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Reach the top 1% of Airbnb hosts by reading these tips

Airbnb top 1%

Airbnb is continuing its drive to highlight the very best performing properties on its platform.

In addition to creating ‘Guest Favourites’, Airbnb is now showcasing which rentals are in the top 1%, 5%, and 10% on its site. It is also clearly revealing the worst performing properties by highlighting those in the bottom 10%.

This move would appear to favour hosts with a single or small number of properties as they tend to be the top performers on the platform.

But what can hosts do in order to create a successful Airbnb listing? We have compiled 12 top tips to help you optimise your listing and attract more guests.

1. High-quality photos

We repeat this in our free e-book for hosts and property managers, and talk about it regularly in the Holiday Cottage Handbook Podcast. The value of exceptional photographs for your listing is immeasurable. High-resolution, well-lit photos can significantly boost your listing's appeal. Showcase important spaces like the bedroom, living room, kitchen, and bathroom, and include exterior shots. Above all: hire a professional photographer. Remember, Airbnb (plus every guest) will judge your property by the quality of your photos.

2. Compelling title and description

Create a catchy title that highlights the unique features of your property and write a clear, detailed description that covers all the amenities, location benefits, and unique selling points of your property. If you need help, try using ChatGPT.

Airbnb top 1%

3. Accurate and detailed listing

Ensure all sections of your listing are filled out accurately, including amenities, house rules, and booking policies. Above all, be honest about your listing: always provide truthful information about your property to set the right expectations.

4. Competitive pricing

Research competitors by looking at similar listings in your area to gauge competitive pricing. Utilise dynamic pricing like Beyond (HCH sponsor) to adjust rates based on demand and seasonality.

5. Outstanding amenities

Offer essentials like Wi-Fi, toiletries, clean linens, towels, and kitchen supplies to make your rental a home from home. Extra features like a hot tub, fireplace, or free parking will make your listing more attractive. Allowing pets will ensure you appeal to a wide range of guests, while amenities like electric vehicle charging will really help you to stand out.

Airbnb top 1%

6. Guest communication

Respond to inquiries and booking requests promptly. Provide guests with clear check-in / check-out instructions and house rules. Find out why your guests are visiting your rental in order to deliver a tailored experience. Offer relevant upsells – starting with basics like early check-in / late check-out, and also equipment rental (bicycles, golf clubs, etc.), grocery shopping, and other special requests like personal chefs. You could also partner with local businesses, like restaurants, to offer discounts to your guests. Take your communication to the next level by using a digital guidebook from Orana Stay or Touch Stay (both HCH sponsors).

7. Positive reviews

Encourage five-star reviews by asking satisfied guests to leave them. Respond to reviews and address any issues mentioned to show you care about guest experience.

8. Cleanliness

Your rental needs to be spotless for every guest. Ensure your property is thoroughly cleaned before each arrival. Consider hiring a professional cleaning service for consistent quality.

Ensure your cleaners are fully trained on all aspects of your property. Make sure they understand they are the first line of defence and must report any issues as soon as possible and provide photographic evidence.

Airbnb top 1%

9. Personal touches

Small gestures like a welcome note, snacks, or a local guidebook can enhance the guest experience. Also, provide tips on nearby attractions, restaurants, and activities.

10. Update your listing regularly

Update your listing regularly with new photos, descriptions, and any changes to the property or amenities. Tailor your listing and prices according to seasonal trends and local events. Keeping your listing up to date and improving the photos will appeal to the Airbnb algorithm.

11. House rules and policies

Clearly outline your house rules to prevent misunderstandings. Consider offering flexible cancellation policies to attract more bookings.

12. Keep informed and engage with the local community

Take advantage of valuable free education from Holiday Cottage Handbook. Download our free e-book, sign up for the newsletter, listen to our podcast, and attend events like STR Zone. In addition, make sure to participate in local Airbnb host groups or online forums to stay informed and get tips from other hosts. Attend webinars, read blogs, and stay updated with Airbnb’s best practices and guidelines.

What other tips would you add? Let us know in the comments.


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