If you’re in the hotel business (and especially if you’re in the boutique or upscale hotel business) you’ve heard of Airbnb. And maybe you’re worried about what this innovative and disruptive service means for the future of your business.
Indeed, Airbnb was Inc’s 2014 company of the year. Less than a decade in, the company has become the largest lodging provider on Earth.
If you can’t beat them, join them. That’s how the saying goes.
Can you use their service? Yes. Can you play their game? Yes. So stop thinking of Airbnb as your enemy, and start seeing it as your newest tool. Your hotel can make an Airbnb listing, too – just so long as you clearly mark that you’re a hotel and not a private residence.
So there, Airbnb isn’t stopping you.
If you're not listing your suites on Airbnb, you should be. Oh, and, you need to list on HomeAway, too.
We're here talking about these global giants, and why your hotel needs to be there, for all those wanderlusting eyes to see.
Just how big is Airbnb?
Big, and growing – by every measure.
Airbnb grossed $451.4 million in NYC between August 2014 and 2015, and that number is expected to nearly double by 2018. The company accounted for 8% of NYC overnight stays during that same period.
They boast more than two million listings worldwide.
They’ve long been popular with the young and nomadic crowd. And they’re targeting business travelers now, too. That’s right, hotels. Your bread-and-butter customer is leaving you for Airbnb. Their seduction game is that strong.
And, just how big is HomeAway?
It’s big, even if you haven’t heard of it.
Since 2005, it’s been acquiring sites like crazy, and it’s grown to become a global marketplace for vacation rentals. It won the Ernst & Young 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year award.
They’ve run two Super Bowl commercials. Here’s the one from 2010. Here’s the one from 2011. Is that big enough proof for you?
Those commercials don’t exactly give hotels a good name, either. Are you going to sit back and take it?
It’s so big, Expedia acquired HomeAway for $3.9 billion. Would they have paid so much if the platform weren’t valuable – a sign of the here and now, and of the future? Expedia wanted their more than one million listings in 190 countries.
Try an Airbnb listing. Try a HomeAway listing, too.
It’s clear that a large segment of the market is interested in a personal travel experience. They want to stay in a place tuned to the local culture, especially if they can get that experience at a more reasonable price. They want to feel at home away from home.
Airbnb is a brand worth associating with – because it’s trusted. It’s not an anything-goes platform. Hosts have to meet hospitality standards, or Airbnb kicks them off the site. And they’re not shy about doing so. You’re excellent and you’re dependable, or you’re voted off the island.
Airbnb makes it easy for guests to see what they're getting before they arrive – through photos, thorough amenities listings, and community reviews. That’s right. There’s lots of transparency. And there’s a community of other hosts and guests to hold you accountable, too.
You want to keep your rooms booked? Offer a one-of-a-kind stay and be rewarded in many-star reviews. Offer an experience along with the space. Yes, Airbnb is teaching the world how to be better hosts. And, you’d be wise to listen.
Your Airbnb listing will make you more appealing to all those travelers looking for the authentic stay. Airbnb is the stamp of approval you need for an ever-growing portion of the traveling population, who might only turn to Airbnb when looking for accommodations in their destination city.
Because, Airbnb is more than air mattresses and couches these days. Some are only looking for a simple room at a saver rate, but others are turning to it hoping for a more luxurious stay. The best way not to be overlooked is to be listing on Airbnb, ready when someone keys in desires that match your post.
HomeAway believes in your vacation, your way. If you’ve got a private structure that someone might want to rent for their whole vacation stay, you can offer away.
So, Homeaway isn’t stopping you boutique hotels or hostels, either. They’re helping you reach 44 million travelers a month.
The sharing economy is here to stay.
Have you seen the explosion of shared co-working spaces? Does your city have a shared bike program? What about all those wardrobe rental apps?
Airbnb is the darling, and certainly a leader, of the shared economy world. Many cities have accepted it, and are taxing Airbnb’s activities – charting this new business territory together with them. Homeaway is a leader, too.
Don’t be a dinosaur. Don’t show you’re out of step. Get hip. Get listing. Join the sharing economy where you can, and make use of the trust and community values that it’s built on – even in instances where your brand can’t (and shouldn’t necessarily) change to join the sharing club completely.
But listing on these sites is too much effort.
Is listing on Airbnb and HomeAway really so different from listing on other third party sites like Expedia.com, Booking.com, or working with a wholesaler?
No, not really.
And, for some audiences, the homey brand is better.
Sure, it’s a bit more work to give the viewer more visibility about the space and experience. But it’s really only a little effort when you consider the way of things, and the opportunity for finding new customers, and earning the top-notch ratings that send more your way.
Have we mentioned that Airbnb takes a much smaller percentage?
Just 3%. Compare that to the double-digit percentages you’re paying for the chance to list with Expedia and Priceline. There’s a dollar savings case to be made here.
If you need to fill rooms, Airbnb and HomeAway ought to be part of your marketing strategy – at least one of your marketing arms. Hotels in NYC, Miami, Denver, Chicago, and Honolulu are already on this. There’s a hotel listing in Scranton, PA, too. So why aren’t you Airbnb listing?
We’re Winberg Hospitality, a 360-degree revenue management solution for hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals. And we want to help you maximize your revenue.
We offer you a personal revenue manager, who acts as an extension of your team – hosting scheduled calls, implementing daily updates, and optimizing all distribution channels.
Working with us, you benefit from best-in-class cloud based reporting, allowing you to visualize important data and make important decisions for your hotel.
And we also help you elevate your distribution strategy by driving direct and qualified traffic and integrating the best-in-class services and technology tools.
So, what are you waiting for?
Aren’t you curious how your rates stand up?
Get in touch, and request a free revenue audit today.