Good on you Katrina, the more you can involve your local community, the more successful you will be.
When I started short term renting I did meet a bit of resistance from articles in the local newspaper about the problems associated with STR in a community. I do live and host in a small town environment and everything that goes on here gets noticed.
Throughout 2018 I did a straw poll, I asked each guest what they would have spent during the duration of their stay here in my listing in my town of Mt Barker! Some were just overnighters.....a pizza, perhaps a bottle of wine and that was it, maybe $50. Some however spent considerably longer here and their stays ended up with them pouring maybe $1,500 into the community.....and in a couple of instances even more!
The average from the 127 stays I had in 2018 was $285 per stay.....that amounts to $36,195 that Airbnb verified and positively identified guests bought into my local community via my listing. Multiply that by the 157 Airbnb hosts in my area that means that Airbnb has brought into my community $5.68 million in 2018.
I presented that evidence at a local council meeting, and it was reported in the local newspaper, and suddenly much of the resistance I had previously felt disappeared. It disappeared to the point where I now have 'Airbnb Welcome Here' window stickers on many of the local traders windows and some even offer a discount for Airbnb guests.
Money talks, and I have turned a negative into a positive and I now feel Airbnb do not have one opponent in this town of 36,000 residents and so we have absolutely no restrictions on our hosting. I have 5 other Airbnb hosts on board, we each help each other out with hosting issues, we get together regularly with local council, make sure we keep our traders on side, and it is a win/win situation.....everyone benefits!
My approach may not work in a large city environment, but I think it is worth a try and I strongly recommend other hosts try it!
Sell yourself and sell Airbnb and you will be amazed what can happen!
@Katie @Melodie-And-John0 @Laura2592 @Catherine-Powell