The travel industry has seen many changes in the past decade including a rise in the number of vacation rentals all over the world. With online platforms like Airbnb and Home Away, more and more travellers are opting to stay in alternative accommodations instead of the standard hotel or hostel. Since this trend shows no signs of stopping, tour and activity operators should not ignore the potential of this alternative distribution channel.
Here are 5 ways for you to work with holiday rental operators such as Airbnb hosts.
1. Do your homework
You will need to spend time researching your local area to find holiday rental hosts near you. Once you’ve identified the people who operate in your area and who you’d like to work with, craft out a great introductory message. Be sure to introduce yourself, your company and include the details of your product offering. You want to come across as professional and trustworthy. Feel free to include your website’s address, your social media accounts and your email address so that they can get in touch with you.
2. Bring the host on one of your tours or activities
We know that word of mouth marketing is one of the best way for you to grow your business and having your tours recommended by locals could do wonders for your company. Why not turn locals in your area into your very own brand ambassadors by bringing them on one of your tours or activities?
This would give them first hand experience to draw from when telling travellers or even other locals about your company and your products.
3. Figure out what else you can offer these customers
You could even work with these vacation rental operators to figure out additional offerings you could provide their customers with, for example transportation from the rental property to the meeting point for your tour or activity.
4. Offer hosts a referral commission
A great way to incentivise vacation rental operators to promote your business is by offering them a referral commission. Of course the percentage of commission you offer is up to you but if they’re going to be putting effort into helping your business grow, you should consider offering them some sort of payment for long-term sustainability instead of solely relying on their good will.
5. Provide them with an ample supply of updated brochures
Just like you would promote your tours and activities through a hostel and hotel, the same rules apply here. Make sure you’ve got brochures to pass on to your newfound partners. It is the simplest form of marketing. All you need to do is prepare the brochure and get the vacation rental operators to lay it out on a table. What could be easier?
Simplify the whole process with TrekkSoft's Partner Network
You can cross-sell your products and offerings with your new found partners, allowing both of you to promote each others' products on your websites and distribution channels. This gives your customers more value while simplifying the whole payment process too.
Do you have any other tips or tricks you'd like to share with us on how to work with vacation rental owners and Airbnb hosts?
Written by Nicole Kow
Having graduated from the UK, Nicole travelled around Europe before joining TrekkSoft's marketing team. She is now based in KL and regularly blogs about her travels at Next Train Out.