When we started out with Airbnb if we were asked by some one for a link to our apartment we would have to give them something like www.Airbnb.com/rooms/12345. Which was fine of course but we wanted something more precise for the prospective guest! So I put together a basic website site with our rooms. Then as we grew a bit I tried to keep up with getting everything loaded on the website but due to lack of time it quickly became outdated and not some thing we were proud of of promoting.
I was, for example trying to find plugins to make things work better. We wanted to not only showcase our apartments, but also have additional information for our guests. All in all by Christmas the site was a train wreck and as were sending our guests links to this site for their directions, the site urgently needed improvement.
In January I got and email from the guys at Lodgify. I’d never heard of them, but after doing some research I discovered that they were one of the many new start ups that happened due to the success of Airbnb. They enable the small guys like us to build impressive user friendly sites to help better serve our guest…. Hey, anything that makes our lives easier is a win in our book.
Why do you need a web site when you have your listing on Airbnb? Well you don’t, its not essential, but its a great way to get information to your guest and show that your a pro and they’ll be well looked after.
Okay, so this is us www.PhilonaRooms.Com. Now for all intents and purposes this is a portal site where we can take bookings and sell our rooms direct to prospective guests. In fact we’ve had quite a few bookings out of the blue from guests who found us through the interweb 🙂 Although for us we’re not concentrating on the portal side as Airbnb are keeping our occupancy levels up.
If you’re not happy taking direct bookings then you can simply link back to your Airbnb listing.
So the site is still in its infancy and we’ve great plans to grow it further for our guests.
The back end system is a breeze to use. It makes everything simple. From loading a listing to linking pages everything works a charm. When a guest books with Airbnb, we send them a link to the directions for their apartment which is on our site. Once they click there (we hope) they will have a look around. We’re working on a Barcelona guide at the moment, which will give our guests the information on the restaurants we have found out about, the hidden gems of Barcelona. Along with any helpful hints and tips to help them during their stay.
There are a few template designs to choose from and even if you just have one listing you can create a stunning looking website in a short time. All you need is some high resolution images, some content and a few hours of your time. You don’t even need your own URL, you can use and extension form the www.lodgify.com/YouListingName, although buying your own domain is best.
Within lodgify there is also a channel manager. So if you are not using just Airbnb, you can manage your rates and availability on all your portals through this channel manager and make life a little easier for yourself.
At 9 bucks per month, it is truly affordable and in no time you’ll be able to spoil your guest with an amazing site they can browse and get them more excited about their Airbnb booked trip to you.
There are still a lot of cool features in the pipe line and with the guys being winners of Seedcamp London in February, I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more from this Barcelona Start up in coming months.
So you now have your next weekend project, go build yourself a web site 🙂
Once you have you site finished please do share it in the comments below.