How to Encourage Returning Customers on Airbnb

How to Encourage Returning Customers on Airbnb
Airbnb Advice
March 4, 2019

Successful full-time Airbnb hosts are the ones that treat their listing as a business. With proper preparation, continued optimisation and forward planning, these hosts are the ones that achieve their goals and maintain high booking rates throughout the calendar year.

The bread and butter of any thriving business is the ability to retain and grow a regular customer base. Ensuring people continue to return and purchase services is a powerful way to secure revenue, with this concept, Airbnb is no exception. Customer acquisition should be a consideration point for all aspiring hosts and with the opportunities that are available, should be an area to put a large focus.

Retaining customers on Airbnb is an important part of hosting mostly due to how much easier it is to get those that know your listing to book again than those who are unfamiliar with you. Once somebody knows what to expect and has had a great experience, they are much more likely to re-make a prior booking. Those that stay with a host repeatedly are also much more likely to recommend you to others too.  

One of the first processes in building a regular customer base is to identify your preferred type of guest. Once you have decided, whether you would like to focus on business travellers, families or solo guests, you can tailor your listing to match this profile and all your other efforts accordingly. Creating the perfect space for your ideal guest to stay will ensure you get those great reviews, entice people to stay again and build your base of returning guests. Returning guests are a sure-fire way to boost booking rates and spread awareness about your listing.

With that said, here is how hosts can establish great relationships with their guests and encourage them to continue booking their listing:

Delight Your Guests and Remember that First Impressions Matter

As with many things in life, first impressions are key in Airbnb. It’s in those first moments, both when viewing your listing online and in person, that a guest will decide if a property is right for them. Due to this, it’s a great idea to work on your presentation, both digitally and in real life. Take the time to work to optimise your listing, showcasing all its best features and making sure that it matches up with realistic expectations. Streamline booking and check-in processes too, to guarantee all guests will be able to access the property without a hitch.

Keep Your Standards High with Every Booking

If you consider the lifetime value of an Airbnb guest, it’s impossible to tell from the first booking how much a guest may be worth to you. One simple experience can lead to hundreds of nights booked over the duration of your Airbnb career so it’s essential to really nail that first impression every single time. Maintaining high standards with every guest will help you achieve this all while going towards building the much desired portfolio of 5-star reviews.

Follow Up and Keep in Touch with Past Guests

While reaching out to review guests and request a review when necessary is definitely encouraged, that doesn’t mean that this is the only time you should speak to them once the booking is complete. As Guesty puts it, “If your only communication with guests after their departure is to request a review of your listing, you’re not taking full advantage of the fact that you’ve got the contact details of a potentially hot lead. You should be keeping in touch with all of your guests so that they’ll think of you the next time vacation rolls around”.

If you’re certain that a past guest has had a great time with you, why not invite them back next time they’re in town? Sometimes all somebody needs to visit somewhere again is a little encouragement and if they’ve got accommodation sorted, it can be as simple as notifying them of special deals or events to convince them to book.

Get to Know Your Guests

While you may be treating your Airbnb as a business and focusing primarily on your income, it doesn’t mean that you can’t establish relationships with your guests. The most successful hosts are often the ones that get to know those that book with them. Getting friendly with your customers will take you to the next level as an Airbnb host and enable you to build your customer base much more easily. While this doesn’t mean that you have to become best pals with anyone, simply offering a familiar face to associate with your listing will help you to entice people to keep coming back to you.

Provide a Discount for Repeat Bookings

If you already know that somebody is a guest you want to have and that they’ve enjoyed their stay, it’s the perfect opportunity to offer discounts and offers. These specials can be promoted when you know you’re going to be a bit more quiet than usual or even when there’s going to be a major event near you. Getting in touch with a past guest to offer this kind of reward is a good way to let them know that you appreciate their choice to book with you and that you’d be happy for them to stay with you again. Even if it has been a while since their stay, reminding them of your exceptional hospitality could be just what is needed to trigger another trip.

Maintaining consistently high standards and doing all you can to stick in your guests' minds when they think of Airbnb will help you achieve a solid foundation of regular bookings. With the lifetime value of a guest considered in every stay at your property, you can expect to achieve much more in your efforts as an Airbnb host.

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