Getting more bookings is the most important thing for most of 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? In order to throw some light on the issue, we have compiled the top 15 tips to get more bookings on Airbnb for you.
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 as many as 7).
3. Fill in your personal profile, have a friendly picture and write an honest description of yourself. A lot of people chose pictures where they are with their family, pets, etc. It makes you look friendlier.
4. Wish-listed and referrals/recommendations. Not really under your control, but 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 Facebok 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.
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 of becoming a superhosts, there is a special page on your profile (Stats on desktop and Performance on mobile).
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. The tools are provided to you to migrate listings and sync calendars. Booking.com is a great option, and people on that platform are willing to pay more.