Journey to 55 5-Star Reviews on Airbnb

Seven months ago, we welcomed the world into our home, imagining a space that respects every guest, no matter how brief their stay. Beyond the obvious financial gains, hosting has imparted lessons far more precious than profit.

Journey to 55 5-Star Reviews on Airbnb
Beyond Profits: What hosting taught me about creating a space that respects every guest.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Never skip necessary repairs and upkeep.
    After living in the space for over three years, we anticipated wear and tear. Every aspect, from floors to the kitchen counter, bathroom, and AC units, underwent thorough checks. Everything had to be in excellent working condition before we even started thinking of furniture or wall painting.
  2. Curate your space and listing to attract your ideal guests. Forget trying to please everyone; instead, focus on crafting a haven that resonates with your ideal guest. We were aiming for a serene escape, so our design choices are all focused on communicating this clearly. A calming green accent wall, an award-winning nature photo by Celine Murillo, Cebu-made ukulele, plants, and nature-inspired colors at Issa Suites are deliberately picked to achieve this.
  3. Your listing shapes the initial impression—make it impactful. Showcase distinctive features for your ideal audience, using clear, concise language and high-quality photos. Establish transparent expectations in your description and house rules. Don't hesitate to part ways with guests who aren't the right fit; not every sale is worth it.
  4. Set boundaries and have clear communication. While communication is essential, finding the right frequency requires finesse. How often should you send messages to guests, and how lengthy do they have to be? Assessing a guest's responsiveness during the initial interaction provides insight into their preferred level of communication. Anything more than 100 words is too long for the Airbnb messenger.
  5. Respectful communication is key, but ditch the formality. Avoid patronizing titles like "Ma'am" or "Sir." Instead, foster a professional yet friendly connection where guests feel comfortable interacting with you as an equal.
  6. Master your Airbnb app's scheduled messages and quick replies for efficient, personalized communication. Invest time upfront creating templates for common scenarios (booking confirmation, check-in instructions, mid-stay check-in message, check-out reminders, review reminders) and refining them based on feedback, ensuring consistent, professional interactions. Save time, set it, and (almost) forget it.
  7. Having a system is crucial. Refining your space requires time and feedback. I prioritize cleanliness, especially for linens and towels—anything touching the skin must be spotless. Establishing a well-organized system is beneficial for routine tasks like turnover, cleaning, inspection, and laundry.
Celebrating small wins: 55 Reviews & Counting!

Celebrating 55 Reviews and Moving Forward

We've reached 55 reviews, and we're excited to continue providing experiences that delight guests. This milestone is a testament to the team effort of myself, Rose, and Neil. Perhaps a touch of worry motivates thorough preparation.

While we appreciate positive reviews, we also view silent reviews as valuable feedback. Perhaps the guest wasn't a good fit, or we fell short of expectations. Regardless, we're committed to learning and growing as hosts.

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