A crisis will often come from out of the blue. And in the case of the Coronavirus, it will likely mean many canceled bookings, refunds, and an empty calendar.
So what can you do to turn things around and fill your calendar back up? We will let you in on some secrets of the trade and show you how to promote your listing.
HOW DO I ATTRACT MORE GUESTS ON AIRBNB?
First things first. You have to make sure your listing is up to scratch. Now more than ever you need to have good quality photos and a well-written description.
Once your listing is looking appealing to guests, then you can start to run promotions or add weekly/monthly discounts. So let’s get started and get your calendar filled with new bookings.
The main parts of your listing that you have to get right is the title and the display photo. If these aren’t done properly, your listing will be overlooked time and time again.
TITLE, PHOTOS & DESCRIPTION
Having a quality listing has never been more important. With so many listings all becoming vacant at the same time, competition has never been as fierce.
To get the edge you have to make sure your listing is fully completed and looking polished. Here are the key areas you must have completed:
Photo Captions – Not having captions under each photo is like taking a guest on tour with no tour guide. So make sure you have captivating captions that set a scene within each room. Eg. For a photo of a cozy fireplace, you could write – Enjoy your morning coffee by the fireplace
Summary – The summary section is what a guest will read first. We call it the first impression section. You have 500 characters to wow and impress your guests, so showcase all the best features and amenities here. Then go into more detail in the main description.
Amenities – When in a crisis, guests will be looking for a comfortable fully stocked listing. So try to get as many amenities ticked off the amenities list as you can. This will appeal to a broader range of guests.
Main Title and Display Photo – During a crisis, this is where you need to shine. Your title needs to attract guests now more than ever. So if you are offering a discount, add this to the title. Eg – Self Isolating Apt w/ 40% off for 14-day bookings. You could also edit your display photo showing the discount as well.
RUN WEEKLY/MONTHLY DISCOUNTS
Applying a discount to your listing will definitely set you apart from the other listings within your search. During a crisis, guests will more than likely be displaced and need somewhere to say that is more long term.
To set a weekly or monthly discount
- Choose the listing you want to apply the discount to
- Click on pricing
- Scroll to a length of stay discounts and hit edit
- Apply either a weekly, monthly or custom discount.
- In the case of self-isolation, a custom 14-day discount would work well.
- The new discounted prices will be shown
- Hit save and then start promoting your discount.
Use New Airbnb Promotion
Airbnb has just released a brand new feature to promote your listing and it is already getting fast results. The promotion is fully customizable and offers four levels of promotional perks depending on how much discount you offer.
The perks are designed to make your listing stand out
10% OFF – New line item on price breakdown
15% OFF – Strikethrough styling on search pages and your listing
20% OFF – Special callout on your listing page
25% OFF – Placement in emails to guests
At 10% off you only get the one perk, but as you increase the discount, you also increase the number of perks. So at 25% off, you get all of the promotional perks to maximize your exposure.
So what are these perks and how will they help to promote your listing?
Newline item on price breakdown
When a guest clicks on your property they will get a breakdown of costs which currently includes all fees, taxes and the nightly rate. With this perk, there will be a new line
added with the amount of discount the guest will receive from the promotion.
Strikethrough styling on search pages and your listing
This perk is simple – yet very effective. It will make your listing look different to others and stand out in the search results. It will be displayed with the price struck out and the new cheaper price shown next to it.
Special callout on your listing page
With this perk, you get a callout on your listing page showing how much of a good deal the price is. It could be something like “This is a good deal” or “Great price”. Following that is the amount of discount you would be getting, a great incentive for a guest to book quickly.
Placement emails to guests
The top perk will get your listing included in an email that Airbnb sends to guests. These emails are targeted to users that have been searching in your area and haven’t booked yet. This is a huge advantage over your competitors and well worth the extra 5% of discount.
How to run a promotion
To run a promotion, simply click on “promote your listing” that you will find on your calendar page. (not available in all countries)
Then select which dates you would like to run the promotion for by clicking on the start and finish date on your calendar.
