Updated: Feb 22
One of the single most searched amenities guests filter their search by on short-term
rental platforms, is of course a working, reliable high-speed internet connection.
For better or worse, not having a good broadband connection at your property, is likely to create a headache for you because todays guests expect it the same way they expect to find running water and electricity.
In this twenty-first century market, internet access has become an essential amenity that no short-term rental owner can reasonably afford to overlook.
Getting set up
As residential-internet access goes, turns out a network port (also called a LAN or ethernet port, jack or socket) on the wall, that allows guests to plug a CAT6 Ethernet cable into the wall and connect directly to the internet (provided the speed in the house is up to scratch) is not that popular.
This is because guests will typically bring with them laptops or portable devices such as iPads that don’t always have facility for a USB and CAT6 cabling. Also, having only network port access limits guests to only being able to work or use their device in specific rooms and areas where these are located.
The bottom line is, people want WI-FI.
So the ideal is to have good reliable WI-FI as well as network ports and CAT6 as a backup. Only don’t make the mistake of thinking you won’t have to worry too much about WI-FI because you have CAT6. If you do, your guests will likely see this as ‘not good enough’ and reflect this opinion on the reviews they leave.
Remember too that the strength of your WI-FI signal will depend on the nature of your house, it’s location and construction. For example, if your short-term rental has big, dense walls, then you may need boosters to make sure WI-FI is accessible throughout.
Next comes the speed test!
In September 2021 Airbnb introduced a new speed test feature (find it under listings/about-the listing/amenities/Wi-Fi). It allows you as an owner to run a quick and painless speed test at your property, and save the results to your listing so that guests know what to expect.
Needless to say, this can either work for or against you! If your WI-FI speed is good you’ll get a lot more bookings than if your speed test result is average to poor.
Fact is, almost no guest these days wants to risk booking a stay in a dead zone.
Since the pandemic until now, remote working arrangements have boomed. Short-term rentals also attract traveling families who are often schooling their children on the road. Add gamers, Netflix viewers and online video streamers to the mix and it becomes clear just how much we have all come to rely on having a good internet connection.
The bottom line is, your guests want the peace of mind that comes with knowing the short-term rental they plan to stay at, has sufficient internet speed and signal strength to match their needs.
I advise using the WI-FI speed test to your advantage and with it go the distance if you can to set up a laptop-friendly workspace to go with it. Your guests will really appreciate this and it will set you apart from competing rentals in your area.
Quick guide to Wi-Fi speed
The speed of your internet connection is measured in megabits per second. So, assuming apply the WI-FI speed test to your short-term rental property, the results could show up as any of these:
Either you don’t have WI-FI at your short-term rental, or the test is unable to connect. If this happens, turn off your router, wait thirty seconds and then switch it on again – or try and connect from another area inside the house.
Your guests will have sufficient speed to check email or social media messages and browse the internet.
Allows guests to stream high definition video.
Quality Wi-Fi speed. Your guests can watch 4K videos, attend Zoom meetings, Livestream on social media and join video calls.
This is ideal Wi-Fi -speed territory. Guests can do all of the above, and gaming too. What’s more, multiple devices can be used at the same time without an issue. If your speed test result is 50Mbps or greater, Airbnb will automatically add “Fast Wi-Fi” to the amenities on your listing page.
Helping your guests get Wi-Fi access
Something super simple that hosts frequently forget is to make the access code for the Wi-Fi extremely easy for your guests to find.
You can display the Wi-Fi access code inside a Welcome Book that’s in plain view as guests enter your short-term rental, however I also recommend you pop a neatly designed “Wi-Fi access” sign on the fridge door, like this one:
If you like it, you can download it here as my gift to you. It will save you time, and lessen the stress for guests as well.