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Over the past decade or so there has been a massive boom in the home-sharing industry. What that has meant for hosts, however, is higher competition. As a result, many owners – especially those located in popular tourist areas – struggle to maintain high occupancy rates. As a short term rental host, you want to maximize your bookings while you’re away, otherwise it’s not worth the investment. And right now, during the coronavirus pandemic, your Airbnb calendar is probably really hurting for bookings. Here are a few ways to improve your Airbnb occupancy rate and maximize your ROI.
Be flexible with your rates.
Hotel rates during peak season are always much higher than other times of the year. For instance, a weekend stay in a Colorado ski resort during the winter would likely cost a lot more than a stay during the summer. You can use this same tactic for your short term rental. This will allow you to collect a higher rate during seasonal peaks and then reduce your rate to attract more stays during non-peak times. This will maximize your occupancy and even out your profits.
Showcase your amenities.
Most Airbnb guests aren’t just looking for a place to stay. They’re looking for that home-like appeal. Otherwise, they’d just book a hotel room. You can improve your booking rate by really showcasing the amenities and other perks that make your property such a great place to stay. Do you have a business center or a home that’s kid or pet-friendly? Do you offer complimentary late checkout? It’s often the little things that really add up to stronger occupancy rates (and a booked Airbnb calendar), so focus on the details and make them clear in your listing.
Collect positive reviews.
Your reviews are your lifeline as a short term rental host, regardless of whether you use Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway or some other platform. These are what other potential guests will go on when deciding whether to book with you. Logically, the more positive comments you have from happy guests, the better, so focus on delivering the best possible experience to each and every guest. Again, it’s the little things that can really make a difference to getting bookings on your Airbnb calendar, so go above and beyond whenever you can.
It’s not uncommon for a potential guest to compare multiple properties and send questions about each. This is a great opportunity for you to demonstrate how much you value your guests and how seriously you take their business. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a guest book with me because I responded to their inquiry right away. I know there’s a good chance those guests were looking at other Airbnbs as well, but because I was responsive and attentive, I beat out the competition and won their business. You can do the same.
Keep in touch.
Never underestimate the value of a past guest. Not only does this segment represent the opportunity for future repeat business, but they could also be a great source for word-of-mouth referrals. Stay in touch with your prior guests. It could be as simple as sending a note to say “Happy Holidays,” or convincing them to sign up for your monthly newsletter. Implementing a repeat-guest special, such as 10% off a future stay, or formal referral plan can also help to sweeten the pot.
In order for your short term rental business to be successful, you need to keep your Airbnb calendar as full as possible. The five simple strategies above should help you attract more leads, turn them into paying customers and ultimately build a portfolio of satisfied, long-term guests.
Looking for additional tips to keep your Airbnb calendar full, check out these tips for surviving the slow season.