From No-Go To Superhost: How To Make Your AirBNB Stand Out

by Aug 27, 2021Marketing, Vacation Rental Pricing

AirBnB is becoming more crowded and competitive every day. Follow this must-read survival kit to overhaul your entire listing and make your AirBnB listing stand out and bring in serious extra money.

We’re going to cover three distinct pillars to making your listing pop:

  • Top 6 Ways to Stand Out Overall
  • Photo Overhaul Checklist
  • Description Overhaul Tips

Let’s dive in.

Top 6 Ways to Stand Out Overall

Standing out is a mindset. Don’t just “fill out” the blank spaces on your listing– approach this with the intention of grabbing people’s attention and keeping it. Here are the things you need to keep in mind as you overhaul your listing and make it stand out.

1. Be the First to Reply

This is listed first because it is arguably the single most underrated thing you can do to stand out (and it’s simple and free).

When potential guests are looking at listings, they’ll often send messages to a handful of rentals they’re interested in. People are trying to lock in their accommodations and check it off of their to-do list. If you’re able to reply quickly and answer any questions they have, you’ll get more bookings just by sheer virtue of being the first person to reply.

Be sure to have the AirBnB app on your phone, and turn on notifications so you can reply quickly from anywhere.

Also, in your reply to any booking inquiries, be sure to ask a follow-up question to keep the conversation going and build rapport. For example: “Have you ever visited Cape Coral?” If the answer is yes you have something to make small talk about, if the answer is no tell them what a great time they’re going to have.

2. Keep It Real

This may seem simple, but too often people writing their AirBnB profiles feel the need to exaggerate and oversell themselves. Be 100% candid, and focus on the best elements of your rental property. If you stretch the truth about anything it will likely come out anyway… in the form of a negative review.  Managing expectations is a crucial key to getting your Superhost status.

3. What Makes You Unique?

What are the things that set you apart from other rental homes? Do you have an amazing location? Do you have gorgeous interior decoration and top-of-the-line furniture? A dedicated game room? Make a list of at least one (but preferably two or three things) that you can boast about and be sure they’re highlighted in your listing (more on that later).

4. Stories Stand Out

The human brain is naturally drawn to stories and is wired to remember them much better than facts. Stop thinking of this as a “listing”, and start telling your guests the incredible story of their stay with you. For example, don’t just say “close to downtown.” Instead, say “you’ll love exploring the amazing downtown shops that are within walking distance.” Don’t just say “beach access”, instead say “you’ll soak up the sun at your whim with direct access to the beach.”

When you start telling the guests the story of their stay, they’ll start visualizing it.

5. Don’t Overlook Your Host Profile

People want to know who they’re renting from, and a cardinal sin of many vacation rental owners is that they have a wonderful listing of their property, but their personal host profile is barren.

Be sure to have a great photo of yourself (in which you’re smiling), and don’t skimp on the specifics of who you are. If you love jazz, have a sweet spot for coffee or a healthy addition to golf, put that in your profile.

Use at least 50 words, and remember that you want potential guests to trust you as an AirBnB host, so it’s important that you formally verify your listing .

One warning: avoid any polarizing details such as your political leanings or other things that might turn guests off.

6. Superhost Status is King

As the title of the article says, our goal is to help you earn your status of AirBnB Superhost in the eyes of AirBnB. This is a seal of approval that shows that your customers love you, and that AirBnb trusts you (in fact, some travellers will only stay in listings that have achieved Superhost status).

This isn’t something you apply for– once you meet the criteria, AirBnB will update your status during one of their quarterly assessments (they do this check every three months on January 1st, April 1st, July 1st, and October 1st).

Here’s what they’re looking for:

  • 10 completed trips OR 3 completed reservations that are at or over 100 nights total
  • You have a response rate of 90% (or higher) to customers
  • Have a 1% cancellation rate or lower overall
  • Have a rating that’s 4.8 or higher

So how do you hit those stats? Keep reading, and we’ll walk you through several more ways to improve your listing to stand out and book more trips.

Photo Overhaul Checklist

Photos are critical to making your booking stand out from the rest, and if your property doesn’t look amazing, most folks won’t even bother to look at the rest of your listing.

Here’s your photo overhaul checklist to give your listing a facelift and book more AirBnB rentals:

  1. The more photos the better– no less than 10 photos (at least one for each room)
  2. Take photos of your amenities (bikes, beach chairs, etc)
  3. Make sure your photos are in focus
  4. Take the photos during the day, sunlight will make them pop
  5. If there’s no natural light present, have as much light in the photo as possible
  6. Turn off your phone’s flash, it’s not flattering at all to the space
  7. Don’t try any fancy angles, the phone should be level with the floor
  8. For camera height, stay eye-level or higher (always include the tops of beds, tables, and counters)
  9. Try a mix of holding your phone in portrait and landscape mode and see what looks better for various locations
  10. Never use a portrait photo (up and down) in your listing’s grid or it will get cut off
  11. Don’t hold the phone over your head, photos tend to be crooked and out of focus, and have an unnatural perspective
  12. Choose a focal point of the picture (beds in a bedroom, couches in a living room)
  13. Don’t show any clutter or messes, the photos need to look pristine
  14. Show spotless pictures of clean bathrooms– people love this
  15. Include close-ups of beds showing clean bedding with your bedroom photos
  16. Take outdoor photos about an hour before sunset for perfect lighting
  17. For outdoor amenities such as pools, patios, and porches, be sure to include photos
  18. If you don’t have outdoor amenities (such as a pool), photos of the front of the home, and the backyard should still be included
  19. You don’t need pictures of the neighborhood, focus on your listing
  20. Never include photos of yourself or other people, your guests want to imagine themselves at your rental

BONUS TIP: Don’t use lackluster photo captions! People tend to shortcut this part, and it’s a critical mistake. This is powerful real estate you can use to set your listing apart. Use descriptive words and give details. For example, when listing a bed, a caption could be: “A luxurious, king-sized bed with a top-of-the-line Tempurpedic mattress.”

Description Overhaul Tips

We’re going to give you some secret sauce to overhaul your description to get the most bookings possible. Keep the following things in mind to make your guests feel like your listing is special:

Make Your Title Pop: Capitalize every word, and mention some amenities “Beachside Apartment with Jacuzzi and Home Theater”

Space is Limited: AirBnB gives you a certain amount of space to write your description, so make every word count.

Think About Your Guests: Ask yourself “what would I be looking for if I was renting?” and mention those things in the listing

Call To Action: Actually asks your potential guests for the business at the end of the listing by including language like “book with us now” or “contact us today to secure your reservation.”

Follow This Structure:

  1. Intro – Pack this with everything that makes you special (but abbreviated)
  2. Describe Each Room – Short paragraphs that talk about anything special (blackout blinds, smart TV, views, etc)
  3. Outdoor Info – Have a patio? A Garden? A jacuzzi? Swingset? List it here.
  4. Overall Location/Area – Give an overview of the area including great restaurants or other must-visit places

Pricing Hack: If your listing is new, this trick could work to get you bookings fast. Price your location way cheaper than surrounding competitors (up to 50% off) starting out. Once you get 3-4 reviews (or an abundance of booking requests) you can start raising the rates slowly.

Let Us Help With Optimizing your AirBNB Listing

Whether you need help creating an Airbnb listing, guidance on how to book more short-term rentals or want to be completely hands-off, we can help.

Let’s talk about how we can make your listing stand out today.

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