Being an Airbnb host is a full-time job. There’s a lot of time, energy and effort that goes into managing a short term rental business. However, there are ways to make the hosting process more enjoyable and fulfilling.
Whether you’re just starting out in the vacation rental industry, or if you’re looking to improve your listings, these Airbnb host tips and tricks will help make life easier. We’re here to share some trade secrets with you about how to create and maintain an attractive listing, how to optimize your listing, how to increase bookings and more Airbnb host tips.
With all these Airbnb hosting tips, you’ll soon see your workload lighten and bookings coming to you naturally.
Grab the customer’s attention when creating your listing
Straight off the bat, invest time in catchy titles and professional pictures when creating your Airbnb listing. Make it stand out from the crowd.
Pictures are the feature most interacted with when guests scroll through Airbnb. They grab the user’s attention and also showcase what makes your vacation rental property special.
Your photos should be professionally taken with lots of light. The cover photo should wow guests into booking, so make sure it features the best angle of your property. Besides the cover photo, you should include attractive pictures of each of the rooms, including any special features, such as a pool or yard space.
Your pictures alone are just one part of grabbing the potential guest’s initial attention; your listing title has to compliment what is being shown.
Your listing title is the first thing guests read, so make it curious and creative. Avoid generic words and instead, think outside the box and focus on some unique aspects or features that your property offers. Consult an online thesaurus if you’re short on words.
Write powerful and concise descriptions
Never underestimate the power of a great Airbnb description. This is your chance to impress guests with words. Include everything you offer in the description, but resist the urge to write a novel. Your guests want to know what they’re getting into without being overwhelmed with script.
Highlight the basic facts of your vacation rental while also throwing in a bit about the unique features of your property. What makes your vacation rental special? What is its surrounding area? Is your property near a river or a famous landmark? How many beds and rooms does it have?
Also, this is your chance to present all the amenities you offer such as WIFI, toiletries, heating or cooling systems, laundry facilities or more. The little things make a big difference for guests looking for a special experience away from home.
If you’re having trouble writing your description, Lodgify has an Airbnb description generator for your leisure. All you have to do is follow the prompted questions and it will create the perfect concise Airbnb description for you.
Become a local guide
Often when guests book an Airbnb property, they are signing up for the experience, not just a stay. Include some attractions and transportation that can be found around your area. These can include restaurants, bars, tourist sites, subway stops or anything else that can make someone excited about staying in that location.
It can be a good idea to create a things-to-do list for your guests to elaborate on the previously mentioned attractions.
Set the right price
Pricing your Airbnb rental too high can drive customers away, while a too low price can reduce your profit. Price is a big factor for guests determining where to stay. Do your research to find a competitive price that’s similar to other rentals in your area. Another thing to take note of is travel trends such as holidays and peak seasons when adjusting your price.
To help you with your pricing strategy, Lodgify offers two integrations with dynamic pricing tools, Beyond and PriceLabs, that will automatically suggest pricing based on current market trends and data.
Plan the duration of your bookings
Often you will find that there will be a random one or two days on your bookings calendar surrounded by bookings but seemingly impossible to fill due to the awkward timeframe. This is common, and you’ll notice that many hosts will set a minimum booking period to reduce the number of in-between days on the calendar.
These are also known as orphan days. Another tactic is to offer a special rate for longer stays over a weekend, to entice travelers to book extra days and rid your calendar of these orphan days.
You need to decide if you want to offer your property for a short duration of time or for extended stays. What you choose will depend on many factors, including whether your property attracts more seasonal bookings than everyday bookings, and what kind of rates you can charge.
Take your customer service to the next level
Good customer service gets you 5/5 stars on Airbnb.
Being responsive to your guests and to your requests is a good place to start. Ideally, you should aim for a response time of within an hour, with a 24 hours maximum. That means the response rate to any messages, questions or booking requests you receive.
Responding to guests promptly with a friendly and accommodating reply is the standard. Don’t be scared of using emojis or offering special deals and services to make guests feel comfortable. Be attentive before, during and immediately after their stay.
