Making money from Airbnb seems like the perfect way to make use of your vacation home, investment apartment or spare room. However it isn’t always as easy as it sounds, here are a few things which trip up a lot of people and some tips to improve your listings.
INACCURATE LISTING INFORMATION We’re probably going to talk about reviews a lot in this blog post and that is because AirBnb is all about great reviews. If your property doesn’t match the description then people are going to talk about that in their reviews which will have a huge impact on your bookings. So with this in mind it is really important to make sure that you don’t oversell your property, the location or the amenities.
YOUR PHOTOS TELL A DIFFERENT STORY TO YOUR DESCRIPTION Your photos are the first impression that potential guests will see, if you don’t properly display all important aspects of your property then there will be holes in the story. So if you write about an amazing kitchen but don’t have any photos of that kitchen then potential guests will assume that it isn’t all it is cracked up to be. So make sure that your photos and your written descriptions align!
NOT OPTIMIZING YOUR PRICE If you have a house by a lake then you’re going to be able to charge more in summer than in winter. Likewise if there is a big event at some point during the year which attracts a lot of tourists then you should be adjusting your price during this period to reflect the demand. Keep a regular eye on your competition to see what they’re charging and make sure that you’re competitive.
NOT READING AND REPLYING TO NEGATIVE GUEST REVIEWS As mentioned earlier, guest reviews are incredibly important when it comes to success on Airbnb and that doesn’t just mean enjoying the good reviews but also learning from the critical reviews. When someone has a genuine complaint others will pay attention and if those criticisms aren’t addressed and explained it could cost you many bookings. People are generally understanding and accept that not everything can be 100% perfect all the time and that some things are out of our hands. So if you can explain why ‘X’ happened and show that it won’t happen again it will show that you’re responsive and responsible which provides a much better impression to future guests.
NOT PUTTING IN THE WORK Many people talk about using Airbnb as an easy source of income but the reality is that you have to treat it as a job, it requires you to do a lot of work. Whether that be maintaining the listing, cleaning after every guest, maintaining the general appearance and comfort, managing check-in/check-out procedures and the list goes on. If you start to drop the ball with some of these tasks it will impact your reviews and ratings and therefore your income. If managing all of this is getting too much for you then you should look into having a third party manage your property for you.
NOT STREAMLINING THE GUEST EXPERIENCE Checking-in, checking-out and making enquiries during the stay can create uncertainty and awkwardness for guests if the processes aren’t clearly communicated and simple to do. Try to make sure not only that guests know who to contact and how but also that they are able to check in easily at the agreed time and that there are no delays on your end. If the check-in process is in-person then it is always a good idea to do a thorough but quick tour and explain anything that may not be immediately obvious. If you use a lockbox or some other system to manage check-ins and key access then you should have some kind of easily accessible guide to the property which answers any questions a guest might have.
NOT THINKING ABOUT SAFETY AND SECURITY The last thing you want is an accident at your property which puts your guests and your belongings at risk. Here are some simple steps you can take to keep everyone safe: a) Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors b) Have a fire extinguisher available c) Provide a list of the local hospitals and their phone numbers d) Keep a well stocked first aid kit e) If you have a trusted neighbor you could also ask them if it is OK to provide their phone number in case of emergencies
COMMUNICATING POORLY WITH YOUR GUESTS As in life, communication is key. Keep your communication clear, friendly, professional and punctual so that guests feel comfortable with their relationship with you as well as knowing that you are available if needed. Always have at least two communication channels available in case there is an issue with connections or devices.
Get in touch to have a chat and see how we can help with your listings!
I am originally from Athens, Georgia. I moved to California and have been living in San Diego since 2009. Prior to moving to San Diego I lived in Los Angeles for 3 years and made some great friends. I love to travel and look forward to the new relationships I will form through Airbnb.
Benefits of using a Vacation Rental Property Manager