Should I provide free Wi-Fi to Airbnb guests?
Airbnb is changing the way people travel. This online community offers travelers a way to save money on lodging and homeowners a means of generating extra income. Homeowners can list their house, apartment, or spare room on Airbnb for rent on a short-term basis for frugal vacationers.
Lower nightly rates and the chance to break free from cookie-cutter hotel chains are key contributors to Airbnb’s appeal. But members still have to compete with established hoteliers and charming bed and breakfasts, so it’s important to offer amenities that keep your rental competitive.
One of the most common amenities travelers look for is Wi-Fi access. While Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, there is often an additional charge to use it. As an Airbnb host, it’s important to consider how to handle guest access to your home’s Wi-Fi network.
Reasons to offer free Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi access is a simple amenity to add to your Airbnb offerings. Not everyone can offer a pool, hot tub, or stunning views, but nearly anyone can set up a home Wi-Fi network that is easy to share with guests. Here are some of the top reasons to offer free Wi-Fi as part of your Airbnb rental.
- A competitive edge. When travelers are comparing your rental against other Airbnb options, the more amenities you have listed, the better. Free Wi-Fi can help you stand out from the crowd.
- Expanded pool of renters. Who said your Airbnb rental has to be limited to vacationers? Adding free Wi-Fi can make your rental appealing to business travelers as well.
- Increased revenue. Just because you list Wi-Fi access for free doesn’t mean you can’t make more money. Rather than tacking on an extra fee if guests use Wi-Fi during their stay, include the expected costs of Wi-Fi use in your nightly rate. You’ll absorb any extra costs and your guests will enjoy a great deal.
Any time you open up your Wi-Fi network to multiple users you run a security risk. Even though Wi-Fi can be a great way to make extra money as an Airbnb host, there are some risks you should consider before adding free Wi-Fi to your list of Airbnb amenities.
- Security considerations. You don’t want your free Wi-Fi perk to turn into a security nightmare. Make sure that your network has the right security protocols in place, including passwords and firewalls. Change the password often and make sure that none of your personal information can be accessed via your Wi-Fi network.
- Unexpected Costs. If your Internet plan charges you based on the amount of data used, you need to be careful about offering free Wi-Fi. All it takes is one guest who decides to stay in and binge-watch their favorite show all weekend to put your bill over the top. Consider changing your plan or make sure your nightly rate is high enough to include any overages that might be incurred.
Overall, offering free Wi-Fi is a smart move for any Airbnb host. If you’re looking for ways to increase the popularity of your listing and make more money, free Wi-Fi just might be the answer you’ve been looking for.
Author - HSI Staff