Beginner’s Guide – How to List Your Property and Advertise on Airbnb

Trade Secrets | Getting Online

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Airbnb mostly attracts families, young professionals as well as more adventurous travellers but their market includes an ever-increasing audience. Find out how to list on Airbnb and how to advertise on Airbnb. Plus increase your views for your property listing and work with an Airbnb channel manager to put your property in front of a bigger audience of potential guests.

QUICK FACTS: Airbnb hosts have earned over £197 billion since it started in over 100,000 cities and 220+ countries!

How to list on Airbnb?

You’ve probably been wondering to yourself how complicated it must be to rent on Airbnb – but we reckon it’s probably a lot easier than you think, especially with an Airbnb-certified channel manager.

Airbnb is completely free to sign up and it’s free to list your property. Only after you receive a booking will you need to pay Airbnb hosting fees – generally 3% of the booking subtotal – so it’s a no-risk investment.

First things first, this is what you will need to do to sign up and list your home on Airbnb:

starter guide on how to list a vacation rental on airbnb

1. Home Type

Select what kind of property you’d like to advertise. There are a whole range of options you can select from the ‘Other’ dropdown if your place doesn’t fit into the common categories.

2. Room Type

For vacation rentals or serviced apartments, you will most likely select “Entire home/Apartment”.

3. Accommodates

Enter the maximum number of people that your space can comfortably accommodate. This doesn’t mean you’ll only be visible to the maximum number but it is good to be flexible (Airbnb like that).

4. City

Doesn’t have to be a city, just wherever your place is.

5. Calendar

You’ll be asked to choose between three options of how available your property is: “Always”, “Sometimes” and “One Time”. Choose “Always” if you want your place to be listed indefinitely, “Sometimes” if you have specific dates you’d like to advertise, and “One Time” if you only have one period of time available.

6. Pricing

Airbnb will suggest a price for your listing based on their algorithm. If it’s the first time you’re listing, Airbnb will suggest pricing lower to entice guests, who will then leave reviews and build your reputation. You can also set weekly and monthly prices if you are planning to have guests at your vacation rental for longer.

An Airbnb certified channel manager makes it even easier by automatically synchronising your availability and rates with Airbnb without making an account – all you need to do is opt-in with one click!

7. Overview

This is the title and summary potential guests will see when browsing. You only have 35 characters to make an impression in the title so use descriptive and appealing adjectives to entice guests. For the summary, you have 250 characters, so really try and sell your place as succinctly as you can. Feel free to use bullet points!

8. Photos

The optimal number of images for an Airbnb listing is 10 but you can add more if you like, as long as you make sure they are high resolution (around 1024 x 683px). Show a varied selection and showcase the best angles and rooms. Airbnb offer free professional photography sessions for properties that match certain criteria so make the most of the opportunity if you can!

9. Amenities & Location

Select all amenities that you have, from the essentials to the extras, so guests have a complete picture. Then, finish off your listing by inserting the address of your apartment or house. Don’t worry, the exact location won’t be revealed to guests until their booking is confirmed.

Vacation rentals on Airbnb – examples

Airbnb was designed with homestays in mind, which makes it the best OTA to advertise self-catering properties on. If you’re unsure what you need to include, here’s an example of a self-catering and vacation rental accommodation providers on Airbnb:

example airbnb listing of a vacation rental

As you can see from this example, the property has been listed with numerous high-quality images of the rooms, so that guests know exactly what they can expect when staying here.

How to advertise on Airbnb and increase my listings views?

Just like SEO for accommodation businesses on Google and other search engine results pages, Airbnb prioritises listings with the following:

Up to date calendar

If you stay on top of your availability, the Airbnb algorithm will promote your listing because it recognises that the host is active and responsive – which Airbnb likes. If this is too much effort, consider connecting to Airbnb with a channel manager, which will update your rates automatically and send you to the top of the list.

Accurate rates

You can use the property value calculator to work out how much to charge per room/place and Airbnb will suggest an appropriate price based on accommodation, amenities and location. To get chosen over similar listings, you’ll need to have competitive pricing, at least in the beginning while you accumulate reviews. As your listing gets more established, it’s good to bear in mind competitors pricing when deciding on rates.

One night stays

Airbnb like flexible listings (and so do their customers). If you don’t have a minimum night restriction, you’ll appear on more searches.

Word your listing carefully

Much like using keywords in SEO, think about the search terms guests might use to find you and include them in your description. You could include a landmark you’re close to or an aspect of your accommodation that guests might be looking for (e.g. outside space).

High-quality images

Make sure you have attractive images of your property, as Airbnb has a lot of competition and you need to look good to stand out. Airbnb offers free professional photography for properties in certain locations, or that meet certain criteria. You’ll attract more bookings by being well photographed anyway, but the Airbnb watermark on the pictures is an extra weapon to rank higher on Airbnb searches.

Instant Book

This, again, shows your listing is flexible and convenient for guests and will appear in more searches. You’ll also be able to access a demographic of guests who don’t want to wait around to book. For vacation rentals, this is a no-brainer!

Great reviews

Guests trust properties with more (positive) reviews so maximise good reviews by giving guests a great stay and promptly ask them to return the favour with a review.

Become a Superhost on Airbnb

Another way of how to advertise effectively on Airbnb is to take your hosting to the next level by earning a Superhost badge. To get the coveted Superhost badge read our, how to become a superhost on Airbnb detailed guide.

Additional Top Tip: Advertise on Airbnb + 150 more travel sites in 1 click with a channel manager

Airbnb Certified channel managers exist for a reason – so that they can be trusted to provide the optimal connection between Airbnb and your property. When choosing, see what information they synchronise with Airbnb, including:

  • Bookings
  • Availability
  • Rates
  • Images & Descriptions
  • Booking Policies

Whatever the style or shape of your property, a channel manager connected with Airbnb will be able to give you exposure – and bookings!

What is the best Channel Manager for Airbnb hosts?

Look for a channel manager that provides 2-way certified Airbnb connection, built on a reliable API – not just via iCal – that will bring you the following benefits:

  • Real-time property management
  • Instant updates of rates, availability, policies, photos & content
  • A simple commission model – no bookings = no costs!
  • One click opt-in / opt-out
  • Everything in one place, with automatic onboarding and updates

From the B&B Association, here is some practical advice to adhere to legal requirements for renting through Airbnb:

  • Get specialist insurance, as short-letting invalidates your buildings cover – leaving you with nothing but a mortgage to pay if the house burns down
  • Ask your lender’s consent. Not doing so is mortgage fraud and banks increasingly call in loans for unauthorised letting
  • If it’s a leasehold flat, check your building’s lease and ask consent from the freeholder
  • Tell the neighbours upfront and listen to their concerns about strangers bumping suitcases up the stairs at 1 am
  • As with a normal let, you need an annual gas safety certificate, safe electrics, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and fire safety measures. You also need an energy performance certificate if letting for more than four months
  • In London, you must have planning permission to short-let for more than 90 days a year
  • You can earn £7,500 a year tax-free under the HMRC rent a room scheme, but that applies only if you let out part of the house – not the whole place.

Now you’re equipped with the knowledge on how to advertise on Airbnb and won’t be confused about listing your property/ies on this large OTA channel.

So don’t miss the opportunity to gain great exposure for your serviced apartment or any type of vacation rental at a low cost. Opt into Airbnb via an Airbnb certified channel manager

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