I’m a very new host and I was contacted by a travel writer that would like to stay. I’ve looked her up online and she appears legitimate. But my first question is should we be offering a discount for reservations? What are some other issues to be concerned with?
Nope. Why would you? You know how much money you need to make to cover your costs and to make a profit so stick to your guns.
Of course, travel writers differ enormously but I’ve found that they often expect free accommodation, comped meals in restaurants, free cruises … so beware.
However, this is just an inquiry, it seems. You’ll get plenty of them before long.
I’m having a hard time imagining the scenario in which I would. I only would if it was a writer I wanted to meet. LOL.
Because it’s a writer? Because you are new? Is there something about your listing we should know to make a judgment about this?
@Rover Beth, if I could verify that the writer actually writes travel pieces and that I could get mentioned in one of the writer’s articles, I might consider a discount. But on the other hand, the guest may turn out to be a diva and I’d be worried about any negative writing. However, it’s possible that the writer is just mentioning “writer” as a way to indicate he/she will be in town on business. For all you know the writer is a technical writer for construction materials or something else unrelated to travel.
In the OP she says “travel writer.” BTW, our former member Konacoconutz was a “travel writer” but she never would have required a discount or quid pro quo for a write up.
Travel writer, “influencer”, blogger, photographer. These are some of the occupations people will try to get you to to give discounts or free stays for. I don’t offer any discounts for anything or anyone.
Charge them double. I jest.
If I had booked every blogger and travel writer who has pitched me to ‘collab’ (i.e. let them stay for free so they can dedicate one post to it for their audience of <1000 lmao not even joking) … well, I wouldn’t have room for paying guests. Had one actually trash our culture right to my face after asking, too. Like, if it’s not your thing, okay, but I am not going to let you stay for free for damn sure now.
I concur with everyone saying No Discount. The only way I would ever offer a discount is if some amenity advertised was not available /working or if there was noisy construction going on. That type of thing. I currently have some guests who are trying to haggle over the cost of bringing an additional guest. They’re pleading “homesickness”, amongst other things. Eh…no.
I’m a marketing strategist and PR professional. If it’s a well-published travel writer who you have researched, you are confident in your own offerings, and you know how to use the snowball effect to your advantage after a piece is published, you can’t buy that kind of publicity for the price of a room. For example, I helped a travel writer from Discovery’s Planet Green arrange her visit to our town after she contacted a client in response to a media release about a tourism program. It resulted in a very nice blog article mentioning all the businesses I recommended, with photos and video. My client and all the other people I connected the writer with were then able to use the article to further boost interest in their businesses.
So, for those who may get requests, I wouldn’t accept every request blindly. Everyone with an instagram account thinks they’re a travel writer these days. But a properly vetted request can be a good investment under the right circumstances.
Would you mind sharing her profile?
I would first be professional and gracious and wish to explore the conversation more. By all means you need to respond in 24 hours in some fashion - to keep up your response rate.
It would be wise to be careful and wary. Many (not all) “travel writers” or “social influencers”, etc are expecting a free stay. In exchange, for some supposed value of their “marketing share”. Some of them are divas and there can be significant risk of not only a bad star in airbnb but also being blasted on their site. That is a lot of potential risk.
Also, would you mind sharing your stay? If you have a really cool property and location, then you may not need any extra promotion to do well, other than listing on multiple sites.
Welcome to the Forum, Rover. Glad to be on your team!
My experience with “influencers” at retail and in this business has not been positive. Might be a bit scary for you this early in the game. Usually the tell is absurd requests.
I would make her stay super welcoming. Leave a personalized welcome note and a spray of flowers. If she is published, borrow l library book of hers and leave it out prominently. Ask if she prefers tea or coffee. Anything that makes a guest feel special.
I agree with you. If I knew they were legit and had a lot of readers or followers I would offer my place up for free or a deep discount. People will end up booking.
Bear in mind, I worked in broadcasting for the past 22 years (quit one year ago) so I really know the power something like that can hold for marketing.
Hi Rover, great choice to come to this forum to get some input. You’ve gotten some really great advice for consideration. I’d like to offer a little different perspective. You are a new host…so say no, but only for now. The reason is that as a new host you undoubtedly have a lot to learn and you don’t want to learn what you missed as you read about it. Get your sea legs before you potentially expose your property. You might miss this one chance, but there will be others. That’s one reason to say no now. I also have quite a bit of skepticism that the writer can deliver the exposure that makes the risk worthwhile…it is a risk and that’s what you need to balance. What makes me skeptical is that you are a “new” property. Writers want to share what is known to be good, or hot, and you have no record…just “fresh meat.” So unless this writer solely focuses on what just came to market, then you may just be getting taken advantage of. Only you can judge what you know about the ask and the risk. Good luck.
I don’t understand why you are considering a discount. Did she ask you for one? She isn’t going to write about you, anyway, so why bother?