When you list your property on Airbnb, setting up your checkout instructions is a very important step. They tell guests what is expected of them at the end of their stay. Since your guests are probably on vacation, you should make sure that the checkout process is clear and easy to follow.
The rules for checking out must work for you as the host and for your guests. Find a balance between making your job as easy as possible and making your guests’ trips as easy as possible. Read on to learn what to include in your Airbnb checkout instructions, and then download our free, editable Airbnb checkout instructions template.
What’s the point of Airbnb’s check-out instructions?
If you want to skip this part of the process, you should not. There are a few important reasons why Airbnb checkout instructions are important. Let’s discuss it.
Ask guests to leave the property in the same condition they found it.
Which makes your job and your housecleaner’s job much easier. By leaving clear instructions on how to check out, you let your guests know what you expect from them and leave no room for confusion. “Leave it better than you found it” should be the message behind the checkout instructions. We like to think that all of our guests are nice, but it’s better to be clear about what you want from them from the start than to leave it up to chance.
The goal is to get your guests to clean up without asking too much of them. You should remember how much you charge for cleaning and make sure that what you ask of your guests in the checkout instructions matches that price. For example, if your cleaning fee is higher than average, guests will expect you to take care of most things for them. It makes no sense to charge a high cleaning fee and then give the guests a long list of things to do before they leave. On the other hand, if your cleaning fee is low, it’s okay to ask a little more of your guests.
Show that you care about giving good customer service.
Leaving instructions on how to check out shows your guests that you care about your vacation rental and want to give them the best service possible. It shows how much you care about keeping the place as clean as possible and what kind of host you are.
Guests love to stay with hosts who go above and beyond, and this attention to detail makes them want to write a good review. Which makes it more likely that you’ll have more guests in the future. When done right, clear checkout instructions help keep your property in good shape and bring in more business for years to come.
What should you put in the checkout instructions for your Airbnb?
In your Airbnb checkout procedure, you should list the time to leave, any tasks that aren’t covered by the cleaning fee, any reminders, and how to hand over the keys. Anything the guests need to do themselves before they leave the property. We’ve also given you a free Airbnb checkout instructions template that you can download and print. This template has all of the steps listed below.
When to check out
Make sure your Airbnb guests don’t stay past the set checkout time by writing it down in your checkout procedure. Setting a strict checkout time gives your housekeeper enough time to clean up before your next guests arrive. This is very important when you have bookings right after each other. Tell your guests why it’s essential to check out on time (“the housekeeper comes at 12”), so they understand why you’re making them do it.
If you worry that your checkout time won’t be respected or if you’ve had problems in the past, you might want to charge a fee for late checkout. You would put this in your Airbnb House Rules and the instructions for checking out.
Heat and light
You don’t want your electricity bill to go through the roof because a guest left the lights on when they left. In your Airbnb checkout rules, tell people to turn off all the lights in every room and turn off any other electronics, like the TV. On the other hand, there may be things you want to remind guests to plug in and charge (like an electric golf cart, video game consoles, etc.).
You can also ask guests to return the thermostat to a certain setting. This keeps the heat from running too much and costs you a lot of money in energy bills. It also keeps the house from getting too cold while you’re not there. All of this depends on the weather in the area and may need to be changed for different times of the year. Don’t forget to say where the thermostat is, because it’s not always easy to find.
Doors and windows
Even though it seems obvious that all windows and doors should be closed and locked before leaving the house, you should always say it. It’s so easy that it’s easy for guests to forget! Remind guests to close and lock all windows and doors, and point out any that might be easy to miss, like those in lofts or on patios.
Along the same lines, making friends with the neighbors can be a great way to have an extra set of eyes on the house. Before you can check the property yourself, they can tell you if a guest left a window open or if they see something strange.
One thing that depends on the amount of the cleaning fee is whether or not you ask your guests to take care of their linens. If you charge a high fee for cleaning, your guests won’t be happy to pay the fee and take care of their linens. But if your cleaning fee isn’t too high, it’s a fair request.
Most of the time, hosts will ask guests to leave their dirty towels on the bathroom floor or in the bathtub so the housekeeper knows to wash them. This is fine as long as the housekeeper comes the same day the guests leave… But keep in mind that if the house cleaner can’t come right away, those towels will start to get moldy and could even damage your bathroom floor. Tell your guests to do whatever helps your cleaning staff and their schedule the most.
Getting rid of food
Guests often stop at a nearby grocery store or bring snacks with them that they want to keep in the kitchen. But nothing is worse than opening your fridge and finding gross, moldy food left over from guests who came before. Ask guests to throw away any food they brought with them to avoid this disgusting situation.
Tell them that they can keep the condiments you usually keep in your fridge. Also, guests should get rid of any food they brought. “Pack it in, pack it out” is a backcountry saying that means, if you brought it with you, take it with you.
What your guests should do with the keys when they leave is probably the most important thing to say in your Airbnb checkout instructions. If we don’t talk to each other well, you’ll have to do a lot of extra work, which is something we want to avoid.
Don’t leave your guests guessing about what to do with the keys. Whether they need to leave them in a lockbox, at a nearby coffee shop, or with a member of your team, don’t leave them guessing.
In this day and age, many hosts are using digital locks for this very reason. A physical key can quickly become something else you need to worry about. No matter what you choose, be clear about it and be there if guests have questions.
How to explain to your Airbnb guests how to check out?
You can easily send Airbnb checkout instructions in a few different ways. You should use more than one way to let the guests know what to do so that they can’t miss it.
You can schedule messages to be sent to guests the night before or the morning of their checkout. You could also hang a nice sign with your checkout instructions in a place where guests will see it, like the kitchen or living room.
Lastly, you can leave a letter for guests using our free downloadable checkout instructions template.
How do I tell other listing sites how to check out?
On other sites that list vacation rentals, it’s easy to send checkout instructions. Don’t forget that you’ll have to go through the steps to set up automated messaging on each OTA if you have your property listed on more than one.
With vacation rental software, checkout instructions can be done automatically.
When your property is listed on multiple sites at the same time, it can be hard to remember to keep each listing the same and send automated messages to each site. With Lodgable’s automation tools, you can set up emails to be sent to your guests automatically across all listing platforms. That means you don’t have to change your automated messages on each OTA. It reduces the amount of work you have to do by keeping you from doing the same things over and over.