Airbnb and vacation rental platforms like it have grown exponentially over the last few years. In fact, the industry has become so flooded, you might think it’s impossible to stand out, especially if you’re renting out your place as a small-time side hustle.
However, never fear: There are still a few things – little things, in fact – that you can do to go above and beyond your guests’ expectations which will, with a little luck, result in some kick-ass reviews. And really, that’s what matters most, right?
If you’re a small-time host, you may actually be at an advantage when it comes to impressing your guests over the big dogs in your city.
Here are 2 things you can start doing this week to wow your renters.
1. Choose 1-2 things that you’re going to do better than everyone else.
We say this all the time and we’ll say it again: You’re running a business. Don’t think of your vacation rental venture as anything else because it’s not. It. Is. A. Business.
And successful business owners find ways to stay ahead of the curve and do things better than their competition. How do they do it? They research what their competitors are doing and take it a step further.
Get on Airbnb or whichever hosting platform(s) you’re using, log out of your hosting account, and search for properties in your area. See things the way your guests see them. Scour the other listings that come up and make a list of the more popular things you see.
Out of the things on that list, what can you do better than everyone else? Don’t get carried away here – the idea is to choose a couple of things to really focus on so you’re not over-stretching.
Pro Tip: Install an IP blocker plugin to your browser or use a VPN connection to really trick your browser so you can see what true out-of-towners might find in their search list first.
2. Broker a deal with neighborhood businesses.
First and foremost, it’s just good to know other business owners in your local community. Entrepreneurs are highly likely to recommend other entrepreneurs’ businesses when they have a working relationship with them.
How can this help you?
- It looks cool to your guests. Whether you get some face time with your guests or not, you can make mention of your personal relationship with a business manager or owner in your Welcome Packet. You can say something to the effect of, “If you happen to eat at Joe’s Pizza (which I highly recommend), ask if the owner, Joe, is in. Tell him you’re staying at my place – he’s a great friend!”
- Business owners and managers have friends and family. Some people have family members or close friends who live out of town and, possibly, can’t host everyone at their own home. If something comes up, they’ll be more likely to recommend their loved ones stay with you.
- Create a discount partnership. If you’re recommending to your guests that they visit a certain business, it can’t hurt to ask for a little something for your guests in return. Tell (and show) local business owners or managers how you’re helping market their business and ask for something to offer your guests in exchange for the “free” advertising.
It’s that easy! Don’t overthink it. Remember to be confident in your business and the rest will come naturally. Your guests will be thrilled that you’ve taken the time to exceed their expectations and you’ll be glad you went out of your way to make them happy.
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