Archives June 2019

Airbnb Adventures serves as a strong reminder of the art of service in the hospitality industry

Recently Airbnb announced the newest branch of their brand, Airbnb Adventures.

Airbnb Adventures basically will incorporate the idea of travel guides and travel agents into the Airbnb experience. According to the article, it “is a new collection of bucket list worthy multi-day experiences hosted by local experts that take intimate groups to epic, off-the-beaten-path locations and immerses them in unique cultures and communities.” It will allow travelers to have unique travel experiences without having to do all of the planning legwork themselves.

I’m really excited about it. Although I doubt I will ever personally use it – I prefer to forge my own path when I travel – but I can see how it could be really valuable for some guests. So many people want to enjoy the thrill of travel, without slogging through all the work. I think Airbnb Adventures will fill that gap in a way that Airbnb Experiences never could.

But as I was reading more about the program and how it will work, it got me thinking.

Of course I don’t expect all Airbnb hosts to instantly become travel agents for their guests. For the vast majority of hosts, either not a goal or simply not feasible for whatever reason.

And yet, there are things we can learn from this new program about how to be a better host.

The heart of Adventures, as I see it, is giving guests something unique that they want, but can’t get for themselves.

Isn’t that the heart of hosting, too?

So many people are just in the business these days for the money. And money is great, but at the end of the day this is a hospitality business. If you don’t care about your guests, if you’re not doing your best to think deeply about their needs and how you can meet them, then really, what’s the point? Why are you even doing this?

In my experience hosting is the best experience by far for all parties involved when the host tries to anticipate their guests’ needs before they come up. You end up with happy guests who leave glowing reviews and don’t bother their host with lots of requests during their stay. It’s really the best of both worlds.

The heart of hospitality really is service, plain and simple. Do that, and you’re well on your way to roaring success.

So let me ask you. What are you doing to serve your guests these days?

How to manage your cleanings like a pro

Ah, cleanings. The bane of most short-term rental managers’ existence.

Managers deal with a lot of things – from nightmare guests, to demanding clients, to unhelpful bookings channels, and everything in between. But I have found that one of the most consistency frustrating and difficult problems is cleaning.

How do you make sure that your property is getting cleaned to the same standard of cleanliness every time – no matter who is doing the cleaning? How do you communicate all those new cleanings with your cleaners without pulling your hair out, or wracking your brains to remember if you’ve already scheduled tomorrow’s cleaning or not?

One word. TurnoverBNB.

(I know you could probably argue that that’s not actually 1 word…but whatever, that’s beside the point.)

TurnoverBNB is a great little app that I used to manage all of my cleanings. There are other apps out there that are slicker and prettier (Properly is the main one that comes to mind). But Turnover gets the job done…and it’s free. Why pay extra money when you don’t have to?

TurnoverBNB lets you smoothly and seamlessly manage multiple cleaners, properties, and bookings. You simply sync up your calendar into their system, and they will automatically create cleaning jobs whenever a new booking is made. You can even restrict certain properties to certain cleaners.

It’s a game-changer! Once it’s set up, you’ll never have to worry about scheduling a cleaner again.

Try it out today at Turnoverbnb.com.

What tricks do you have to manage your cleanings effectively? Let me know in the comments below!

How to stay motivated when you want to quit

If you’ve been hosting for any amount of time, you’ve probably experienced a period when you wanted to quit.

Whether it’s a nightmare party, needy guest, or just a day you don’t want to clean, it’s impossible to work in this industry without getting tired and worn out sometimes.

Personally, I love hosting. I host parties in my home 2 or 3 times a month, and I have Airbnb guests staying with me probably at least half of the year, every year. But even I have days when I want to throw in the towel.

I’ve found a simple trick to help keep me going.

I put a guestbook in the rooms for people to sign.

It’s not compulsory, and many people don’t write anything in it. But the ones who do…those messages warm my heart every time I read them. They’re full of heartfelt thank-yous, reminiscences of great memories, and exclamation points. So many exclamation points.

This guest book has become a great solace to me on those days when I want to dive into a hole and just give up.

I’ll curl up on my couch with a big fuzzy blanket and just read the thank yous from all the wonderful people who have stayed in our home. And it refreshes and encourages me like you wouldn’t believe.

If you don’t already have a guestbook in your Airbnb spaces, I encourage you to get one today. A simple lined travel journal will suffice.

What tips do you have to help you stay motivated when you want to quit? Let me know in the comments!

Why you need a direct booking site for your Airbnb – and how to build one in under 5 minutes!

In the years I’ve been hosting Airbnbs and other short-term rentals, I’ve come across various perspectives on the use of and need for a direct booking site. Many people don’t think it’s necessary, insisting that they can get plenty of business just by listing on Airbnb alone.

I’m sure they’re right – for now.

Remember when Facebook first started? When they were in their infancy, you could market to an enormous audience of people without paying anything at all – or at least very little.

Then Facebook pulled off the biggest bait-and-switch in the history of the world, and now people have to spend big bucks for the privilege of marketing to their audiences on Facebook.

Airbnb is the same thing.

If you’re putting all of your eggs in 1 basket by assuming you’ll be able to continue getting consistent bookings from Airbnb alone, you’re being naive and setting yourself up for failure.

Perhaps you’re right, and nothing will change for many years.

But perhaps you’re wrong.

Maybe so many people will start hosting that the market will be flooded. Maybe Airbnb will only accept Plus hosts. Perhaps they won’t accept any new hosts at all. Maybe they’ll start charging a huge fee to list with them. Maybe they’ll get regulated out of existence.

My point here is not to scare you with the unknowns. It’s to emphasize that you don’t know what the future holds, and you need to be prepared for whatever it brings.

That’s why I’m adamant that every host who’s serious about making money through short-term rentals should have their own direct booking website.

What is that exactly?

Put simply, it’s a website where guests can book with you directly, without having to find you through a 3rd party website like Airbnb.

Many people find themselves intimidated by a direct booking site. They think that they either need to spend lots of time building a site from scratch, or spend lots of money every month for a plug-and-play service to host their site for them.

Neither of those is true.

I use a service that will allow me to set up a fully functioning, professional looking direct booking site in less than 5 minutes.

It also happens to be the tool I’m already paying for to send automated messages and a host of other things, so it doesn’t cost me anything extra.

(And if you wanted to use it just for the direct booking site, it’s cheap enough that it would still be totally worth it!)

It’s called Your Porter, and in my opinion it’s the best thing on the short-term rental market since sliced bread.

Sign up here to get $20 on me!

Not sure how it works? Click here to get a totally free mini course on how to set up the main Your Porter features (including a direct booking site!).

Almost done!Just tell me where to send all your goodies 🙂