Lessons in how Airbnb can benefit your hotel business (part 2)

Bruno

As we discussed in the first of this two-part series about the value of Airbnb to your hotel business, Airbnb has evolved and developed enormously as a consumer travel platform, since its inception in 2008…

Back then, in its earliest days, it was seen as a radical disruptor in accommodation booking space. In many ways its brand was pitched as the anti-hotel booking platform whose goal it was to transform the way in which consumers thought about their holiday accommodation requirements.

As with all global online brands, Airbnb is now a much more sophisticated and, we reckon, more mature platform. Why? Well because it’s no longer a site that just enables a user to book a bed in another person’s home.

It’s much more than that because, as we discussed in our first Airbnb post recently, it’s now very much about recognising that holidaying is not just about having a bed to sleep in, it’s about the whole holiday experiences of which accommodation is just one small part!

Given the fact that Airbnb operates in over 34,000 cities across 191 different countries, shouldn’t your hotel be looking to capitalise on the various opportunities this platform presents?

Think about it this way: thousands of rooms are booked every single day through this site in your precise locality.Your hotel can benefit. Simply by following some of our top tips below, your hotel can generate additional revenue for your business in a number of different ways.

1. Set aside a set number of your bedrooms purely for Airbnb purposes

Clearly, there’s a huge demand globally for low-cost, self catering type accommodation, and as a hotelier, you already have the key ingredient that’s required: bedrooms!

What’s more, there is nothing stopping hotels from posting rooms on the site nowadays, just as you do with other OTA sites. However, the crucial difference is that, where other OTA’s typically charge up to 17.5% commission on bookings, Airbnb charge just 3% on room bookings. It’s a no-brainer!

Our tip: why not upgrade some of your bedrooms, make them “Airbnb friendly” in terms of décor and facilities, and make these available to book only through Airbnb? It’s guaranteed income and it’s easy…

2. Take over the management of private listings and utilise your expertise

Let’s face it, many private individuals see Airbnb as a simple way of making a quick buck. But while it is certainly pretty simple to become a host and get an accommodation listed, you as an hotelier will know that the hard work really only begins when guests arrive, and ends when they depart.

The fact is, just because someone is capable of getting a property listed on Airbnb, this does this not mean they are proficient when it comes to the practicalities such as guest enquiries, special requests, linen and laundry, meeting and greeting, and arrival and departure management. Why not offer them a solution?

Our tip: simply contact listings in your area, utilise your expertise (after all, this is what you do for a living) and, for an agreed fee, offer to manage every part of the accommodation and guest management process on their behalf.

3. Offer hospitality training to Airbnb hosts in your area

If you feel like the above scenario is a step too far for your business then what about the idea of offering hospitality training to private listings in your area?

Again, most private accommodation providers on Airbnb will not have any professional hospitality experience, many are from completely unrelated professions but are trying to capitalise on a spare room or property that they happen to own.

Our tip: why not offer hospitality training courses to local Airbnb operators (you can easily find and contact them through the website) and instead of seeing them as competitors, see them as potential customers!

4. Provide cleaning services for Airbnb hosts in your area

You already have a housekeeping team employed to keep your hotel bedrooms up to scratch right? But what if they are under-utilised on those days when your hotel is quiet and there are as many empty rooms as there are occupied ones?

Our tip: why not offer cleaning services to local B&Bs or homeowners who may well be looking to outsource the cleaning of rooms to cleaners with expertise in this area? And even if your existing housekeeping team is busy in your hotel all the time, why not see Airbnb accommodations as a great opportunity for your hotel to generate more income by taking on additional cleaning staff to cover this extra work?

So, what are you waiting for?

Airbnb is a huge untapped resource for hotels and if used to your advantage, it can become an excellent source of additional revenue streams for your hotel business. Check it out for yourself and armed with our handy tips, you can start to see it not just as a booking engine, but as a business generation tool.

* All of the above ideas have been generated by Dmbook Pro, solely for the purpose of helping hotel businesses to see the broader of Airbnb as a potential source of additional revenue opportunities. However, before implementing any of these ideas, please first refer to legal regulations in your country / city and carefully check Airbnb Terms and Conditions.

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