Navigate forward to access suggested results

    Understanding hosting best practices

    From responding quickly to avoiding cancellations, here’s what to focus on.
    By Airbnb on Dec 16, 2019
    3 min read
    Updated Oct 12, 2021


    • Respond to guest messages and answer any booking-related messages within 24 hours

    • Set reservation requirements so you’ll feel comfortable accepting more guests

    • Avoid cancellations by always keeping your calendar updated

    • Get great reviews by following Airbnb’s hospitality standards

    • Discover more in our complete guide to discovering the world of hosting

    As an Airbnb host, you won’t just earn income on your property, you’ll also meet interesting people from all over the world. “We’ve had a drone maker, a professional singer-songwriter, and a circus performer,” say hosts Beverlee and Suzie from Oakland, California. “It’s really enriched both of our lives.” Anyone with a space to share can be an Airbnb host. Just make sure you’re prepared to meet the basic standards laid out by Airbnb to ensure a comfortable, reliable experience for every guest. Here are the basics of what great hosts do:

    Respond to every inquiry and booking request within 24 hours

    Replying quickly when guests reach out shows that you’re an attentive, considerate host. It’s important to answer booking-related messages within 24 hours. A high response rate is not only a sign of great hospitality, it’s one of the criteria for becoming a Superhost.

    Consider downloading the Airbnb app so you can respond to messages from anywhere. And to be clear, although it’s a good hosting practice to be responsive to every guest message, your response rate is based specifically on your replies to booking-related messages.

    Accept reservation requests

    Airbnb data shows that hosts tend to accept the majority of booking requests they receive for their available dates. You can use the availability settings in your calendar to block off any days you’re not sure you can host.

    If you seem to be declining a lot of booking requests, Airbnb might assume you’re not available to host and may snooze your listing until you have more time. To make sure you can accept as many requests as possible while still feeling comfortable with every reservation, consider these options:

    • Add ID verification to your reservation requirements
    • Add House Rules to set expectations with guests
    • If you have Instant Book turned on, you can also require guests to have already received positive reviews from other hosts before booking

    Avoid cancellations

    Airbnb takes cancellations very seriously. Not only are they hugely disruptive for guests—their travel plans depend on you!—they also erode confidence in the entire community. That’s why, outside of any extenuating circumstances, cancellations should be avoided. To minimize your risk of canceling:

    • Ensure your availability and pricing are always up-to-date
    • Look ahead to special events or holidays when you might want to use your space for personal reasons, or increase your nightly rate
    • If for some reason your calendar isn’t in tip-top shape, or you simply prefer to approve each booking request that comes your way, consider turning off Instant Book
    • If you list your space on other websites, turn on the calendar sync feature to prevent multiple guests booking the same dates

    Maintain a high overall rating

    At the end of each stay, guests will review their experience with you. Positive reviews help you get more bookings and can help you earn Superhost status. Hosts who get great reviews tend to focus on the following:

    • Cleanliness: Guests will expect the clean and tidy space they see in your listing photos. Make sure you give yourself enough time to clean between guests, especially if you have back-to-back bookings.
    • Essential amenities: Guests appreciate having some basics on hand. Airbnb recommends stocking toilet paper, hand and body soap, linens/sheets, and at least one towel and pillow per person.
    • Accurate listing details: Help travelers decide if your space meets their needs by providing clear info and must-know details.
    • A smooth check-in: A clear and simple check-in process will help put your guests at ease after a day of traveling.
    • Proactive communication: Guests love to know you’re available throughout their stay. Reach out early to coordinate arrival plans.

    For more tips on maintaining a high overall rating, check out our Hospitality page.

    It’s about the big picture

    Airbnb doesn’t expect every single reservation to go perfectly from start to finish—you’ll learn a lot and evolve your hosting style as you become more experienced. Following these guidelines is a great first step toward happy guests, positive reviews, and a fulfilling hosting journey.

    Dec 16, 2019
    Was this helpful?