Airbnb Host Checklist For Better Reviews and Better Business

There are 4 million rival hosts offering short-term vacation rentals on Airbnb right now. With over 5.6 million Airbnb listings worldwide, how do you make sure your property stands out and gets amazing reviews? 

You already know that Airbnb guests want accurate listings, fast communication, and a good selection of supplies. But that's just the basics. If you’re ready to take your vacation rental from a casual earner to a scalable business opportunity, you’ll need our ultimate Airbnb host checklist. 

By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped to upgrade your Airbnb for better reviews while reducing time spent on admin. Read on to discover our recommendations.

Want to tick all the Airbnb host boxes?

Having the right tech in place, integrated with your PMS, means your guest gets a stellar experience while you have time on your hands. Want to know more?

Ultimate checklist for Airbnb hosts

With a good understanding of what guests want—and the right tech—you’ll be more efficient, get more bookings, and boost your revenue. We’ve researched the most wanted Airbnb features and created the ultimate host checklist to get you started.

Here’s what our Airbnb host checklist will cover:

  • Remote check-in

  • Setting up your Airbnb for security

  • Team operation and scheduling management

  • Airbnb amenities

  • Airbnb checklist takeaways

  • FAQs

Remote check-in

Airbnb guests want simple check-in options with minimal need for face-to-face contact, especially since the Covid pandemic. From travel delays to lost keys, the traditional check-in process can be a major inconvenience. That’s why many hosts are switching to keyless entry for rental properties.

Even if you don’t go keyless, remote check-in will win back valuable time for you and ensure hassle-free arrival for your guests, especially if you choose Operto to connect your smart locks to your booking platform. 

Self-check-in with Operto provides:

  • Contactless access - Operto connects to your smart locks to send unique access codes directly to your team and your guests. Your team will receive automatic check-out updates for efficient cleaning between stays.

  • Guest portal - Elevate the guest experience with app-free access to an online portal for fully remote check-in, local insights, and property information. You can also connect the portal to your smart home technology, putting your guests in control of their entertainment and comfort.

  • Automation - Keep your property safe by automatically changing access codes between each reservation. You can also schedule useful messages to keep your guests informed and cross-sell additional services, e.g., continental breakfast or airport pick-up.

Operto and NoiseAware 90 day offer

Setting up your Airbnb for security

Prioritizing vacation rental safety will give your guests peace of mind and protect your property from accidents, damage, and theft. For an ultra-safe Airbnb, consider the following features:

  • Secure access - If using keys, keep lockboxes hidden and change access codes between each stay to keep your property safe from unauthorized access. 

  • Smart locks - Prevent lost, stolen, or copied keys, and receive detailed activity logs of who has entered the property and when.

  • ID verification – Operto’s ID verification software will flag risky guests at the booking stage and reduce the risk of fraud.

  • Noise and occupancy monitors – Privacy-safe devices will notify you of parties and other unwanted visitors. You can connect your NoiseAware monitoring software to Operto for real-time alerts.

  • Security lighting and cameras - App-enabled security systems like Arlo, Ring, and Google, come with useful features like real-time alerts and remote adjustment settings.

  • Fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors – Consider smart models like en-Gauge or Google Nest Protect and place safety equipment throughout the property for maximum protection.

  • First Aid kit – First Aid supplies for minor accidents will reduce the risk of complaints.

  • Insurance – Read the Airbnb insurance policy and consider taking out your own specialized vacation rental insurance, especially if you have properties on multiple booking channels.

Team operations and scheduling management

Managing a short-term rental can be a profitable business, but there’s no reason it should take up all of your time. The right tech stack will minimize manual tasks and organize your ancillary teams. To optimize your efficiency, we recommend these tools:

  • Property Management System (PMS) – A good PMS like Avantio, Guesty, or Hostaway, helps you manage your bookings and payments.

  • Channel manager – Rentals United, Avantio, or Host Tools will help manage bookings across multiple vacation rental sites to increase visibility and get more bookings.

  • Guest communication – Try Operto Guest to enhance the guest journey with scheduled messages and quick response times.

  • Dynamic pricing – Maximize your Airbnb profitability and keep up to date with competitive pricing trends using tools like Wheelhouse, Pricelabs, or Beyond.

  • Cleaning and staff management – Systems like Operto Teams, Turnover BnB, or Host Tools will automate cleaning schedules and monitor maintenance tasks.

