How To Start An Airbnb Business: Run A Successful Property
It’s no doubt that people are looking for ways on how to start an Airbnb business and run a successful property.
According to research by Skift, millennials’ travel tastes are vastly different from those of their parents. This can not only translate to new destinations routes, but also a different kind of stay – one that the traditional business model of hotels may not be able to offer.
Airbnb is an excellent alternative to hotels, especially for solo travelers and those on a tight budget.
One of its best features is giving guests the ability to rent the exact kind of space they want, which makes it fantastic for large groups, as well by giving them the option to rent entire houses for cheap.
It’s extremely easy to start an Airbnb business but in order to succeed you need to be able to market your listings and take measures to remain competitive on the platform.
In this article, we’ll explore:
- How can you list your property on Airbnb?
- How can you make your property look presentable on Airbnb?
- How can you market your listing on Airbnb?
- How to start an Airbnb business without owning a house?
How Can You List Your Property On Airbnb
Airbnb has an excellent step-by-step guide for listing your properties on the service.
It starts with you specifying the kind of property it is – an apartment, a house, etcetera. Then you move on to the specifics, such as the kind of space that you’re hosting – a private room or an entire house/ apartment.
Filling these details out is an extremely easy task making it easy to start an Airbnb business in just a few minutes.
However, the bit where you need to be a bit strategic to be able to get maximum returns is how you segment and price your property on the platform.
Segmenting Your Airbnb Property
Segmenting your property really comes down to the kind of guests you want in your listing. When you start an Airbnb business, you may be tempted to list an entire apartment/house. This may not necessarily work.
Here are a few ways to do that:
i. Segment Basis Area
Segmenting your listing is as dependent on the area it is in, as much as it is on the actual property. For example, if your property is located in a city frequented by families, it makes sense to make your entire property available.
ii. Segment Basis Private Rooms
You could always segment your property into private rooms and allow larger groups to rent them out individually. However, keep in mind that the furniture and decorations of 2 private rooms available for separate rent should not necessarily be the same as those of an entire house.
The easiest way to know what to do is to see what successful hosts in your area are doing. See the reviews, and make an informed decision.
However, you can’t just segment and price your property in a certain way and expect people to show up. Maintenance and presentation are vital to start a successful Airbnb business.
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Pricing And Value Of Your Airbnb Property
i. Check the nightly rates
The easiest way to stay competitive, when you start an Airbnb, is to check out the nightly rates for similar properties. Get an idea of the market and see whether you can charge similar rates. However, competitive pricing doesn’t necessarily have to come in the form of you pricing your products lower.
ii. Provide value adds
You can also add value to your listing by offering some value adds. This can come in the form of an opt-in breakfast, additional guests per room, extra utilities, and more.
This can be a slippery slope, however. The more hotel-like you turn your Airbnb, the less autonomy your guests get.
Avoid over-embellishing your listing with add-ons, keep it as simple as possible and, most importantly, do research over the kind of add-ons your travelers in your area may really want.
How Can You Make Your Property Look Presentable On Airbnb?
i. Perform necessary maintenance checks
Before you even begin to customize your Airbnb property, you should replace or spruce up the necessities that have experienced a significant amount of wear and tear.
This can range from the smaller furniture such as coffee tables and stools that need replacing, to the sinks, bathtubs, and floor carpets that need to be deep cleaned.
At the end of the day, a clean, presentable, minimal home still gives off a better vibe than a heavily furnished house with everything falling apart.
ii. Add decoratives to your Airbnb
After you’ve taken care of the foundations, you should look at adding decorations and furniture that can help elevate the mood of the house.
Plants, a patio setup, books, wall art, etc. can all add value to your home and attract more guests.
Guests will undoubtedly appreciate personal touches to your home. It adds character to your listing and is a great conversation starter.
How Can You Market Your Listing On Airbnb
i. Flaunt your listing’s unique selling point
Displaying that aforementioned character is a core part of marketing on Airbnb. How do you stand out in a crowd of 5 million listings?
While you’re not directly competing with 5 million, every lister adds a certain value to their property that ups the bar and raises the guests’ expectations.
The simple answer is to show-off your unique selling point.
- If your home has a giant patio, mention it in the title and share pictures of it.
- If you’re a hop and skip away from the airport, mention it.
- If your house is the closest one to the best beach in the city, it better be at the forefront of your listing.
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There are plenty of 2 bedroom homes available anywhere in the world. Guests will choose yours based on how much value they get out of it.
Share pictures, talk a little about yourself, the property, and its unique traits, and ask guests to send reviews.
ii. Ask for reviews
If you’ve been a friendly host, chances are asking for reviews will only yield positive results and generate word of mouth marketing that no amount of pictures of patios can beat.
iii. Create a host website
Additionally, you can also build a website. A host website can be a great way to detail out every inch of the property, talk about it in detail, and show more pictures and videos of the listing.
It is also an additional entry point to your Airbnb listing and shows that you’ve put in the effort to make the listing as visible as possible. You can share the link of the website on social media handles to increase visibility.
Making a website is as easy as going to WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace and dragging and dropping the assets you want everyone to see.
How To Start An Airbnb Business Without Owning A House
Answer: Become an experience host
Yes! Airbnb is no longer limited to hosts who want to rent out their properties. You can also become an experience host with the service.
If you’re an expert in certain fields that you think travelers might be interested in, you have yourself an opportunity to start an Airbnb business.
Even when the world was in lockdown, experience hosts have thrived thanks to Airbnb’s online experience options.
The experiences are unique and range from coffee making to card tricks and everything in between.
