When it comes to hosting your home or a room on Airbnb there is a lot to consider. You must look at everything from insurance to getting your listing perfect but where we come in is helping you create the perfectly stylish and practical home that guest want to stay in. In this article, we will take you room by room and show you how to make it appeal to potential guests in order to maximise your enquiries and allow you to raise your prices.
How do you create a home that will appeal to everyone?
It sounds cliché and you have probably heard it a thousand times before but the answer is that less is more. It is not the only answer, but it is one of the easiest to pull off. It allows you to cast your net far and wide and appeal to the most people. The issue with the minimalist approach, however, is that whilst it will probably be liked by the most people, few people will truly love it – it lacks something special meaning you will have to compete in other areas such as price to secure more guests. This is the biggest problem Airbnb hosts have to try to answer, “how do you create a home that will appeal to such a wide and diverse audience?” when the reality is you don’t because it rarely works unless you have great prices or something else which separates you from the competition.
The alternative, and far better solution, is to narrow your appeal to a more specific audience and secure a larger portion of the smaller audience. This is generally a better idea as it helps you dictate the type of guests you will get. This allows you to charge more as you are catering to their needs and preferences and will (if your hosting is to standard) lead to more recurring guests. The first step is to pick your ideal audience.
There are so many possible types of guests you could focus on; business travellers, tourists, families, back-packers and more. Maybe you want to appeal to a certain age group or maybe your home town already attracts a particular type of visitor.
Do you have an audience in mind? Okay, here is our recommendations on how to attract those kinds of people, starting with the bedroom(s):
As discussed above creating a bedroom (and home) that many people would like to stay in is relatively easy but the trick is creating a bedroom that people will love.
When it comes to Airbnb the bedroom is one of the most important rooms. The kitchen will be important as always, as will the bathroom but when seeking a place to stay on Airbnb potential guest are typically looking for one thing – a place to lay their head at night. A comfy bed in a cosy bedroom is going to be one of the most crucial elements in attracting guests but how do you create a bedroom that your guests will love?
A comfortable and sturdy bed is a must but there is much more to a great bedroom than the bed, namely storage, sitting space, a mirror and décor with appropriate personality.
Sufficient storage is essential, even if you are looking to attract travelling businesspeople who will be staying with you for a single night or budget-warey backpackers. There is still an expectation for you to provide drawers and a wardrobe – too much storage space is better than not enough. When deciding the storage space, you will need to consider your target audience; a family of tourists are going to need more space than an individual, whilst gap-year students who are travelling abroad are probably going to want to pay as little as possible, so giving them more than they need and trying to charge them for it is unlikely to go down well.
No matter who your guests are if they are expecting adequate storage, you can’t just provide any wardrobe or drawers, they should ideally be congruent with each other and in tip-top shape. If your drawers and wardrobe have seen better days however, there is no need to break the bank buying new ones. Finding replacement wardrobe doors or tending to them with some polish will often be enough to bring them up to par.
Much like a hotel despite the many facilities available guests will commonly frequent in their bedroom, as such the bedroom should preferably also offer some seating. A desk and chair in the bedroom offers the option for people to comfortably work and read in the privacy of their own room and the desk can double as a makeshift dresser if necessary. Finally, a full-length mirror is a detail that will be worth introducing for most audiences (but not all) so think about the target market you are trying to appeal to if a mirror will be of use to them make the effort to add one to your bedroom(s).
Will your guests even need to use the lounge? Is the lounge part of your offer or are you simply offering a bed for the night? Yet more questions but important questions that need answering.
Whether the lounge is part of your guests experience or not it still needs to look good. Your guests will undoubtedly see it and it will play a role in helping them form an opinion of you and your home. However, if you are aiming to attract overnight guests rather than invite families into your home for a week at a time you will have some more freedom when it comes to your lounge.
A lounge in most homes is personal, filled with pictures of family and pets but when you are welcoming guests into your home you should look to move away from personal. The key to creating a great experience for your guests is to make them feel welcome and not like they are intruding into someone else’s life and home. Swapping personal pictures for paintings (ideally related to the type of guests you are providing for) is a good place to start.
Besides the décor, guests will seek good furniture, nothing too lavish – just something that is practical, comfortable, and stylish. Another aspect of the lounge to consider is the technology. Are you offering an escape from the busy city for people seeking a digital-detox? Great, no need for the TV but if this clashes with your own lifestyle then maybe you should rethink your audience. It’s true, they don’t have to watch Tv just because it’s there but providing the temptation seems counterintuitive. Alternatively, if you sell yourself as having “all the mod-cons” and tech then you should check your interpretation of those words is aligned with your guests.
Firstly, regardless of your target audience your kitchen should be coherent – one constant design demonstrated throughout. There are few times this rule should be broken, aside from homes with a whimsical theme throughout a kitchen should point in one clear direction and not stray too far away from it.
Secondly, the quality must be implicit in every detail, no matter how big or small they may be. Kitchen worktops should be undeniably high quality as should your kitchen cabinets, drawers and even handles. Little details such as small chips in cabinets and peeling paint can reflect poorly on yourself as well as your home leaving a negative impression regardless of how great your home may be in reality. Thankfully replacement kitchen cabinet doors and replacement kitchen worktops are all readily available and you can further enhance the appearance of your kitchen with ease with new kitchen draw handles and knobs.
Finally, from a practical stand point your kitchen must meet your guests needs. Having all the essential white goods is a must for many people. Think back to the target audience you are wanting to host for, consider their requirements regarding the use of the kitchen and strive to be at least one step ahead of their expectations. Will your guests require tea and coffee making facilities? If so, will they simply need a kettle or is an instant coffee machine a better option? Try to get into the mind of your guests and answer these questions because the better their experience is the better your reviews are, and reviews play a crucial role in attracting new guest through Airbnb.
When it comes to the bathroom think of nice hotels, raise the standard slightly then aim for that. Crisp and clean is the feel you want to achieve. Keep the products you openly display to a minimum offering only essentials to avoid the space looking crowded or clumsily put together and put other items in an accessible drawer or basket. Make sure your lighting is sharp, add a mirror to create a more spacious looking room and viola you have an incredible bathroom your guests will love. keeping your target audience in mind you may wish to add a picture, wallpaper accordingly or add a potted plant to brighten the room further to maximise its appeal.
Now you have the knowledge to create a first-class Airbnb home. Follow these guidelines and if your hosting is only half as good as your home you will still be looking at some very happy guests and extremely impressive reviews.