What’s up friends, This discussion is an update of one of our more popular videos of 2017.
This is the 2018 version of what amenities you must have in your Short-Term Rental.
So just to remind everyone the state of affairs in 2018, is that hosting is becoming more serious. There’s more competition and so, therefore, standards are going up and guest expectations are going up in 2017. The things that were exceptional are now the standard in 2018 like blazing fast Wi-Fi remain really important. If you could get away without having that in 2017 by 2018 it’s a must-have. Similarly, a really well-executed guidebook that’s super helpful is like the bare minimum standard requirement if you need help. We’ll include the link. We have a guidebook tool super easy to use. Tons of hosts have loved it. Add to that list I think there’s some things that Airbnb itself has told us about the plus program that are going to become standard requirements. And then we have some ideas as we start to look forward.
So let’s get into what Airbnb has told us are really important requirements and it basically just comes down to a turnkey apartment or house that works.
And what I mean by that is when you go into the kitchen there needs to be staples like salt and pepper and olive oil. So somebody could go to the grocery store and say buy eggs or a steak and cook it. They don’t have to buy every single thing. By July of 2018 every host needs to do this to be considered for their plus, and that is basic soap shampoo conditioner in the bathrooms.
There’s a variety of ways to do it. A lot of people like to get the smaller size. I personally think that’s a little bit of a waste of time and money. I’ve yet to find that perfect solution. I’ve considered manufacturing some and importing them from Bali. We have a video on that. But in the meantime until I figure that out what I personally do is I buy large containers with a pump set it’s clean and nobody gets yanked out by using somebody else’s soap. I use body foam again so it’s like a dispenser and it’s not like somebody else’s piece of soap and it’s not a lot of waste. And I put those in all of my different properties and once again the concept there is really simple. Somebody arrives at your home. It’s midnight. They’ve had a really long day. They have a business meeting the next morning and they want to get showered and clean and ready to go.
They don’t want to say oh my gosh I didn’t bring the stuff and don’t forget.
Now with the FAA rules you can’t travel with things that are bigger than three and a half ounces so a lot of road warriors are carrying things on and they don’t want to carry shampoo and conditioner and so on.
So if you don’t have it it’s like oh I can’t believe I have to run out. Now what’s open where am I going blah blah blah. But if you do have it they just step into the shower and they’re like wow this host is great. They’ve thought of everything charging has become more important as people have more phones and laptops and iPad and so on and more kids have more of this stuff. It’s really really important so I think dedicated charging stations that are convenient and located and easy to use and access place becomes important. I also think having something by the bed stand. So you know personally I plug my phone in at night I use it as an alarm and I put that on my nightstand. Now the challenges hosts are these adapters and cords are not inexpensive and if you make it too convenient or too mobile you may have some losses incurred with it it’s going to be hard to figure out which guest took it and who to charge and you don’t even really want to get into that. So what I personally do is I have dedicated stations that are cumbersome or charge many different items at the same time. So somebody literally has to like wanna steal this brick discharging brick. We’ve included what I use in my kit. So go ahead and check that out. To make sure that people don’t have to like move beds and nightstands and get on their hands and knees and plug something in and then do the exact opposite when they leave to unplug it have it ready to go just walk in plug it in.
Boom. Now the next couple of ideas are really kind of forward thinking. Some are more particular to right now and some I think will be more relevant in 2019. And they also cost a little bit more money. But it’s clear that technology is important and becoming even more important in hosting it in our everyday lives. So the first thing that I’m experimenting with right now are smart locks I think Keys and Key Exchange and not losing keys and returning keys and all like that is a nightmare. And really good intentioned guests also can lose keys or misplaced keys. And so that’s a nightmare. So I think a great solution is smart locks so to be clear Smart Lock technology is here right. It exists. We can all do it. I just don’t think the user experience is 100 percent but that’s why I’m testing it I’m going to try a few different locks on them and share with you what I think is important. But I think that that would be a really great experience. I’m personally testing the August 1. I will have a review on this channel, but I think that Smart Lock technology: that is Bluetooth enabled or code enabled that people don’t have to carry keys and forget. You know how many times have you had a guest that returns to Amsterdam with the keys and they need to mail it back to you. Like that is perhaps something we need to move forward so I think smart locks become even more important.
And if you have the time and the money and you agree with me 2018 is a really great time to start experimenting so you have a solution that’s guest friendly. The next idea I think is a little forward thinking and I don’t know if it’s important in 2018 or 2019. But check this out.
The advent of the smart speaker is here. People are using Alexa in particular by the millions
and then also the Google alternative their speaker and Apple just announced their speaker. So this concept of having a speaker in the room that can help you is here. I don’t know exactly how it would work for guasts, but I envision the following scenario. I get into a Airbnb as a guest. I’ve never been to say Seattle before and I turned to Alexa and say “Alexa call me an Uber. I want to go to the Pike Street Market. What time does this restaurant open or make me a reservation.”
So now speaking to somebody that’s like a concierge or built in concierge is there. Again I think we’re a little bit away from that because I think I’d have to log in with my own account as opposed to the host’s account. But I envision the future where in my Airbnb I’m going to have a virtual smart assistant that can search and buy and procure and answer questions. What’s the weather like etc..
So if we start to think like that and we start to prepare for that, we’re going to be ahead of the curve and that’ll differentiate. So my tip is if you’re not currently experimenting with voice technology in your own home for yourself buy one you can get the least expensive one I think it’s the Amazon Alexa. For like thirty nine dollars or so but start to play with it and that’s exactly where I am now. And the more that I learn and the more that I use it the more I’ll keep you updated.
I just know how cool would it be to have a concierge in your Airbnb.
Much like you would call in a hotel down to the lobby and speak to the concierge there and say How do I get tickets for this show and how do I get there and what time do they open and close like we have that technology artificial intelligence and voice technology is here. Now we need to adapt that for our own Airbnb use and then promote it. So those are my thoughts on the state of affairs in 2018 and the things that I’m working on to make my guest experience even better. What are some of your tips?
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Richard Fertig Founder Short Term Rental University