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- What is an Airbnb welcome book?
- Why do you need an Airbnb welcome book?
- How to make your Airbnb welcome book standout
- What to include in your Airbnb welcome book
- How to give your welcome book to Airbnb guests
The Perfect Airbnb Welcome Book Template to Impress Guests
One of the many joys of being an Airbnb host is witnessing the happiness on a guest’s face when they arrive at your property. Starting a vacation rental business is no small feat, so when you finally arrive at the moment of guests ringing your doorbell, it’s only natural to feel elated. Without getting too caught up in the excitement, you’ll have to make sure you’ve implemented all the necessary steps to guarantee the best guest experience possible.
Beyond all the work that goes into pre-arrival, the moment a guest steps foot on your property is arguably the most critical part of ensuring a great vacation. Give them the warm welcome they’re looking for by crafting the perfect welcome book for each guest who visits.
Disclaimer: Lodgify is an Airbnb Preferred Software Partner. This guide, including any claims or statements within, is solely from Lodgify and is not endorsed by, directly affiliated with, authorized, or sponsored by Airbnb in any way.
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Airbnb Welcome Book Checklist
Every Airbnb host needs a welcome book to impress their guests. This free checklist will help you get started!NameEmailDownload
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What is an Airbnb welcome book?
Not to be confused with the Airbnb welcome letter, the welcome book is a culmination of all the information your guests will need during their stay. This can range from recommendations to check out details. By putting yourself in their shoes, you’ll have a better understanding of what information guests would like to see in their Airbnb welcome packet.
The Airbnb welcome book can really be anything you want it to be. Depending on the type of Airbnb accommodation you’re offering, you may choose to include or omit some information. For example, our downloadable checklist has a section detailing the outdoor features of your home, but if your Airbnb is exclusively indoors, you can simply omit this section and focus your efforts on what’s around town.
Your content should also bear in mind the type of guests your Airbnb attracts. If your audience is +50 or family-oriented, a section about the nightlife of your city won’t be useful to your guests and will actually put them off rather than make them feel welcome. Consider having 3-4 versions of your Airbnb welcome book to better accommodate each guest you host.
Why do you need an Airbnb welcome book?
The real question should be, why don’t you have an Airbnb welcome book already? This isn’t your typical welcome packet. Remember that the guests who choose to stay in an Airbnb are seeking a more customized, experiential vacation than, say, a big-brand hotel. Airbnb’s model is shaped by a deeper meaning of hospitality and your Airbnb welcome book should follow suit.
Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere. Lean into this and make sure anybody can belong in your accommodation. The best way to make guests feel at home is to express this through an Airbnb welcome book.
With this in mind, creating a welcome book is an additional step, but we’re here to explain why it’s one worth taking.
Sets the stage for a good trip
Taking a vacation is an act of labor just as much as it’s an act of tranquility. Before getting to the relaxation, there’s plenty of anxiety, planning, and stress that goes into a trip. Bear this in mind when writing your Airbnb welcome book. Let guests know that their efforts have paid off simply just by choosing to book your Airbnb. You want to convince them that they’ve made the right choice in reserving your vacation rental as soon as possible. When you greet guests with a handy Airbnb welcome book, you can ease their worries and remind them that their vacation has just begun.
Introduces guests to the area
In many cases, guests will be new to the area. They might be from the next town over or the adjacent country! To give them a warm welcome to the neighborhood, you’ll want to get them acquainted with all that your property’s location has to offer: be it restaurants, museums, or natural scenery. You might not know what your guests are interested in, so it’s important to include all the major attractions that they might like.
Guests sometimes enjoy the comforts of home too. Consider listing international restaurants and bars to offer a variety or a taste of home. If you know the languages that are offered at these attractions, you can mention that too by putting the flag symbol representing the languages spoken. Most businesses have a website or QR code to link to as well, so you can put this in the attraction description if you see fit. The more information you provide, the more at-home guests will feel in your town.
