Looking to beat the Airbnb algorithm and fully book out your vacation rental this year? These Airbnb host tips for first time hosts and seasoned property owners will help you sell out your vacation rentals…fast!
As an Airbnb Affiliate Partner, I have sold thousands of Airbnbs on my travel blog and social media pages. I’ve also generated hundreds of bookings on VRBO, a similar vacation rental platform. These experiences have taught me a thing or two about best practices for Airbnb hosts to best market (and sell out) their properties.
Using my Google Analytics and Airbnb Associate portal, I’ve analyzed the clicks, impressions, and bookings for each property I’ve advertised. This, in turn, has provided me with actionable insights and trends on how to sell out vacation homes. Here’s one Airbnb (of many) that’s reaped the benefits of my Airbnb host tips for selling out vacation rentals:
Are you ready to generate some “buzz” around your Airbnb rental and increase your bookings in the coming months? Looking to master the Airbnb algorithm? Then, pay close attention to these 12 tips and tricks for Airbnb hosts!
Looking to become an Airbnb host? Click here to get started!
Top 10 Best Airbnb Tips for Hosts to Conquer the Algorithm
1. Keywords are crucial
This is one of the best Airbnb host tips that’s often overlooked. I’ve seen so many hosts just write 2-3 sentences about their Airbnb, which is a killer for the algorithm. You want guests to spend lots of time reading about your listing to increase the dwell time. This part of the algorithm measures how long users spend on your listing before leaving (or clicking the back-button).
Moreover, as you are writing your listing title/description, don’t just list off all your amenities and call it a day. Be strategic in the words you use so you can get to the top of the Google, Airbnb, and social media search results.
Optimize your title and description by adding in phrases that people actually search for
For example, if you own a chalet in Vermont, don’t use ‘chalet’ several times and omit the word ‘cabin’. You’re much better off describing it as a cabin, which is much more frequently searched than ‘chalet.’ Of course, I would still use the word “chalet” here and there—particularly if you live in the Alps or the Rocky Mountains. However, keywords like ‘cozy cabin’, ‘log cabin rental’, and ‘rustic cabin’ tend to perform better in the search results and add to the “richness” of your content in the Airbnb listing.
Here’s another example. If you’re renting out a property on the ocean, use keywords like ‘beach house rental’, beachfront cottage’, and ‘villa on the beach’ to describe your property. Switch it up and use multiple variations of the keyword throughout the title and description of your listing. So, incorporate ‘house for rent on the beach’, ‘beachfront Airbnb’, ‘beach house on the ocean’, etc. These are phrases people use when they search for properties. While the phrase “oceanfront retreat” sounds nice and all, nobody is searching for that. Don’t overdo words like ‘retreat’, ‘oasis’, ‘refuge’, or ‘getaway’ because they won’t help you with the Google or Airbnb algorithms.
Strategically describe your amenities in a fun and interesting way
If your property has a pool, hot tub, or other unique amenities, write them out in an interesting way. Don’t just list them.
Bulleted lists, while helpful, shouldn’t be the only way to convey your property. Use action phrases like “Experience Cape Cod at its best by staying at this beach house rental with a pool”. Lots of people are searching for phrases like “Airbnb cabin with hot tub,” so you want to make sure you have relevant phrases in your description. Make it engaging, so potential guests can spend as much time reading your listing as possible. A quick skim will lead to users spending a shorter period on your listing page, which will lower your property in the Airbnb search results.
Looking for help in crafting the right keywords for your Airbnb listing? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a free keyword analysis report based on the unique features and location of your rental property. I use premium keyword research software to find the best possible search terms that will benefit your ranking in the Google and Airbnb search results. Happy to share!
2. Partner with a website or blogger to direct traffic to your Airbnb listing.
There’s no instant gratification when it comes to boosting your rankings on Airbnb. This is a competitive game, where you’ll need to put in extra effort to beat hundreds—or even thousands—of Airbnbs in your vicinity. Outwork and outsmart your competitors by partnering with a blogger or travel website is one way to gain an advantage.
