We look at how to attract long-term Airbnb guests in Colombia. Long-term Airbnb travel has become increasingly common due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Coronavirus has made long-term Airbnb travel increasingly common and we believe that demand for long-term rentals will likely increase, as workers get a taste of the benefits of working on their own schedule.
As a perpetual long-term Airbnb traveler and someone who lives in Airbnbs, I might be one of the most qualified people in the world to write about this topic.
I want to remind everyone of something that is often lost. When an Airbnb guest is inside your home, they don’t want to feel like they’re on vacation. They want that feeling as soon as they step outside to explore.
Airbnb defines a long-term reservation as 28 nights or more. This article even assumes a potential 6-month reservation.
About the Author
My name is Daniel Rusteen and I am a location-independent digital nomad having lived in 50+ cities exclusively sleeping in Airbnbs (1,500+ nights) while remotely managing Airbnb properties and helping Airbnb hosts to be successful.
I come from the days before the Airbnb you know today. I started working at Airbnb in 2013. I remember countless conversations with residents of San Francisco, the headquarters of Airbnb, who had no idea about the company even when it was valued at over $10 billion and 7 years old.
In the eight years that have passed since I first heard of Airbnb, I’ve become one of the world’s best at everything Airbnb:
- Worked at Airbnb from 2013-2016
- Wrote a best-selling book on Airbnb
- Founded an Airbnb property management company
- Slept over 1,500 nights in Airbnb properties, as a guest
- Am an Airbnb Superhost
- Creator of a popular Airbnb blogfor Airbnb hosts
To help you make an informed decision before investing in a property for Airbnb in Colombia and becoming an Airbnb host, I have created a list of nine tips to attract long-term Airbnb guests in Colombia based on my experience.
Long-Term Travelers Are Different
For example, I just checked out of an Airbnb in Istanbul on the sixth floor without stairs and next to a mosque (calls to prayer five times per day via loudspeaker). I justified these inconveniences for the epic view.
If I were looking to live somewhere for an extended period of time, I would never book this place. This example demonstrates the differences between long-term and short-term Airbnb travel.
Things that were annoyances to short-term guests (a few nights) become problems for guests’ booking longer reservations.
Maybe the construction noise you didn’t tell the guest about is doable for a 3-night reservation, but it becomes a complaint for the month-long Airbnb reservation.
Pros and Cons of Long-Term Airbnb Guests in Colombia
One thing that might surprise you the most is the increase in wear and tear for shorter reservations. But a long-term guest will be spending more time in your home. So, expect a few more calls to the handyman.
Because they are in your home longer, keep in mind your utility costs will increase. This is offset by the increase in occupancy long-term Airbnb guest reservations bring.
In addition, there will be less coordination involved with check-ins and cleaners unless you accept a bad Airbnb guest.
You will have to provide fewer consumables, as I will discuss in each relevant point below.
Also, it Is common in Colombia to offer a discount for long-term rentals. When Medellin Guru surveyed furnished apartment pricing in Medellín in 2019, one finding is that 80 percent of furnished apartments offered a discount for long-term rentals that averaged 21 percent.
Tips to Attract Long-Term Airbnb Guests
The following are nine tips to attract long-term Airbnb guests in Colombia based on my experience.
1. ADD: Office Space
The longer the reservation the higher the likelihood the guest will be a remote worker. Medellín in particular is known for having digital nomads. Also, reliable and fast Internet is important, which should at a minimum be 20 Mbps.
Using the kitchen table is ok, but I’ve personally tried to book Airbnbs in the past which had a dedicated desk.
You know how they say you shouldn’t do anything besides sleep in your bed, especially if you have any kind of sleep condition? It’s because you want to condition your own psychology to associate lying in bed with sleep.
Same for productive time. The kitchen is for cooking and socializing, not working. If there’s any way to add a proper desk to your property, please do.
Also, don’t forget a comfortable chair for the desk!
2. ADD: Optimal Sleep Experience
Above is a photo of the blinds in a recent Airbnb I booked.
As a light-sensitive sleeper, I need a totally dark room or I’m waking up with the sun at 6 am. Think about how you can increase the sleep experience as it will directly affect the guest’s mood, even after just one night.
A comfortable mattress, linens, and pillows are a must. If you don’t get this one, make sure you’re providing some soft and firm pillows.
Also, think about adding a bedside table with lamp.
In addition, closet space becomes more important for long-term travelers to Colombia. Furthermore, make sure you have enough hangers!
3. ADD: Fully Stocked Kitchen
This one is pretty obvious The longer the reservation in Colombia, the increased probability your kitchen will be used and used frequently.
I recommend you provide as many amenities as you can, and do not opt for the cheap options.
Get the nice cookware and make the cooking experience pleasurable for your guest! Maybe they’ll even extend the reservation because of it.
Also, from personal experience, a tiny garbage can is just annoying. Here are some of the less common items:
- Cheese grater
- Ice cube trays
- Measuring cups
- Baking items like aluminum foil or baking sheets
- Can opener
Also, many apartments in Colombia do not have an oven. So, add an oven if you can.