Next, you choose the amount of discount you would like to apply to your base price. Remember to disable any other discounts you may have like the early bird, weekly or monthly as these will factor in as well.
The select run discount and your promotion are automatically applied. If at any time you want to change the price of the promotion, you must delete the current promo and start again.
After 3 days of running the promotion, you will have access to a page that shows the promotion performance. From here you can adjust your pricing and see which perks are working for you.
USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO PROMOTE YOUR AIRBNB
The two big guns of social media are Instagram and Facebook. Having your Airbnb linked to these two platforms could potentially bring in a lot of business if done right.
HOW DO I PROMOTE MY AIRBNB ON INSTAGRAM?
Instagram is a great way to advertise and promote your listing, especially if it is stylish or unique. And as you may have guessed, this way of promoting is all about photos and more importantly, hashtags.
Let’s take a look at this Airbnb listing in Ohio who advertises a beautiful heritage cottage. They have utilized Instagram to showcase their property throughout the seasons with artistic and unique photos.
Step One – Your first step will be to set up an Instagram account and choose a username. This needs to relate to your Airbnb. Use a combination of your street name, number, city or something related to your Airbnb. Don’t forget to add the link of your Airbnb to your bio, a very important step.
Step Two – Now you have to get snapping. Take lots of photos of your property, inside, outside, the decor, the neighborhood and the views from out the window. Get creative, make people fall in love with your space and want to stay there. If you’re not sure what photos to take, have a look at other Instagram accounts for inspiration.
Step Three – Know your hashtags. Hashtags are your key to getting followers and views and they help to find your target market. In the example below, you can see they used many hashtags that mention Airbnb. They also mention tags like vacation rental, getaway and explore Ohio.
Step Four – Network and grow. Now that you are set up, it is time to find other businesses in your area and follow their page. If a restaurant in your area posted a delicious meal, repost it to your page. Your potential guests will see these local posts and be even more tempted to stay.
HOW TO ADVERTISE MY LISTING ON FACEBOOK
Advertising on Facebook is another great way to promote your listing. You are able to run targeted ads that are quite cheap as well as advertise your own promotions on your feed.
You can also set up a call to action buttons on your Facebook page that takes visitors directly to your listing. As you can see above, the cottage in Ohio has set up a page with their own Book Now button.
Step One – Make sure you choose to set up a Page directly from your own Facebook account. To do this, click pages on the left-hand side and then select Create New Page.
Step Two – Next you will have the option of choosing to set up a Business or a Community. Select Business.
Step Three – Enter in your details including the address and what category you want your page to go under. You can choose a Bed and Breakfast or Hotel and Lodging, either is fine.
Step Four – Choose a profile photo and a cover photo for your page. See the above example of what this will look like.
Step Five – Now its time to customise your page and add some posts about your Airbnb. Similar to Instagram you can add your favorite photos and link them back to your listing.
Step Six – Now that your page is set up its time to publish lots of posts. Post about Airbnb and whats going on in the area. Then, once your feed is full of posts about your Airbnb, its time to start running targeted ads.
You can also ask your guests to like your page and upload any photos they may have. Then your guest’s friends will see how amazing your place was and book it as well for their next trip.
LIST ON OTHER PLATFORMS FOR MAXIMUM EXPOSURE
Another way to soften the blow in a time of crisis is not to have all your eggs in one basket.
For example, Airbnb refunded 100% of all canceled trips due to the Corona Virus leaving hosts massively out of pocket… While HomeAway/VRBO gave hosts the decision to give a full refund, half or nothing.
Another reason to list on other platforms is for maximum exposure. While Airbnb may be the most popular, sites like HomeAway/VRBO and Booking.com still get a huge amount of traffic.
HomeAway/VRBO syncs seamlessly with Airbnbs calendar making it easy to run both platforms at the same time.
If you get a booking on Airbnb, the HomeAway/VRBO calendar will sync up within minutes. They are also the second biggest short term rental platform and offer lower fees.