Airbnb | How do Guests benefit from self check-ins to preserve Privacy and Personal Space?
As a vacation homeowner, your guest’s experience is your top priority. You have to consider the time they spent on travel just to get to your place – well, they’re pretty much exhausted. And providing a concise check-in instruction will surely relieve their furrowed brows and drooping shoulders.
There are two types of Airbnb check-in and check-out available for use. It depends on the host if it’s going to be host-led check-in or self check-in process.
Host-led check-in is the face to face meeting upon guests’ arrival. Hosts can take advantage of this process if you want to greet guests in person, hand over the keys, and tour them around the house and answer some questions along the way.
You can also remind them of the house rules while touring them. Especially if there are special instructions you need to reiterate, this is a good time to raise them.
Self check-in is designed for guests who prefer less human interaction, no surprise visits, and value privacy more than ever. Considering that they’re not fond of arranged meetings and awkward small talk, this option will lessen the anxiety and stress hold-led check-in brings.
To activate this feature on Airbnb, you need to:
- Go to Your Listings on airbnb.com and select a listing.
- Next to Guest Resources, click Edit.
- Below Directions, click Add Self check-in.
- Select the way that guests can get into your listing.
- Follow the instructions to add check-in instructions.
Airbnb won’t show the instructions until three days before their check-in date. Though some hosts find three days far too soon, you can manually send the instruction on the day of the booking using the app inbox.
When a booking is confirmed, the host can send a detailed self check-in instruction which includes:
- The complete address
- Lockbox code where you store the keys
- How to get to the location (for guests who are unfamiliar with the place)
- Check-in and check-out time
- How to operate appliances and Wi-Fi passwords
Guests can browse the instructions offline so even if they don’t have internet, they can still access it on their way or upon arrival.
Since we’re talking about self check-in, installing a lockbox establishes trust and sense of convenience on the guests’ part. A sturdy lock box can withstand about 45 minutes of banging with a hammer. Other rental locks used are usually:
- Smart locks. Say goodbye to codes and keys! Guests just have to locate the equipment, connect their phone signal to the lock and it will automatically open.
- Keypad locks. Also an alternative to lockboxes and smart locks. A code is sent to guests to gain access to the property with ease. The door automatically locks every time visitors leave so keys shouldn’t be a problem with this type of rental lock.
Technology really plays a big part as these services save hosts a great deal of time and money. It might be expensive upfront but it’s an investment that you can in the long run. So it boils down to what type of rental lock works best for you and your property.
Why use the self check-in option?
Property managers and homeowners should pay attention that providing self check-in instructions will:
- Save you time.
Let’s say your property is quite far from where you’re living right now. So instead of personally handing the keys, setting up a lockbox and sending the check-in instruction would be a viable option for you. That way, guests won’t be waiting for your arrival and they can early check-in (if they request ahead of time) with ease.
- Reduce guests’ stress.
As mentioned above, the time spent on travel might give your guests a mix of emotions – and chatting and mingling may not be a refreshing way to welcome them. The self check-in process is best provided to guests who wish to check-in privately at their desired time.
- Allow your guests a bit of exploring.
Even when you already provide instructions to your guests, let them explore the place on their own. It might be their first out of town travel and invading their space might make them feel uncomfortable.
- Let you earn Airbnb’s Business Travel Ready Badge.
If you’re eyeing on this badge that business travelers filter whenever they book a place, then you need to establish a self-check-in process. Your place should also have a steady internet connection and a space that is conducive for working guests.
- Make guests feel trusted.
You don’t want to make your guests feel like they’re being watched from time to time. Trusting them your home builds trust between you and your guests that will lead to a positive experience and a positive review after their stay.
Some important things to note
On the guests’ check-in day, you can still welcome them even if you’re not physically there. You can:
- Message your guests ON THE DAY of their check-in. It’s not necessary to send them a bunch of messages prior to and during their stay but a quick check if they arrived safely and checked-in smoothly will do the trick. Here’s a simple message of what Prowess uses to message their guests upon arrival:
Hi (Guest’s name),
Hope your check-in was easy and that you have found everything you need in the house. Enjoy your stay.
- Print out your house rules. If it’s not too much work for you as a host, you can print out your house rules and put them where guests can easily spot it. You can also include pieces of information that you think your guests will need (e.g. on how to operate an appliance) before they can access something – like some sort of reference material.
- Schedule a follow-up message. A follow-up message will let your guests feel like you’re available if they have concerns and you’d gladly accommodate them. You can schedule a follow-up after their first night in your property – check if there’s anything you can do to make their stay more relaxing and comfortable.
It’s always been at the forefront of every property manager and homeowner’s decisions to leave a positive experience to guests after leaving the property. Proper preparation that simplifies your work and convenient for your guest is what’s important in this industry.