Hosting a vacation rental has become more and more popular. This has a lot to do with the platforms Airbnb and Vrbo. The most common question from owners is how can I can get more bookings to increase my vacation rental revenue? This is the determining factor of a host that will be successful and one that will fail.
Many people will ask, so, what is the magic trick to get me more bookings? The truth is there is not one specific way to be able to do this. Instead, there are many different ways to increase your occupancy and therefore increase your revenue.
Throughout this article, we will discuss proven ways to make these happen based on research and other industry knowledge. Now, remember implementing one of those ideas may help boost your listing but doing all will help your listing perform better.
1. List on multiple sites
Listing on multiple sites is the best way to reach a bigger audience and get more bookings. Although some sites are more desirable to others, I recommend listing Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com on these top sites. These three sites are leaders in the industry and will help you reach a bigger audience.
When you have a bigger audience, your property’s demand will increase, and so will your bookings. AirDNA studied homes individually listed on Airbnb, HomeAway(Vrbo) to those dual-listed average occupancy, ADR, and revenue. Dual listings had up to 2x the income than in 6 out the seven markets.
When you factor in this data, it becomes clear that listing on multiple sites is extremely valuable. This is why it is our first on my list to increase revenue and occupancy. The next challenge is preventing double-bookings; it can be time-consuming and stressful marking off calendars. A property management software like Lodgable is perfect for this. They offer all 9 of their tools and channel management, which will ensure no double bookings, all at no cost to you.
2. Use high-quality photos
Good photos are likely the most effective way to sell your vacation rental. TripAdvisor and FlipKey discovered that travelers are 83% more likely to inquire or book your listing if it contains at least 20 high-quality photos. Your rankings will also rise by having more high-quality images on your listing. The higher your rankings, the more likely you will get booked because you will be more visible. You may be wondering what makes a great photo? Here are a few points that contribute to a great photo.
- Large (over 2000 pixels)
- High resolution
- Take in landscape
These all contribute to a great photo that will encourage people to click on your listing. According to studies, you have only 20 seconds to make a positive first impression. Photos are the most powerful way to get potential guests interested. I highly recommend hiring a professional even if you think you can take great photos yourself. The investment will pay off for you in the long run.
3. Enable instant booking
Instant booking is a feature that enables your potential guests to book a reservation using their credit card instantly. This feature is desirable to guests, especially at this age when everyone wants things to happen instantly. According to studies, on average, a host will see a 52% increase in bookings when they switch to instant booking.
This increase in bookings has a lot to do with Airbnb and Vrbo reward listings that use instant booking. They feel that it helps fulfill their goal of delivering a better user experience. So naturally, this will directly affect the rank of your listings.
Many hosts often worry about unwanted guests. The good news is that you can create requirements such as a government ID or only positive reviews from previous hosts. There are many ways to monitor your bookings. Therefore, instant booking is proven to be a direct way to increase your occupancy in any vacation rental.
4. Use dynamic pricing
Using a dynamic pricing tool will increase your revenue and occupancy. In addition, a tool like AirDNA, which is free with lodgables software, can be a game-changer. Dynamic pricing will take real-life data from other listings and local events and adjust your price accordingly.
Pricing tools will not only help you with capturing bookings during low times but will also help you capitalize on bookings during high-demand times. This allows you to see up to a 40% increase in revenue and a 22% increase in occupancy.
The best part about all of this is that this can all be completely automated if you choose. You have the choice to push things suggestions through manually or to have it be moved automatically. You will see an increase in revenue and the time you have available by automating this process.
5. Automate your business
With the many advancements in technology, it is possible to automate nearly all your daily activities running your vacation rental. Automating your business won’t directly increase occupancy and revenue. However, I have seen it be of extreme value to hosts as it gives you so much more time to focus on other aspects of your business.
With TurnoverBnB, you can automate your communication and scheduling with cleaners. In addition, the platform eases the burden of finding cleaners for hosts, especially when you start to factor in multiple properties.
Some other helpful automation aspects are guest messaging and self-check-in. Airbnb makes it easy to be able to implement automated guest messaging. Self-check-in will usually require a smart lock that gives you the ability to send out personalized entry codes.
With our five tips, you can increase the occupancy of your vacation rental for the slower season ahead.