The Best Airbnb Hacks for Homeowners
Looking to take your Airbnb listing to the next level but don’t know where to start?
We’ve listed a series of creative hacks to follow before, during and after your guests ‘ stay to ensure they have a visit they’ll never forget (for the right reasons!).
Before their stay
Set up a detailed profile
Ever browsed a host's profile on Airbnb and felt compelled to book your reservation almost immediately after?
A comprehensive profile helps make it more compelling for a guest to book your listing. This is why you want your profile to represent you as authentically as possible, giving insight into who you are as a host, from your lifestyle to your preferred interests. When a guest meets you or lives on your property, they need to feel safe and comfortable. It’s important that your profile should reflect that.
Tip: Include a few photos of yourself, multiple verifications, your ID and a description of who you are. This can include your job, personal interests, your personality traits, key values and insight as to why you joined, and enjoy the Airbnb community.
Build an online presence
Having an online presence is not only a great way to advertise your Airbnb listing, but to emotionally connect with others, too.
Why? Social media influences how we make decisions. This is especially true of people who visit locations that they have already seen others enjoying. We suggest taking advantage of social media and its many features to help market your Airbnb to a much larger audience.
If you have a marketing budget, consider adding your accommodation to Google Ads. You can target specific keywords and your exact target audience. If you have a 3-bedroom property in Forster, you can use keywords like ‘family-friendly accommodation in Forster’, ‘self-catering home in Forster’ and ‘Forster short-term rental home.’
Tip: Use video to show a tour of the property with a call to action (CTA) to entice people online to check your listings out. Facebook’s and Instagram’s algorithms are optimised to encourage video over image posts.
Make use of strategic pricing
If you're new to Airbnb, don't be afraid to underprice your rental at first. Why? People like to save money. This means they’ll stay at your well-priced property and leave you a positive review. Before long, you’ll have a list of attractive reviews that will create more demand for your property. Who knows, a Superhost status might just come next.
We suggest optimising your pricing strategy to increase the booking lead time (this refers to how far in advance your guests book). Why? A longer lead time means your guests are paying a premium. There will always be last-minute bookings, particularly in a COVID environment so a booking lead time between 20-30 days is good and could be higher in seasonal destinations.
Tip When it comes to pricing, focus on maximising your occupancy and use a dynamic pricing tool to automate a pricing strategy that takes different market trends into account.
Set up automated messaging
Managing your guest arrival and departure is critical to ensure a seamless rental experience. It also means that if you have more than one guest arriving on the same day, your communication is already prepped and ready to go.
We suggest sending guests an email a week before their arrival that includes information about the property and amenities. You can also add tips about the surrounding neighbourhood such as places to eat, cafes, gyms, and other activities you think they will enjoy.
Automated messaging is also useful to set up your check-in and check-out instructions as well as follow-up messages to maintain consistent communication with your guests.
Tip: Personalise your messages based on the information your guests have provided about themselves to show your hospitality from the get-go.
During their stay
Provide guidebooks and manuals
An Airbnb manual is a great touch to welcome your guests to your vacation rental — especially during self-check-ins. Your manual acts as an indirect conversation between you and your guests. It explains all they need to know about your home as if you were giving them their very own tour.
The manual should contain all the necessary information to get your guests settled, comfortable with all amenities and familiar with their surroundings.
Tip: Email guests a guest guide before arrival so that they don’t have to access the internet to download an app or PDF.
Take cleanliness to the next level
One of the most critical aspects of a positive stay (and therefore, review) is a clean and comfortable one. This means cleaning the property from head to toe, with a special focus on high-touch areas, the shower, toilet, sink and floors after every stay. Just one hair on the shower floor can derail your efforts.
Tip: Source a cleaner who you can trust to deliver high levels of cleanliness, and who will let you know if something is starting to look below par. Building relationships with service providers can help your listing go from a 4-star to a 5-star.
Add thoughtful touches
The small acts of kindness can so often outshine any negatives - which might come in handy should something go wrong (it happens to the best of us).
Some of these gestures we recommend include a handwritten welcome note, providing an assortment of snacks, coffee and tea (be sure to find out any dietary requirements beforehand) and keeping an emergency first aid kit on hand.
Tip: Want to go the extra mile? Leaving extra basic hygiene products, such as toothpaste, a toothbrush, shampoo and body wash lets your guest know you took the time to make their stay as easy as possible. At Hometime, experts in Airbnb property management, we add all basic amenities to the homes in our portfolio before check-in.
After their stay
Leave a prompt review
After the completion of a guest's trip and once checkout is complete, Airbnb will prompt you to write a review and provide star ratings for your guest.
According to Airbnb, your review must be submitted within 14 days from the time of checkout—after that, you can’t edit it. Our suggestion? Don’t wait more than 24 hours to provide feedback to your guest. When responding to a review, always be respectful and if there are negative aspects you want to share, it is okay to address them, but make sure to be polite and objective. Remember, the way you respond to your reviews will be seen by everyone, which can positively or negatively impact the impression you give off.
Tip: When a guest leaves you a review, look at it as objectively as you can to find opportunities for improvement for next time.