Getting more bookings is the most important thing for most Airbnb hosts. However, there is not a magic formula to achieve this goal. Actually, there are plenty of blogs out there with dozens of tips and hints. So the question is, which ones should I follow?
A few months ago we published this same article with the 15 most common tips among the Airbnb community. Now, we are back with an updated and more elaborated version which includes 6 more tips. We hope that this article will help you get more bookings on Airbnb!
The top 21 tips to improve your Airbnb
1. Build a complete listing with a competitive and descriptive title. Fill all the blankets and be as descriptive as possible. Don’t hide any defaults and remember to mention whether you have pets or not. Keep in mind your title show up in google so you might get hits from there. Mention other selling facts, i.e., “Close to historic landmarks, best view in the city, best restaurants, etc.”
2. Get verified. If you are into serious business, provide as many verifications as you can (You can have up to 7). This is part of your personal profile and, believe it or not, it can have a great impact on your bookings because many guests will decide their stay upon that information.
3. Fill in your personal profile, have a friendly picture and write an honest description of yourself. A lot of people chose photos where they are with their family, pets, etc. It makes you look friendlier. But remember to keep your eyes uncovered and try to look kind of serious. You couldn't imagine how many weird pictures are out there.
4. Wish-listed and referrals/recommendations. Not really under your control, but you can ask your friends to write them. Connect your Facebook account, check which ones of your friends have Airbnb accounts and ask them to write a couple of nice things about you. They will fill in the spot until you get some solid reviews. If you want to get your listing wishlist you can join this Facebook group.
5. Have a competitive price and always start low: at the beginning, underprice your listing until you get the first bookings and start gaining traction. Then, start offering competitive prices. Check what is provided by your direct competitors and try to beat their prices. Also, use the extra charge per person option, have a lower rate for one person then gradually increase for added guests. It will make your pricing fairer. If you need more advice on pricing, check our articles: “Pricing strategies for our Airbnb listing,” “If you never change your price of your Airbnb, your price strategy sucks” and “Pricing mistakes Airbnb Hosts should avoid.”
6. Upload nice and professional pictures with their titles in. If you can’t hire a photographer, remember to use a good camera, clean the property, and make sure there is enough light. Check your main (first) picture and how it appears on multiple devices. Even if it’s a good picture, you might need to crop it or change it. Do not forget to check out our article “Top 10 tips for Airbnb Photos” by professional photographer Tyann Marcink.
7. Get as many "tickable amenities" as possible especially if you want to get into the business category (Spending 30$ on a steam iron and a hair blower can be worth it). Here is our article on “How to improve Your Airbnb Amenities.”
8. Start with low standards. Having the strictest rules on the neighboorhood won’t help you get your first bookings. This doesn’t mean you should aloud crazy parties on your property, but cheap cleaning fees, friendly cancellation policy, and loose house rules will help you to start out.
9. Allow 1-night stays. 1-night stays are less profitable because you still need to clean the property between guests. However, it will increase your impressions on search results. Also, it will increase the number of bookings, and therefore, the number of reviews.
10. Turn On Instant Book. Although it might look a bit intrusive at first glance, the instant book option shows how flexible your listing is and therefore, match more potential guests’ targeted searches. Allowing guests to directly book your Airbnb without your pre-approval open up your listing to a new market: travelers with strict planning time frames. Also, Listings that can be booked without first making an inquiry get booked more often and are therefore favored by Airbnb.
11. Reply ASAP. Replaying as fast as possible shows you are an active host and makes guests feel more comfortable. Even if you don’t have something to say to your guest, write a quick “Thank you for your interest, I will come back to you with more info ASAP” within less than an hour of the original message. You can use automated messaging services like AvivaIQ.
12. Keeping your calendar up-to-date is one of the easiest ways to increase Airbnb SEO. Updating your calendar on a daily basis makes the Airbnb algorithm believe you are an active host and award you a better position. Airbnb’s algorithm identifies hosts who frequently update their calendars as both active and responsive. And with Airbnb, hard work pays off: active and responsive hosts are rewarded with priority seating in the search rankings. Preparing your listing for the summer/winter season is also a good technique to keep your calendar up-to-date. Another way to keep your calendar updated is to use the app Vayoo. Vayoo us the first mobile app that helps Airbnb hosts to keep their prices and minimum stay updated.
13. Be a good host and reach the superhosts status! Airbnb works with ratings, the more 5star ratings you get, the higher you will appear in the search results. Good and many reviews will also attract more potential guest. Commit to Airbnb and your hosts and don’t cancel confirmed reservations unless extenuating circumstances. It does hurt your host rating. Also, superhosts status places you under better order on the search engine. Moreover, guests have the option to search only superhost listings. If you want to know how close you are to becoming a superhosts, there is a special page on your profile (Stats on desktop and Performance on mobile). You can also read our article tips to become a superhost.
14. Promote your listing through Google or Facebook. You Airbnb is a business as any other and therefore, you can advertise it by any digital means such as Facebook, Google, etc. Use SEO tools, set up a website with links to your listings, make videos, in other words, be creative. If you want to know more about how to use Facebook to promote your listing, check this podcast by Jasper Ribers.
15. Register with other similar sites competitive to Airbnb. Once you get many reviews and your business is well established on Airbnb, we recommend opening new profiles in other marketplaces. There are many tools for you to migrate listings and sync calendars. Booking.com is a great option, and people on that platform are willing to pay more. But remember that Airbnb and Booking are not exactly the same, as we explained in this article .
17. Increase your loyal customers by adding amenities. According to some statistics, between 25% and 50% of rentals on Airbnb come from repeat bookings. That’s why it may be a smart idea to add more amenities on your property and improve renter experience. Some of these investments may look expensive, but it was proven that they will pay off in the long run. So, if you want to attract even more guests and keep the existing ones loyal, you may consider adding amenities like Jacuzzis, pools, faster Wi-Fi, satellite TV, washer/dryer, pet0friendly amenities, video game systems and more.
18. Build a mailing list. If you your guest to repeat, you might need to contact them by other means. Once somebody books your apartment, take the time to include him to your mailing list together with his name and ever his phone. The more info you have the more personalized your emails can be. Once you have built your mailing list, send emails campaigns from time to time offering special promotion and updates about your VR. An email saying you have installed a Jacuzzi will for sure trigger some bookings among your old customers.
19. Invest in furniture. Let’s be clear – Airbnb users are usually younger people looking for modern accommodation. Many Airbnb hosts are not thinking about the way the furniture looks simply because they are used to it. The sofa you have may be fully functional, but if it looks old, people will avoid your property. Think about investing in furniture. There are many places where you can buy modern, yet cheap furniture like IKEA for example. Make your property look like a classy boutique hotel. But before you invest any money, read our top 8 decorating tips. Once you have your new furniture, update the photos and highlight the new furniture in your home.
20. Take care of the yard. While it’s true that most renters will stay on your property while they are there, it’s also true that most of them will appreciate a carefully maintained yard on the property. Take some time to update the yard with new flowers, mow the lawn and consider investing in outdoor furniture too. Remember that the yard is one of the first things that people are noticing on any property.
21. Use technology. You have probably noticed that there are new tech gadgets introduced on the market almost on a daily basis. The good thing is that most of them are inexpensive and you can definitely use them on your rental property. For instance, you can invest in automated thermostats, smoke alarms, security systems, video doorbells and few other things. These things will make your home look ultra-modern which will eventually boost the interest in your Airbnb property. They will also help you to prevent noisy guest and parties.
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