Having a successful Airbnb isn’t as easy as it looks. It doesn’t matter if you are a novice, or you have some experience under your belt, there are some tactics out there that can set you apart from your competition.
I remember it was only a mere 4 or 5 years ago when I first heard of Airbnb, I was like “Air what?” when one of my friends who is always up to speed on the new and latest trends booked our digs to Cancun on there. Airbnb has changed a lot since then, and has grown considerably, with now over 5 MILLION (yes, you heard me) listings, worldwide, it’s a competitive game!
Make your guests feel appreciated
Go the extra mile for your guests. Little things like coffee and muffins in the morning, or a bottle of wine (two buck chuck from Trader Joes isn’t half bad). There are a lot of little extras you can do for your guests that will set you apart from the other listings and not break the bank. Not to mention, these are always mentioned in the comments that potential guests will read, which is a key way to rank yourself higher in the listings. I had a well-stocked bar in my Airbnb, I just asked for people to leave a couple of bucks in a jar on the bar if they used it, so I could continue to keep the bar stocked. People LOVED this.
I lived in a ski town and a lot of people loved being able to have a drink without going out in the snow again. Do you have a hot tub or pool on property, or live near the beach? Leave a basket of clean beach towels by the door for your guests to use. Think of homey little touches that will leave big impressions.
Take good photos
It never ceases to amaze me when people use dark or unflattering photos of their listing. Always put clear bright photos that highlight the strengths of your listing. Use the panoramic setting so that people can get a good view of the space. If you make changes to your space, make sure that you update any photos to reflect that.
Don’t go cheap on things that matter
Invest in good towels, sheets, and bedding in general. Not only does it feel better to sleep on a decent set of sheets, think about the amount of wear and tear that they are going to go through with laundering. Sometimes you can get away with IKEA stuff, but think about how much use its going to get and whether or not it’s going to last. If you are decorating on a budget, try hitting up some thrift stores and usually you can score some cool finds. Resist the urge to completely furnish on a budget. If it feels cheap, it’s going to look cheap. Details like this matter. Try splurging a little more on the things that will get the most wear. Fill in the rest with budget finds.
Be responsive and log in frequently to answer questions
Another listing booster is responsiveness, this is another thing that comes up frequently in reviews, and is also used as an algorithm for Airbnb in listing placement. If you don’t get back with people quickly, they will sometimes go book with someone else who is faster to respond to questions. If you continually get the same questions – put it in the listing! It will save you from answering the same question over and over.
Keep your listing clean and available for any last minute reservations
Hopefully you’ve worked out who is turning over your Airbnb for you if you are not doing it yourself. Turnoverbnb.com is a great tool for this, even if you are doing most of the cleaning yourself. Turnoverbnb is a lifesaver for a few reasons. They do all of the reference checking for you, if cleaners are on the site – they’ve been checked out. You schedule through the site, communicate through the site, streamlining almost everything you need from a cleaning perspective. It really simplifies the cleaning aspect of your Airbnb. Don’t turn down last minute reservations because you can’t get your place cleaned, you’re throwing money out the window. Even if you’re able to clean your place on your own, it really pays to have a backup in place. Or two!
Have local information handy for your guests
Again, it bears repeating, think about where you are and what your guests will be doing. Will they be using public transportation? Keep bus or train schedules handy for your guests. Are you in an arts district? Grab some brochures, or make your own list of local curiosities. Think out of the box with this stuff too. Is there a fantastic hole in the wall diner that’s a five minute walk from your place? Put it on your list! The reason I think it’s nice to keep the information on site, is maybe it will come up in conversation, maybe not. I was always grabbing brochures for my guests of everything that I thought could possibly be of interest. While Starbucks is great, if you have a local coffee shop, send your guests there!
Write the WIFI code down somewhere where the guest will see it immediately
It’s generally the first thing people want to know when they check in. Airbnb has a place for this on your listing, it’s easier for guests to have it in front of them. Saves them from having to go look for it. Especially if you have international guests who may not have access to their service other than tapping into WIFI.
Remember, a little out of the box thinking goes a long way in the Airbnb game. A few additional touches and a little extra thought, and you’ll be a Superhost in no time!