While it might seem difficult to imagine growing your short-term rental property into a prosperous Airbnb rental business, it’s actually not as hard as you think. The trick? A strategic plan, and also providing your guests with a superb experience. 

Of course, you can’t control what will happen to your guest while they visit your city or town, but you can do everything in your power to make sure their stay is a positive one, which leads to better reviews, a higher host rating, better visibility, and, eventually, more bookings. 

It might take some time to get there. But if you put in the effort, we’re confident you’ll get there. 

Whether you’re new to Airbnb or have been at it for a while and are ready to level up, here’s a checklist that, if followed, will help you wow your guests and keep them coming back for more.

Details, Details, Details

The whole point of following an Airbnb checklist is to make sure no stone is left unturned. The better you do at preparing your property for your guests, the better experience they're going to have. 

For this reason, every detail matters. Even the smallest thing can tarnish a guest’s experience. Even if you’ve rented your place out dozens of times, don’t skip out on the process. Consistency is key, and so is a checklist. 

Airbnb Checklist

It’s up to you if you want to combine them into one list or keep them separate, but there are four key areas you should focus on before you list your property as available are

They are: 

The Listing

It’s hard to overstate the value of accuracy when it comes to your Airbnb listing. The platform makes it easy to describe the many details of a property, and searchers often use filters to find exactly what they want or need. Should they later find discrepancies between reality and what you put on your listing, this could significantly impact their impression of your property, and later the review they write about it. 

To make sure you start your Airbnb hosting experience off right, make sure to do the following:

  • Take professional quality photographs that accurately depict the current state of the property. Hire someone to do this if necessary. 
  • Be realistic about the number of sleeping spaces. The number of guests a property holds is often a key factor when people search for a place to stay.
  • Double check distances and times to local attractions. If you say it’s 15 minutes to downtown but that only happens when you time the transfer on the subway just right, or the traffic conditions are perfect, people may get upset to find it’s actually 30-40 minutes and will later let you and potential guests know about it. 
  • Make sure you aren’t overbooked and have to cancel. Those who rent their property out on multiple platforms might have trouble maintaining the calendar. Consider using a vacation rental tool to help you stay on top of your bookings and never have to cancel.
  • List all the amenities. Once again, if you put it on the list, later make sure it’s in the property and in proper working order. 


After taking the time to create an accurate, appealing listing, it won’t be long before the bookings start rolling in. When they do, it’s time to start focusing on the guests. 

A good Airbnb experience starts with the booking, but the next step is communication with the host and an easy check in experience. 

To make sure this happens, add the following things to your Airbnb checklist:

  • Detail out the check in process. Most guests prefer some sort of contactless check-in process that involves using a lockbox to obtain the key or a keycode to gain entry to the property. Whichever you choose to do, make sure your guests know exactly what they need to do to get in. The last thing anyone wants is to be hanging around the property waiting to check-in.
  • Ask for guests’ arrival time and method of transportation. In addition to giving yourself time to get the place ready, your guests may need assistance you could provide, such as coordinating an airport transfer. Or, if you need to meet them, this is your chance to start planning.
  • Respond to all guest messages. More of an ongoing checklist item, getting back to your guests when they have questions is only going to help you in the end. Make sure you have the app downloaded on your phone and make it a point to respond to guest inquiries within a reasonable time. 


Once you know when guests are coming, you need to make sure the property is in tip-top shape. The exact tasks that go on this list will vary according to your property, and eventually you can hire a service to do all of this for you. But it’s important to come up with the list on your own so that you can guarantee the state of your property whenever guests walk through the door. 

Some things to always include on your Airbnb checklist are:

  • Make sure all dishes are clean and put away
  • Clean bathrooms and restock with toilet paper and, if you’re providing it, soap and shampoo. 
  • Buff up water fixtures in bathroom to provide a sparkling look
  • Dust all surfaces, including the TV screen
  • Wipe down kitchen counters
  • Vacuum and or mop the floors
  • Clean and/or replace towels and sheets
  • Make all the beds
  • Take out all the garbage and recycling and replace bags if needed
  • Rake garden or mow lawn if needed
  • Empty out fridge and freezer and clean if necessary

Safety and Security

In addition to making sure your property is clean, before you have guests come to your property, you want to make sure there are no safety issues. 

When you rent out your property to people on Airbnb, you have to check certain things more often than you would if you were living at the property yourself. You never really know what happens when you’re not there, and the last thing you want is your next guest to suffer from the safety issues created by the previous one. 

Therefore, make sure to put the following things on your Airbnb checklist

  • Check smoke alarms and carbon monoxide monitors and change batteries if needed. 
  • Look for damage to any fences, balcony barriers, banisters, etc. — anything that is designed to protect someone from a fall. 
  • Make sure locks are working on both windows and doors. Leave as many locked as makes sense. 
  • Verify any security cameras or alarms are working properly.
  • Set and use a strong WiFi password and provide it directly to guests. Think abou changing it every six months or so.
  • Install blinds on all the windows and confirm their condition
  • Notify the landlord, if necessary, and the neighbors that you’re going to be renting the property out and not to be alarmed if they see someone new coming in and out.

Conveniences and Extra Touches

Cleanliness, comfort, and convenience will get you very far as an Airbnb host, but if you want to rise to be the best of the best, then you need to be prepared to go the extra mile. 

While you shouldn’t go deep into your pockets providing stuff for guests, a few small things here or there can make a big difference. Get creative here, but some ideas for spoiling your guests a bit that will help improve their experience include: 

  • Providing essential kitchen items — Salt, pepper, spices, oils, perhaps flour, sugar, coffee, and any other small basic things people don’t want to buy when they are traveling. Keep your home stocked with these and guests will get more out of their experience staying with you. 
  • Prepare and leave welcome gifts — A half dozen local eggs, some chocolate, a few nice herbal teas. It doesn’t have to be much, but a little something with a note that says “Welcome” and “Enjoy Your Stay,” will bring a smile to a lot of people’s faces. You can make a bunch of these at once and then leave them for each new guest, saving you time during the turnaround period.
  • Set up streaming services — Even if you don’t want to sign up for accounts on your TV, make sure you have a TV that can easily be set up with guests’ information. 
  • Leave books or games — In addition to being entertainment options, they also help the home feel more like a home.
  • Offer some suggestions about the local area — A small list of popular restaurants and important shops and points of interest are often really useful for those traveling, especially those who want to get a more local experience.

Provide the Best Possible Airbnb Experience

Pleasing your guests, earring good reviews, and boosting your visibility on Airbnb requires hard work and a strategic approach. Making a checklist that includes everything you need to do before a new guest arrives, whether it’s the first or the one hundred and first, is key to creating a consistent experience guests will remember and want to rave about in their oh-so-coveted review.

If you need help managing your listings, check out Uplisting's Airbnb channel management software! This provides you with everything you need to automate those small timely tasks that add up, and allows you to focus on the big picture: growing your customer base!

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