I want to share with you the Airbnb host tips I’ve learnt over the past 10 years.
These tips will help you to:
And a whole bunch more.
Every tip you’re about to learn has been tried, and battle tested on hundreds of guests - and they work.
Implement one, or all of these proven tips for Airbnb hosts and let the results speak for themselves.
There’s a lot to get through, so grab yourself a beer, a cup of tea, or whatever your particular tipple might be, and let's go!
19 AIRBNB HOST TIPS TO GET MORE BOOKINGS, AT BETTER RATES - AND LESS WORK...
Everything on this list of host tips for Airbnb has been used and battle tested by me - and they work.
1. OPTIMISE PRICING
Without doubt the biggest, most impactful tip on this whole list is to optimise your pricing.
What does that mean?
It means creating an Airbnb pricing strategy, whereby you adjust the nightly price of your property to compete - and win - in your local market.
Competing for ever availability, and every date range possible.
Doing this manually is virtually impossible, and you’ll need a dynamic pricing tool to do it effectively (I personally use Wheelhouse for this), but it is an investment that’ll pay you back instantly so it’s well worth doing.
With an automated pricing tool in place, your listing prices will be optimised for the next 365 day time horizon, dynamically fluctuation to charge the best rates possible at all times.
2. OPTIMISE FOR SEARCH
Most people think it’s mere luck of the draw as to which listings place at the top of Airbnb’s search results.
But it’s not luck, in fact it’s a science in and of itself.
And a valuable science at that.
Put simply, listings at the top of Airbnb’s search results get more bookings at better rates than those that don’t.
So if getting more bookings at better rates sounds good to you, it’s something you’re going to want to pay attention to.
I’ve built a whole course teaching you the exact steps I use to rank number 1 on Airbnb here that’ll teach you how it’s done, but for the sake of this post just know that it’s something that:
a) you can impact.
b) something that’s well worth doing.
3. CANNED RESPONSES
Communicating with guests on Airbnb is a time consuming affair, that can soon become burdensome once bookings are flowing in regularly.
Many of these guest questions though, are asking the same things, time and time again.
So, rather than re-hashing the same message over and over, simply create a message template and save it as a canned response (a canned response is a pre-built message template) inside Airbnb.
Then, when a guest asks a question you’ve got a thoughtful, well written response at hand ready to send at the click of a button.
4. AUTOMATE CLEANER NOTIFICATIONS
If you outsource your cleaning, chances are that you’ve had mild, if not extreme anxiety that they’ll miss a changeover and your guests will be checking into a dirty home.
Firstly, this is definitely something you don’t want to happen.
And secondly, is easily avoidable with automated cleaner notifications.
With these in place, your cleaner will be notified by SMS and email at pre-set intervals before each check-in and departure.
To set up these automated reminders, here’s how:
5. AUTOMATE GUEST COMMUNICATION
We touched on canned messages a little earlier, and how they can save you a bunch of time, but now let’s step it up a notch.
Let’s do away with the manual approach, and let’s automate the whole thing.
Once set up, 90%+ of all guest communication will be automatically sent - and no, you won’t sound like a robot doing it.
Here’s how it’s done:
If you’re not sure what to write, when to send which message, and why - you can buy my personal templates here.
6. AUTOMATE GUEST REVIEWS
Over time, leaving guest reviews can become a little tedious at best. A constant niggle in the back of your mind that you know you’ve got to do, but keep putting off.
And, like a lot of monotonous tasks they can now be automated.
7. UPSELL DORMANT NIGHTS
Dormant nights are those pesky vacancies in your calendar, wedged between two bookings.
These dates are the hardest to sell by far.
So, why not try and upsell these dormant nights at discount to the guests already booked?
They win by getting a discounted extra night stay and extending their trip, and you win by selling the virtually un-bookable night.
8. DISCOUNT ADJACENT NIGHTS
Just like dormant nights above, the nights adjacent to your current bookings are immediately harder to sell.
Well, due to the way Airbnb’s search algorithm works, their orders of magnitude harder for guests to find.
A tip for increasing your chances of booking these nights is to systematically discount these nights.
This can be done manually by going adjusting the prices in your calendar, or can be done programatically using a pricing tool like Wheelhouse.
Setting it up automatically is simple, here’s how:
9. INCENTIVISE FOR THE RIGHT GUESTS
Not all the guests you host will be equal, with some less desirable than others - namely the party folk.
If you’ve got instant book switched on (which you should), then it’s very difficult to vet, and screen the guests before they book.
So, a sneaky tip for avoiding bad guests is to incentivise your booking flow for the right ones instead.
