Looking for the best Airbnb tips and tricks for hosts to make more money? We’ve got you covered!
So, you’ve decided to set up an Airbnb account and become an Airbnb real estate investor/host. And why not? Renting out on Airbnb has become a smart real estate investment strategy due to the high potential for making money. As a matter of fact, Airbnb rental income can be much higher than the traditional rental income in many cities in the US housing market.
However, as Airbnb’s popularity keeps growing with more people relying on it for accommodations when traveling, making money is actually one of the biggest challenges that most Airbnb hosts face. In addition, while some hosts make money, they never seem to be able to grow their revenue. Fortunately, it’s possible to significantly improve (and even double) your Airbnb rental income, but you need to be willing to invest not only your money but your time and hard work as well!
So, here are 20 Airbnb tips to improve your Airbnb real estate investment, impress your guests, and boost your bookings and revenue in 2019.
1) List on Airbnb All Year Long
If you own an Airbnb as an investment, you should try to make it available for guests all year round. Some Airbnb hosts tend to only list their vacation rentals at certain times of the year. This mistake leaves money on the table rather than in your pocket! To increase your Airbnb rental income, try to have the rental listed all the time, even during the low season. This will give you the chance to get the maximum Airbnb occupancy rate. You never know – sometimes short-term rental properties could have a high occupancy rate in seasons when you didn’t consider renting out.
Keep in mind that some states limit the number of days that investors can rent out their Airbnb investment properties. So, if you’re investing in Airbnb in a state where such limitations don’t exist (like Arizona, for example), renting out all year round is one of the smartest Airbnb tips to double your rental income.
2) Allow for Instant Booking
The next tip for making money in Airbnb real estate investing is to optimize the booking process for your guests. Today’s travelers are used to everything being direct – just as they book their flight with a click of a button, booking accommodation isn’t any different. This is why instant booking is convenient for them as there’s no waiting around for the Airbnb host to accept.
With instant booking, guests simply choose their travel dates, agree to house rules, and press the booking button for their payment to go through. Offering this is one of the best Airbnb tips for hosting as it’ll play a big role in increasing your conversion, and thus your Airbnb revenue. Moreover, this can also positively affect your search results as instantly bookable vacation rentals tend to show up first which allows you to stay ahead of the competition.
3) Attract Longer-Term Bookings
Every booking requires hosts to coordinate with guests, clean the rental unit, prepare for the next guest, and so forth. A one-night booking will require the same amount of work from you as a one-month booking. The difference in Airbnb revenue, however, is enormous! For one thing, booking several short-term stays a week can result in a pricey turnover as costs can quickly add up. Hosting a guest for months at a time, on the other hand, means less wear and tear and you’ll enjoy a more consistent rental income.
One way to attract longer-term bookings for your vacation rental property is to set a minimum stay requirement. Another option is to charge more for one- or two-night stays. For example, you can set your nightly rate on the higher end but offer a discount for weekly or monthly bookings. We discuss how to price your Airbnb investment property in more details below.
4) Accommodate All Kinds of Guests
You won’t make money in Airbnb real estate investing through exclusivity. If you limit the type of Airbnb guests you’re marketing to, you’ll miss out on a large source of Airbnb rental income. So, one of the best Airbnb tips and tricks for hosts is to make your rental property welcoming for people of any background. For example, some Airbnb hosts don’t welcome families with children and pets. By marketing your short-term rental to appeal to them, you can double your Airbnb rental income by charging higher nightly rates. And remember to make your openness explicit by including this in your Airbnb listing.
5) Accommodate for More Guests
If you’re investing in Airbnb property that is large enough, then one of our Airbnb tips for you is to host more guests. For example, renting the property out to 3 guests instead of 2 can effectively double your Airbnb rental income. This tip works best when it’s the peak season and the demand for vacation rentals is high. This, nonetheless, should not affect the quality of your guests’ stays. After all, you don’t want to get a negative review which will affect your occupancy rate.
6) Offer Experience in Your Local Area
Airbnb users are often looking for something more than just a place to stay while traveling. Airbnb’s co-founder, Brian Chesky, even said:
“Airbnb is about so much more than just renting space. It’s about people and experiences.”
