If you are looking to let out your property with Airbnb it's always a great idea to kit it out with all those basic essentials that your guests will likely be needing during their stay. We've put together a list of those top 10 essentials as well as a few extra tips if you want to go that extra mile in providing a quality hosting experience to your guests.
1. All the dishes, cutlery and pots & pans to easily cater for all the guests the property is made to accommodate plus additional sets for another 2 extra people! Make sure everything they might need is there, that includes knives, forks, table spoons, tea spoons, table mats, tumblers, wine glasses, as well as all the cooking items they might need such as a chopping board, sharp cooking knives, scissors, wooden spoons, pots, pans, frying pans, lids, a cheese grater, and of course a bottle opener! Make sure none of these are falling apart and are properly cleaned before letting.
2. Quality towels and linen - it goes a long way to provide luxury soft towels and quality linen, the thicker and softer the better, it's how guests physically get to experience their stay! It's also highly recommended that you leave a spare set of everything in a cupboard in case they are needed. Make sure to include full sized bath towels, hand towels as well as pillow and mattress protectors.
3. A microwave - Take into account that your guests will likely be out all day and will probably not be doing that much cooking, therefore microwaves are an essential item when it comes to short-term lets. Any model should to the trick as long as it does the job and the dials and buttons are not overly complicated to use.
4. Kettle and coffee maker - for a large number of guests both the kettle and coffee maker are possibly the two most important items in the kitchen. Any kettle should do fine but the coffee maker is a completely different kettle of fish. Any property should include at the very least a French Press coffee maker, also known as a French Press Cafetiere. It's inexpensive and normally satisfies all coffee drinkers. If you want to impress your coffee drinking guests then make sure to also include a stove top Cafetiere, also known as an Espresso maker, an Italian percolator or a Moka pot! This is used by a large number of French and Italian guests and is simple to use and clean. In addition to these you can always go all out and provide guests with an electric drip coffee maker or an Espresso machine but these are not always the most popular options and can be very pricey.
5. A toaster - Most people love toast so this is an obvious one, just make sure you provide a toaster that is not the cheapest you can put your hands on. The budget toasters tend to have questionable filaments inside and tend to do a patchy job of the toast.
6. Wireless Wi-Fi Internet - In this day and age Wi-Fi is simply a must have! It's highly recommended that you set your home up with a permanent connection that has unlimited broadband. If on the other hand you are only renting your property for a few days or weeks each year and don't usually use Wifi make sure to buy a mobile Wifi device that you can top up every so often. These tend to not be cheap and always make sure to highlight to guests that it is not to be used to stream movies or watch any video footage online. If they do expect a hefty bill at the end of the month. If on the other hand you don't provide internet make sure guests are aware of this before they complete the booking otherwise you could be faced with cancellations.
7. Hotel shampoos and soaps - These little soaps and shampoos can make a huge difference and provide that little extra personal touch, make sure to pick ones that you think your guests would like and not just the cheapest ones you can put your hands on.
8. Basic cleaning products & accessories - that includes a hoover with spare hoover bags, dustpan and brush, mop & strainer, cleaning cloths and all the products necessary for cleaning the property. These are not an absolute necessity for short-term lets but having them there does encourage guests to keep the property clean.
9. Ironing board and iron - these are essential items for all guests that might be in town for work, weddings, etc. or that are just in the habit of ironing their clothes, make sure to also leave some demineralised water as guests will possibly use the tap water if this is not provided.
10. Smoke & carbon monoxide detectors that work - Make sure to have at least one smoke detector and one carbon monoxide detector setup in the hallway and in the kitchen. As guests tend to be a little bit more careless when they are on holiday there is always that little extra risk. Test them out before you start your rentals and make sure the batteries are not on the verge of giving up.
It's also good to note that all of the above items are seen as the bare minimum by a large number of guests, for that reason we'd recommend including them all! If you leave one out you put yourself at risk of receiving unwanted negative reviews that will point out that the property was nice but that it didn't even have a kettle/wifi/an iron/etc.
A few extra tips if you are looking to be the ultimate host
Provide a detailed welcome letter - That includes all details you feel are relevant to guests, include everything from house rules, the checkout process & time, important contact numbers, notes on how devices function, and details on the local area and transport links. Maybe even include a map of the local area that you can pick up in your local tourist office.
A supply of basic products & items normally used around the home - That includes salt, sugar, flour, butter, basic seasonings, washing liquid, tablets/liquid detergent for the washing machine, dishwasher, and other general cleaning products. Don't forget to also supply a few bin liners and spare light bulbs.
A hairdryer - Anyone with long hair can do with not having to take their hairdryer on holiday so if you want to be in your guests' good books and make their life easier make sure there is a functioning hairdryer in the bathroom cupboard.
Extra blankets - in case it gets a bit nippy or if guests are sensitive to the cold! The last thing you need as a host is a hefty heating bill at the end of the month because the blankets and duvets were too thin to keep guests warm at night.
Extra safety features - such as a fire extinguishers, signs for the emergency exit and as many smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors as your property can handle! You can't ever be too safe especially if you are not around to keep an eye on the place.
A selection of family games, playing cards and DVD's - for whenever your guests need a little break from visiting the sights they'll want to just sit back and relax and have something at hand to keep them entertained. Good things to include are playing cards, light hearted and family DVD's, family games and a chess set.
Other features that you should include will depend on your location, if you are someplace hot you should make sure the air conditioning is working properly or that there is a plentiful supply of fans around the home. The other important thing to note is to not overdo it when it comes to providing additional devices and gadget, guests will undoubtedly play around with them and end up breaking something or getting hurt. Finally remember to hold onto your receipts for tax purposes!
Going that extra mile
If you are really looking to impress your guests you can of course go that extra mile, it might cost you but it will undoubtedly pay off in the long run. Things that guests will really appreciate is a personal welcome upon arrival, with a guided tour of the home and local knowledge & tips on good places to eat out and shop. If you really want to make your guests feel at home you can always leave a small welcome gift in the shape of a bottle of wine, fresh flowers or a box of chocolates. There is no better way to start a holiday!
At Bedspoke we take the hassle out of managing properties with Airbnb while at the same time making sure guests are properly taken care off. We manage a number of properties in London and Milan and take care of the booking process, checking-in guests and making sure they feel at home. We are around at all times of day and night in case guests need any help during their stay and also take care of cleaning, laundry, listing optimization and checkouts.