Airbnb – Safeguarding Irish Tourism

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Dublin has a desperate shortage of hotel rooms, according to an industry report published by Jones Lang LaSalle in late 2015. The report titled “No Vacancies: Dublin Needs 3,000 Hotel Rooms Today highlights the pricey predicament facing tourists and business travellers who choose Dublin as a destination.

The report explains that the severe shortage in hotel accommodation is a result of the building sector stagnating in the wake of the crisis, coupled with a significant influx in the number of people visiting Dublin. By 2015, occupancy levels in hotels had risen to 84%. This year, Tourism Ireland reported the best ever month of August and the best ever January – August period for Irish tourism.

While it may seem wonderful that the hotel industry is doing so well, the fact that demand will very soon outstrip supply is a huge inhibitor for growth of the tourism sector. It also means that hotel prices are rising and Ireland is fast becoming a very expensive destination for overseas visitors.

In 2015, the average cost of a hotel room in Dublin City Centre was reported to be €127. That is an increase of almost 20% on 2014 prices. This is particularly important when we consider that 47% of tourists in 2015 were from Great Britain, and they will become increasingly price sensitive as the pound continues to weaken in the wake of Brexit.

The report recognises that Airbnb can and has alleviated some of the strain on room supply. However, the fact that the company continues to face backlash in Ireland means that there is little joined-up thinking about the huge potential for Airbnb to support one of Ireland’s biggest sectors – tourism – which brought in €4.2bn or 4%+ of Irish GNP in 2015. And tourism is not just holidaymakers – in fact, business tourism is now worth €669 to the Irish economy, and is growing by an average of 7% year on year.

Business tourism will be on the minds of many people this week as the Web Summit kicks off in its new home in Lisbon, and the Irish hospitality industry in particular will mourn the huge loss. A homegrown affair that quickly became the biggest and best tech conference in the world, this year it will welcome 50,000 attendees, an increase of over 40% on last year. Lisbon’s gain is certainly Ireland’s loss. According to the organisers, one of the deciding factors to relocate the conference were the exceptionally high hotel prices in Dublin (averaging €190/night with 95% occupancy).

It is important for the authorities to recognise that there is a very real and imminent threat to the growth of tourism is Dublin if measures aren’t put in place to increase the number of rooms available. We need to be very careful not to become complacent and think that people will continue to flock to Ireland, rain or shine. Ireland needs to offer value and a range of price options in order to remain a competitive choice for tourists.

Airbnb therefore should not be dismissed as a passing fad but instead recognised as a genuine sign of the times and a significant opportunity to grow the Irish economy. Not only does it allow individuals to repay exorbitant mortgages recklessly granted during the boomtime years, it also reinforces the long Irish tradition of hospitable hosts welcoming weary travellers into their homes.

Much of the concerns voiced about Airbnb relate to rowdy guests, ill prepared properties, lack of quality standards. However, this is also an outdated argument. Airbnb managers Airsorted have recently relocated to Dublin and offer reassurance to guests, hosts, neighbours and authorities. They ensure properties are prepared to hotel standard for every guest and that guests are fully vetted.

Ireland cannot claim to be a centre of excellence for tech and innovation if authorities do not take seriously the fruits of the companies that take up residence in Silicon Docks. Similar to the Web Summit, these companies will be quick to move on if Ireland can’t grow tourism and no longer remains competitive. Either we embrace Airbnb, we start building hotels at a very rapid rate, or we prepare for tourists to go elsewhere.

 

Yvonne Pearse (@YPearse)

Airbnb Host Tip of the Week – Recharge Station

We live in an age of technology, and there are no longer many people in the world who go a significant period of time without tuning in. The average smartphone user checks their phone over 200 times per day, and when we travel, the period of time spent without our normal connection to the online world can feel unsettling.

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That’s why one of the first things we do when we arrive at our destination is plug our phones in and get connected. A weary traveller may become frustrated if there isn’t easy access to a power socket, so it’s important to have one readily available and conveniently located.