Studies show that people choose Airbnb rentals over hotels because they don’t want a traditional trip. Instead, they want to:
- Immerse themselves in the local culture and behave like locals
- Look for more adventures when they travel
- Discover hidden local places rather than visit major tourist attractions
Therefore, you can boost your Airbnb occupancy rate, and thereby your rental income, by focusing on offering traveling experiences! For example, include in your listing that you provide a tour guide to your guests. This can attract more guests to book your rental property because you’re giving them a special experience in the city that they would otherwise have trouble discovering on their own.
To learn Airbnb trends and how to use them in your favor as an Airbnb real estate investor, read: What Will 2019 Look Like for Airbnb Real Estate Investing?
7) Optimize Your Airbnb Listing
Airbnb now has over one million listings in 190 countries. To start making money with short-term rental properties, real estate investors need to know how to stand out from other listings in their area and attract tenants from the get-go. There are a number of Airbnb tips to improve your listing, including:
- Write a great description that attracts people to the rental property
- Take high-end photos to showcase your vacation rental
- Highlight amenities and features that make your Airbnb rental unique
- Highlight features of the area like nearby activities and the types of experiences that guests could have there
Following these Airbnb tips makes your listing more likely to gain attention than those that simply list the property details. If you’re not sure how to start, check out the current competing listings of Airbnb rentals in your area and see what they’re doing right.
8) Use Professional Photos in Your Listing
One of the Airbnb tips and tricks for hosts to optimize their listings was to take quality photos. This tip is so important that it deserves its own section. In Airbnb real estate investing, photos can be the single most important factor for marketing vacation rentals and motivating guests to book a property. When you look at the top Airbnb listing, you’ll notice that they have high-quality photos.
In fact, the quality of photos on Airbnb these days are so good that in order to stand out from the rest, you might want to hire a professional photographer. While it might cost you, it’s definitely worth it when the photos capture the characteristics of your rental property and increase your Airbnb occupancy rate.
9) Charge the Right Nightly Price
Pricing Airbnb rentals can be somewhat confusing since a host can price it however he/she chooses to. To increase your booking and Airbnb rental income, you need to charge the right price that doesn’t drive potential guests away and allows for a profit at the same time. Our Airbnb tips to achieve this are to check out the pricing of other Airbnb rentals in the same location and to use the Airbnb Profitability Calculator.
Simply browse through different Airbnb listings on Mashvisor to see what other hosts in your area are charging for a nightly rate. Then, use Mashvisor’s calculator to account for your expenses and see what the optimal price for your Airbnb investment property is! To learn more about our tool and how to use it, read: The Airbnb Profitability Calculator: The Best Friend of the Short-Term Rentals Investor.
Click here to find Airbnb comps in your location for price comparison!
10) Have a Dynamic Pricing Strategy
Unlike traditional rental properties, the price you charge for rent shouldn’t be set-in-stone. Instead, your nightly rates should be adjusted depending on the season to attract guests all year round. For example, there might be opportunities where you can double your rent price for a higher Airbnb rental income! You can do this during the peak season or special events when the demand is high and charging more won’t affect your occupancy rate. On the other hand, when the demand for vacation rentals is low, it’s best to lower your nightly rate to attract potential guests. This is what we mean by a dynamic Airbnb pricing strategy.
11) Don’t Forget About Airbnb Reviews
Our next Airbnb tips for hosting are regarding reviews. First, remember to encourage guests (especially those who leave satisfied with the Airbnb experience) to leave Airbnb reviews. This will bring in more Airbnb rental income as more people will be motivated to book your rental once they read positive reviews. Second, don’t overlook or ignore Airbnb reviews left by your guests. Anyone investing in Airbnb property has experienced negative reviews – don’t let these discourage you! It’s still a good idea to dig into these reviews and identify if there are actual issues with your rental property and fix them.
12) Make Improvements to the Airbnb Rental
Some of our Airbnb tips and tricks for hosts, like this one, include spending money. Improving your Airbnb investment property can help it compete with others in the area and significantly increase your rental income. It doesn’t have to be anything major. A new carpet, fresh paint, and new floors, for example, can increase the quality of life in your property. Alternatively, consider redecorating the short-term rental to simply make it look better than its competition to attract more guests.
