When you have an Airbnb listing, your goal is to be earning more income from your home or holiday home than you currently are. Sure, you get to meet some amazing travellers along the way, but ultimately, Airbnb hosts are seeking a financial reward.
So once you have that goal in mind, how do actually achieve it? Well, like Google or Facebook, Airbnb rewards certain things on its platform, and if you do them all right, then you are on your way to earning more, more consistently.
What you need to aim for
There are some inbuilt features of the Airbnb platform that will help you earn more. The first is the page ranking system. Now of course, you can’t choose where your listing will appear when people search for Airbnb’s in your area. But having a great star rating is the simplest way to get higher rankings, and also to attract the all-important “eyeballs” of browsers.
Our brains are incredibly sophisticated, but we make over 30,000 decisions every day. So our brains are constantly looking for shortcuts. On a search results page that features hundreds of potential listings, one of those shortcuts is “sorting” results based on their star listings. Almost automatically, our brains start thinking things like “filter our the 3 and 4 star listings” if there are comparable 5 star listings available.
Sounds simple so far. Get more 5 star listings. But that is easier said than done. What are the actual, tangible ways to get more 5 star listings for your guests? We’ve listed some simple, clever tweaks you can make below you make your guest experience better, and get more rave reviews.
The simple tweaks
Welcome – this is the easiest to do. Have a standard “welcome” message that can be personalised ready for when people book with you. People like getting confirmation that you’ve seen their booking, because it makes them feel as though you will be ready for them, and it removes uncertainty. If it’s standardised and ready to “copy paste” into the Airbnb messages, that means you can do it as soon as you see the booking, rather than having to set aside time to write up a new message every time.
Wi-Fi – put yourself in the shoes of your guests. Many guests will be international travellers and not wanting to use their phone plans in a different country where they can be up for huge charges. So provide your wi-fi details ahead of time so that if they arrive at your Airbnb, and you aren’t there, they can get in contact via wi-fi rather than having to call or use data.
Clarity – if you aren’t going to be there personally to let someone in, have step-by-step instructions of where the key is or how to use the keypad. Think of it like writing a treasure hunt for a child – that’s how easy to understand and simple it should be. Use numbered steps. It makes a huge difference to your guests to be able to get into their Airbnb easily and is the biggest source of tension at the start of a trip if something is unclear or doesn’t work. And test your instructions by giving them to someone else and seeing if they can follow them through without any problems!
Bathrooms – the view can be amazing, the home can be wonderful, and the location perfect, but if the bathrooms are untidy or even slightly unclean, you can bet that is going to cost you a star when it comes to rating time. More than any other room, people expect bathrooms to be clean and spotless. If you’re not willing to do a proper, intensive clean every single time someone comes to stay, then don’t expect consistent 5 star ratings. On top of that, providing guests with single use toiletries you erase traces from previous guests and will make them feel like your place have been specially prepared for them.
Bins – this is a simple one that a lot of people forget. Have an empty bin in the kitchen, tell people where spare garbage bags are and include a small bin in the bathroom as well. If people are travelling, it’s normal to accumulate plenty of rubbish. And if they are staying in an Airbnb, it’s likely that they want to use the kitchen, which means food waste. It’s amazing how many Airbnb’s forget this small, practical detail that makes a big difference.
Transport – put together a two or three page guide of transport options in your area and how to get to popular spots that tourists and visitors may want to visit. And make sure you include estimates of costs for each option, as well as how long it will take. Have it laminated and leave it somewhere prominent. Having all of this information in one easy to access place without having to open a dozen browsing windows and investigate for themselves will always be strongly appreciated by your guests.
Of course, there are many basic ways to have a good Airbnb listing. But to have a great one that has a much higher chance of getting 5 star reviews every time, and earning you more money, follow the tips above for your best chance of success.