Staying in Airbnb’s myself now in various parts of the world, as well as hosting my own Guesthouse on Airbnb within Canada, I can easily let you know what particular factors have ruined my experience as a guest, and how you as a host can make sure to avoid these deadly mistakes.
Hidden costs that aren’t outlined in the listing’s description are by far the number one quickest way to hinder your guests experience, leaving you with an array of unhappy customers and poor reviews. A particular Airbnb stay we visited in Thailand outlined that their place offered “Free Wi-Fi.” Upon arrival however, we were told the Free Wi-Fi, was only available in the lobby area and that to receive Wi-Fi in our villa, we would have to pay a daily fee. This combined with the hidden costs of power and water that weren’t mentioned in the listing’s description ruined our entire stay, regardless of how beautiful the villa itself was.
Tip 1: Make sure all costs the guests will incur are outlined within your listing!
Learning to enjoy the process and not stress over the small things is also another crucial factor, not only for your business’s success, but for your personal happiness as well. All hosts know how fluctuant Airbnb is with their ever-updating terms and conditions, implementations of new taxation laws and changes to listings’ rules and regulations. Rather than seeing the worst-case scenario in every situation, learning to remain calm during these times are of the utmost importance. A key approach to take during these times of change is to remember that all changes bring opportunity. Be the opportunist and look for ways that you can capitalize within these significant periods of change.
Tip 2: Learning to ‘not sweat the small stuff’ and focusing on opportunity, rather than adversity, will help keep you and your business flourishing within times of change and stress!
Treating your rental listing as a spare time hobby, rather than a business, is the most sure way to find yourself in a bad situation. Everything in life that generates an income, incurs expenses and requires your time, should be looked at 100% from a business perspective, rather than that of a hobby. The goals of business should ideally always be the same; maximize the profits, minimize the costs, reduce the time associated with working on the business and make sure that there is mutual benefit across the board. In order to succeed you must take time to understand your properties financials and make sure that your ‘business’ is profitable and performing the best of its capabilities.
Tip 3: Make sure you’re operating your Airbnb as a business, rather than a hobby!
Not maximizing your marketing efforts and ‘leaving food on the table’ is one of the top mistakes I see many Airbnb hosts make. If you offer accommodation and nothing else at an extra cost, you miss out on the profits from guests who are happy to pay for the luxury or conveniences. Don’t mistake additional services with hidden costs however, or this is a quick way to shoot your own business in the foot.
Throughout our stays in Thailand many of the most profitable Airbnb hosts pair their company with services from other nearby businesses, taking a commission for referring their guests. Tours, experiences, bike rental and food delivery are some of the most popular extra income sources. Offering your own minibar food at any additional cost is also a great option.
In addition, many owners rely simply on the Airbnb platform to do all their marketing and don’t utilise the benefits of social media marketing, blogging and email marketing. Making sure you’re within Airbnb’s terms and conditions in also important, but simply don’t neglect the importance of marketing. A fantastic blog I read recently was just an array of guests experiences a host had collected, with a few videos of the guest’s experiences within the area also.