Advertising a holiday home on Airbnb appears to have grown in popularity over the years. After all, Airbnb is one of the most popular internet marketplaces for short-term rentals. Being visible on their website has become nearly mandatory for hosts looking to increase their visibility and bookings.
However, some people do not receive the results they anticipated, which often leads to the question: What am I doing incorrectly, and what is preventing me from booking potential clients?
Understanding the most often made Airbnb mistakes might help you enhance your listings. When you know the errors to avoid, you'll be one step closer to increasing your bookings!
We've compiled a list of the top ten most common mistakes by Airbnb hosts in this article, so you can avoid and learn from them.
1. Uploading Incorrect Images
According to the National Retail Federation, 67 percent of clients place a premium on the quality of the product picture when deciding on and booking a vacation rental. Assemble a virtual tour of your holiday property to give your guests a sense of what to expect.
Here are some pointers for photographing yourself:
- Take high-resolution photographs: They should be at least 1024 x 683px, but if in doubt, use the largest photo size available in your camera's settings.
- Photographs of local activities: If one of the best features of your listing is its location, your consumers will want to know what activities are available in the surrounding region - imagine breathtaking views, beaches, theme parks, and tourist destinations.
- Hide anything that appears to be a tangle: Is it necessary to show them an overflowing kitchen trash can in your photographs? Demonstrate to your guests how they will find your establishment when they arrive; make it spotless!
- Get the lighting right: Whether you turn on lights or open shades, make sure your space appears bright and pleasant. Additionally, wait for a sunny day!
- Create creative captions for photographs: Forget about factual captions and instead compose a statement describing the experience your guests will have while staying at your rental. For example, rather than simply labeling the balcony shot "Balcony," you could say, "Relax and enjoy a bottle of wine on our balcony after a long day of sightseeing."
For a more extensive explanation, see our post on how to photograph your vacation rental professionally.
2. Incomplete Listing Data
Not being transparent about your listing is the easiest way to set your Airbnb experience off to a negative start. A deceptive description that presents an erroneous picture of your home will almost always come back to haunt you in the form of a negative review. You want your guests to immediately understand what to anticipate from your Airbnb once they arrive on your listing.
Inform them precisely of the number of rooms you have and what is contained in each, such as bed sizes. Inform your guests about the amenities, incentives, and facilities available at your property.
Set some limits or house rules if necessary. For instance, whether guests are permitted to bring additional visitors or pets, whether smoking is permitted, and whether any portions of the property are off-limits. Simply keep your listing description simple.
3. There is no established pricing strategy.
Your pricing approach must take into account the seasonal demand for your listing. Increase your prices in the following ways:
- Competition: The first step is to research your rivals; begin by searching for properties in your area that have the top reviews and are comparable to your vacation rental. Examine their rates and availability, develop a table to compare them, and estimate your listing's maximum annual revenue.
- Special occasions: Festivals, marathons, and conferences... exceptional events can bring you additional guests and allow you to charge up to five times your typical day rate. Make certain you research and plan for significant occasions at the start of the year. Additionally, you can boost costs a week before large events to accommodate last-minute planners — they typically have the most money to spend!
- Weekdays vs. Saturdays and Sundays: It's a truth that hotels are well aware of: guests travel more on weekends, and hotel rates should reflect this increased demand.
- Seasonality: Adjust your pricing to take advantage of your area's peak or low season to maximize revenues throughout the year.
4. Lack of Knowledge of Local Laws and Regulations
Due to Airbnb's rapid expansion, the legal environment in many states has gotten considerably harsher to govern rentals made through the platform. The government has gradually reacted to Airbnb's rapid rise in recent years by attempting to control its use. Several major US cities have already banned Airbnb.
However, the restrictions may vary by location and state. One error you should never make is failing to inquire about the legal laws applicable to the area you are renting. Determine whether you are permitted to rent at all on short notice, the maximum number of square meters that can be rented to visitors, and the permits required to rent.
As regulations differ significantly by state and city, do not rely on "it's ok" simply because you have friends who rent through Airbnb in another state.
Not being aware of the legislative landscape in your area when it comes to renting on Airbnb might be a costly mistake for hosts. Therefore, be sure to include taxes, licenses, and other laws. You do not want to find yourself with a large fine!
5. Ignoring Guest Reviews
Airbnb is built on visitor trust, best developed through guest reviews. Travelers rely on the advice of others to plan their vacations successfully. When potential visitors consider your property, they will always read evaluations left by previous guests.
Therefore, by providing a review for each guest, you will receive additional reviews in return. Not only will writing reviews earn future bookers' trust, but it will also increase your exposure. Your name and profile will display more frequently on the site, allowing more people to discover your property. In general, it will improve your search engine ranking.
Bear in mind that both guests and hosts must write reviews for either to appear. Once your listing accumulates reviews, bookings will begin to flow in more quickly! Additionally, it will enhance your bookings and help you establish your profile and reputation as a host.
6. Failure to Implement Security Measures
Naturally, trust between hosts and guests is critical to rent through Airbnb. Nonetheless, you should take the necessary security precautions to safeguard your safety and property and the safety and well-being of your guests.
Priority should be given to ensuring the safety of your guests. Consider taking easy precautions, such as installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, offering a first aid kit, and providing emergency contact information.
Even if you trust your guests, travelers will occasionally take advantage of this trust. First, you should draft a rental agreement contract and consider collecting a deposit.
Additionally, it is prudent to establish house rules and distribute them to guests for signature. Guests must follow these guidelines (e.g., no smoking in the apartment, no additional visitors, etc.) It will provide extra security and protection when renting out your home.
Additionally, you should avoid leaving valuables in your flat and take precautions to safeguard your rental from break-ins, mainly when it is vacant.
- Reliance on Airbnb Exclusively
The final and most common error that most Airbnb hosts make is depending solely on an extensive listing platform for rental income. Airbnb fees can add up over time; 3% (+VAT) for every completed booking and 6-12% (+VAT) per Airbnb guest. And it's likely to get more expensive over time. Utilize the Airbnb calculator to determine the actual cost of Airbnb.
Vacation rental managers may reduce their reliance on Airbnb and other large listing sites such as Vrbo and Expedia (don't miss this Airbnb vs. Expedia comparison). With the correct mindset, expertise, and tools, you can reclaim control of your business, diversify it, and produce your direct bookings to increase your earnings!
Therefore, how do you do it? Create your vacation rental website to get started. Create your website with Lodgable, and you won't need to worry about your lack of internet technological skills; it's as simple as making an Airbnb listing! There are modern styles to pick from, and you may customize every element to your liking.