Vacation rental owners are always working to stand out in the crowd. You know that travelers have dozens of rental options at their fingertips in any given location, so what does it take to make your short-term vacation rental rise to the top of the pack? Learning how to be a great AirBnB host doesn’t have to be a long, painful process.
We’ve compiled the top categories that guests are looking for when they scroll through sites like Airbnb or VRBO. These AirBnB host tips might be the level-up you need to garner a slew of new bookings for your vacation rental!
Provide the Comforts of Home
The majority of short-term vacation renters are coming to your area to visit local sights or to spend time with friends and family who live nearby. But that doesn’t mean they’re willing to skimp on the basics. There’s nothing worse than realizing your rental doesn’t have good wifi, or having to make a last-minute trip to the store to buy salt or toilet paper.
Fast WiFi with the password conveniently displayed
Simple, reliable temperature controls
Secure locks on all doors for peace of mind
Adequate parking accommodations for multiple vehicles
Well-stocked kitchen and bathroom with all the necessities
Access to appliances like laundry, dishwasher, etc.
Taking the time to think through these areas makes a huge difference to the guest’s experience, and while some travelers may not think to search for them, many Airbnb guests care about the details that will set your property apart and ensure their stay is a comfortable one.
Accommodate & Communicate
When vacationers are comparing properties, they filter the search results based on what matters most to them. Some of the first parameters generally include if they are traveling with children or pets, and if your rental isn’t family and pet-friendly your listing may not even show up in their feed. As the owner of a vacation rental, it makes sense to try to fit your property into as many of these categories as possible.
According to Boston Hospitality Review, listings that feature entire homes can be listed at 141% higher than shared rooms. When travelers are searching for the perfect short-term vacation rental, the “type of place” is the second filter they can add to their search results.
Along the same lines, many travelers may be more conscious of your cancellation and cleaning policies with pandemic health concerns so recently on their minds. Offering things like self check-in and flexible cancellation may keep your listing from being excluded from search results.
Owners who err on the side of more communication are always appreciated by VRBO and Airbnb guests. Be clear about your policies on things like extra cars, large gatherings, early check-in or late check-out, etc. so your guests can be confident that your property can accommodate their trip.
Create a Compelling Listing
The only way a potential renter can visualize what staying at your property will be like is through the photos, description, and reviews on your listing. Crafting an eye-catching vacation rental listing can push your property over the edge and keep you booked year round.
Invest in professional photos of your rental property
Take time to write a descriptive title and detailed description
Earn great guest reviews & respond respectfully to complaints
Leave Airbnb reviews for guests
Guests are looking for wonderful experiences. By using your listing photos and description to highlight the property’s best features, they can be confident in the kind of stay they are looking forward to. Be sure to include photos of the beds, living space, bathrooms, kitchen, and outdoor spaces. Is your Airbnb or VRBO property in a popular outdoor destination only steps from miles of gorgeous trails? Include a satellite image showing it’s proximity to the trailhead and don’t forget to show the stunning views! Your potential visitors want to see themselves taking advantage of everything your rental has to offer.
Perhaps most important to any vacation renter is the Airbnb guest reviews on your listing. Owners must be proactive about asking for great Airbnb reviews and responding to reviews that may be negative or bring up issues with their stay. A beautiful, descriptive listing will assure your future guests that this property is perfect for the vacation they are envisioning.
Feature Your Amenities
The most searched for amenities on for vacation rentals vary by location, but some of the top searches stay the same regardless of where the property is. If your rental has any of these features, make sure they are front and center in your photos, description, and official list of amenities!
A few stand-out amenities include:
Pool / Hot tub
Water / Beach access
The things that make your property unique will drive people to book it for their trip. So make sure to highlight the best things about your rental and give potential guests ideas of how they can use them. If you have a fire pit, provide roasting sticks for hot dogs and marshmallows. If you have a private boat dock, set Adirondack chairs out on it and suggest your guests enjoy their morning coffee on the water. Featuring the best parts of your vacation rental will give travelers a great idea of what their stay will be like.
