In my previous blog, How to Attract the Best Guests Using an Airbnb Guest Avatar (Part 1), I discussed how having a guest avatar(s) will help you understand your guest’s behavior, write better descriptions for your listing, and be more empathetic towards your guest’s needs. All very important things to learn about your guests. So how do you create a guest avatar?
A good place to start is by thinking about the guests you’ve already hosted. If you haven’t hosted any Airbnb guests yet, don’t worry because you can still follow along to create your avatar.
Creating Your Airbnb Guest Avatar(s)
Time to get out a pen and paper! You can jot down the answers to each section in a piece of paper or you can download our handy worksheet and example at the end of this blog. Here are the major areas you will need to outline in order to create your avatar:
- Demographics: Age, work type, family and relationship status, education level, and income level.
- Reasons for travel: For example, are they in town for a conference? For work? For a college tour? Are they looking to move to your city? Or are they just there to enjoy the sights?
- Preferred amenities: What are their preferred amenities during travel? Do they require a kitchen to cook? Do they require a flexible check-in? Do they need parking? Are they traveling with pets?
- Interests: What types of food do they like to eat? What kind of movies do they like to watch? What hobbies do they have? What activities do they enjoy?
- Behaviors: What time do they wake up and go to bed? Do they exercise? Do they make coffee at home? Do they cook? Do they watch a lot of TV? How do they plan on commuting while in your city? Do they smoke?
- Frustrations: Ask yourself, what types of things make my guest avatar frustrated? Do they hate having to meet the host in person in order to check in? What frustrations do they experience when traveling with children or pets? Do they get frustrated because their host is non-responsive during their stay? Do they have high expectations around cleanliness?
- Personality: Is your ideal guest friendly? Are they quiet or outgoing? Are they strong-willed and stubborn?
- Time breakdown during the trip (optional): This part is not necessary but I like to include this bit of information in my avatar because it forces me to think about the ideal length of time (number of days) that I’d like my avatar to stay at my place. I also go a step forward and think about how that time breaks down during their trip. For example, if the ideal reservation length is 3 days, during those three days they spend 70% of their time at work, 10% exploring the city, and 20% at home relaxing.
- Name and bio: You’ll need to give your avatar a name and a short bio. Yes, we are pretending this persona really exists! This will help you create a well-rounded picture of who this person is as a whole. Try not to use details you used in the other areas of the persona outline.
The Importance of a Negative Airbnb Guest Avatar
As you ask yourself the questions above, you might find yourself coming up with a negative version of your avatar. A negative guest avatar is someone you’d prefer didn’t reserve your property. This is the type of guests that you DON’T want and it’s OK to have a negative guest avatar. And it is definitely OK to have more than one guest avatar, however, I would limit the number to one or two, any more than that makes it very difficult to speak to your avatar in your listing.
Knowing who you don’t want to host is just as important as who you do want. If you’ve hosted a guest who wasn’t a good fit, make a note of the reasons why they didn’t work out, this will help you build a negative version of your avatar.
P.S. Creating guest avatars is not, and should never be about creating discrimination. Airbnb has very clear guidelines on the subject and those guidelines not only ensure that hosts remain within the law but also that they offer a guest experience that, as Airbnb themselves put it, is ‘a commitment to inclusion and respect’.