Airbnb with a new twist
Guest author : Kirsty Fanton
With many property owners still coming to terms with the whole Airbnb idea, Airbnb is continuing down the path of innovation, right into the land of business accommodation.
Business travel is the new trend in the land of Airbnb. It’s a market the company has been working hard to crack and, just last month, they brokered a deal with three major travel management companies. The deal will make it just as easy for businesses to book their employees into Airbnb properties as it is to book them into hotels. It’s a game changer.
The US will be the first to profit from the new partnerships but here, in Australia, we will start to see the benefits before the year’s end. This means that now is the best time to get yourself and your listing business travel ready.
“Ok, sure” you say, looking around your home and wondering what exactly it is you need to be doing. “I can leave my old briefcase out for guests and place a calculator on my coffee table.” Look, we admire your lateral thinking – and there might be an eccentric mathematician who would get great joy out of staying in your newly purposed property – but these touches are not quite what your guests will be after.
Because most business travelers will search through Airbnb’s dedicated business travel channel, your end game for appealing to this demographic is getting a little blue briefcase badge on your listing. Like its friend the Superhost badge, this icon is earned if your property meets certain criteria. Let’s take a look at how this can be achieved.
This is a simple yay or nay and one which is dictated by the type of property you have on offer. ‘Business Travel Ready’ listings must be an entire home or apartment, not a room or shared space. If you rent out the former, move along to criterion 2.
Pets and cigarettes are a no-no. Sorry friends, but until Rover stops smoking, this is one badge you can’t earn. If you do have a pet but it’s never around when your place is booked, it is still possible to be certified business ready: you just need to be upfront with your guests that there is usually a dog/cat/penguin in your dwelling and make sure everything is thoroughly cleaned before their arrival.
Amenities are very important for business travelers, as they need to look presentable when they turn up to meetings or seminars and may also need to churn out some work from their place of stay. As such, you need to have all of the below on offer:
- Wireless Internet
- A laptop-friendly workspace
- 24-hour check-in (this could be a lockbox, doorman, keyless entry or similar round the clock access)
- A smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector, both of which you can get for free from the safety conscious folks at Airbnb
- Essentials, such as toilet paper, clean towels and fresh linen
- An iron
- Clothes hangers
- A hair dryer
- Shampoo (we suggest you go the extra mile and leave conditioner too. Your guests will be at least 68% happier with shiny hair.)
As you can see, most of these are things you probably already have and Kayla takes care of items 3, 5 and 9. Easy peasy: criterion met.
As always, reviews and response rates play a pivotal role in securing the tick of approval. You need to have at least three reviews and 60% of them need to be five star. As for response rates, you need to have responded to 90% of booking requests within 24 hours. Both these measures need to be met each year. This may seem like a lot but if you already have Superhost status, this box is easily ticked.
If you cancel a reservation (something which is best avoided where possible), this always needs to be done more than seven days out from check-in. If you cancel within the seven day time frame, Airbnb gives you detention in the form of rendering you ineligible for the little briefcase for the next 12 months. You best play by the book.
That’s it. Five criteria, one briefcase and exposure to hundreds more guests each year. As we mentioned earlier, business travel through Airbnb is likely to explode in the next couple of months so now’s the time to get your ducks in a row so you’re the pick of the bunch when companies come looking.
Kayla provides management services for Airbnb. We make it easier for hosts to provide their guests with the ultimate hospitality experience. Being hosts ourselves we know that Airbnb isn’t about sharing properties – it’s about sharing homes. What’s the difference? Care. That’s what we do. It’s more than cleaning properties in between guests – it’s caring for it with an attention to detail that makes guests feel like they’re coming home. We know your homes are special, so let them be cared for by Kayla. Contact us at www.kayla.com.au.