Airbnb host tip: Why partnering with travel sites will help you get more bookings on Airbnb
From industrial travel websites to niche travel bloggers, there are lots of articles out there that cover the coolest and most unique Airbnbs in the world. From an Airbnb host’s perspective, you should try to take advantage of this traffic in any way that you can. Go to Google, search for Airbnbs in your area, and find a highly ranked website that offers favorable rates to advertise on their site. The idea is that you want the blogger to link to your Airbnb listing page, thus driving traffic to your rental property.
Other benefits to partnering with a travel blog or website
Not only will this help you gain bookings directly from an online article. This link will also sends a powerful signal to Airbnb that “builds authority” in your properties ranking/position on Airbnb. Rather than taking months or even years to rank high on Airbnb, this strategy can make it take just weeks.
Social signals on the web in the form of backlinks strengthen webpages, including those on Airbnb. In other words, by having a high-ranked Google article pointing directly to your listing and generating traffic to that page, Airbnb will see the “buzz” and subsequently boost your listing on the Airbnb platform. The ultimate goal for you, the Airbnb host, is to be at the top of the search results whenever users perform queries on Airbnb. This strategy will definitely help you get there.
On my travel blog, I offer reasonable rates to advertise on my top ranked articles. I view my relationship with Airbnb hosts as a two-way street – I help them rank better and sell more rentals, while they provide me with richer content for a better article. Here are some of my top performing articles, where I receive thousands of impressions per month across hundreds of high-traffic key phrases, thus generating thousands of bookings on Airbnb:
My Top Airbnb Articles as of November 2021
Interested in advertising your unique vacation home on my site? Send me a message at email@example.com and we can discuss further! 🙂
3. Make the booking process as quick and easy as possible
When prospective guests contact you, it’s a good idea to respond as quickly as possible. The response time is an important part of the Airbnb algorithm, as is the response rate (responding to everybody who contacts your property).
Airbnb prioritizes the speed and ease of booking, so setting up “instant bookings” will get you higher in the search results. Since hotels offer an instantaneous booking experience, Airbnb is trying to incentivize its users to do the same.
In addition, you’ll want to avoid booking cancellations (unless you have a very important reason to do so), as that will negatively impact your rank in search as well.
4. Creative Airbnb Tips for Host: Make social media pages for your Airbnb home
Renting out a unique property that you want to share with the world? Spend a few hours making social media accounts for your Airbnb (or outsource this to someone who can!).
The most successful Airbnbs tend to be the most innovative and creative ones. Those who take the time to showcase their listings on social media tend to gain more hype than those who don’t. For some inspiration, here is an A-Frame cabin account that is a top performing Airbnb in New England:
Once you set up your social media pages, encourage your guests to post about it on their social channels! Make it fun and creative. Perhaps do a contest where guests are instructed to share their vacation by tagging your account. People love to be featured online, so if a guest tags your account, don’t miss the opportunity to re-share their photos/videos on your channel, too!
In addition, you should also connect your social media profiles to your Airbnb account. That way, Airbnb can see that you are a trustworthy host. If you’re social media savvy and looking for fun ways to generate hype around your property, this is among the coolest Airbnb host tips and tricks out there!
5. Hire a photographer to take high resolution photos of your property.
This has to be one of the top Airbnb tips for hosts. Pictures are one of the most important elements of the Airbnb algorithm, so up your photography game by hiring a local photographer to take some photos of your property. Good lighting and interesting compositions will boost your rankings on Airbnb and help you get discovered more easily.
If you’re not a photographer yourself, you’re better off hiring one who is rather than just taking iPhone photos. These days, the Airbnb and Google algorithms are incredibly sophisticated and are driven by artificial intelligence (AI). These algorithms know if the picture is blurry, uninteresting, or lacks proper lighting.
In addition, high quality photos lead to higher click-through rates. The more times users click on your listing, the more Airbnb will up your ranking in the search results. Over the years, there have been many studies performed regarding human psychology, evidencing that people are more likely to make purchasing decisions based on high-quality images. Vacation rentals are no different than other products and services out there!
Bottom line: Don’t put all the effort in making a great listing without having beautiful photos to go with it. Find a local photographer with cheap rates and you’ll quickly get your return on investment via increased bookings. It’s 100% worth it. If you want to make as much money as possible as an Airbnb host, you must invest a little more to beat out the rest.
