9 Things You’re Doing Wrong with Your Airbnb Listing

As a short-term rental host, you likely already know the importance of creating a stellar Airbnb listing. The market is incredibly saturated, so it’s crucial to stand out among the hundreds of thousands — if not millions! — of other listings.

Are you making the most of the platform? We’ve been in the STR industry for a while now, and have learned a thing or two ourselves. Let’s explore some common mistakes that hosts make with their Airbnb listings and how you can improve yours.

1. Poor Quality Photos

First impressions matter, especially in the world of Airbnb. If your listing photos are blurry, poorly lit, or cluttered, you could be turning potential guests away before they even have a chance to consider your property. Take the time to invest in high-quality photos that showcase your space in the best possible light. Natural light, clean spaces, and flattering angles can make all the difference in attracting guests and encouraging bookings.

2. Incomplete or Inaccurate Listing Information

Your listing is your opportunity to sell potential guests on the experience of staying at your property. Don’t make the mistake of providing incomplete or inaccurate information. Make sure your listing includes detailed descriptions, accurate amenities lists, and clear house rules. Guests want to know exactly what to expect when they arrive, so be upfront and transparent about what your property has to offer.

3. Neglecting to Highlight Unique Selling Points

Every short-term rental property has something special to offer, whether it’s a stunning view, a unique architectural feature, or access to local attractions. Failing to highlight these unique selling points in your listing is essentially like letting potential guests walk out the door before they’ve even arrived. Take the time to showcase what makes your property special and differentiate it from the competition. Whether it’s a cozy fireplace, a fully equipped kitchen, or a private patio, make sure to let guests know what sets your property apart.

4. Ignoring Guest Feedback

Guest feedback is a valuable resource for improving your Airbnb listing and enhancing the guest experience. Take the time to read and respond to guest feedback, and use it as an opportunity to identify areas for improvement. Whether it’s a suggestion for a new amenity or a complaint about cleanliness, guest feedback can provide valuable insights into how you can make your listing even better.

5. Incorrect Pricing

Pricing is a crucial factor in attracting guests and maximizing your earnings as an Airbnb host. Avoid pricing your property too high, as this can deter potential guests, but also be wary of pricing it too low, as this could leave money on the table. Take the time to research comparable listings in your area and set competitive and dynamic pricing — Airbnb calls their pricing tool Smart Pricing — based on market trends, demand, and seasonality.

6. Poor Communication with Guests

Clear and timely communication with guests is essential for a positive guest experience. Don’t make the mistake of being slow to respond to inquiries, sending vague messages, or failing to provide necessary information. Make sure to respond promptly to guest inquiries, provide clear instructions for check-in and check-out, and be proactive in addressing any questions or concerns that guests may have during their stay. If you don’t, they will mention it in a review, which will penalize your listing.

7. Create a Compelling Title and Description 

Your listing title and description are often the first things potential guests see when browsing Airbnb. Crafting compelling and informative titles and descriptions can make a big difference in attracting guests to your property. Avoid generic titles and descriptions and instead, focus on highlighting the unique features and benefits of your property. Use descriptive language to paint a clear picture of the guest experience and entice potential guests to book your listing. Remember to include relevant keywords in your title and description to improve visibility in search results.

8. Offer Exceptional Hospitality

From the moment guests inquire about your property to the time they check out, aim to provide a memorable and positive experience. Respond promptly to guest messages, provide clear and detailed instructions for check-in and check-out, and go above and beyond to exceed expectations during their stay. Personal touches like welcome notes, local recommendations, and small amenities can leave a lasting impression and lead to positive reviews and repeat bookings.

9. Forgetting to Update the Listing Regularly

Finally, don’t make the mistake of neglecting to update your Airbnb listing regularly. Keep it fresh and up-to-date with accurate information and photos. If your photos are outdated or your availability calendar is inaccurate, you could be missing out on potential bookings. Take the time to regularly refresh your photos, update your pricing and availability, and make any necessary changes to your property description to ensure that your listing is always attracting guests and maximizing your earnings.

By avoiding these common mistakes and implementing our tips, you can improve your listing and create a more positive experience for your guests. Take a look at your listing, and see how you can make it even better. Your guests will thank you, and so will your booking stats!

This content originally appeared in our twice-monthly Guest Book Newsletter.

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