If you’ve ever traveled for business you know that your needs while traveling for work are very different than if you were to travel with children on a family vacation. Everyone has different needs and wants during travel; therefore everyone will be looking for something a little different. But despite these different needs, there are five things all travelers look for, no matter the type of trip they are taking. Here are the top five things guests look for when booking an Airbnb listing…
If you’re traveling for work, more than likely you’re going to want to find a place that is near the office. If you’re on vacation you’re probably going to want to stay downtown near a tourist attraction. Based on my research, location is the number one thing travelers look at when searching for an Airbnb listing. And it makes sense! Think about the last time you stayed at an Airbnb or a hotel… How did you determine where you were going to stay?
If you’re thinking of opening an Airbnb listing, whether it’s a private room in your home or a an entire vacation rental, you might be wondering if it’s worth the trouble because it might not be located near downtown. The truth is that people travel for many different reasons and not everyone is in town for vacation, and not everyone can afford (or wants) to stay downtown.
I have one listing that is about 20 minutes from downtown, nowhere near any attractions or even office buildings, and yet I was booked about 95% of the time and I was raking in about $2000 per month in profits from two private rooms.
Most of my guests were in town to visit family nearby, they were in town for work, and some were looking to move there and were looking for a home to buy or rent. At first, I didn’t think we would have many guests because we were so far from downtown but that wasn’t the case at all. Your listing doesn’t have to be in a prime location in order for you to be a successful host.
So don’t let the location of your listings stop you from listing on Airbnb; remember, your location will be perfect for those looking in your area. Instead, focus on giving your guests the best guest experience possible.
Cleanliness and clutter free spaces
This should be a no-brainer but having a clean place that is clutter free is very important to guests. If your place looks messy or if you have low ratings on cleanliness, you’re going to have a hard time staying occupied.
Guests definitely need to have a clean place to stay. Even a stray hair on the bed or the shower can be a BIG turn off. Not only is this gross, but it gives the impression that you’re not on top of things and it makes them wonder… What else hasn’t been cleaned?
Luckily cleanliness is something you can control. You can’t really control your location, but, you can do something about how clean your place is—and that’s a good thing!
Hand-in-hand with cleanliness is a clutter. Guests don’t like clutter. Get rid of any items you don’t need and keep your things organized. If you do home sharing, It’s ok if you have personal items in an Airbnb room, just be sure to keep things neat and give your guests ample space to store their things. Buy new furniture or organizational items if you must but do reduce clutter.
Having a clutter-free space will also reduce the amount of cleaning and the time it takes to clean, which is great for your bottom line.
Guests will be laying their heads in a new and unfamiliar space, they want to feel safe knowing that the time they spend in your home will not cause them harm. If you don’t have these items already, you will need to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in case of a fire or gas leak.
You should also have a visible reference sheet posted so your guests can reference important phone numbers in case of an emergency. If your guests are traveling during a time of year that is prone to natural disasters, i.e. hurricane season, be sure to give them a heads up about what they can expect.
I was in an Airbnb in Miami Beach when hurricane Irma was heading directly for us. We’re from Texas so we didn’t really know what to do during a Hurricane.
Our host, unfortunately, didn’t reach out to us until after evacuations were ordered. As a guest, it would have been nice to have support from our host. Maybe in the form of a message with what to expect, suggestions for keeping safe in the property, etc.
When you have guests it’s your responsibility to do whatever you can to make sure they stay safe. Providing additional info about potential natural disasters is just an easy way to go above and beyond for your guests.
Learn more about the recommended Airbnb safety items all hosts should have in their listings.
When trying to decide what amenities to offer, a good place to start is to emulate the hotel industry. Now, this doesn’t mean that you need to operate as a hotel, it means that if you copy the bare essentials of what hotels offer, you should be in a good place.
What do I mean by “bare essentials”? I mean things like coffee, iron and ironing board, shampoo, conditioner, etc. This means that you have to think about how your typical guest travels and what they need and want while they’re with you.
By the way, amenities don’t have to be tangible. Offering early check-ins and late check-outs, Netflix and cable TV are all examples of amenities that sweeten the deal and increase bookings.
The more attention you pay to the needs of your guests, the more likely your listing will attract more guests.
You need to be responsive in order to make it easy for travelers to give you money. Sounds obvious right?
But if a traveler doesn’t hear from you for a few hours, they’ll probably book a place with a host that replied to their messages right away.
The truth is that the more responsive you are, the more reservations you’ll get. Better yet, when guests ask a question, figure out a way to answer that question on your listing with photos or in the description so that future guests don’t have to ask. Instead, they’ll see the answer directly on your listing and book instantly.
I hope this list of the top five things guests look for when they travel has been helpful as you think of how to set up or improve your Airbnb listing. By putting yourself in the guests’ shoes you will dramatically improve their experience!
Do me a favor and comment below—I’d love to know which of these was most helpful to you: location, cleanliness, safety, amenities, or communication.