For example, if partygoers are only booking for Friday and Saturday night, why not try and incentivise pricing for 3 or 4 night stays to encourage a different clientele.
Simple pricing fluctuations like this can go a long way to attracting the right guests to your property, whilst simultaneously avoiding the wrong ones.
10. REMOVE DAMAGEABLES
All hosts have a certain pride in their homes, as they should, but that doesn’t mean you should decorate and furnish your property with expensive items that are easily damaged.
In my experience, if it can break, it will.
So if you’ve got anything precious that you can’t live without, be sure to remove it from your property, as your guests will undoubtably do it for you.
11. PREPARE FOR PROBLEMS
It’s not a case of if, but when, before something goes wrong in your property during a guest stay.
If you host on Airbnb for long enough, something WILL go wrong.
But that’s all part of the game, nothing to lose sleep over, but definitely something to prepare for.
So, rather than being reactive when things go wrong have a plan.
In short, don’t dig your head in the sand and just hope for the best as things will go wrong from time to time - guaranteed.
Instead, be prepared, have a plan for any/all eventualities and simply follow the procedure when shit hits the fan.
12. PREPARE FOR BAD REVIEWS (DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY)
I’ve heard many hosts over the years hold serious resentment, even completely remove their properties from Airbnb, all over negative reviews.
Look, people are people, and every now and then you’re going to get a nightmare guest, it’s just a numbers game.
My advice, don’t take it to heart, it is what it is.
Take any criticism on board of course, then let it go and move on.
13. CREATE A REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE PLAN
A stitch in time saves nine…
In other words, fix shit before it’s a problem.
I know first hand the downsides of putting off work, kicking the can down the road because I couldn’t face spending the cash on a job that didn’t really need doing.
The end result?
A massive job, with massive issues, that costs way more than it could have.
I learned my lesson though and I now have a regular maintenance and repair plan carried out quarterly.
Since implementing this system, yeah I’ve spent a bit of money up front, but all big jobs have been fixed before they got serious, and before they escalated.
14. INVEST IN HARD SYSTEMS
If you haven’t noticed already, I’m a bit of a systems guy/nerd.
As unattractive as it is (sorry ladies) I just bloody love ‘em.
And hard systems are my favourite.
Here are a few of my favourites:
I could keep going but you get the idea.
Think not just about aesthetics, but about the cost implications of wear, tear, and cleaning too.
15. AIRBNB WELCOME BOOK
You might not think it, but a guest specific Airbnb Welcome Book can be a great way to reduce guest questions during their stay (reducing your workload), but you can add a tonne of value to your guests too.
You can create a laminated Welcome Book and have it inside your property which is great, and you can even create a digital one too.
Either way, they’re a good thing to add to your property regardless.
16. LIST ON MULTIPLE CHANNELS
Did you know that it’s possible to list your property on multiple different platforms at the same time?
Think Booking.com, VRBO, Home Away, etc.
Well it is.
Whereas previously this was very, very, very hard to manage with multiple calendars and double bookings, now channel manager software can do it for you.
All that’s required is to go through the listing process on each platform then the system will generate a universal inbox with real time booking calendar, completely avoiding double bookings altogether.
Giving you the upside of a bigger, broader market, without the stresses of day to day running.
17. CREATE YOUR OWN BOOKABLE WEBSITE
If you haven’t noticed already, Airbnb’s fees have gone through the roof - up to 23% in some cases.
Now that’s a whole lotta money going out the door, that could be in your pocket instead, if you only had a way of booking in those guests outside of the platform.
That’s where having your own bookable website comes in.
Any/all bookings that come via your own system will put those same fees in your bank rather than Airbnb’s.
What’s more, it’s now really easy to do, with no tech experience nessasary.
18. ENABLE SELF CHECK IN
An oldie, but a goodie.
If you haven’t got the ability for self check in yet not only are you missing a trick as this is a feature that guests are actively looking for (not to mention will help with your ranking), but it makes your life way easier too.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just a basic secure lockbox will do.
But this little bit of kit will save you enormous headaches of meeting and greeting guests in the long run I promise.
19. CREATE A CLEANING CHECKLIST
In hotels they have cleaning checklists to ensure that every part of every room gets checked, cleaned, and ticked off.
You should have something similar too.
If you hire a cleaner this is something that you should definitely do, but even if it’s just for yourself, having a checklist will ensure that nothing gets missed, ever.
This list of Airbnb host tips is a compilation of everything that I’ve learned over the past ten years hosting.
It’s served me well in that time, and I hope it does the same for you.
You might not want to implement everything in this list and that’s fine, but if you do, I guarantee they’ll help.
Got any tips of your own that absolutely have to be on this list?
Let me know in the comments below.