It’s May in London and the covid virus has nearly disappeared in the UK. The recent national vaccine program has been a huge success and soon it will be legal to stay overnight in another persons house (this means my airbnb will be open for business again!). It was possible to accept airbnb guests in your airbnb but only if they are emergency workers or you were not resident at the property. However some new regular guests have already started staying with me since the lockdown restrictions ended on April 12. Regulars are the kind of repeat business I like so was willing to accept any risks.
How soon should you start taking Airbnb guests again?
If you have private room listings like me you are perhaps thinking about re-opening your airbnb again. I for one have actually gotten used to not having guests in my home every day so now it seems like a loss of privacy to take guests again. I suppose I am willing to give up my full time privacy in exchange for airbnb income but I might consider charging a higher nightly rate than before.
Officially we can start taking guests in our private room airbnb listings again from 17th May – according to government guidance. How much demand there will be in the immediate future is hard to guess. In London there would be some limited domestic tourism but very little international tourism due to the UK quarantine restrictions and likely similar restrictions when returning home. It does seem that the UK is currently seen as low risk but even so there may be little demand to stay in another persons home. Professional hotels might be the first choice for any traveller.
I do expect that most guests will be travelling for work and will want to spend as little time away as possible so there may be much shorter stays than pre-pandemic. However there could be a increase in those guests who only need to work from the office in London a couple of days a week and can work from home the rest of the time. This may lead to a INCREASE in airbnb private room demand in the medium to long term. I find these types of guests suit my airbnb listing the best – low maintenance and regular stays.
Airbnb Arrival Guide
The Airbnb guidebook is your chance to put a few details that might help or interest a guest. I have put a few places to eat and drink on mine (more so that its not blank). Because I live in London the recommendations could be endless so I only put a few that might be of genuine help to a guest or that I know very well.
The Airbnb arrival guide is a good place to put details that will help a guest know how to get into your airbnb and what time etc. Some details might be more obvious than others at your airbnb. For me I am very flexible on my arrival times etc so I put a large check-in window (late into the night). Your airbnb may be very different so it’ good to try and make these points clear. One of the most common questions from guests is “How do I check in?”. So I try to make clear the best thing is to come to the listing address and ring the bell.
Make your listing easy to find for guests
After a handful of experiences getting lost when looking for another airbnb myself I have made a greater effort to make my listing easier to find. What directions and descriptions might seen simple and obvious to you might not be for someone else. Especially if the guest is from overseas and does not speak English as a first language. In my case it just so happens another street with the same name as mine happens to be in the same general area. I think over 100 of my guests over the years have accidentally gone to this street by accident (much to the annoyance of the people on that street being woken up late at night by lost tourists).
When communicating with a guest prior to the actual booking it’s not possible to reveal your address or many details. Airbnb will block attempts for you to include telephone numbers and email address’ in your replies also. But after the booking is confirmed you can send any details pretty much. I usually send a picture of my airbnb building to the guest (what the house looks like from the street) to make it easy to find. I also send a map with a big arrow on it showing my place AND clearly where the local train station is (since thats most likely where they will be coming from). Also I got a large metallic house number stuck to the front of my building – clearly showing the street name and number (this just makes the guest more confident they have found the right house).