Airbnb has become one of the best and easiest ways for people with investment properties or holiday homes to make a little extra cash. It can all be done online, and travellers generally prefer an Airbnb booking because it’s cheaper than traditional hotels, hostels and BnB’s. However, Airbnb is also a seasonal thing that usually peaks during summer, school holidays and public holidays. So how can you keep the cash rolling in all year round?
“Increasing the occupancy of your Airbnb listing is a sure fire way to increase the revenue generated from it,” says William Crock, Co-Founder & Director, Hometime. “With so much competition, it’s important that your listing stands out from the rest to keep that revenue rolling in during both high and low seasons. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take as a host to ensure your home spends as little time sitting empty as possible.”
Here are Williams top tips for keeping your Airbnb booked up all year.
Is your listing up to scratch?
“Take a critical look at your property and ask yourself - would you like to stay there? In order to succeed, you must ensure that your property meets a high standard and includes everything a guest needs to make it their home away from home,” says William.
He recommends ensuring your property has the essentials such as such as good wifi, hotel quality bed linens and towels, toiletries for guests and the property must be spotlessly clean. Additionally, William says that you can generate more bookings by meeting minimum criteria for business travelers which include a laptop friendly workspace and 24/7 self check in.
“In the end, it’s the reviews that ensure long term reliable revenue from your property, and in order to guarantee 5-star reviews we suggest you go that little bit further. Things like a welcome pack with wine and chocolate or cooking ingredients such as olive oil, tea and coffee go a long way to ensure a great first experience. Guests also love complimentary Netflix, a sound system to feel at home and a fully stocked laundry. An investment now will undoubtedly pay off in the long run when your guests leave glowing reviews after an excellent stay.”
A picture is worth a thousand words
Now you’ve got your listing up to scratch, William says it’s time to show it off. Good quality photos have long been what set Airbnb listings apart. In fact, studies show that you can earn up to 40% more from your listing if you have professional images.
“Take an objective look at your listing’s photos and make sure they showcase your place in its best light,” says William. “Start by considering light and angles, as well as spaces that have real appeal. Photograph all the important spaces and useful features of your property so that guests can visualise themselves interacting with the space before they get there. You want your guests to feel excited about staying in your property. So, if it has any unique, quirky or eye catching attributes, make sure to capture them!”
“Once you’ve picked your focal points, think about adding some finishing touches, like fresh flowers on your coffee table, plush bath towels, or an immaculately made bed. These little extras will go a long way.”
“Finally, make sure to choose a cover image (which is the first image potential guests will see when scrolling through the listings in your area) that is eye catching and gives an instant feel for your property.”
Tell a story
William says that while a photo may capture your guests’ interest initially, it’s your listing description that seals the deal. Ideally, you want to be descriptive while also selling the experience of staying in your place.
“Make sure you include enough information on what the property includes, from the rooms in the house to the amenities available. However, don’t be afraid to get a little creative and use your words to ‘mentally’ put your guests in your property,” says William.
“It’s also worthwhile including some information on the surrounding area and local hotspots. There’s a good chance that a potential guest has never been to your area before, so the more information you can include to demonstrate how great it is, the more likely you will stand out from other listings and have them clicking the ‘book now’ button.”
When the price is right guests book instantly
Pricing your Airbnb can often be the most difficult part, says William, and you don’t want to price people out but you also don’t want to undersell your listing.
“If your price is too high, you run the risk of them skipping your listing entirely. Also, if your guests are paying over the odds for your property, they will expect an experience to match. The same is to be said if your price is too low. Guests may assume that the listing is too good to be true, or perhaps there is something wrong with it.”
“You want to consider adjusting your property’s pricing throughout the year,” says William. “There are high points in the calendar when the number of bookings being made across Airbnb increases dramatically. This includes particular seasons such as summer or winter breaks, public holidays as well as weekends and notable events. With increased demand comes the opportunity to set a higher nightly rate without the risk of deterring bookings.”
If you’re unsure how to price, do your research. Looking at similar listings to see how much other hosts roughly charge will provide a good basis for you to work from.
If your property is set to instant book, your listing will go to the top of the search rankings and greatly enhances the number of bookings. But remember to include selection criteria so you don’t let any random person stay in your home.
Use a property management service
Even though all of the above sounds simple, it can be a time-consuming task to keep on top of your listing. A simple way to give your listing the ‘WOW’ factor is to enlist the experts.
“Property management services understand the demands and dynamics required from managing an Airbnb property so they can create, optimise and manage your listing to stand out against your competitors. They know how to implement the best techniques that will fill in the vacancies and increase the occupancy rate in the shortest amount of time, such as dynamic and fluctuating pricing structures, professional marketing expertise and professional services. This concept of hands-off hosting can be very useful especially if you do not live near your Airbnb property.”
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