Cherise Tolbert is the Community Curator for Free Products for Hosts, a new community for AirBnB and other vacation rental website superhosts. Cherise specializes in social media and communications and has a master’s from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She is also a well published blogger who writes on various topics.
Hosts are often a disparate community of individuals making it work as best as they can for their own listing. There is no true central space for hosts to gather information or share ideas. As the sharing economy has taken hold, so has a whole new marketplace surrounding the host economy driven by hosts’ need for support. Here are three trends to consider trying to up your game, or get more support!
Companies now see hosts as a viable market sector
The buying power of hosts and their guests is easily imagined, with hundreds of thousands of properties listed on Airbnb in the United States alone. “Airbnb has spent $23.5 million on advertisement in the U.S.,” which indicates the high value of the vacation rental business. This submarket has companies looking for niche opportunities to connect with hosts and their guests.
The types of businesses springing up include everything from interior design services helping hosts beautify their spaces to free products for hosts which enables hosts to test out products for free and gives companies a unique venue to get their products in front of a targeted market. Most are focused on providing a service that will enable hosts to up their guest ratings which is linked to higher profits.
Outsourcing, outsourcing, outsourcing
Gone are the days where you need to spend your Sunday afternoon on your knees, scrubbing the bathroom in your vacation rental. Now there are services that will clean your rental space, individuals who will do all the focused communication needed with your guests or completely manage your property in general. Software that can manage your booking prices, and much more. A study found that people who are happiest spend their money on experiences or services that can save time – why not test out the waters and save your knees in the process?
Social communities are a valuable tool
Most hosts just use a website to list their space and do their own thing. There are real benefits to joining a community. You can ask questions, bounce ideas off other hosts, and get support. Communities can be local, but can also be regional or national, and can offer so much to someone in a groundbreaking marketplace.
Trade associations for the vacation rental industry are one type of community starting to fill that gap. Groups now offer conferences and events, online communities, and resource pools, and much more. Social media has also proven to be a valuable resource. Facebook pages and groups have thousands of hosts who participate in conversations.
Questions about what to do about a disrespectful guest are not uncommon, while experienced hosts and influencers offer insights and ideas regularly. You can find these groups by searching for key terms like “vacation rental” or “Airbnb” within any social media outlet.