When choosing tech solutions for your Airbnb, it’s important to think carefully about how they integrate. Make the wrong choice, and keeping track of all those dashboards will be overwhelming.

Operto Connect integrates with a wide range of partners to consolidate all your tech onto one dashboard. With Operto, your cleaning and maintenance schedules adapt to new bookings, ensuring your guests enjoy a 5-star vacation every time.

Airbnb amenities

A stylish, thoughtfully stocked property is essential to optimize your guest’s stay. We’ve researched which amenities Airbnb guests want, so all you need to do is follow this checklist.

Living area




  • Welcome manual with house rules and instructions

  • Local guidebook

  • Wi-Fi

  • Smart TV with streaming apps, e.g., Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video

  • Comfy seating area

  • Iron and ironing board

  • Thermostat

  • Travel adapters

  • Tea and coffee

  • Milk

  • Sugar and sweetener

  • Salt and pepper

  • Cooking oil

  • Tea kettle

  • Coffee maker

  • Cups and dishes

  • Wine glasses

  • Cutlery

  • Pots and pans

  • Dishwashing liquid

  • Disinfectant

  • Sponges

  • Bin bags

  • Dustpan and broom

  • Cleaning supplies

  • Bed linen and pillows (with spares)

  • Safe for valuables

  • Bedside table

  • Reading lamp

  • Alarm clock

  • Hangers

  • A/C or fan

  • Hand and body wash

  • Shampoo and conditioner

  • Toilet paper

  • Disposable toothbrush

  • Feminine products

  • Hairdryer

  • Hand towels

The list above includes basic vacation rental amenities for every Airbnb, but if you want amazing reviews, you’ll need to go the extra mile. These ‘extra touch’ amenities will wow your guests:

  • Smart devices, e.g. app-enabled thermostats for remote-controlled comfort (and a house manual so they know how to use everything)
  • Welcome gift, e.g., a local souvenir or delicacy
  • A welcome book
  • Vouchers for local restaurants or attractions
  • Complimentary wine
  • A functional workspace
  • Something for the kids, e.g., coloring books and pencils, board games, children’s books
  • Pet accessories, e.g., toys, bowls, treats
Airbnb Host Checklist

Did you know? The ‘pet-friendly’ filter is the most used in Airbnb searches—even beating the ‘Wi-Fi’ filter. Consider going pet-friendly to increase visibility and get extra bookings.

If you’re confident that you have a one-of-a-kind, luxury listing, you could be eligible for additional perks and rewards with Airbnb Plus.

Airbnb host checklist takeaways

The ideal host is a reliable communicator who knows how to optimize the guest journey with digital solutions and a carefully prepared vacation rental property. Don’t forget: properly integrated tech will ensure a seamless, modern guest experience. So, if you want better reviews and better business, it’s time to upgrade your Airbnb with the right tech stack.

Want to tick all the Airbnb host boxes?

Having the right tech in place, integrated with your PMS, means your guest gets a stellar experience while you have time on your hands. Want to know more? 

Frequently asked questions about Airbnb hosting

What do Airbnb guests want?

Airbnb guests want pet-friendly properties, great host communication, and a smooth check-in experience. Your Airbnb should be well-stocked with basic amenities such as bedding, toiletries, and kitchenware. Add a little something extra, such as a welcome note or gift, to make your guests smile and get better reviews. Don’t forget to provide the Wi-Fi password!

What should I do before an Airbnb guest arrives?

Establish communication with the guest from the point of booking, and continue to provide them with timely, relevant updates about their stay, including instructions for check-in and house rules. Make sure your staff are scheduled to clean the property ahead of check-in, and that you’ve stocked up all the amenities in our ultimate Airbnb host checklist.

What are the responsibilities of an Airbnb host?

Hosts are responsible for managing the customer journey from booking to check-out. You must make sure that your Airbnb listing is accurate, and that all the information you provide is reliable. It’s your responsibility to ensure that the property is safe, clean, and secure.

How do I become an Airbnb Superhost?

Superhosts receive rewards and have increased visibility on Airbnb. You’ll automatically be recognized as a Superhost at Airbnb’s quarterly assessment if you have:

  • Completed 10 trips or completed 3 reservations totaling at least 100 nights

  • Maintained a 90% response rate or higher

  • Maintained a 1% cancellation rate or lower

  • Maintained a 4.8 overall rating