How To Make Your Airbnb Listing More Competitive
Making money from your home when you’re not using it is a very appealing prospect.
Earning a passive income from your home is something that can be done around your work schedule and commitments.
But it isn’t as easy as just taking a few quick photographs, writing an introduction, and putting a listing together on Airbnb.
To become established as a trusted and popular host, there are a few things that you should take into account: both before getting started and after you host your first guest.
Let’s take it from the top and get ready to list.
Before Listing Your Home On Airbnb
As much as the idea of bringing in money from visitors to your home can be exciting, don’t rush into things.
Take your time.
Put in the research and effort and you’ll benefit all the more from establishing yourself as an Airbnb host. The best way to make your listing more competitive is to understand the competition surrounding you.
Before listing your home — or even after you have it on Airbnb — be sure to get a granular sense of the vacation rentals around you.
Evaluate The Market Around Your Home
The easiest way to make your listing more competitive is simple:
Enter non-competitive markets.
Being a big fish in a small pond is powerful. If you own an Airbnb in low-competition markets, you’ll be able to find success a lot easier.
A good way to go about this is to use a service like Airdna. Airdna allows you to research vacation rentals in local markets.
You can see how individual homes are performing around you.
You can understand how local markets are performing (ie: is Joshua Tree over-saturated with homes? How is demand in that market?).
And you can identify new markets to enter.
If you conduct research and find that there are a lot of quality Airbnbs around your rental, it could be tough to unseat these contenders without investing a lot of money, or having a nice home of your own.
On the other hand, you might find that there is enough demand to support more homes, and the payoff isn’t there.
If you’re lucky, though, you might find that your area lacks quality homes, or demand is outpacing supply — then, you’ll know your home can compete.
This is ideally something that you will do continually, not just when you are starting out, in order to keep tabs on how the market is developing.
After finding a nice market to enter, the next step in research is to figure out how successful hosts are getting guests.
Discover What Hosts Do To Draw In Customers
If you see a home crushing it on Airbnb, try to find out where the host is marketing their home.
Head over to their listing on Airbnb and copy their listing title. Then, paste this listing title (or the name of the home) onto different platforms, such as:
As an example, let’s say a property is called “Joshua Tree Hidden Hideaway” on Airbnb.
You can copy this name and paste it into social media channels, such as searching Instagram for Joshua Tree Hidden Hideaway, or typing that into Google or Facebook.
This might lead you to some social media pages where the host has grown a following, or some blog posts about the home, which could give you inspiration and ideas to promote your property.
Establishing a sense of the competition will also enable you to determine if there are any unexploited niches in your location.
Do a lot of homes lack pools or hot tubs? Then install a jacuzzi or cowboy tub. Or go all-in and consider building a pool.
Do homes look bland or outdated? Give your home a lively interior with beautiful decor.
If you’re looking for some examples of hosts doing an incredible job marketing their properties, then be sure to checkout our article on Instagram-worthy Airbnbs.
Ultimately, designer touches and key differentiators will help separate you from other hosts and make your Airbnb listing more competitive.
This segues into our next point.
Amenities Are Key To Make Your Airbnb Listing More Competitive
Make as many amenities available as possible.
Some examples of amenities of this type include having fresh bed linen and pillows available, an elevator if in an apartment complex, high-speed wifi, or a dedicated workspace to appeal to traveling businesspeople.
Some other great amenities to separate yourself from the competition could incorporate access to a gym, a full range kitchen, air-conditioning, or free parking.
But the best amenities to include are pools. No amenity is searched for more on Google than an Airbnb with a pool.
If you have a pool, or have the means to build one, it can pay dividends.
In the end, more amenities that you can make available without necessarily breaking the bank, the better. Amenities always make your Airbnb more competitive.
Now that we have a good understanding of how to differentiate yourself from the competition, let’s look at some best practices on hosting.
After Listing Your Home On Airbnb
When it comes to actually taking bookings, a reinforced piece of advice is to never cancel a confirmed reservation.
The harm from bad reviews can sometimes outweigh the praise from good reviews. And both Airbnb’s algorithm, and the guest, will ding you for a cancelled booking.
At all costs, avoid cancelling bookings.
Greet Guests Or Leave A Gift To Get 5-Star Reviews
When you have a guest confirmed for arrival, make your Airbnb stand out by greeting the guest.
If you are in a circumstance to greet the guest on arrival, then welcome them on the property. A friendly intro helps to get the guest comfortable and show an extra commitment to their comfort.
Don’t live near your property? Look to have a property manager or cohost take on this responsibility.