Why not go above and beyond by providing a convenient ‘recharge’ station? With international adapters, sections to store different devices and the most popular charging cables, your charging station could provide the ultimate sigh of relief for a traveller keen to reconnect as soon as possible.

Do you have any of your own host tips and tricks? Get in touch in the comments below.

Featured Host Stories – Paul and Amy Move to Bristol

Instagram: _airsorted

                                                 Instagram: _airsorted

Every Airsorted host comes to us with a different story – some long to travel, and others seek a major life change.

This Featured Host Story comes from Paul, a freelancer who sought a life away from the hustle and bustle of London. With experience renting one spare room on Airbnb, Paul knew he would need some assistance renting the entire property – and that’s where Airsorted came in.

What’s your story?

“My wife and I decided to rent our property through Airbnb as we wanted to get out of London and see what living in a new city would be like. We had been letting out our spare room in the property through Airbnb and liked the ease and flexibility it offered.”  

What dream did you follow?

“We both work freelance in creative industries so, while London is a great place to be, we both wanted to spend time in a city that has an artistic sensibility but less of a hectic lifestyle. So we decided to move to Bristol and work within and from that city.”

Why did you choose Airsorted?

“Airsorted seemed like the best option for us as it afforded the most flexibility and least amount of hassle. We were less inclined to take on longer term tenants through an estate agency because we knew there would be occasions whereby we needed the flat back for visits back to London. From a financial viewpoint we also realised that renting through Airbnb would be beneficial.”

What do you enjoy about the service?

With Airsorted we can relax as we know the team there will take control of all dealings with guests and Airbnb. All linen and cleaning is taken care of so we need not worry about change overs. Bar a few initial teething problems communication with myself and the team is always excellent. Any concerns or complaints I may have are dealt with immediately”

Tell us more about your property! What is its best feature? 

Paul and Amy's terrace with a view

        Paul and Amy’s terrace with a view

“I think the best feature of the property would have to be the terrace. It’s incredibly big for somewhere in London yet feels private and homely. The design throughout the property is also very stylishly done, my wife being a designer helps. From a practical point the flat gets a lot of natural light and as a result the apartment stays surprisingly warm throughout the winter.” 

What about the area?

“Deptford is a great area of London. It has a lovely combination of cultures from around the world offering many types of cuisine. Over the last few years more ‘Hipsters’ have arrived and as a result better bars and coffee shops have sprung up, nevertheless the area still feels really well balanced and harmonised. It’s an exciting time to be there. The transport options are terrific too, the overground and DLR are very useful for getting into central London.”

Whether you want to travel somewhere new or relocate entirely, Airsorted can guarantee to make Airbnb hassle free for you. To find out exactly how our services can meet your needs, visit our website.

Airbnb Host Tip of the Week – Sample Jar

Source: Pinterest (/airbnb)

If you’re a traveller yourself, you will be all too familiar with the tiny sample bottles of health and beauty products provided in hotels, airports and shopping centres. Often excellent quality but forgettably small, these samples often end up lost in a drawer somewhere, or saved for ‘someday’.

Instead of letting sample products go to waste, why not use them as a finishing touch to your Airbnb guest room? Collect the samples into a jar and display them in the bedroom or guest bathroom – perhaps add a note so the guest knows they’re free to dig in!

It’s often the smallest details that transform your guest’s experience. That moisturiser sample you forgot you had might be exactly what your guest forgot to pack – so everyone’s happy!

Featured Host Stories – Sarah and Ed Cycle to Sicily

We’ve all dreamed of leaving behind the daily grind and setting off on a grand adventure.  At Airsorted we take pride in enabling those dreams.

Today we hear from Sarah, who chose Airsorted to manage her London Airbnb property while she and her husband cycled through Europe. With the income raised from her vacant property, Sarah and Ed were able to take a sabbatical and go on the adventure of a lifetime:

 

What’s your story?

“Home for us is in Suffolk, where we have lived for the last 10 years, but we need to be in London during the week – I’m a freelance marketing consultant and most of my work is in London, and my husband Ed is studying part time for a geology degree at Birkbeck.   

