Only a Fool Will Use Airbnb's Latest Marketing Tool
During Chesky's February 2018 facebook live video, it was announced that several new features/programs (ex: Airbnb Plus) were in the works, that would later be rolled out to hosts.
One of these features was a customized URL web address: hosts would be able to choose a custom URL that leads travelers directly to their listing on the Airbnb site. Hosts would then be able to market a catchy web address on their business cards, personal website, or local chamber of commerce, etc.
Fast forward to today... many hosts opened their email to see this in their inbox:
"We appreciate all you do as a Superhost to make your guests feel welcome. To make it easier for you to promote your listing, we’re giving you access to a new marketing tool: custom web addresses. Now you’ll have the opportunity to create a link to your property that’s as unique and personal as your hospitality style. Mark your calendars now – starting on 28/08 at 2pm PST , you’ll receive a dashboard banner inviting you to create your own customised web address"
Today's forums are filled with excited Airbnb hosts who can't wait to sign up for this offer on August 28th! They have ZERO desire to book travelers directly, and actually WANT to send travelers to Airbnb and pay their service fees.
How generous of Airbnb to allow hosts to advertise for them for free!
Unless you've been living under a rock, you should already know of Airbnb's recent opt-in program, allowing some hosts to pay an 11% commission in lieu of guest service fees. OTAs typically introduce policies as "optional," only to later implement them as mandatory.
Airbnb is chasing the same 15% commission that Booking.com gets from their hosts, so that 11% is only your special introductory rate!
Here are several reasons why you too should take advantage of this URL special offer, instead of booking travelers direct:
- You LOVE Airbnb's extenuating circumstances policy, giving guests a 100% refund if a member of the group gets sick. Who cares if you can't re-book those dates?
- You're looking forward to paying a commission, along with each subsequent % increase.
- You are more than happy to market the Airbnb brand, giving them more leverage when deciding future policies that only benefit them.
- You LOVE their "assistance animal" policy: Guests don't need permission to bring unlimited "emotional support" animals to your property. Comfort snakes, therapy rats, or 10 emotional support cats are more than welcome. And all for FREE!
If you're going to help market a brand, at least be smart about it. Choose a Book Direct site that doesn't impose controls on owners. It doesn't matter which one–just pick one, any one.
Here are a few reasons why my favorite book direct site is Houfy:
- It's FREE for both travelers and owners: No commissions/service fees/subscription fees
- I can advertise my own website, facebook business page, instagram, property videos, etc.
- I can create unlimited digital guidebooks for my guests. All for FREE.
- My travelers can pay for their reservation online. Houfy does NOT interfere with my $$$$, and I receive the funds within 2 days of the booking.
- I create my own refund and cancellation policies
And check this out! Houfy has already been making its members custom URLs for well over a year and a half. Here is mine - it goes directly to my Houfy listing: cabininlakelure.com
It looks like Airbnb is chasing Booking.com, and now Houfy too! Be Smart. Don't Be a Fool. List your property on Houfy.