Don’t have a property manager?
If you or your manager can’t be there to greet the guest, there’s always the option of asking a trusted friend or neighbor to help. This will keep the guest happy and your rating positive, as it should be.
Finally, if you don’t have the means to greet guests at the property, or enlist a trusty cohost or friend to meet guests on site, then leave a gift.
A simple welcome gift of flowers, a nice card, or locally sourced souvenirs is a great way to win over a 5-star review.
To make this process efficient, you can bake this requirement into the task-list from your cleaning crew.
A good greeting is a great way to make your Airbnb listing more competitive.
Take Perfect Pictures To Help Your Airbnb Standout
Before grabbing your camera and clicking away, take a quick pause.
What would you would want to see when looking for somewhere to stay?
You know your home best.
- What are you favorite parts?
- Which amenities look best?
- Does the sun shine in a room just perfectly at a certain time?
Answer these questions, then create a list of the areas you’ll need to photograph.
If you’re a talented photographer, then take a stab at taking your own photos, and ensure these photographs are taken in natural light.
Generally a good average is twenty photographs per listing, beginning with the inside first. Having a photograph of the outside of your home will also help guests to locate you easier.
When photographing, remove any obvious personal belongings and tidy up – make your space as presentable as it will be when they arrive, ready to stay.
If you find that you might not be the best photographer, then have no fear. You can consider hiring a professional photographer to capture your home in the best light possible.
Conversely, you can list your home on Stayamo and get professional photos, for free.
Professional photos are one of the best ways to make your Airbnb listing more competitive.
Make Your Airbnb Listing More Competitive With The Right Price
To begin with, look at what other hosts are charging in your area.
Don’t forget to charge extra for extra guests, although be true about how many people you can comfortably accommodate in your home.
Lowering your price a little early on is worth doing in order to get those first guests and their reviews through the door.
But while lower prices will always appeal to the widest market possible, don’t be afraid to raise your prices as time moves along.
Aside from more revenue, higher prices can also be a great strategy for less operational expenses. For simple math:
10 guest per month at $100 a night will you $1,000 gross income.
But 5 guests per month at $200 will also land you $1,000 in gross income, without the additional wear and tear, management responsibilities, and other demands 5 additional bookings would cause.
Sometimes, less guests can be more.
Check In And Check Out For Happy Hosts & Guests
In terms of your guests checking in, think about what sort of procedure you are going to have in place.
Will you have a code-access lockbox with the key in and rely on them to return the key at the end of their stay?
Will you personally meet them when they arrive in order to hand the key over?
Do you have a back-up plan in case your first check-in procedure doesn’t go to plan for whatever reason?
Will you allow your guests to check in at any time or not?
These are questions worth considering.
Checking out comes with many of the same questions that you will also need to keep in mind when it comes to writing up your check in and check out procedures for guests to abide by.
To make your Airbnb listing more competitive, consider grabbing some of our designer check-out lists from our store.
Make Your Airbnb Listing More Competitive With Hosting
When it comes to hosting itself, be prepared for things to go wrong.
Be prepared for silly and repeated questions no matter how clearly you explain things on your listing and in any previous contact.
And be prepared to get frustrated.
One suggestion is to write up “How To” guides. Examples include a guide for the heating, a guide on how to use the coffee machine if you have one, and another guide on useful local information.
Another key thing is to reply promptly to any communications.
This will make your guests feel wanted and valued – which they are. Strive to provide them with the high quality experience and responsiveness that you would want staying somewhere.
Lastly, but most importantly, stay legal.
Familiarize yourself with Airbnb’s rules and regulations in addition to any pertinent local permits related to hosting.
Airbnb is outlawed in certain jurisdictions, including some cities, and even some HOAs — so it is your responsibility to do this part of the legwork.
Spending all the effort and money to build up a successful Airbnb, only to have it shut down by the government or ruling authority, is not a nightmare not worth dealing with.
One example is ensuring that you have working Co2 and fire alarms — a requirement in almost every jurisdiction.
Another is to ensure that you have the right business licenses in place, which could be required by the city, county, state (or all three) that your property is based in.
Keep yourself on the right side of the law. Being on the wrong side only causes headaches, fees, and potential litigation.
Being an Airbnb host may look simple on the surface, but it is, in fact, far more involved.
There are many points to consider in order for you to make the best of the situation for both you and your guests. And going the distance to provide value and comfort for your guests will help make your Airbnb listing more competitive.
Be active on the community forums – engage with guests and other hosts alike. Don’t be afraid to ask your guests for feedback and if there is anything you could improve.