Airbnb hosting and vacation rentals are becoming more and more lucrative, so it is only natural for the competition to be on the rise as well. Consequently, it is very important for Airbnb owners and professionals who manage their properties to maximise their property's earning potential.
The vacation rental and home sharing market, where companies like HomeAway and Airbnb are leaders, is currently dealing with national and regional government regulations. In some countries, the maximum number of nights that a property can be rented has been diminished by 75%, so the hosts must learn how to maximise their revenue from less bookings and to stop relying on a high influx of guests.
Whether you are just starting in the industry or you are are a seasoned pro, the best way to keep making a profit might be upselling. Here are some simple solutions that will help vacation rental/Airbnb hosts navigate the ever-changing short-term rental industry.
1. Spend less time answering standard and routine questions
This is quite simple - if you spend less time writing emails and answering the phone, you’ll have more time to invest in more profitable aspects of your investment. If Airbnb hosts manage to free themselves from constant problem-solving they will be able to spend more time improving their hosting and hospitality services.
It is important to remember that if guests feel that the easiest way to get their questions answered is by calling you, then that’s exactly what they’ll do.
But we are living in the age of Internet, and everyone can find anything by searching on Google. By making sure guests can find all the information they need online, then they can avoid being inundated by phone calls and emails.
Receiving late night calls or messages from guests asking how to operate the washing machine, then the house manual or the instructions that you left them are lacking information. Luckily, this problem can now be solved by displaying your house instructions in innovative ways such as using an app and a tablet. You can try using YourWelcome, a tablet that is connected to wi-fi and that your guests can start using as soon as they arrive.
2. Charge more for extra services such as late checkouts
An easy way to increase your revenue from your short-term bookings is by offering late checkouts. Guests that are on a tight budget will probably stick to the original check-out schedule, while those who can afford it, will pay extra to check-out later. However, this strategy will only succeed as long as the booking process is straightforward and clear for the guests.
For everything to run smoothly, it’s important to stick to a strict schedule. Here is an example schedule that you can use:
- Set the check-out time between 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
- Offer check-out extension until 3:00 p.m.
- Cleaning should happen between 3:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.
- Set the check-in time to 5:30 p.m.
You can adjust this schedule to make it more convenient for you and for your guests.
3. Set up mini bars in all Airbnb properties
Whether you offer your guests essentials like deodorant, shower gel, and toothpaste, or luxury items like champagne, you can also stock a mini bar with a collection of nice items that your guests can purchase.
A mini bar can be stocked with any type of consumables that you’ll buy in bulk. Your guests will be happy to pay a bit more instead of going to the store. The key here is to offer desirable items that can bring you a profit such as local produce, luxury chocolates, or craft beers. You don’t have to focus solely on necessities, as you can also offer memorabilia or small gifts that they can take as souvenirs.
If you decide to set up an honor bar, you’ll also have to decide what payment method you want to implement. The most convenient option is to put a price list next to the bar and an honesty jar, although this approach might not be suitable for Airbnb owners who manage their properties remotely. Another solution would be to use HonorTab, a payment app that your guests can download.
Whether you are currently affected by new laws and regulations, or you are dealing with low levels of occupancy, there are many ways to increase your revenue. You can upsell additional services to your guests or even additional products by setting up an mini bar.
The important thing is to get creative and to offer things that your guests need or want. You can start by surveying them about the things that they would like to buy from an Airbnb or what extra services they need.
If you are managing your own Aribnb or if you manage properties for others, don’t forget to subscribe to the Bricks + Agent newsletter to receive useful tips and tricks for property management experts.