Shared economy sites, after working their way into the travel sector over the last few years, have recently seen some bumpy roads. I don’t want to get into the gory details, but it seems that all of the problems you think could happen when strangers borrow homes actually do happen. Nevertheless, some adventure-seekers and budget conscious travelers are looking for new ways to explore the world.
So why are people still throwing caution to the wind?
Bargain: Hotels are locked into overhead costs that homeowners simply don’t have. This keeps room rates higher than it typically costs to borrow a house from someone, especially if a few people are traveling together.
Your upper-hand: The budget seekers probably don’t want to lose their money, but stand a good chance of doing so if their sharing deal gets cancelled – even by the host. You can utilize this advantage by making your refund policies clear. An extra step would be to offer a discount for travelers who lost their previous booking. Then be sure to step up your game and show them what true hospitality is all about.
Authentic Local Experiences: Today’s travelers want to immerse themselves in the local environment and “moving in” is a sure-fire way of doing so.
Your upper-hand: Your staff should be a wealth of local information, so be sure to add this information to your website, share concierge tips on your social media sites, and provide the best recommendations on your mobile app. Invite local artists to share their work in your lobby, stay up to date on area events, and provide
Home-like amenities: Many travelers are drawn to home rentals because of the homey amenities such as a full kitchen or laundry facilities. Personally, I’d rather forget those tasks while on vacation, but I do understand the convenience and cost-saving involved with having them nearby on a trip.
Your upper hand: If you have kitchens, kitchenettes, or laundry facilities on site, be sure that potential guests can easily find them on your website. And don’t be shy about features of your property that are exclusive to traditional lodging, such as on-site security, shuttle or other transportation services, concierge, and (perhaps best of all) housekeeping.