15. How to Make a Great Check-In
Your guests will be invited to rate their check-in experience at the end of their stay, so it’s an opportunity to devote extra care to making them comfortable. Keep in mind your guests may be tired from travelling, so it’s important to put them at ease with a clear and simple check-in process.
- Communicate your check-in procedure in advance and ensure that you’re able to follow through with it
- Make sure your guests know how to contact you if they have a travel delay or last-minute question
- Provide your guests with detailed directions so they can get to your listing, and save time by putting it all in your House Manual
- Let your guests know if you’ll greet them at the door or if they should plan on getting the key from a lockbox or neighbour
When Your Guests Arrive, And You Can Be There
First impressions count so meeting your guests at the airport is a great way to start their experience on a positive note. The personal touch makes all the difference and can be the start of a happy guest and great review.
The most obvious and easy solution, provided you have the time, is to just handle the situation yourself. It’s cost-efficient and direct, though the time commitment is not always feasible for property owners on-the-go.
But if you do have the time for an in-person key exchange, here’s what you need to know:
No matter how late they are, make sure to meet and greet your guests at the door with a smile and an offer to help with their bags. If it’s late at night, at least make sure you’re wearing pajamas that are on the nicer side.
When you hand over the keys, make sure to mention any other access-related information they may need (ex. where back-up keys are located, or if a certain lock requires some jiggling to open).
Also, establish a definitive plan for key drop-off. If your door locks automatically you can just have them leave the keys inside on their way out. But if you need to be there for the drop-off, you’ll have to schedule a time and place that works for both parties. Other ideas:
- Leave the keys in the mail box
- Leave the keys with a neighbor
- Leave the keys in a plant pot or under an ornament – somewhere that can provide camouflage for the key and still be easy to find for your guest
- Slip the keys under the door (or doormat) after you lock-up
- Leave the keys with a building official or doorman
- Leave the keys with a neighborhood front-desk service, such as City Co-Pilot (introduced in Third Party Airbnb Key Exchange Services)
Greet guests with not only a tour of the rooms but also an explanation of all the utilities and need-to-know information too:
- How the hot water works
- Where the AC/heater are located
- How to use the TV remote
- The Wifi password and username
- Which cabinets or refrigerator shelves they can use
- Check-in & check-out times (and if late check in/out is allowed)
- Location of plug sockets
- Any emergency information (names of places, phone numbers, addresses, websites)
- Parking information
Be sure to lay down the ground rules, including your lost key policy (reviewed in Key Exchange Communication With Airbnb Guests Prior To Arrival), food sharing terms, off-limits furniture, and water/electricity use.