How to Identify Your Target Airbnb Guest

Identifying your target Airbnb rental audience can help you plan critical next steps for building a profitable Airbnb business.   If you have already selected a dedicated unit or are renting out your own personal space, you can answer the questions below to identify who you would most likely cater to.  If you haven’t selected a unit, you can answer these questions to guide your search.  After an audience is selected, you will know exactly who you are marketing to, what they value and how much they are willing to spend.  Having a clear target audience will help you reduce vacancy and position your rental unit for success.  Consider the following.

Your Neighborhood

Travelers on Airbnb are doing it for two reasons: business or leisure.  Like all real estate Airbnb is pretty much all about location, location, location!  People are renting your place because they want to be close to something, whether an event, a landmark or access to an attraction.  Finding out what your neighborhood has to offer will help you find out who will most likely be there.  Take a quick look over your area and answer these few questions:

  1. Who lives in the area?
    Are you in a neighborhood of hipsters, business people or families?
  2. What attractions or draws are in the area?
    Do visitors come to your area for industry conferences, theme parks or for the nightlife?
  3. Does it have broad appeal or mass appeal?
    Can it be used for two different purposes on weekdays vs. weekends?  Does this change seasonally?
  4. Where is your place located?  
    In a business district, off a main freeway, near a courthouse or across from a sports stadium?
  5. Are there a lot of hotels in the area?
    If so, you may not be able to compete with their pricing if inventory of rooms is high.  Check and compare your rates.

Your Rental Unit

After you have discovered what type of person is already in your area, you can now assess the level of the potential renters by looking at your specific property.

  1. What type of property will you be offering?
    Full unit, private room or just a couch?
  2. What amenities do you plan to offer?
    Have a pool, covered parking, lots of space?
  3. What positioning is your unit?
    Is your place the nicest on the block or just passable?

Target Audience

Example – Anaheim, CA

target rental audience

  1. Who lives in the area?
    Families & blue collar workers
  2. What attractions or draws are in the area?
    Disneyland, Sports Arena, Convention Center
  3. Does it have broad appeal or mass appeal?
    Broad appeal with incredible seasonality
  4. Where is your place located?  
    2 blocks from the baseball stadium, <1 mile to Disneyland, <1 mile to Convention Center
  5. What type of property will you be offering?
    Full unit, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom (Room for 6+ when using 2 couches)
  6. What is the condition of your property?
    New/updated furniture, fixtures and appliances.

Target Audience: Since it is a large unit, we will focus on groups.  Weekdays will most likely be business persons or groups going to Convention Center and baseball fans during the season.  Weekends would most likely be families going to Disneyland and groups of baseball fans during the season.  Since it is so close to the stadium and convention center, and is a full unit, we may be able to charge more of a premium on weekdays than comparable units not as close.  For the weekends we will probably attract families that will pay a premium since there are many, many hotels and resorts in the area.

Note:  Check out the event calendar for the area.  This can help you juggle multiple audiences and get the most for your rents.

To find out what rents you can get for your unit, check out our article on setting prices.

Lastly, you can personify your target audience by giving them a name like Anthony or Rachel.  When you are shopping or making business decisions, you can ask yourself, “Would Rachel want me to do A or B?”

A target rental audience is not the ONLY guest you will attract, but they will be the bulk of your bookings.  There is usually one BEST target rental audience, but you may be able to attract two or more.  One example being that if you are in a downtown metro area with skyscrapers and a good nightlife, you may be able to rent to business people during the week and leisure travelers during the weekend.

Got some more tips on how to identify a target audience?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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