To Host (verb)
So you wanna know how to be a host.
You may have already checked out our previous blog posts, like Comfy-Cozy Home: Tips for Welcoming Your Guests, where you learned all about the nice (and necessary) touches you can add to your guest space, like extra toiletries (and extra toilet paper). Now you’re ready to blend all the other active ingredients to create the perfect hosting concoction.
Make Your Listing Honest and Thorough
If you don’t have a fancy chalet, that’s okay—but don’t try to mask a cabin as a castle! Maybe you have something unique about your place, like an outhouse instead of a bathroom. Weird! But, if you’re honest about what the amenities are, you’ll attract the right kind of guests—someone who is looking for a rustic, woodsy experience rather than a generic, pampered hotel experience. And the right kind of guests rather than just any old guests means better reviews, because you’ll be giving people what they are coming in wanting and expecting, rather than something that it isn’t! Own your home’s unique qualities in the listing’s photographs and description—don’t leave anything out that might come as a surprise to a guest upon arrival. Like, will there be a friendly pet walking around the premises? Say that, so you don’t anaphylactic-shock someone with severe allergies!
For a refresher on snapping the best photos to showcase your place, check out our blog post Picture Perfect: How to Take Attention-Grabbing Listing Photos.
Because Hoppify caters to last-minute bookers (which is a GREAT thing for your wallet—filling those empty vacancies in a last-minute deal is what makes the difference between your $$$, and the next host’s $0!), you’re going to need to respond to prospective guests fast, or they may make a move on another place. The Hoppify app’s instant messaging system makes it easy to communicate when you’re on the go. After any personal arrangements that may be necessary to make, perhaps consider also having a blanket check-in message at the ready to copy/paste for swiftest response: something that says “welcome soon, here are directions to find the place…” Ask guests questions to get to know their situation a little better. Let them know how they can stay in touch if an emergency comes up for them. And remember—it’s 2017. Have a charged smartphone with you to stay in touch at all times! (Except those 7-9 hours of sleep per night recommended for adults. Don’t be on your phone then.)
In that vein, it would also be a fine idea to have everything spelled out for guests upon arrival—a printed binder (or framed?) copy of house rules, Wi-Fi password, nearest public transit, and anything else about the area that might be helpful for guests to know. How/when/where to get the keys at check-in, and leave the keys at check-out, ought to be the most crystal-clear. Being upfront about expectations at the outset will make everyone’s life as easy as possible!
Many Hoppify guests will have traveled long miles in planes, trains, and automobiles to get to their new stay; so keep conversation both on the app and in person light and friendly! Know that they will be tired and will just want things to be easy, breezy, and relaxed as soon as they arrive. Or, outgoing guests may want to immediately hit the area’s adventures, so keeping a few suggestions in mind for them will win you major brownie points. Ask if they have any special needs or accommodations ahead of time, and please be empathetic to all reasonable requests. It’s what you’d want a host to do unto you!
Keep It Clean
Your guest room should not double as a storage room! Really, there shouldn’t be anything in there that would bother you to have guests touch. The pictures on your listing should be the same as what greets guests’ eyes upon arrival. Having adequate storage (an empty bureau, a bench, some hangers) will help guests feel that they and their belongings belong. And this goes without saying, but—have the space cleaned, whether by yourself or a cleaning service, after each stay. There’s nothing as unappealing as finding hairs in the bathtub that aren’t your hair color.
Here is how to be a good host, summed up in one image:
Hope you enjoyed this blog post, Hoppify-ers!