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Airbnb Best Practices for Airbnb Hosting in Colombia - Medellin Guru
Enhancing your Airbnb hosting skills in Colombia, whether you're a newcomer or a seasoned host, is crucial for success. Our comprehensive guide outlines 10 essential best practices tailored for Airbnb hosts. These tips are designed to elevate your hosting game, ensuring guests have an exceptional experience. Covering a range of topics from optimizing your listing to providing outstanding customer service, these practices are key to standing out in the competitive Airbnb market. Implementing these strategies will not only improve guest satisfaction but also potentially increase your bookings and ratings. This guide is a valuable resource for anyone looking to refine their hosting abilities and achieve excellence in the Airbnb community.

10 Airbnb Best Practices for Airbnb Hosting in Colombia

We provide a list of 10 Airbnb best practices for all future, brand new or experienced Airbnb hosts in Colombia. These should be priorities in everything you do as it relates to Airbnb hosting in Colombia.

These Airbnb best practices are a summary of my time working directly with Airbnb in more than 56 countries and staying as an Airbnb guest for more than 1,500 nights.

Below, you will find four general vacation rental Airbnb best practices that you can apply to everything you do relating to Airbnb hosting. And, you will find a variety of specific best practices that your time is best used for.

These Airbnb best practices are in order of importance. You will notice the most important items are first  and the final few have to do with increasing the guest experience both online and offline.

To help you make an informed decision before investing in a property for Airbnb in Colombia and becoming an Airbnb host, I have created a list of 14 things that would have helped me when I was just getting started.

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Our reliable partner, a leading real estate company, offers a wide range of services:

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Estrato 6 apartment buildings near Santafé mall in El Poblado, Medellín

1. Entrepreneurial Mindset

If you’re an Airbnb host, keep in mind that you are an entrepreneur. Or, if that’s too scary think of yourself as a small business owner.

You are running a business. You’re providing capital investments in the form of buying furniture and paying for services and even buying a property.

In addition, you are the marketing department by listing your space online to try and convince a future potential guest (FPG) to pay you.

Also, you are accounting in that you’ll be collecting payments and charging nightly, weekly or monthy rates. Furthermore, research and development come in the form of reading my posts on Medellin Guru and trying to improve your guest experience.

Also, you have an online reputation to maintain. That is public relations.

An entrepreneur’s greatest asset is their mind. Mostly what an entrepreneur does is think through a myriad of problems to find the best solution.

You should shift your mindset from employee to entrepreneur and there is nothing further needed, as you’ll be able to grow on your own.

2. Respect the Guests’ Attention

There is a critical Airbnb best practice in Colombia. That’s because most hosts are disobeying this one.

If you keep this in mind in everything you do, you will be one of the most competitive Airbnb listings in Colombia.

What I’m talking about is really a combination of marketing and customer service.

To know if you’re respecting your guests’ attention, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Have you written with the fewest possible words in your online Airbnb listing for Colombia?
  • Have you simplified all processes for the guest (such as a digital lock instead of a multi-step process involving finding a lockbox or someone to get a key from?)
  • Have you provided instructions on how to use non-standard amenities in your home?

Have you made the guest experience as pleasant as possible?

3. Learn How to Be a Marketer

If you’re like most Airbnb hosts in Colombia, you are an employee. You have a specific job that is unrelated to marketing. But when you’re an Airbnb host, you transform into an entrepreneur who needs to be a master marketer.

After all, you’re trying to convince a future potential guest (FPG)  to reserve your Airbnb listing over hundreds of others in Colombia. That requires skill.

When it comes to marketing, it’s a two-step process:

  1. Ensure the FPG is a great fit for what you offer, then
  2. Get them excited about booking your space.

4. Communication Keys

Communicate only relevant information to your Airbnb guest in Colombia at the time they need it.

For example, specific parking or check-out instructions are not needed prior to booking (i.e. in your Airbnb listing house rules).

Likewise, what amenities you offer does not go into your digital guidebook. Amenities is something the guest needs to know before they book your space.

This is one of the reasons you need to be an Airbnb guest yourself. You will discover good and bad things about how other hosts operate. This is the Airbnb version of a trade show, experience the competition so you can make your Airbnb listing better.

5. Hospitality Matters

This encompasses everything from responding to guest complaints quickly and professionally to going above and beyond while your guest is at your property to thinking of nice gestures for your guest throughout the booking process.

Are you doing anything special that might set you apart from your competition?

If the guest left something behind, are you the type to charge them a fee? Or, worse, think you don’t have to send it back?

If so then you’re failing this commandment. Even though it’s the guest’s fault for leaving something behind, it’s your mindset that we need to adjust. You should go above and beyond for the guest.

6. Interior Design

At all price points, an Airbnb listing in Colombia that has thought about a pleasant and functional interior design will always be more competitive.

First, your listing will show better in photos. Second, your space will be more pleasant and efficient to use while the guest is there.

I think most Airbnb hosts think interior design has to be high-end and expensive. This is absolutely false. You don’t even have to hire anyone.

At a bare minimum, you can think of a few ways to increase the look and feel of your rental property in Colombia.

Estrato 6 apartment buildings near Santafé mall in El Poblado, Medellín
 

7. Professional Photos

There’s a reason why the founders of Airbnb personally flew to New York, their biggest market at the time, to take professional photos for some of their early Airbnb hosts and why they offered it as a free service for years.

Photos present your rental space in Colombia in the best possible light, pun intended.

Put on your marketing hat! You should Sell, sell, sell. Think about when you’re booking a hotel room, would you book the dark photo option or the bright and colorful option?

And, specifically, the cover photo is the most important of all…. This is the single most important factor that has the most direct effect on your success. Think about this from the beginning.