There are some things you are not required to provide for long-term Airbnb reservations. Consumables like salt and pepper, paper towels, and cooking oils.
Also, if you don’t have a dishwasher, which are extremely rare in Colombia, don’t forget a drying rack!
4. ADD: Pleasurable Bathing Experience
The easiest things you can do is install a nice, big shower head and invest in the softest towels you can find. Start your guests’ day off good!
Some apartment bathrooms in Colombia have those dangerous-looking electric shower-head hot-water heaters. Get a gas water heater!
Also, add shelving into the actual shower to store soaps, shavers, etc.
The lighting in your bathroom, especially for female travelers, is super important. Make sure the mirror is bright for precision manicuring.
In addition, keep in mind you do not need to provide toilet paper for an entire month.
5. ADD: The Biggest Smart TV You Can Manage
A long-term Airbnb guest in Colombia is more likely to eat a meal or relax at home, probably in the living room, probably in front of the TV.
If your TV doesn’t have internet, invest in an HDMI cable so your guest can connect directly it to their computer.
6. ADD: Increase Your “Spaces”
A ‘Space’ is anywhere in the house that can be considered its own usable area. For example, a bedroom, the work desk in the bedroom, the in-suite bathroom and the balcony would be four ‘Spaces’.
Balconies are common in many of the apartments in Colombia. A great added ‘Space’ would be installing a hammock on the balcony.
Each additional space increases the usefulness and perceived size of your Airbnb listing in Colombia for long-term Airbnb guests.
7. ADD: Pet, Infant, Child, Family Friendliness
In addition to increasing your pool of future potential guests, the chance they bring the whole show with them to Colombia (including children and pets) increases for longer reservations.
You should think through this. I met a family in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic who switched homes simply because the stones were slippery on the way to the front door. They felt the risk of their child slipping was enough to move, thus losing the Airbnb host months of revenue during a desperate time.
Also, think of items that families will find incredibly useful. I know from personal experience that a pack ‘n’ play is high in demand. Other items might be a stroller, toys, bottle cleaner, etc.
A makeup desk for mom. Cleaning supplies for both. Always make it as easy as possible for the guest to clean your space.
8. REMOVE: Low Water Pressure
This is more common than it should be in Colombia and affects the kitchen and all the bathrooms.
Also, it’s a constant reminder of the subpar Airbnb listing every time either one of those are used (multiple times every day)
9. REMOVE: Convenience Items for Purchase
Providing snack food, sodas, or alcohol for purchase is no longer a good idea. All it does is take up room in the fridge or kitchen counter space.
Medellin Guru’s Airbnb Series
Medellin Guru now has a series of several articles about Airbnb in Colombia:
- 9 Strategies to Find Killer Deals on Airbnb in Colombia
- 15 Things to Know Before Investing to Become an Airbnb Host in Colombia
- 10 Airbnb Best Practices for Airbnb Hosting in Colombia
- 9 Tips to Attract Long-Term Airbnb Guests in Colombia
- 7 Strategies for Airbnb Slow Season in Colombia
- How to Identify Problem Airbnb Guests in Colombia Before They Book
- 15 Ways to Increase Your Airbnb Search Rank In Colombia
- How Safe is Airbnb in Colombia? Is it Safe to Use Airbnb in Colombia?
- Airbnb Travel Itinerary for Your Airbnb Guests in Colombia
- How to Get Started on Airbnb in Colombia: A Guide
Are You Looking to Buy a Property for Airbnb Hosting in Colombia?
Medellin Guru partnered with RE/MAX Coffee Realty to offer real estate services to foreigners and Colombians interested in buying and selling properties in Medellín and Colombia.
Several Medellin Guru readers have asked about real estate and advice about buying and selling properties for Airbnb hosting. So, we partnered with RE/MAX Coffee Realty to offer reliable real estate services to readers.
We decided to partner with RE/MAX Coffee Realty for services for buying and selling real estate for several reasons:
- RE/MAX is the largest real estate company in the world and is a well-known brand for foreigners.
- RE/MAX is one of the largest real estate companies in Colombia with 35 offices in four cities (Medellín, Bogotá, Cali and Barranquilla). So, RE/MAX can offer real estate services to readers in several locations in Colombia.
- In Colombia, RE/MAX has over 350 real estate agents including more than 70 agents in Medellín. Also, RE/MAX has agents that are bilingual and speak both English and Spanish.
- RE/MAX ensures properties are not overpriced by performing a study of market property prices known as an ACM (Análisis Comparativo del Mercado).
To use this real estate partner service from RE/MAX, just click on the button below.
Fill out a very short form and RE/MAX offers a free consultation to provide information about the local market, current pricing information and tips for buying or selling properties.
The Bottom Line: Tips to Attract Long Term Airbnb Guests in Colombia
Has there been a time in the past where an Airbnb guest complained about anything?
Sometimes it’s easier for us (Airbnb hosts) to not fix something because only one out of every five guests complain about it. Maybe it’s the confusing TV remote? Or the mini ironing board?
But for a long-term Airbnb reservation, all of these have the potential to become big issues and can lose you months of rebooking fees.
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