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Month: November 2019

How To Keep Your Airbnb Booked

be aware

Now you think you’ve mastered Airbnb; your rental is booked more than 50% each month and your making more money than you ever could renting your property on a long term lease.

Ever thought about how your competitor is doing?

Well, if you didn’t, your like me.

When I first started I really didn’t care about what my competitors were doing until I noticed the number of inquirers starting to slow down.

I started to wonder if everyone in my area was having the same issue, so I checked their calendars on Airbnb. It turned out two had fewer bookings than me but two of them had more!  I quickly read through their listings to see what they were offering that I wasn’t. Here’s what I found: 

  1. Lower Rental Prices – I found that one person had dropped their prices exactly $10 less than my own nightly prices. You might think just a coincidence but it is highly impossible. You see I have seasonal prices. He used the same seasons and was exactly $10 less for each season. I was by no means going to drop my prices and start a price war with this guy. Plus I knew my rental’s worth. You should never sell yourself short. 

  1. Amenities and Photographs– Now the second person was a lot more interesting. This place looked like a page out of a home décor magazine! Not only that but they were $25 more per night than I was. It doesn’t stop there. They offered a lot more “help not sell”. The rental came equipped with  beach towels, kids toys and DVD’s. I came to the realization that I was now dethroned and hadn’t even realized it. Lol.

But seriously, the most important thing I learned from this exercise was that you have to think of ways to improve your listings appeal to guests. 

Pricing was not an option for me but I found the “help not sell” idea perfect. 

So, how are ways you can use the “help not sell” strategy?

  1. Personalize the guest experience. How would you do this? Lets say a guest has advised they are coming for a honeymoon or birthday. You would personalize the experience by putting a few balloons in the unit or a bouquet of flowers or a few cupcakes or using your relationships gained to get a free dinner for two at a local restaurant etc. Nothing too costly but it lets your guest know you appreciate them and creates a great first impression. 

  1. Provide additional items in the unit. Examples of this would be sewing kits, car seats, beach equipment(if your property is located near a beach), video games etc. Believe it or not I have even seen some property owners have a car to use included as an amenity.

  1. Team up with businesses in your area. Start building relationships with various businesses in your area. Reach out to them and explain to them the potential business you can bring their way and how you would like to partner with them. Through this partnership negotiate discounts and added bonus incentives for your guests.

Now that you have done all this hard work you must get your potential, past and current guests informed about the added benefits of booking with you. 

How do you let guests know about these additional benefits that come with booking your property?

Here are a few ways you can do this.

  1. Include these benefits in your description 
  2. In your listing photos create one dedicated to promoting these benefits
  3. In your listing’s title include a benefit that you know would be highly valued 
  4. Email newsletters to all past guests informing them of these new benefits

Guests will greatly appreciate this added touch. As it saves them money and time which equals more time to enjoy their trip and gets you as the host better reviews! 

Always think of ways to improve your guest experience and don’t be afraid to watch your competition. At the end of the day this is a business and that’s what competition is all about. Adding value for guests by “helping not selling” and then making your guests aware is a strategy that will keep your unit booked!

 

Guide|Decorating Your Airbnb

When I first decided to start my vacation rental business I was torn as to what theme I would go with when decorating my rental. 

An avid HGTV watcher, I had somehow convinced myself I was a professional decorator. I considered myself a mixture between Chip and Joanna’s rustic style coupled with Property Brothers modern flair.

 One thing I learned from watching these shows was that you must design and decorate the property to compliment the environment it is in and the emotions of its potential owners/renters. 

Here are a few tips to guide you when decorating your Airbnb:

1. Color Scheme: My first step in decorating is coming up with a color scheme for each room. This sets the mold for everything. Think about which colors will photograph best and what colors compliment your outside environment e.g. I find the most popular colors for beach destinations to be teal, yellow, orange, green and nautical blue. These colors pop out at you in photos unlike dark colors such as dark brown or black. Stay away from dark brown and black!!

2. Floor Plan: Find a free floor plan software or draw it out on on a piece of paper. If you go the paper route just ensure you measure the max space for each furniture piece and if possible tape an outline on the floor to give you a feel. This doesn’t have to be sophisticated but you want to make sure you utilize the rental space available as best as possible without crowding the space.

3. Budget: Finding reasonably priced furniture that are both durable and stylish is almost impossible. I have one word for you, IKEA! This place sells it all, from pot sets to bedroom sets. There is one caveat, these are ready to assemble furniture so you must be good with reading instructions and using an island key. You can also find good buys at local thrift stores, HomeGoods or even Amazon. Its going to take time but the finds will be worth it.

4. Accent Pieces: Puts the icing on your rental! I love faux plants, large statement wall paintings, accent walls and a definite must haves are accent pillows. I call these the “instagrammable” items. These items give your rental character and sets it even more apart from your competitors.