13) Go the Extra Mile When Stocking
Unexpected little touches to the Airbnb rental property can make a huge impact. Therefore, in addition to stocking the place with necessities, you should go the extra mile to make the most out of your Airbnb investment. For example, consider having board games, books, movies and entertainment options for your guests. Maybe leave a list of recommended restaurants or a chocolate basket in the kitchen. Many Airbnb hosts leave a bottle of wine left with a handwritten welcome note. Guests will appreciate the time you took to show them special attention and you’ll stand out in their mind.
14) Send Guests an Email Before Arrival
Another one of the best Airbnb tips and tricks is to simply email your guest a few days before arriving. Make the email personalized based on the information the guests have shared about themselves. Also, include a line or two describing the neighborhood, best places to eat, cafes, and activities recommended to check out during their stay. In addition, take this opportunity to ask if they’ll be driving to your Airbnb rental property. If they are, inform them about parking/parking restrictions in your area, if any.
15) Know When to Be Hands-On/Hands-Off
Many travelers love Airbnb accommodations because they like meeting local hosts as much as exploring the surroundings. Then again, there are other guests who would rather have the level of privacy they get at a hotel. So, one of the best Airbnb tips and tricks is to know which guests want which type of attention. Allowing for instant booking is a great way to help with that. If a guest books your vacation rental for a few nights using instant booking and you never receive an email from them, they likely don’t desire a lot of attention. On the other hand, if a guest books a two-week stay and reaches out for advice on activities and restaurants, consider meeting them and pointing them in the right direction personally.
16) Install a Lockbox or Keypad
Today’s Airbnb real estate investors (especially those who own an Airbnb property out-of-state) need to have a system to let guests into and out of the property. Even if your rental is next to where you live, what if your guests are running late or you aren’t available when they arrive? This is why one of the best Airbnb tips for hosts is to install a lockbox or keypad. This way, guests can check themselves into and out of the rental property and you don’t have to go out of your way to give them the keys. Plus, this allows you to charge extra!
17) Be Responsive to Guests’ Inquiries and Needs
Always reply to a guest who booked your Airbnb and sent an email asking a few questions. Similarly, you should be responsive when your guests make any special request during their stay. For example, if a guest loses a key, you need to have a plan for getting them a copy. Essentially, this ensures that you’re creating the best experience for your guest. As a result, this reduces the chances of them leaving negatives reviews. Happy guests = positive reviews which, as mentioned, are important for your Airbnb occupancy rate and rental income.
18) Hire Cleaning Services
Again, any real estate investor can double his/her Airbnb rental income by providing guests with a better experience during their stay. One way to do that is to keep your investment property clean and tidy all the time and between turnovers. Believe it or not, one negative review saying the rental wasn’t clean can damage future booking! So, next on our list of Airbnb tips is to hire a professional cleaning service. They’ll make sure your short-term rental property is always clean and ready for guests and will help your ratings go up. Though you’re paying for this, you’ll ultimately see a return on investment in the long run.
19) Consider Professional Property Management
If you’re struggling with managing your Airbnb for one reason or another, consider professional property management. These services are more than happy to take care of the finer details and raise the quality of guest experience to increase your Airbnb occupancy rate and rental income. They charge monthly fees, but that’s a small sacrifice for a higher Airbnb return on investment.
20) Think Like a Superhost
The Superhost program recognizes Airbnb hosts who have gone the extra mile for their guests. According to the website, a Superhost has a response rate of at least 90%, has hosted at least 10 trips, doesn’t cancel, and has at least 80% five-star ratings. Once you’ve achieved this status, your profiles get a Superhost badge. What’s special about that? Well, this gives you a higher competitive edge on Airbnb. Superhosts are also able to raise their nightly rate to maximize their rental income AND their occupancy rate is higher compared to regular hosts!
Can a real estate investor double his/her Airbnb rental income? Absolutely, but it’ll take time, energy, and a few adjustments. If you follow our 20 best Airbnb tips for hosting, you’ll soon see a significant boost in your Airbnb revenue in no time at all. Happy hosting!
Looking for your next Airbnb investment in the US? Click here to start looking for and analyzing the best investment properties in your city and neighborhood of choice.