We are Ian and Nicky. We have 2 vacation homes in Tenerife that we host primarily with AirBnb as accredited Superhosts.

When we started we just didn’t realize how much emphasis this industry places on the review process and how anything less than 5* across the board is almost regarded as a fail.

After reading all the Superhost’s advice we learned that a small percentage of guests give a 4* review in acknowledgment of a good stay. But to get a 5* requires the hosts to have gone above and beyond their expectations. Superhosts claim they have already secured the 5* review by the end of the check-in process. In order to learn how we had to go back in time.

Looking back on our own travel experiences and examining our reviews (prior to becoming hosts) we asked ourselves why we didn’t always give a 5* review and what the hosts could have done better. First impressions are so so important. Having a friendly host was great but they would often leave you feeling lost trying to look for some direction on how to start our holiday. Some vacation homes offered us a list of laminated rules (hated that) and some left out a map and travel leaflets which mean nothing if you are unfamiliar with the area. It felt like the host didn’t really care. With reflection, they had already lost any chance to gain our 5* review.

We now knew the problem, but how to fix it?

Firstly we created a “Welcome to our Home” booklet. Nicely presented, with instructions of how everything works, local food recommendations, a home-made map of the area and general info, taxi, supermarkets, food deliveries, etc. in English & Spanish. Most guests arrive without a clue of where they are so this booklet allows them to get their bearings and has a reassuring effect.

Our best idea by far was our own Tenerife Tour Guide with bookable QR codes. A digital version was sent prior to our guests arrival which opened friendly communication channels and they were already thanking us. They arrived with a more positive and familiar vibe like we were already friends, and when they saw the very professional-looking Tenerife Tour Guide handheld version next to the Welcome Book, they were so impressed. They ask questions like never before and a rapport is made.

Our vacation homes are not perfect as a 5* review may suggest, however when your guests are happy from the start they look for more positives. Our guests see we are trying to go above and beyond their expectations and they want us to succeed. Now most of our 5* reviews are secured on day 1.