International travel has become a significant part of the economic landscape all over the world. While people have started vacationing across countries, international business travel seems to have taken the center stage mostly due to the after-effects of the global pandemic leaving some people still feeling reluctant to travel unless they really must.
Business travel taking up a large slice of the international travel market. This creates ample opportunities for vacation rental owners in the hub of the city with ample opportunity to fill up their properties over long periods, especially if they are located close to convention centers and business hubs.
The main reason why most rentals target business travelers are that they tend to stay for longer periods and since they do not need to travel around during their visit. Another interesting factor to consider is that the bulk of their bookings take up weekdays and every vacation rental owner knows how much of a relief that is.
There are a few traits common to most (not all) business travelers as they tend to give high priority to a few factors (listed below) to make the most of their travels.
Listed below are some significant factors considered by business travelers when they pick a hotel or rental for their travels. If your short-term rental fits the bill then you are all set to take up international guests who travel for business.
Most business travelers prefer to have 8 hours of sleep so they would prefer to be based at a location close to the business center or convention center they visit. Since business travelers mostly have a single location or place they visit, being close to popular hubs can work in your favor as they would look to cut down on travel time and cost.
While you could market your property to business travelers based on many factors, the “location” might be a key factor. You can market your property based on multiple factors to business travelers but looking into their key requirements location is a major factor especially since people don’t like to commute long distances if they don’t seem to prioritize during their travels.
If you know of any international trade fairs or business conventions coming up in your neighborhood, advertise your proximity to the event by including the distance between your rental and the event location temporarily in your Airbnb description. You could add it separately and highlight it so that those looking for properties to stay in while they attend these events will know that you are aware of it and give them the feeling that you may be able to help them navigate through it.
Carve out a niche for yourself with business travelers when you market the amenities that business travelers (international or otherwise) crave. Guests can filter search results by the items you have in the amenities section of your listing, so it's important to include all the amenities you offer that would interest business travelers especially, free and fast Wi-Fi, a work table in the room, multiple plugs and ports to support the many devices that come with business travelers, air conditioning, or heaters, among others. You might also want to throw in a coffee machine for that quick coffee fix, and a microwave to heat quick meals if the need arises. If you find that you don’t have some of these amenities don’t forget that a little bit goes a long way with these things.
In-house: Arm yourself and your employees with answers to questions that your international guests may have. Having around printed route maps including restaurants, coffee shops, and other places of interest will be appreciated by guests and most likely curb the questions.
Have the house rules printed out in a few languages, especially from the country that most of your guests come from? Additionally, if you do speak multiple languages especially one that is native to your guest’s home country, including that in your Airbnb description page could gently nudge clients preferring your Airbnb over another.
Partner up: If you have car rental services in your area that offer affordable rides to guests, partner up with them so guests can enjoy special rates when they check in to your Airbnb. Another cool partner to have will be a fast and affordable laundry service in your neighborhood (preferable to have them pick up and drop in the laundry from your Airbnb), as business travelers usually travel alone and pack light and don’t have time to do their laundry, it also saves you the cost of having and maintaining a washer and dryer.
Social media is like a double-edged sword, and in this case, it will help you cut right through to the crux of the needs of your target audience. Link your social media handles to your Airbnb page and have flashy images of your property and guests (with permission). Also, inform through catchy one-liners the new features and amenities introduced to your Airbnb.
You could also announce partnerships made with local service providers via your social media handle. By amping up your social media presence you can highlight your services and amenities that could have otherwise gotten lost in a mix of words in your Airbnb descriptions.
Being an international entity, Airbnb has some cool features to enable hosts to enter the international market.
It has a cool feature though right at the bottom of the page that allows guests to convert your Description, amenities, and pricing details into more than 90 different languages allowing guests to access your description and product details in languages that suit them. You could use translated versions of your Airbnb descriptions in your social media handles to target international guests.
Since Airbnb accepts payment from guests on behalf of the hosts, guests have the option of paying in their local currency. This allows you to accept multiple currencies without the hassle of conversion and having to pay bank dues expected by overseas transactions.
You can use “quick replies,” an Airbnb tool, to answer guests’ questions as and when they make inquiries. This is especially helpful to international guests as time differences can interfere with the service and leave guests waiting hours to receive answers to basic questions.
Another Airbnb tool that helps with working around time differences is “scheduled messages” where hosts can schedule messages such as thank you messages and reminders ahead to be sent when guests act.
If your Airbnb is located in the city center or has international trade or business event gear to target international business travelers. A slightly altered list of amenities and services could more than get you there. If you need help sorting out prices for your new target audience, generating reports or expenses and occupancy, or perhaps even managing your cleaning schedules talk to us at Hostaway and request a free demo.