We’re lucky enough to have a small flat in London and a cottage in Suffolk, but don’t both work full time – so we had been looking for a flexible letting solution for our London flat that would allow us to be in London when we needed to be, either for work or college, and which would generate income for us when we weren’t there to help us pay the bills!”

 

What dream did you follow?

“For several years we had wanted to take a sabbatical, and from a career perspective this year felt like our last opportunity for a while.  We wanted to do something meaningful with our time and decided on a cycle tour – a good way to blow the cobwebs away, store up memories for years to come and get fit in the process!  I’m not sure how we came up with Gothenburg to Sicily (Mount Etna, more specifically), but somehow the idea was born and given Ed’s geology degree it felt fitting to have a volcano as our final destination!

The journey was amazing – now we are back it almost feels like we were living a parallel life for 3 months.  And cycling and camping our way through Europe feels very poignant in retrospect, at a time when the UK had voted to say goodbye to it… Some real highs and of course real lows – we approached each day with an ‘adventure is out there’ type attitude, and it certainly was – from being chased by wild dogs to foraged picnics of wild figs, almonds and cherries all gathered road-side.  Crossing the Dolomites was a definite highlight as the scenery was breathtaking and there were perfect cappuccinos waiting for us at every tiny coffee stop en route.

 

Why did you choose Airsorted?

“We hadn’t thought it possible to rent our own flat out, as we couldn’t see our way through the logistical challenges – how would we hand keys over given we’re not always in London?  How would we manage the cleaning?  Would we need to stay up all night to answer guest
mails? But a friend recommended Airsorted as a way around these problems so we got in touch, and it has been a hugely positive experience.”


Did you enjoy the service?

“There are lots of things about the Airsorted service which are brilliant.  Having people on hand to ‘sort stuff’ when guests have problems; managing all the communication with guests, which we just wouldn’t have time to do – and it’s always a relief to be able to come back to a lovely clean flat. Having a dedicated account manager is also much appreciated – it feels very fitting as Airbnb is about the personal and individual too, but this kind of service is now quite rare in the service industry.”
Have you been dreaming of taking flight? Are you keen to make a passive income from your home while you’re gone? Find out what your property could be worth on Airbnb by visiting www.airsorted.uk

Airbnb Host Tip of the Week – Welcome Baskets

It’s true what they say: first impressions count, and the first night of a guest’s stay is arguably the most crucial. As a host, you have one opportunity to make a great first impression with each guest, and there are many simple ways to go above and beyond.

A welcome basket like the example below is the perfect way to delight any guest, and with the right items it can help your guest settle in more easily. Include savoury snacks for the weary traveller who is too tired to cook, a printed local guidebook to browse, and a short welcome note. Items can be arranged in a reusable wicker bag and placed at the end of the bed or near the entrance to the property.

Via: minted.com

Via: minted.com

The project is incredibly low-cost, easy to arrange and may be the difference between a happy guest and a delighted one!

‘Bizcations’ set to hit London this Autumn

London is one of Europe’s most visited cities.  With its history and popular tourist attractions, the city is commonly thought of as a classic ‘city break’ destination for holidaymakers. Now, there is a new type traveller – the ‘Bizcationer’.

A Bizcation occurs when a business traveller extends their trip over the weekend so that they can make the most of the destination they are in.

Because London has both a thriving tourist industry and a high volume of business traffic, it’s become one of the most popular Bizcation destinations in the world.

Business travellers that use Airbnb are found to stay twice as long as as business travellers that use more traditional accommodations.  Because we see a surge in business tourism during the Autumn months, it is set to be the biggest Bization season to date.

More and more business travellers are opting to use Airbnb.  With the Global Business Travel Association predicting business travel spend to advance 5.8 per cent over the next five years, London’s traffic from the growing Bizcation trend is set to increase.

Via: eventegg.com

Via: eventegg.com

Hosts can benefit hugely from this trend by ensuring that their Airbnb property is ‘Business Travel Ready’. To take the hassle out of creating the perfect business stay, hosts may consider an Airbnb management service – find out more here.

