Airbnb advertising suggestions

My wife and I live full-time in a two-level, three-bedroom house in a semi-remote Northern California mountain community. We have converted our unused downstairs space into an Airbnb that features two bedrooms, TV lounge, full-bathroom and outdoor balcony.

Unlike hosting an Airbnb in a large city or tourist resort, our bookings drop during the winter. We are not close to the nearest snow-ski resort.

As a retired marketing and publicity director, I have created the following methods to help promote our Airbnb that may help other hosts:

  1. Glossy, full-color rack cards (4-inch x 8-inch each). I distribute these advertising cards to local real estate agents for their out-of-area clients, shops, golf course pro-shops, and wine tasting rooms. Plus, I give these cards to our departing Airbnb guests to help refer us to their friends, family and co-workers.

  2. Business cards with six color photos on the back-side that feature our house’s front exterior, two guest bedrooms, guest bathroom, guest TV lounge and guest outdoor balcony.

  3. Plastic writing pens and small notepads that have our Airbnb contact information. Like hotels, our Airbnb guests are encouraged to take a pen and notepad with them. We place one pen and notepad on each guest bedroom nightstand.

  4. My own website, in addition to our online Airbnb listing. I pay a $85 annual fee through the Webstarts website company. I always include my private website address on our promotional materials (pens, notepads, business cards, rack cards, newspaper ads, etc).

  5. My Airbnb guestroom photos, description and website link are on our county’s visitors and tourism office website’s “local lodging” webpage. Our local tourism office provides me with free sightseeing brochures that I make available to our guests.

  6. I have a multi-tiered acrylic brochure rack in our guest TV-lounge that is more presentable than stacks of area tourist brochures laid flat on a table. Plus, I have a framed area-map mounted on the TV-lounge wall, which helps our guests plan their local daytrips.

I have purchased newspaper display ads in regional “big city” newspapers, but these ads have not attracted new guests for us.

I use Vistaprint for the most affordable online printing resource for my rack cards and business cards.

My wife and I make just enough Airbnb rental revenue to pay our yearly house taxes.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

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I might add: fridge magnets. They are more expensive than business card but last longer and don’t (usually) end up in a drawer. I put 10 at time on the side of the fridge with a note to “Please take one”. My own fridge is covered with fridge magnets from my travels so I guess I attract that sort of guest.

We have just a single room with a private bath.
We have made a business card plus a rack card. Thanks for the ideas on places to put them!

Another thing I have done is to keep an eye on upcoming events in our local sports venues, arena and coliseum. I email the organizers about the Airbnb alternative to traditional hotel accommodations. I feel I should be promoting the concept and not just my place. As far as I know only one has put Airbnb on their suggested places to stay list. But I’ll keep at it!

Another new thing I’m doing - we have a new indoor football team in town. I’ll have a booth at their Preseason kick off with a banner (Vista Print) and materials.

Would love more (inexpensive!) suggestions.

Who is your target market for your listing @Terryathome

Adults - up to 2, not suitable for kids.
Very short term stays. We get a lot of 1 -2 nighters. Prefer not to go more than a week or so.

I want to increase the % of people coming for local events, tourist, and sports.

We are not a destination location but are well situated for travel from one place to another - for example we are located just about 1/2 way between two popular National Parks. In the summer we get a lot of people choosing to stay in our area as a stop-over. We now have a local National Historical Park. I’m hoping to attract people coming for that as I am also a volunteer for the park.

We have had some luck attracting medical professionals. I’ve been looking at but they encourage longer term stays (13 weeks+) I may advertise there as a landing spot to look for their longer term accommodations. Currently they don’t have any listings in our area. We have three hospitals and a cancer center nearby.

My husband is the numbers nerd - he has analyzed our current guests reasons for coming:
33% Passing through
31% work
14% local event
11% Family/friends
5% Tourist
5% Sports
3% Relocation

We have been looking for another house. As we have looked we have given our card to real estate agents and told them about our place in case they have people who need a “bridge” place to stay after selling their home. As a result - at least 2 agents are now Airbnb hosts!!! One referred a client to us but we were full.

We don’t have a specific target for our Airbnb guests. Since we opened our two guestrooms in June 2018, we have had 18 reservations, ranging from senior-age women and middle-age couples.

Because the nearby town (4 miles away) has several fine-dining restaurants and 20 wine tasting rooms along its downtown Main Street, we attract middle-income guests who are all well-behaved.

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