6. One of the best tips for being an Airbnb host: Find local listings that are sold out and emulate them
One of the best tips for Airbnb hosts is to look at Superhost listings and do whatever they are doing, but better!
What titles and descriptions are they using? How are they marketing their Airbnb, and what can you do to make your listing even more appealing? How do you stack up against their price, cancellation policy, house rules, etc.? Don’t simply copy another listing’s description and change a few words around; that can get you into trouble. Instead, try to figure out what’s worked for them and how you can enhance your own Airbnb listing.
Even if you’ve already done this before, do an occasional sanity check to see what other Airbnb hosts are doing. Out of all the top Airbnb tips for hosts, this one is very straightforward and will have a maximum impact.
7. Influencer activation: Offer complementary stays to local influencers in return for social media coverage
Reach out to local photographers, influencers, bloggers, and creators who can creatively market your property in ways you can’t. There are tons of travel and lifestyle creators who have amassed massive followings on social media, so take advantage of their reach and target audiences. I’m a travel creator myself (Insta: @Global.Viewpoint), and I’ve witnessed firsthand how effective this strategy is for Airbnb hosts.
Looking to implement this Airbnb hosting tip but aren’t sure where to start? I recommend doing a simple Google search to find top travel blogs that are promoting your destination. For instance, by searching “top things to do in Vermont” or “top lake houses in Michigan,” you’ll find someone who’s a subject matter expert in your area and/or has a large digital following. Another idea would be to search your city, town, or region on Instagram to find out who the top influencers are. It never hurts reaching out to a blogger or influencer – the worst they can say is no. But more likely than not, each of you will have a lot to gain from this partnership.
Airbnb host tips for partnering with influencers
Just a quick tip when dealing with influencers/bloggers: try to know their worth before extending a partnership to them. For example: micro influencers (5,000-20,000 followers) will generally be happy doing this collaboration on a trade-only basis. This means you can give them a free stay in return for social media coverage. More influential creators (20,000-100,000 followers) will likely do it for a free stay and a stipend (depends on the amount of coverage requested). Celebrity influencers, or those with over 100k followers, will probably not respond to your inquiry unless you offer them thousands of dollars to promote your property. I would suggest only focusing your efforts on influencers in the 20-80k follower range. But of course, be sure to vet their audience to see if it’s authentic!
One other important thing to keep in mind before contacting influencers: make it about them. Don’t just offer a free stay without any context; instead, make sure you clearly explain what you like about their content and how your vacation rental will be exciting for them to visit. These days, influencers and bloggers are being hit from all angles. To get their attention and show you’re serious, writing a personalized note will go a long way.
Other benefits of including influencers in your marketing strategy
In addition to requesting social media content, you can also ask them to take photos for you that you can use for marketing purposes. As part of this collaboration, it’s also implied that the influencer will provide a good review of your property.
Airbnb hosts who extend complimentary stays and small stipends to influencers are much more likely to sell out their properties in the long run. Hotels also partake in these arrangements all the time as a part of their marketing strategy. So, it’s proven to be effective. Just make sure you find the right influencer for the job. For example: if you own a luxury Airbnb rental, don’t reach out to a budget backpacker type!
Bottom line: if you have lots of availability in the coming months, then you have nothing to lose by implementing this strategy. When done properly, influencer activations are a vital part of marketing any product or service, including vacation rentals. This will hold true in 2021 and well into the future. Don’t wait to get ahead – there’s no better time like the present to act on this best Airbnb host tip!
8. Best Airbnb Tips for First Time Hosts: Invite a friend over and have them leave a positive review
Key Airbnb Host Tip: One of the most important parts of the Airbnb algorithm is user reviews. You’ll never see a low-ranked rental at the top of the search results, nor will you ever see a high-ranked rental at the bottom of the search results. So, start off on the right foot by getting your first positive review from a good friend or family member.
Ask that they provide a thoughtful review that covers all aspects of their experience; not just a couple words saying “nice place!” Instruct them to talk about the amazing amenities, location, and how relaxing or unforgettable it was. Your first couple of reviews can make or break your trajectory of success on Airbnb. So, start strong and continue to look for ways to be the best Airbnb host!
