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Marketing Monday


#1

As I looked at my upcoming reservations I noticed the inevitable slow season of January. With only 10 days booked for two listings I need to get my marketing up.

This is what I’m doing.

I have a google document where I keep track of ALL my guests information, including my own notes. What do I have in my document?

  • Name
  • Personal email (I request it upon booking, sometimes they give it sometimes they don’t)
  • Phone number
  • Dates
  • Listing Name (I have two listings)
  • Amount Paid
  • Number of nights
  • A note about the guests - example - coming to visit a grandchild, journalist researching a book, I don’t want them in my home. EVER. Just notes for me to remember them.

Every year I copy the previous years workbook (google) and start the new year. This way I have the previous information in the current document and I don’t have to look back.

Now back to Marketing:

I’m sending a “Happy Holidays” email to my guests, with the attached photo. It’s a template I wrote but I also personalize it by adding a “how’s your grandchild?” note within the body of the email. I also give them a special discount at the moment of 20%. Why? Because these are proven guests, I already know them and they know my home. I’m already discounting my prices by 10% so an additional 10% makes them feel special and puts money in my pocket.

It’s time consuming but I just started sending it (only 4 so far) and one of my guests (from 5 years ago) remembered me, a particular chair his son loved, and it’s interested in the discount.

Are you doing anything for the “holidays” or your slow season?


#2

While i understand what you’re doing and while you’re doing it, I would not be emailing my guests for the holidays - I think it’s overstepping a bit. Correct me if I’m wrong, but they come to my place to sleep while sightseeing, if this was me I’d be a bit weirded out if I got a card from that one AirBnB I stayed at 8 months ago.


#3

I usually send it to closer guests, not just everybody


#4

idk. i got a christmas card from two of my guests this year. i think maybe it depends on how interactive you are with guests.


#5

Good point. We had some guests from Paris, and I emailed them after the terrorist attack offering condolences. One very nearly got caught in it - she was in a restaurant and heard the shooting. A friend of hers was in the Bataclan, but escaped. So that’s kind of unusual. But I don’t make a habit of mailing former guests. We recently made some major renovations, so I was thinking of sending out a mail with updated photos, but again, that’s an unusual situation. I guess we’re very hands-on hosts - we like our guests and try to establish a personal connection. But like you say, maybe that’s just weird. And we’ll probably outgrow it. On the other hand, getting a mail from a host that actually remembers you is a whole lot different than getting a mailer from a car dealership.


#6

Very good ideas Evelyn. Thanks for sharing them!

I think it’s a great idea. If you make the messages personal enough, I don’t think it would seem weird at all.


#7

We have many repeat guests – who come here to visit family members in the area. I communicate with them regularly. I do have the real email addresses of most of them (but I am not as compulsive about it as Evelyn, and don’t have a formal record of all guests – but that is a very good idea).

Last year Airbnb created cards that you could send to your past guests through the Airbnb system. I thought that was great. This year, after the holiday and New Year crunch (we are jammed over New Years here because of the Rose Parade), I do plan on sending New Year greetings to all my past guests.

I was amazed this year that I received gifts in the mail from two guests!

The Airbnb community does exist and it is heart-warming.

Happy Holidays + Happy Hosting Everyone,

Lia


#8

I am crossing my fingers as I start my 3rd year of hosting that things remain as steady as they have been for the past two years. I have not had a slow season. We have many repeat guests – coming to visit family – and there are many business and tourist reasons to come to Pasadena, CA.

I do keep in touch with past guests – usually twice a year, once around the holidays and also around the same time they usually visit to check in and see what they are planning. For example, if they usually come at a certain time of year, for a certain family event or conference, I’ll message them a month or so before hand. It works! I think because I make the notes very personal and not like a sales pitch. I get repeat business from these messages.

In any business, your customers like to be appreciated – but not feel they are being solicited, a fine line.

Good luck everyone with your hosting … Lia


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