Your property is ready for guests, but you’re not sure how to market your short-term rental or increase bookings. We’ve got you covered!
Read on for RentalRecon’s top tips to create the best listing for your Airbnb.
Best Listing Tips for Airbnb Vacation Rental Hosts:
- Write Dynamic & Engaging Photo Descriptions
- Automate the Booking Process
- Streamline the Booking Process
- Screen your Guests
- Upload Professional, Landscape-oriented photos
- Respond to Guest Inquiries Immediately
- Price Competitively
- Don’t Rely on Airbnb Smart Pricing
- Keep Your Calendar Up to Date
- Link Your Homeaway/ VRBO Calendars
- Fill Out the Airbnb Guidebook
- Include an Image of Your Floor Plan
- Partner with Website/Blogger/Influencer
- Engage with Social Media to Promote Your Listing
- List on Multiple Channels
- Create Your Own Website
- Hire a Cleaning Service
- Be Proactive
- Invite Family & Friends to Review Your Property
- Make it Personal
Include Engaging Photo Descriptions In Your Airbnb Listing
The description portion of your photos is critically important to the success of your listing. Instead of simply labeling a picture, “Living Room,” say something like, “After an amazing evening out on the town, come back to our cozy, relaxing living room. Kick off your shoes and enjoy some Netflix on our 55″ plasma TV.”
You can even try using these A.I. tips to generate content for your listing.
You want to make the potential guest feel like he is already experiencing your place, without even leaving his living room.
Moreover, you can improve your listing’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by including commonly searched terms in your area. Consider including tourist sites, landmarks, or local attractions in the descriptions for your property to improve your listing’s performance in the algorithm.
Automate the Booking Process
Look for ways to remove barriers to the booking process by providing self-check-in. By providing a keyless lock, lockbox, or smart lock, you can save valuable time and stress for both you and your guests.
Guests will appreciate the privacy and trust provided to them, while you won’t need to worry about lock keys or staying up for late check-ins.
Streamline the Booking Process
Instant Book is a great way to increase listings because the Airbnb algorithm prioritizes booking speed. However, some hosts are initially apprehensive to turn this feature on because you aren’t allowed to ask the guest questions before they book.
Fortunately, you can still do preliminary screening by setting up your Guest Requirements. You can request that your guests provide you with:
- Profile Photo
- A Government-Issued ID (verified by Airbnb)
- They are recommended by other hosts and have no negative reviews
Moreover, Airbnb says you can cancel any Instant Book reservation penalty-free if you are not comfortable with the guest. You can also message the guest to get a better idea of what their situation is and if they are local.
Also note that if you require Instant Book guests to have no negative reviews, you won’t receive guests with zero reviews. These may be perfectly great guests, but you will have no track record to screen your guests. Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine what you are comfortable with.
Rental Recon Tip: Be very wary of letting a local stay, especially if they are last-minute bookings. There are many horror stories out there regarding these types of reservations.
Screen your Guests
On that note, by screening your guests for things like suspicious behavior, negative reviews, or unreasonable demands, you can ensure that your bookings will be executed smoothly. By screening guests you can prevent scenarios that can hurt your ranking or listing such as damage to your property, potential squatters, and last-minute cancellations.
Rental Recon Recommended Airbnb Products:
Upload Professional, Landscape-Oriented Photos in Your Listing
You may have a slender room that is just crying out for a tall, portrait-style photo. However, we have discovered that vertical photos look horrible on Airbnb.
These types of images are cropped and compressed in order to fit into the landscape framework that Airbnb likes. So go with landscape orientation!
You also might want to invest in hiring a professional photographer to take pictures of your property. Choose someone with experience photographing for real estate listings; they’ll know the best ways to frame, edit, and light your property to the best effect.
Respond To Guest Inquiries Quickly
Don’t wait more than an hour to respond to incoming guest questions. Airbnb rewards hosts who are active on the site and respond quickly by pushing the host’s listings higher in the search results.
If you can’t appropriately respond to guests’ inquiries within an hour, set up a simple but friendly message template. For example, “Hi there! Thanks for your question. I’m currently unavailable but will respond to your message shortly. Thanks for your patience!”
This makes Airbnb think that you’ve addressed the question within the hour time frame while also letting the guest know you are aware of their question.
Price is one of the most significant factors guests will look at when choosing a rental. However, you don’t want to cut yourself short in an attempt to get more bookings.
The idea is to attract bookings with reasonable prices, while still getting a solid return on your investment. Compare your rental to similar rentals in the area to make sure you aren’t pricing yourself too low or high and to get an idea of the going rates in your areas.
Note the rentals in your area that charge more and the amenities they provide that allow them to do so. This will give you an opportunity to meet their level of service and earn their level of pay.
Rental Recon Trip: Don’t forget to adjust your pricing to reflect peak travel seasons or special events like holidays and game days.
Don’t Rely On Airbnb Smart Pricing
Don’t rely on the Airbnb Smart Pricing tool as it is known to price listings too low. Instead, try services like Wheelhouse, for a nominal additional fee. Wheelhouse‘s pricing platform integrates with your Airbnb calendar and automatically adjusts prices based on events and demand in your area.
They have many markets/cities available across the country. All you need to do is set the minimum price that you are willing to accept and the average nightly rate you want. Based on those two numbers, Wheelhouse will fluctuate the nightly rates to get more nightly income for their customers.
