and we’ll do our best to accommodate you. Thank you for respecting these hours to ensure a smooth transition for our cleaning team and incoming guests. Safe travels!”
You want every section to be informative and engaging, so here are a few tips that should help do that with the parking instructions:
- Specify Parking Spaces: State designated parking areas to avoid confusion. E.g. Designated parking is the spot in front of the postbox on the left side of the accommodation.
- Street Parking Guidelines: Provide clear rules for street parking, including local regulations. E.g. There’s no private designated parking but you can park in any free spot in the street.
- Encourage Communication: Invite guests to reach out for parking assistance, ensuring a smooth experience.
We have a few suggestions on how to write a good section:
- Clear Details: Provide the network name and password prominently.
- Organized Format: Use a clean layout for easy readability.
- Offer Support: Assure guests of prompt assistance for any WiFi issues.
Example: “WiFi Details:
Network Name: [YourNetworkName]
Stay connected and make yourself at home. If you encounter any issues or need further assistance with the WiFi, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Enjoy seamless browsing during your stay!”
Don’t overlook providing this basic information to guests.
You can also provide a bit more detail here, like which method you prefer to be contacted with (or which method to use in case of an emergency).
Airbnb House Rules
In your house rules section, you’ll include any information that is important to you that guests follow.
You can remind guests that your house rules are in the Airbnb listing online and in the house manual.
Write down the essential ground rules and policies you (and your township) have.
- Parties or gatherings
- Overnight guests
- Trash, littering, and recycling
- Illegal activity
- Quiet hours
Here are some tips to create this section in your Airbnb House manual:
- Be Concise and Clear: Keep your house rules brief and straightforward. Communicate expectations to avoid any confusion.
- Prioritize Important Rules: Highlight the most crucial rules that contribute to a positive guest experience and the well-being of your vacation rental property. Ensure these stand out for emphasis.
- Positive Language: Frame rules positively to maintain a welcoming tone. Instead of saying “Don’t,” consider constructively expressing expectations.
- Include Local Guidelines: If applicable, integrate any specific local guidelines or regulations that guests should be aware of during their stay.
- Encourage Communication: Invite guests to reach out if they have questions about the rules. Establishing open communication can prevent misunderstandings and foster a cooperative atmosphere.
“We’re delighted to host you in our cozy abode! To ensure a comfortable stay for all, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our house rules:
Parties and Gatherings:
For the peace of our neighbors, no parties or large gatherings are permitted.
Kindly keep noise levels considerate, especially during nighttime quiet hours.
Only registered guests are allowed to stay overnight.
If you plan on hosting additional guests, please notify us in advance for approval.
Trash, Littering, and Recycling:
Use designated bins for trash and follow provided recycling guidelines.
Keep common areas free from litter, contributing to a clean environment.
Strictly prohibit any form of illegal activity.
Immediate reporting to authorities for guests engaging in unlawful behavior.
No smoking inside the property; use designated outdoor areas.
Dispose of cigarette butts responsibly to avoid additional cleaning fees.
Pets are only allowed if prior approval is obtained.
If approved, adhere to specified guidelines for pet care and cleanliness.
Your adherence to these rules ensures a positive experience for everyone. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out. Thank you for your cooperation, and enjoy your stay in our home!”
Mention that the rules should be clear and to the point. They can send an electronic guidebook to the guests first, print it out, and post it somewhere where guests will see it when they show up.
Appliances, Electronics, and Amenities
This section might feel full of obvious information to you, but the quirks of your home won’t be familiar to guests.
Include information about the kitchen, bathroom, and heating/cooling systems. Talk about how to use the appliances and if anything has any personality.
For example, in some houses, the hot water may get so hot it might burn you if you’re not careful. Another example is that the tub stopper often falls, making the tub seem as though it is clogged when it isn’t.
Some of the various appliances, electronics, and amenities you should mention include:
- Swimming pool or hot tub
- Kitchen (and what’s included – e.g., dishwasher, microwave, 6 of all cutlery and crockery, etc.)
