7 ways to maximise your Airbnb

In our previous article we highlighted the risks associated with not disclosing short term lets to your insurer. While some risks will always exist, if you’ve notified your mortgage company, checked any planning laws and told your insurer, your property should be well set to provide a lucrative income. 

Spending some time to prepare your property for listing on sites such as Airbnb can make all the difference with occupancy rates. 

In a recent report by Airbnb, during 2018 the average annual earnings for a typical host are £3,100.1  The average nights hosted per year were around 36, that’s an occupancy rate of 3 nights per month. If you’re lucky enough to maximise your listing to a half or even full month of occupancy the potential earnings are clearly worth some effort. 
Potential average Airbnb earnings

Tips for Airbnb hosting

With some simple marketing techniques and profile housekeeping (pun intended) you can help your property stand out from the crowd.

 1) Catchy titles draw attention

Avoid being plain! Using adjectives and highlighting your property’s best assets can help make your Airbnb listing stand out. If you have a great view or a rooftop terrace, these are things to shout about. Avoid words that promote a negative reaction such as small or unusual, instead use cosy or quirky to add an element of interest.

2) Real and honest descriptions

Be honest about your property and set realistic expectations. Overselling the facilities or the location can quickly lead to a spike in bad reviews which will negate all your good work. Guests appreciate honesty, so if you have a sticky door or a steep hill outside it’s best to be upfront. Setting a realistic scene will mean guests have no nasty surprises when they arrive. 

3) Use professional photography

Even if you’re really good at using your mobile phone for family snaps, it’s best to get some professional photography done for your property. Correct lighting and scene-setting will instantly showcase your property against its competition. A poorly lit room and an untidy setting shows a lack of care. If you don’t spend time on your property, how can your guests be confident in your approach with them?

4) Promote the local area

In 2018 78% of Airbnb guests chose to travel to explore the local area.1 Taking time to describe local tourist attractions and places that guests might be looking to explore can help to pinpoint your property as the one to pick. Including things like walking distances to attractions, recommended nearby restaurants, the name of the local taxi company or the easiest route from the airport can make the difference to your guest’s opinion of you and your property.

5) Use popular search terms to increase visibility

Knowing the area well and understanding what your guests are looking to do when they visit can help you start to shape the main body of your listing. Make content search engine friendly to help increase your potential audience. Using popular keywords your guests would use when searching for a property could help draw them in before they search within Airbnb.   

6) Reply to reviews to make improvements

Nobody wants to stay in a 1-star property. By taking the time to interact with your guests and responding to feedback in a positive way, you can show how much you appreciate them and their business. Responding to issues by rectifying the problem or communicating a solution goes one step further to creating a great host profile, building even more trust for future guests. 

7) Set realistic and competitive prices

Pricing is a key part of your property’s success. Get it wrong and straight away you’ve lost business. But, get it right and it’s likely you’re onto a winning streak. Taking time to research similar properties in the area can help to benchmark your base rate. 
Seasonal pricing is a good way to work with the changing demand, you can set custom prices for specific nights, weeks, or months.2  It’s also worth keeping an eye on local events calendars to maximise income when your local area is likely to be busy and in demand. 

With a bit of time and attention you can easily create an eye-catching Airbnb listing that’s popular, is earning you money and eventually sells itself through great reviews. As long as you’ve dotted all the ‘I’s – namely insurance, and crossed all the ‘T’s, you’re well on your way to a lucrative business.