The Checkout Process
Despite being of lesser importance from the guest’s point of view, check-out remains a critical step in the hosting process for hosts.
Set a check-out time that provides maximum flexibility and convenience to your guest but with minimal impact and inconvenience to you. This means knowing…
- Airbnb notice requirements
- Check-in time of future guests
- Notice time to schedule cleaner
- Time required to clean your place
If no check-out time was specified on your Airbnb listing, check-out is 12:00 PM local time.
You also have the ability to set a preparation time between guest stays. Your options include either…
- No preparation time
- 1 night before and after each reservation blocked
- 2 nights before and after each reservation blocked
To add a preparation time:
- Login to Airbnb
- In Hosting mode, select Listings from the top menu
- Click on your listing
- Click on Availability from your listing's menu
- Click the Edit button for the Reservation preferences section
- Select either Block 1 night before and after each reservation or Block 2 nights before and after each reservation under Preparation time
- Click Save
Being there in Person and Checking for Damages
Just like with check-in, being there in person at check-out is always advisable whenever practical.
Being there in person re-activates the “human element” of the hosting process and allows you to confirm that your guests have had a positive experience or address anything that may have been an issue throughout their stay. Both of these outcomes will be important in ensuring you receive the best possible reviews very shortly.
On a practical note, it also allows you to check for damage to your property and possessions.
If you need to make a claim under the Airbnb Host Guarantee or your security deposit, you only have 14 days from your guest’s check-out date or before the next guest checks in to do so – whichever is earlier. Many hosts have booked out calendars with back-to-back bookings. Being physically present at check-out may represent one of the few (if not only) opportunities a host has to check for damage before the next booking comes through the door (which may be as early as that same day!)
If you will be present at check-out, let your guests know this upon their arrival during check-in. A guest that knows you will be present at check-out is more likely to avoid causing damage to your property knowing that you will personally be there to inspect the place upon their exit. They will also be in a weaker position to deny any wrongdoing for damage that you identify they have caused.
As the final part of their stay at your place, it’s also your last opportunity to positively influence their impressions. Remember that within 24 hours of check-out, the guest will be prompted to review and rate their experience. Ensure that you use this final opportunity to leave the best possible taste in their mouth.
What to do With Keys
If you can’t be there in person, it’s important that you arrange with your Airbnb guests how they’re able to return keys or leave the place locked and secured.
For homes that utilize traditional lock and keys, a common solution is to ask guests to deadlock all doors, place the keys by the door on the inside and then simply close the door on exit. You’re then able to return to your place with your set of keys, and collect the keys that were left by the guest.
Alternatively, if you use a lockbox, you may ask guests to place the keys back in the lockbox where they were originally taken from. Similarly, you’re able to ask guests to return keys to neighbors, key exchange shopfronts or cafes close by – where they may have picked up the keys initially upon their arrival.