Becoming an Airbnb host can be a great way to make some extra money. If you treat your guests well and provide them with a great experience, you can begin to generate a steady flow of rental income.
But to be successful, you’ll have to make your short-term rental (STR) listing stand out in some way. You might face a lot of competition from other hosts on the Airbnb website, which means your listing will be one of many options for guests to choose from.
In this article, we’ll go over the top six ways to make your listing shine out from the pack, so you’ll increase your bookings and draw more business. Let’s get started!
1. Invest in high-quality photos
The most important feature of any Airbnb listing is its photos. Why? Because most people are visual buyers.
Photos spark the imagination of potential customers and get them to buy when they might not have done so. Airbnb listing photos are no different.
So make sure yours grab people’s attention by hiring a professional photographer to take them for you. This will cost some money upfront, but it will be well worth the investment.
A professional photographer will have the equipment and skill to capture appealing images of your short-term rental. If you don’t already have ideas about how to do this, a pro can help you create a list of the best shots and angles to make your rental look top-notch.
Just make sure to clear any clutter and clean the premises before the shoot. Your Airbnb should be spotless. If it’s fully furnished and decorated as it should be, it will be suitably staged.
The listing photos should show the layout of the property and highlight its key features: the kitchen, bathroom(s), bed(s), parking space(s), and so on. You are giving potential guests a feel for what it will be like to stay there.
Don’t forget to include photos of other amenities your property might offer, such as a swimming pool, large backyard, or entertainment center.
2. Write an accurate listing description
Your listing description should make your property sound attractive but not better than it actually is. Otherwise, guests may be disappointed when they discover it’s not what they expected, which could lead to refunds and poor guest reviews that make it harder for you to attract future bookings.
So first of all, compose a listing description that’s accurate. But you may emphasize your property’s best features to make it more appealing.
For example, you could highlight your property’s unique amenities, like the large kitchen island or a backyard hot tub. You might also want to mention nearby attractions like parks, pools, and grocery stores. What makes the location unique and special?
Lastly, make sure you don’t leave any section of the listing description blank, if at all possible.
3. Update your listing regularly
At times, you may add a new feature to your Airbnb, revise a guest policy, or make some other necessary change. Whenever that happens, it’s vital to update your Airbnb listing as soon as possible.
At best, an outdated listing can sell your property short; at worst, it could serve as false advertising. So make sure your listing reflects any alterations. You don’t want to surprise your guests or ruin their expectations.
4. Create a great Airbnb host profile
Your Airbnb host profile is your chance to make a good first impression. Before your guests ever meet you in person (if they do at all), they will read your profile.
So be sure to include a professional profile picture and write an informative bio in the “about section.” You might talk about why you chose to become a host and what your hobbies are. Try to be personal and authentic.
And whatever you do, make sure you verify your identity on the Airbnb platform so your profile shows the identity verification checkmark. This helps instill trust in you as a real host.
5. Respond to messages promptly
Airbnb scores hosts by their response rate and response time. This records the percentage of user messages you respond to and how swiftly you acknowledge them.
You want to keep these ratings as high as possible for two reasons. One, users are more likely to contact you and book a stay if you have excellent scores for response rate and time. Second, high scores may help you earn the title of “Superhost” and boost your listing’s ranking in Airbnb’s search results.
If you don’t want to have to manage messages to your Airbnb profile constantly, you can hire a property manager to do it for you. But you need to stay on top of them somehow if you want your listing to look appealing.
In short, try to please potential guests from the moment they contact you.
6. Set a competitive price
Though Airbnb allows you to set your own nightly rates, you’ll want them to be competitive. If your listing is overpriced, users will sweep over it.
An easy way to set competitive rates is to look at similar Airbnb listings near yours and see what they ask. Then set a similar rate.
But if you’re a brand-new host or your listing is new, you might want to set lower rates, to begin with. That way, you can attract greater interest.
Once you’ve hosted a few guests and earned some positive reviews, you can gradually raise the price to reflect the property’s actual value. This is a common marketing strategy known as penetration pricing.
Getting your Airbnb listing to stand out can be tough work—especially if you are new to the game. But by diligently implementing all of the tips listed above, you should be well on your way to becoming a successful host. Just take it one step at a time and let each positive guest review propel your listing to the top of the competition.