Some time ago we did an article featuring tips from top Airbnb hosts. Because you can never get enough solid advice from experts, we’ve added another six more to the original article and have included them below. Implement the ones that make the most sense for you to get more money, automate more, and make your guests happy.
The Price Is Right
We’ve mentioned before that there are great tools, both free ones provided by the platforms as well as paid ones well worth what you pay for them. If your listing isn’t correctly priced, you could be leaving money on the table by either undercharging for your listing and missing out on guests who would happily have paid more for your place or overcharging and chasing away the guests who had a limit as to how much they would pay for all you had to offer.
While extensive history with a listing is a powerful weapon, if you don’t yet have that to draw on, a paid tool might be exactly what you need. The extra income you generate can often pay for the cost of the tool, and then some.
In the early days of Airbnb the founders personally went to the apartments of early hosts to take high quality photos. They knew then that higher quality photos have a direct correlation to booking frequency.
If you have some photography talent or have a friend who might be able to do you a favor, jump in. Otherwise, consider paying a professional. As with the pricing tool, the increase in bookings you will see due to professional, well-done photography will be priceless as time goes on.
Prime Your Guests for a Wonderful Experience
When you message your guests upon check in, and then maybe the next day as well, you are signaling to them that you care. Even if it’s clearly a form message (though it doesn’t hurt to make it a bit customized each time) guests really appreciate that you’ve taken the time to reach out and as such they will mentally give you points that will show up in a review later.
There are some hosts who can’t quite de-clutter or get rid of old items, so they’ve decided the best place for them is in their STR. “At least someone will enjoy it,” is the thinking. This is a terrible idea.
Guests don’t like clutter! They may have some of it at home, which they may not entirely control because the people they live with won’t let them bring it under control. Their time with you is a chance to enjoy a clutter-free environment and dream about what it might be like for them to live that way too.
If you have stuff that needs to go, watch some Marie Kondo and do the work to let things go. Don’t make your guests deal with it.
Offer Alternatives for Check-in and Checkout
We have observed that across platforms many hosts are going to a hard checkout time of 10am and a standard check in time of 3pm. This not only gives their cleaners a wide window to get the turnover done, but also gives some wiggle room should anything else need to get fixed (a clogged toilet, for example).
No one is saying you need to offer alternative options for free. You’ll find that guests often are happy to pay a little bit more in order to check in a little earlier or checkout a little later. While many top hosts are dealing with back-to-back reservations and have very little wiggle room, there’s no reason not to explore a secure luggage drop-off option with a neighbor (in which they get to keep some cash) or checking with cleaners to find out if, indeed, checkout could be postponed a bit. In these examples, of course you need to make sure that you’re charging something that can not just cover your inconvenience, but those who are assisting you. If you do it right, this can be a win/win/win.
There’s nothing to say you can’t offer an informal survey when all is done. This best ones are short, featuring 1-2 questions. The two favorites we like to ask are:
- If you could change one thing about the listing, it would be…
- What is one thing that you really loved, that you will likely tell others about when it comes to this listing…
Your guests will often tell you information you already know, but every now and then they can help uncover a small problem before it becomes a big one.
This content originally appeared in our twice-monthly Guest Book Newsletter.