Did you know that a mere 6.8% of all Airbnb hosts become Superhosts? As it turns out, there are a lot of commonly made mistakes which the remaining 93% of hosts make that results in them failing to maximize their occupancy rate by as much as 99%. The opportunity cost of not maximizing your host potential is substantial. With this in mind, we’ve decoded the top 8 mistakes that hosts make which are preventing them from unlocking their full hosting potential.
A lot of hosts rush their listings and it ends up costing them a lot. While you may want to get your listing out there as quickly as possible so you can start booking guests, it’s much more important to ensure that your listing is complete and the information well thought out. Make sure your calendar is updated, your prices are reflective and competitive for your area, you’ve included a full list of all the amenities in your listing, updated your guidebook and chosen the perfect photos. Only then are you ready to activate your listing!
Would you start a business without a financial plan and strategy? Likely not so why would you do this with your Airbnb listing? Running an Airbnb business can be complex when it comes to pricing your listing correctly. You need to ensure you understand the nuances of pricing subtleties. The biggest mistake you can make is to keep your pricing the same all the time. Weekends, holidays and special events require higher pricing than weekdays. Depending on your location, certain months will support higher pricing compared to other months. A ski chalet in the winter will command high prices whereas, in the summer and fall, the pricing needs to be priced down to stay competitive. Be responsive and adjust prices regularly, especially if you notice that prices are fluctuating up or down in your area. Another bonus to changing and updating your prices regular is that it improves your Airbnb SEO.
Being a great Airbnb host is all about hospitality. You need to ensure your answers to your guests are prompt and clear. But you can’t just stop there. To be a great host, you need to go the extra mile – surprise your guests in a way that will blow them away. Leave a nice bottle of wine and/or fresh flowers. Add a welcome card to the arrangement with a customized message and your guests will start their trip with a great impression. Your guest coming for an anniversary or birthday? Surprise them with a small cake or a box of chocolates. These are the things that make you stand out as a Superhost, not just another Airbnb host.
Know your competition and adjust your listing accordingly. Is there something your competitors are doing that guests love? Adopt their strategy and add your own personal twist to it. Do you know how much your competitors are charging? Do they have a higher cleaning fee or other additional costs in their listing? Perhaps they offer more perks such as free breakfast, a transit pass or a case of beer for each guest. Know exactly how you stack up against your competition and use that information to be a better host.
Pictures sell – it’s that simple. When guests can’t see your listing in person, they are completely relying on your photos to determine if your listing is the right place for their stay. Bad photos result in low occupancy and no photos mean you likely won’t get any bookings. Airbnb offers free photography services to Airbnb hosts in most cities. If your city doesn’t have it, it’s still worthwhile to have professional photos of your listing. There is an upfront cost but you will quickly realize that your investment in the photos will result in returning your money many times over when you start getting more bookings.
Airbnb allows hosts to use many filters to control who books with them. Unfortunately, not all hosts use these tools despite how useful they are. Maximize your bookings by setting a 3-day minimum stay so that you don’t have a situation where a guest books a 1 night stay on Saturday, leaving no chance for Friday through Sunday to be booked, especially during long weekends and holidays. This is an important tool to help prevent inefficient bookings.
There’s a reason that professional services for Airbnb exist – they’re professionals. That means they will provide their services based on professional standards. One of the most common mistakes an Airbnb host makes is when they start cleaning their listings on their own. Chances are, they likely won’t clean as quickly or as thoroughly as a professional will and this will likely affect a guest’s experience at their listing.
There is so much you can outsource and relieve yourself of the headache of dealing with – cleaning, key exchange and trying to manage multiple listings on multiple platforms. AirGMS Vacation Rental Management Software provides a comprehensive means of handling your communication with guests, scheduling cleanings and much more. It is an integrated Airbnb management software which allows hosts to manage multiple Airbnb accounts easily and hassle-free. So save your time for drinking margaritas or doing Netflix marathons and manage your Airbnb accounts easily.
Don’t be embarrassed to ask for reviews. Guests are much more likely to leave a review if you ask them to. If your guests have a great stay, they are even more likely to leave a review without you asking, which is why it’s critical that you go above and beyond for your guests. Of course, the very worst thing you can do is not ask for a review.
These are by no means an exhaustive list of mistakes that hosts make. We hope that by sharing the most common ones, you can avoid the pitfalls of these mistakes and become a better host so that you can maximize your bookings.