Is it really that important having that briefcase badge on your Airbnb listing? Are business guests that picky about ironing their clothes, or having a spot to work on their laptop? If I don't cater to personal and business travelers alike, am I missing out on some serious booking potential? The quick answer: Yep.
According to the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, in 2013 Ottawa and surrounding areas hosted 1,352,100 business travelers, who stayed an average of 1.65* nights. 1.3 million! Now granted, these numbers are three years old. But it's doubtful that business travel has lessened over those three years. Tourism has been steadily rising, and Ottawa2017 anticipates an additional 1.7 million visitors next year.
(*Side note: listing your property with a minimum stay of 2 nights or more would've missed out on a large percentage of these travelers.)
Considering that not all business travelers are going to be heading downtown, this listing will attract potential guests in suburbia, too. For example: Apple Inc. is preparing to open a 22,000 square foot office in Kanata, which means properties in this area will become more desirable, especially if they are Business Travel Ready.
Airbnb has a really great tool in place that hosts can implement in order to immediately advise potential guests that you're "Business Travel Ready" - enabling you to attract business travelers. Briefly, it means that you're guaranteeing the exact same amenities as a hotel would. Here is the full list:
A laptop-friendly workspace
24-hour check-in (this could be a lockbox, doorman, keyless entry or similar 24-hour access)
A smoke detector
A carbon monoxide detector
Essentials (toilet paper, clean towels, and fresh linens)
A hair dryer
24-hour check-in is something that might be a bit difficult to wrap your head around, but consider replacing your deadbolt on your front door with an electronic device that lets you use your smartphone to set individual codes that will expire after a guest checks out. This will enable you to manage from afar and enforce a strict check-out policy, if required. August has the best rated lock on the market today, and it can be synced with your Airbnb account for automatic access to guests during their stay. A bonus with this system is that you're not handing out keys. It can be easy for a guest to lose a key, and the more nefarious may make a copy. You'll be simultaneously increasing the security of your property, the security of your future guests, and saving yourself time or potentially a massive headache. Who wants to have to change the locks after every stay? Nobody, that's who.