- Heating or air conditioning
- Washer and dryer
- TV with cable/Netflix/Amazon Prime
- Body and hand soap, shampoo, etc.
- Toilet paper
- Towels and linen
- Pillows (how many per guest)
- Carbon monoxide alarms
- Fire extinguisher
For kid- and pet-friendly accommodation:
- Travel crib
- High chair
- Furniture covers
- Safety gates
- Food and water bowls
- Cleaning supplies
Local transport information
When creating the local transportation section for your Airbnb manual, keep it concise and engaging. Start with an enthusiastic introduction, highlighting the accessibility of the neighborhood. Provide precise details on public transit, rideshares, taxis, biking, walking, and car rentals, emphasizing proximity and practical tips.
Share a personal touch, like your preferred mode of transport or local gems. Encourage guests to reach out for assistance or tailored recommendations, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable exploration of the community.
“Navigating our neighborhood is a breeze, and we want to ensure your stay is as convenient as possible. Here’s a handy guide to local transportation options:
[City/Region] has a well-connected public transit system. The nearest bus or subway station is [X minutes] away on foot. Check schedules and routes for stress-free travel.
Apps like Uber and Lyft operate in our area. Simply download the app, and you’ll have quick access to reliable rides.
Local taxi services are readily available. You can find them at designated taxi stands or easily hail one on the street.
Our neighborhood is pedestrian and cyclist-friendly. Consider exploring on foot or renting a bike from nearby rental stations for a leisurely ride.
If you prefer the freedom of driving, several car rental agencies operate nearby. Check their hours and availability for your convenience.
If you have a vehicle, familiarize yourself with our parking rules and any local regulations. Details can be found in the “Parking Instructions” section of this manual.
Feel free to ask us for more specific details or recommendations tailored to your travel plans. We want your exploration of our local area to be seamless and enjoyable!”
Sights to see and Things to do
Create an engaging section on local attractions for your Airbnb manual. Express excitement about the area and curate a diverse list of must-see sights and activities. Offer concise descriptions, proximity details, and personal recommendations for a well-rounded experience.
Categorize suggestions for easy reference and encourage guests to reach out for personalized tips, ensuring a memorable stay enriched with local exploration.
Include the best places around town that you would recommend to a friend. Include information about fun things to do around town.
- Best dishes, specialties, price, and rating
- Local venues
- Sports, concerts, and events
- Seasonal and outdoor activities
- Skiing, swimming, hiking, boating, fishing, etc.
- Indoor activities
- Shopping, bowling, rock climbing, etc.
- Family-friendly locations
- Bookstores, playgrounds, theme parks
Consider mentioning how far away each place is from your Airbnb. Some guests might have a car—but others might not. To stand out, you could include details about public transit.
You should also mention places they might need, like the local pharmacy, grocery store, or department store.
“ Welcome to our vibrant neighborhood! Immerse yourself in the local scene with these handpicked recommendations:
City Park: A serene escape just a short walk away, perfect for a morning jog or leisurely picnic.
Artisanal Cafés: Discover the area’s unique coffee culture at cozy spots like Brew Haven and Art Beans.
Cultural Hub: Visit the [Local Museum] to delve into our rich history and vibrant arts scene.
Hiking Trails: Lace up your hiking boots and explore the scenic trails at [Local Park] for breathtaking views.
Hidden Gems: Stroll down [Charming Street] for boutique shopping and a taste of local flavors at hidden culinary gems.
Whether you’re a culture enthusiast, nature lover, or foodie, our neighborhood has something for everyone. Enjoy your exploration, and feel free to ask for more tailored recommendations!”
Speaking of emergencies, you should always hope for the best—and plan for the worst. Your Airbnb house manual should include contact details in case of an emergency.
Almost all of your guests will be from out of town, and many will be coming from other states and even countries. Give them everything they might need in case of an emergency.
