An important part of being a host is providing your guests with a smooth and enjoyable experience.
Part of this is making sure they know what is expected of them during their stay, including at checkout.
Vacation rentals are different than hotels in that they require a bit more work on the part of the guest. Typically, guests are responsible for cleaning up after themselves and leaving the space in a similar condition as when they arrived.
Creating a set of detailed instructions for your guests will help ensure that they leave the space in the condition that you expect and help you prepare for the next guest’s arrival.
There will be times when you don’t have much time in between bookings. So, having a detailed set of checkout instructions can help you ensure the next guest will arrive at a clean and well-maintained rental when it’s time for them to check-in.
In this article, we’ll cover the steps to creating effective checkout instructions for your Airbnb and how to communicate them to guests. We’ll also discuss some common things that you may want to include in your instructions.
Let’s get started.
What are Airbnb checkout instructions?
Airbnb checkout instructions are a set of expectations that you as the host communicate to the guest regarding how to leave the rental property.
This can include anything from how to lock up, where to leave house keys, how much to clean, and whether to wash dishes or pull sheets off the bed.
In general, checkout instructions are meant to help guests understand what is expected of them before they leave. This can help avoid any misunderstandings or conflicts that may arise. Your set of instructions should be communicated in your welcome book and sent as a message one day prior to checkout, so guests have a full understanding of what’s expected.
It’s important to note that checkout instructions are different than house rules. House rules are expectations that you set for guests during their stay.
Checkout instructions are a set of expectations that you have for the guests after they have checked out and are no longer on the property.
How do you create Airbnb checkout instructions?
While checkout instructions can be created in many ways, there are generally a few steps that are consistent no matter what type of vacation rental you have.
Here are the essential steps to creating clear and concise Airbnb checkout instructions:
1. Checkout time
The first step is to establish what time guests are expected to checkout. You’ll want to be clear and specific about this time, as it will help you plan for the next guest’s arrival. You can either include this information in your welcome book or send it as a message one day prior to checkout.
If you have a strict checkout time, it’s important to communicate this to guests in advance. This will help them plan their departure and avoid any conflicts.
Some hosts may be more flexible with their checkout time and allow guests to stay until noon or later. If this is the case, be sure to let guests know so they can plan accordingly.
In general, it’s best to be as clear and concise as possible when it comes to establishing a checkout time. This is an important part of being a host since having guests checkout in a timely manner could affect the next guest’s arrival.
2. Lights and thermostat
The next step is to include instructions regarding the lights and thermostat. You’ll want to be sure that all lights are turned off and the thermostat is set to a reasonable temperature before guests leave.
You may want to include specific instructions on where the light switches are located and how to adjust the thermostat. This can be especially helpful if you have a complex lighting system or an unusual thermostat.
Ensuring guests leave the thermostat at a reasonable temperature is important for two reasons. First, it will help conserve energy. Second, it will ensure your home is sufficiently cold or hot during certain seasons. Not having enough heat in your space in the winter could lead to pipes freezing and bursting.
If you have a smart home system, you can include instructions on how to use it. This can be helpful for guests who are unfamiliar with the technology.
Including these types of instructions in your checkout process can help make things run more smoothly and avoid any potential problems.
3. Doors and windows
The next step is to make sure all doors and windows are properly secured before guests leave. This includes making sure all doors are locked and windows are closed and locked. You may want to provide specific instructions on how to lock the doors and windows. For example, if you have a deadbolt, you may want to provide instructions on how to engage the lock.
If you have an alarm system, you will also want to provide instructions on how to arm the system. Be sure to include the alarm code in your checkout instructions.
Closing and locking all entryways into the property is crucial for security purposes. You don’t want to come back to a property that has been broken into because a door or window was left unlocked.
4. Bedding and towels
If you would like guests to strip the bedding and towels, be sure to include this in your checkout instructions. You may want to provide specific instructions on where to leave the bedding and towels. For example, you may want guests to leave the bedding in a pile on the floor or in the laundry room.
