How to Earn More With Airbnb | 19 Easy Tips
Airbnb offers a platform to showcase your vacation rental for people to find and book over the internet. The platform is said to host more than 7 million properties as of January 2021 and so, you need to be able to stand out in a sea of options for your guests.
As a host, you are ultimately responsible for updating and keeping your listing attractive and effective in grabbing and retaining your guest’s attention, but this is easier said than done. In this article, we share 19 crucial tips to earn more with Airbnb that we have gleaned over the years as Airbnb Superhosts.
Start with a sound understanding of local laws
To start earning more with Airbnb, it is first of all essential that you have some knowledge of local laws, particularly property laws. Some jurisdictions have laws that do not allow you to run an Airbnb business without a local business license.
The city of Denver, Colorado, for instance, requires a business license for your Airbnb as well as a lodging facility business license in case your property has four or more rooms available for rent. They do not allow the use of Airbnb listings for commercial events.
They also charge a lodger’s tax that Airbnb will collect on your behalf. For safety regulations, they require all listings to be fitted with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers.
You will also need to be aware of local zoning rules, insurance requirements, and other permits you may need, including authorization from your landlord in case you do not own your property.
Use a clean and comfortable space
Do you want to keep your guests coming back again and again while recommending your place? It goes without saying that you need to keep things clean and tidy in your space.
Jeff Long, a seasoned Superhost from Avon, Colorado, recommends that you should keep your house uncluttered but well laid out with special attention to your lounge, bathroom, and bedroom.
Most negative comments on guest reviews feature issues to do with beds and bathrooms. Start off by using a comfortable mattress for the beds and providing pillows, extra sheets and blankets, and other essentials.
Your Airbnb reputation hinges generally on how clean and comfortable your space is. Take some time to work on it so that your guests will feel at home at first sight.
Use memorable titles
Since there are so many properties hosted on Airbnb you should always try to have your listing standing out. You should start with your listing title.
Try to make it unique and memorable. Avoid using regular words like ‘good’, ‘great’, and ‘fine’. Try to incorporate a number in your title together with a mix of power words. Some power words you might use include ‘dazzling’, ‘unbelievable’, and ‘jaw-dropping’.
Power words are great for evoking emotions and triggering curiosity. See this website for a list of common power words. Content that elicits emotions is more likely to be shared and viewed.
Numbers, on the other hand, help to quantify the value of your proposition for someone who is obviously making comparisons and can help to get more clicks and earn more with Airbnb.
When you use numbers and power words together, you increase the chances of getting a click from your guests.
Use only quality pictures
Despite the temptation, you may face to use shots taken on your regular smartphone, use only high-quality pictures on Airbnb to help your listing stand out. If you have some cash, consider hiring a professional to do it for you.
Airbnb is a very visual platform and well-taken photos can make a big difference. Hosts utilizing professionally taken photos enjoy 40% more earnings.
Take photos from various angles including outside and inside views as well as drone views. Your pictures should answer questions that the user would have around your location, your house, sorrounding areas, nearby malls, and access roads
The adage ‘Pictures speak louder than words’ has been proven over and over again on Airbnb. Listings with photos get 24% more bookings.
But do not post misleading pictures as it may impact customer reviews negatively. You will definitely need positive customer reviews to get more guests to book. Try to be honest while posting only the best pictures you can find for your property.
Take some time doing great descriptions
A great description of your property would go along way in swaying potential guests to press the book button. Do not miss out on crafting an engaging description that would entice them to book by using words imaginatively.
Do not hesitate to share what makes your vacation rental special. Most travelers would prefer a location that is not far from a major town that is situated in a secure area.
If yours is a little further away, you might highlight the serenity and peace that one would get by taking a break from crowded cities for example.
Amenities could be a deal-breaker for many guests, and so ensure that your property has basic amenities like Wi-Fi, a fully-stocked kitchen, parking, and others.
Avoid being choosy about your guests
Being choosy about who will rent your vacation rental can reap some dividends in the short term, but it will definitely impact your bottom line. You will simply not make as much money.
It is common for hosts to lockout families traveling with pets for instance. Instead of refusing them, you could charge more for those guests who cannot part with their furry companions.
Airbnb has a feature called Instant Book that lets guests book right away without needing to get approval from the host. Enabling this feature alone can help you get more bookings.
Do you have space? Add more guests
In case you have a home that is big enough and it is already accommodating two guests and there is space for a third one without undermining privacy, consider adding more guests as this is a sure means of earning more money without working that hard.
This single move can see you doubling your monthly income if your vacation rental is in a popular spot. Watch out though that you do not overdo it as it can easily backfire through negative guest reviews.
