It is not always easy to know exactly what qualifies as ‘an essential’ when stocking your Airbnb rental property. Should you follow hotel standards? Equip the place as if it were your home? How many amenities should the guest get in relation to the price they are paying? While there are no hard and fast rules, as an Airbnb superhost, I do have my own standard list of 10 ‘Must Have Items For Your Airbnb Rental’.
I’m a big coffee lover. If you live in North America, you probably know that a lot of people need their coffee fix first thing in the morning to function properly. So having coffee on hand is a big deal for many people.
You’d be surprised how many Airbnb hosts offer coffee but not a coffee maker, or a coffee maker with coffee but no filters. This sets up a bad experience for your guests. I’ve had the experience as an Airbnb guest of attempting to make coffee first thing in the morning only to realize there were no filters. I wasn’t a happy camper.
I recommend providing coffee, a coffee maker and filters at the minimum. For my properties, I like to buy coffee makers that come with a metal carafe, as glass carafes break far too easily. I also like to create a good looking ‘beverage bar’. This will always include quality coffee, sugar and sweetener packets, a nice container for the coffee, a measuring scoop and a set of mugs. These coffee items won’t cost you much but they’ll make a big impact on your guests.
First Aid Kit
Accidents happen, so it’s very important to provide basic first aid kit supplies in case a guest gets hurt. Providing a first aid kit is not only highly encouraged by Airbnb, but it’s a must-have for your guests. You don’t want your guests to have to go hunting for basic first aid supplies because of a minor cut or burn.
Providing a fire extinguisher might seem like common sense but I’ve seen a lot of Airbnb properties that don’t have one. Aside from the fact that a fire extinguisher is legally mandated in some places, this oversight from hosts boggles my mind every time.
One of the reasons why people love Airbnb is because they’re able to use a kitchen; an amenity they don’t get from a hotel. I’m sure you’ve heard that most fires start in the kitchen, so do yourself, and your guests, a huge favor by having a fire extinguisher at the ready. The one I like to use is the size of a hairspray can and I just leave it on the countertop or on top of the fridge. It doesn’t take up much space at all, it only costs $10 and it could save lives. So definitely supply a fire extinguisher.
Unless your Airbnb property is far ‘out in the woods’ and disconnected from everything (on purpose), I recommend providing a smart TV. Most guests like to watch TV during their stay but there is really no need to provide cable TV service. All you need is a streaming service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime and a good HGTV antenna ($25); this will more than suffice.
I wouldn’t recommend getting a (non-smart) TV and a streaming device (like a Roku or Amazon Fire Stick) though. I had these devices and the experience wasn’t the best. I once had a frustrated guest ask for help because they weren’t able to access Netflix. Long story short, the Roku stick had been removed by the previous guest who was playing video games and forgot to plug the Roku back in.
It’s way too much work for my team—or your team—to have to keep up with something as silly as plugging the Roku back into the HDMI port. Keep it simple for everyone and get a smart TV.
I posted a blog full of reasons why you should have an electronic lock on your Airbnb property. When I first started hosting I just had a key in a lockbox. Then I had guests tell me they needed more than one key because they would be accessing the property at different times. So I installed an e-lock. You can get a good e-lock for about $90 and they’re 100% worth it. I buy my e-lock’s from Lockstate, I consider them an investment because they do a whole lot more for me than just give my guests access. Not only will your guests love you for making giving them a smooth check-in process, but they will also love you more for not having them carry around a key. So get an e-lock asap!
I once had a host tell me and she didn’t have an iron and I should consider traveling with my own steamer because she did. I was flabbergasted. Really, you can’t provide a simple iron?
A lot of guests are traveling for events, for business, or just want to look their best while they’re out. Whether it’s an iron or a steamer, you need to provide something that your guests can use to get the wrinkles out from their clothes. There is no need for you to risk a bad review just because you overlooked something as basic as an iron.
A plunger is one of those items that sometimes hosts don’t think about, but it should be available in every Airbnb property. You don’t want calls about a toilet that won’t flush. A simple plunger would allow guests to ‘self-service’ their toilet issues without the embarrassment of alerting their host (or other guests who are traveling with them) about the backup.
A lot of people ask me if I worry about damages to my property or expensive items being stolen. I’ve never had any significant damage or anything stolen from any of my properties, but I have had a plunger disappear. So If that’s the worst thing that happens during your hosting experience, I’d say you’re doing pretty well.
Pots and Pans
As I mentioned earlier, a lot of people like to stay in Airbnbs because they can cook. Cooking is rather hard to do without the right utensils though. A good set of pots and pans is, therefore, a must. Invest in a decent quality set too. When I first started hosting, I made the mistake of buying a cheap set and by the end of the year all of the handles had fallen off. Not only were the pots and pans useless, but they also looked terrible.
In terms of other kitchen and cooking supplies, look at your own culinary habits for inspiration. What would you need in the kitchen if you were traveling? You really don’t need to supply a gourmet spice rack, but the basics, like salt and pepper, will do. My very first guest at a vacation rental asked me where the salt was. After two years of hosting in my home, I forgot to provide salt and pepper shakers. Oops! Sometimes it’s the little things that make a big difference.
Extra Trash Bags and a Large Trash Can
Providing a good supply of extra trash bags is a must; along with a medium to large trash can. I’ve stayed in several Airbnb’s where extra trash bags were nowhere to be found and made the day-to-day activities and clean up a problem. I’ve also stayed in Airbnb’s where the kitchen trash can so small that one piece of trash filled up the whole can. Don’t make the trash situation an inconvenience for your guests. Provide them with a medium to large trash can that can withhold several days of trash if necessary. I like to leave a roll of trash bags under the kitchen sink so they are easily accessible. It’s the little things that can sometimes make a big difference.
I thought I’d end this list with another very important beverage for a lot of people, tea. It’s been said that tea is the most popular beverage choice throughout the world, right next to water. So if you offer both coffee and tea, you’re likely to satisfy most people’s beverage preferences. The most popular teas ( i.e. most consumed) at my properties are mint, green, chamomile, earl grey, and English breakfast. You can purchase wonderfully packaged ‘variety samplers’ at very affordable prices and the fact that you went out of your way to do so is just one of those little touches that Airbnb guests appreciate.
P.S. There’s an eleventh must-have item for your Airbnb rental. This one is related to something that 100% of your guests will use. This item will save you tons of time, eliminate headaches, mystery, and save you money. Click on the image below to see what it is!