5 Reasons to Airbnb this Autumn

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Christmas time, Spring and Summer are the high seasons for Airbnb, right?  Right, but other months are strong for different reasons.

We’ve put together 5 strong reasons to Airbnb in Autumn below:

  1. Rise of the ‘Bizcation’ – set to impact Airbnb this Autumn:
    Taking a ‘Bizcation’ is the practice of extending your business trip over the weekend so that you can make the most of the destination. London already receives high volumes of Airbnb business traffic, particularly in Autumn, so this new concept of extending the trips will certainly increase occupancy rates.
  2. Time to ‘warm up’ a new listing:
    Christmas time is considered high-season for Airbnb. In order for a listing to rise up the search rankings, it’s important that it already has comments and reviews. October and November are the perfect months to warm up your listing because you’re not wasting ‘high season’ nights.
  3. Less competition:
    Fewer people go away in Autumn than Summer – this means that there are fewer Airbnb properties available, so yours will appear in more searches.
  4. Sun is not a factor:
    Nobody visits the UK or Ireland for the sunshine, meaning that seasonality is less dramatic than in other parts of Europe. ‘City break’ locations have events year-round that attract visitors to the city. Edinburgh thrives in August, but it has a lively schedule of events that draw Airbnb traffic – even after Fringe.  Dublin also has a stacked calendar events for Airbnb visitors.
  5. Stale housing market:
    The market can be infamously stale at this time of year. It takes just one week to get set up with Airbnb and Airsorted, so why not use the service to make money from your vacant property?

If you’d like to discuss the other benefits of Airbnb and Airsorted, speak with one of our New Homes Advisors – we’d love to chat. Get started here.

Airbnb in Dublin – What’s on this Autumn?

With Tourism Ireland reporting its best ever January-August period and welcoming more than 6.55 million arrivals, there is no doubt that Dublin is the place to be – and the place to Airbnb. But what are visitors looking forward to in Dublin this Autumn?

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Via: Barnados.ie

Tourism Ireland reports that its Autumn campaign is “in full swing”, with aims to boost late-season travel to Ireland. One key event, attracting more overseas attendees than ever, is the Dublin City Marathon. Having moved to a Sunday date from the typical Bank Holiday Monday, the Marathon attracted an unprecedented overseas demand, and registration has closed early due to reaching capacity.

The Dublin City Marathon is not the only sporting event that attracts tourists rain or shine. Ireland boasts one of the top rugby teams in the world and fans flock from near and far to watch their nations compete against the boys in green. The Guinness Series 2016 sees teams from across the world take on the Irish squad at the Aviva stadium throughout November, with international supporters arriving in their droves. And although the Six Nations Rugby doesn’t begin until 2017, Airbnb hosts can expect a boost in bookings around the sale of tickets in November. Match weekends are likely to fill up fast, with guests seeking convenient locations for small and large groups for match season in Spring 2017.

Via: Michael Grubb Studio

Via: Michael Grubb Studio

Dublin is a city whose beauty is not lost as the summer months end. In fact, the city develops a special charm as the weather becomes cooler and visitors flock to warm up around pub fireplaces with a pint of Guinness – or to visit the Guinness Storehouse itself, which is Europe’s leading tourist attraction with 1.5 million visitors each year. With so much to look forward to, hosts can expect a continued interest in their property, even as summer comes to a close.

Airbnb Host Tip of the Week – Beverage Station

A warm drink can solve a lot of problems, whether you’re a weary tourist arriving in an unfamiliar city, or a jetlagged business traveller trying to wake up for a conference. Coffee addicts, tea fiends or hot chocolate lovers can unite in the soul-soothing powers of their favourite drink, and a welcoming beverage station might be all you need to make your Airbnb house feel like home.

Source: Instagram (@athomewiththebarkers)

Source: Instagram (@athomewiththebarkers)

This example, from At Home with The Barkers, is a simple DIY job that transformed a closet into a beverage bar. A small touch, the beverage bar keeps the essentials at hand and helps your guests to feel at home more quickly.

No time for DIY? Why not get affordable, online interior design help from Homewings?

Do you have any top tips to perfect your guest’s experience?