Business travellers represent a large and growing segment of the short-term rental market. Rather than staying in hotels or motels, more people travelling for work purposes are choosing to embrace the sharing economy. Airbnb continues to disrupt traditional accommodation markets by offering guests a range of benefits that can’t be matched by other providers. Not only can business travellers save money, but they can also experience better quality accommodation in a more personal and flexible package. Let’s take a look at how you can target more business travellers to your Airbnb property.
Focus on your target
Whom are you trying to reach out to? Why do people travel to your destination? Does your listing speak to a particular demographic? Rather than trying to offer something for everyone, hosts can increase their appeal by focusing on specific segments of the market. There are many ways to do this, from focusing on particular industries through to appealing to the particular needs and expectations of business travellers. What can you offer professional travellers? How can you make their stay more comfortable and more productive?
While you don’t have to filter out all other market segments, you can create dedicated lists and details that appeal to the professional community. For example, you can list relevant commercial neighbourhoods, transportation options, and places that offer a quick and friendly meal. Business travellers don’t have much time to spare, with accurate and up-to-date information that speaks to them directly worth its weight in gold. Along with doing your homework and honing in on particular demographics, you can also ask potential guests about their industry when they inquire.
Take advantage of Airbnb for Work
The business market has opened up for Airbnb over the last few years, thanks mostly to increased exposure and acceptance of the sharing economy. Airbnb has helped to accelerate this disruption through the introduction of new initiatives which target the corporate travel market. Airbnb for Work expanded across three areas in late 2018; Airbnb for team-building group experiences, Homes on Airbnb for meetings and work holidays, and a range of new options to help people relocate for work. As an Airbnb host, you can take advantage of these features by mentioning them or integrating them into your listing.
Airbnb Group Experiences allow guests to plan and book some team-building events, with this new feature already available in over 800 markets around the world. By integrating this feature and helping your guests make reservations, you can attract more professional travellers and give yourself a significant edge over the competition. Homes on Airbnb is another powerful way to add value, with individual hosts able to sign up to this service and offer their property for offsite work events, meetings, and business holidays. Attending to the needs of the relocation market is another hot tip, with people needing short-term accommodation while they find a long-term lease.
Location is everything
When it comes to real estate, location is everything. Airbnb listings succeed or fail on their location alone, with a central and convenient location trumping pretty much everything else when it comes to marketing your property. This is especially true for business travellers, who often don’t have the time or energy to go on long walks or wait patiently at the bus stop. If you’re in a good location, it’s essential to do everything you can to highlight this fact. How far away is the local train station? How much is an Uber to the CBD?
If you’re not in the ideal location, there are ways, to be honest, and highlight your advantages without compromising your listing. Speak directly to your target market and offer them a practical solution based on clear and up-to-date advice. While some business travellers will want to be extremely close to the action, others will be happy with a longer commute time if they have accurate information and advice. Provide people with a map to local transportation hubs, inform them of the best route into town, and make things as easy as you possibly can.
Amenities and infrastructure
If location is the most important consideration for a business traveller, then amenities are a close second. What assets do you have that can make life easier for your guests? While everyone loves to have access to amenities, stressed and busy business travellers will be especially thankful for the extras. Investing in a few appliances can make a world of difference, as long as you remember to highlight them in your listing.
While TV and free WiFi are pretty much standard these days, there are lots of other ways you can add value and stand out from the competition. Whether it’s free parking, a coffee machine, a work desk, or a printer, try to see your property through the eyes of your target market and create an environment that’s both convenient and thoughtful.
Value and incentives
Just like everyone else, the business end of the travel market is concerned with value and incentives. One of the main reasons why Airbnb has become so popular with this segment of the market is down to savings. When pricing your listing, it’s important to be aware of the competition, not just on Airbnb but also traditional options such as hotels and motels.
While competing on price alone is not always a good thing; making your rental cheaper is a quick and easy way to increase its popularity. When targeting business travellers, it can be useful for offering long-term incentives or weekday specials so that you can still host families and other travellers on the weekends.
Communication and support
Other than cost savings, Airbnb is unique in the way it connects people. Rather than a soulless hotel or motel experience, more and more business travellers are looking for an authentic accommodation option where they can feel more like a local. Communication and flexibility are central to every good Airbnb relationship, so take some time to respond quickly and carefully to all of your enquiries.
Be honest in your listing, friendly in your conversation, and flexible regarding things like leaving keys and check-out times. While it’s important not to be overbearing, it’s also crucial to be available during your guest’s stay and offer support if needed. By focusing on the needs of your target market and seeing your property through their eyes, you can create an authentic and inspiring experience that will be impossible not to love.