Hosting business travellers might not have been your initial purpose when you joined Airbnb, but it is now commonplace within London. They aren’t typical guests and need special treatment which can be complicated at times. But Airbnb and Booking.com have already spotted this trend and developed a special offer for them. Be prepared, they are set to represent one-third of the bookings.
#1 Easy Check-in / Check-out
They aren’t your average Airbnb guest and can’t wait hours wandering around until you give them the keys. Business travellers have tight schedules and might arrive at 6 am or 10 pm, so you should really invest in a key lock box or an alarm clock… This also works for check-out.
#2 Be alert and flexible
If they choose your flat rather than a hotel room, it’s because it’s easier to book and easier to stay in touch with. The « instant booking » option on Airbnb is a dream for business travellers because of last-minute meetings. So become the 5* hotel concierge you’ve always dreamed to be, keep your cell phone always on you and enable the « instant booking » option on Airbnb.
#3 Be their guide…
London is a great city but it can be a nightmare to find your way around. If your business guests come from a small village in France like Ecully, they’ll be completely lost. Offer them your help to get to their conference or just tell them to search on Google Maps if you’re a lazy host. If the latter option is chosen, don’t expect a good review.
#4 …but not too much
If they chose your flat, it’s for the purpose of business not for listening to your grandma telling the story of the family. So give them some space and leave your grandma at home. However, let them know you’re available if they want to learn cultural anecdotes or how things used to be in the 20’s.
#5 WiFi, WiFi, and WiFi
WiFi is important for all of us but it’s essential for business travellers. They will spend most of their time on the phone, on Skype, browsing their mail or watching how to tie a knot on Youtube. Invest in a good internet connection or a least make sure the WiFi works. 60% of business travellers think it’s the most important thing according to a recent survey by hotel.com.
#6 Create a place for work
Make sure you have a room or a corner of your flat dedicated as a workspace. If you only have a room, at least have a nook which could serve as a separate place of work with work essentials. Don’t just leave a bed and a PlayStation, they’re not like you. You should also leave a multi-charger to let them charge their Blackberrys (yes, some people still use these).
#7 An empty wardrobe and plenty of hangers
Most of the time business travellers will carry several sets of suits or shirts and will need to carefully store them because they won’t have time to iron. First, make sure your wardrobe is empty or has empty space. Secondly, you guessed it, an empty wardrobe is useless without hangers. Like WiFi, hangers are important for all of us but they are essential for business travellers.
#8 Transform your house into Head Office
If you have a big property which can host several business travellers, they will certainly come as a team. So try to conceive your home as the Head office of a foreign bank and design a room for their meeting. Just leave a table where they can all sit around and fight just as if they were in a local office.
#9 Local places to eat at
Think. Your business travellers are busy and probably won’t have time to cook. Two solutions: either you left them a note on where to find good restaurants or you bring your grandma so she can cook for them (which is kind of weird and we did say to leave her at home). Plus, they will probably want to see other things than the cold meeting room and be happy to try something new.
#10 Leave a house manual
WiFi is good, but WiFi with a password is better. Save your business travellers some time and leave a house manual which explains everything. You can learn how to do so here.
Too afraid to deal with business travellers? At City Relay we’re used to hosting these kinds of guests and we can take care of everything for you with our short-let management services. Becoming a host is quick and easy, simply click the button below and fill out your details to view your property’s earning potential!