Get That 5-Star Review: Finishing Touches that Will WOW Your Airbnb Guests

Preparing for your guests requires a lot of time, energy, and consideration. To keep your sanity and ensure you’re well-primed for stellar reviews and recommendations, your best bet is to start by systemizing your processes and then, find a top-notch cleaning team to help you pull the whole thing off.

This article is courtesy of MaidThis Cleaning. MaidThis is a California-based cleaning service specializing in vacation rental cleaning and services the greater Los Angeles (Venice, Hollywood, etc.), Orange County, and San Francisco areas.

They may not come out and say it, but your guests are looking for an experience they won’t soon forget.

Everything you do – from the types of linens you provide to how many boxes of tissues you thoughtfully placed throughout your space – leaves a mark on your guests’ psyche. The more over-prepared you are to over-deliver, the better.

Now, in this final installment of our 3-part series, we’re giving you the finishing-touch tips that will round out your A-game and help you create experiences your guests will love and rave about. 

Here are 5 areas to give some attention that will solidify your place as a 5-star host in your guests’ eyes.

1. Hotel-Quality Linens

Picture this: You’re on vacation or on a business trip and after a long day of traveling, you finally check in to your accommodation and can’t wait to collapse into bed and get some much-needed sleep. You pull down the comforter and wiggle inside only to realize you’re sleeping in a bed made with sheets that feel like the paper covers at the doctor’s office.

Nice, right?

Even simple touches grab the attention of unsuspecting guests and make them that much more likely to write you a killer review.

Definitely not. Nobody likes to sleep on cheap, thin sheets – not you and certainly not your guests.

Your linens are not the place to skimp when it comes to your vacation rental. From the sheets on the beds to the towels in the bathroom, plush and comfortable is the name of the game. 

We’re not suggesting you spend a fortune, but we do recommend going out of your way to ensure everything is on the softer side. 

They may not come out and say it, but your guests are looking for an experience they won’t soon forget.

If you’re a bargain shopper, check out the likes of overstock stores like Marshalls and HomeGoods. You may find the jackpot of a lifetime. 

For those who prefer to avoid long, possibly fruitless searches, we recommend checking out Target’s affordable Threshold brand. They’re fantastic, come in all kinds of colors and patterns, and won’t break the bank.

As for replacing your linens, we recommend taking a look at how worn your things are about every 3-6 months. Towels get used more heavily than sheets and will need to be replaced more often, so aim to check on these about once a quarter. Check on the state of your sheets about every 6-12 months, at most.

2. Adequate Supplies

Just like your mom (or, at least, someone’s mom) always said, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

There are dozens of items we typically keep in our homes and rarely think about how important they are…until all of a sudden, we need them and we’re fresh out.

Over-planning and stocking up on these sorts of things could be the difference between a great review and a flop. We recommend stockpiling:

  • Paper goods like toilet paper, facial tissues, and paper towels.
  • Basic cooking ingredients for guests who want to cook, including seasonings and cooking oils.
  • Commonly-used cookware like various sizes of pots, skillets, and an array of multiple utensils.
  • Cleaning basics like dish soap and laundry detergent that guests might periodically use but do not want to purchase or bring along with them.

These few things are in demand all the time, yet typically unnoteworthy and are rarely given much thought by both hosts or guests. By preparing for the inevitable and keeping extra stock in your place, you’ll be well placed to unexpectedly over-deliver for your visitors. Be sure your Airbnb cleaning team knows where to find these items so they’re able to restock in a hurry.

3. Thoughtful Touches

Airbnb guests likely aren’t expecting to get the 5-star hotel treatment, but every time you exceed their expectations, you gain more and more respect in their eyes. 

Even simple touches grab the attention of unsuspecting guests and make them that much more likely to write you a killer review. Here are a few ideas that can set you apart from your competition and prime your guests to leave you 5 stars:

  • Hand-Written Welcome Notes: You’re not writing a love letter here, but you are making an effort to put a more personal touch on their stay with you. Your note can be quick and sweet, and still meaningful.
  • Hotel-Style Bed Folding: So-called “hospital corners” and hotel-esque turndowns make your guests feel like A-list celebs staying in an upscale place. Your cleaning service can do this during your turnover cleaning
  • Mini Toiletries: Plenty of travelers hate to pack toiletries or simply forget to throw them into their bag. By providing them, you’re taking one more step to helping your guests forget their headaches and feel grateful for your planning ahead.
  • Welcome Basket: Again, you don’t have to go too far out of your way here, but everyone loves a little freebie. Leave a few snacks or drinks from a favorite place in your neighborhood or something else you’d like if you were a visiting tourist. Leave a guestbook out for your guests to sign and flip through if they so wish. 

These easy, personal touches help separate your Airbnb from the thousands of others in your city and help humanize you as a host. 

Need a few more ideas? Check out these tips from the homemaking queen herself, Martha Stewart.

4. Personalized Check-Ups

There’s a fine line between bugging your guests and touching base with them too often and annoying them. However, thoughtful and helpful communication is key to a 5-star stay.

Check in with your guests a day or so into their stay to ensure everything is going smoothly. Offer assistance should they need anything, and leave it at that. 

By reaching out before they contact you, you set yourself up as a conscientious host without coming off as a bother. Keeping it short and to the point communicates that you care.

If you really want to wow your guests, stay in contact with them from the moment they book and all the way up to check-in time. Most guests aren’t expecting this kind of personalized attention and they’ll appreciate your effort.

After your guests have checked out, beat them to the punch and leave a positive review for them (assuming you feel they deserve one). While Airbnb will certainly remind them to leave a review, reach out one last time and thank them again for their stay and ask for a positive review. 

Personalize your message so the guests know you took the time to write directly to them. They’ll be more likely to leave a shining note and 5-star rating.

5. Complimentary Maid Service for Long-Term Stays

If you’re not actively trying to entice long-term guests, you likely don’t see many bookings lasting more than a few days to a week or so. However, in the off chance that you do snag a long-term renter, there are a few things you can do to impress.

Airbnb guests likely aren’t expecting to get the 5-star hotel treatment, but every time you exceed their expectations, you gain more and more respect in their eyes.

If you have a booking lasting more than 2 weeks, consider offering a simple maid service to your guests. This can consist of a partial turnover: changing the sheets and doing the linen laundry, cleaning and dusting all major surfaces, cleaning the bathroom, and so on.

Your guests will appreciate the cleanup so they don’t have to do any of it themselves during their extended stay. Not to mention, it may be better off for you in the long-run by giving your cleaning staff a heads up as well as a leg up on what to expect when turnover time finally does come.

Everyone wants to say they’ve had the experience of a lifetime on their most recent big trip and by following through with the tips above, you’re putting yourself in the running to provide that experience to your guests.

Every step of preparation is key and pulling the whole thing off with a few final touches will help you ensure you’ll get a standing ovation and recommendations from guests both near and far.


Download MaidThis’ Cleaning checklist!

This article is courtesy of MaidThis Cleaning. MaidThis is a California-based cleaning service specializing in vacation rental cleaning and services the greater Los Angeles (Venice, Hollywood, etc.), Orange County, and San Francisco areas.

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