A few Startup Stay members have been asking us lately about the availability of host entrepreneurs, since the number of replies vary. Let me share with you a few good tips to maximise every one of your “Stay Requests”.
There are internal and external points to take into account:
Internal (what we can control)
1. First, let’s get out of the way the most obvious one: Have a fully complete Startup Stay profile (with a profile picture, info about you, your startup, itineraries, links to social networks, etc) You could have the best tactics in mind but, if your potential host checks out your profile and finds it incomplete or nothing interesting at all, guess what’s going to happen?
2. Take the time to browse the desired profiles when seeking accommodation. Anyone can offer a “place to crash“. However, the value comes when you stay with an interesting entrepreneur. This way, you maximise your networking time, expand your business network while also learning great stuff from your host.
3. Use the “Stay Request” button when seeking accommodation (not the “Send a Message” one). Otherwise you lower your chances of getting replies. We have implemented recently the “Reply rate“, so you have a better idea who is more likely to get back to you now (Messages through the “Send a Message” button do not impact the member’s reply rate)
4. When writing the stay request text, make sure to use the entrepreneur’s first name (otherwise, it looks like a boring copy/paste text). Also, introduce yourself and your startup. We’ll remind you in the “Request to Stay” window every time (image below)
It’s important to explain what you will be doing in the city: Your host may be well connected and give you a hand or point you in the right direction. If you show any genuine interest in learning more about your host’s startup, is a BIG plus.
Note: Try to sending at least 8 requests with the same format to optimise results.
5. Timing is also crucial: Send any request at least 10 to 14 days in advance, especially if you’re going to an event. Last minute requests decrease your chances of finding a host.
External (beyond our control)
In top cities, entrepreneurs seem to be busier or maybe have more email to deal with. That’s why it could take a bit longer to receive replies.
Key moments: it could be the case that the entrepreneur and his/her team are under pressure to pitch, raise money, etc and simply is not the best time to deal with guests.
Now, over to you. What’s your experience? Have you applied any of the tips above? Share this post with other entrepreneurs! :)