The second part of good customer service is to make your booking as convenient as possible. Along with responding to guests, you should also have your listing set to Instant Booking. This way, guests can get an immediate confirmation of their reservation without any waiting time. This is highly appreciated by most guests.
Becoming an Airbnb Superhost starts with excellent customer service.
Interact with reviews
Receiving reviews can make your day, or it can leave you stressed out about one negative experience. Whatever type of review a customer leaves, positive or negative, it’s important to respond to all reviews in a polite manner.
Learn from your negative reviews about how you can improve and implement those changes if you notice a pattern in guest reviews.
Responding to every review makes you seem engaged and attentive to customer needs and critiques. When it comes down to it, your Airbnb listing needs reviews for prospective customers to gain trust in your listing and boost interaction with your profile.
Use your reviews to your advantage
Airbnb values great reviews from guests, and they always prioritize guest experience. Similarly, it’s important to display positive reviews from your guests to create good perceptions of your listing and gain trust.
If you advertise your positive reviews, guests may be swayed to stay at your property over others, especially if the reviews talk about valued characteristics or features.
Good reviews are a listing’s lifeline and you should try to collect as many as possible by exceeding guests’ expectations.
Make the most of resources
The internet is full of free and accessible Airbnb host tips and tools that can help you transform your business. Take an hour or so of your time each week to listen to and learn from guides, blogs and podcasts about the vacation rental industry.
Once you’ve got your knowledge base built, there are innumerable short term rental tools to minimize your workload and optimize your listing.
The vacation rental business is like any other profession, you have to put in the work to learn the ropes in order to make your business better. Without the proper knowledge and effort, you can’t expect to maximize your potential without building up a solid foundation.
Be on top of your messages
We talked earlier about responding promptly to your messages to provide outstanding customer service. But, did you know there’s an easier way to stay on top of your messages without being glued to your phone?
Lodgify’s unified inbox lets you manage all guest communications across channels in one centralized place, allowing you to declutter your messages and have automated responses to ensure that you never miss a message or inquiry again.
Establishing trust beings right from the start.
The first step to establishing trust is completing your profile in full. Don’t skip out on any steps and fill in all of the necessary information.
Make sure that the information on all of your listing platforms is the same. This not only establishes trust with people but with search engines as well.
People need to know who you are and that they can believe your listing, that your property truly exists and that there is a real person on the other side receiving them.
Start listing on more OTAs
Even though just listing on Airbnb may feel like more than enough, we suggest listing on several other online travel agencies (OTA) in order to increase your visibility and chances of getting bookings. Some good ones to start off with are Vrbo and Booking.com. Each channel has a slightly different audience, so you’ll be able to attract a wide range of guests.
Having listings on various channels is a good start, but once you’re more familiar with the short term rental business, you should also choose to create your own vacation rental website to secure direct bookings. Your own website gives you the power to control your marketing and improve your online credibility.
Sync your calendars with a channel manager
A channel manager is the best way to make boosting your Airbnb listings easy. If you are listing on more than one OTA, or even just on Airbnb, a channel manager lets you sync your calendars, bookings and rates from the different listing sites onto one centralized dashboard. That’s right; you can control and manage all of your listings in one place.
When a booking is made on one channel, the calendar for all the other listings will be blocked out. When you decide to update the daily rate for one listing, all the others will be updated as well. The channel manager reduces discrepancies among your listing and also reduces double-bookings, which in turn, decreased the number of negative reviews you receive.
Use Airbnb management software
Airbnb management software helps you deal with all your daily property management tasks. You can automate repetitive tasks, such as cleaning or guest turnovers, and guest communications, including emails with house rules, directions or review requests. In short, it saves you time and effort in running your Airbnb business.
Similar to the channel managers mentioned above, the Airbnb management software also provides a multi-calendar view to give you a clear overview of your Airbnb bookings along with other bookings you may have on other channels.