Alternative Income Stream

9 Tips to Being an Airbnb Super Host

Reading Time: 8 minutes | October 11, 2018

Income Stream = Airbnb short term stays

Many people often wonder how we get 5-star ratings for our living room space. Yes, we repeat, our living room! In addition, we received Superhost status within the first quarter of ever hosting!

Beyond the “respond promptly to requests” and “make sure space is clean”, what else can you do to spice up your short-term rental?

It’s time we share our secrets and help you achieve success – whether your space is shared or completely private. You’d be surprised to find that sometimes, it’s the little things that make a difference in stellar customer service.

Disclaimer: At the time of your read, we may not have Superhost status as we don’t host regularly anymore.


Our situation

We live in a great location downtown Toronto (Ontario, Canada), very ideal for tourists. We open up our living room which has a pull-out sofa bed for 1-2 guests on weekends. Our ideal guests are either single individuals or couples who are OK in shared spaces.


Khang, August 2018

★★★★★

“Vishal and Weiting were delightful as they made my stay very worth-while! They greet you in with open arms, offer you breakfast and snacks, and pretty much help you if you need a guide for Toronto! I mean what more do you want from a host! Location was absolutely perfect as it was close to every hot spot in Toronto including the CN Tower, Dundas Square and much more! Place was very clean and yes, it’s as beautiful as it looks in the pictures! Definitely would recommend to anyone looking for a great time in Toronto!”

#1: Reusable Welcome Card

We write a very simple greeting card with basic information on it. We place it along with the keys on top of the towel(s) of the sofa-bed for guests.

This card should be simple and straight to the point. Easy for the guest(s) to snap a photo – almost like a business card.

Basic information entails the following:

  • Host’s contact information – in case they need to get ahold of you

  • Wifi credentials – crucial in 2018

  • Emergency contact information such as the police

  • Reminder of the address – just in case they can’t find it in the app

  • Welcome message – which greets and wishes them a great stay

#2: “Take What You Need“ Box

We compiled a box of general travel items that guests might forget to pack. We place it in the bathroom in an enclosed container labelled “Take what you need and leave some for other guests”. It is completely free of charge as these items can be easily picked up at a dollar store or market.

Items in our box:

  • Toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, mouthwash

  • Women’s sanitary pads and tampons

  • Razors

  • Hair elastic bands

  • Shampoo, conditioner, body wash (placed by the tub)

  • Body lotion, hand soap (placed on the shelf)


#3: First Aid Kit

Anything can happen but if we can help with a tiny cut, why not? AirBNB also allows you to check off a box if you have a first aid kit! We place this enclosed container next to the previous box.

What’s in our kit:

  • Bandaids of different sizes

  • Small pair of scissors

  • Alcohol wipes

  • Gauze band

  • Nail clipper – you know, for those annoying cliffhangers?

#4: Small makeup kit

Most guests will have packed their own but a little extra just-in-case doesn’t hurt! Maybe you talked them into going out that night when they were originally planning to just stay in!

What’s in our kit:

  • Eye shadow

  • Mascara

  • Eyebrow/Eyeliner pencil

  • A couple of brushes

#5: Breakfast & Snacks

When we speak with guest(s) virtually, we always ask them about dietary restrictions because we offer breakfast and snacks, should they accept it. Providing breakfast actually got us eating a proper breakfast too!

Samples of what we provided in the past:

  • Scrambled eggs / Veggie Omelette / Fried Eggs – our family always provided us with plenty of eggs…

  • Frozen (gluten free) waffles – Costco has large batches for discounted pricing

  • Frozen fruit smoothie, Keurig coffee pods, instant coffee/french vanilla mix

  • Whole wheat or white toast

  • Fresh fruits (e.g. apples, kiwi, bananas, strawberries – whatever that was on sale at the supermarket)

  • Fresh veggies (e.g. baby carrots, bell peppers – again, whatever that was on sale)

#6: Souvenirs Box

Who doesn’t love free things? Some of our guests are strapped for time that they don’t even have a chance to buy anything!

Usually after breakfast, we’d bring it out along with a “thank you for choosing us” card with brief instructions on selecting a free souvenir/gift. This is so worth it because guests don’t expect this gesture and most of our items were picked up at the dollar store!

Gifts in our box:

  • Keychains with Canadian flag or maple leaf

  • Canadian flags

  • Pencils, pins

  • Shot glasses

  • Luggage tags

  • Gum or candy (for those who don’t want Canada specific items)

#7: Signature Card

Before guests depart, we also request that they sign our card. We don’t verbally ask them to. We place it alongside the welcome card and guests want to be part of the collection of signatures which indicate all of our guests before them.

#8: Charging Station

We have all types of charging wires available for the just-in-case moments. Guests may have lost, broken, or forgotten theirs. The worst thing would be a dead phone…

Types of chargers:

  • USB-C (for Google Pixels or Samsung Galaxies)

  • Micro USB (for Android mobile devices)

  • Lightning cables (for the Apple mobile devices)

  • International adapter and wall mount plugs

  • Battery pack (in case they have to run and phone is on low battery)


#9: Brochures and Recommendations

We went to the hottest tourist attractions in our area and picked up free brochures there.We compiled a bunch of them and laid it on our dining counter. You shouldn’t have to spend any money on getting travel materials to assist your guest(s) – unless you really WANT to spend $.

Where we got our free Toronto travel material from:

  • Printable online information (from BlogTO, TripAdvisor, Bookings.com)

  • Magazines & Maps (from Pearson International Airport – YYZ)

  • Map of the Toronto Transit Commission subway lines (from metro stations)

  • Tourist attraction cards and brochures (from Toronto Eatons Centre mall, CN Tower, etc.)

When COVID-19 pandemic is over, these action steps will ensure you can offer a stellar experience and keep the steady passive income flowing.