Guide To Increase Booking For Home Stays During Non-Peak Seasons

Every home stay owner & operator has faced challenging times during off-season, as people tend to travel lesser during the time. If you’re in the business long enough, you should know by now the low seasons of your business and be prepared for them in advance.

A Typical Home Stay

Based on a survey of 100 Airbnb hosts in Malaysia, the booking period of home stays are normally ranging around 10 to 15 days, and sometimes drops to as low as 5 to 10 days.

For a whole unit that is rented out at RM150 per day for 10 days a month just barely covers the minimum instalment after deducting cleaning, utilities and other overheads. It may not seem like a good business with little income at the end of the day. 

Not All Hope is Lost

We also find that there are units that are fully occupied most of the time even if it is priced higher as compared to other units. Unless you’re a European Villa, you may lack of some reason for people to pick them over you.

It turns out that people book places to experience more than just staying. Creating an experience keeps people coming back, refer their friends or make headlines on Facebook & Instagram.

Know your Customers

This is an easy way to start. If you keep record of who visited your place and understand who are the customers that stayed with you often. Are they solo travellers, on family vacations, or are they long distance travellers who are looking to rest before going on the road again?

Call them, talk to them on social media, or simply send them an email. Offer them promotions during the off-season period. Make sure your promotions are for a limited time only and asks guests to redeem their deals within the time period or send the code to their friends who are looking to travel.

Remember that it is 50% easier to sell to your existing customers than getting a new customer.

Market on Facebook & Google

As most people are aware of, Facebook & Instagram is the go-to place for Malaysians when looking for travel inspirations and lifestyle/leisure items.

Data shows that 97% of all Malaysians go online to search for travel related deals and experience and 70% of people use Facebook as their first choice to market their lifestyle items.

You’d want to create a Facebook & Instagram page for your listing and name it correctly as it increases the likelihood of people searching on Facebook to find your place. Alternatively, you can buy ads to market your home stay, which works only for a certain type of homes.

Increase Bookings on Non-peak and Weekdays

As many had tried reducing the price for weekdays, but there are very less people who travels during weekdays. You tried lowering prices during weekdays but is still unable to increase vacancy during the period.

It’s just how the industry works.. in a nutshell

You don’t want your place to be tied down to one particular industry that is affected by seasons and rely heavily on that. If people are booking your place for other purposes like meetings, workshops, photography, gathering or parties, you want to leverage that opportunity by marketing your place differently.

But, the question is how do you do it?

Add Facilities and Choices

Courtyard can be used to host dinners

As people are always looking to experience new things. Rather than having a dinner at that fancy restaurant that is full of people on a friend’s gathering, won’t it be great for people to rent a place and cook for their loved ones?

As a home stay owner, you can rent your space hourly for any occasion. Prepare items that is needed for, extra tables & chairs, projector, whiteboard, game sets, karaoke system, – whatever you need for your space to fit a purpose.

Unique places like rooftops, courtyard, lofts can be used for variety of purpose and you won’t want your place to be limited only to just “providing a place to sleep”. While Airbnb is not catered for bringing people in for an occasion, a local Malaysian startup Chupspace does just that.

 

Chupspace makes it easy for homeowners to rent out spaces hourly for any purpose, including private places to watch football, dinner, barbecue gathering, wine tasting and more.

Sign Up & Make Money As a Host - it's free

Offer an experience

While most of the home stay owners that is out there will make guests feels like you’re here for the money. You don’t want to be someone that offers nothing more than a bed. People remember experience, not a typical night just the same in any hotels & homes.

If you know that your guests is here as a solo traveller, offer to show them around the area. Tell them where to eat and most importantly, let them know that you’ll be there for them in case anything happens.

Not only that you’ll be able to hear exciting stories on their journey travelling across South East Asia, but it’s the sense of belonging that they couldn’t feel when they travel.

Even if you won’t be around during their stay, you can always drop them a message or call. Get people excited about the area that they’re not familiar with, not only telling them what they can’t do during their stay.

Make Your Space Event Friendly

While there are tons of local and overseas travellers that booked home stays as their first choice of travel. There’s a group of younger generation that move from rural to urban cities every year.

As more people move into high rise condominiums, they lack places to have friends & family gatherings, meetups and birthday parties. Most choose home stays as their first choice to book a place for the purpose.

Opening up your space and make it event friendly for these group of people that is on a growing trend will open up new opportunities for your business as a whole.

Sell Differently

Home stays in rural area tends to have lesser bookings compared to those in urban cities. But who can afford to buy a house with extra space in Kuala Lumpur town nowadays?

You have to be creative and sell your place a little different than what others have done. Create a theme at your space that will attract a certain group of people. 