Experiences Are Everything
Vacationers are in your area because of the local attractions, nearby activities, or people they know who live there. As a smart rental owner, you should take the time to find out what your visitors are doing during their stay and highlight why your property is the perfect place to enjoy that experience.
Make a list of things to do in your local area and add contact information for places you recommend, consider stocking supplies for some of the activities your guests might not be prepared for, and add details into your listing description sharing how close your property is to well-known attractions.
A great list might include:
Restaurants for family dining, fine dining, breakfast, and lunch
Maps of the best hiking, biking, swimming, and skiing locations
Museums, visitors centers, and historical sites
Amusement parks, local fairs or events
Your rental may be close to a popular location, or maybe you are in a lesser known vacation spot that still has great experiences to offer. Regardless, making it easy for your guests to explore the local area will make their stay a memorable one!
Many travelers are booking rentals as opposed to hotels because they can get much better space and amenities for a great price. Especially for families that may be looking at several hotel rooms that don’t include money-saving options like a kitchen or laundry services, the average VRBO or Airbnb price can oftentimes end up saving money in the long run.
How Much To Charge For Airbnb
When setting the price for your short-term property rental, be sure to do your research. The very first filter on Airbnb once a user has chosen location and dates is the price range. Your rental needs to be competitive with others in the area. While you can certainly increase your nightly rate for providing in-demand amenities, be sure not to price yourself out of a booking!
How Much Does Airbnb Take?
Previously, Airbnb would charge both guests and hosts a fee for using their booking platform. Before December 2020, hosts would pay 3% & guests would pay around 15 % of the booking cost. Now, Airbnb owners can expect to be charged an Airbnb service fee that is equal to 15% of the booking cost.
What Are Airbnb Fees?
Third-party services like Airbnb or VRBO often cause additional fees to be placed due to the cost to each property owner associated with each booking. Vacationers are increasingly aware of the extra Airbnb service fees and cleaning fees that get tacked on to their total, so be sure to scope out other listings nearby to compare where yours should fall.
Can I Increase Cleaning Fees to Cover My Airbnb fees?
In short, the answer is yes. As we mentioned above, property owners are needing to to keep their nightly rate reasonable and comparable to the local market, causing guests to wonder why airbnb cleaning fees are so high. This being said, we highly suggest using a professional vacation rental company. Using a popular, widely-known property management company (like Casago) will decrease how much you rely on pricey booking sites like Airbnb or VRBO by marketing your property and driving bookings through their own booking site. While property management companies also charge a fee similar to Airbnb, they take care of everything from cleaning & repairs to check-in and guest reviews. Many property owners find this the easiest approach, especially if they don’t have all of the extra time, resources, and contacts it takes to keep a property booked and profitable, year after year.
Beware: Airbnb Not As Advertised
In addition, some rental guests have found that the beautiful property described and displayed in their listing is not always accurate. Avoid this customer service nightmare by being very honest about your rental’s location, amenities, and condition– and pricing accordingly. Ensure images are updated and most importantly, of the property or amenities you are currently offering. Airbnb guests can request a refund if their VRBO or Airbnb was falsely advertised. There are always budget-conscious travelers who may be looking for the best deal in a desirable location and willing to compromise on other amenities in order to get a good deal. Becoming a Superhost on Airbnb will also help increase the trust of potential guests and the likelihood that they will trust your listing’s accuracy.
Make Airbnb Guests Happy: Use Property Managers
Owning a vacation rental and marketing it comes with unique challenges. If you love the idea of renting out your property but feel intimidated by the whole hosting process, using a trusted property management company like Casago is great solution that takes care of so much of the process for you! Not sure if property management is right for you? We provide no-obligation, free comprehensive rental evaluations in participating markets. We will give you all the insider market info you need to help make your decision and provide you with additional resources. Contact us online or call us at today at (877) 276-5745 to speak with a vacation rental property expert.