Much like when you start an Airbnb to list a home, you also have to apply here and if your experience is picked up by the service, you have yourself a new business opportunity in hand.
20 Pieces Of Advice On HowTo Grow Your Airbnb Business
With technological advancement and the ever-increasing pace of travel amongst people, the last decade has witnessed extraordinary growth in the home-sharing industry.
It has grown so much that owning a vacation rental has now turned into a proper real estate investment strategy.
Airbnb is one of the largest marketplaces for vacation rentals all over the world, and their business has become so competitive that hosts are finding it highly difficult to grow their business.
Which is why we have put together 20 pieces of great advice to grow your Airbnb business:
1. Share Quality Photographs
You know how good your property is for staying, but the customer doesn’t. The only way for them to know that is through the pictures you upload on the Airbnb listing.
Make sure that all your photographs are high in quality, cover every detail properly. You should also consider taking pictures of the surrounding area, or if there’s anything important right outside your property, such as a medical shop, or a park. These pictures might give them more the reason to pick your rental over another.
2. Give A Great First Impression
Airbnb is like a homely alternative to a hotel. And if you don’t make your guests feel the warmth of a home, you might not be able to attract a lot of guests.
Imagine yourself to be a guest, and treat your potential guests in a way that you would expect. Welcome them properly and give them a great experience, so that they also have a reason to visit and stay at your property again.
3. Relook Pricing
One of the main reasons for people to rent an Airbnb property is that it’s a cheaper alternative to a hotel. Now if you don’t price it accordingly, guests might not find it as an attractive option.
4. Be Wary Of Your Response Time
Guests usually have a few queries before booking the property on Airbnb. Make sure you are available to respond to them at the earliest possible so that they don’t move on to another property as a result of not receiving a response
5. Be A Superhost
Being a Superhost is like being star marked by Airbnb, which would give guests an added reason to stay at your property. You can become a superhost by fulfilling the below-mentioned requirements:
- Complete at least 3 reservations or 10 trips with a total of 100 nights
- Maintain a 50% review rate
- Have a 90% response rate
- Have no cancellations other than under extreme circumstances
- Maintain a 4.8 overall rating
6. Outline Your Amenities
Different kinds of guests require different kinds of amenities, and you should research your guests and try to include most in your property. Outline them properly in your listing, like high-speed WiFi, coffee machine, kid-friendly furniture, and so on.
7. Stay in Touch With Your Previous Guests
Create a database with details of all your previous guests and try to stay in touch with them. Try to wish them on festivals, birthdays, or just check up on them to build a long-term relationship.
8. Offer Seasonal Pricing
Instead of fixing a price throughout the year, opt for dynamic pricing which can be regulated as per the demand. You can increase the price during high season months, and decrease it during the lean season so that there you are generating optimum revenue. You can even vary prices within the week, say a little higher during the weekends than weekdays.
9. Encourage Reviews
Before booking any property, the guest would like to check for the reviews by guests who have stayed at your property previously. Give your guests a great experience, and then encourage them to talk about their experience through reviews on the Airbnb site.
10. Hire A Professional Manager
If you own more than one vacation rental, it might get difficult to manage everything properly, respond to all the queries, and so on. Hire a professional property manager who takes care of all that, and doesn’t let the brand value of your property get compromised due to any kind of mismanagement.
11. Add A Good Description
Your description is what the guests are going to read before finalizing it. Make sure that it’s properly understandable, free from grammatical or spelling errors, and appealing enough to interest the guests.
12. Innovate And Renovate
It’s important to keep the interior as up to date as possible. No guest would like to stay in an old school and outdated property. Renovate your property and try to provide your guests their value for money with an appealing modern-looking space.
13. Respond To Reviews
Doesn’t matter good or bad, respond to all the reviews. Be grateful for the good reviews and encourage them to visit again, and be apologetic towards the negative ones, and assure them that you will make up for it in their next visit.
14. Keep Your Property Clean
One of the most important factors for guests to stay in your place again would be cleanliness. Make sure that you keep your property so clean that the guests feel comfortable staying there and visit again.
15. Don’t Mislead
Misleading information might land your guests for the first time, but they will only go back and post negative reviews. Besides losing them, you will also lose out on more potential guests who read their reviews. Always be truthful and honest about your property and the exact amenities you’re providing.
16. Create Digital Ads
Besides listing your vacation rental on the Airbnb site, also promote your listing on social media and other places on the web with the help of digital advertising. A potential guest might just find you on some other browser and decide on staying at your property.
17. Turn On Instant Booking
Turn on instant booking for your property, so that the guests get your confirmation immediately after they submit their request. If they have to wait for your manual approval, they might move on to another property by that time, especially when it’s a matter of urgency.
18. Automate What You Can
Automate your channel management with the help of a centralized booking calendar, so that your reservations are in order, there is no risk of double booking, etc. You can also use an autoresponder which can answer important and general queries of guests instantly.
19. Install A Lockbox
Sometimes guests might be running late or could have travel delays, and for their convenience, you can have a smart lock or lockbox installed. Whenever they arrive, they won’t have to wait for you to go and hand them over the keys, and they can check themselves in.
20. Be Detail Oriented
Lastly, to become a good host, you need to take care of all the details. Stock up your place with board games, movies, books, kitchen supplies like coffee, tea, and condiments, so that your guests have all of these at their disposal.
Airbnb is a fantastic platform for homeowners to capitalize on their investments and experts to utilize their talents.
In a way, it functions very similarly to the freelance market. Oftentimes there are a lot of people with the same talents like yours, but what can make you stand out in your network.
On Airbnb, that network is created with the word of mouth of your previous guests and people with who you’ve shared your property experience.