Starting an Airbnb business in Kenya is a sure way of making money fast online in Kenya. Kenyan beginner hosts make certain mistakes stalling their Airbnb. Starting an Airbnb seems easy growing your Airbnb into a lucrative business isn’t.
Are you a Kenyan home-owner interested in real estate? Because buying property assures wealth for life? But you’re concerned that you might not get a return on investment.
Or do you have an abandoned home because you travelled? How can you turn your home into a six-figure business?. You jump at the thought of Airbnb.
While this is a great venture there are certain mistakes all newbie hosts make and they include:
- Your Customer Service Sucks.
You don’t pay attention to your guests’ needs. You’re only in for the money. You aren’t keen or adaptive. You’re not offering guest satisfaction. Guests aren’t fulfilled when they walk in your office. You leave guests with questions than answers. They’re left wondering and cursing you and your house. You lied. You exaggerated the facts.
You’re supposed to tell them facts no fiction. Solve issues on leaking roofs, electricity outages, dirty sinks and irritating neighbourhood noise. You were never on call or after that one phone call, you left your guests to fend for themselves.
You never showed them the direction to the pool, for example, if you live in an apartment complex. You left guests hanging, would you love to live in isolation in someone’s house?
Guests requested a change of room because they felt they made the wrong choice, you tell them to add money. They do, but you keep them in that room for hours or until the following day.
Guests feel insecure and dirty in your house. It’s dingy, dark, pathetic, no hot water. Sleeping on used bed sheets. How worse can it get?
2. You Don’t Offer Satisfying Customer Experience
It’s not about the service. The experience matters. How did you make your guests feel like when they lodged a complaint to you? Did you pro-act or react? Did you talk down on them? Did you allow them to talk and finish their sentences? Or did you make them feel bad for the errors they made?
When they, for example, said your shower water didn’t ‘rain’ how a shower must rain. What was your reaction? Did you defend yourself or say you’ll look into the shower matter and actually did?
Did you pick your guest from the airport very late? You apologised, calmed down your guest and allowed them to feel welcome amidst all trouble? Did you overcharge their credit cards but accepted your corrections from the mistake? Did you make them feel reassured?
Guest experience is making your guest feel catered for, at home, loved and cherished. What and how did you make your guest feel like?
3. You Don’t Use Airbnb – You’re Not A Guest.
This may seem corny but how can you market a product well if you don’t know its ins and outs? How can you cater to guests if your travel knowledge is zero?
How will you understand what guests want in a hotel room and fit that into your house? Travel more, open yourself to experiences. Come back and add onto your own.
4. You Don’t Have A Target Audience.
Many Airbnb hosts don’t understand the importance of knowing who their market is. When you don’t know your market how can you sell to them? What’s your message to them from you to visit your house?
How can you tell them about your house and its features? How do the features differ from say Sarova Group of Hotels? How can you woe a hotel traveller to your house? Understand your market so you know how to reach to them.
5. You Don’t Market Your Home
You don’t care to market or promote your house. Because you’re a super-host doesn’t mean guests will find you. Why should guests visit you? What is it about your house?
Is it the tutorials you have been offering? Is it the experience? Is it your stories or charming personality.
Market your guesthouse and forget about star ratings, those are stars.
6. Customer Retention Strategies
You don’t have skills of retaining and maintaining a customer. Yours was a meet and greet forget kind of adventure, get paid and go home.
75 -80% of satisfied customers will always come back. And they’ll bring more guests with them. Why are you not targeting your customers?
Why are you relying on promotions for guests while you have them at your fingertips? Use those guests you have hosted.
Go back to reviews, tell them what you have improved and how subsidised their services will be next time. Tell them to refer your house to others as they will get rewarded. The answers, they say lie within your reach.
8. What’s Your House’s, Niche Market?
Who are your intended customers? Why did you choose them? For example, if you select frugal or budget travellers, why them?
Is it a niche that you have lots of materials about and you cater to? Is it a niche you can create for unforgettable experiences?
Niche and sub-niche that way your guests are as narrow as possible. You don’t risk losing business, you risk making money by being the best.
9. Your Check-In Is Horrible.
Is your check-in marred with complications of, for example, overbooking? Are your guests’ lists jumbled up you don’t remember who booked what, when and how?
You aren’t available when guests check-in so they spend hours and years waiting for you. Make the check-in easier as well as the check-out.
We all want simple lives and procedures, long tedious processes make guests give up. DON’T make guests give up before they check-in.
10. Your Prices Aren’t Competitive.
You never made any research to identify your competitors what they’re offering and why. You never made an effort to know what makes them get overbooked. You never cared to find out.
11. Your Home Photos Aren’t Eye-Grabbing.
You didn’t photograph the intricate details that make your house appealing. Your photos are dull, shot in dingy light and they look blurry.
Your photos don’t address the details of your house. Your photos don’t transition from room to room. Your photos look cluttered and all over the place.
12. Your Airbnb Description Doesn’t Emphasise Your House’s Price Points.
What does your house have that another in your area doesn’t have? Why do you care to share your house with others? What do guests get in your house not offered in a nearby hotel?
Give your house a name, the experiences within and without it and why guests should visit you. Do you live near an airport? Are you a pilot? Will you take guests for a ‘ride’ so they photograph the scenery from above? Describe your house, let it touch on the details.
13. Airbnb is a Side-Hustle Not a Business
This is another side hustle for you which you’re trying out. Not bad but in the long term you won’t have guests. For an Airbnb or Guesthouse to be a sustainable business, you need a strategy.
The strategy includes marketing, promoting and writing captivating descriptions. You need to learn customer etiquette, thoughtfulness and understand your competition.
If you want a side hustle that pays for itself, right? Then create one.
14. You Don’t Offer A Space For Reviews Or Don’t Review Your Guests.
How can guests know about your house if you don’t review them? Or after booking, you go mum and the review window expires. It’s better to know the faults of your house so you can change them. It’s better to beware of changes you have to make than hiding behind the changes.
Don’t result to name- calling your guests, ‘too posh, too choosy’. Unwillingness to change or exaggerating your reviews by ONLY showing the five-star rating. As your guest list expands so do your dwindling rates.
A tip, ask guests what they liked and didn’t like. Tell them to write a very honest and open review (truthful). After updates on the wrongs of your house, you can update the incoming guests of what you updated and why.
15. You Don’t Like Learning.
Who likes correction? And to get corrected about your home decor style?. Or that your house is posh but you need to declutter? Who wants lessons on how much to charge for their house? Who wants schooling on how to respond to a rude customer? Isn’t the world’s rule, treat me bad, I treat you bad?
Every business owner is correct, after all, they took the risks. Now only a few business owners survive the test of time, those who learn, are willing to change and keep learning. Which guest house operator are you?
You cannot know everything, be open to new ideas and changes. Open yourself to receive constructive criticism and see your Airbnb grow. Don’t fret over ratings so much though. You’re doing your best by being charming, truthful and reliable.
If you’d love to know how to run a successful Bed and Breakfast, Sign Up for my course on Udemy.
You’re going to learn how to scale your Airbnb into a six-figure home. By transforming your house