There are thousands of short-term rentals in the united states and thousands of more around the world. Yet while these are businesses, many of the operators don’t treat them as such. Your Airbnb rental is a business and no business isn’t complete without a presence online that they have control over. On Airbnb, VRBO, or any other home-sharing website; you have no control. Your properties could be removed tomorrow for any reason those home-sharing websites want. For this reason, an online presence in the form of a website is crucial for your business.
If you want to be known as a great host, you need to make sure your guests feel you go above and beyond. A website that has local guide information is a great start. A list of your 10 favorite restaurants or things to do nearby are great resources for visitors. Remember they can go to other websites for general “10 best restaurant” articles, make it hyper-local (walking distance type spots)
You could even start monetizing this with affiliate offers for event tickets or tourist attractions. Even partner with local businesses and earn additional income by having their business featured on the website.
Eventually, you’ll probably have more than one short-term rental and this is when you can really start to intermingle these assets. When you can put other properties in front of the eyes of guests that have enjoyed their stay at one of your properties, they are more likely to be repeat guests and book more of your properties.
This reason won’t be for everyone, as not everyone will want to take bookings on their own website. There are positives and negatives to this. The positive is that you aren’t paying the fees to Airbnb or VRBO. However, you won’t have their liability insurance during the stay and therefore will need to acquire that insurance elsewhere.
You may start with just allowing repeat guests to book on your website as a safety net before deciding if you want to branch out from there.