Keep Your Calendar Up to Date
You must not ignore your calendar. As previously mentioned, Airbnb’s algorithm likes hosts who are consistently active on the site. Therefore, we recommend that hosts check their listing calendar every day.
Because engagement increases your ranking in the Airbnb search algorithm, this simple step can lead to more guest views and therefore more bookings!
Make Sure To Link Your Homeaway/ VRBO Calendars
If you have a separate Homeaway or VRBO account, make sure to link up the calendars. This is a simple process that will allow you to view both your Airbnb calendar as well as your Homeaway/VRBO calendar simultaneously.
Therefore, if a reservation is made on Homeaway, it will be shown on your Airbnb calendar. This makes it doubly important to regularly monitor your calendar, because if someone on Homeaway makes a reservation and then cancels, it may still show up as blocked on your Airbnb calendar.
Partner with Website/Blogger/Influencer
With so many other Airbnb and short-term vacation rentals to compete with, you want to drive as many people as possible directly to your listing. One of the best ways to do this is by partnering with a travel blogger or travel site who can write about your listing, link to your listing, or promote your listing to their audience.
Perhaps even more important in this day and age, is the impact of social media on self-drive marketing. By getting in touch with popular social media influencers on Instagram or TikTok, you might be able to create a viral moment that runs like wildfire across the internet.
Rental Recon Tip: Provide a promotion, discount, or free add-ons to attract influencers or travel bloggers to stay at your rental. Include picture-worthy props, accent walls, and themed hashtags to encourage guests to take, post, and tag your property.
Use Social Media to Promote Your Listing
The great thing about social media is that it’s free! While it’s great to enjoy promotions from your guests, you should maximize your return by engaging with it yourself.
By curating an Instagram, TikTok, or even Facebook page for your short-term rental, you can give your guests more reasons to stay with you and get more people looking at your listing. Even better, if guests tag your page or use your branded hashtag, you can simply repost and share the pictures and videos they’ve already uploaded for great cross-promotion.
List on Multiple Channels
If you’ve got a great property, it doesn’t make sense to limit your potential bookings by sticking to only one rental website. You should make your listing available on every online booking site you can, such as Vrbo, Booking.com, or more niche sites to attract a specific group of travelers.
Rental Recon Tip: Remember how we encouraged you to link your calendars? THIS is why! Maintaining bookings on different online booking sites is so much easier when the calendars are all linked together.
Create Your Own Website
Secure direct bookings by creating your own website for yourBy purchasing a monthly subscription to an affordable webpage, you can assure that your listing has a page specifically dedicated to it. That way, if there are changes to the Airbnb website or algorithm, you can be certain that your page is driving traffic to your listing and vice versa.
Hire a Cleaning Service
As you know, positive reviews garner more bookings and a higher ranking in the Airbnb search algorithm. Nothing can tank a 5-star rating faster than a dirty or ill-prepared rental.
Ensure that your guests are always welcomed to a clean and inviting home upon arrival by hiring a regular cleaning service. Provide your cleaners with detailed instructions and firm expectations for how to best prepare your rental for guests.
If something goes wrong or an unexpected mishap occurs, don’t wait for your guests to complain. Be proactive and provide a fix, freebie, or other compensation as soon as you learn about the issue.
Your guests will appreciate your forthright approach and your willingness to make things right will smooth over any potential negative reviews.
Invite Family & Friends to Review Your Property
The more positive reviews you have (and the more you engage with these reviews), the higher your search ranking will be. To help you gain traction, you should make use of one of the best free resources you have: your friends and family!
Invite people you know and trust to explore your property, stay over, and provide an honest and glowing review!
Make it Personal
Last but certainly not least, fill your listing with personal touches. Successful Superhosts allow their guests to get to know them through their property and listing descriptions.
Share what you love about the area and why. Provide context for why you decided to decorate the way you did…are you interested in architecture? A fan of classic literature? A modern art buff? Your guests will love your passion and feel welcomed by your excitement to share it with them.
With so many rental options available online, it can be hard to attract quality guests to your short-term rental. Luckily, by following these simple tips and tricks, you can maximize your web presence, ensure that your Airbnb search ranking remains high, and (most importantly) better serve your guests.
Need help stocking your rental? Visit our Airbnb Essentials article HERE for all the best recommendation on what to have on hand!
Check Out These Other Articles On Rental Recon:
- Best Books for Airbnb Hosting Success – Top Recommendations
- Airbnb Sign-Up Discount: Unlock Rewards as a New Host
- The Best Airbnb Message Templates for Hosts (2024)
Make Sure to Fill Out The Airbnb Guidebook
It can be a struggle to find the Airbnb House Manual Instructions when creating a listing. But it is well worth filling out. You will be able to input all of your favorite restaurants, attractions, and venues into the guide. You can also include your house rules, check-in and check-out times, etc.
Include A Floor Plan in Your Listing
Many hosts don’t think about providing guests with a floor plan of their home. Guests can get a better sense of how your pictures integrate together when comparing them to the floor plan.
If you’re looking for an easy way to get a floor plan image generated for your home, you can try Fiverr.com. Many designers on Fiverr will provide a standard floor plan and 3d floor plan for around $30-$60.