By Emmanuel Lao for Edwardsturm.com.
Airbnb – Why You Need to Pay Attention
Airbnb is a phenomenal platform for renting properties and hosting guests, and the company has taken great strides since it was founded a decade and a half ago.
Today, many hosts are making five and six-figure incomes by renting out rooms and apartments on Airbnb. This can be a powerful way to earn income in between jobs or provide yourself with the freedom to make money while working on a hobby or your own business.
If you’ve decided to take the plunge with Airbnb and rent out your space, great. Or, if you already have several properties and bookings under your belt and want to continue on your upward trajectory, congrats! No matter what your level of Airbnb and hospitality experience, the following five tips will help you better market your listings.
Submit Your Photography to Blogs
A great way to spread awareness about your listing is by reaching out to photography, interior design, and lifestyle blogs and publications. There are tons of these to choose from. Reach out to both niche and large blogs with the hope of having images of your listing featured and getting a mention.
Consider emailing top real estate companies as well, as many brokers and agents host their own blogs and would be happy to profile great designs. Location doesn’t even matter; what’s important is that your Airbnb listing gets links from relevant websites- this will increase priority within various search algorithms and get you more bookings.
Here’s a good list of large real estate websites that have blogs. Definitely also search for smaller real estate companies with blogs as well, as they’re likely to be more generous with mentions.
Before reaching out, it helps to have a unique way of framing your property or selling a feature. For example, if your home is eco-friendly and sustainable, you’d want to pitch to media that is particularly interested in those topics. Alternatively, if you’ve decorated your home with a bohemian theme, you might reach out to publications that cater to those audiences.
Keep in mind that many leading interior design publications, such as Elle Decor and Architectural Digest, cover wide ranges of styles and themes. Whether you’re a great fit for them typically depends both on timing and on what they’re looking for over the next several issues. Many publications also have a page on their website that details exactly what type of content they want.
Freelance interiors journalist, Annabelle Grundy, said in an interview that the homes most likely to be featured in magazines are homes with designs that are consistent, cohesive, and that tell a story.
Annabelle says of home and design magazine editors, “They are interested in styles that readers can recreate or be motivated by, either by buying the style or by making it themselves. Inspiring, creative homes, packed with clever design ideas and shopping tips are homes that audiences, and therefore editors, are interested in. Readers and viewers are also interested in being problem-solvers, so homes dealing with practical issues like space-saving, storage, lighting, etc. do well.”
If you don’t have a space that particularly fits this bill, a good trick is to decorate and photograph a select area in your home in such a way that it becomes applicable to what editors are looking for.
Up Your Profile as an Influencer Host
Influencers are simply people who have powerful influence in their niche or industry.
“Influencer endorsements have the power to inspire consumers. Whether it’s social media and digital influencers or classic Hollywood A-listers, these partnerships increase visibility [and conversion],” Says Megan Shroy, founder of Approach Marketing & PR, a renowned marketing agency.
There are seamless podcast-matching platforms that can get you booked on shows fast for only a $30-50 per month (total, not per show – you should never pay to appear on a show). Going on podcasts is a low-hanging-fruit way to increase your influence.
While more time consuming, you can also cold email podcast hosts. Here’s a top AirBnB podcast to start with.
If you don’t feel like you have a voice for podcasts, you can message journalists on Help a Reporter Out or Terkel. These are the top services for matching journalists who are looking for sources with experts of all types. Unlike the podcast-matching platforms, Help a Reporter Out and Terkel are free, but are also a lot more time consuming.
When you start getting press mentions, use this all over your listing! Two great places to put it are your personal profile, listing description, and a photo or screenshot at the end of the listing photos.
Leverage Instagram’s Picture Power
Photography can make or break your listing, which is the primary reason Airbnb offers photography services.
It’s important that you take advantage of these offerings or try to do it yourself. After all, there’s no better way to show off your space than with pictures. With the right photography, you can sell even the most basic of homes.
Once you understand the power of pictures, it’s time to leverage Instagram. Long gone are the days where you need DSLR to take a great shot. Even if you have just one property or one room for rent on your Airbnb profile, there’s plenty you can photograph.
Start by looking into Instagram photography tricks. Try using different grid layouts to make your profile stand out. For example, a tiled Instagram look is where you alternate background colors of each photo to create a cohesive, multi-colored look. You can also break up a full image into several tiles for a collage grid, like the images here. Use collage creator apps to help with his.
For inspiration, take a look at Airbnb’s Instagram page. Many other listings, like the Joshua Tree House, also host their own Instagram page for their properties.
Work with Other Influencers
Perhaps you don’t want to put yourself out there to become an influencer. This doesn’t mean there aren’t a wealth of influencers to tap into.
Instagram as mentioned is a great place to start. You also have to be jumping into TikTok, Pinterest, and YouTube in 2023.
With Airbnb listings, you have flexibility to work with influencers in an effective way.
Working with influencers is similar to creating a pseudo-PR strategy by reaching out to blogs and publications. With your Airbnb listing your goal will be to focus more on influencers in the design space who have a strong presence on Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest, and YouTube.
Here’s a good tactic to try: start with this Google search, and then once you’ve compiled a thorough list of relevant influencers, reach out to them and offer a free night (or comparable commodity) in exchange for a mention. They may post a great photo of your property, which will spark their followers to check it out.
Ask for Reviews
Reviews are a booking gold mine. Of course, no matter how responsive and welcoming you are to your guests, it won’t matter if your experience and listing doesn’t match up to your photos and description. However, assuming everything goes well, your reviews are what sell others on booking your property.
Without reviews, you’re less likely to get bookings and to get noticed by Airbnb’s search algorithm. According to a joint report by LearnAirbnb and Everbooked, even listings with three stars will get more bookings than those with none.
Wait a few days until after your guests have left your property (anywhere between 5 to 7 days) to allow them to leave a review on their own. If they don’t, send them a gentle reminder asking for a review about their experience on your Airbnb listing. Explain to them that it means a lot to your life and that you’d greatly appreciate it.
Be sure not to offer anything in exchange for a positive review or even to ask for one that is positive, as this violates the Airbnb Terms of Service.
In your home or space, also consider leaving notecards, postcards, or a guestbook where your guests can sign notes. As a last resort, you can take a photo of guests’ handwritten reviews and post it in the pictures section of your listing. This is also a great way to engage your incoming guests.
Below’s a good video showing what not to do as a host so you can ensure you don’t get bad reviews:
There are tons of creative ways to get more business from Airbnb.
If you can give people an experience that is safe, warm, and welcoming, and demonstrate this to others, both on Airbnb, and to 3rd parties, you’re guaranteed to get noticed.
Strive to provide great experiences and to show these experiences to the world, and in no time your listing or listings will be completely booked!
Do you have any creative tips that you’ve used for earning more on Airbnb? Share them below- we’d love to hear them!