Checkout this Doraemon Theme Homestay that is almost fully booked everyday.

As creating a theme may require some form of investment, it may not be for everyone. Alternatively, you can still sell your space differently if you know what people really want. Find out how you can host an experience in small spaces here.

Create Experiences in Spaces

Chupspace

Chupspace is a peer to peer marketplace that allows homes & businesses to rent their underutilised spaces hourly for meetings, activities & filming production.

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Step by Step Guide on Finding The Right Venue

Businesses and individuals are constantly looking for places to throw events, have seminars or a simple offsite meeting. Finding a place that fits the need of your event or seminar can be a painful experience.

Whether that you need to search everywhere on the internet from Google, Facebook or asking your friends to send you places on Whatsapp, chances are that they have no idea of what your event is like and may not give you the best solution.

As specific as it goes, location scouts are looking for places that can fit 50 people seated, with natural lights, sound proof, with projector, microphones, sound system and nearby LRT station. We understand that pain as we’ve been there, done that.

Things to look for when sourcing a place

As most people’s best guess is to find a cafe, coworking space or hotel for their next seminar or event, most places are not found online easily. We’ve written down several steps that you could take when you’re checking the place out.

1. Set your dates & time

Knowing the details of the event is crucial when you’re looking to find a place. The first thing that any place would want to know BEFORE they answer you any relevant details is to know if they’re able to accommodate your business.

Feel free to set a tentative date and time for your event and be flexible with it. If you really like the place, try to find a time that the space is available to rent.

2. Know the number of people and type of event

As every space is unique on its own, the number of people that they’re able to fit is different. Also, bear in mind that the owners may only accept a certain type of event that is suitable for them.

If you’re looking to have a musical rehearsal, it is less likely that places like cafes and coworking spaces can accept your request. Your best bet is to tell them immediately the type of activity that you’re planning to have.

3. Send out requests

Once you have the 4 elements in hand, start sending out requests via phone call & email. It is also important to understand who exactly are you talking to when inquiring.

Our experience of calling these places is that, the receptionist is not the person in charge and they have no clue of what’s happening. Give yourself some time to follow up with each places that you’ve asked in 2-3 days if they have not gotten back to you.

4. Site visit or recce

After you’ve sent out requests, the owners will usually asks you to visit the place and see it for yourself. Bear in mind that most places will ask you to check their place out but it’ll costs you a significant amount of time to travel and visit.

Here’s a few thing that people would look for when doing site recce:

  • Location & access

Make sure that the place exist and how to access there. How is the traffic like at your event start time? And most importantly, you can see clearly what amenities are available in the location and if you need to bring additional equipment or items.

Understand how to access the location from parking lot or main entrance is crucial, especially if the space is located inside a shopping mall or office tower. It is fairly difficult to locate if no proper guidance is provided.

  • Price

For most places, they have no fixed price for space rental. But rather, they’ll take into account the usual cost they need to cover an hour of operations when you’re renting the place.

Hotels, restaurants and cafes are priced higher based on the number of people they need to serve you, plus the amount of sales that they’re not able to generate at the time. Example, if a cafe can generate RM1000 in sales every hour, booking the space will costs you at least RM1000 per hour which does not make sense for most people.

A way to solve this is to find less packed places and the price would definitely be lower as compared to these prime locations.

  • Looks & amenities

Do the place look and feel exactly as you intended? Is the location able to fit the number of people that is coming for the event?

As most places will not show you a full set of photos that showcase their place, it is very difficult to judge whether these places suit your needs. As some use wide angle cameras to make their space look bigger which will give you a misjudgement if your decision is based solely on photos.

While it’s the norm to visit places before you place a booking, Chupspace provides you with a platform where you can easily do all the above by having these in mind when we build the website.

5. Understand the rules

All spaces are unique and hosts would have different rules & terms for their space. Ask the hosts if they allow parties, smoking or alcohol would be crucial to a successful planning.

Here’s a few things to ask the hosts before you book:

  • Overtime charges

In case you exceed the booking hours, will there be any additional charges for it. If you think that you may need additional hours, let the host know in advance so it won’t affect the next guests.

  • Additional charges

Make sure that the amenities and equipment that you need to use it included in your booking. Some places may require additional charges if you want to use the projector, additional tables & chairs and more.

  • Security deposits & cleaning fees

Usually hosts will make it clear if the booking will require additional cleaning fees and security deposits for certain events like parties.

How can we simplify it?

Planning a party or event should be fun and enjoyable, that’s why Chupspace is here to make sure the planning process is simple and easy. You can find the perfect place easily through an easy to use platform, at the same time knowing availability, price & any other information that you need from booking the place.