Encourages guests to care for your home
When you take the time to write an Airbnb welcome book for guests, you’re demonstrating just how much you care about your guests, but also your home! The Airbnb welcome book helps to humanize the owner behind the book, encouraging guests to take better care of your property. Demonstrating just how much you care about your rental property means that guests will follow suit.
How someone treats a family-run bed and breakfast differs widely from the treatment of a chain-motel room. Why? The most glaring reason is the impersonality of the stay. When guests feel as though there’s no face behind the property, they might be tempted to treat it as just a place to holiday rather than someone’s actual home. Protect your accommodation by adding a face to the home and motivate guests to take care of your property as if it were their own.
How to make your Airbnb welcome book standout
If you do decide to create your own Airbnb welcome book, you have to make sure it gets noticed by guests. If it’s not placed at the entryway or the welcome book itself is just bland, guests might toss it to the side or, worse yet, not open it at all. Make sure your personal touch is felt by creating an Airbnb welcome book that stands out.
This is of the utmost importance. The design of your welcome book is going to be what allows it to get noticed in the first place. If you have a tacky, flashy, or just unsightly welcome book, guests may choose to ignore it as it will appear as an advertisement or just plain unappealing.
There are several ways to design your Airbnb welcome book to make it noticeable to guests. Ideally, your Airbnb welcome book isn’t too flashy. Distracting fonts, clashing colors, and cardstock too big for these purposes won’t communicate a design of elegance and professionalism but rather amateur and tacky.
You want your welcome manual to blend with the rest of the design of your home while also having a “pop” that subtly grabs the attention of visitors. Build from your home’s color scheme and choose the most remarkable colors. Choosing colors that contrast the location that you plan to leave your welcome book will also make the leaflet more striking. For example, if you have a white marble-top entryway dresser, you could opt for rich, dark colors to stand out from the furnishing.
Organize in order of importance
Once you’ve lured your guests in with a stunning design, you must keep them engaged. Instead of flipping through the Airbnb welcome book, it’s best if they read the handout from cover to cover to absorb as much information about the property as possible.
The best way to ensure that your guests read the Airbnb welcome book in full is to organize it in order of importance to them. You may not necessarily know what each guest needs, but you can think about what the general traveler expects from their welcome book. Is the spa and nail salon near your property of top importance, or are the local emergency numbers more pressing? Think of the information that your guests need and rank it accordingly. This will prevent visitors from losing immediate interest and hopefully read all the way to the end.
Make it interactive
If your Airbnb welcome guide is virtual, this will be a much easier component to add. Some hosts create their Airbnb guidebook online, in the form of a slideshow on an Ipad or tablet. Making a virtual Airbnb welcome book interactive is much easier because you have the use of clicks, GIFs, reactions, and multimedia at your fingertips.
A paper Airbnb welcome book is slightly more difficult to make interactive but not entirely impossible. If the handouts are single-use, you can add checklists, vacation bucket lists, a notes section, and more. This also helps to emphasize that the welcome guide is for each individual Airbnb guest, not a generic pamphlet for everyone that walks through the door.
What to include in your Airbnb welcome book
Maybe you’re already dreaming up the colors, design, and type of cardstock you’ll use for your welcome guide, but we haven’t even addressed the most important part! What information do you need to add to your Airbnb welcome book? The content itself is what’s going to determine if guests find the guide helpful or not. Remember that they’re using part of their precious vacation time to read what you have to say, so make sure it’s valuable information that adds to their guest experience.
First and foremost, you need to greet your guests. Even if you already programmed a welcome email and left an Airbnb welcome letter on top of the guidebook, you’ll need to say it again. You can never over-emphasize how delighted you are that they’re staying in your home.
Because the welcome letter isn’t the same as your Airbnb welcome book, you can feel free to keep your greeting short and sweet. A simple thank you will suffice and you can start diving right into the information that they’ll need during their stay.
