Early Arrivals are just part of the Airbnb experience. If you haven’t had an early arrival or a late departure yet, you are definitely part of the lucky group. These situations come up fairly often due to no fault of the guest.
Airlines get behind schedule, Buses run late and parties just end up running long. Either way, your guest will find themselves in an early arrival or late departure situation.
Maybe your guest had been expecting to meet up with their friend before checking in but have been ghosted by their friend. Now they are wandering around town carrying all of their luggage with no other option. They call you and ask if they can show up early, the catch though… Is that you are still cleaning.. What do you do??
If you don’t have a system in place, early arrivals can be super stressful for both the host and the guest. Following the tips below will make sure that you are properly prepared for this situation not if but when it arrives.
Limit Unnecessary Early Arrivals
Offering early arrivals on your listing is a recipe for disaster. Never advertise that you would like early arrivals, that is just going to turn your life into chaos. Imagine check-in requests every day ranging from 11am-4pm.
Working with one of these early arrivals can be a pain but dealing with them every day can become a nightmare. When are you going to get any cleaning done?
Instead of offering early arrivals, be very specific and direct when it comes to the check-in language on your listing. Something like: “Check-in is anytime after 5pm”, The guest needs to think it’s not up for debate. There needs to be no ambiguity when it comes to check-in times.
If you are physically checking your guests in, you may want to put a time window. for example, “Check-in is from 5pm-9pm”, this way you aren’t frequently having to do late-night check-ins.
Use Technology to allow late check-ins
Even better than offering a time window is allowing your guest to check themselves in at any time after your check-in time. This can be done using smart locks and keypads. In this case, it doesn’t matter if your guest arrives at 4pm or 4am the next morning, as long as they aren’t an early arrival, they can just check themselves in on their own. Also, if you finish cleaning early, they can check themselves in early, which is a win-win.
I personally recommend using the least complicated technology possible when it comes to automated locks. High-tech gadgets with a ton of moving parts are very likely to break and need replacing, which can be a pain. Keypad locks have fewer moving parts, do not care if the internet goes out, and don’t have batteries to die. So they are much more robust than their “smart” counterpart. You also will spend less time explaining to your guests how to get in the door.
What to do with Luggage for your Early Arrivals
Guests are going to have luggage. If they traveled pretty far to stay with you, they are going to have a lot of luggage.
Regardless of arriving early or leaving late, if you provide a way for your guest to store their luggage in the meantime, they will thank you immensely. Even if it’s only a temporary solution for a few hours, that can get you a great review!
It’s already not fun that your guest doesn’t have a place to check in yet or they have no place to go after checking out. Add to that the heavy luggage that your guest has to drag around with them…
But there is a better way! As a host, you can early fix this problem! Provide your guest a way to store their luggage while they wait.
One popular option is to keep a big storage bin that the guest can access from either: outside of your house, in the backyard, or on the patio. It just needs to be somewhere safe and accessible. I would highly recommend adding a combination lock for additional security purposes.
This cheap and easy solution could single-handedly get you a raving review from your next guest!
Recommend fun things for your guest to do
Once your guests have stored their luggage, you can add to that by recommending somewhere fun for your guests to wait!
Your guests will appreciate a list of things to do, places to see, restaurants to check out, or a cafe they can get some work done at.
Doing all of this will surely make a great first impression and lead to a much better chance of getting great reviews!
Do you have any tips or tricks for hosting early arrivals or late departures?