Airbnb has been around for quite some time, offering new rental opportunities to property owners who want to offer hotel-like accommodations to guests. However, with more property owners joining the Airbnb boom, competition is getting tougher and hosts need to know how to do better in the crowds.
The question is, how?
Managing Airbnb can be a daunting task especially when guests' expectation is ever increasing, but what you get in return is rewarding if you get it right. It is important to keep in mind that your potential guests already have the kind of experience they want in mind; all you have to do is go beyond it.
So we asked the industry experts their opinion on how to get more Airbnb bookings. Here are the 10 tips they shared with us.
1. Make sure your Airbnb profile is complete
Airbnb’s existing algorithm takes into account the information you put on your profile. The more information you provide your potential guests, the more legitimate you will look and that means, more customers entrusting you and your property. Completing your profile information also improves your listings ranking on Airbnb, so make sure that you fill out every field on your profile.
2. Create an awesome property listing
Property Styling expert Belinda Woolrych explained that in order for owners to hit the right target market, they should picture their guests in their head. This is where your property listing plays a very crucial role: what you put on your property’s listing will help you raise the bar higher than other property owners who offer the same type of accommodation as you.
To make sure that your property gets noticed first, here are simple things you need to keep in mind:
- Know your target. Guests have varying personality types, and what worked for one person may not be the right solution for the other. Before anything else, make sure that you create a property persona before making the next important decisions such as styling and furnishing. Having a clear target guest in mind can help you attract the right customers so make sure that everything they would ever need and expect from your property are within arm’s length.
- Select the right photos. Your guests want to get the best value for their budget. More often than not, they already have an idea on the property they want to spend their next weekend in so make sure that your property’s best features are what they see in your profile’s gallery. When taking your property’s photos, look for the best angles and make it look as sharp as possible with the help of a high-quality camera and natural lighting. Make sure that the place is tidy and squeaky clean. When you’re ready to take a shot, opt for a landscape shot and use the 4x6 ratio with at least 1024 x 683 pixels to make sure that your photo is up to par with Airbnb standards.
- Make sure your property description is easy to understand. Photos are not enough to justify what your property has to offer. Accompany this with a clear and spot-on description to give potential guests an idea if they are on the right property. Include crucial property information such as the type and the number of people that can stay in your place. This serves as your first filter, helping you get to the right guests in no time. Next, describe your property’s style as well as the amenities and facilities that guests can use during their stay. Cap it off with the landmarks surrounding your property’s area.
3. Be ready to take guest inquiries
Most guests are booking their stay at the soonest possible time so make sure that you’re ready to answer all their inquiries round-the-clock. Airbnb pays close attention to the host’s response rate so it’s best that you accommodate their inquiries as soon as they arrive in your mailbox. Not being able to reply when the guest needs you the most might create a negative impact on your listing so make sure that you’re visible to potential guests at all times.
4. Make a good first impression
Guests want to get the best possible experience for their trip, and this includes their stay in your property. Make sure that you’re ready to offer more than what your guests are expecting from you to get more chances of earning five-star rates or friend recommendations. Monique Sartor, interior design expert and CEO of Sartorial Interior shared with us her tips on creating a lasting first impression:
- Make sure your place is clean and smells good.
- Add a few extras such as a hearty welcome basket or a toiletry set.
- Set the mood by providing a pleasant fragrance.
- Sweep the front path and porch.
- Provide big, fluffy white towels and three-ply toilet papers.
- Add a complementary flower arrangement in the living room or in the master’s bedroom.
- Create a welcome note, with simple how-to’s and other property rules.
Also, try not to clean your house just before the arrival of the guests, says Bower Bird Interiors, as no one wants to smell harsh chemicals as they walk from room to room!
5. Ensure all-around comfort inside your home
Comfort is not all about giving your guests the softest cushion during their stay. It pays to make guests feel like they are very welcome inside your home and that you are there to guide them in every step of the way. Prepare very engaging conversations to make your guests feel like they never left their home during their short stay. Ask necessary questions to get to know them because that way, you can easily give them what they need.
According to Arzo, an experiencing travel-blogger: “[…] one thing that makes me feel welcome and comfortable is when hosts ask you at the beginning whether I have questions and if I have, receive some insider information which I do not find in each destination guide”. Use your knowledge as an asset and be open to the conversation if you feel that your guest wants to share a chat with you.
6. Perk up your property
Your property style serves as your identity, it is what sets you apart from other property owners. That said, it is important to have your own unique style to make sure that your target guests will come and find you easily. The styling of your property gives your home another dimension in terms of experience, so it’s best to complement your guests’ personality or preference with your unique style. This specific tip to get more Airbnb bookings make a great difference to boost the listing of your property and the guest experience in general.
We compiled you some great advice from Jennifer Williams, an awarded interior stylist and owner of the company Creative Style interior Design.
To create a good atmosphere, add “a range of lighting from downlights on dimmer switches to floor and table lamps“ to create an “ambience in any space”. Make your guest cosy by implementing “somewhere comfy to sit and relax” like “a sofa in a size to suit the proportions of the space.” For the sofa you might want one produced with “Leather” as it “is most durable”. If you cannot afford it and “if it's upholstered in a fabric, choose one in a mid-tone, block colour to camouflage dirty marks between steam cleans”. For the small accessories “a mirror to bounce light around and reflect a view if there is one, some 'inoffensive' artwork, a rug to soften hard floors and a vase or two of real or good quality artificial flowers to make the spaces feel more welcoming.” Remember to “do not overdo the decorative accessories as they can be seen as clutter and your guests won't want to worry about paying for breakages either.”
7. Keep guests informed
Travelling guests will find great help if you include a simple manual of basic city information in their package. These details may include, but are not limited to, transportation or list of restaurants they can try out in the outskirts of town. Guests will also appreciate it if you will share simple tips in maximising their stay so you might want to give this one a try.
8. Maximise Airbnb Experiences
Airbnb now has 'Airbnb Experiences' where property owners like you can include special packages such as sightseeing tours for guests. This helps you create an end-to-end guest experience that extends from inside your property to outside its doors. Highlight special events or secret local hubs for guests to visit during their free time to elevate their Airbnb experience to a whole-new level.
9. Read and answer the reviews
What guests will say or comment about your property will serve as your learning curve. This tells you what you’re doing right, what you should stop doing and what you should work on to improve your rankings. Remember: getting bad reviews doesn’t make you a bad host, so make sure that you are ready to thank guests who recently booked your property regardless of their feedback. This is crucial for the future of your Airbnb bookings. Show how important guest feedback is to you by responding to their comments and learn from it. Don’t worry, negative Airbnb reviews can work to your advantage so don’t miss out on anything your guests had to say.
10. Stay updated with what’s happening
As a host, you need to keep up with the hosting industry and be one of the first to know if there are any important Airbnb announcements. Don’t lag behind your peers--set the pace in the market and improve your offerings based on this generation’s hottest trends.
Being a great host takes a lot of effort and energy, but it’s not without its rewards. Once you follow these simple 10 tips to get more Airbnb bookings, you will be able to reap the rewards of being a credible and trusted Airbnb host.
Need a little help in managing your property? Do give us a call at 1800 526 133 now.