Advertise your vacation rental on Airbnb the right way
With over 400m visitors in over 81,000 cities and 191+ countries, Airbnb have quickly become a leading source of bookings most favoured by families, young professionals as well as more adventurous travellers. Their market includes an ever-increasing audience eager to enjoy new accommodation experiences. Find out how you can market your vacation rental on Airbnb, increase your views on Airbnb and work with an Airbnb certified channel manager to put your property in front of a bigger audience of potential guests.
How do I advertise my property 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% – 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:
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’ drop down if you’re 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”.
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).
Doesn’t have to be a city, just wherever your place is.
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.
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!
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!
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 are some examples of self-catering and vacation rental accommodation providers on Airbnb:
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.
This property has signed up to Airbnb Plus, which acts as a verification of quality from Airbnb, who say:
“Airbnb Plus is a selection of only the highest quality homes with hosts known for great reviews and attention to detail. Every home is verified through in-person quality inspection to ensure quality and design. Just look for the PLUS badge. Thoughtfully designed homes. Exceptional hosts. Verified for quality.”
However, properties must foot the bill for this in-person inspection, which costs $149 (£123) per listing. So it might be an idea to consider whether this is truly worth it for your business.
Another downside to Airbnb Plus is you must agree to only list your property on Airbnb and nowhere else (besides your own website). This is quite a commitment and it might suit you to advertise on OTAs to access a wider audience, and a more varied clientele.
How do I increase my views on Airbnb?
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.
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.
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!
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.
How to become a Superhost on Airbnb
Another way of ranking highly on Airbnb is to take your hosting to the next level by earning a Superhost badge. To get the coveted Superhost badge, you need to do the following:
- Respond quickly
- Don’t cancel bookings
- Log into Airbnb everyday
- At least 80% 5 star reviews
- Host at least 10 trips a year
Advertise on Airbnb 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:
- 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!
Best Channel Manager for Airbnb
- 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
Legal advice for renting through Airbnb
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 1am
- 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 to advertise on Airbnb and you won’t be confused listing your home on Airbnb.
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 in to Airbnb via an Airbnb certified channel manager today!