By listing your house or apartment as a short-term rental (STR), you can earn an extra income throughout the year. Achieving a regular stream of visitors, boosting your rates and increasing your revenue, will make you save those dollars for your next vacation or house remodeling. You name it.
Optimize Your Listing
STR listing platforms, like Airbnb and HomeAway, thrive on data. Their algorithms are set up to sort through your listing and promote your property to users in the order they deem most relevant. You want your listing to have everything important in it, including keywords that users may be searching with. You will want to highlight your amenities and include points that show the special aspects of your property. It is important when optimizing your listing to approach it from the perspective of a guest. What words will they be using to look for places to stay? How can you best describe your location and make your accommodations clear? Take time to edit your listing, focusing on important data, or you might miss a lot of potential renters.
There are professionals that can help you optimize your short-term rental listing to make it more likely to increase bookings. You can sift through your listing and refine it yourself, or hire a professional to check it over for you. At OptimizeMyBnb.com, you can improve your listing to boost your bookings. Save time by having a professional edit your profile to land higher in the search results for platforms like Airbnb. The CEO & Founder, Daniel Rusteen was the 700th employee at Airbnb back in 2013. Since then, he is a Superhost, guest of 1.000+ nights, and property manager. He visualizes that:
“If you portray a 5-star experience and deliver a 4-star experience, you’ll receive a 3-star review”
From the number of guests, you can host to the amenities you can offer, make sure you aren’t selling yourself short. Why are people going to book your house or apartment over a hotel? Are they looking to save money or are they looking for a home away from home? Perhaps they want to be closer to a certain location or area of town. They may be looking for certain features, like a hot tub, full kitchen or larger common space.
The more you can charge for your location, the more your time and efforts will be rewarded. You want to price your space based on what value it offers:
- Price for the number of adults staying
- Increase prices for peak seasons as soon as guests are able to book those dates – don’t wait or they may get a very low price just by booking well in advance
- Hot tub (in Miami this can add over $80 per night), free parking (in LA this is worth around $15 a night), pool, and other important amenities
- If you want to charge for drinks (like a mini bar), you can make some extra cash by buying by the case and then charging per drink (just make those prices very clear)
- If you have great lighting or an ideal view, highlight that in the listing and let your renters pay top dollar for an Instagram-worthy vacation spot
Max Your Capacity
Can you add more sleeping spots? A pullout couch, futon, cot and airbed are simple ways to get more people into your space. Look for ways to make it possible for additional sleeping spots if families have extra children or laid-back groups that just want a place to crash. Clarify how many beds and how many unconventional beds you have on hand so that there is a clear picture of what guests can expect. Certain groups, like families and wedding groups, will just be happy they can find places to accommodate their larger numbers. While you might not be able to charge as much for each extra sleeping space that isn’t a true bed, you can still charge a bit more than you would have been able to without it. You will be more likely to book larger groups too, so the number of bookings you have throughout the year should be higher.
You don’t necessarily have to offer the full number of sleeping accommodations for each group. Instead, allow your guests to say how many extra cots or mattresses they need. Then charge a fee for each one. You or your Airbnb property management professional can simply deliver the needed supplies. This will cut down on laundry, while also allowing your listing to be more versatile for various group sizes.
Update Your Aesthetic
An updated look is going to attract more eyes. Use local décor to bring a charm to your space that appeals to those looking to vacation in your area. But don’t go crazy with themed décor–nice, simple white bedding and clean spaces are going to be most visually appealing. In most cases, you want bright spaces that feel inviting. Keep your spaces consistently decorated with the style of your home. Use the local pieces to accent walls or shelves, not take them over. Update your furniture and your guests will really notice the difference.
Any updates should be easy to maintain. You want to choose flooring, furniture and linens that are easy to clean and keep looking fresh. Go for quality to get a longer life for your items. Low pile carpet is going to wear better than a plusher carpet, but won’t clean as easily as tile. White linens might be harder to keep clean if they are cheaply made, but they will look fresher than colored linens and give a resort feel to your place. Don’t just toss in appliances or couches you no longer want in your own home; to get the most out of each booking, choose items that go with your space and splurge a bit to offer your guests true comfort.
Offer Loyalty Discounts
Long stays and regular visitors will save you money. Build in price breaks when your visitors add days to their trips and stay longer than a week. When you can get a full group that stays for an extended period of time, you save money on cleaning and you have fewer gaps between bookings. Having a new guest every day means seven times the cleaning of having a guest that stays for the full week. Not to mention, you have to worry about check-ins, check-outs, getting deposits and more. If a guest wants to stay over the same period of time every year, you should consider offering a discount for that as well. Things are easier when you can trust a loyal guest, plus you are reducing the numbers of days throughout the year that need filling.
With the right updates and listing, your rental property will be better prepared for an increase in guests. Save time and money by boosting those bookings and reducing your legwork.