Although the short-term rental market has exploded in just about every nook and cranny of the country, the larger, more typical vacation markets like San Diego continue to be the most popular spots for folks to consider. For Airbnb management, this means demand will continue to be high for short-term rentals and that, for the right property, you can command top dollar. However, it also means that the competition will be fierce and that consumer expectations will be high. While great reviews can propel your San Diego vacation rental into even greater levels of success, poor reviews can really stall out bookings for awhile. Here are some ways to be a stellar Airbnb host.
Highlight Your Strengths
Attention spans are shrinking every day, so the reality is that you have seconds to capture a potential guest's interest. Be sure to put your best foot forward early in both your pictures, headline and listing information. Think about what puts you above the other rental units in your area. Is it your location? Is it a high-end hot-tub? Is it the size of your rental? Highlight whatever gives you an edge.
Don't Hide Your Weaknesses
Although there's no problem with showing off what makes you special, be sure to be honest about what your weaknesses may be. You don't want your guests to be caught by surprise or disappointed when they arrive because you don't explain some facet of your rental clearly or, worse yet, tried to hide something.
Adjust Your Rates Properly
Rental rates in the San Diego area can vary based on seasonal demand, local events and other factors. Be sure you have a good understanding of what others in the market are charging and when so you can stay competitive. If you are new to the market, you may have to price yourself on the lower end until you can earn some high ratings. However, if a big event is in the future or you constantly booked to the max, you can increase your rates accordingly. Remember that you may have to change your rates throughout the year, adjusting them as demand varies, to maximize your bookings and profit.
Keep Your Listing Current
Many people plan trips for particular events or seasons. Invest the time to update your listing regularly. You can always add highlights about new amenities like hot tubs or jacuzzi tubs. Keep your eye on the local events calendar and advertise your place's proximity to the hottest show, fair or concert. If you're not renovating and no big events are in the future, simply highlight how your place is a great getaway for an upcoming season or holiday. Add new romantic photos and a mushy headline for Valentine's Day or a picture of your rental's location near a beach for a summer vacation.
Add A Personal Touch
One thing that guests love about short-term vacation rentals is that they get to live in someone's actual home with comfortable things and a greater connection to a local community. Go above and beyond to offer a personal touch. Try to get to know your guests during the booking process without being nosy. If someone volunteers information about why they are coming to San Diego, try to find a small gift or something helpful to make their trip special. For instance, if someone is staying at your place for an anniversary, consider leaving a bottle of wine or a discount certificate to a romantic restaurant. For families with children, you might want to leave directions and information about Balboa Park or coupons to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park.
Don't Forget the Details
Think about what's helpful to you when you are traveling and try to provide as many of those little things as possible. Be sure basic supplies like toilet paper and paper towels are well stocked and add things like shampoo, lotion and toothbrushes. Consider putting together a welcome packet that provides maps and contact information to local pharmacies, urgent cares and grocery stores as well as information on public transportation options. Include a small gift of candy or fresh baked goods to welcome new guests. Anything that can help your guests feel cared for will help boost your host ratings.
Stay on Top of the Basics
Make sure you understand your insurance coverage for your short-term rental. Talk with your home owners insurance company and make sure you are covered to rent out your property or add riders if necessary. Another option for San Diego Airbnb management is to check with the actual listing website. For example, Airbnb does provide some host protection insurance for certain damages and injuries. If your rental is in a neighborhood, you may want to check with your home owners association about rules and regulations regarding noise, trash and common areas like swimming pools. Be sure you outline expectations in your listing so that your guests are respectful of your neighbors.
By taking the time to be accurate and current in your listing as well as investing some extra effort to make each guest feel welcomed and special, you can become a stellar Airbnb host and increase your San Diego vacation rental bookings and profits.