9. Make sure your values are front and center on your listing page.
This is easily one of the most underrated tips for being an Airbnb host.
In addition to covering the tangible aspects of your Airbnb listing, be sure to share some of your core values. Ask yourself: what type of person are you and how can you appeal to similar and even different groups of people?
If you’re an artist, interior designer, or an architect, share a little bit about your story as it relates to the accommodation. If you’re a farmer who hosts a farm stay, share your passion for animals and nature. Be proud of your property and let it shine through in your Airbnb listing!
Additionally, it never hurts to make others feel welcomed, especially those from marginalized groups (or people who are otherwise different than you). If you’re someone who is respectful of all people and strives to treat all people equally, make sure that comes across in your vacation rental. (i.e., write that you are a LGBTQ-friendly Airbnb rental!)
If you’re Airbnb is nestled in the mountains, say something like “hikes and nature lovers are welcome”. A few kind words can go a long way in making people want to visit your Airbnb.
10. Beat the Airbnb algorithm by being an active user
From Google to Instagram, just about every platform rewards you for being active. Airbnb is no different. As such, one of the best (and easiest) Airbnb tips for hosts is to update your listing on a regular basis (i.e. incorporate seasonality around your booking, such as the property’s proximity to ski resorts). Also, make sure to keep your calendar up-to-date and write reviews of the people who stay at your Airbnb.
11. Airbnb New Host Pricing Tips
This may be easier said than done, but make sure the price is right for your Airbnb. I have seen so many overpriced Airbnbs out there, and it’s no surprise when there’s full availability.
Have you recently listed your property and haven’t gotten any bookings yet? Lower the price to get some leads. Update your price on a regular basis to see how prospective guests react to it.
Another way to determine a fair price of your property is by checking out the most popular Airbnbs in the area and compare yourself to them. Is your price in the same ballpark as them? Do you offer similar amenities and a great location? If the answer is yes, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t sell out your property eventually. Is this one of the best Airbnb tips for host? It sure is!
12. Haven’t become an Airbnb host yet? Here’s how to start!
Curious on how to start hosting on Airbnb? If you have a home, apartment, or condo that you’d like to rent out, Airbnb is calling your name!
With COVID-19 disrupting the hotel industry, it’s clear that private vacation rentals will fill the void in 2021 (and beyond). By opening your home to others as an Airbnb host, you’ll provide others with the vacation of a lifetime. It’s also a great way to make money, allowing you to fund your own travel adventures while covering your rent/mortgage.
Looking to get started? Here’s my sign-up code on Airbnb. Additionally, I recommend creating a listing on VRBO in order to expand your reach and increase your number of bookings. Here’s how to get started as a host on VRBO. Stay tuned for more articles on how to host for Airbnb and VRBO!
Looking to promote your vacation rental and want a good return on your investment? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’m happy to help. Best wishes! -Jon
Other Frequently Asked Questions on Airbnb Host Tips
Q: Looking for how to contact Airbnb support?
A: Here is the Airbnb host Help Number: 1-844-234-2500
Q: Is Airbnb safe for hosts?
A: Just like owning any other type of property, you are susceptible to theft and other risks. To reduce these risks, get Airbnb liability insurance coverage. This can be ordered directly from the Airbnb Host Portal. In addition, it’s always a good idea to get a safe box to guard your mail and your valuables. Also, consider getting an in-house security system and of course, screen your guests!
Q: Looking for how to be the best Airbnb host?
A: Here are some top tips that you should be aware of:
(1) Be quick and responsive at communicating
(2) Be honest in conveying your expectations in the guest
(3) Give tips and insight on what to see/do around the property
(4) Leave a bottle of wine or champagne in the room upon arrival
(5) Provide flexibility n the check-in and check-out times
(6) Use self-check in options, such as a keyless lock (particularly important during COVID times)
(7) Maintain a clean vacation rental for all guests
(8) Stock your kitchen with cooking essentials
(9) Keep a supply of extra supplies, such as towels, toilet paper, pillows, blankets, and a medicine kit.
(10) Invest in unique furniture, decorations, and appliances