Hosts have three options for check-in times:
If no check-in time is specified, check-in will be set as 3:00 PM local time.
Guests will not see your check-in and checkout times until they visit your listing page from the search results.
These times are unlikely to be the decisive ‘make-or-break’ factor for most guests, however check-in and check-out times that are too restrictive or narrow may prove to be a disincentive for guests that require flexibility in the timing of their arrival and departure (e.g. business travelers).
You should therefore be as open and flexible as possible when determining your check-in (and check-out) times.
To set your check-in (and checkout) times:
Aside from your personal availability or willingness to meet and greet guests at different times of the day, the time required to clean and turnover your space should be the other key determinant in setting check-in and check-out times. Ensure that the times you set provide you with enough time to clean and turnover your place between guests.
You should think twice about providing an early check-in to your home if this means providing guest access before a time that you’ve had your place cleaned and turned over after the previous Airbnb guests have left.
All guests will inevitably form first impressions upon arriving anywhere new. Your home is no exception. Your attempts to do an act of goodwill may inadvertently backfire from guests that pre-judge your home on their immediate arrival.
Provide early check-in’s only when it has minimal impact to you and does not affect your ability to have your place cleaned and turned over entirely before arrival.
If an early check-in is requested and this is not possible, attempt to provide a practical alternative. For example, suggest going to a local coffee shop (where you may also wish to negotiate a special deal in return for sending them a continual influx of new customers). Opportunities like these can then be shared in pre-trip communications with prospective guests and even promoted as a value-add for your Airbnb listing.