You need a cover photo. Of course, you will be required to choose one, but you need to do better.

Do you have a stand-out feature in your rental property? A balcony with an incredible view? A gigantic painting above your couch? An elegant centerpiece on your dining room table?

If not, then think about what angle in your property would most grab the guests’ attention. When you find that angle, what can you add to it to further grab even more attention?

Depending on what room, you might want to add some bold colors in the form of extra furniture, a painting, flowers, pillows, etc. Make it stand out in your photos!

Inside a VICO property in Medellín, photo courtesy of VICO
Inside a VICO property in Medellín, photo courtesy of VICO

8. Informative Title

Airbnb has de-emphasized the title in recently to the point where some guests probably don’t even see the title until they click on your listing, but that’s ok. It’s still important.

You should add your most sought-after amenities to your title. Let’s say you have a property in a popular neighborhood in Medellín like El Poblado, and cater to families. This is something to emphasize, as most rentals in El Poblado are not catering to families.

This sets you apart from the competition. So, you would put this first, then maybe the balcony with a great view, depending on what else you offer. Also here is a link to a tool to help crate a title.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a luxurious Airbnb property, how about any of the following:

  • Full kitchen
  • Walking distance to a Medellín meto station in Medellín
  • Desk
  • Keyless entry
  • Smart TV
  • 100 Mbps WIFI
  • Early Check-in/Late Check-out
  • Near nightlife, such as Parque Lleras in Medellín
  • Netflix

9. Manicured Airbnb Listing Text

I’m going to take a look at your Airbnb listing right now. Give me a moment.

Ok. I’m back.

You have opted for what 99 percent of Airbnb hosts are doing. Block paragraphs of text, which in my opinion is digital poop.

Enjoy complete privacy in this 1-bedroom apartment; featuring a private entrance to a spacious apartment. Located in El Poblado close to shopping centers and a 10-minute walk to the metro. The whole entire apartment for you with kitchen, full bathroom and dining room can be rented daily up to 3 months. Long term rent will be on a negotiable basis.

Remove the fluff and add bullet points.

Respect the guests’ attention and get them excited about your space by providing a list of all the cool things it offers. And don’t make them dig through text to find it.

This is like your text. Just provide the future potential guest (FPG) with a list of one thing after another, for example:

  • Fully equipped kitchen.
  • Onsite washer and dryer.
  • 60” Smart TV.
  • Keyless entry.
  • Storage space for luggage storage
  • Garage parking.
  • Rain showerhead.
  • Memory foam mattress.
  • 50 Mbps WIFI.

10. Digital Guidebook

This best practice is the ultimate efficiency tool. Say goodbye to all of the following questions from guests:

  • How do I get in?
  • Where can I park?
  • Where’s the garbage?
  • What’s the WIFI password?
  • How do I use the TV?
  • Where do I leave the keys?
  • Where’s the nearest grocery store, gym, restaurants etc.?

A digital guidebook for the guest when they arrive accomplishes two things.

First, it saves you, the host, time in answering basic and standard questions from guests. Second, it saves the guest time in not having to ask you, the host, and having to wait for your answer.

Plus, this tool is seldom used that once the guest opens it up and sees how useful it is, they’ll understand they’re dealing with a different type of host.

Honorable Mentions: Airbnb Best Practices in Colombia

Keyless Entry

If you have the option of traditional physical keys or a digital keypad, which one respects’ the guests’ attention more? You are correct if you answered keyless entry.

It’s easier. There’s no chance the keys can get lost and no need to know how to get the key. The guest doesn’t have to coordinate with each other when the host doesn’t provide enough keysets.

Professional Communication

You want to communicate the most information to the guest in the least amount of time (and words). Does your guest need to know check-out info before they even booked your space? Probably not.

First, you are communicating sellable information and any information that would drive away guests who aren’t a good fit. Elderly or handicapped guests are not a good fit if you are on the fifth floor without an elevator.

You need to respond rapidly to inquiries and all guest messages. You can further optimize with automated messages to check-up on the guest and send check-out and review reminders.

Are you looking to buy or sell Real Estate in Colombia?

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Medellin Guru Real Estate Service

Our reliable partner, a leading real estate company, offers a wide range of services:

  • Transfer funds to Colombia
  • Legal analysis property background checks
  • Sales agreement
  • Deed registration
  • Legal representation
  • Investment visa

Medellin Guru’s Airbnb Series

Medellin Guru's guide to buying, selling and renting apartments and choosing a neighborhood

On the Medellin Guru website, we have a comprehensive and up-to-date guide to buying, selling, and renting apartments and choosing a neighborhood in Medellin found in several articles, including:

Buying and Selling Apartments

Renting Unfurnished Apartments:

Renting Furnished Apartments:

Choosing a Neighborhood in Medellin:

Also, we have several articles that can be used to help foreigners choose a neighborhood in Medellin:

The Bottom Line: Airbnb Best Practices for Airbnb Hosting in Colombia

The above list of Airbnb best practices for Airbnb hosting in Colombia are based on my experience over the past several years.Enhance your Airbnb hosting in Colombia with key practices: highlight unique amenities like family-friendliness in titles, streamline listing text with bullet points, utilize a digital guidebook for guest convenience, and prioritize keyless entry and professional communication for an efficient, guest-friendly experience.

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3 thoughts on “10 Airbnb Best Practices for Airbnb Hosting in Colombia”

    1. Daniel, what advice wpould you give Airbnb hosts about finding properties & negotiating leases for properties to set up as bnb’s? It’s not uncommon in Medellin to rent houses or large apartments from local owners.

    2. Hi Daniel, nice post with some good Airbnb tips. Thanks for your contribution.

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