We are extending the airbnb community we’re building up here and will be having weekly Host Posts. These are blogs written for our site by hosts who use Airbnb.
To kick start this new part of the site we would like to introduce Mike and Ammanda who have a stunning property in Bali. We most definitely have this place on our Wish List. So, over to Mike..
“We bought a small guesthouse on the north coast of Bali in January 2011. The place was already up and running, but had never been marketed in any significant way. The first few months we had almost no guests. We are also located outside of the main tourist areas which is good for guests looking for some peace and quiet, but doesn’t help people to stumble across our place.
So we turned to the internet to promote our place. We joined several hotel and hostel booking websites. I also came across Airbnb while listening to a podcast on business startups, so immediately joined the site and at first just put up one of our four rooms. We have since added all of our four guest rooms to Airbnb and have built up a solid number of reviews.
Airbnb is fairly responsive to any issues you have with the site. They have employed a couple of support people in Hong Kong, who are probably going to support hosts and guests and hosts in the region. They called us once which was good to speak directly to someone from Airbnb, but they haven’t been as responsive in the questions I have sent by email.
As I already mentioned we use several booking websites and all of them bring in slightly different types of guests. Airbnb guests are definitely social media savvy, value conscious and we seem to get a higher number of people who have specific dietry requirments from Airbnb. Some guests also find our rooms searching in Google and had never even heard of Airbnb before. So I would suggest
using keywords in your title and description
that people would use to search for when looking for accommodation in your area.
I have written a short description of our place in the first paragraph for people who are busy and can decide quickly if our place is for them and then a longer description as some people like to know every detail about your place. I have tried to include all of the most commonly asked questions we get in the description. Answering questions as quickly as possible should result in a higher chance of getting a booking.
I think it is also important to make your description as accurate as possible to avoid any kind of misunderstanding later on, particularly with regards to your location. Include distance and travel time to major transport hubs like train stations and airports.
I can honestly say Airbnb payment system is one of the best on the internet. Our hosting experience has been overwhelmingly positive and we have had only one guest who cut their stay short. Many people have actually extended their stay and some guests we keep in contact by email. While the focus for Airbnb seems to be for people renting out their spare room, I think the site can work excellent for small hotels and accommodation providers.
Thanks for your time to write Mike, some great pointers there and much appreciated. Wishing you continued success with airbnb hosting.
Here is a link to Mike and Ammanda’s Profile: www.airbnb.com/m&aBali
Thanks for reading,
Phil and Fiona