Lodgify is an innovative all-in-one vacation rental software solution which empowers lodgings owners and managers to build their own professional website, accept online bookings and manage all reservations from one place. GUARDHOG welcomes Lodgify’s tips on avoiding the most common hosting mistakes…
What started as a humble blow-up mattress on a San Francisco bedroom floor has now spiralled into a household name, with more than three million listings in over 65,000 cities. We are, of course, talking about Airbnb.
One of the biggest platforms to come out of the sharing economy so far, it’s not surprising that Airbnb hosts around the world now face fierce competition from other owners in their location.
Ensure you’re Airbnb hosting the right way when you’re wary of committing these five common errors.
- Rubbish photos
Photos are the bread and butter of any Airbnb listing – and without good ones, you won’t have a chance at competing with other properties in your area.
If you really want to make a success of your Airbnb, before taking any photos, make sure your property is clean, tidy and clutter-free. This is how your guests will expect to find it! Staging photos so they appear more homely is another way to win guests over. Small details like some fresh flowers in a pretty vase will do the trick! You’ll also want to take photos during the day so you can show off your home’s natural light. Make sure the photos you take (or commission from a professional) are in high resolution for best quality, and always caption your images appropriately.
- Slow response time
Not only does Airbnb calculate each host’s response rate, it actually uses it to penalize hosts who don’t reply quickly enough. It’s a known fact that your response rate can negatively affect your position in search results. So, do everything in your power to answer guests within a maximum of 24 hours – any longer and it’ll be classified as a “late” response.
- Lack of reviews
Given that 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, this is one area where hosts can’t afford to miss out. Increasingly, guests rely wholeheartedly on reviews to finalise their decision – especially when they are inundated with accommodation options.
Keep your rental at the top of its game by asking each and every guest to leave a review about their stay. As Airbnb allows hosts to review guests, too, initiate the process by reviewing your guests after they check out. If, after a few days, they still haven’t reviewed your home, don’t be afraid to drop them a polite reminder! This is vital because you don’t want the review period to end.
- No insurance
There’s no shortage of Airbnb horror stories in the media and on the internet. But there really shouldn’t be anything to fear! These are just a handful of tales that come from very unlucky hosts, but there is a way to protect yourself.
By guaranteeing you have a suitable home insurance policy that covers short-term rentals such as Airbnb hosting, your home will be covered in case of unruly guests.
What’s more, there are an increasing number of sharing-economy specific insurance services like GUARDHOG popping up. These providers really understand the industry, and are the best option to protect owners from potential guest damage.
- Depending on Airbnb 100%
Besides Airbnb, there are plenty of other ways to get your rental property noticed online. You can list on other online travel agencies, share your adverts via your business social media pages and even create your own vacation rental website.
Having your own website has now become essential in this industry, especially as guests are wising up to the fees they’re paying on listing sites. As a result, they’re researching for the best deal and prices on the web.
With your own professional website, you can set the rules about your bookings and begin to build a brand for your business. Plus, guests can have peace of mind booking their accommodation securely with you!