How to optimise an Airbnb listing

We’ve listed on Air BNB for some time now and we’ve had great successes with it. We’re a superhost on the site and have a constant stream of fantastic visitors coming to stay.

The question is: how do you optimise an Airbnb listing so you get loads of people staying in your property?

Airbnb is after all a search engine, so as you’d expect, as a freelance seo consultant I’d have a go. I’ve been playing around with the optimisation of our Airbnb listing, trying various things out and reading what other people have to say and this is what I’ve come up with:

Updating The Calendar to Optimise Your AirBNB listingChange your calendar regularly

Apparently, Airbnb’s algorithm favours those who regularly update their calendar – it’s often touted as the most important thing you can do. I say apparently because I don’t seem to have seen much difference in enquiries no matter how much I’ve updated the listing.

Respond to every enquiry – fast!

I think this is one of the most important factors, you need to respond as soon as the enquiries come in as Airbnb shows your average response time and you’ll make your potential guest feel more secure if you respond rapidly.

Airbnb rewards those hosts who reply to guests within an hour, which as long as you’ve got your account connected to your mobile phone isn’t really a massive problem.

Create a useful Guidebook

I love the guidebook functionality, it lets you add as many useful and interesting local (and not so local) sights, interests, towns etc and this is your opportunity to really reach new audiences. Choose popular tourist attractions and areas because people will often choose to search for interesting tourist destinations and if your account lists them it’s likely you’ll have a chance of showing up for them (especially if you get everything else right!).

Enable instant booking

You might be a little reticent at first about enabling instant booking, but this really is the best way to get more people to book. Many people will still contact you, although some people will be happier just to book like they would on a hotel website – as long as you’re hot on your calendar you shouldn’t have any problems.

Choose your title carefully

Our listing’s title is “Double Bedroom in Old Farmhouse”, this is used as the title tag for the listing’s page as well as the H1 tag. I’d suggest you need to get something appealing in here to get people clicking whilst also getting some interesting keywords, we went for double bedroom and farmhouse, however we’re about to split test a second listing using the title “Double Room in Old Farmhouse B&B”. I think this will perform better for a couple of reasons, the first is Airbnb adds “in [city]” after the listing, so as we’re in Bacup we’ll get some optimisation for the keyword B&B in Bacup, which must help. I’ll probably write up a followup on this one when I’m confident my hunch is right, however we’ll need more data over the summer for that.

Add a lot of information

Get as much information as possible on your listing, there is loads of details about your house and the stay your potential B&B guests can expect so make sure you’ve included it all – good and bad! We’ve found including the negative aspects of our property to the listing is a good way to prepare guests for when they arrive (for example we’re still renovating various parts of the house).

Get amazing photos

We had so so photos in the beginning, fortunately various guests have taken some great photos of our house which we’ve used and when we achieved SuperHost status Airbnb was nice enough to send round a professional photographer who managed to work a minor miracle and make our house look like it should be in a lifestyle magazine!

Using Photos to Optimise Your AirBNB listing

Price your listing properly

You’ve got to work out how much your property is worth and what your market is. When you start off you’re going to need to list your property cheaply, we started at £15. We came up with that figure by looking at the pricing of properties listed within 10 miles from us, then we undercut them. After a number of reservations and great feedback we increased the price we charged but crucially we kept our price below that of many of the properties within 10 miles.

Remember to lower your price in the low season – and you may want to lower your prices on certain periods in the week – for example you might not get any enquiries for Monday night – so reduce the price on Mondays and see if you get any more enquiries for them, if you do you can always increase them. I’m constantly playing with prices to see what people are interested in.

I think it’s interesting to look at something like PriceLabs which is a website that aims to help you work out what to price your property at based on prices of properties nearby and demand in the area, however there are variables about your property and your area that this tools still can’t take into account, so take it with a pinch of salt! We’re getting bookings using pricing above the automated recommended pricing:

Price Labs to Optimise Your AirBNB prices

I’d love to hear your hints and tips on getting more reservations from AirBNB

You can get more information from the Air Hosts Forum where you’ll find like minded folk doing their best to be successful on Airbnb.

One Comment

  • Just to add, on the point about replying to enquiries quickly; it’s fine as long as they come from people in the same time zone as you, or similar, but I’ve had messages come in to my phone in the middle of the night (usually from people in America, Australia or Asia) when I’m obviously asleep. Naturally, I have responded to these as soon as I’ve woken up but several hours have usually elapsed by then. AirBnB does give you a time limit of 24 hours to respond but replies within the first hour do get a much higher reward, meaning we have sometimes been marked down for a slow response when, in reality, we have responded as quickly as we can. Perhaps AirBnB may need to take time zones into account when rewarding rankings???

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