The world has been turned upside down with the onset of the Coronavirus outbreak. The one industry that has been hit the hardest by far is travel and tourism.
Airbnb hosts, in particular, have had to watch their calendars go from fully booked, to completely empty in just a matter of days.
So as a host, what can you do to turn this around?
Displaced tourists, hospital staff and locals returning home will need somewhere to isolate from their friends and families. All you need to do is market your Airbnb a little differently to adapt in this new climate and secure some good long-term bookings.
As the old saying goes, everyone needs a place to call home.
Advertise on your display photo
As expected, there will be a huge amount of supply in the Airbnb market with many homes now vacant. This means the search results will be flooded with hundreds of properties.
Now more than ever your listing needs to stand out. One way of doing this, is by adding an image or text on top of your display photo. You could add a Netflix icon, a Nespresso logo or even mention the house is fully sanitized and stocked with toilet paper.
Most of your inquiries will be long term with guests having to self-quarantine, so try to advertise to these specific type of guest. Give them entertainment and extras like a bottle of wine. Anything that will set you apart from the crowd.
For the best easy to use online photo editor, head over to Canva. Their software allows you to add icons, logos, text or banners to your photos while keeping them looking professional.
Be quarantine friendly in your title
As displaced people try to find a place to bunker down, giving them the green light to isolate at your place will improve your chances of getting booked.
In your title, you could mention that you are isolation friendly, or quarantine ready. You could say that you supply face masks or lots of toilet paper.
- Quarantine Ready Apt w/ Netflix & Extra Essentials
Isolation Friendly Retreat w/ Wine & Coffee Maker
Anything that shows a potential guest that you are happy to have them stay despite the pandemic and that you offer something extra. This will put them at ease and win you the booking.
Join Airbnb’s COVID-19’s first responders housing program
In selected countries, Airbnb has launched a program to help the first responders find somewhere to stay. These could be doctors, nurses, and health care workers.
Your property must be an entire listing and comply with strict cleaning protocols to be eligible for the program.
To opt-in, all you need to do is click the ‘offer your space’ link on the Airbnb page and then select which listing you would like to offer
Then Airbnb will pair you place with a first responder that is in need of somewhere to stay. You will be paid your normal rate with Airbnb waiving all fees to help keep costs down.
Advertise on Facebook marketplace
Every city around the world has a thriving Facebook marketplace where you can advertise all types of goods and services.
There is an entire section dedicated to rentals which is the perfect place to advertise your Airbnb. To find the market place, log onto Facebook and look for Marketplace in the left menu. Then simply create a listing by following the prompts, upload some photos of your place and then add the link to your listing in the description.
Include a 2-week discount
To really gear your listing toward isolation bookings, you should consider a weekly discount. As you are targeting guests that may need somewhere to quarantine. Advertising a 2-week discount is the ideal way to catch their attention.
To set up a 2-week discount, go to the listing you want to edit and then click pricing. Scroll down to length of stay discounts and click edit.
From here you can enter a discount for a week-long, month-long or custom stay. Once entered just hit save and then you’re done. Your listing will now show the discount and be a lot more enticing to potential guests.
Mention extra cleaning measures
There will be some guests that will be reluctant to book an Airbnb for fear of catching the virus. After all, they don’t know who has been in the property or if it has been cleaned properly.
To put their minds at ease you could add a paragraph about all the extra cleaning that is being carried out during this time.
Adding a photo of your cleaning products to your photo reel is another great way to show guests you are taking the pandemic seriously. In the photo caption, you could write that you are following the cleaning guidelines and will provide guests with a safe space.
For more information about how to clean and disinfect your Airbnb, head over to the CDC website for a detailed disinfection guide.
All of these small assurances can mean the difference between a full calendar or an empty one.