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Guidebook

If you’re not aware, Airbnb lets you create a guidebook for people to see when they book a reservation at your place.  What is a guidebook you ask?  Airbnb refers to a guidebook as “a collection of recommended places near your listing.”  You’re able to place pins on a map and write short descriptions of your favorite neighborhood spots across several categories.

Here is the DareBNB definitive guide to 7 things you must have in your Airbnb Guidebook:

1.  Grocery Store/Corner Store

No matter how much you’ve done to prep your place for guests, they’re still going to want to buy some of their favorite amenities.  This may go without saying, but proximity to groceries is vital for guests.  Be sure to mark down the closest large grocery store chain as a place that is most likely to have what your guests need.  Depending on where you live you may also want to include the nearest health or specialty store in addition to the closest bodega or corner store for any last minute needs.

2.  Your Favorite Neighborhood Restaurant

Sure, Airbnb guests can just check Yelp or do a Google search for nearby restaurants, but they want to hear this from you!  A recommendation from a real human becomes so much more valuable than going where a search engine tells you to go.  But don’t go listing each and every restaurant in your area.  Be selective and write descriptions that really illustrate what kind of experience your guest will be getting.  For example, is one spot good for romantic dinners, while another spot is good for casual brunch with a group?

3.  Best Coffee Shop

In my experiences as a host, Airbnb guests love coffee!  A fundamental element of the BNB model is having breakfast items on hand for your guests.  While Airbnb does not require you to provide breakfast for your guests, you may still have things like coffee and tea on hand.  But even if you do, many people want to get out a sample the local offerings as well.  If you live in a large city such as San Francisco, the best coffee shop is a real point of contention.  Give your honest opinion and urge people to give it a shot and share their feelings about it afterward.  With regular feedback you’ll be able to gauge the popular sentiment about a location and possibly change your recommendations if needed.

4.  Nearby Park or Green Space

It may depend on the climate or time of year that a guest is visiting but most people will want to get some fresh air and enjoy nature when traveling.  If your spot is located in an obvious outdoor destination (beach, ski mountain, etc.) this may not be necessary.  But if you’re in a city or densely populated area where green space isn’t obvious this is very important.  Any public city park, beach, trail, playground, etc. should be listed in your guidebook.

5.  Main Transportation Hub or Bus Stop

We’ve talked about how important it is to write a good description of your place.  One of the most important aspects of this description is your location regarding public transportation.  In many cities, your guests won’t want to worry about having a car and finding a place to park it.  Be sure to call out your proximity to public transportation in your guidebook as well.  Mark down the nearest bus or train stop.  Where applicable you’ll want to note the nearest train hub or rail line.  It may seem obvious, but in some cases you’ll want to mark down the nearest airport, especially if there are several in the area.

There you have it, five things you must have in your Airbnb guidebook!  Did I miss anything?  What do you have in your guidebook?  Let me know in the comments below or keep the conversation going on Twitter @darebnb.

Photo Credit: http://www.scribd.com/doc/92765471/Airbnb-Bests-San-Francisco

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8 Comments

Alyssa Wealty · March 4, 2014 at 6:07 pm

Nice post, Chris. So many great tips. Your tip about providing coffee is spot-on. My sister lives in Noe Valley but doesn’t have much extra space so my parents opted to stay at a home listed on Airbnb a few months ago. My father could not believe that the hosts didn’t make coffee or offer to make coffee. It’s such a small thing but it goes a long way, I think. Also, that hand-drawn map of the city is pretty cute.

Chris

Chris · March 4, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Thanks Alyssa! These are all things you need to consider. I hadn’t thought much about providing coffee until I had one particular guest who was crazy about it. Now I make sure to either provide it or call out that Four Barrel down the street is the way to go. I wish I could take credit for the hand-drawn map, it was from a book Airbnb put together for hosts, but I was lucky enough to find this particular digital version on Scribd!

Karen · September 25, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Great article! Additionally, if a host’s place does not include internet or wifi, it would be wonderful if they would tell us where we can find it. Internet cafe, library, McDonald’s, that sort of thing.

Chris

Chris · September 29, 2014 at 11:32 pm

That’s a great point Karen. Seems like virtually everywhere is providing wi-fi these days, but always good to know a backup plan. Any extra tidbits of knowledge are good to share to make your guest feel like a true insider!

Sheila · March 1, 2017 at 4:01 pm

Thanks for verifying that guidebooks are important! I love giving tips on area attractions here in Round Rock, Texas, but I’m not always home to let my guests know where the best of the best is.

Chris

Chris · March 5, 2017 at 2:00 am

Thanks for reading Sheila! Hosts should definitely have pride in the area they live and want to share it with their guests. And let’s face it, some guests love the face to face recommendations from their hosts but others just want to be left alone to read their guidebook at their leisure. Hope things are well in Round Rock, Texas!

Rob Atkinson · May 10, 2017 at 9:58 pm

Always wanted to know about the Airbnb guidebook. Now I know. Thank you Chris

Chris

Chris · May 12, 2017 at 1:03 am

Thanks so much for reading Rob! Feel free to drop me a line if you have any other questions about your guidebook. info@darebnb.com

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