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Add more services
Do your guests need extra services when using your vacation rental? Provide the service at a cost. You could arrange for a shuttle to pick them at the airport, have extra flowers for a romantic setting, offer extra cleaning services, rent out bikes, or organize for a relaxing massage after a long trip to your place.
Consider charging for early check-in or late check-outs. If a guest checks in 30 minutes early you do not need to charge, but if they want to check in two hours earlier or check-out two hours later and more you should definitely charge for that.
Do you own a passenger car that is less than 12 years old? Consider renting it out at a daily rate to your guests. Turo.com allows you to start renting your car right away if you are based in the US, Canada, and the UK. The only thing you have to do after registration is to provide the days the car will be available and what your base rate is. With Turo.com, you get insurance coverage for your car that is up to $150,000 for your peace of mind.
If your place is located in a historical or culturally rich area, you can consider offering guided tours. You do not have to do it yourself if you are not comfortable around strangers, but you can link them up with a friend at a fee.
If you enjoy cooking, you might want to start offering breakfast and dinner to your guests or organize for it through a third party. Some guests prefer cooking their own meals, but there are some who would be glad that they can order a tasty meal from your place without having to go out.
Can you rent out your entire home? Do it!
It has been demonstrated that hosts that list their entire homes on Airbnb earn three times more than those that list only a private room. Those who list shared rooms earn much less.
Guests prefer entire home listings due to the sense of privacy that they would enjoy. While they get to have their privacy, you get to charge a higher cleaning fee and more money in general than for private rooms.
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With the Covid19 pandemic and afterward, most guests will be looking for listings that allow them to access the entire property without sharing any space with the host. Guests have the whole place to themselves including the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen.
Reviews are king
Microsoft founder Bill Gates once said that content is king for websites if you desire web traffic. For Airbnb, we would say that it is reviews that are king. Reviews could make or break your Airbnb business.
Airbnb places much premium on positive reviews and they are a major part of any listing. According to a recent study, 93% of people would hardly purchase anything online without some research on positive reviews.
It goes without saying that those hosts that have more positive reviews tend to get more bookings. To get good reviews, you should first of all try to exceed your guest’s expectations. Aim to get at least six to ten reviews, but the more reviews, the better. Listings with six to ten reviews earn three times more than listings with zero to five reviews.
For starters, ensure that your guests have no reason to complain about the cleanliness and tidiness of your property. Try to make your house beautiful and enjoyable. Spoil your guests by placing flower bouquets and a welcome note on their beds. Leave a welcome fruit gift in the dining area and a couple of soft drinks or a bottle of wine in the fridge. If you have some money, install a hot tub.
If you can greet them at the time of check-in, do so with a big smile and offer them a welcome drink. If not, install a key-less lock for them to do self-check-in using a simple code.
Send them an advance welcome email explaining your area’s attractions and concerns and leave notes around about how to use any electronic equipment you may have.
Last but not least, request them for a positive review on Airbnb, explaining to them how important it is for your business. Most would oblige gladly after a memorable and enjoyable stay at your vacation rental.
Prioritize customer service
Alongside reviews, good customer service is the next big thing for online booking platforms.
You should start by understanding your guest’s needs and seek to meet them if it is within your power. If you make any promises, you need to make sure that you have fulfilled them. Sometimes the only thing that guests want is to be treated respectfully.
Ensure that any queries they make are answered promptly. Airbnb has a feature they call ‘instant booking’ which you should turn on. This allows guests to get quick confirmation upon booking.
To get Superhost status, Airbnb requires that you should have very few cancellations and have a response rate of at least 90% as well as a positive guest rating of at least 4.8. Manage your calendar carefully to avoid having to cancel someone’s booking when you get things mixed up. Superhosts enjoy increased visibility on Airbnb and earn more money. Therefore, it makes sense to try to get this status by adhering to these requirements.
In case there are complaints or requests for refunds, you should be graceful in your responses so as not to upset your guests. Misunderstandings do come up frequently, but when they happen, how you manage them can affect your bottom line.
The key is to exceed your guest’s expectations by going out of your way to help them.
Enable Seasonal Pricing
Pricing is a key part of your Airbnb profile and so, ensuring that you do not either charge too much or too little for your listing is critical.
When starting out with a new listing without any reviews, price it at about 50%-70% of the going rate to increase your chances of getting a booking. Once you have hit at least three reviews, you can go ahead and price optimally.
You need to do some research on your competitors to see how they are pricing their listings. Do not try to compete on price alone as it is only a short-term measure for new listings.
