The boom in the vacation rental travel industry has created amazing opportunities for those who have homes to rent as well as for travelers looking for ideal lodging in just about any city in the world. One disadvantage for renters is that your Airbnb listing can easily get lost in a sea of rental options. How do you make your listing rise to the top of this massive pile of potential rentals? Here are some ideas:
1. Be Specific. Just like there are men who are over six feet tall looking for well-fitting clothes or yoga-loving women looking for a particular educational video, there are vacationers who are looking for a place just like the one you have to offer. If you're well-suited for couples looking for a romantic getaway, be sure to highlight your proximity to fine dining or your cozy hot tub. On the other hand, if your place is perfect for families with children, be sure to put your swing set, pool or well-stocked children's supplies in the spotlight.
2. Obtain Superhost Status. When most people key in their dates, number of guests and location, they will pull up perhaps hundreds of possible listings. One of the first ways they try to cut things down is to look at only those properties who have achieved superhost status. To be eligible for this elite group, you basically need to be honest in your listing, have a clean and well-kept home, and respond promptly to inquiries and questions.
3. List Yourself as Business Travel Ready. If your place is well-suited for business travelers, be sure you apply to be tagged as business travel ready within Airbnb. Like the superhost status, it gives potential customers a way to filter out those other options that do not meet their particular requirements. To achieve this status, the rental must be no-smoking and pet-free and offer amenities including wireless internet, a laptop working area, self check-in, and other essentials including shampoo, hair dryer and iron.
4. Hire a Photographer. The old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words is more true than ever in today's digital world. Having a professional or even an aspiring professional take shots of your rental will help increase traffic and interest. Be sure to include as much daylight as possible in your photos, including showing off your large windows. Tangled cords and electrical outlets, people, tables set with a meal, and clutter are things to avoid in listing pictures. On the other hand, be sure to illustrate bedrooms, beds and sheets in detail as well as clean bathrooms. Keep photos neat and tidy, perhaps showcasing one design piece you're proud of owning or some tasteful artwork. Professionals can also use creative camera angles and specialty lenses to enlarge small spaces. Be sure to focus photos mostly on the inside of your rental. A few shots outside are fine, especially if you have a lakeside property, a beautiful deck or an outdoor pool or hot tub. However, avoid including photos of the neighborhood or area.
5. Ask a Word Smith for Help. Whether you want to hire a professional writer or just ask a friend who is good with words to read over your listing, it's worth making sure that your headline and descriptions are well written, succinct, catchy, creative and accurate. You might want to even ask several friends and family members to read over your listing and provide feedback. Remember you have only a short period of time to capture the interest of potential customers.
6. Highlight What's Special. Remember there are plenty of people who want what you uniquely have to offer. Don't try to be everything to everyone. Simply highlight what's special about your vacation rental. If you have a historic home and hundreds of years of stories, let the architecture speak for itself. Use modern design techniques like fresh paint or furnishings to highlight structural beauty like high ceilings and lovely wooden beams.
7. Complete All Listing Sections. Invest the time to make sure all the sections of your Airbnb listing are completed. This will give your potential renters an accurate picture of what you have to offer as well as help to increase your rankings when someone is searching for a particular type of rental that matches yours.
8. Rely on Reviews. Not only can high ratings boost your rankings in search results, but you can also use the feedback on the reviews that you receive in order to improve your offerings and services. Be sure to respond back to all those who post reviews, not only as a courtesy to them, but to illustrate that you are a caring, attentive and invested host who is looking for ways to improve your customers' experiences.
9. Streamline Rates and Booking. Once a customer decides to stay with you, make the booking process as easy as possible. Keep your rates as simple and as clear as possible, and if you can streamline the booking and initial follow-up process, you will be much more likely to capture that customer through payment.
By using these tips, you can increase your rankings on more search results and have a better chance of matching up with potential customers looking for their perfect lodging option. Remember, the goal is to be honest about what you have to offer so that when customers book with you, you can easily exceed their expectations. This cycle will drive great reviews and increase future bookings and revenues.