In short, the answer is up to you but if you want to keep full control of your business and build your business your own way then a website is a great starting block. Once this is built you can then combine it with your social media and word of mouth and you will start gaining website traffic and these will hopefully turn into bookings.
Airbnb and alike have their place in the world and can be helpful if you are just starting out due to their huge audiences that are ready to buy what you have to offer. However sticking with these platforms can mean high fee structures, a race to the bottom on pricing (as it is quantity over quality for them) and insane review processes. Creating your own website and marketing strategy and implementing it in your business means you can avoid these pitfalls and really enjoy running an accommodation business.
Why should you have your own website?
Having your own website as part of your marketing strategy offers several advantages compared to relying solely on an Airbnb listing:
1. Branding Control: A website allows you to establish and control your brand identity, presenting your property in a way that aligns with your vision and values.
2. Direct Communication: With a website, you can communicate directly with potential guests, addressing inquiries, providing personalised information, and building a relationship from the start of the booking process.
3. Lower Fees: Airbnb charges hosts service fees for each booking. By generating direct bookings through your website, you can reduce or eliminate these fees, increasing your overall revenue.
4. Flexibility in Pricing: You have greater flexibility to set your own pricing strategies, promotions, and discounts without being constrained by the pricing structures of third-party platforms.
5. Customer Data Ownership: When guests book through your website, you retain ownership of their data. This is valuable for building a customer database, marketing directly to previous guests, and fostering repeat business.
6. Enhanced Information: Your website can provide more detailed information about your property, local attractions, and policies, offering a comprehensive view that may not be possible within the constraints of a standard Airbnb listing.
7. Customisation: You have the freedom to customise the design and functionality of your website, tailoring it to meet your specific needs and improving the overall user experience.
8. Reduced Dependency: Relying solely on Airbnb means your business is at the mercy of its policies and algorithms. A website gives you more independence and control over your business strategy.
As you can see there are many advantages to creating your own marketing strategy and building your own website, but don’t underestimate how much work this will take. Building your own audience whether it be on social media, through your email list and website traffic takes lots of time and dedication but the rewards will pay off in the end when you have a profitable business that you and your guests love.