After your listings has lost it's new listings badge, you'll start to see a decrease in search visibility.
Airbnb wants to give everyone a fair chance, but sometimes it's hard to balance that act without making certain hosts unhappy.
Today, I want to go over 4 unique areas to concentrate on to get more Airbnb bookings.
It's not just enough to be a hospitable host anymore, we need to be proactive and utilize Airbnb as the world's biggest vacation rental channel.
Here we go!
Start With A Solid Foundation
Let's take a step back and consider one thing.
Positioning your listing in a location that has plenty of demand and where everyone is making good money, is the best choice.
I know that many of you are looking to scale your business with more properties, but for the next go around, have a look at the data in Airdna's Market Minder - if you haven't already.
See which areas of your city are garnering the highest demand and which properties are earning the most amount of money.
Then reverse engineer and position your property to be the alternative choice.
Hint: Don't just look at the pictures, but read the past reviews and even stay there if possible.
Marketing On and Off Airbnb
When it comes to getting more Airbnb bookings, we're talking mostly about marketing.
There are two different scenarios when it comes to this topic: internal and external marketing.
Which basically means the marketing you do inside Airbnb vs off Airbnb.
For internal marketing, this means: driving those clicks from inside the search results, converting those visitors, and getting those reviews.
For external marketing, we're not talking about using other channels (even though that's very important), it's about the promotion of your listing on social networks, Google, or even to your own email list of returning travelers.
This is essentially what we call the "booking flow", it's the timeframe between a traveler's initial search to when they ultimately book.
The Airbnb user might start from their mobile phone, wishlist a few listings, take their search back over to the desktop, then get hit with a retargeting ad on Facebook (you know those creepy ads that follow you?) and then finally make a booking after Airbnb emails them.
The booking flow is very leaky, but hopefully you can see how internal and external marketing work together to convert a booking.
Understanding Occupancy Rates vs Gross Revenue
I know you guys are eagar to get to the tips below, but one thing I want to stress is the misunderstood correlation between high occupancy rates and more revenue.
It's not always right to be 100% booked up. I believe most of us (including myself) have looked at how much we want to make per month and then divide that by either days or weeks.
Which isn't exactly the best way to optimize your revenue.
What would work better is to set your weekend rates very high so that when those popular dates in your calendar are full, you're already almost at your goal and everything else on the weekdays is extra profit.
A listing of similar quality to yours and within the same neighbourhood could have a lower occupancy rate but higher revenue because their average daily rate is more conducive to what's going on with the general supply of the neighbourhood.
You can also benefit from less turnovers and property damage with a pricing strategy that works alongside supply.
Tips For More Airbnb Bookings
It's no secret that we, as hosts, and our listings are just numbers being calculated in the Airbnb system.
They're trying their best to use big data to match our listings to the best guests possible.
Whether or not it works perfectly is a different story, but that's their goal right now.
Which means hospitality is just the starting point for us. We need to be more data driven like they are.
It all starts with understanding their ranking factors and how it plays into our everyday hosting.
This is the exact reason why we created Rankbreeze.
It gives us the pulse on where our listings are appearing in the search results which gives us a better idea of true visibility.
This does go hand-in-hand with search performance, but only because we've seen that attractive images lead to higher click through rates.
When Airbnb first started, they solved a lot of their conversion problems by just offering professional photos for free.
A recent study helped us understand that an Airbnb photo is worth about $4000 of additional revenue when improvements are made in the pictures composition, color, and "figure-ground relationship".
Working alongside search optimization, it's just as important to implement a proper pricing strategy.
There are a few ways for you to do this and Airbnb's Smart Pricing is generally the way most people start off.
The response for Airbnb's Smart Pricing aren't great from our fellow hosts and I'd have to agree as well.
It's much better as a tool to set your minimums price and works as a bare minimum repricer.
Price optimization takes into account your location, supply & demand, day of the week and seasonality.
Smart pricing itself takes on thousands of variables and the 3rd party repricers take on hundreds.
At this moment in time, if you want to test different versions of your Airbnb listing you'll need to go through a very manual process of changing your listings back and forth at set intervals.
Then measuring the results to see statistical significance.
However, when this feature is eventually added to all Superhost's accounts, I expect Airbnb to be investing heavily into this project.
At the end of the day, giving this sort of freedom to Airbnb hosts will allow them to possibly loose revenue in the short term but gain more in the long term after things are optimized.
If you haven't already started, begin by writing down ways and parts of your listing description that you could improve upon.
Obviously, you'll get the highest leverage from improving your listings pictures and title.
This also should help your search optimization in the long run.
Don't stop there though.
Consider adjusting your listings summary, description length, and even getting seasonal images done.
It's not easy for everyone to be creative when it comes to this sort of thing so consider downloading the images below that we've collected for you.
At the end of the day, you can't book all 365 days of the year but you can surely try to manage your portfolio better by optimizing the parts that are the most important.
As mentioned at the very beginning, it's best to start ahead of the race by setting up listings in high demand locations with many listings doing well around there.
Then replicating their listings as a baseline and optimizing price and rankings later on.
With that, I'd love to hear your thoughts and stories on which one of these tips stood out to you the most.