It is in the interest of every Airbnb host to attract the best guests for their space. The hope is to attract guests who will not only enjoy and appreciate your property and your hospitality but, guests who also respect your rules and boundaries. Finding the ideal guest is far from easy though, as I discovered in my early days as an Airbnb host.
My experiences—which I’ll share later in this post—taught me a great deal. In part 1 and part 2 of this blog post, I want to share with you the method for attracting the ideal and best Airbnb guest avatar.
Learning By Trial and Error
Like many Airbnb hosts, I began my business hosting guests in an unused private bedroom in my home. Delighted by how well the venture was going, I decided to create another listing in an open loft space of my home. It wasn’t hard to do. I added a futon, a nightstand, a privacy curtain, and a few homey touches.
The one thing that I quickly became aware of was how different the loft guests were compared to those that booked the private room. These loft guests were higher maintenance, and to be frank, more troublesome than those who took the private room. At the time I wasn’t quite sure why—perhaps it was the lower price, the fact that the space had no door, or that it contained a futon rather than a bed.
What I did know was that the people who booked the loft were not my ideal guests. They began to make hosting less pleasurable. So, I closed the loft listing and opened a second private room listing, which attracted more of my ideal guests. It was at this point that I learned about the concept of guest avatars and how using them could ensure my listings attracted great guests.
What is an Airbnb Guest Avatar?
An Airbnb guest avatar is a twist on a marketing tool that has been used for decades across all kinds of service industries. In general, an avatar—also sometimes referred to as a persona—is a fictional character that represents your ideal consumer, in this case, the ideal guest who is most likely to reserve your place.
Developing a clear understanding of your Airbnb guest avatar will help you:
- Understand your guest’s behavior: reasons for visiting your town, how they plan to spend their time, how they would like to use your space, and the challenges they face while traveling
- Write better descriptions—and take better photographs—to attract your ideal guest and represent your property in the best light
- If looking to expand, knowing your avatar will help you better understand the type of properties to open and where to open them
- Be more empathetic to your guest’s needs and be able to foreshadow potential issues during their stay
Once you learn how to develop these useful personas, you will be able to improve your listing(s) to suit and attract your ideal guests. You will have a clearer understanding of their wants, needs, and even their probable concerns. In the next blog, How to Create an Airbnb Guest Avatar (Part 2), I’ll show you how you can create your own guest avatar and give you a free template worksheet to follow along.