Rebecca Morgan’s presentation on successful hosting was one of the most talked-about sessions at Airbnb Open. Rebecca is an author and consultant who has appeared on Oprah, 60 Minutes, and NPR to talk about business leadership. She’s also a Superhost who loves opportunities to teach other hosts ways to attract more bookings.
For Rebecca, proactivity is the key to success. She highlighted four ways to earn bookings by anticipating the needs of travelers that visit your area:
1. Capitalize on local events
Keep track of events that are happening in your community. If a festival or conference is coming up, you should edit your listing to mention it. Send a message to the event’s organizers, who are likely to need rooms for artists, event staff, volunteers, or attendees. “Make sure that the everyone involved with the event is aware that your listing is a hassle-free local option for visitors,” she explains.
2. Make friends with local businesses
While events come and go, many areas have places that attract visitors throughout the year. If you live near a hospital, Rebecca recommends that you visit its information booth to let the staff know that you’re there for people in need of a place to stay. Yoga studios are another example—they often bring in expert teachers that attract visiting students. To promote her listings, Rebecca visited several local yoga studios to talk to the staff and distribute her business cards. As a result, she attracted extra bookings when the studios hosted special events.
3. Donate to your community
Rebecca also suggests gift-giving as a way to make your listing visible to locals. Silent auctions at events in your neighborhood are a good opportunity: if you donate a night’s stay, hundreds of locals will learn about your space and the hospitality you provide. “When you tap into the market of locals,” Rebecca explains, “you’ll become their go-to option when they need to refer visiting relatives to a place to stay.”
4. Promote your space
She also recommends staying ready with fliers or business cards that make your listing stand out. Her own business card is decorated with a photo of fresh-cut flowers, which she says is “prettier and more interesting than the typical shot of a bedroom.” Her card includes her email address, phone number, and bit.ly shortened URLs for each of her three listings.
For Rebecca, success boils down to being a community player: Stay aware of what’s happening in your town, and be proactive so locals know that your listing is there to meet visitors’ needs.