Running a Rental Business

How to Increase the Occupancy Rate of Your Airbnb

October 22, 2021

Hosting a vacation rental has become more and more popular. One of the most common questions from hosts has to do with increasing Airbnb occupancy rate. In this article, we will discuss eight top tips to enhance your listing, increase your occupancy rate, and, therefore, boost your revenue.

Increase your vacation rental occupancy by following our 5-step guide.

What Is a Good Occupancy Rate for Airbnb?

In April 2021, the average occupancy rate for Airbnb was projected to be approximately 45%, according to Mashvisor.

That said, Airbnb occupancy rate statistics largely depend on the city or market. For example, occupancy rates in Honolulu, Hawaii are nearly 70%, while rates in Austin, Texas are less than 35%.

Ultimately, a good occupancy rate for your Airbnb will be one that allows you to make substantial revenue while still affording you the flexibility to work when and how often you want.

8 Ways to Increase Your Airbnb Occupancy Rate

Most Airbnb hosts want to know: What is the secret to getting more bookings? The truth is there is not one — but many — ways to do this. Below, learn more about some helpful tips for boosting the occupancy rate for your short-term rental property.

1. List on Multiple Sites

Listing on multiple sites, including Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com, is the best way to 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 and Vrbo compared to dual-listed properties. Dual listings had up to two times the income.

When you factor in this data, it becomes clear that listing on multiple sites is extremely valuable. The next challenge is preventing double-bookings.

It can be time-consuming and stressful marking off calendars. A property management software like Lodgable is useful for solving this problem. The platform offers multiple vacation rental hosting tools and channel management, which will ensure no double bookings, all at no cost to you.

2. Use High-Quality Photos

Pictures of your vacation rental are one of the first things that make a lasting impression on prospective guests. 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 photos should highlight your home’s best features and make potential guests want to find out more about your listing. You also want to make sure that you provide enough photos of your property. Here are a few characteristics of a great Airbnb photo:

  • Well-lit
  • Large (over 2,000 pixels)
  • Well-staged
  • High resolution
  • Landscape orientation

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.

Since photos are the most powerful way to get potential guests interested, consider 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. Provide a Unique and Accurate Listing Description

Your Airbnb listing description is just as important as the photos you showcase. While photographs initially pique interest in guests, the listing description will ultimately determine whether or not a guest decides to book.

Everyone wants to get the most for their money. Advertise what value you can offer to your guests besides just a place to stay.

Your description should be able to create an image in the guest’s mind of what to expect. Use accurate and specific wording, and present your listing description in easy-to-read, digestible phrases. Additionally, make sure there are no errors in your description.

4. Enable Instant Booking

Instant booking is a feature that enables your potential guests to book a reservation instantly using their credit card. According to AirDNA, 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 the fact that Airbnb and Vrbo reward listings that use instant booking. The booking platforms feel that it helps fulfill their goal of delivering a better user experience.

With instant booking, however, many hosts 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, meaning instant booking can be a direct way to increase your Airbnb occupancy rate.

5. Use Dynamic Pricing

Your price should reflect the value a guest would receive by staying in your vacation rental. If you need help pricing your property, many vacation rental sites provide tools that help dynamically price based on the current market.

A dynamic pricing strategy takes real-life data from other listings and local events and adjusts your nightly rate accordingly. Pricing tools will not only help you capture bookings during low times but will also help you capitalize on bookings during peak seasons. This can help you see up to a 40% increase in revenue and a 22% increase in occupancy.

The best part is you can automate your vacation rental pricing if you choose. Automating your day-to-day operations will lead to more free time and potentially more revenue.

6. Up Your Marketing Game

Social media is one cost-friendly way to promote your listing. Whether it’s a paid advertisement on Facebook or a simple Instagram story, social media will put your place on the map. You can also use local search listings such as Google Places and Craigslist.

Don’t underestimate the importance of word-of-mouth marketing, too. Word-of-mouth advertising occurs when current customers speak highly of your services in their daily conversations, in turn, encouraging others to consider your Airbnb business. Providing a great customer experience is a great way to help facilitate word-of-mouth marketing.

7. Generate Positive Reviews from Guests

Great reviews can be equally as important as price when it comes to deciding whether or not to book one vacation rental over another. Reviews allow others to see what kind of experience was provided to previous guests. This helps establish trust and credibility for prospective guests.

One way to get reviews is simply by asking. After a guest checks out, follow up via email or the booking app messaging platform. Thank them for their stay and ask them to leave a review. However, you want to make sure the guest had a pleasant stay before asking.

8. 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, it can give you 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.

How Does Airbnb Determine Occupancy Rate?

When you host on Airbnb, the platform provides you with performance data about your occupancy rate, cancellation rate, and more. You can sort this information by a set time period and compare it to other properties near you.

Airbnb calculates your listing’s occupancy rate by taking the total nights booked and dividing this number by the nights available to be booked for all relevant properties.

In other words: Occupancy Rate = Nights Booked ÷ Total Available Nights

Boost Your Airbnb Occupancy Rate and Revenue

With the eight tips above, you can increase the occupancy rate of your vacation rental — helping to boost your revenue, too.

To get started today, update your listing with high-quality photos and post on multiple booking platforms. For long-term success on Airbnb, work to achieve Superhost status and display a Superhost badge on your listing.

Once you have more bookings, you’ll need to streamline your turnover process to make sure your property always looks spotless. TurnoverBnB can help you simplify and automate your vacation rental cleaning so that you can spend more time growing your business.

Kayla Bisquera Avatar

By Kayla Bisquera