There comes a time in every host's life when they start to consider what Airbnb add on services they can offer. You start to think about Airbnb extra services when you've already made the most you can with hosting: You have a high-quality listing, set optimal prices and provide an outstanding hospitality experience.
Once you've maximized your income, it's time to think outside the box: how can you increase your Airbnb revenue? You can do this by offering Airbnb add on services to your guests, such as:
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According to data from YourWelcome, hosts can earn an extra $27 from late-checkouts, $35 for mid-stay cleanings and $15 for luggage storage.
This money can increase your revenue significantly. Hold your horses, though, as there are two things to consider before you start charging away:
The short answer is: it depends on your goals, the state of your Airbnb business and the type of service. Let's talk first about the things that don't increase your expenses, such as late-checkouts and luggage storage. But some things, like luggage storage, can be annoying and not worth the hassle. You could instead recommend them to use a service like Stasher luggage storage and then focus on providing more value elsewhere.
The main argument not to charge for this type of additional services is that it may negatively affect your reviews. One of the best ways to get stellar reviews from your guests is to exceed their expectations, and a way to do this is to offer extras for free.
Therefore, I would be hesitant to charge unless I feel 100% certain that I'm already offering an outstanding guest experience and I'm receiving consistent five-star reviews. If that's the case for you, and you're looking to maximize revenues from your business, then go ahead and take advantage of these opportunities.
These include services such as additional cleanings, airport pick-ups and other services that cost you money. They are benefits to your guests that they wouldn't expect to get for free. Therefore, they add to the experience even though they come at an expense to the guest.
While you may want to reserve some things for a free “extra touch”, there are plenty of services you can upsell on Airbnb without putting your guests off. It of course depends on the kind of listing you have, your resources and your time, but here are some ideas for potential things you can upsell:
If your listing is somewhere that's historically or culturally rich, guided tours is an awesome way to make additional income. When guests are coming to your listing specifically for visiting the city, this is a great service to offer. If you know your city well (and like speaking and entertaining tourists), you could offer it yourself. Alternatively, you could partner with somebody who does offer this and you can take a commission from them.
You can offer to make your guests a home-cooked meal: breakfast or dinner. That way, you can turn your listing into a real bed and breakfast. If you like cooking or you work with someone who likes to cook, this is a great Airbnb add on service. Of course this works best if your guest is staying in or near the same house as you. You can offer them a menu when they arrive and ask them to let you know the night before whether they will want a meal from you or not.
Sometimes people go on a trip to celebrate a special occasion like a birthday or an anniversary. One of them may want to surprise the other and decorate or have a little surprise for them when they get back to the property. You can provide this as an extra service: you can decorate, get them a bottle of wine and a cake.
If you have high occupancy and know the area well, you can partner with local attractions and restaurants to get a commission for guests you send them. Either the guests book through you, or they can get a small deal at the attraction/restaurant if they mention you (this requires a high level of trust between you and the owner of the other business!). This helps relieve hassle for the guests as well.
You can offer local products, a mini bar, beers (more beers than in your welcome pack, for example) or even offer to go grocery shopping for your guests. This can be super convenient for them if they just want to go out all day and then relax at home, without having to think about buying food. Or if they want to find some local delicacies to bring back with them, they can buy them directly from you!
A really nice additional service you could offer is child care. That way, if there's a family that wants to go out in the evening, you (or someone you outsource) could watch the kids at the Airbnb. This could be an amazing USP that sets you apart from other Airbnb listings and a way to make some extra income.
It's pretty common in hospitality to offer laundry as an extra paid service. Of course this would only work if the listing doesn't have a washer/dryer inside it. Most guests would expect to be able to access the machine for free if it's inside of the apartment. However, you could offer to wash/dry/fold it for them for an extra fee.
If you decide to charge for extras, you want to consider the different options to receive the money. The goal is to make the transaction as smooth as possible and involve as little extra hassle for the guest as possible.
The options are:
Cash: I don't like this option very much. It feels too transactional, the guests may not have money on them, and if you're a remote host, then it's a hassle to collect.
Through Airbnb: This option involves too much hassle in my opinion. You have to change the reservation amount, and the guests have to approve it for every service they want to add. Also, Airbnb will increase the service fee based on the increased reservation amount.
Wire transfer: Way too expensive and complicated, especially if when hosting foreign guests.
Online payment solutions: Paypal, Vemmo, etc. Only works if you and your guests both have an account and the fees are typically significant. Not ideal either.
The YourWelcome tablet is particularly useful as a way to offer extra services as it allows you to sell tickets to events and earn a commission through their E-commerce platform, plus it can be used to provide information about your listing, essentially serving as a digital guidebook.
If you don't want to get the whole tablet, Touchstay creates an app that is a guidebook of your listing, including all your extra services (that guests can directly pay for via the app), and you don't need any extra devices.
Charging for additional services can increase revenue from your Airbnb business. Extra services that incur expenses, such as mid-stay cleanings and airport pick-ups, can be charged for and add to the guest experience if the transaction can happen frictionlessly.
Services that don't incur extra expenses, such as late-check outs and luggage storage, should be charged for only if the host had built a solid reputation on Airbnb and is receiving consistent five-star reviews. Otherwise, these services should be used to improve the experience and guest ratings.
The best way to charge the guest is by using a third-party app like YourWelcome or GuestBook. These apps make the transaction smooth at a reasonable cost to the host.
Related post: How to Start Airbnb Arbitrage and What to Look Out For
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