As we enter Q1, it’s the perfect time to see what worked for our Airbnb business, and what didn’t.
Phew! The busy holiday season has come and gone. Now–who’s excited about tax season!?
Well, before we head into the new year with childlike enthusiasm let’s take time to reflect. Our most recent ponderings are what we’ve learned from hosting on the holidays. Here are a few things we are going to carry into 2018 and a few mistakes we’re going to try to forget.
1. What Happened to Slow Season?
Here in Chicago, we work hard to keep bookings coming with the negative degree wind chills in full force. While the holidays may have been slower for us in the north, this won’t be the case everywhere. Our friends in Florida made the mistake of kicking their feet up. Understanding your local market’s ebb and flow will help you stay on your toes and to remain prepared to be the best Airbnb host, even on Christmas eve. Hosting on the holiday’s will run smoothly if you know what to expect.
2. When in Doubt, Bring Wine
Airbnb hosting on the holidays can be as festive as it is stressful. On top of taking care of your visiting in-laws, you have to make sure your downtown condo is prepped for the arrival of your Airbnb guests. You know it’s all worth it because you can wind down with a glass of Rose’ at the end of the night. Why not leave the same favor at your Airbnb? If you’re not sure of the reason for their visit, or if they even celebrate the same holidays as you, leave wine as part of your welcome. After a long flight, many Airbnb guests have messaged me right away thanking me for their adult grape juice.
3. Be in Town (or Hire Someone)
“Wait, you’re not even here?”. You never want your guests to feel stranded if there is an issue at your Airbnb. MOST things can be resolved via a phone call, but sometimes that’s just not good enough. Avoid your next feature in Airbnb Hell and be in town if you’re going to host on the holidays. If you’re not, hire a reliable hosting service to take care of everything while you’re away. The holidays may be a magical time but never leave your business in the hands of fate!
4. Some Guests are Away From Family
Since 2014, over 50% of Americans work during the holiday. The economic reasoning behind this is obvious, but nothing can make it easy to be away from family during the celebratory season. As Airbnb hosts, we are in the business of hospitality, but it doesn’t usually involve having guests in our own homes. Consider making an exception. For guests who are staying at your Airbnb for a business trip or reasons that pull them away from their home– leave a note inviting them to join you and yours for Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years dinner. If you’re not comfortable with this, simply ask if they’d like some company that evening.
If all your attempts to take that extra step to comfort your lonely Airbnb guests are to no avail, double down on tip #2.
5. Prepare for Additional Guests
On the contrary to the lone holiday traveler, when hosting on the holidays prepare for your Airbnb guest to have additional guests for a holiday gathering. Be one step ahead and ask if they are planning to have such get-togethers and if any additional guests will be joining their stay. Overall, be gracious and welcoming.
We learned quite a bit from hosting on the holiday’s and continue to strive to make our guest experience better than the last. How did you connect with your guest this season? We’d love to hear your holiday hosting stories. Cheers!
Author: Amina Grace