Juliette De Soto
Ah, September is here—the month of school supply runs and pick-up/drop-off schedules. With school starting, families are settling in at home once again, and the summer vacation season is slowing. If you own a short-term rental, you’ve probably noticed how different September looks on your calendar than July or August did. While high season is over, there are many reasons people are still traveling and looking for that perfect Airbnb.
Perhaps one of the only blessings that the pandemic has granted us is the flexibility in our working lives. Working remotely is more popular and acceptable than it has ever been in U.S. history—in fact, 58% of those employed can work remotely at least part of the time. Airbnb itself has recently allowed all of its employees to work remotely in perpetuity, self-consciously promoting a flexible and even global work life. This affords a huge opportunity for STR owners. Vacation season might be over, but did you know that 1 in 5 Airbnb guests use Airbnb for working remotely? When all you need is a laptop, you can work almost anywhere—and that’s where Airbnb owners come in. How well is your Airbnb set up to cater to remote workers? It might be time to put some thought into how to attract a different category of guests in these fall months. Here are three obvious must-haves for catering to remote workers, though the important stuff is in the details:
- Fast wifi connection: This one is probably top priority. Remote workers not only need a fast connection to email and Internet, but they’ll also need a reliable connection and capability for Zoom meetings and other video needs. Airbnb knows this is an important detail too, and its app has a whole section for checking and verifying your Internet speed. You’ll want to advertise your fast connection speed so that guests have no qualms at all while booking.
- A pleasant office space: If you don’t have a dedicated room for an office, no worries. All workers need is a sturdy desk, chair, and connection hook-ups. Bonus points, though, if your office keeps ergonomics in mind and is in a well thought-out and pleasant area. Does your office chair face a pretty view or just a blank white wall? Is your desk crammed and cluttered or did you put some thought into designing a calming, clutter-free work environment? Do you have a pleasant outdoor space you could also advertise when workers need to get out of their office chair for a while? You can do a lot with photos and small design choices for a Zen-like experience that guests would love to picture working in.
- Coffee, tea, and freebies: As anyone who has had to work in an office knows, this is one of the small delights of going to work—the free coffee and the snack jar. So satisfying and so easy to replicate in your Airbnb. These things don’t cost a lot but are definitely favorites among guests. If you have a kitchen or kitchenette, make sure to stock it well so that guests know they have a place to heat up their lunch during a busy work day.
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