Now you think you’ve mastered Airbnb; your rental is booked more than 50% each month and your making more money than you ever could renting your property on a long term lease.
Ever thought about how your competitor is doing?
Well, if you didn’t, your like me.
When I first started I really didn’t care about what my competitors were doing until I noticed the number of inquirers starting to slow down.
I started to wonder if everyone in my area was having the same issue, so I checked their calendars on Airbnb. It turned out two had fewer bookings than me but two of them had more! I quickly read through their listings to see what they were offering that I wasn’t. Here’s what I found:
- Lower Rental Prices – I found that one person had dropped their prices exactly $10 less than my own nightly prices. You might think just a coincidence but it is highly impossible. You see I have seasonal prices. He used the same seasons and was exactly $10 less for each season. I was by no means going to drop my prices and start a price war with this guy. Plus I knew my rental’s worth. You should never sell yourself short.
- Amenities and Photographs– Now the second person was a lot more interesting. This place looked like a page out of a home décor magazine! Not only that but they were $25 more per night than I was. It doesn’t stop there. They offered a lot more “help not sell”. The rental came equipped with beach towels, kids toys and DVD’s. I came to the realization that I was now dethroned and hadn’t even realized it. Lol.
But seriously, the most important thing I learned from this exercise was that you have to think of ways to improve your listings appeal to guests.
Pricing was not an option for me but I found the “help not sell” idea perfect.
So, how are ways you can use the “help not sell” strategy?
- Personalize the guest experience. How would you do this? Lets say a guest has advised they are coming for a honeymoon or birthday. You would personalize the experience by putting a few balloons in the unit or a bouquet of flowers or a few cupcakes or using your relationships gained to get a free dinner for two at a local restaurant etc. Nothing too costly but it lets your guest know you appreciate them and creates a great first impression.
- Provide additional items in the unit. Examples of this would be sewing kits, car seats, beach equipment(if your property is located near a beach), video games etc. Believe it or not I have even seen some property owners have a car to use included as an amenity.
- Team up with businesses in your area. Start building relationships with various businesses in your area. Reach out to them and explain to them the potential business you can bring their way and how you would like to partner with them. Through this partnership negotiate discounts and added bonus incentives for your guests.
Now that you have done all this hard work you must get your potential, past and current guests informed about the added benefits of booking with you.
How do you let guests know about these additional benefits that come with booking your property?
Here are a few ways you can do this.
- Include these benefits in your description
- In your listing photos create one dedicated to promoting these benefits
- In your listing’s title include a benefit that you know would be highly valued
- Email newsletters to all past guests informing them of these new benefits
Guests will greatly appreciate this added touch. As it saves them money and time which equals more time to enjoy their trip and gets you as the host better reviews!
Always think of ways to improve your guest experience and don’t be afraid to watch your competition. At the end of the day this is a business and that’s what competition is all about. Adding value for guests by “helping not selling” and then making your guests aware is a strategy that will keep your unit booked!