With the rise of services like Airbnb that feature vacation homes rented by owners, travelers have more varied lodging options than ever before. This industry development has had a measurable effect on the profitability of hotels.
While it may seem like bad news for traditional hospitality businesses, there’s plenty that hotels can do to keep filling their rooms. According to experts at Forbes Real Estate Council, attracting guests is all about differentiating yourself from owner-rented properties and adapting to what modern travelers want. Here’s how you can successfully market your hotel and recapture Airbnb travelers.
1. Stock Up The Breakfast Bar
Hotels have the advantage of ease of transaction and access, whereas renting someone else’s home can present complexities. However, one appeal of Airbnb is not having to eat every meal out. Hotels that provide some typical breakfast dishes that can be eaten in the room or near the lobby, like the breakfast buffet, and that aren’t big time and calorie expenditures can counteract this. – Deborah Rabbino Bhatt, Vesta New York
2. Focus On Hotel Hospitality
Airbnb not only captures travelers who want to belong in the place they are visiting, whether short or long term, but also provides a unique experience. Being able to submerge in a local culture, or stay within walking distance of hip coffee shops, serves as a much more exclusive experience than most hotel chains can offer. Hotels should lean into the hospitality, events and room service to capture visitors. – Beatrice de Jong, Open Listings (YC W15)
3. Consider Travelers’ Needs For Daily Living
The key seems to be reconfiguring offerings to deliver on what today’s travelers really want. Airbnb may not be more affordable. It does, however, offer more of an experience and taste of the local destination. There is also a huge surge in full-time traveling couples and families. They look for features like more space, laundry facilities and kitchens for eating healthy on the road. – Kent Clothier, Real Estate Worldwide
4. Offer A Suite Deal
One of the great benefits of companies like Airbnb is that you can find places to stay with a shared space for friends and family. You have the privacy of separate rooms but a communal space to gather and entertain. With so many families and friend groups going on larger trips, I believe hotels would benefit with more suite-style options that are reflective of the way people are traveling. – Megan Jumago-Simpson, Keller Williams Realty Portland Premiere
5. Keep Your Best Face Forward Online With High-Quality Photos
Hotels need to ensure that the photographs of their facilities are of the highest quality and updated to market themselves more effectively on their websites. Further, photos won’t only be seen on their websites — now hotels are competing with guests who post photos on review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor with their smartphones, which are not the highest quality but can still show up in search engines. – Brian Balduf, VHT Studios
6. Tell A Detailed Story
Consider the details some Airbnb listings provide. These listings paint a story of what your experience will entail, from which rooms have Netflix to how far the nearest coffee shop is. The listings are also backed with several photos and extensive reviews. If hotels want to compete, they should consider stepping up their storytelling game. – Joshua Lybolt, Lifstyl Real Estate
7. Join The Home Sharing Market
The hotel brands will continue to grow loyalty programs, improving benefits for booking direct and expanding into the home sharing market. Marriott has entered the home sharing space with its Tribute brand, offering over 300 home sharing options. As more hotel companies enter the home sharing market the level and consistency of service within the home sharing environment will improve greatly. – Gary Isenberg, LW Hospitality Advisors