Airbnb Hosting Must-Haves

LMCo. Home co-owner, Mallorie Rasberry, is a successful entrepreneur and fearless leader of our Laurel Mercantile team. Her passion for revitalization and hospitality is contagious and has a way of leaving everyone around her feeling inspired. When it comes to home design/creativity, let's just say we all lean in and listen even closer when she hands out her secrets. That's why we are so excited to share some of her must have tips and tricks to owning/operating her 3 Superhost Airbnbs. Read what she has to share here: 

We've been hosting for several years now and, boy, have we learned a few things! Matter of fact, we are still learning and making changes just about every day! To help other host families, I wanted to put together a few of the top things we've learned over the years...and the best thing about this list is that it's helpful even if you aren't hosting folks professionally. With the holiday season coming up, hopefully these tips can help with getting those spare rooms guest-ready! 

Quality, White Linens in Multiples - I’m a big believer in all white linens. Bleach is a powerful thing, you know….It can solve a lot of problems and pro-long the life of your linens. Think about this…some weeks, we are washing our linens every single day - they get a lot of wear and tear that your normal household linens don’t experience. Also, having at least 3 sets of towels and bed linens is a must- especially for the days that you have to do a quick turnover for guests coming in! Having multiples saves you time and effort but also leaves you some cushion in case you find stained or tattered linens that you weren’t expecting.  Shop all LMCo. Home American made linens: Linens

Interesting Artwork/Decor - This is a big one. I think the majority of hosts get caught up on the concept of cash flowing the space as quickly as possible (which I totally get!) and don’t budget for or invest on styling the space.  It’s such a great opportunity to really highlight and separate your guest quarters and add to the overall guest experience. And when I say “invest” I don’t mean fill your space with expensive art and furniture - I’m referring to investing your time and creativity! Make the space interesting, fun and unexpected… and try to tell the story of what makes your area so amazing. Shop all artwork:  Artwork


Books/Puzzles & Kid Toys - My goal is for our guests to feel both A.) they MUST go experience all the fun, local spots and restaurants and B.) that they feel so cozy and satisfied that it’s hard for them to leave! I get the most compliments on our books and puzzles - and it’s such an easy, inexpensive touch that folks really appreciate…especially families that are wanting to unplug and spend quality time together. As a parent, I know firsthand how a little toy box to keep the little ones busy is a super easy touch parents appreciate! Here are some of my favorites:  Kids toys, Puzzles, Books 

Great Coffee and Fixings- Investing in a great coffee and tea station should be a big priority. Folks love their coffee! Don’t skimp on coffee selection, mugs or fixings - I'd recommend that you have plenty of real cream, Big Ben's Blend coffee, sweeteners and local honey. Shop coffee & fixings: Coffee & Fixings 

Nice Cleaning Items/Laundry/Bath/Smell Good Items - I love having unique, high quality products in my rentals. I think it surprises people - we get a lot of compliments on it! Don’t be afraid to splurge on good detergents, hand washes and room scents. My favorites are Laurel Mercantile candles, soaps, rooms sprays and Febreeze sprays and plugins. Folks appreciate it. Shop our cleaning items: Cleaning Products. 

Umbrella, Mosquito Repellent, Sunscreen, Flashlight - I have a little necessity basket right by the door for all our units - just another example of how small, inexpensive touches that will definitely set you apart. Shop our Mosquito Repellent here!

Dohm Sleep Machine - We have one of these in all our personal bedrooms so it was an easy touch to add to our guest spaces. There have been plenty of times during my travel when I wished I had one of these handy! Find them here: Dohm Sound Machine 

Snacks/Beverages - I keep our units stocked with simple snacks - instant oatmeal, chips, popcorn, etc. For drinks, I like to include a few cans of soda, beer and a couple of bottles of whiskey and/or wine. Most folks don’t take advantage of or abuse these like you’d think they would in our experience - it’s just something I like to include as an extra touch! Also, pro-tip: in the beginning I was putting bottled water in the fridge. There is something about bottled water - our guests would consume them all and I would find half drank bottles all around when I was cleaning up…a ton of waste! It didn’t take me long to figure it out to put in a re-usable gallon water jug with a tap in the fridge. It has been a game changer for us- saving on cost, waste and effort! 

A Great Mattress and Pillows - SPLURGE on these and a soft, washable mattress cover...LMCo actually has some exciting news coming in this category! Stay tuned! 

    Keyless/Code Door Lock - it makes things so much easier on you and your guests! 

      City Guide - We utilize Airbnb's and Laurel Mercantile's City Guide, it's makes it so easy for our guests to plan their trip! Guests love having a list of the local, must-see spots...and that's honestly what I love most about hosting! Seeing folks enjoy all the things that we love about our town...it's amazing!

        Guest Book - I have a guest register in each unit just so folks can write a little note about their stay...it's such a great way to share stories and keep record. 
          Directions/Instructions - Giving your guests all the info they'll need up front is the best - it takes pressure off of them and you! Go ahead and compile a list of your housekeeping items, wifi passwords, parking instructions, etc. and make a nice binder for guests to use at check in....also, you have the ability to put all of this info into Airbnb so folks can have it beforehand.

            Great Photographs - hire a professional to come take photos! I promise, it's the best money you can spend for your listing! Also, don't forget...barter when you can! Try exchanging a free night stay with a great photographer...so it's no money out of pocket! 

            Logo/Brand/Social Media - Treat hosting like a real business, because it is! Utilize social media, begin building your brand...tell folks what is so amazing about staying with you! This is also another reason why photos are so important, too!  

            Plan to Stay The Night in The Space - and even gift a night to a close friend or family member...there's nothing more valuable than getting honest, real-life feedback on your space. 

            Hosting, whether done professionally or with family and friends, is serious business. I hope these tips help you put your best foot forward when it comes to showing off your hospitality!  -MR


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            Visit the Rasberrys and stay like a local at The Laurel Cottages or book your stay here at airbnb.com

            Sourcebook 

            Shop all of the items mentioned in this blog here: 

            Linens - Laurel Mercantile Co. 

            Artwork - Laurel Mercantile Co. 

            Coffee and Fixings - Laurel Mercantile Co. 

            Cleaning Products - Laurel Mercantile Co. 

            Puzzles/Toys -  Laurel Mercantile Co. 

            Dohm Sounding Machine - Laurel Mercantile Co. 

            Mosquito Repellent - Laurel Mercantile Co.