By hosting on Airbnb, not only can you make money on property that would otherwise be vacant, but you can also provide a place for someone to have an experience.
However, for this to happen, you have to make sure people are booking your property. There are some factors determining how popular your property is that are outside of your control, such as location and seasonality (some places just don’t book in the winter, and others in the summer).
But so long as there is demand in your area, there are things you can do to keep the people coming and the profits soaring.
In general, getting more bookings is a matter of enhancing your profile, increasing your Airbnb activity, appealing to broader audiences, and encouraging positive reviews from past guests.
To help you do this, here are 10 Airbnb hosting tips that will help keep your property booked:
Probably the single most important thing you can do to help keep your Airbnb property booked is to collect lots of positive reviews. This is because after someone takes a look at the amenities and confirms the location and living spaces are adequate, the next place they’re heading is the review section to see what past guests have to say.
Properties with a lot of good reviews are going to book faster and more often than those with few or none.
So, encourage guests to leave a review by leaving one for them. This takes the initiative and also reminds people to login and write something.
You can also leave a little note card somewhere on the property asking for a review. Or, if you built a decent connection with particular guests, you could also just message them directly and ask.
Always make sure to respond to reviews. Even and especially if they are negative. People don’t expect perfection, but if you leave a negative review unattended, people will use their imaginations to guess what happened and that is never good. An apology and an explanation can go a long way.
This strategy has a little bit of a snowball effect. As you build reviews and your place starts booking more often, Airbnb will start to move you up in the search rankings so that more people see your property. They want places that book often near the top, and so they reward those who are active.
So, get the ball rolling by making an active effort to encourage reviews from past guests.
Although the reviews are what really make the decision, no one is getting to the review part if your photos are bad.
Let’s face it. The photos are really the most important part. People are booking an Airbnb to go on vacation, usually, or perhaps even live somewhere temporarily. To reach out to you about booking, they have to be able to see themselves in your apartment/house.
Part of this means showcasing the great features of your home, such as an outdoor area, a home entertainment system, great kitchen, etc. so that prospective guests can see what’s possible there.
It also quite simply means taking photos in the right light. Dark, shadowed photos almost always look worse. And no matter how many lights you turn on in the house, there’s nothing better than genuine daylight.
To get bookings, you want your home to appear warm and welcoming, like somewhere cozy people want to come back to while they’re on vacation.
Also, as a general rule of thumb. Keep the number of photos of the surrounding area to a minimum. It’s okay to show what’s nearby, but if most of the photos are of things not on your property, it’s not as helpful to guests and may also come across as misleading.
Airbnb works much like a hotel search website. People list dates and locations and then browse from a number of options based on what’s available.
Therefore, to be included in the many searches people do, you need to have your calendar updated so that your property appears in results.
Plus, keeping an updated calendar means you will have to cancel with fewer guests. There’s nothing worse than receiving a booking request only to check and see that the place is already booked or otherwise unavailable.
Too many of these and your booking will drop down in the search results, and before you know it, you’ll be back trying to claw your way up towards the top.
Price is another huge factor that people look at when deciding whether to book. Typically, people want the cheapest place, but they are willing to pay a little extra for what they perceive as something valuable: proximity to bars/restaurants, entertainment options, parking, etc.
Before setting your price, take a look at what other people in your area are listing their properties for, and try to put yourself somewhere in that range. Airbnb has a pricing tool you can use to help determine what’s right, but feel free to play around with it yourself.
In the end, keeping your short-term rental booked is about pricing it competitively enough so that it gets booked but not so much so that you’re losing out on real earnings.
In situations where you decide to charge a premium because of something your home offers, make sure you be clear about what that perk is when you create your listing, by including it in the title and description, so that people can see what their extra money is getting them and are encouraged to go through with the booking.
Airbnb is big on community. Its whole business model runs on trust, and so it wants to promote hosts that are more active, as it uses this as a means of verifying your identity. Eventually, you may earn the title “Superhost,” which allows you to stand out from the crowd.
To get there, you’ve got to do a number of things, such as carry out a bunch of bookings. But in addition, Airbnb also provides privileged status to those it deems “active hosts.”
These are people who log in to the platform regularly, respond to messages, update their listing and price, communicate with guests, etc.
So, if you really want to make your place fill up, start making it a habit to check in on your listing at least a few times per week if not more.
You get to decide what kind of Airbnb host you’re going to be. If you live close by or on the same property, you can be a bit more hands-on and interact more personally with your guests.
If you don’t live nearby, or are away during the guests’ stay, you still need to make yourself somewhat available. Things may happen throughout the stay, and if you can respond to them attentively, this will help guests have a good experience and encourage them to leave a positive review.
It’s possible you yourself can't be available, and if this is the case, make arrangements to have someone local monitor your account and respond to any issues as they come up.
There’s nothing worse than showing up to someone’s property, having trouble with something, and then never hearing from that person as you ask for help.
Although most guests will be happy if you provide a clean, comfortable place for them to stay, if you make the effort to go above and beyond, then you’re that much more likely to receive that positive review.
Some things you could do:
Little details such as these don’t take much time or effort to incorporate, but they are often the things people will remember. And the more they write about you, the more attention you’re going to get, keeping the bookings rolling in at all times.
Another thing to consider is that the experience people have at your Airbnb is going to be connected to the experience they have in your town/city. If they love it, they’re going to love their place that much more.
Of course, you’re not entirely responsible for making sure they enjoy their time, but any little effort you make to ensure that happens is going to help you.
Some people go so far as to put together a little booklet that identifies things you can do in the area. But sometimes a small list of local bars and restaurants and points of interest can be enough to get people going in the right direction for a good time and a positive experience.
Many people choose to book on Airbnb because it gives them the chance to meet new people and have a more intimate experience with a place they’re visiting.
To cater to these people, consider including in your description things you’d be willing to do with your guests, such as taking them on a tour, bringing them to a local spot, cooking together, etc.
Including these on your profile does not mean you are bound to do them with each and every guest. But if you’re open to it, putting it there will help make your listing look all that much more welcoming and will encourage more guests to want to come and stay.
One last thing you can do to help your property book more quickly is to allow for instant booking. The alternative, in which people submit reservation requests that need to be approved, isn’t a bad option. But if the goal is to keep the place booked, you want to make things as easy as possible for people.
However, for this to work, it’s imperative your calendar be updated. If you’re going to be out of town and can’t manage the place, make sure to block it off, otherwise someone will book it and you will have to cancel.
If managing your calendar is doable, then enable this feature so that people hesitate less and book your place more quickly and easily.
In addition to being a title that Airbnb gives to successful hosts, it’s also a good goal to try and reach. By setting your profile up the right way, doing a few things to ensure guests have a spectacular time, and encouraging reviews along the way, you can bring more attention to your property and keep it booked for as long as you want. Chaching!
As a trusted Airbnb software partner, Uplisting has helped many property managers like yourselves automate their business listings, allowing you to focus on the big picture. From automated guest reviews and direct bookings, Uplisting can save you valuable time: allowing you to scale your business! For more information, check out our live webinars on how the Uplisitng's revolutionary rental software works!
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