Additional revenue streams from vacation rental

Level 2
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I was curious how some of you have found creative ways to generate additional revenue from your guests while they're staying at the property?  For example, I've been thinking about marketing certain restaurants or businesses to my guests via our property, with an agreement from those businesses to pay for the marketing I'd provide.  I've also thought about marketing products that would generate repeat purchases based on what local businesses offer, and directing the guests to my property's site to purchase while negotiating some sort of deal with businesses that would make sense for a break on cost so I pocket a margin on the sales.  Just a couple of initial thoughts I've been considering, but I was curious what others might be doing to further maximize their vacation rental in different, creative ways?

3 Replies

Re: Additional revenue streams from vacation rental

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@Jake398 I think any marketing effort to get local businesses to pay you may be difficult to get off the ground. Your guest pool is limited by the number of stays you have per month. The audience shops and restaurants might reach is just way too small and many are already struggling to keep staff and stay open. I doubt extra marketing dollars are freely flowing right now. 

 

There are some hosts who sell merchandise for their very unique Airbnbs. If yours is just a nice place to stay but not a train car, arcade or treehouse that might not be appealing. Some hosts sell snacks, but I think that is tacky. Some have a craft business they can tie in like a pottery studio-- their handicrafts can be found in the space with info on pricing.

 

We have some local wineries in our area who have on occasion given us nice discounts on cases to leave their wine for our guests. There are also local shops that we support and send guests to, follow on social media and with whose proprietors we are well acquainted and friendly. We have done tie in events with them when appropriate but nothing that made us a bunch of money. Its more about connecting with the community and having people refer us as a place to stay. 

 

As a guest I would be annoyed if someone was pushing me towards certain activities for a kickback or insisting that I buy things in their space. I think it can rarely be done gracefully, and when it is, it typically doesn't directly line the pockets of the host. 

Re: Additional revenue streams from vacation rental

Level 2

@Laura2592 all really good and fair points. Thanks for your reply. 

Re: Additional revenue streams from vacation rental

in
Berlin, Germany
Level 10

@Jake398  There are a lot of different ways to be successful as a host, but I think the most universal one is to create the experience you would most want to have if you were the guest. What kind of host would you rather have - one who treats your family with sincere hospitality and gives reliable, honest advice about local businesses, or one who's cutting a deal for their recommendations and always trying to sell you stuff?

 

I agree with Laura that your business doesn't have the kind of scale that would make mercenary arrangements with local businesses profitable for you. But still, I can see from your listing a lot of potential opportunities for new revenue streams. For example, you offer free kayaks, which is awesome - but it's also quite an exceptional amenity, so you could change this to an optional add-on for a daily rental fee. If you're not hosting remotely and have the time, you could also create an Experiences listing and offer guided kayak tours or other outdoor excursions that can be booked in tandem with a stay. And since the house doesn't seem to be right next door to a supermarket, I bet a lot of guests would pay an extra fee to have a customized food hamper waiting for them on arrival, stocked with a good mix of convenient staples and local delicacies. If you're doing longer stays, you can offer interim cleanings as a luxury service.

 

The important thing is that whatever goods or services you offer for extra income should be relevant and desirable to the guests. Your beautiful home has an understandably high price tag, and you want for guests who don't go in for the bells and whistles to still feel that they've gotten a good value. But if an optional extra offering or two makes the offering even more convenient and enjoyable for the guests, that's a win for everyone.

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