Hosting tips

Offset Airbnb Charges: 8 Add-On Services to Increase Rental Profit

Written by Diana Santos

Airbnb reports that UK hosts earned collective revenue of £1.5 billion in 2021 – with the typical host earning £6,000 or more. This amount is almost the same as the median UK household’s 2-month salary.

This is the income potential of your property when you list it on the Airbnb platform. But there’s a catch. Hosts need to share part of their earnings through Airbnb charges. This includes fees that allow hosts to use the platform and enjoy Airbnb’s incredible market reach, property performance reports, dynamic pricing strategies, etc.

So before you get attracted to the £6,000 or more rental earnings, consider Airbnb charges. More importantly, you should consider strategies to increase your rental revenue despite all the charges imposed on you.

In this article, you’ll discover effective strategies to offset these Airbnb charges and protect your profit margin. You’ll learn how to choose the right add-on services to increase rental revenue and improve guest satisfaction.

Before Adding Services…

Many add-on services can increase the income potential of your Airbnb property. The challenge is choosing the right services that your guests will appreciate. You want to focus on the specific services that will add value to your property so guests won’t mind paying the extra charges.

This is why you need to do two things before you add services.

Know the market…

Understand who your guests are and what they prefer to have during their stay. Adding pet-friendly amenities won’t matter to someone who’s allergic to fur. Offering on-call cleaning services isn’t important if guests will only stay a couple of days. Even cooked meals won’t appeal to those who intend to spend the whole day touring the city of London.

Do your research and have a firm grasp of the market preferences so you can offer something valuable and personal to them. The more useful it is, the more satisfaction guests will get.

Set up a payment collection system…

How will you collect the payments for the add-on services? You want to keep it simple so guests won’t have difficulty paying. They might ignore the extra services offered if the process is too complicated.

One option to facilitate the payment is to have a QR code on the premises that guests can scan to pay. Have a laminated menu on the premises – somewhere visible that guests won’t miss. Make sure the prices are clear so they won’t make a mistake.

You can put your offer in a locked closet that the guests can only access after payment.

Once you’ve set all these up, you can start thinking about the services you can add for guests to enjoy during their stay.

8 Value-added Services to Cover Airbnb Charges

There’s a long list of value-added services that can cover all the Airbnb charges imposed on hosts. As long as you know who your guests are, you can come up with creative and innovative services that can elevate their experience.

Here are some ideas that you can use – or draw inspiration from.

Car or bike rental

If you have a car, motorcycle or bike you don’t use regularly, let your guests rent it. Keep these in locked storage that you can access remotely. Once your guests have paid the additional fees, give them the access code for the vehicle so they can use it during their stay.

This add-on will make it convenient for guests who prefer to use a private vehicle to explore London. Or if they want to use the bike for exercise purposes, they won’t have to find a separate rental place.

Airport transfers

This is another service that guests would appreciate. You can provide airport transfers so guests can get to your property after a tiring journey. They don’t have to struggle to look for it in an unfamiliar place. This will also be useful when they check out. You can help them stay on schedule so they won’t miss their flight or departure time.

Check the Uber fare or other rental car services so you won’t overprice this.

Cooked meals

If you live near or you can find a local restaurant to support this service, you can offer cooked meals as part of the add-ons. Offer breakfast meals so guests can sleep in without worrying about their first meal of the day.

You can have a menu ready so they can choose dishes they want to try. Make sure the instructions there are clear for ordering and be conscious of any allergies that they may have.

Welcome decorations or gifts

Ask your guests if they are celebrating a special occasion. If your guests are celebrating their anniversary or on their honeymoon, you can offer to fix the property to suit the romantic occasion. Or if the guest is travelling on their birthday, you can offer to arrange a birthday basket. This can be a welcome surprise that other guests can arrange for their companion.

Inform your guests that you can arrange a special welcome surprise for an added fee. This will start off their vacation in a good way and it’ll add to your rental revenue.

Mid-stay cleaning

If your guests are staying longer than a week, offer a mid-stay cleaning service. Cleaning the property before they arrive won’t be enough to keep the place sanitary throughout their stay. If they prefer to live in a clean place, they could request to have someone come in in the middle of their stay to clean the place. This would include changing the sheets and towels as well as replenishing the toiletries.

Just make sure the prices are clear so guests can specify what service they want to avail – or if they would rather do it themselves.

Laundry service

This is also ideal for guests staying a long time or digital nomads. If the unit isn’t equipped with a washer and dryer, you can charge extra for this service. Partner with a housekeeping company that can provide these services – including pick-up and drop-off. You can split the profit between the two of you so both can benefit from the extra service.

If there’s a nearby dry cleaning service, you can also offer it as another option.

Grocery service

Business travellers on extended stays will appreciate this service. You can offer to do their grocery errands so they can focus on their work. This is ideal for health-conscious guests who prefer to cook meals but are too busy to shop.

If there are local grocery stores with delivery service, you can partner with them to make this service more convenient. They can drop off fresh produce and other essentials for guests.

Stocked pantry or extra snacks

Apart from fresh produce and essentials, you can also stock the pantry and provide extra snacks or drinks ahead of time. Have these ready before the guests arrive. Have them check a list of items that you can have available for them to consume.

Or, you can put a QR code beside the pantry space so the guests can scan it to pay for whatever they want to consume.

Get a Property Expert to Implement the Add-on Services

Implementing these value-added services can offset Airbnb charges and boost your rental income. However, it can be time-consuming to manage all the guest requests. If you want to provide a seamless implementation of these add-ons, partner with a property management expert.

City Relay specialises in managing shortlets in London and customising services according to the property owner’s needs. This includes an in-house cleaning and maintenance service that can provide some of the add-ons discussed in this article.

If you’d like to explore how you can add services to earn extra on Airbnb, let’s talk. Contact City Relay and discuss your specific preferences and property management plans.

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