In the world of accessible real estate, Airbnb is like the youngest sibling to Property Flipping and Renting out.
Where Airbnb lacks the massive immediate income of the flip property sale or the safety of consistent payments of renting out, it makes up for in short-term premium-priced accommodation. A feat that has challenged the giant that is the hotel industry.
The key that unlocks Airbnb’s ability to price near hotel charges for what could easily be categorized as mid-high-end rental properties are the leveraged power of amenities.
What are real estate amenities?
In real estate, amenities are desirable features that are accessed by tenants and can be leveraged by hosts to make a property more competitive.
The key factors of the above description are desirable and accessible. The tenant needs to value the amenity and needs to have reasonable access to it to increase the value of your property.
Note that the definition did not say that the Airbnb host had to pay or invest in the amenity; amenities can be but are not always investments on the hosts’ part. Amenities can come in 3 forms:
The 3 types of amenities:
1. Residential amenities.
More often than not, when people ask about the amenities of a property they are 9/10 times referring to residential amenities.
These are the investments made by the Airbnb host specifically and uniquely for the tenant and are not available to the public.
Adding a swimming pool, a new shower or a board game to an Airbnb property are all forms of residential amenities.
This form of amenity is one which beneficial, utilized and valued by the neighborhood or the street which the Airbnb property is on.
They are the general guarantees which people living in that area expect to have available to them.
Neighborhood amenities, though not referred to as much as residential amenities are more likely to subconsciously influence the desirability of an Airbnb location than the location itself. Factors include security, atmosphere and the cleanliness of the area.
3. Proximity amenities.
These amenities are available to tenants, should they wish to venture away from the property and neighborhood to the broader boundaries of the property.
Proximity boundaries are not limited by a traditional range boundary from the property. A rule of thumb to define proximity amenities is that if the tenant can venture out to the amenity and make it back to the Airbnb property within the day – it qualifies as a proximity amenity.
A 10-minute walk to a shopping mall, 30-minute drive to a club and 2-hour commute to a beach are all essentially proximity amenities.
The main factor influencing the value of proximity amenities is their desirability by the tenant and the convenience of their access.
The best amenities to leverage for Airbnb.
In terms of the best amenities to have and make use of for when advertising an Airbnb property, I’ll be listing and defining 2 categories of amenities; essential and luxury amenities.
Essential amenities may not set your property apart from the competition but their nonexistence will hinder your property’s desirability.
Luxury amenities set your property apart from the competition and assist in allowing your host your property more frequently as well as at a higher price.
Part 1 – Residential Amenities.
|Residential Essential Amenities||Residential Luxury Amenities|
|Toiletries (Toilet paper, liquid soaps, towels)||Novelty|
|Bedding (Pillows – one per guest, linens for each guest bed)||Fast Internet|
|Bathroom + Hot water||Games|
|Kitchen/cooking facility||Specialty feature (pool, hot-tub, sauna)|
|Electricals (Charging stations, ironing station, lighting)||Outside lounging Area (veranda, bar, grill)|
Residential Essential Amenities.
Unless your Airbnb property is themed “school of hard knocks,” there are some essentials that you must make available to your tenant when you’re hosting to ensure that complaints aren’t at an all-time high and your review at an all-time low.
1. Toiletries (Toilet paper, liquid soaps – hands, body & cutlery, towels – one per guest).
Most guests do bring a majority of their toiletries themselves. however, guests; at no point should be worried that if they left these essentials at home they have to buy them from the nearest store. Always have the above on hand and always make sure guests know that you do.
2. Bedding (Beds, pillows – one per guest and linens for each guest bed).
Of the BnB (bed and breakfast) aspect of Airbnb. The bedding is crucial. Clean and comfortable has a huge influence on the overall rating of the property. You are going to be held to near hotel standards when it comes to that first night of sleep.
3. Bathroom + Hot water.
Sylvia Plath once said, “There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” And your guests are most likely going to agree as well as show you just how much trouble the nonexistence of warm bath can cause.
4. Kitchen/cooking facility.
Unless you’re charging a serious premium, guests can easily switch between having food provided to them by the host and making it on their own. What they won’t appreciate is being forced to always go out for food. Provide the meal or the facility.
5. Electricals (Charging stations, ironing station, lighting).
You shouldn’t confuse the fact that the internet isn’t an essential amenity with electricity not being an essential amenity. The devices tenants bring, tenants expect to be able to use.
Residential Luxury Amenities
Luxury does not necessarily = expensive when it comes to residential amenities. This form of luxury amenities has more to do with going over above what similar Airbnb hosts and properties offer.
This may be the most expensive residential luxury amenity to invest in. “Novelty” in this sense has to do with creating a theme for your property to please a targeted niche client base. Harry Potter, Disney land, etc. Niching limits the desirability of your property to the broad public in favor of a small niche that can be charged a heftier premium.
2. Fast Internet.
No tenant will complain about a property offering free fast internet, a few people will complain that you don’t have an internet connection at all and every tenant will complain if your property has slow internet. If you’re going to have internet, invest in good internet.