This can save your cleaners valuable time when they are preparing the space for the next guest.
If you would prefer that guests not strip the bedding and towels, be sure to include this in your checkout instructions as well. Some guests may be happy to comply with your request if they know it’s what you prefer.
5. Food, trash, and dishes
The next step is to address food, trash, and dishes. You’ll want to make sure that all food is thrown out and that any dirty dishes are either put in the dishwasher or washed by hand. You may want to provide specific instructions on how to operate your dishwasher and where they can find dish detergent.
You’ll also want to make sure that all trash is properly disposed of. This includes taking out any trash that has accumulated in the garbage cans and taking out the garbage bags.
Provide specific instructions on where to find the garbage cans and how to dispose of the trash. Be sure to also include instructions on recycling. This can be helpful if your municipality has specific guidelines on what can be recycled.
6. Keys and passes
This is a crucial step to ensuring a smooth Airbnb operation. You’ll want to make sure that all keys and passes are accounted for before guests leave. This includes house keys, garage remote controls, parking passes, and any other keys or passes that guests may have used during their stay.
You may want to provide specific instructions on where to leave the keys and passes. For example, you may want guests to leave the keys in a lockbox. Be sure to provide instruction on how to properly operate the lockbox.
I recommend using a smart lock to avoid having to worry about keys getting lost or misplaced. This can be helpful if you have a lot of turnover in your space. It will also provide a smoother experience for guests and give them one less thing to worry about at checkout.
This section can include any unique home features that require attention before leaving, like fireplaces, pools, or smart TVs. This section should include anything that could pose a potential safety hazard or unfavorable experience for the next guest.
It could be as simple as reminding them to log out of any personal streaming services, like Netflix or Hulu, they may have used during their stay. Or, if you have a hot tub, you may want to provide instructions on how to properly cover and secure the hot tub area.
This is also a good section to include any landscaping-related instructions, like reminding guests to close any gates that they used during their stay.
7. Goodbye and review
Finally, be sure to include a thank you and let guests know that you appreciated their stay. This is a nice way to end things on a positive note and leave the door open for future stays.
It’s also a good place to ask for any feedback that guests may have. You can use this feedback to improve your Airbnb operation and provide a better experience for future guests.
This is also where you’ll want to ask for a review. A positive review can go a long way in attracting future guests. It can sometimes be awkward to ask but it’s worth it to get that review and build your profile. Be sure to thank guests for their time in writing a review and let them know how helpful it is for your Airbnb business. Not all guests will leave a review, but by asking, you increase the chances that you’ll get one.
Why do you need Airbnb checkout instructions?
Providing guests with clear checkout instructions is crucial to running a smooth Airbnb operation. It can help ensure that your guests leave the space in the condition that you expect and can help avoid any misunderstandings about what is expected of them before they depart. Most importantly it will help keep your Airbnb safe and functioning properly. By having guests lock up properly, you can avoid any theft or damage to your property. And by leaving the space clean and tidy, you can better prepare for the next guests coming in.
What should I include in my Airbnb checkout instructions?
Your checkout instructions should include anything that you want your guests to know before they leave. This should include priority tasks that will ensure your property will remain safe after the guests leave. It should also include anything needed to better prepare the space for your next guests.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the key things you’ll want to include in your checkout instructions:
- Checkout time
- Garbage and recycling
- Keys and passes
- Other unique home features
- Goodbye and review
Checkout instructions are part of what keep Airbnbs running smoothly and keep hosts, cleaners, and guests on the same page. You can communicate your instructions via your welcome book and messaging. By having clear expectations and providing helpful instructions, you can avoid any misunderstandings or negative experiences for all parties involved.
Be sure to include anything from leaving dishes in the dishwasher to providing instructions on how to properly lockup the property. Include anything that you feel is important for guests to know before they depart in your checkout instructions. But make sure to not confuse guests of ask too much of them, as this could lead to frustration on their part. By following these tips, you can create clear and concise checkout instructions that will help you run a successful Airbnb and keep guests happy.