A tent cabin is far more than a regular dome tent that you pitch on any land and rough out the elements. Spacious, with vertical walls, high ceilings, separate rooms and even windows, tent cabins celebrate off the grid living without sacrificing creature comforts. Very much a part of the glamping trend, it allows guests to enjoy the experience of camping along with luxurious accommodation and without the stress of dealing with a rough unfamiliar outdoor environment.
Over the years, Airbnb has made a name for itself as offering more than just accommodation ranging from budget to luxury but unique spaces that are just as thrilling to discover as the destination itself. These range from castles and islands to planes, cave homes and tent cabins. These types of distinctive and luxurious spaces target guests looking for an extra special experience and can command a higher nightly rate and additional service fees.
Airbnb also provides access to millions of guests from all over the world, with 900 million guests having been welcomed by hosts on the platform who have earned a collective $110 billion. All of which make Airbnb a great option to list your tent cabin and grow your business.
Before you list your tent cabin on Airbnb, make sure your business meets Airbnb requirements as well as its users’ expectations.
Make sure the location you pitch your tent cabin is not only a gorgeous outdoor environment but also offers breathtaking views and access to hiking trails, beaches, star-filled night skies, etc. Your guests are looking to get away from the stresses of everyday life by reconnecting with nature, so make sure you give them a location that can offer just that. A bare land in the middle of a town surrounded by houses won’t bring in guests looking for relaxation and new experiences.
Make sure you offer insect repellant, torches and even a space for campfires. Then offer more. Your guests are looking for a great natural environment, but they are also on vacation looking for luxurious relaxation and even indulgence. Aim for 5-star reviews. Offer lounge furniture that is as comfortable as it looks good. Add a few pieces of local ceramics or stone busts for extra flourish. Make sure the bed and linens look and feel soft and luxurious. A bubble bath on an outdoor deck that allows guests to enjoy the natural surroundings at the same time is a valued touch.
Don’t forget the outdoors. Create an outdoor area for guests to relax, read, converse and watch the sun set. Furnish with hammocks, swings and outdoor furniture.
Don’t expect your guests to be entertained all day long by the surroundings and conversation alone. Provide a few books and magazines to leaf through. You can even do a little research before your guests arrive to make sure you provide literature they will enjoy. Include board games, playing cards, etc. A curated list of hikes, sights and other experiences and activities available nearby will make a lovely offering that will be appreciated.
Make sure your tent cabin vacation rental business does not violate any federal, state, county or city regulations. Some states may require you to apply for and get a vacation rental license. Other counties may not permit vacation rentals in areas categorized as agricultural land. There are also building and safety codes to consider depending on the location you’ve chosen. If you find it difficult to make sense of all the legalese on your own, consider enlisting the help of a legal professional. Pleading ignorance after being caught violating laws is not considered a valid legal excuse. It could also get you kicked out of listing on Airbnb.
Once your tent cabin is ready for Airbnb, you need to make sure your site listing is geared to create maximum impact so your business can enjoy a steady stream of satisfied guests.
Does the location offer access to a secret beach? Do you offer bath amenities hand made by local craftspeople? Do you offer rain showers? Or alfresco hot tubs? A swing to watch the sun set and a deck to gaze at the open expanse of stars in the night? Highlighting what is unique about your tent cabin vacation rental will help you stand out from others listing unique stays on Airbnb and attract the eye of potential guests.
Get a professional photographer to photograph the tent cabin, the décor and amenities, and of course the gorgeous views outside. Your photographs need to convey how fantastic an experience you are offering so you convert potential guests to actual guests. Check out our comprehensive guide to standout Airbnb photographs to get you started.
The interior of the tent cabin is just as important as the amazing natural beauty outside. Make sure your interior decoration matches the level of service you are marketing to guests, or you will have guests leaving bad reviews, resulting in low ratings on Airbnb. You could even decorate according to a theme, one that complements the location of your tent cabin.
Airbnb allows you to list all year round or block dates or even months in your calendar as being unavailable. Listing all year round allows you to earn revenue throughout, but this also depends on where your tent cabin is located. Is this a locale that experiences a rainy season two months of the year, or harsh winter gales two weeks in December? Is your tent cabin capable of withstanding that kind of weather? Even if it is, do you think your guests will enjoy being cooped up in a tent cabin for days as rain beats down on them without end? Most people like to experience the outdoors when it is nice outside. List your calendar accordingly.
Since a tent cabin is not a regular accommodation establishment, checking in, the amount of notice you will need to welcome new guests and the maximum number of guests you can accommodate can differ depending on the type of tent cabin and where it is located. Airbnb allows you to input all these parameters, as well as the minimum and maximum nights a guest can stay.
In the case you offer more than one tent cabin in one location, you can use the multiple listing feature on Airbnb. This allows you to showcase your vacation rental business as a single listing while allowing for bookings for each tent cabin. You don’t have to spread your photographs and marketing copy thin across separate listings nor run the risk of appearing to be ordinary or boring to both Airbnb and potential guests.
New photographs are important but don’t forget to mention new amenities, new activities and experiences possible in the season, etc. This conveys a sense of excitement and new experiences to potential guests while also eliminating the possibility that guests don’t turn up expecting to participate in activities and experiences that are not available or possible at that time.
Being located outdoors is no excuse for a tent cabin interior that is messy! Cleanliness is crucial to ensure guest satisfaction, so make sure you have a process in place for frequent and regular cleaning. Provide rugs and even boots, depending on the locale and in case it rains, so guests can make sure they don’t drag in the dirt from outside into the interior of the tent cabin. Don’t forget the outdoor area. Keep it free of tall grasses/reeds that can cut or scratch, fallen leaves, etc.
There is always room for improvement, and listening to your guests’ feedback is the best way to do that. This also ensures consistently great reviews by your guests, which have the power to make or break your listing on Airbnb. This doesn’t mean accidents don’t happen. If things do go wrong, make sure to make up for it by offering more. And make sure it doesn’t happen again. One bad review is a fluke; several bad reviews are a pattern!
A vacation rental software like Hostaway supports you by automating team, guest, revenue and operations management while giving you full control of your vacation rental business. A full-service, fixed price product like Hostaway gives you the time and flexibility to focus on running your business without being stymied by day-to-day tasks.
Listing on Airbnb offers your business a wider audience interested in unique experiences like a tent cabin can offer, as well as an increased exposure for your business. To really succeed as a vacation rental business however, you also need to engage in your own marketing. Your online presence is crucial, from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest as well as website and/or blog, to build a following and keep growing your revenue, nightly rate and occupancy.