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A survey conducted by Airbnb revealed that a massive 91 percent of travelers want to “live like a local” when they book Airbnb rentals – 91 percent. Unlike hotels, which are often located in tourist hubs, short-term rentals provide guests with an opportunity to absorb other neighborhoods and experience a community’s unique flare.
So why not help your guests have an unforgettable local experience? Here are a few simple ways you can help them live like a local within your own four walls.
It sounds obvious, but a well thought out welcome gift can say a lot. Something from a local vendor can serve as the perfect introduction to your home and neighborhood. Tasty welcome treats are always a great option. (Think about how hungry you often are after traveling…). And for a lot of travelers, being introduced to local foods is a priority and often a key factor in choosing a travel destination.
Postcards are also a great idea for when your guests have something to write home about. Do your guests a favor and stamp them too.
Leaving gifts show you go above and beyond with your customer service (and hopefully, your guests will return the favor with a five-star review on your host profile), but it also provides the added benefit of introducing guests to the neighborhood and giving them a taste (literally) of what it’s like to live there.
Displaying art by local artists can add a splash of color to your property and instantly transform bland, boring wall spaces. A design featuring a cityscape or a local landmark – such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Santa Monica Pier or Seattle Space Needle – can look great in your home and help your guests feel immersed in local culture.
Also think about displaying a coffee table book detailing the architecture, local vibe or history of your city or neighborhood. Like artwork, they add to the décor of your property and provide guests a peek into the city you call home. Photography books from local artists are an especially great idea. As guests casually thumb through, they’ll quickly be immersed in the beauty of the local culture.
And don’t be afraid to play up the locale, either. Go for that desert, ocean, or mountain color palette and find accent pieces that pay tribute to your city’s culture. It might not seem significant to you, but it stands out to travelers. You’ll increase the chances of them booking your space while also providing the local experience they’re looking for.
A guidebook that recommends the best restaurants, bars, attractions, and shops in your city will provide your guests with ideas for their stay. Guests love knowing which places are your favorite, too. Create a guidebook that includes up-to-date information, with times and locations of local events – like farmer’s markets and festivals. Be sure to include a variety so there’s something for everyone!
It’s no secret that plants make you feel better by helping you relax and reduce stress. Keeping native plants around the home and filling a vase with local, in-season flowers can be the perfect way to welcome guests and help them relax after a long day. They also give the added benefit of making your apartment feel more inviting – something they definitely wouldn’t get from a hotel.
Welcome gifts and an interior design that emphasize your local neighborhood will help your home stand out from the crowd. These simple gestures go a long well and will help generate five-star reviews, boost your booking rates, and increase repeat guests.
Thinking about all the awesome things you guests will experience while they visit? Take a cue from them and use one of their reservation requests as an excuse to get out of town for a night or two. Try opening your calendar for the weekends you don’t have plans and use the money to help fund your own trip!