As the entire hospitality industry continues to suffer through the COVID-19 pandemic, a bright spot is emerging in the markets for short-term rentals like Airbnb over traditional hotels. With stay-at-home orders and social distancing suffocating travel, a shift to accommodations requiring less public contact and added kitchen amenities is underway.
According to a recent white paper from STR and AirDNA, we see a recovery in the hotel-comparable (HC) rentals at almost twice that of hotels. Also, while the average daily rate (ADR) is down roughly 50% in hotels, the ADR for HC rentals fell only about 10%.
A driving force in these numbers is the lack of business and group travel. With a vaccine on the near horizon, it's incumbent on us asAirbnb Hosts to capitalize on the shift towards their product. The early stages of returning to business travel will most likely continue trending in theAirbnb direction. Now is the time to ask ourselves, "How do we keep those travelers coming back?"
raising the standard
If we want travelers to continue using Airbnb, we need to consider maintaining a standard similar to a hotel. Our rentals should be more like the accommodations travelers are accustomed to when staying at a hotel and less like they're staying in someone's vacation home.
When was the last time you stayed in a place that looked like your grandmother's house? You sleep on a lumpy mattress covered with mismatched sheets and a floral collage bedspread. The only outlet available requires moving furniture to access it, and you need to unplug the lamp for your phone to charge. The TV is twenty-years-old, gets basic cable, and the remote is crusty. You find some old sweaters and used books before coming across a raggedy afghan in the search for an extra blanket.
Now let's compare a bedroom with modern furniture and a quality mattress covered in triple sheeting with crisp professionally laundered linens.Your room is well-lit with a smart TV and has a power station on the nightstand. In the closet, you find matching hangers and a freshly laundered extra blanket.
Which bedroom would a traveler decide was worthy of a return visit?
The top complaint in the lodging industry is bathroom cleanliness. Dated fixtures and worn out linens present a less than hygienic appearance. Mismatched towels give the impression that they're old, used, and laundered in the home. Then there is the cluttered countertop covered with off-brand accessories sitting beside a hairdryer that's seen better days. The bathroom may be clean, but guests will think it's not.
What if a guest walked into a bathroom with matching, commercially laundered towels, bath mat, and shower curtains? They see branded bath products, fresh rolls of toilet paper, and a clean seal across the toilet seat. Even if the fixtures are a bit dated, the bathroom appears spotless.
A clean bathroom may go unnoticed, but a dirty bathroom ensures a guest will not return.
While a kitchen may not be necessary once restrictions are eased, having a place for guests to prepare meals remains an attractive option for travelers. Today, more guests than ever are deciding to cook instead of going out for an expensive dinner.
The most common mistake in the kitchen of an Airbnb is the use of old equipment. Rentals become the dumping ground for used appliances, cookware, flatware, glasses, and place settings. The kitchen is another area where old appliances and mismatched cookware give the impression of uncleanliness.
While updating major appliances like the stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher are expensive, having a coffee maker with coffee, tea, and cream& sugar options is a must. Matching, clean, organized glassware and dishes produce an effect of neatness in the eyes of your guests. Professionally laundered kitchen towels are the finishing touches to a guest's kitchen experience.
Clutter is the biggest obstacle in most Airbnb living areas.Often the furniture is a mix of items pieced together from other locations. The sofa is too big for the room and a different style from the additional seating and tables. Many Airbnb living areas also tend to have an excess of accessories and decor.
In this area, the TV is the selling point. A large screen, smartTV with streaming options is what guests want. It's a plus if there's comfortable seating with the right viewing angle. An old TV makes everything in the room look old.
Often, Airbnb rentals have sleeper sofas to accommodate families or extra guests. This bed may not be the most comfortable in the house. Still, at least it should have the same level of professionally serviced and packaged linens available.
Having a great place to relax without sitting on a bed is a significant plus when comparing a hotel room to an Airbnb.
the washbnb advantage
Did you notice a similarity in raising the standard of every room? Sure, you did! It's the linens.
If there's one change you should consider in an Airbnb, it's the move from mismatched, worn-out, home laundered linens to a commercial laundry service and linen supply company. This simple change can have guests shifting from the feel of staying at the in-laws to a luxury hotel-quality experience.
washbnb is a premier addition to any Airbnb cleaning services at a reasonable subscription price. Our regular laundry delivery service ensures that there’s always enough linens on hand to restock the closets and remake the beds. After every cleaning, just toss used linens into one of our provided bags, and we'll pick them up. It's that easy to provide professional linen services to all Airbnb guests.
keep guests coming back
COVID-19 may have left us wondering how we'll survive, but every crisis brings with it opportunity. Travelers are shifting to Airbnb for safety, convenience, and space. If we can offer hotel quality amenities like smart TVs, power stations, upgraded appliances, and luxury linens, guests will come back.
Travelers need to stay at an Airbnb right now. Let's make them want to stay in the future.