Why AirBnb Could be Your New Interior Design or Home Staging Niche
The Kate Show | Episode 71
Have you been looking for a way to take your interior design or home staging business to the next level? Some of the most lucrative business ideas can be implemented within an existing business and marketed to your existing audience, and this new business venture is no exception.
Most of us are familiar with AirBnb, the revolutionary hospitality platform that allows home owners and property managers the opportunity to rent out spaces to short-term guests and make nearly a completely passive income doing it.
The buck doesn't stop there, my friend. Today on The Kate Show, I'm sharing how you can leverage the hospitality revolution to the benefit of your home industry business. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes or Google Play.
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How to Offer Niche Services for AirBnb Hosts
Did you know that training courses exist for people who want to list their spaces on AirBnb? Not only is AirBnb a game-changer for travelers, it is also a money maker that can turn the "have nots" into people with money to spend. This is serious stuff that you as a business owner should pay attention to...starting now.
Let's set one thing straight: People who list their spaces on AirBnb are, to varying degrees, business-minded individuals. They learn quickly that well-photographed spaces climb in popularity, and even more is true for well-designed spaces.
While you can't help them with all facets of maintaining a perfect booking record and happy guests, you can play a huge role in their income stream just by niching your interior design or home staging services to meet their needs. For you, this might become an entire business model or just an additional service offering. Either way, you should consider making the ambitious AirBnb host your next target client.
To do this, you'll first need to understand the struggle that many hosts have when preparing their space for guests. They might not be able to remodel, but they need a makeover of the room or suite to make it marketable both online and in-person (because guests will often photograph the spaces in which they're staying). This is where you come into the picture.
Your unique selling proposition could simply be, "...to help you become the AirBnb host with the most (income, bookings, beautiful listings, etc)." You would essentially be serving a business-to-business demographic instead of the business-to-consumer demographic that many of you are currently serving. In my experience, B2B is often a more lucrative business model. People in the business of making money won't mind spending it if that investment is proven to pay off.
In the case of AirBnb and their super-host designation for the best listings, this investment in interior staging and styling is not only justified. It's required for maximum success on the platform. With the path before you already mapped out and proven to work, all you need to do is show up in front of the hosts that are hungry for success within their passive income streams.
Sample Service Packages for the AirBnb Niche Market
The following are a couple service packages ideas that you can use, tweak, and implement in your design or staging firm to reach this AirBnb host market.
Suggested Service Package Name: AirBnb Launch Pad
If you live in a city full of current and hopeful hosts, you could start by offering traditional, in person design, staging, or styling consultations. Or, if you prefer to work with hosts all over the nation, offer your consultations virtually instead.
The purpose of this service would be to help new or struggling hosts up the ante with their listing aesthetic, thus attracting online views and booking out their schedules. Because it is only a consultation, you would be providing a limited service at an affordable price and offering helpful suggestions on how to improve the use of each square foot and how to decorate in a way that will appeal to many people while also maintaining a unique sense of place. (See? You guys are the perfect professionals for this task.)
Suggested Service Package Name: AirBnb Makeover
One step up from a consultation, your AirBnb Makeover package could include a list of actual decor, bedding, and furniture items for the hosts to purchase. You could offer trade-only items through your firm or direct the host toward each item in retail stores. This is more of a shop-with-you service that will help each host nail down a color palette and aesthetic for their listing.
Due to the DIY nature of AirBnb, I wouldn't suggest that you treat it like a traditional design or staging project where you are physically involved with installation (unless your client requests and pays for it).
How to Reach AirBnb Hosts with Your Services:
Getting in touch with a new target client can feel intimidating and can take time. Those things are a given. Make sure to keep your expectations reasonable, then follow these guidelines:
Don't solicit your services to AirBnb hosts through the AirBnb platform or any other platform - ever! This is illegal and unprofessional.
Don't buy mailing lists of AirBnb hosts. Also borderline illegal. Also unprofessional.
Do create a special page on your website for AirBnb hosts or create a whole new website for this new demographic. Include the features of your services, how they will benefit from working with you, and be sure to also include your on-boarding process and your project process.
Do be transparent about your pricing and make it easy for AirBnb hosts to see if they can afford you. If you want to charge premium rates, you need to make sure your perceived value supports that number. This means investing in quality branding, website design, and marketing to make it happen. No good business venture is without investments.
Do announce your new service or business model on social media weekly or at least bi-weekly.
Do make reference to your new service in your monthly email newsletter; people forget, and you need to remind them.
Do focus all social media posts, ads, newsletters, etc. on how the AirBnb host will benefit from working with you. Don't focus on your pricing, your sales, your new client discounts, or anything else regarding money. Sell to their emotions and to their desire to be successful. Leave your own money interests out of that conversation.
Do give your new service or business model at least 6-9 months of hardcore marketing before determining how successful it will be.
Suit up with the right resources. Below is a list of things you'll need before getting started:
A landing page on your website that caters to AirBnb hosts (or a separate website all together if you're really serious); I recommend Squarespace.
A DBA (doing business as) name that can fall under your current LLC; this gives your business a second name, and means you can even get a second logo, just for your AirBnb client marketing efforts - this is optional; talk to your business adviser or attorney.
A lead magnet that address the needs and concerns that you can help solve for these AirBnb hosts
Email newsletters that discuss how to make your AirBnb listings more lucrative and popular
Social media posts that offer design or staging tips tailored to the AirBnb host