Write a house manual to share info and tips about your space
"How do I connect to the wifi? Where’s the thermostat? Which remote does what?" These are just a few of the questions guests might have while staying in your space. You can help them get answers – and help ensure your home’s appliances and other features are used correctly – with Airbnb’s house manual tool.
The house manual tool lets you provide guests with clear, step-by-step instructions and tell them where they can find important things, such as safety devices or the router for the wifi. Create your manual once, and you won’t have to rewrite or resend emails for every booking – a major timesaver. And since guests can access it right from the app, they can check it out anytime, anywhere. Host Neil from Mountain View, California, likes how the feature helps him avoid “late night texts, frantic calls, and the worst: bad reviews”.
Make the most of the house manual tool with these tried-and-tested tips from Hosts like you.
Start with the wifi password
It’s one of the first things guests ask for when they arrive, so many Hosts put it at the top of their house manual. “They all want the wifi code so that is my trick for having them open the house manual and hopefully read it”, says Marit Anne from Troms, Norway.
Easy access to the wifi password is especially helpful for remote workers who may need to join a virtual meeting, send an email, or finish typing a report soon after they arrive at your place.
Include parking information
Street parking rules and signs can be confusing, especially if guests speak another language. It’s a good idea to provide clear instructions, like Hosts Ben and Angel from Wellington, New Zealand: “You're welcome to park in front of the white picket fence on the right side of the driveway, near the hedge.”
Highlight pet- and family-friendly features
If you’re welcoming pets or children into your space, it can be helpful to point out all the features you’ve included to accommodate them, especially since you can share your house manual with guests before they arrive so they can plan ahead. You can use your manual to:
- Describe where bowls for pet food and water are located
- Designate which towels are for dirty feet and paws
- Mention any amenities for kids, such as a cot or high chair
- List which rooms have smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
Tell guests where to find amenities (and how to use them)
After a long journey, it can be difficult to find and use some home essentials. Hosts Joh and Gian from San Francisco offer up these examples:
- “Heater: You will find the thermostat on the wall, close to the TV. Please remember to turn it off when you leave.
- Toilet: Please, nothing but toilet paper should go in the toilet. There’s a little trash bin for everything else.
- Kitchen items: Dishes and cups can be found in the upper cabinets on either side of the microwave. Silverware is in the drawer on the left side of the oven, and pans are in the cabinet. Feel free to use any of this as needed to prepare your delicious meal. When you’re done, you can put dirty dishes in the dishwasher. When we have a full load, we’ll start the machine.”
Hosts who don’t live on or near the property also recommend including instructions about rubbish, water, and other details unique to the area:
- “Trash: Place your trash in the 33-gallon trash can in the basement. Please do not put trash outside or on the porch, where birds, raccoons, and other creatures can get into it.” – Kim, Upson, Wisconsin
- “Water & Power: Please be conscious of the amount of water and power you use. Hot water is limited.” – Fred, Placencia, Belize
Finish with step-by-step instructions for appliances and electronics
Detailed instructions are key, say Hosts Joh and Gian. Here’s how they describe using their streaming services:
“How to connect to Netflix, Prime Video, and other streaming services:
- Turn on the TV in the bedroom, and wait a moment. During this time, you’ll only see snow.
- After one minute, press the multi-coloured, diamond-shaped button.
- Choose the app you wish to connect to, and press the main button. For Netflix, we invite you to use the Guest account we created just for you.”
Keep it brief and friendly
Many Hosts stress the importance of keeping your house manual short and to the point. “You don’t want guests to feel like they have to walk across a minefield to keep the Host happy”, says Host Tina from Nanaimo, Canada. “Find the right balance between your needs and making your guests feel welcome in your home.”
Once you’ve written your house manual, you might consider placing a laminated, easy-to-clean sign with clear instructions about how to log on to the wifi somewhere in your space. It’s just one more way to make information easily accessible to guests. And to help inspire great reviews, each and every time.