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The Most Important Things to Check Before Booking an Airbnb, According to Experienced Hosts

Epic Stays
by Tim Wenger Mar 14, 2022

You’re scrolling through Airbnb looking for that perfect place for an upcoming trip. Hot tub? Check. Mountain views? Check. Walk to the beach? Check. You enthusiastically book. But when your trip comes around, you arrive to find that the property isn’t quite what you’d expected. It happens to the best of us. When it comes to what to look for in an Airbnb listing, there are some tips to keep in mind to find the property that matches exactly what you’re looking for.

Matador spoke with Luke and Abby Hatteberg, experienced Airbnb hosts of an eight-guest Airbnb home in the Dallas area, about the most important things to look for in an Airbnb listing. As travelers themselves, Luke and Abby have seen both sides of the coin, from booking properties and hoping for the best to carefully crafting their own short-term rental into a comfortable and spacious stay for their guests.

First off, even before looking at a property’s amenities, the simple fact that it’s rented by nearby hosts rather than a distant property management company is an indication of personal care and a more personalized host-guest relationship. And the biggest takeaway? Look for hosts who are honest and who are experienced in the ways of online business. Luke and Abby also own the Etsy shop Wayfaren based in Dallas’s hip Deep Ellum neighborhood. The husband and wife team are masters of understanding what customers want and how to best serve them, even when they will likely never meet that customer in person.

Follow these tips the next time you’re looking for a stay, and be sure to check out Luke and Abby’s property for your next trip to Dallas:

We hope you love this advice on what to look for in an Airbnb! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

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These responses have been edited for length and clarity.

What makes for a good Airbnb property

Luke and Abby: I would say there are a few key things that make a good Airbnb property. First and foremost: cleanliness. It’s hard to look past sheets that you question being washed, or countertops that clearly haven’t been wiped down from the last guest — even if the property has a breathtaking view or an unbeatable location.

Next, an accommodating and friendly host. This really can enhance the Airbnb stay or make it completely forgettable. The hosts we have had that go above and beyond to be helpful, accommodating, and fix any issues quickly are the Airbnb properties we want to return to over and over.

Lastly, I’d say the little thoughtful touches really do go a long way when it comes to a vacation rental. Whether it’s just a personalized handwritten welcome note or a complimentary bottle of wine and glasses already set out, those intentional details really take a property from good to unforgettable.

How to book an Airbnb with trustworthy hosts

We will say (unabashedly) that we are pretty picky when it comes to choosing an Airbnb to book for our next getaway. I truly think it all comes down to the reviews, host, and guest experience.

We typically will only book properties that have 4.5 stars and above, because the reviews just don’t lie when it comes to cleanliness, overall accommodations, and helpfulness of the host. Just this past weekend, we stayed in an Airbnb in Austin for a Texas staycation of sorts, and even though the property wasn’t pristinely updated, the host going above and beyond for us was really what made it a fantastic experience.

The reviews say it all for us.

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