The sharing economy has made it economically feasible for the average Joe like you and me to create a business by leveraging un-used space, such as an extra bedroom or a vacation home. While companies like Airbnb, HomeAway and TripAdvisor have lowered the barrier to entry to owning our own vacation rental business, maintaining and running it everyday remains a challenge for many of us.
For this reason, I sat down with Amanda, an Airbnb SuperHost and a veteran in the vacation rental business. She shared with me a few tools and services that helped her run her Airbnb gig more efficiently. Regardless of where you are in your business, you will find tools and resources below that can help you operate wisely and effectively.
A tool to prevent unwanted parties at your short-term rental.
House parties are at the top of the list of hosting concerns. In fact, we all know someone whose home was trashed at one point by a guest.
After experiencing a party disaster first-hand at one of the homes she managed, Amanda created Party Squasher: a smart counting device that helps prevent unwanted house parties for Airbnb hosts and property managers. Party Squasher is an inexpensive device that you can install at your home. It counts the number of mobile devices within a detection range (that you customize when you set it up your home). Any time it detects too many mobile devices — according to your preferences — Party Squasher will alert you about a possible unwanted party.
Increase bookings with your own vacation rental website.
It is a priority for hosts to increase bookings. One proven way to increase bookings is by establishing your own brand and image with a customized vacation rental website.
Lodgify gives you full control of how your listings will look on your website, since you know how to appeal to the customers you want to attract. Compared to listing on Airbnb, you won’t be competing with thousands of other listings.
Create a long-lasting relationship with a personalized guidebook for your guests.
Let’s start off with a case study. Jane got a new booking from Fred. After a few email exchanges, Jane knows that Fred is a coffee connoisseur and a vinyl record collector. Upon arrival, Fred was pleasantly surprised that Jane had prepared a personalized guidebook for him. That’s one user experience that will bring Fred back to rent her Airbnb again.
With Hostfully, you can customize a guidebook for your guests. After all, it’s your neck of the woods, so you know where the best coffee spots are. With a personalized guidebook in hand, Fred can spend more time enjoying his visit and less time researching on his computer to find places.
A tool that helps hosts determine what to charge for their properties.
Ever notice that hotels charge more at certain times of the year? Or why they charge more on the 5th floor than the 1st floor? Or why prices might go down if they have excess inventory at the last minute?
While big hotels have big data and research to tell them a optimal price to charge, Airbnb hosts don’t have that kind of data to work with when determining the price of their properties.
Now, imagine that you could have charged $250/night for your place when you have been charging $150/night. That’s 60% more than you have been earning.
Print luxury business cards, welcome cards and property cards.
Passing out business cards at events like Meetups or a conference is a great source of referral for your rental business. In a recent partnership with Airbnb, Moo now offers personalized business cards and welcome cards so you can share a direct link to your listing amongst your friends and acquaintances.
Running a business is not easy, but with the appropriate tools they can make your job easier as a host. And the best thing: the tools that I’ve mentioned above can be implemented into your short-term rental right away.
Any products or services that I haven’t mentioned? Share with me below.