Airbnb is among the best international vacation rental sales channels, so probably you’re already listing on the platform, but how can you improve your Airbnb booking rate? What are the actions you can take and that you should pay attention to in order to get more bookings on Airbnb? This article will answer your questions.
Airbnb has revealed which are some of the factors that contribute in determining how the listings show in the search results, thus increasing visibility and booking rate. Some factors are related to the potential guest’s behavior or the location of the rental property, but some others are directly linked to the host’s efforts. So, as a property owner or manager, what can you do to actively improve your Airbnb booking rate?
1. Make sure your Airbnb profile and listings are complete and regularly updated.
It may sound obvious but having an exhaustive listing will let guests find your property with much more ease. Crafting a great title and description is fundamental, and so is listing all the amenities and comforts of your vacation rental. The algorithm takes into account all the information on your profile, therefore a comprehensive listing will improve your ranking on the rental site. More than that, a complete profile will make you look more trustworthy and legitimate, inviting potential guests to book your vacation rental. Simultaneously, it will be easier for your potential guests to find you and your holiday home if you have listed keywords and amenities they’re searching for. Remember also to keep the listing regularly updated.
2. Keep your calendars up-to-date.
Part of keeping your Airbnb listing updated is keeping your calendars up-to-date. Making sure that your calendars are updated is fundamental to getting bookings and improving your booking rate on Airbnb. If your calendar is not current, you could miss out on bookings since your holiday home listing may not show up in front of potential guests for dates where it is available. Moreover, regularly updating your calendar will show to the Airbnb algorithm that you’re active on the sales channel.
Furthermore, keeping your calendars updated is essential when you’re listing on different rental sites. If you’re not keeping the availability up-to-date, you risk getting double bookings for the same rental property. This will, in turn, lead you to have to cancel one of the bookings and might impact you negatively on Airbnb since the platform discourages hosts to cancel bookings. If you don’t want to synchronise all your calendars manually, a great solution is Calendar Sync, a digital method for automatically making sure all your calendars match each other. Read more about how to sync your calendars to avoid double bookings.
3. Showcase professional photos.
Since a picture is worth a thousand words, with the help of inspiring images you can show your potential guests what makes your vacation rental special and distinctive. Photography plays a really big part in the decision to book a vacation rental. According to Airbnb, 60% of listing views start with a guest clicking on a photo, and over 40% of the time when a guest chooses not to book a listing, the last thing they clicked on was a photo. All this means is that you can expect a listing to perform considerably better when it presents high quality, professional photos.
Amazing pictures allow your potential guests to imagine themselves staying in your holiday home and help you inspire them to book a sojourn. At the same time, it is a good thing to add compelling captions that help set expectations. Through well-crafted captions, you can describe what guests can’t see for themselves and complete the pictures’ story. Here are 7 tips for taking great pictures of your vacation rental.
4. Set a competitive price.
Price is one of the main decision factors when guests compare listings, therefore it is very important to set a competitive rates within your market. Setting a good pricing strategy allows you to get more bookings and, consequently, improve your Airbnb booking rate. The price of your vacation rental should be adequate depending on factors like demand, competition and seasonality.
The nightly rate for your holiday home shouldn’t be a fixed price all year round, but should instead respond to changes in the demand and in the competitions’ rates and be adjusted accordingly to remain competitive in your market. Setting seasonal rates to respond to the demand of the different seasons is a great way to optimise your occupancy and your revenue and improve your booking rate on Airbnb. You can also test out offers or set a weekly discount for bookings for a full week to attract potential guests to your listing.
5. Take care of your reviews.
Potential guests trust the opinion of their peers. This is why reviews are another influencing factor. Offering an amazing guest experience and curating your reviews will help you improve your Airbnb booking rate. Potential guests will be more likely to turn into guests when your holiday home can boast positive and high-praising reviews. At the same time, the more five-star reviews you get, the higher your listing will rank in the search results, allowing you to be found by a wider audience. And should a bad review come your way, then it is good to be prepared to respond to the guest in a professional but friendly way.
6. Respond to guests promptly.
Two other factors that carry weight in how the vacation rental listings show on the search results, and therefore have an effect on the bookings and the booking rate, are your response rate and response time to your guests’ direct messages. Responding to your guests and potential guests’ inquiries will show you’re a legitimate, reliable and engaged property owner or manager and will encourage potential guests to book with you. At the same time, responding to requests within 24 hours is likely to improve your ranking in the search results and increase your booking possibilities. If the reason for your low response rate is juggling many different rental sites accounts, a universal messenger could be the solution.
7. Be flexible regarding minimum and maximum stay.
Since Airbnb is a sales channel for both short-term and longer-term stays, the more flexible you are with the length of the stay, the better your chances that your listing will be found and that guests will book with you. By reducing the minimum stay and increasing the maximum one you will be able to show up in a bigger number of searches and you won’t miss out on booking opportunities.
8. Be flexible in cancellation policies.
Especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, flexibility has become key. People look for the flexibility in being able to cancel a booking should the need arise. Data says that guests tend to choose listings with flexible cancellation policies since it gives them a safety net in the case of unforeseen circumstances. With flexible cancellation policies, bookings and occupancy will tend to increase. You can read more about Airbnb’s cancellation policies in this article.
9. Avoid canceling bookings.
Sometimes canceling a booking is necessary, however you should keep from doing so as much as possible. Canceling a booking will be an inconvenience to the guest, upset their plans, and diminish the guest experience on Airbnb. Therefore, Airbnb encourages hosts to avoid canceling bookings unless they absolutely have to. What all this adds up to is that keeping your cancelation rate low will help you rank better on Airbnb, get more visibility and get you more bookings.
These are the main elements that you should keep in mind if you are looking to get more bookings on Airbnb and improve your booking rate. It is a lot to pay attention to, but all your efforts will be rewarded. If you have more than one listing or are listing on different sales channels, there are solutions that will make your job easier. Digital solutions like Property Management Systems and Channel Managers will help you attain a top-notch management of your short-term rental properties. With Your.Rentals, you will be able to manage all your listings in one place with just one account, have your calendars continuously synced, and never miss a message again thanks to the universal messenger! Read more about Your.Rentals features.
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