Managing an Airbnb can be tricky, especially if you’re new to the game. Many travellers will book their Airbnb based on previous guest feedback. Positive reviews about the ‘great location’, ‘attention to detail’ and hosts who go ‘above and beyond’ are a big help when it comes to getting travellers to book your vacation rental. But what happens if you’ve just placed your London or Paris listing on Airbnb and can’t secure your first booking? Never fear! We have put together some handy hacks to help.
1. Set a competitive daily rate
One of the easiest ways to attract the attention of new guests is to set your daily rate less than the average price for your property type. For example, if you’re hosting on Airbnb a luxury one bedroom apartment in downtown Dubai and you see similar properties already listed for around £200 per night, consider offering your apartment for £150 to encourage initial bookings. Money talks! If a potential guest wants to book an apartment in downtown Paris and it’s a choice between yours and a similar space that costs more money – there’s a good chance they’ll book the cheaper option, especially if the competitive rate is accompanied by great photos and an enticing listing description.
2. Make your property listing title stand out
If you ask any short let property management expert they will tell you that choosing the right words for the title of an Airbnb listing plays a significant role in securing initial bookings for a new property. Avoid listing the obvious such as ‘Two bedroom home in Edinburgh’ or ‘Studio space in Paris’ – and also avoid using generic adjectives like ‘gorgeous’, ‘cosy’, and ‘homely’. Your goal is to attract the attention of those who are scrolling through by setting your listing apart from the rest. Here are some of our favourites titles from Edinburgh:
Sunny Royal Mile apt dating from 1677
City centre apt with free parking
Walk to Holyrood Place from stunning apt
Modern flat 20 minutes to Princes St
3. Upload photos that are ‘wow’
We can’t stress enough the importance of great photos for guest communication. All you need to do is take a quick look at the Airbnb website and you will soon see why paying for professional photography is worth every penny. You want your home to look the best that it can be which means that you need to think about lighting, angles, framing, focus and a bunch of other things. Would a wide-angle lens be a better way to feature the exterior or your thatched cottage? Is it a good idea to take pictures in full sunlight? These are questions best handled by a professional photographer.
4. Turn on Instant Book
Another great hack when it comes to attracting initial bookings is to turn on Instant Book. Many travellers will select this as a filter when they search through listings so you will have more of a chance of getting picked up in searches if you have this switched on. You’re also more likely to lure last-minute travellers who are looking for a place to stay when they arrive.
5. Know your customer
Who do you want to book your Airbnb? Families? Business travellers? Couples? Knowing your guests is important because it will determine a lot of the decisions made around the information we have shared above. For example, if you are an Airbnb based in London that is a family home with four bedrooms, you need your title, photos and price to be pitched at families (i.e. ‘Family home close to large park’). And your Airbnb description/amenities list should include things that families would be grateful for, such as ‘free access to laundry and clothes dryer’ and ‘cot and high chair provided’.
6. Service with a smile
Reviews mean everything on Airbnb which is why you need to make sure your first few guests have a phenomenal experience and feel compelled to tell the world about it. Managing an Airbnb property is about ensuring basic essentials are in place, guest communication and providing a local experience to your guests. Our experts at GuestReady shared a few best practice tips:
– Put together a great welcome pack
– Be responsive to guest questions
– Ensure check-in and check-out goes smoothly
– Consider hiring professional cleaners so that your place is spotless when your first guest arrives
– Provide good quality, fresh bedding and towels in bedrooms
– Put together a local guide with tips on your favourite cafes, restaurants and tourist sights
– Provide great service – with a smile.
For more tips, see ‘going above and beyond for guests‘.
A short-term rental property management company
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed about how to get bookings flowing for your Airbnb listing, contact our team of short let property management professionals who can help you with a range of services including writing a knock-out listing, organising cleaning and laundry services, and assisting with guest liaison. Schedule a call today.