Traditional accommodation houses such as Hotels and Motels have now got the opportunity to take advantage of this accommodation booking platform introducing a new clientele which brings with them a unique hospitality experience.
Airbnb has disrupted the hospitality industry ‘as we knew it’ allowing guests access to a wide variety of accommodation options from treehouses to mega-mansions only ever available to the rich and famous! Guest writer Julie George shares her tips for hoteliers to know about working with Airbnb:
1) Reaching a whole new audience!
Airbnb is now the preferred method of booking accommodation for millions of tech-savvy users worldwide. The booking platform proves to be addictive with the amazing value options, a wide variety of options and easy to use technology. Quite simply, there is a huge target market of potential guests using Airbnb that are not looking at other booking platforms to secure their next ‘home away from home’. As a marketing platform, Airbnb is reaching a much larger and varied audience than a Hotel would ever be able to reach independently.
2) Airbnb guests are the best Guests you could ask for!
Before the guest arrives at your property you will know who they are, why they are coming to stay and that most importantly that they have been verified to meet your minimum standards according to your settings in Airbnb. You can view their past reviews and ensure that this is the calibre of guests you desire. The clincher is that while the guests stay at your property they are going to be on their best behaviour…. respecting the property and your staff in the hope that they will once again receive a glowing review once they check out.
3) Airbnb will make you pull your socks up…
Over the past few years, most Airbnb guests expect the highest quality and value from their accommodation choices. They have also grown to be more and more critical over the smallest indiscretions in a property and will not be afraid to report the ‘hair they found on their pillow’.
Hotels who join Airbnb will have to ‘step it up’ in terms of customer service, meeting expectations and cleaning standards in order to satisfy the well versed Airbnb traveller. Should the Hotel room fail to meet expectations that have been set by the glossy professional photo and the elaborate description in the Airbnb listing, the guest review will reflect this and could prevent future guest bookings on the platform. Stay authentic and genuine when describing your property…it will pay off in the long run!
4) Your staff are going to thank you
Polite guests who show your staff respect and courtesy will become the normality and not just a fantasy by welcoming Airbnb guests into your hotel. Consider the increase in staff morale should the housekeeping staff enter a room after a guest has departed and not have to be concerned about missing towels, bathrobes or whatever else is usually the product of choice that ultimately ends up as a guest souvenir. These same hardworking staff should find a quiet relief also in the cleanliness of the property after an Airbnb guest has vacated. The reciprocal review system ensures that guests are on their best behaviour as they all chase a high rating on their guest profile. A negative review on their profile may mean that they are not accepted in the future by other Hosts on the Airbnb platform
5) Surely it can’t all be ‘Bells & Whistles’?
So, what happens if there are damages or something missing? Simply contacting the guest through Airbnb to make them aware of the situation and requesting an extra cleaning fee or to have the guest cover the cost of the broken /missing item is normally all it takes to resolve the problem….especially in the 14-day ‘review’ window. However, if the guest fails to comply, Airbnb offers a $1,000,000 Host Guarantee for damages to cover property in the rare event of guest damages. Just remember to document all damages and take photos to lodge a claim through the Airbnb system.
Overall Hotels will find listing their property on the Airbnb platform an overwhelming positive experience that results in not only higher staff morale but also great financial rewards.
About Julie George
Julie George is considered one of the leading experts on Airbnb, having built a property portfolio with bookings exceeding $8 million in 3 years. Julie is the author of bestselling book Million Dollar Host, and now works as a Consultant and Motivational Speaker encouraging others to build their own businesses on the back of the Sharing Economy.