When it comes down to it, the ‘threat’ of home-sharing businesses such as Airbnb is not universally the same to every hotel. Depending on location, size, and brand some hotels won’t feel a ripple, some will be more concerned, while others may actually see it as another opportunity to broaden their hotel’s online distribution.
Whether you’re oblivious to the home rentals market, concerned by it, or eager to connect with it, there are some key learnings to be found in why it’s so successful and how your property can achieve the same level of enthusiasm among your hotel guests.
Your hotel cannot afford to be generic
The very nature of home sharing means guests are staying in unique properties such as vacation homes and each will appeal to its own niche market.
An experience is something modern guests crave more than anything and home sharing is perfectly aligned with this notion. The rooms sold on Airbnb have been created for this very purpose; to engage a human desire for comfort, style, and stimulation – regardless of whether that’s for a business trip or a family vacation.
To mirror this hotels need to focus on a core, unique, offering for travellers. You can’t win over every market but you should think about what your hotel has that other properties don’t, then build and expand your messaging around that. For example, maybe it’s your stunning architecture, one-of-a-kind views, themed hotel rooms, or vintage bar.
Once your hotel establishes its values, it needs to win them
One more advantage that guests speak about when enjoying homes experiences and places is the flexibility. Complaints around hotels often centre on the rigidness of the stay, fine print, and false advertising.
Consistently delivering on service quality and guarantees will go a long way to keeping travellers on side at your hotel. If your brand is synonymous with being the cleanest, most comfortable place to stay, travellers will depend on this expectation to be fulfilled.
Vacation rental services can’t always guarantee a consistent level of customer service that is typically seen in the hospitality industry. In some scenarios travellers staying at Airbnb properties can spend a lot of time waiting for their host, being shown around, having everything explained to them, requesting help or maintenance, trying to contact their host etc. It isn’t always the most seamless or convenient experience because usually there are no staff – only homeowners.
There are still a lot of guests who enjoy the simple pleasures of a clean, comfortable hotel with friendly and helpful staff to attend to every need. Furthermore, things like strong water pressure and quality wifi are essentials guests require, but aren’t always given at home-sharing properties. At the very least if your hotel can deliver on this time after time and play to its strengths, you should have no problems securing bookings.
Your hotel needs to promote local services
One major benefit a guest receives when purchasing a stay in a short or long-term rental is immersement in their destination’s locale. From the second they ‘check-in’ they’re among the local community and their host will be best placed to offer great advice on local experiences and attractions.
Here are a few reasons why creating a connection to the local area is a good idea:
- Guests look to their hosts to be their guide so use content on your website to recommend local hotspots such as amusement parks
- Farm to table is a strong food and beverage trend and particularly accessible in home-sharing accommodations. Your hotel can also create localised menus and incorporate local seasonal produce into their menus.
- Implementing local design into your hotel will create a more harmonious experience for guests and also strengthen your storytelling to win over guests.
- Become your own hotspot by allowing local neighbours into your hotel. Think about inviting local chefs to give cooking classes or artists to show their work.
- Grounding your hotel in the local area and making sure your promote this on your website will assure guests they’ll be receiving the authentic, unique experience they were looking for.
When it comes to matching home sharing services, prioritise the needs of your guest and stick to your strengths. If you can give travellers the grounded, authentic, and unique experience but with better on-site services and features, you’ll be able to compete for your slice of the disposable income pie.
In fact, now that Airbnb is hosting hotels on its platform, you may even be able to use it as a distribution channel to win more bookings. Click here to find out if your property qualifies and for more information.