Yes. You heard that right. Here, I will explain why you should be a host on Bedforest, in the emergence of the sharing economy.
It’s every entrepreneur and startuper’s dream to be the first, like Coca-Cola (the first and arguably the best of its kind) or Kodak (the first and the best …before the digital era). But sometimes what it takes is to be Facebook (not the first but the best) and not Friendster (the first if one can remember what that is. MySpace what?) or Pepsi (not the first but arguably the best).
Or just be different.
These days, we face something that is unprecedented in human history. A new economic model where you can share everything and get paid for it. When was the last time things like that happened to you? It’s like my high school years where friends let me copy their dictates for a fee.
Two things take this model by the storm: ride-sharing and home-sharing–if something else pops up in your mind, you’re a perv–startups and that’s just the tip of the sharing-economy iceberg.
After AirBnB, one could ask, “Is there still a room for online booking startups?” Well, the answer to that question is represented by several booking services inspired by Airbnb in one way or another. That’s not including web services that came before. So, the answer is yes, there’s a room. Plenty of rooms, in fact. And given the bad reps it gained over the years, there’s going to be more room for others to jump into the market.
Airbnb is no Facebook. Unlike the social media, in which everyone is looking for the same thing, namely their 15 minutes of fame, or to be the witness of others’ 15 minutes of fame (and then share it), travel and vacation rental-related business is a huge market with a lot of niches so fragmented that even a unicorn can’t handle by itself from the start.
And then came the question, “What can I do in this new kind of economy?”
If you’re already in, it’s good for you. Utilizing different channels to market the properties you host is always a smart move. Like they said, don’t put your eggs in one basket.
1. The prospect of the earnings
In itself, this is enough as an incentive to be a host right away.
2. Unless you’re an overly shy, agoraphobic, anti-social person, meeting new people is going to excite you.
There’s no such thing as too many friends and acquaintances, and your guests have all the possibility to become one of yours.
3. To learn something new.
Your guests can be coming from different cultural background than yours.
4. The chance that you can do it in your home
Even the smallest house has an extra room that you can spare for hosting purpose. The guests these days don’t expect a five-star place nor services, sometimes, what they need it
5. It’s your way in to be involved in charity
You see, sharing economy is no longer a monopoly for the peer-to-peer businesses. It can be a way to benefit others, direct or indirectly. In turn, it can create a sustainable, mutual environment for all the parties involved. As such, it’s going to be a major economic wheel-turner for many local communities.
Now that you’re ready to host, Promote Your Place
Choose your OTA (online travel agent) or booking services wisely. For maximum exposure, you can always use several of them to promote the same property. That way, you won’t be running short of co-marketers to market your vacation rentals.
Make a Good Description
Create the most accurate descriptions of your place. It’s for informational sake and is always good for SEO.
What about the pricing?
Well, be fair. Remember, you’re in competition with tens, hundreds if not thousand others for every single guest prospect, so fair price is always a good idea. There’s always a direct/indirect price consensus in every area that you can use as a reference. Compare your price with other hosts’ in the same area in any given online booking services, and play with it a little bit. Overpricing your place is a big no no. Most of the OTA’s users will choose the cheapest one anyway. So, doing so will only act against your best interest, namely to get more bookings. Of course, don’t forget the basic income-expenditure ratio. If that ratio makes your place somewhat pricier, throw in some perks that can justify the price into the deal (and mention it in your descriptions). Guests love perks. Even if they cost them a few extra bucks.
Picture means a thousand words
Provide great pictures of your place (realistic as they are, don’t over-edit it). People may consider the written descriptions about your place, but their decision is more likely influenced by the pictures. Try to put it like this: you won’t book a listing that has a little to no pictures, but no descriptions? You’re going to book it anyway if you like what you see in the pictures.
I already have a website, and guest can book directly through it. So why should I join?
This is your Alamo. The fifth wall. The metaphorical barrier in engaging something new. Well, if you can answer the following question in affirmative than you are free not to join.
Spend millions in advertising lately?
Then you should join. It’s as simple as that.
If even after all of that you still can be convinced, I don’t know what can.