A large open shelf full of board games is the stuff of wonders for any Airbnb group. They may not play any of them but they won’t go unnoticed. With games, you can go as low or high cost as you want. Board games to pool tables; your budget and your property’s theme are the deciding factor but no property won’t benefit from this amenity.
4. Specialty Feature (pool, hot-tub, sauna, entertainment room).
These are among some of the higher-end amenities that can be invested in your property and if they weren’t built into the property from the start; a cost-benefit analysis must be drawn out to ensure there is a positive return on investment within an appropriate time.
These amenities are property highlights that when displayed, can quickly turn the tables to make you the prime choice for a host.
5. Outside lounging Area (Veranda, bar or grill area).
Variety is the spice of life and just because your tenants are paying for accommodation; doesn’t mean they just want to stay inside the house. Offering a comfortable looking outside experience can tip the scale of a decision between you and your competition. Outside furniture, a gazebo or just an outside grill is all you need.
Part 2 – Neighbourhood Amenities
|Neighborhood Essential Amenities.||Neighbourhood Luxury Amenities.|
|Cleanliness||Novelty (mountain-side, beach, forestry, gated community)|
Neighborhood Essential Amenities.
There are some basic features every tenant will consciously and subconsciously consider when it comes to factoring in the area an Airbnb property is located in. If a property can’t reassure a tenant that it has the below essentials or if it actively portrays that it doesn’t; it puts itself at a big disadvantage when it comes to attracting tenants.
At some point, your tenants are going to venture outside your property and when that happens; no matter how immaculate you keep your isolated property, you will be judged on your surroundings. Potholes, rubbish everywhere, an odor that can’t be understood – it all contributes.
Your influence over such factors may be limited but that doesn’t change the fact that those factors will have a huge influence on you.
The majority of guests have an invisible “do not disturb” sign posted on all corners of your property boundary when they stay there. They both don’t want to have their enjoyment stifled by guests and they also don’t want to feel like they are annoying their neighbors.
The importance of seclusion in being able to do what they want, from staying in to read a book to being loud with a small party cannot be understated.
Airbnb for leisure is all about being able to get comfortable on the property; if the environment raises a constant fear of uncertainty and risk; it will lead to terrible reviews and low repeat business.
Neighbourhood Luxury Amenities.
Your overall ability to influence the addition of a luxury aspect to your neighborhood is going to be very limited. Most neighborhood luxury amenities are built naturally into the environment.
1. Novelty (mountain-side, beach, forestry, gated community).
A unique sight-seeing aspect of the area the Airbnb property is situated can provide just the experience a tenant is looking for. Being situated on top of a hill with a view, near a mountain to hike up, lush forestry a beach or well known and respected gated community will boost your property’s standing.
Part 3 – Proximity Amenities
|Proximity Essential Amenities||Proximity Luxury Amenities|
|Shopping facility||Restaurants (fast-food, luxury, cultural)|
|Hospital/clinic facility||Recreational (sports stadiums, gyms, golf clubs, games, clubs)|
|Police/security||Natural amenities (parks, mountains, beaches)|
Proximity Essential Amenities.
These amenities are essential due to their importance in times of crisis; they offer the base necessities an individual would require were a big issue to arise. Lack of these amenities within a reasonable radius from the property could lead to disaster.
1. Shopping facility.
The convenience offered by a shopping facility is immeasurable. Food, drinks, toiletries, basic first aid. Both you and your tenant won’t prepare for everything and a shopping center around the corner will save you both in such a situation.
2. Hospital/clinic facility.
Someone is going to get sick or find a way to hurt themselves on your property. More often than not; the severity of the issue won’t need anything above what you’d get out of a basic first aid kit but if by rare tragedy the issue is leaning more to the serious side of the spectrum. Having to drive an hour to get to a medical facility could lead to a disaster.
Whether its local security, neighborhood watch or private security; being able to reassure your guests that they are safe and quick action can be taken if anything does occur adds to making the stay more comfortable for your guests.
Proximity Luxury Amenities.
Any highlight available within a modest range of your property can be leveraged to make your property appear that much better than your competition. Here are a few amenities you should identify and use to your advantage.
1. Restaurants (fast-food, luxury, cultural).
Sometimes your tenants will want a change of taste from what you offer and what they cook; in such cases, a local well-known specialty restaurant or a universal KFC can be a huge plus for your property.
2. Recreational (clubs, sports stadiums, gyms, golf clubs, games).
Having your property near some fun outside activities can make the difference for the majority of tenants out there. Make sure you advertise it when you have an in-house gym, you’re close to a famous sports stadium or tenants only have to make a 10minute drive to the best club in the area.
3. Natural amenities (parks, mountains, beaches).
Being situated or near any desirable natural amenities can help make your property that much more attractive. Make it known that your property is situated 5 minutes away from the not too busy park or popular hiking location.
*For the majority of proximity amenities, it would bolster the standing of your Airbnb service if you accommodated transport and or a touring service for guests.
This has been a guide to identifying amenities that you can leverage for your Airbnb property concerning catering to guests visiting for leisure purposes.