The welcome information should be useful rather than a copy of the welcome letter. Some things you might consider including here are:
- Your Covid cleaning initiatives and badges
- Access codes, passwords, and key exchange information
- Wifi credentials
- Your own contact details
Ask yourself what guests need right from the beginning to feel welcome. Pointing out emergency exits, telling them how to log into the wifi, and easing their mind about cleaning efforts are just a few key points that guests should be aware of at the very start of their vacation.
Arrival & departure
If you’re customizing each pamphlet, you can add the details of their check-in and check-out as a gentle reminder about their length of stay.
Depending on when you send the Airbnb welcome book, you might want to add details about how, when and where to check-in if you’re planning to give guests a copy before they arrive. If guests receive the welcome guidebook upon arrival, you can add a nice note, hoping that their check-in went smoothly.
If you have a specific check-in and check-out protocol, you might want to mention or remind guests here. Providing clear instructions for smoothly transitioning them into and out of their vacation will improve their experience and hopefully make for returning guests.
Don’t forget about the fun part! Mentioning information about cleaning, check-out and the like is essential, but your Airbnb welcome book mustn’t be all work and no play. After all, your guests are here on holiday. Remind them of how much fun they’re about to have!
You never know what kind of itinerary guests are entering with. They might be expecting you, the local, to guide them through the must-sees and dos. This is the section to demonstrate your expertise in the area. Suggesting a variety of things to do that cover the likes of multiple travelers, be it adventure or unwinding, will prove to guests that you’re a trusted hometown authority.
This could also be a good opportunity to upsell the activities that you offer. If you have add-on activities or even local partnerships, you can promote these here. Maybe guests didn’t see it in the Airbnb listing or maybe they’re feeling like taking a spontaneous jump into the adventures you offer. You’ll never know if you don’t try to offer it!
Eating & drinking guide
When the foodies come to town they want to know the top picks. This is the place to introduce your guests to all the fine eateries around. Much like the activity guide, it’s a way to demonstrate your culinary knowledge. There’s a couple of ways you can play around with this section whether you choose to organize the eating and drinking guide by cuisine, ratings, price, or even kid-friendly.
You don’t have to limit it to just restaurant recommendations. If there’s a famous dish, drink, or local cuisine to try, you can recommend it to guests. They’ll be grateful to have insider tips and secrets and might even leave you a good review because of it.
About the accommodation
Consider this the “troubleshooting” section of your Airbnb welcome book. Here’s where you’ll lay out all the information regarding how to’s or instructions on things like:
- The heating and cooling unit
- Tv, Roku, or streaming services
- Pool or shared facilities usage
- Laundry services
- Beach equipment and usage
The benefits of this are two-fold: guests find what they’re looking for quickly and you don’t get a phone call about how to use each amenity in your house. This section should be molded to fit the needs of your property. If you offer amenities that have guidelines, like a pool or hot tub, add the details here.
Think of Airbnb welcome guide’s purpose while writing this section. If you think that information is unnecessary or a waste of time, such as instructions for using the dishwasher, then omit it. On the other hand, the welcome guide is intended to make guests more comfortable, so if you don’t include some valuable instructions for the heavily-used amenities, you might be dealing with some aggravated guests.
Around town information
The “around town” section is going to be one of the last chances to make your property’s location shine. Think of what makes your spot so special. Are there any local traditions, festivals, or secret sunset lookout points? What little moments around the area could enhance your guest’s stay? Beyond the tourist attractions, consider what parts of town your guests might like, such as Saturday farmer’s markets, local theater’s or the best places for photo opportunities.
Guests should enjoy their stay inside and outside the home. When visitors fall in love with your Airbnb property and the location, they’re that much more likely to rebook a stay in the years to come.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make your guests feel at home. It can be as simple as, “Hey, by the way, there are fresh cookies on the kitchen counter” or even a foldable treasure hunt for kids! The last section is for you to put your final touches and leave guests with a warm feeling about their welcoming.
