You’re well on your way to making some great income out of your investment property. You may already know all the tips and tricks but there’s always room to learn more.
Business Development doesn’t end
The romance isn’t over, as they say, when your guests leave their keys in the box and say goodbye. You’ve got to keep yourself to of mind. How exactly do you do this without becoming a spamming annoyance? Well, you’ve got your guests’ contact info so why not start with a personalised birthday message? Or perhaps let them know, every now and then, when you’ve got special rates or offers? If you really have the time and energy a short and well-curated newsletter every month or second month may work well too. Try to find some neat tricks to keep yourself top of mind but just be sure not to become super spammer! Recurring business is just as valuable as new business, and probably far easier to retain.
Reviews equal Rates
Ratings and reviews are part of what turns you into a super host. And if you’re a super host you’ll have a better chance of standing above the crowd. On your journey to becoming the host (ess) with the most (est) are your guest reviews. Yes, it’s hard to get people to spend time writing a review especially there’s nothing in it for them but if you make their stay spectacular then they’ll feel compelled to thank you a thousand ways! Good reviews are gold so gather up as much as you can. Simple things like cleanliness is key, along with things being in good working order. Don’t take your guests for fools rather treat them like royalty. Make sure what you’ve said in your write up and what you’ve shown in your pics match up to reality- people are wary of being sold the sizzle without the steak! Make sure appliances work, paste up instructions for appliances or home gadgets if needed; make guests feel like they are secure by pointing out what needs to be done in terms of physical security; how to get to much-needed amenities and other attractions. Add essentials like fire extinguishers for mishaps, torches in case the lights go out and also extra’s like multi-use plugs and international adapters. Try to be there when your guests are leaving or checking out and do a quick check over of their stay- were they happy? Was it what they expected? Thank them for choosing you and for their feedback (even if negative) and ask them to leave a review. The better your reviews, the closer you’ll be to becoming super host and then asking for the rates that you want.
Think of your listing as you would any other product- at the end of the day you want to be top of mind and most desirable. You want to offer something that your competitors don’t, whether that be the finer touch of a hands-on host, really cool and curated amenities or perfect positioning and a great location.
You’ve invested in a property to earn an income through short-term letting, now it’s time to take your investment to the next level.
There are more than 191 regions listed with Airbnb across the globe. This translates into over 100 000 cities and over 7 million accommodation listings worldwide, meaning on average, at any one time over 2 million people are staying on Airbnb each night of the year. This is mind-blowing but not surprising. Airbnb is only in its 11th year and has managed to give the global hospitality industry a huge shake-up. Virtually anyone who has a property can list it on Airbnb making this one of the most accessible tourism assets in the world. Airbnb has not only created opportunities for new experiences in travel, but it has also created new income streams for the average Joe. Like Uber, Airbnb do not own any inventory yet, but they are raking in the cash and you, the property owner, can start raking the cash in too.
Location is key
Before you decide to purchase, it’s best to do the right kind of research. Where are you going to purchase? In Durban, it’s probably best to consider a place with easy access to the coast, or even direct beach access. Consider the needs of travellers (holidaymaker and businesspeople alike) and what makes a location more attractive than another. Questions like how do I reach the main highway? How far away is the airport? Where is the nearest mall and hospital? As well as surrounding amenities and security are likely to rank highly. With more and more options coming onstream, and residential estates being partially modelled around this growing short-term letting market, you’ll find there are quite a few options out there. But before you buy, do your research.
High season vs Low season
A wise host will adjust pricing to suit the season. Start by being proactive about what’s going on the calendar- when do schools break up? When do most people take leave during the year? Are there any significant events happening locally such as a tourism indaba or big sporting events like Iron Man and the Comrades Marathon? These are the events where accommodation is at a premium and many people plan well in advance to ensure they don’t go without. Once you know this, you can build an annual pricing calendar to forecast at least a few months ahead. Forecasting cleverly will also allow you market appropriately with the right messaging and positioning and on the most suitable platforms. There are quite a few pricing tools out there which can help you get this down to an art.
A Super Host is someone who has fulfilled a set of criteria as set out by Airbnb. It pays to be a super host because it means you’ll stand out from the crowd and therefore attract more business. To become a super host you’ll have had to maintain a 50% review rate (yes, guests can review your listing), have a 90% response rate, complete at least 10 trips or, 3 reservations totalling 100 nights; have had zero cancellations (unusual circumstances aside) and keep your rating at a 4.8 average overall.