- Phone numbers for the following:
- Police department
- Fire department
- In case of fire, how to exit:
- The front door
- Stairwells (no elevators)
- Fire exits and back doors
- Location of:
- Fire extinguishers
- First aid kit
“ Your safety is our top priority. In case of an emergency, please familiarize yourself with the following information:
1. Emergency Contacts:
Fire Department: 911
Hospital/Emergency Medical Services: [Local Hospital Number]
2. Fire Safety:
In the event of a fire, exit the house immediately. Locate the nearest exit and assemble at a safe distance.
Emergency exits are [specify locations], and please familiarize yourself with escape routes upon arrival.
3. First Aid Kit:
A first aid kit is located [specify location, e.g., in the bathroom cabinet]. It contains essential supplies for minor injuries.
Acquaint yourself with the supplies, and feel free to use them for minor medical needs.
4. Fire Extinguishers:
Fire extinguishers are strategically placed at [specify locations, e.g., kitchen and hallway]. Familiarize yourself with their use in case of a small, manageable fire.
Remember the acronym P.A.S.S.: Pull the pin, Aim at the base, Squeeze the handle, and Sweep from side to side.
Your safety matters to us. If you encounter an emergency, don’t hesitate to call the appropriate emergency service, and please inform us as soon as it is safe to do so.”
You might think that everyone must know 911—but foreigners might not.
This information could save a life, and you can print out some of the info directly from Airbnb’s Home Safety section.
Farewell and Leaving a Review
As we reach the end of your stay, consider crafting a sincere farewell note. Express gratitude for choosing our Airbnb, reflect on their experience, and encourage a return visit. Highlight the importance of their feedback in enhancing future experiences and, if applicable, mention tools like iGMS’s guest review management to streamline the review process. This section is a chance to leave a positive impression and build a connection beyond their stay.
“As your stay comes to an end, we want to express our sincere gratitude for choosing our Airbnb as your home away from home. We hope your time here has been nothing short of wonderful.
Thank you for treating our space with care and respect. Your presence has been a joy, and we hope you consider returning in the future. If there’s anything we can improve upon or any special moments you’d like to share, we’d love to hear about them.
As a small, independent host, 5-star reviews play a significant role in helping us grow and enhance the experiences we offer. If you enjoyed your stay, we invite you to share your thoughts on our Airbnb profile. Your feedback is invaluable and assists future guests in making informed decisions.
Safe travels and we hope to welcome you back soon!
Airbnb House Template
Here is an template that you can use for your Airbnb house manual.
1. Welcoming Your Guests and Getting Them Settled
Welcome to our cozy retreat! We’re thrilled to have you as our guest. If you have any questions or need assistance, feel free to reach out. We hope you have a fantastic stay!
Check-In Times & Instructions:
Check-in Time: [Specify Time]
Check-out Time: [Specify Time]
Ensure you refer to these times for a smooth arrival and departure.
Access Codes and Unlocking Instructions:
Familiarize yourself with access codes for gates, doors, and lock boxes. Your convenience is our priority.
If you’re arriving by car, follow these simple parking directions for a hassle-free experience.
Connect seamlessly with our complimentary WiFi. Password: [Specify Password]
In case of any emergency, please contact us through the Airbnb app first. For urgent matters, reach out at [Your Phone Number]. In case of emergencies requiring local authorities:
Fire Department: 911
Ambulance/Hospital: [Local Emergency Number]
2. Getting Acquainted With Your Home:
To ensure a pleasant stay, please review our house rules. They are designed to create a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone.
[House rules in bullet form]
List instructions and quick guides in bullet form on using essential appliances like the coffee machine, air conditioning, dishwasher, laundry machines, and water heater.
Navigate your way around with ease. Our room-by-room guide highlights unique features and points out any specific details you might find helpful.
[Mention the amenities in each room/section of the house]
3. Sightseeing and Entertainment:
Local Transport Guides:
List the transportation options available and the distance to them, including taxi services, train schedules, and private transport details.
Restaurant, Bakery, and Coffee Shop Recommendations:
Explore our culinary scene with recommendations for diverse dining options. List the top attractions, eateries, and places in the area with basic information for each, such as phone number, address, and hours.
