Airbnb is becoming an increasingly popular source for short-term rental properties. Though it's commonly associated with vacation rentals, business travelers are also turning to Airbnb listings rather than sticking with traditional hotel rooms while on the road. But not all Airbnb properties are created equal, and the right amenities could spell the difference between attracting guests or not.
If you're looking to rent an Airbnb property, it's important that you know what amenities to look out for. And if you're listing your home on the Airbnb website, knowing what extras make for a better guest experience will help you score more bookings.
How does Airbnb work?
Airbnb is an online forum that allows property owners to list their homes, or a single room in a home, for short-term rentals. As a property owner, you'll need to create an Airbnb profile so the site can verify who you are. From there, you'll create an online listing for your property that includes details such as:
- The size of the home.
- The number of bedrooms and bathrooms it has.
- The amenities associated with your property.
You'll also need to include photos of your space so Airbnb users get a sense of what it looks like and whether it meets their needs.
Meanwhile, as a renter, you'll have the option to search Airbnb's database of properties to find the right short-term rental. You'll be given the option to sort by features, too, to help you narrow down your choices. For example, if you're looking for a vacation rental in Florida that comes with a pool, you'll be able to indicate that in your search.
In exchange for linking renters and property owners, Airbnb collects fees and commissions. But often, it's still a cheaper option for renters than staying at a hotel, and it's economical for property owners who would otherwise have to engage -- and pay -- a real estate broker or property management service to find paying guests.
Essential Airbnb amenities
As a property owner, you want to make sure you're meeting Airbnb's minimum standards, which are designed to help ensure that your guests have a comfortable stay. Airbnb actually has a list of essential amenities that all hosts are expected to provide their guests. These include:
- Towels -- at least one per guest.
- Hand soap.
- Body soap.
- Pillows -- at least one per guest.
- Linens for each bed.
Of course, it pays to go beyond these basics, but you should absolutely make sure to provide these amenities in your home. And as a guest, you should absolutely expect them.
Extra Airbnb amenities that make a property stand out
If you're a property owner looking to appeal to guests, then you'll want to go beyond Airbnb's list of essential amenities. And if you're a guest, you'll want to look out for extra amenities that make your stay more enjoyable.
With that in mind, here are some extra Airbnb amenities that could really make an impact.
These perks are a great way to draw in guests:
- WiFi: This is especially important to business travelers who need to be able to work during their stay. (But if you're offering a more rustic experience, check out this article.)
- Streaming services: This will help guests unwind at the end of a busy day or give them something to do if they're stuck indoors during inclement weather.
- Parking: If you're able to secure a parking spot for guests, it will give them one less thing to worry about -- and potentially save them money.
- 24-hour check-in: This flexibility is something guests will no doubt appreciate.
- A welcome gift: This can be anything from a bottle of wine to a fruit basket to a coupon book with discounts on local restaurants.
- Extra phone chargers: It's common for guests to forget to pack these, and this takes the pressure off.
- A grill and charcoal: For homes with an outdoor space.
- Wood: For homes with a fireplace or fire pit.
Guests are more likely to enjoy their stay if their bathrooms include:
- Soft, higher-end towels.
- Extra towels, including a variety of sizes (body towels, hand towels, and face towels).
- Heated towel bars.
- A hair dryer.
- Toiletries that go beyond soap -- like shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, hand cream, and makeup remover or facial wipes.
- A first-aid kit.
Many guests choose Airbnb properties over a hotel for the option to prepare their own meals. It pays to offer guests a fully stocked kitchen, including:
- Wine glasses.
- A corkscrew.
- Pots and pans.
- Cooking oils and spices.
- Pantry basics like food storage bags, plastic wrap, and aluminum foil.
- Ice trays (preloaded with ice).
- A coffee machine with coffee pods.
- Child booster seats or high chairs.
- A microwave.
- Paper towels and napkins.
Properties that cater to business travelers should offer amenities that mimic those commonly found in hotels. These include:
- A laptop-friendly desk or workspace.
- A safe.
- Extra-fast WiFi.
There's nothing like a good night's sleep to help guests enjoy their stay in a short-term rental. It pays to offer bedrooms with:
- Extra pillows.
- Higher-end linens.
- Extra blankets.
- Cribs or playpens (and bedding) for travelers with young children.
Finally, depending on the location of the home at hand, it pays to offer extra amenities that allow guests to enjoy local attractions. These could include:
- Bicycles and helmets.
- Beach towels, chairs, blankets, and umbrellas.
- Coolers with ice packs.
- Ski racks.
Amenities are important
As a property owner, there are some amenities you may want to offer guests but can't control, like a swimming pool, sauna, or on-site playground. But it pays to invest in the amenities you can control, because the more appealing you make your space, the more likely you'll be to attract guests.
Meanwhile, as a renter, it pays to know what amenities to expect from an Airbnb property and what amenities are considered above and beyond. In some cases, it could pay to spend a bit extra on a property with better amenities than rent a cheaper home that lacks the items that could make your stay more relaxing.