It doesn’t look like Airbnb is going anywhere. It is expected Airbnb will continue to grow and increase its occupancy rates as hosts are focused on improving conditions for guests and on making management easier for themselves. Concentrating on making these improvements and features to increase Airbnb occupancy rates can only mean one thing, Airbnb is going up.
What keeps it up . . . Airbnb Occupancy Rates
1. Don’t have an extremist price. The Airbnb occupancy rate and nightly rate are inversely related. Meaning even if you had the top Airbnb property, a point will come in which higher rates lead to lower occupancy and lower rates lead to higher occupancy. Therefore, making the most profit does NOT occur when you have the highest Airbnb occupancy rate or when you are charging the most. But keep in mind, for an entire property, the nightly rate you are charging should be more than what your daily rent would cost you. If you think you are charging too low, raise the rate by 5 -10% and see what that does to your occupancy rates. If you find that your Airbnb occupancy rate stays the same, then you are not charging enough. So charge more and enjoy the occupancy.
2. Don’t be boring during any season. Depending on the season, you could be jumping from a 35% occupancy rate to 95%. New Yorkers know what this is like; in 2015 the average occupancy rate was 50% in January and 76% in May. That roller coaster can be unpleasant. Generally, you want to raise prices during high season due to limited options and lower prices during low season due to abundant options. This will help you avoid taking a major cut during low season.
However, you should take advantage of all seasons in your area to ensure you are attractive yearlong, not just during tan season. How do you do that? There a couple things you can do:
- Offer some seasonal deals and packages
- Stay in touch with loyal or frequent customers and let them know about the special offers
- Highlight the off-season excitement; if December is during low season for your area, brag about the great New Year’s Eve parties
- Add some perks – like free breakfast
3. Don’t let your location suck. Be where the action is. If your property is in an area with a high demand, you have mastered “location, location, location.” Chicago, San Diego and Seattle are some cities with high Airbnb occupancy rates in different areas of the city and not just in the city center. Understand where and when people want to be and be there! If you’re not in an area near the attractions or in the city, then be in the optimal neighborhood. An ideal location is close to amenities and public transportation.
Still don’t have a good location? Then make your property be the best darn property out there, whether it has a lot of space, a great yard or a pool – whatever makes your location worthwhile.
4. Don’t count on quality reviews, count on quantity. Yes, you read that correctly. Good reviews are not exactly what get you occupancy, but rather, having reviews. Understanding more about how reviews affect occupancy rates is important. The more guests that have stayed at your property, the more people will have peace of mind when booking your property. You can increase your daily rate once you have lots of reviews and have had many bookings. This increases your SEO so people will feel comfortable picking your property. Encourage guests to leave feedback and write a review after their stay.
Above all, don’t forget about the little things that keep a visitor from coming again. A little touch goes a long way. Getting specific feedback from visitors is also very important because it helps your property improve in its own unique way. Airbnb is growing and will continue to offer helpful resources. Stay up-to-date and take advantage of such resources to make management easier.
What have you found helps you get high Airbnb occupancy rates? How do you deal with low season? How long have you been hosting for? When did you have the highest Airbnb occupancy rates?