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Getting off on the right foot: Top tips for starting fresh on Airbnb

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Setting up an Airbnb business can be a daunting process, especially if you’re someone who hasn’t used the website for your own travels. So how do you start-right on Airbnb? What should you pay attention to in order to do things well from the beginning? We have put together some tips that will hopefully take the guesswork out of the setting up phase.

Your Airbnb property

Before you even think about photos and descriptions, make sure your property is worth putting on Airbnb. Survey the marketplace. Is there an abundance of accommodation in your neighbourhood? Does that accommodation make your place look like a dive? Or, if you’re targeting budget travellers, are there loads of hostels in your area that will take business away from your Airbnb? Do business travellers have a lot of options already?

Before you even think about photos and descriptions, make sure to survey the Airbnb marketplace to learn from your competiton Click To Tweet

Image is everything on Airbnb so you need to decide how you want to decorate your place and stick vaguely to that theme (unless, of course, you’re going for a thrift-store- random-vibe…in which case, go to town with anything and everything!). Spend money on decent furniture. Make sure the couches and beds are comfortable. Invest in new curtains. Make the place spotless.

Airbnb photography

Some people are very talented with their smart phones and can take decent images. The average person, however, has little to no idea about how to photograph the interior and exterior of a property. The lighting needs to be right. Thought needs to go into the angles that you feature in various rooms. Photos should be crisp and clear.

On Airbnb – guests do judge a book/property by its cover/photos so make sure you’re doing your place a favour by hiring a professional or read our helpful Airbnb photography blog.

Choose your words wisely

The photography will catch the attention of potential guests but then you need to make sure you have words to support the images…words to convince travellers that they must stay with you. Your Airbnb description should be inspiring, clearly written and – above all – accurate. If English is your second language, consider hiring someone to write your blurb. It’s never a good idea to cut and paste from other people’s descriptions as they might use terminology that doesn’t match your home. Check out our tips for writing a good Airbnb description.

Name your price

No matter what you think your Airbnb is worth, if you’re new to the website and have no reviews to support your claims then we recommend pricing your accommodation under your competition. As a new host without any credibility, it’s the main way you’ll attract bookings from guests. You need to put yourself in their shoes. If they have a choice between two similar properties both priced the
same, and yours doesn’t have any reviews, they’re likely to go with your competition. If, on the other hand, you drop your price a little, they’ll be more inclined to consider staying with you even if your listing is brand new.

Moving up the Airbnb ranks

How do Airbnb properties get listed on the first page of a search? There are a number of factors that are involved including: good reviews, competitive pricing, location, Superhost status, and responsiveness to enquiries.

You might think it’s impossible to work your way up the ranks as a new listing but even something as simple as making sure your listing is 100% complete can increase your chances of being seen by travellers.

There are a number of factors that contribute to better #Airbnb ranking: good reviews, competitive pricing, location, Superhost status, and responsiveness to enquiries. Click To Tweet

Having friends and family add your Airbnb to their Wishlist also helps boost your rankings so don’t be afraid to ask for a few favours. While we’re on the topic, get them to write character references for you. As a first time host you won’t have any reviews about your property but you can provide guests with reassurance by having references connected to your profile. Having an interesting and personably profile blurb about yourself as a host is also helpful.

Keep your Airbnb calendar up to date

Making sure that your calendar is up to date is one of the simplest ways to increase Airbnb search engine optimisation, or, in basic terms, to get your listing viewed by more people. By updating your calendar you’ll ensure that your available dates appear on the Airbnb website but also keep in mind that the company uses algorithms that categorise hosts as ‘active’ and ‘responsive’ when they regularly update their calendars – rewarding those hosts with greater visibility in the search rankings.

Be responsive

If you are a traveller who is looking for last minute accommodation in the next city you are heading to and you send out some questions or requests to hosts – chances are, you’re more likely to go with a host who replies within minutes of your message being sent. Travellers are often booking things at the last minute or waiting to hear back from hosts in order to lock in flights so the more responsive you can be, the more chance you have of securing bookings.

Get help

If it all feels a little overwhelming, let the team at GuestReady assist you with all of the set up for your Airbnb. We are experts in search engine optimisation and we know the vacation rental industry very well. Whether you need help with writing a description or managing bookings, our team is ready to help.

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