Many vacation rental hosts loathe the idea of peddling products to their guests for fear of looking greedy but could you be missing a trick? Very possibly, as nowadays you can easily bump up your profit and enhance the guest experience through innovative and tasteful Airbnb upsells.
Upselling is an easy way to maximize revenue while also ensuring the best possible experience for your guests. And it does not have to be annoying or sleazy.
It’s all about what you sell and how you sell it. Just put yourself in your guests’ shoes and imagine those personal touches you wouldn’t mind paying for and that would make your holiday more enjoyable.
Let’s take a look at some innovative ways to increase vacation rental revenue through upselling.
Upselling is a sales technique used to persuade guests to pay a little more for an even better overall experience. This tactic has been used by hotels for years but has only recently made its way into the vacation rental industry.
The idea is to think of ways you can enhance someone’s holiday from start to finish. It may seem ironic but charging more can actually drastically improve the way your guests remember their stay at your Airbnb or vacation rental.
What is the difference between cross-selling and upselling?
At first glance, they seem to mean the same thing. The difference is that cross-selling refers to selling a product that compliments another purchase while upselling encourages your buyer to pay for the upgraded version of something. Cross-selling and upselling can both be used successfully to increase vacation rental income and improve the overall guest experience.
10 Cool and subtle Airbnb upsells your guests won’t mind
If check-out time is 2 pm, but their flight doesn’t leave until 9 am, guests are left wandering aimlessly around the city or dragging their luggage through the airport for hours. Most guests would prefer to pay a little bit extra to hang out at the rental home for the afternoon or leave their luggage there while they explore the area a bit more.
2. Luggage storage
Of course, early check-ins and late check-outs only work if booking schedules don’t overlap. If you have another guest arriving the same day that your former guests are leaving, checking in early or staying late is not an option.
That leaves guests with paying for a luggage locker. Finding storage services that you can trust isn’t easy, especially in a big city. Not to mention your guests will have to schlep their luggage around until they find a luggage locker that isn’t out of the way from your rental home or the airport.
In this case, offer to store your guests’ luggage either at your Airbnb or with a company you trust. If a guest arrives early enough in the day to do some sightseeing, allow them to drop their luggage off for a small fee and keep it safely secured.
The chaos at the airport terminal can be overwhelming. Working out where to go and who can take you there and how much it will cost, is enough to raise the blood pressure of even the most chilled guests.
Many guests will be only too happy to be rescued from this mayhem and confusion by paying for airport transportation to your property. If you pick them up personally from the airport, you make more money and your guests often appreciate the personal touch.
If this is not practical, another way you can help out your guests and make a little extra revenue is to work with a transportation company. Sign up as an affiliate, send your guests the link to the company’s website or include it in your description of the property, and when guests book a ride through the link, you get a cut of the profit.
Some vacation rental owners rent out their second car or motorcycle to guests during their stay. In this case, you will want to check local laws and your insurance policy to avoid any legal issues
4. Sports Equipment
Active guests will love the idea of being able to rent sports or outdoor equipment directly from your rental. This will help to make their holiday more memorable. Some of the most popular sports equipment rentals include:
Keep your prices for renting the equipment lower than those at local sports clubs or shops to help your guests save money and ensure they rent directly from you. Remember to include all the safety gear and accessories needed for each activity, such as life jackets and helmets.
5. Local Experiences
Similarly, you could enhance your guest’s experience by teaming up with others to offer additional experiences such as horseback riding, white water rafting, cooking classes, or yoga courses? Creating a working relationship with these professionals will not only support the local economy but will also add value to your guests.
While upgrading the overall experience of your guests, you also keep a percentage of all sales made by the local vendor.
6. Upgrade your welcome basket
A complimentarywelcome basket is a great way to make your guest feel at home, but with an optional upgraded basket, you give the guest the option of adding something extra for a more personalized experience.
For example, you might offer a luxury basket containing champagne, salmon, olives, artisan cheeses, and specialty meats, encouraging a romantic evening indoors.
Other upgraded baskets could include:
Local Chef’s Basket: recipes, spices, and wines specific to the area
Self-care Basket: facials, bath bombs, locally made soaps, lotions, tea, chocolate, and a list of the best spas in town
Farmer’s Market Basket: fresh fruits, vegetables, and homemade bread from local farmers and bakers
7. Health or beauty kits
We all know the frustration of going on holiday without your toothbrush or toothpaste or a container for your contact lenses. Offering a few beauty or health essentials for emergencies at your rental for a small fee would prevent the need for an urgent dash to the shops.
Other essentials could include bug spray and sunscreen as well as, local beauty products, or treatments by local providers, such as facials or massages.
8. Snacks and drinks
Most guests won’t expect you to provide drinks or snacks for free. However, the hotel mini-bar concept may go down well. Offer some chilled drinks or wine in the fridge, as well as a few nibbles, such as popcorn, crisps, crackers, or chocolate bars with an accompanying price list.
Avoid hiking the prices too much, but charging a bit more than what they’d pay if they had to go and buy the products themselves, is perfectly acceptable.
9. A pre-booked mid-stay clean
This is a great idea, which we got from a company called the Host.Co, who offers some great ideas of products you can sell from your Airbnb or short term rental. They help you set up a store on your website for free. This is one little extra we would definitely not mind paying for. Who doesn’t like the luxury of coming home to a freshly cleaned space after a long day of sightseeing?
10. A fully stocked pantry
This is another idea from the Host.Co that we love. Imagine arriving at your vacation home with the pantry already stocked with all your pre-ordered favorites. No need to rush to the shop before you can settle down and start enjoying your holiday. Another way of doing this is simply to stock the pantry with things you think your guests may like and let them pay for the items they use.
What are the benefits of short term rental upsell?
To run a profitable vacation rental business, you’ll need to be creative and put in the necessary hours. Adjusting how you do things and brainstorming what upgrades to include with your property will give you greater potential to increase your annual revenue.
By offering services that simplify the vacation experience and go the extra mile, you will make guests feel looked after and pampered, resulting in positive reviews and returning clients.
Travelers looking to simplify their holiday plans will be more open to choosing a rental home that provides upsell options such as airport transfers or mid-stay cleans over properties that only offer basic amenities.
Kickstart your Airbnb upsell process now
What Airbnb upsell options make the most sense for your property? Housekeeping, grocery delivery services, honeymoon packages, or even a personal driver? The list is endless!
Every vacation rental is different and depending on where yours is located and what your niche is, you should be able to find a variety of special and subtle upgrades that not only won’t annoy your guests but can make a big difference to their stay. Think outside the box and imagine the little luxuries you wouldn’t mind paying extra for during your holiday.
Have any upselling ideas that we didn’t mention? Share them below!
Disclaimer: Lodgify is an Airbnb Preferred Software Partner. This post, including any claims or statements within, is solely from Lodgify and is not endorsed by, directly affiliated with, authorized, or sponsored by Airbnb in any way.
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