Creating a smooth check-in experience

Provide step-by-step instructions and a warm welcome.
By Airbnb on Jan 3, 2020
2 min read
Updated Jun 4, 2024

The check-in experience begins with clear communication and ends with helping guests feel welcome and settled in your space. Here’s how to create a smooth arrival.

Set up your check-in process

Go to your listing’s arrival guide to set up a check-in process that’s simple and reliable.

  • Select a check-in time. Consider how much time you’ll need for turnover between guests. Many Hosts prefer an afternoon check-in so there’s enough time to clean before the next guests arrive.

  • Write clear directions to your place. Include helpful details if it’s difficult to find or phone service is unreliable in the area.

  • Choose a check-in method. Many guests prefer the convenience of self check-in, which allows them to get inside without you being there.

  • Provide check-in instructions. After you’ve chosen a check-in method and added details, such as where your lockbox is located, you can add step-by-step instructions with photos in the same section.

  • Create a house manual and a guidebook. Share important information about your place, like how to connect to wifi, and your local tips, including places to dine.

Guests can access your check-in instructions in their trip details 48 hours before the check-in time or 24 hours before if you have a flexible cancellation policy.

Consider scheduling a message for a day or two before check-in. It’s an opportunity to send your check-in instructions to all guests on the reservation and ask them to reach out if they have any questions.

Prepare your place

How guests feel when they open the door is an important part of the check-in experience.

  • Keep your place spotless. Create a routine that includes cleaning all surfaces, floors, and fabrics and double-checking that any stains, dirt, and hair have been removed.

  • Display helpful information. Put printed versions of your house manual and guidebook in an obvious place.

  • Leave a welcome gift. This can be as simple as a handwritten note or a local treat.

  • Have a backup entry method. Consider keeping a spare key in a lockbox near the entrance in case the primary check-in method doesn’t work.

However you choose to welcome guests, you or a Co-Host should be reachable during check-in to quickly troubleshoot any issues that may come up. Being responsive when guests arrive can also set a positive tone for the rest of their stay.

Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.

Jan 3, 2020
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