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hospitality

The Welcome Note: Superhost Series

 

The first installment of the Superhost Series- A series designed to help you advance from Host to Superhost!

Picture it: You’ve just spent the last eight hours traveling. It was sweltering outside when you left, freezing on the plane, and there was some sort of mechanical trouble and you missed your connection. You haven’t eaten since breakfast, and you’ve been running non-stop all day.

When you arrive at your destination you’re tired, you’re hungry, and it’s raining outside. You just want to drop your bags off, wash your face, and get something to eat, but you don’t know where the nearest restaurant is and you can’t remember which bag you packed your raincoat in. After finally typing in the correct key code on the front door in your bleary state, you shoulder your bags through the door and scan your lodgings for your trip.

Something catches your eye- a white envelope on the table, with your name on it.

Opening it, you realize it’s a welcome note. And not just any generic welcome note; it mentions the estimated late time of your arrival and recommends an excellent restaurant nearby that serves hot food late at night. It lets you know about a great event all the locals are going to this weekend, and ends with a tip of where the umbrellas are stored so you can stay dry tonight.

All of a sudden your night just become a whole lot easier, and you start your trip with a real appreciation of your host!

Unfortunately air travel seems to be more stressful than not, and a lot of our guests these days are tired, hungry, and frazzled when they arrive at their destinations. We’ve all been there! It’s easy to be overwhelmed in a situation like that, but we as hosts can change their day for the better with just a small effort on our part; less than five minutes per guest changeover on our end, and we can positively impact the start of your guest’s stay!

Your welcome note or card doesn’t have to be fancy. I routinely pick up great cards when they’re on sale at Target or Barnes + Noble. I will usually choose blank ones, or occasionally ones that say Hello! But some clean stationary and an envelope would do just fine.

To get ahead in a busy season, I will frequently take some time at the beginning of the week and pre-address the cards, starting the notes but leaving the endings blank so I can add something the day of their arrival.

Some great ideas to include in your welcome note:

  • Mention of the reason why they’re staying with you. Is it a work event, anniversary or bucket list trip? Let them know you paid attention to their messages to you!
  • Are there any good restaurants nearby? A grocery store within walking distance? The absolute best ice cream they’ve ever had? Share a quick line about your favorite thing to do in your neighborhood.
  • Are there interesting functions happening in your city that weekend? An event culturally unique to your location? Are there fun street fairs or farmers markets to browse?
  • Include information relevant to their stay: For work stays, where the iron and ironing board are located. For families with children, where the crayons and coloring books are, and what apps are installed on the television (Pro-tip: Pre-install the Disney app for any families you may have coming in!).
  • Let them know if anything unusual is going on: construction shutting off access to the driveway, current plowing hours due to recent snowfall, etc.
  • An expression of gratitude that the guest is staying with you.
  • An invitation to contact you if anything is needed.

It’s not hard to feel negative after the stress of travel, and our job as Superhosts is to ensure our guests have such a great stay that they visit again, and again. Almost 20% of reservations at our own Airbnbs come from repeat guests, who are secure in the knowledge that we will go the extra step each time to ensure that they have a memorable stay.
There are many areas where hospitality is shown that can make a huge difference in our star ratings. The little gestures we offer to our guest can add up, and give you that bump from a 4 to a 5 star rating.

A Superhost is more than someone responding to messages in a timely manner or never cancelling a booking. To get that extra oomph from Host to Superhost, you really have to care about the guest’s experience. By approaching your listing from the view of the guest, it’s easier to see where you might put a little extra of your time to make a big impact!

Keep in mind: People won’t necessarily remember what you did, but they will definitely remember how you made them feel!

Have you ever been welcomed with a personalized note? How did it make you feel? Is there anything you would add to your welcome note?

Let me know in the comments below!

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