Gain 5 Star Reviews by Customizing Amenities for Different GuestsMay 19, 2023
Hello readers! Today I have a special treat for you.
Tracey Northcott, a seasoned host who offers a wealth of experience and knowledge through her consulting business, has a special guest article for us that you're going to love!
Have you ever stayed at an Airbnb where the service was so amazing, you felt that the host might as well have been right there acting as your butler, anticipating every need? Well, Tracey is here to teach you how to stand apart by doing exactly that — anticipating the needs of your guests in advance and thus earning their praise and better reviews in return.
Take it away Tracey!
It is a pleasure to be guest blogging for Valerie - I have admired her styling for such a long time. Her Instagram is always so full of great tips and wonderful eye candy…. Looking at photos of stylish STRs is really my happy place - and if you are reading this, then I am sure you understand.
If you too are a fan of Valerie’s work, then you are just the sort of host who understands the nuance of color, texture, and layers in design. I want to add an additional dimension to this by considering how different types of guests will be inhabiting your space.
On my own blog, I have dedicated many, many words to discussing the different sorts of guests you can have. I also discuss why identifying your ideal guest and who you serve is essential for a sustainable and profitable Short Term Rental business. This is, without a doubt, a core element of your overall branding for your business. If you want to dig into this some more, feel free to head to my website here.
Your Ideal Guest
Once you have identified your ideal guest, the next step is to make sure you are including amenities that will surprise and delight - all in a unique and stylish way. Choosing amenities that match your ideal guests’ wants and needs will show that you understand them, you care about their comfort, and that they are in the right place. Showing a guest that they belong in your space will result in amazing reviews, referrals, and repeat bookings.
Amenities come in all shapes and sizes. Some are the inbuilt features of your property, some are the upgrades that you can add in a renovation, and some are the simple, yet carefully chosen basics. These you include in your welcome basket, bathroom, or even your coffee bar.
Curating the ideal amenities for different types of guests is one of the joys of designing your business. Plus if you are savvy, a unique or premium amenity can mean that you can charge a higher nightly rate. In my trainings and blog posts, I often talk about ADR which means Average Daily Rate - the base/average price you are charging per night.
🗝 Matching the amenity to the guests you want to attract is the key.
Let me give some examples (keep in mind, the list could go on and on), but I'll demonstrate amenities for a few types of guests.
Let’s say your ideal guest is a family group with young children. Including some amenities such as a pack and play/travel cot, a high chair and non-breakable plates is essential. Preparing a thoughtful welcome basket with some fun bubble bath and healthy, kid-friendly snacks will surprise and delight parents and kids alike.
A premium amenity of a pool, games room or a home theater will allow you to raise your ADR to a higher level; the higher the ADR (Average Daily Rate), the higher the profits. Premium amenities - especially the rare ones - will set you apart in your area with your ideal guest and make your place the one to stay in.
Is your listing a cabin by the lake? You could have a firepit and include a luxury s’mores kit in the welcome basket? Super family friendly.
Do some research of the mid range and premium listings in your area that are targeting your ideal guest too - what amenity is setting them apart? What price difference are they offering? How full are their booking calendars? A useful tool like Wheelhouse can really help you with research like this.
If your ideal guest is a digital nomad professional, then super fast unlimited WiFi, a dedicated quiet workspace and a comfortable work chair are essential amenities. Adding locally roasted artisan coffee beans into your welcome basket will be intriguing for a coffee connoisseur.
For something that blows up your nightly rate higher than your competition, are you able to add in a home gym? A printer/scanner? Look around your area to see how many other listings offer these sorts of luxury amenities and how much more per night they are charging.
What other premium or unique amenity can you offer? How much more will this allow you to charge? Again, planning a luxury amenity for any renovation or redecoration will build profitability and sustainability into your business model.
We have all been spending so much time with our families cooped up for the last 12 months. More and more, couples are looking for romantic getaways without their kids. Anniversaries, birthdays, proposals or even micro weddings are in fashion right now. Stylish touches like fresh flowers, wine, and a charcuterie board with local artisan baked goods will really show that you want your guests to have a memorable and romantic stay.
image above: Appalachian A Frame by John South - Shoestring Productions
Many guests are looking for premium amenities like a hot tub but using your imagination and your personal style, you can really think outside of the box. For example, you could make a romantic feature of a garden swing or an indoor fireplace. It is all in the styling with a view to delighting your ideal guest.
How about a pop-up picnic (for an additional fee) for a unique proposal or anniversary celebration? Team up with a local provider to offer this custom service and offer this as a premium paid upgrade.
image above: Scenic City Picnics
Not all luxury amenities need to be provided by you free of charge. This also opens up the chance for you to add additional monetization channels to your business.
Having amazing amenities is one thing, but making sure you are showing these off is essential to attracting your ideal guest. Listing them in your copy, showing them off in your photos, and then parading them in your social media are all key elements of signaling to your ideal guest and turning lookers into bookers.
Putting it all together
The beauty of the STR business is that the options are endless. There are so many ways to embed your unique style into all areas of your business. There is simply no excuse for a bland, soulless, cookie-cutter listing.
Start with the unique features of your hosting style, your property, and your location, and then with your ideal guest in mind, curate amenities for a guest experience that will live in the memories of your guest long after check out.
A bit about Tracey...
Australian Tracey Northcott of Enfour, Inc., Tokyo Family Stays and Tracey Northcott Consulting, is a serial entrepreneur and multi-preneur based in Tokyo, Japan. She is one of the most successful Airbnb hosts in Tokyo, at one point having 23 properties for rent in the Tokyo 23 Wards growing her business Tokyo Family Stays to a 7-figure business. She also runs a Software development company, Enfour, Inc. with her family. Tracey Northcott Consulting is where she helps other hosts scale to 7 figures and discover the wholehearted method for building profit and getting booked in a competitive market without discounting.
Valerie here again. I hope you enjoyed this blog and found it valuable!
I wanted to mention that Tracey is all about branding. One of her excellent products found here will help you Revamp your Brand to find additional profits in your existing business. A few simple tweaks to your messaging can result in thousands of extra dollars a year. This program will give you the step-by-step process to find the hidden cash in just a few hours of your time. You can whip through the provided checklists in a weekend.
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Until next time, happy hosting friends!