As an Airbnb host, you work hard to give every guest a 5-star experience. But what happens when this isn’t enough to keep your listings booked through the slow season? Unfortunately, there are very few vacation rentals that are blessed with a year-round tourist destination. For most of us, there is a busy season…and a slow season. During the busy season, a host can skate by at 80-90% occupancy, however the slow season can put even a great host out of business.
You need to employ additional strategies to keep your occupancy rates high during the off season, such as selecting a few specific target audiences to cater your amenities and marketing to. One of the fastest growing niches is traveling pet owners.
For more information about the benefits of targeting pet owners, check out our previous article: Big Payouts for Pet Friendly Airbnbs.
To make your listing more pet friendly, the first thing you need to do is increase your pet amenities. Airbnb has selected certain family and business amenities, but unfortunately do not have a list for pet friendly amenities yet.
So, you get to create your own! Think about both what a pet owner would want, and what a pet owner would need.
These extra amenities don’t have to be anything big and expensive to be effective. If you have been reading Airbnb Babes for any length of time, you know that we believe it is the little things that make the difference. Start small, and build up your pet friendly extras as you go!
A pet welcome basket is a cute way to store these additional amenities, and at the same time make it extra special for animal lovers.
Here are the materials we used for our pet welcome basket:
Everything, including the basket, was bought at the Dollar Tree. Their selection of toys and treats is rotating, so you might not be able to find these exact items. However, you will easily be able to find comparable items – your local Dollar Tree might even have better toys!
Here is what we found at the Dollar Tree for our pet welcome basket: leash, fur brush, dog toys, cat toys, pet shampoo, dog treats, dog food, tennis balls, lint roller, puppy training pads, dog waste bags, and food and water dishes.
We bought enough for three of our listings, and the total for each basket came out to a total of…
Some of the amenities will have to be restocked (like the treats and food), but the majority of the basket can be reused for multiple guests. So this is a small $10 investment that can yield big results – if you get one additional booking, you have already gotten 10X on your return!
All of the items fit so nicely in the basket!
Before you go, here are three bonus tips for building your pet welcome basket:
- Take plenty of pictures to use for your marketing, both for use in your listing and for your social media accounts. Take at least one picture of the actual basket, and take a few staged shots of the objects being used.
- Buy extra supplies so that you can easily restock in the event a guest accidentally walks off with anything.
- Tactfully clarify that these are not gifts, but extra amenities to be used while they are there (with the obvious exception of the consumable food and treats). We do this with a short note printed and tied to the basket:
Annnd here is our own pupster checking out the basket – he was very disappointed to learn that the treats and toys weren’t for him!
Upload pictures of your new pet welcome baskets to your social media and tag us: @AirbnbBabes!