Here are some ideas for what final touch you could add to your Airbnb welcome book template:
- A voucher for a fresh baked good at the local bakery next door
- How to say “welcome” in the local language
- The upcoming weather report printed out for their stay
- A discount code for the next time they book a trip through your website
The options are endless when it comes to customizing a welcome book for Airbnb guests. Remember to keep it heartfelt, informative, and inviting, regardless of what you choose to add.
How to give your welcome book to Airbnb guests
With a beautiful Airbnb welcome book drafted, you might be wondering, now what? When do you give it to the guests? Are you expected to hand-deliver the Airbnb welcome book or leave it at the entrance? Do visitors want a physical copy or is digital more convenient? Just when you think that the Airbnb welcome book template was the hard part, now you’re thinking about how you’ll even get it to them!
No need to fear; your Airbnb welcome booklet will be well received no matter the format you choose. Let’s break down both options to find the best one for your property.
It’s true that the world has gone digital, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to your property. Delivering your Airbnb welcome book in the format of a virtual copy has its advantages. The convenience champions the digital format. A couple of clicks and your guests will have their welcome book on their phones, computers, iPads, whatever. They can download a copy from anywhere without fear of losing or damaging it. You also wouldn’t have to worry about where to leave the booklet, as they’ll have it directly at the (virtual) fingertips.
Not only that, a virtual copy can prove to be cheaper. Even if you pay for software to design the Airbnb welcome book outline or buy a tablet to display a virtual copy inside the home, it will eventually outweigh the cost of stationery to create a physical copy.
If you want to send the booklet in advance, this is also a good option, particularly for hosts who plan to also leave a welcome letter. It might help to break up all the check-in material provided. Just be careful not to send it too early in advance, as to keep the tips and information fresh in your guests’ minds.
There’s still something so magical about receiving a handwritten note or personally signed letter. It takes thoughtfulness to the next level and really shows your guests that you care. This might be especially important if your booking process has been rather hands-off or if you haven’t had much communication with your guests up to the point of check-in.
If your location is a little more off-the-grid or rustic, a printed copy might fit the theme well and you can even have the physical design match the decor and feel of your Airbnb property.
What better way to say hello than offering an Airbnb welcome book for your guests? Having a welcome book particularly for Airbnb guests will show just how happy you are for them to be there. Guests will be thrilled to find the extra touch and feel at home from the start.
Not to mention the benefits it has for you! Making your guests happy from the very beginning of their trip paves the way for a good guest experience and it also helps to build a strong bridge of communication just in case something does go wrong during their trip. When visitors feel comfortable in your home and around the area, they’re far more likely to enjoy themselves and their stay. Happy guests tend to rebook, leave positive reviews, and take better care of your home. It’s a win-win!
The informative nature of the Airbnb welcome book also means that you’ve provided guests with all the tools they need to independently navigate their stay. When you leave detailed descriptions of how to use appliances, where to find wifi passwords and just general know-how about the area, guests might not even need to reach out, making your job as a host a breeze.
As the world of vacation rentals gets increasingly competitive, it becomes much more important to greet guests with genuine hospitality, and the Airbnb welcome book is exemplary of this. Just a little bit of up-front effort will result in endless benefits down the road.
If you want to keep the benefits of hosting coming, don’t forget to use management software for your Airbnb property. You can automate a message with your welcome book attached, easily manage your reservations, and supplement your OTA listing with your very own website. The free trial is seven days, but the options with Lodgify are endless. Give it a try and make the switch today!
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Every Airbnb host needs a welcome book to impress their guests. This free checklist will help you get started!NameEmailDownload
Alan has been working in the vacation rental sector since 2004, when he first created a listing site for his property management company. He has been helping short-term rental owners and managers to stand out in an over-saturated marketplace for over 12 years and has written thousands of articles in that time.
He has written books on vacation rental photography and was the first in the industry to create online marketing courses for hosts.
He has given keynote presentations across various subjects at The Vacation Rental World Summit, VRMA, VRMintel, Host, and The Book Direct Summit.