Budget travelers may not always be the most profitable guest type for Airbnb property managers but their general willingness to travel off season and ask for less amenities can be useful to vacation rental hosts trying to fill their calendars during slow seasons and orphan days. Not all budget travelers are ‘cheap’ either, with many looking for value within different price brackets rather than just the lowest price in the market.
Top Tips for Marketing your Airbnb to Budget Travelers
Having a great social media presence on channels such as Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest is essential for marketing your vacation rental. Connecting them to your Airbnb account will also help your listing rank higher on Airbnb search.
Offering deals on your social media accounts is a great way to attract budget travelers who are always on the lookout for a good deal. Flash deals that last for only a short period of time create a sense of urgency further motivating budget conscious travelers to click and book. Investing in some social media advertising can help you secure even more such guests.
Maintaining a blog is an important means of ensuring your vacation rental website ranks high on search. By covering topics on your blog that also cater to budget conscious travelers like low-cost attractions and activities in your location, how to plan a budget holiday, and tips on packing so as not to accrue baggage fees.
You can promote the links on your social media pages to drive traffic even further.
Whatever the discounts, deals, or special packages that you offer to attract budget travelers, ensure you place emphasis on the value of your offerings over a direct price comparison. At the end of the day, budget travelers are looking to maximize the value of their spend and a good deal can come in a variety of packages.
Providing a basic package and providing discounts on package upgrades is another way to focus on value and attract budget conscious travelers. This is the opposite of throwing in extras to offer additional value. Add-ons could range from an Airbnb Experience to a bottle of champagne for a couple.
Settling for listing on just Airbnb is not enough to compete in today’s competitive vacation rental market. Budget travelers check multiple platforms to find the best price and value for their trip accommodation. Expand your horizons and list on alternative and niche booking platforms to increase your exposure, improve legitimacy, and bring in more guests.
Provide amenities that will speak to the budget traveler. Free parking, being located within walking distance to public transportation like subways and buses, a fully stocked kitchen where guests can save by making their own meals, easy access to a grocery store, and a washer and dryer for laundry are some basic amenities that budget conscious guests will find attractive.
If you list an entire property, providing beds to sleep more guests and not charging too much extra or even counting some additional guests as free, can help attract large groups of budget travelers. Just make sure you don’t fall afoul of state or local regulations on the maximum number of overnight guests allowed in your vacation rental property.
On the other hand, if you are open to breaking your property listing down into individual rooms or units, you can appeal to solo budget travelers who don’t want to spend on an entire property when they are traveling alone. Make sure your house rules are clear and take the trouble of explaining them to your guest yourself so you can be sure they understood.
Price is a major concern for all groups of travelers (with the exception of luxury travelers) but particularly so for budget travelers. Use dynamic pricing to ensure you are priced competitively but not leaving money on the table for your business. A competitive price will also ensure you rank higher on Airbnb search.
Cleaning fees are the biggest pain point for Airbnb guests in general and can be even more off-putting for budget travelers. If possible, cleaning your vacation rental yourself can be a great way to save on cleaning fees for yourself and ultimately the guest. Not charging a cleaning fee or making sure it is minimal are good ways to attract the budget conscious user. According to Airbnb, 45% of listings globally do not charge a cleaning fee while of those that do the fee is on average less than 10 percent of the total reservation cost.
Budget travelers are not just looking at the lowest price but the highest value they can obtain within their price limits. If you don’t have great reviews, budget travelers cannot trust that you can offer them the high value you are claiming and will opt out of choosing your listing.
Budget travelers are likely to have more queries than most other guest types as they seek to ascertain the amenities they are looking to pay for. Respond fast and politely so they are not left wondering and favoring a competitor and can feel good about their booking your Airbnb property.
Hopper is an exciting upstart in the travel space that has generated buzz about its prediction algorithms, popular travel products, and lower prices. Having launched into the vacation rental space with Hopper Homes, it attracts travelers looking for value in an increasingly saturated market.
Make sure to list all your amenities including basics like wi-fi. This will help prove the value of your offering as well as your listing rank higher on Airbnb search. Sure, budget travelers are more willing to trawl through the back pages of listings but the sooner they see you the more likely you are to make an impression on them that stays.
Try to be as flexible as possible, from agreeing to an earlier or later check-in or check-out time or even offering to hold their luggage after check-out until it’s time to leave for the airport later in the day. Be open to negotiating rates.
Budget travelers can opt to go with direct bookings in order to get lower rates due to the lack of Airbnb and other platform commissions and fees. Building a website for your vacation rental can be a great investment and also serve as the central hub of your brand as well as place for your blog, bringing in traffic from budget conscious and other types of travelers.
Consider your cancellation policy. While budget travelers may favor a flexible policy you also need to protect yourself from bad actors who may book and cancel when they find a better priced stay without paying a penalty. Screening your guests is a great way to avoid travelers like these while offering a flexible cancellation policy. However, a stricter cancellation policy can help deter guests from booking your listing only until they find one better suited to their budget.