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Host Gathering in Small Apartments and Homes

As most business & home owners rent a space either for activities or accommodation, we intend to forget about the core of why people want to book a place in the first place. People love to experience new things (or old things) and spending crazy amount on trends of food, drinks or fashion accessories.

It makes no exception that people want to gather in places that gives a unique experience too. Here’s a few examples of how these homes are transformed into an experience rather than a homestay.

This heritage home from 70s is used for weddings, photoshooting, meetups, seminars and more

As people limit themselves on what they can do as a home stay, this house from Sentul sells differently. With very little investment and be versatile on the booking types, this space can cater activities up to 30 people and sells typically 200% higher than a normal home stay.

Now they’re open for rent on a hourly basis for RM100 per hour. They offer more than what a typical home stay can, they’re becoming a place where people can rent for a gathering, activity, workshop, or even film shooting.

Hosting dinner at rooftops
Hosting speed dating events

How it Increases Booking

Before this, the space is mostly occupied during weekends at a daily room rate. Bookings are good but there are more that can be done in different places. Hence, they became a space for events instead of home stay. They’re no longer promoting their spaces on Airbnb but instead making effort to create experiences in their unique space.

Create Experiences in Spaces

Renting Hourly Helps You Increase Income Further

As it may sound weird to rent a home stay hourly, but that is also the beauty of it. It opens up opportunities to new users to try out the place at a much affordable price. Best part is, people don’t get drunk and trash the place when they couldn’t overnight.

Alternatively, you can host 2 hours for travelling sales person to freshen themselves up before going to the next appointment, host barbecue parties that don’t need to overnight, all at a much higher price.

Typically 1 hour rent is about RM25 for a loft, set minimum of 3 hours if needed.

But, I Don't Have A Villa/Bungalow

Every place is unique as it’s own. That’s why we’ve created a website that allows home owners & operators to create experiences easily. Whether if it is for a short gathering, meeting or workshop, the only thing you need to invest is your time to setup the place, some required amenities and a few extra tables & chairs.

If people are using your space mostly for gathering, or if you want to try different things to get more bookings, you should cater your space to fit the need.

Preparing games, projectors, utensils for your guests to enjoy their gathering. You can also prepare steamboat pots, BBQ grills and other things for your guests without needing them to bring along. If you have a place that can fit 6 people overnight, most probably it can fit 12 people to gather around.

Read More

Make Money With Extra Spaces

Internet change how we communicate, travel and work

How we share has changed, thanks to the internet. Less than a decade ago, we only share our resources with those who are close to us. Today, we rent our car when we’re not using it; offer rides to strangers; or even a place to sleep for travelers.
 
Working remotely or in a co-working space can sometimes not be the best choice. Especially when we’re booking a meeting room, the time slot we wanted is always booked. A cafe or Starbucks is not going to leave a good impression and the terms of the contract shouldn’t be discussed in public.
 
It is frustrating when you can’t a space for meeting a client, while you see so many useful spaces around you sits underutilised.

What does it have to do with us?

Chupspace is a peer-to-peer marketplace for businesses and homeowners to share their underutilised spaces for meetings and events. People are getting tired of ballrooms and are moving to non-traditional venue, and we provide a platform for them to do just that, to source unique spaces for their events and meetings, at a cheaper, faster way.

Imagine a world where you can book a museum for team meetings, a courtyard in a private mansion for photo shooting, or an art gallery for product launching, all in one platform. It’s like an enhanced version of Airbnb, but without a bed and disturbing the neighbours midnight.

Businesses like Facebook, Google, and other multinational companies have a culture of renting spaces to work, to increase the teams’ productivity. What’s a better time to build a connection with the smartest people in the world, during their work time, especially when they are in your office?

Sign Up & Make Money As a Host - it's free

Spaces are always underutilised

There are over 40 million sqft of vacant properties in Malaysia alone and over 80% of the time, we’re using most of the spaces other than our own workspace. That’s when the idea come about, a marketplace to match underutilised spaces for events, meetings or any purposes.

We always held events or meetings in either co-working spaces or cafes, in which wasn’t always available, limited space and might sometimes disturb the other guests. The sharing economy concept got us to think that if personal car owners can earn extra income with their free time, why not extra home space, or underutilized space in businesses, or even abandoned malls?

So here we are today, matching you to a space owner which we call “host” where you can rent your house as a venue for events. Here’s some suggestion of spaces that can work as a venue:

1. Garden For Weddings

2. Pool For Parties

3. Rooftop For Dinners & Parties

4. Wine Lounge During The Day

Spaces are versatile and will suit different purpose with different components. Your office can be a workspace in the morning but a birthday party space at night, depending on how you set it up. The only limitation is your imagination.

Create Experiences in Spaces

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