Airbnb Design: Providing the Ultimate Guest Experience
If I asked what you look for when booking a hotel, you would most likely respond with the following:
This list is probably the same as what you would search for if you decided to stay at an Airbnb. Luckily, there’s one thing an Airbnb is able to offer that hotels cannot as easily achieve; a uniquely exclusive experience.
Think about it, the amount of people shuffling in and out of a hotel on a daily basis is astounding, while the amount of people that pass through your Airbnb is a significantly lower portion of the market. This can be used to your advantage to sell potential guests on something they cannot get anywhere else.
The hotel market these days knows their target guest will care about and pay for experiences over amenities. Gone are the days expensive room service and luxurious bath salts. The new generation recognizes they can get these items anywhere, and they aren’t worth telling their friends about. What they want, as cliche as it sounds, is that instagrammable moment. Something unique they can share with their peers.
As you look around at the evolution and rise of boutique hotels, you’ll begin to recognize these elements–beautifully crafted cocktails served from a dapper bartender, branded bicycles provided free of charge for guests, and statement art moments waiting patiently to have their picture taken. Smart hotels know that guest’s photographs and reviews can provide much more authentic advertising than they could hope to do, so they’ve learned to provide the tools with which to share their unique perspective.
In looking back on the 3 main things a potential guest is searching for, you must ask yourself what your Airbnb can provide. Price is a variable you can easily manipulate to see what provides you with the most full calendar, and location will most likely not be able to change (though it is possible to provide a complimentary mode of transportation to feature destinations within your city!). The most important of these 3 key items though, is amenities.
But as we discussed previously, I’m going to strike out amenities, and replace it with experiences. See, the experience is what makes a place memorable. It’s not what color the sheets are, or what brand of coffee you have available to your guests, but how the place makes them feel. Each element of your Airbnb must be carefully thought out to provide a comprehensive experience for your guest.
How do you do this? Simple. First you must define your target market. Do you have a 4 bedroom home, perfect for hosting families? Or is your house located in an area better suited for a girls getaway? Once you’ve defined your ideal guest, the next step is to create an Airbnb design that caters to their specific needs. Families with children would be best served with bunk beds. Perhaps you’d like to give the room a special theme to allow the parents to see the excitement on the children’s faces. A group of women coming to spend the weekend at your place might appreciate a giftcard and a recommendation to your favorite nail salon down the street, and multiple vanity settings so they’re able to get ready at the same time.
If guests experience vacations that are more catered to their needs than a typical hotel setting, they’re inclined to talk about it to their friends, write good reviews, and potentially come back for another stay.
When defining your target market, it is important to be selective. If you focus your efforts on providing everything to everyone, you will end up just like the Airbnb next door. Remember, when searching for a place to stay, your guests are looking for:
In that order. How will you stand out?
PS–need help getting started? I’ve created a list of 10 changes you can make to your Airbnb today to enhance your guest experience. Sign up to receive it here!