Stay informed about local events with our calendar of concerts, festivals, fundraisers, and town celebrations.
[Include annual/regular events in the guide for each month/day of the week]
Find the best places to shop, from major malls to unique stores offering distinct experiences.
[Include 5-7 stores and malls in the local area and include basic details, such as the address and hours]
Tourist Attractions and Entertainment:
Uncover the beauty of our area by visiting museums, landmarks, theaters, cinemas, theme parks, and more.
[Include 5-6 local tourist attractions and entertainment options and include basic details, such as the address and hours]
Spas, Nail Salons, and Hairdressers:
Pamper yourself at local salons and spas. You deserve a bit of relaxation!
[Include 5-7 options in the local area and include basic details, such as the address and hours]
Gyms, Fitness Centers, and Hiking Trails:
Include details for guests to stay active with information on nearby fitness centers, gyms, running tracks, and outdoor hiking trails with basic details (address, phone number, hours, directions) for each.
4. Saying Goodbye:
We appreciate your stay! Follow these check-out instructions for a smooth departure. Remember to double-check for personal belongings.
Farewell and Leaving a Review:
As you bid farewell, we want to express our gratitude for choosing our space. We hope you had a wonderful time. Your feedback is invaluable—consider sharing your experience on our Airbnb profile. Safe travels, and we hope to host you again soon!
Sign the farewell message, add a link to the listing, and a QR code for the review.
Feel free to refer to this template when creating your house manual.
How to Present Your Airbnb House Manual to Your Guests
1. Add your house manual to your Airbnb listing.
Adding your house manual to your Airbnb listing is quick and easy. Follow these steps:
- Navigate to your listing.
- Click on “Info for guests” and go to “Post-booking details.”
- Choose “Guidebooks” and click “Edit.”
- Add or modify your manual details, then click “Save.”
This ensures Airbnb guests have access to essential information for a smooth and enjoyable stay.
2. Send a digital version of your manual to guests ahead of time.
Sending your manual before your guests’ stay projects professionalism and careful planning. Optimize convenience by providing a downloadable PDF version via email.
3. Leave a print version of the manual at your Airbnb vacation rental.
Having a digital and print version of your house manual is a smart move.
Send guests the PDF for their gadgets. Pop a quality print version at the place for easy access during their stay.
Sure, spending a bit more on print is worth it. Laminate and bind it for durability. Keep it cool on the coffee table with your Airbnb welcome letter. Done!
How to Make an Airbnb House Manual Template That Stands Out
1. Impress with a professional design
Jazz up your manual, especially the cover, with excellent visuals and snappy images. Less words, more pics – keeps it snazzy!
For a design boost, hit up apps like Canva or Crello for a free vibe. Fancy going all out? Adobe Creative Cloud’s got your back. Pinterest is your creative playground – steal inspo for your house manual. Easy-peasy!
2. Take advantage of the digital version of your house manual
Make your digital house manual pop for your guests!
Not only is the PDF easy to tweak and share, but you can also jazz it up with hyperlinks. Link them straight to the websites of your recommended restaurants and fun spots.
Throw in some video guides for your home gadgets if they’re hanging out on the internet. How cool is that?
3. Include something personal
Spicing things up with a personal touch is golden and makes guests feel like VIPs. Toss in a coffee voucher or spill the beans in a ‘host recommendations’ section – share your favorite hidden gems or top dishes from the restaurants in your manual. Be the cool insider by cluing them in on regular specials and discounts at local joints or tourist attractions. Slide into local establishments’ DMs – maybe they’ll dish out an exclusive discount for your awesome guests. Go on, be the host with the most!
The Bottom Line: You Need a Great Airbnb House Manual
Whether you choose to include this information in your Airbnb guest book or guidebook for guests or as a standalone document, you need a detailed house manual for your Airbnb listing.
Providing your guests with a great house manual will ensure that they have a positive and safe experience.
If you want to make sure that your Airbnb house manual or guidebook shines, check out my professional Airbnb guidebook services.