Tips For Running a Successful Hosting Business in 2022
With the growing popularity of short-term rentals for travelers and nomadic workers, many people are joining the increasing ranks of Airbnb hosts. If you’re thinking of growing your hosting business, you want to find ways to stand out from the masses. Here are a few pointers for how you can leave a positive impression with your guests and get more reservations in the books.
Airbnb Communication Strategy
Being a successful vacation rental host starts with great messaging and guest communication – and lots of patience. When potential guests are getting ready to book a short-term rental, it’s common for them to have questions, which is why many bookings happen after some back and forth communication between the host and the guest. Be prepared to answer questions with patience even if sometimes you hear the same questions over and over again. Remember, there can be a lot of hesitation when it comes to trusting the comfort and success of a trip with a complete stranger. Patience, responsiveness and honesty can go a long way in creating trust, which obviously can lead to more bookings.
It’s also important to be timely in your response, which can be tricky when it comes to guests from different time zones. You want to answer as quickly as possible for two reasons. Firstly, you don’t want to keep your potential guests waiting for an answer. Many people might be eager to get their booking closed and prefer not to drag out the process by waiting for a response – especially if your competition responds to them sooner. Regardless of the actual reason, a delayed response time could send the message that you are a less attentive host.
Secondly, your response rate and response time are listed at the bottom of your profile and people look at this when creating an overall impression of you, so it’s worth paying attention to. Having a quick response rate will also elevate the Airbnb guest experience from the get-go which will increase your chances of a great review.
Pro-tip: Airbnb has stated that they use reviews and response rates as ranking criteria for listings on their search results, so not only does responsiveness keep your guests happy but it gets more eyes on your listing and will help you get more bookings.
Without having a support team on duty 24/7, a quick response rate can be difficult to maintain. This is where having a platform like Guesty For Hosts can really make a difference. Our automated messages feature enables you to instantly reply to guests that contact you at any time of day, boosting your response rate, Airbnb ranking and guest satisfaction.
Set Accurate Expectations
One of the main reasons guests choose an Airbnb rental over a hotel is for the unique and charming experiences it provides. Rather than trying to convert your property into a hotel, keep the personal touch and character and highlight these details in the description of your listing so guests know what to expect.
In approaching your “sale,” using accuracy and full-disclosure tends to be the best way to get the right guests for your property. By creating a better match between your rental and your guests, you prevent potential disputes that could occur. You will also likely get happier guests and better reviews. Being honest and upfront with any questions or concerns you receive will bring in guests with expectations that are aligned with reality.
Pro-tip: Part of managing guest expectations is keeping your calendar up-to-date in order to avoid the possibility of having to cancel on a guest that books or inquires about dates that aren’t actually free. Plus, hosts who regularly update their calendars receive noticeably more bookings than those who don’t and this is partially because Airbnb rewards them with higher rankings for doing so. To maximize your booking potential, Guesty For Hosts’ Channel Manager allows you to integrate multiple calendars (from Airbnb or other channels) into one centralized location to stay up-to-date and avoid double bookings.
Be Clear About Your Expectations
Just as you want your guests to be aligned on what they should expect from your rental, you want them to understand your expectations of them as well, preferably before they book. Make sure that all rules and guidelines are stated clearly and explicitly in your listing description and clarified in any correspondence with guests in advance of their stay. It’s preferable for your guests to understand and to agree to these rules before they book, rather than to find out after and then change their minds or end up disgruntled due to a misunderstanding.
Pro-tip: When relaying your rules, try to preempt questions that may come up by providing answers in advance (such as rules about smoking, noise, pets etc.). This will save time by reducing questions and possible negotiations and filter out guests that are not suitable.
Create a Welcoming Atmosphere
Being a good host means making your guests feel comfortable, so they should arrive at a rental that is clean and organized with everything in working order. Be sure to remove any valuables or personal items, fix anything broken and have everything ready prior to their arrival. Check that all the kitchen essentials are clean, along with towels and bedding, trash cans, showers, toilets and floors. Charging your guest a cleaning fee is common as long as it’s stated upfront (Airbnb allows you to include this in your charges and even handles the payment processing).
Pro-tip: To make sure your supplies (toilet paper, cleaning supplies etc.), maintenance and cleaning schedules are always on track, it’s important to be organized with calendars and checklists. Guesty For Hosts can help you organize and simplify this aspect of your hosting with our cleaning management feature. You can keep track of all your cleaning tasks and communicate with a cleaning team including scheduling and tracking cleanings and setting and sending reminders.
Hosting can be both a fun and lucrative experience when done right. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that both you and your guests have a great experience.
Want to see how Guesty For Hosts can save you time, create happy guests and help you earn more money from your Airbnb listings? Click here to begin your free 14-day trial now.