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    Simplifying the check-in process

    Follow these suggestions to provide a convenient and stress-free arrival.
    By Airbnb on Jan 3, 2020
    3 min video
    Updated May 31, 2023

    Making sure guests can easily find and get into your space is fundamental to every successful stay. When setting up a check-in plan, the key is to make sure it’s simple and reliable. Test it to confirm it’ll work for every guest, every time.

    Creating a check-in strategy

    Above all, communication with guests is the key to a smooth check-in. “Before guests arrive, I write to thank them,” says Ann, a Host in Penobscot, Maine. With her message, she sends check-in instructions and driving directions. 

    “We send a guest check-in checklist,” says Juliette, a Host Advisory Board member in Nairobi, Kenya. “Then we’re able to manage expectations.” 

    Try these suggestions as you set up an easy check-in: 

    • Add check-in instructions in the Airbnb app. You’ll be asked to provide photos of the process and short instructional notes. 
    • Enter your correct address and pin location. If your place is out of the way or there’s no cellphone service nearby, include precise directions to prevent confusion.
    • Send check-in instructions three days in advance. Confirm with guests that they’ve received them and ask if they have any questions. 
    • Be available at the time of check-in. If anything goes wrong, you’ll want to be reachable so you can troubleshoot. 
    • Stay in touch with guests. The best tool in the event of any unexpected travel glitches is clear communication between you and your guests.

    Once you add check-in instructions, guests can find them in their Trips tab three days before their arrival. The instructions will also be included in guests’ Arrival Guide 48 hours before check-in, along with directions to your space and wifi info.

    Simplifying self check-in

    You can welcome guests in person or virtually. Successful Hosts often offer self check-in, using devices like keypads, smart locks, or lockboxes, and they have a backup plan in case something goes wrong.  

    If you offer self check-in, “give them an extra contact just in case,” Juliette suggests. “I give them my housekeeper’s contact.” This way, if there are questions and you’re not available to respond, guests will still be able to access your space.

    Providing 5-star hospitality

    Once guests check in, they should feel welcome. “You want people to have a warmer experience than what they would get in a traditional hotel,” says Chris, a Host in Cleveland. “I make myself available to answer any questions as fast as I can.” 

    Try these suggestions to charm your guests at check-in: 

    • Make sure your place is spotless. Ensure all surfaces, floors, and fabrics are clean and dusted. Look for hair after cleaning, or any signs of dirt or dust. Even if your place is a knockout, it has to be clean to get five-star reviews. 
    • Offer something extra as a token of appreciation for your guests. This could be as simple as a handwritten welcome note or a box of cookies.
    • Display your wifi network and password at your place. You can also add this directly to your listing, under Info for guests.
    • Leave a house manual for guests at your place, with info like parking instructions, details about your amenities, and tips for operating appliances. 
    • Create a guidebook including restaurants, local hikes, and accessibility-friendly activities to showcase your favorite places.
    • Follow up with guests after they arrive to make sure they have everything they need. You can do this easily with scheduled messages.

    Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.

    Jan 3, 2020
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