Look for something valuable that most of your competitors do not have. For instance, check whether they provide self-check-in, a hot tub, or breakfast or how close they are located to well-known tourist attractions. Provide your unique selling points in your descriptions and photos.
Airbnb has a feature called seasonal pricing. It allows your vacation rental prices to change automatically based on changes in demand for listings similar to yours.
When the demand is low, the price will be lower, when the demand is high the price will be higher.
You are still free to adjust the price as you see fit, but when you have enabled this feature, your listing will generally rank higher than that of similar listings in your location that have not enabled the feature.
In case you wish to optimize your price for demand and supply even further, you can try an Airbnb pricing tool that will crunch the numbers for you and recommend the best pricing for your location and season. With a pricing tool, you can earn 30% more from your vacation rental for a small fee.
Keep your listings up to date
It is tempting to add your listing once and then never check again as we are all living incredibly hectic and busy lifestyles. Airbnb keeps on adding new features and details based on user feedback and research they are constantly carrying out.
You need to visit your listing details and dashboard area regularly in order to update more information about your listing that will help to get you more guests.
For example, since the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic, Airbnb has issued several advisories and provided extra information for hosts to fill out on how they are helping to protect guests in the pandemic.
If you used a do-it-once-and-forget-it approach, you would not be able to take advantage of such updates.
Airbnb vacation rentals are becoming popular by the day and this is attracting a lot of interest from different kinds of guests. Some may want to use your home the same way they use hotels and bed and breakfast facilities.
Your vacation rental may be located in a neighborhood that does not allow loud parties. You should specify house rules on what is permissible and what is not, so as to avoid misunderstandings.
The House Manual section gives you an opportunity to furnish more details about how to go about using your space and a list of things to do around your location.
Learn from other hosts
Learning is what is going to make a difference for your Airbnb business at the end of the day. You should keep tabs on new developments and new ways of doing things.
Fortunately, Facebook has many groups that you could join and start learning right away.
You can even find a meetup in your area where you can have face-to-face meetings with fellow hosts who would share their experiences.
You will receive recommendations from people who have been hosting since Airbnb started their business. When you post a question on a facebook group, you will normally receive numerous responses, but you can use consensus to select the best course of action.
Optimize for off-season
During the off-season, guests experience a lot of supply and competing accomodation options. The easiest way to manage this glut in supply is to offer a lower price during the low season to attract more guests.
You can go ahead and give offers as well to those guests staying for three or more nights. Offers can make a big difference for your occupancy rate during the off season.
Rework your listing for the off-season as well. For instance, during the summer season, in your description, you would suggest how your location is ideal for outdoor activities. In winter, you will shift gear and focus on different attractions accessible from your location.
List on multiple sites
Airbnb is a leading vacation rental listing site but it is not the only one. There are quite a few others with a comparable level of services. VRBO, Flipkey, and Booking.com are some that you can try right away.
It will give you wider coverage, exposing your listing to more people across several platforms.
VRBO, Booking.com, and Flipkey have also been growing in leaps and bounds over the years and they present viable options for your listings.
As your business grows, it would be more convenient for your guests if you host your own online listing website alongside Airbnb. This will give you more credibility and differentiation within your business space.
With your own website, you could easily retarget previous guests with off-season offers.
Keep an eye on your taxes and expenses
Income from your Airbnb space is taxable and so you need to keep a good record of all receipts and expenses. Depending on your local laws some expenses are tax-deductible. These include cleaning services and supplies, repairs and maintenance, insurance, property taxes, marketing, professional fees, and mortgages among others. That is why you need to have a good grasp of your local property laws.
Keep expenses separate from receipts. You should open a separate bank account for your Airbnb business so that you do not get mixed up while filing your tax returns. To make things easier, consider using an automated accounting system like QuickBooks. It lets you connect your bank account and credit cards and automatically imports and sorts expenses into tax categories. It also has a feature that lets you take photos of every expense or receipt.
If you would rather not do the math yourself, consider hiring a part-time accountant to help you pull through. An accountant will help file your tax obligations as well as help you figure your way around local property laws. The expenses for your accountant are also tax-deductible.
Use a property management company
You might look at this list and wonder if you have the time or the depth to put in what it takes to start reaping from Airbnb.
A property management company can help you overcome such concerns if you choose carefully. Here are nine critical questions to ask before hiring your property manager.
Peak Property Management offers a low-cost vacation rentals management service if you need to maximize your income or if you do not have the time to properly take care of your Airbnb business.
We hope that you will put these tips to good use if you really want to earn more with Airbnb. With the continued rapid growth of Airbnb in the USA and other parts of the world, we can confidently say that the sky is the limit for your business if you put these tips into practice.