An Airbnb welcome book helps you create that important first impression with your guests. As a host, showing guests how to navigate your vacation rental creates value. Here are some tips you can apply to your airbnb welcome book.
The airbnb welcome book is a necessity. First, you need to understand who you are writing for: your guests. Helping your guests is easy when you know what to include in your airbnb welcome book. I have written over a hundred welcome books for airbnb and here are the key lessons I learned along the way.
You can also listen to the podcast episode, Airbnb Welcome Book. How to make a helpful guest book for your vacation rental below…
Why do I need an airbnb welcome book?
You may be wondering, why do I need an airbnb welcome book? Your guests are vacationing with you for the first time and they may not know how to interact with your home or local area. The welcome book will show them how to navigate your vacation rental, find nearby dining, what to do in the case of an emergency, and how to work your home. Best of all, if you write your welcome book correctly, it will cut down on the calls you receive from your guests because they can help themselves.
You will want to have both a physical copy and a digital copy of your airbnb welcome book.
How to write an airbnb welcome book for your guests…
Here is an outline you can use to write your very own airbnb welcome book.
- Cover Page
- About the Host
- House Rules
- Neighborhood Map
- Technology and Appliances
- Wifi Information
- Emergency Information
- Personal Section (think local)
What to include in the cover page of your Airbnb welcome book
The cover page of your airbnb welcome book should include an attractive image or background and the address of your vacation rental. Including an eye-catching picture of your home as the background is always a choice for cover page art. Alternatively, you can opt for an attractive design or piece of art. While those options are a matter of personal preference, the title of your cover page should be along the lines of ‘welcome to my home’ or ‘a guide to help you enjoy our home…’ with the property address also on the front. You can also consider including some of these items to make it easier for your guests to find important information in your welcome book:
- Emergency Info
- Wifi Access (User and Password)
- Contact Details of Host
- Gate Code
Including helpful information on your cover page will help reduce unnecessary calls from guests.
About the Host
Building trust and rapport is another important objective that your airbnb welcome book absolutely helps with. Including a photo of yourself and the family and introducing yourself, your passions, hobbies (don’t go overboard), and why you decided to host is an awesome introduction to your guests. A well written and easy to follow about page is a trust building addition to your welcome book.
House rules deserves plenty space in your airbnb welcome book. This helps your guests understand expectations and rules because it is written clearly: in digital and in print.
Important house rules to include in your airbnb welcome book include:
- Pet policy
- No smoking
- No parties or events
- Check-in and check-out times
- Penalties for violating house rules
- Thermostat and AC rules
- Pool and Spa Rules (if applicable)
- Quiet hours and noise policy
- Trash, garage, recycling
- Extra guests
Whatever rules you choose, highlighting the ‘why’ behind the house rules at your airbnb is just as important. For each house rule, include a subsection on the why to help guests understand why the rule is important to follow. What may be intuitive and common sense to you, may not be to others.
The layout of your home serves two main purposes. One, to help guests navigate the space for enjoyment. Secondly, to help guests evacuate in an emergency scenario. Pulling or creating a layout of your vacation rental adds tremendous value.
Also important to add, a neighborhood or community map that helps guests navigate the community. Including a city or town map with highlights of important attractions, emergency info, and places to eat will help your guests plan ahead.
Technology and Appliances
How to use technology and appliances is, in my personal opinion, the most read section of any vacation rental guest book. Guests are not as familiar with your airbnb. Afterall, it is your home and not theirs. Therefore, you should aim to make your technology easy to operate. By achieving this, you will cut down on calls in the middle of the night asking how to turn down the thermostat because your guests are feeling hot and can’t sleep. Here are some topics to cover:
- How the keyless entry to your vacation rental works
- How to use appliances (refrigerator, dishwasher, etc.)
- Television and remote guide
- Using streaming services
- Accessing wifi and troubleshooting (how to reset router or modem, where they are located)
- How to use thermostat and air conditioning
- Operating the pool
- Turning on the lights (interior and exterior)
- Smart devices
- Operating the washer and dryer
- Garage door access
- Camera equipment location
Although technology has its own section in this post, wifi information gets its own callout. That’s right, add it again. How to use the wifi. How to reset the router. Username and password. Even your wifi companies’ tech support line if they allow call-ins is helpful. Help your guests help themselves so you do not have to at midnight.
Emergency information needs to be in your airbnb welcome book. No exceptions. Can you imagine hearing that a tragedy or emergency happened at your vacation rental? And you did not give your guests the right information to help them? The most important emergency information to include for your airbnb guests are:
- Local Sheriff non-emergency number
- Fire Department number
- Private ambulance
- Closest Emergency Room and Hospital
- Location of First Aid Kit
- Location of Fire Extinguisher
- What to do in event of fire or another emergency
Many governments require emergency and safety information, so you may want to check with your local state agency. Most importantly, do not forget to include the emergency information in your airbnb welcome book.
Help your guests get around. The best transportation information to provide your airbnb guests:
- Public transportation (buses, trains, ferry)
- Rideshare like Uber or Lyft
- Taxi company phone number
- Best car rental companies around your vacation rental destination
- Recommend what is in walking distance
Personal Section (Think Local)
By far my favorite welcome book section, the personal section is your opportunity to play travel guide and add real value as a local. Think local. Know a great pizza spot or taco stand? Include their address, phone number, distance from your home, best way to get there, a photo of their food and a little write up description. It may seem like a little extra legwork on your part, but you are showing the guests where the best stuff is at. Here are some local recommendations you can add your own flavor to that add real value to your guests:
- Dining Recommendations
- Shopping Recommendations
- Things to Do
- Parks Nearby (recreational, state, or national)
- Nearest beaches, lakes, and bodies of water
- Theme parks
Remember, think like a local. This helps your guests find memorable local experiences and makes staying at your vacation rental a memorable experience too.
Where to display your airbnb welcome book?
Share your airbnb welcome book digitally, at least 1 week prior to your check-in to help guests familiarize themselves with your place. Also, this allows guests plenty of time to ask questions to better prepare them for their stay. The physical copy can be displayed in the entryway table, kitchen counter, or dining table. The choice is yours, but you will want to make your welcome book easy to find and read.
An airbnb welcome book helps your guests prepare for their stay and provides them with much needed color. Your vacation rental guest book highlights important house rules and the why behind following them, setting expectations and protecting your home. Emergency information is your duty to provide to protect the guests that are in your care. Helping them navigate your home in the easiest way possible is your duty as a host.
We hope that this airbnb welcome book template will help you get started and inspire you. Do not be afraid to steal like an artist, take the best parts of the airbnb welcome book sample and make it your own.
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