Managing an Airbnb profile can feel like a full-time job. That's not even organizing the cleaning, maintenance, and other routine operations; that's just managing your online listing(s). For first-time or part-time Airbnb hosts, it's a daunting prospect – that's likely to put off many would-be hosts. “Why to bother with all that stress and hassle for a little extra money?” they think.
Except, there's a simple solution: Airbnb automation.
Contrary to popular belief, Airbnb automation isn't solely for big companies or multi-property owners. Anyone, from hosts to property managers, can use Airbnb automation to take some work off their plate. Even better, it can substantially increase your occupancy rate (by up to 80%).
With so many routine tasks involved in managing an Airbnb listing, you can save up to 70% of your time spent on routine operations by investing in Airbnb automation software. It's a no-brainer!
In this beginner's guide, we're exploring the ins and outs of how to automate your Airbnb. We'll explain what Airbnb automation is, why it's so important, and how to get started automating your Airbnb. Oh, and we'll also talk about some of the top Airbnb automation software packages available.
What is Airbnb automation?
Wasting time on repetitive tasks will prevent you from growing your business or investing your profits. If left too long, you can become snowed in by the mundanity of answering emails and syncing your Airbnb calendar.
Do you find yourself endlessly:
· Sending stock messages to guests
· Writing reviews for every guest
· Messaging the cleaning staff
· Researching and changing your prices
· Updating booking calendars
You're not alone! It's the bane of running an Airbnb business. These daily activities can soak up your time, leaving little room for anything else. That's where Airbnb automation comes in. By automating your messaging or reviews, you'll never forget to write something, and you'll always be on top of your tasks.
Why is automating Airbnb a life-saver?
It's not hard to appreciate the benefits of automating your Airbnb business. If time is money, then automation is a money printer: it gives you time in spades!
Here are the top benefits we've experienced from using Airbnb automation software:
1. Save time. Fewer hours spent pouring over emails, messages, and calendars free up your schedule to get on with the really important tasks – or other businesses. (After all, Airbnb isn't everyone's full-time job.)
2. Reduces stress. Sitting down and writing the same message every day is depressing – but it's also really stressful. When your business relies on your prompt reply, there's a lot of anxiety about missing a post or forgetting to update your calendar. Automation takes the headache out of the process.
3. Increase occupancy rate. Through automation, faster replies to responses and booking requests increase your overall occupancy rate and revenue. It's a win-win!
4. Boost your business. With more money coming in from your business and more hours available, you can begin to spend your time and money on business development and scaling.
5. Enhance your productivity. As you focus on more important jobs, you can rest easy, and safe in the knowledge that you're still covering everything you used to do manually. You've doubled your output every hour you would have otherwise been doing those tasks.
How to automate your Airbnb
When we talk about automating Airbnb, hosts tend to envision expensive Airbnb automation software. That's not the case. While it's definitely worth investing in one of the software packages, you can perform some automation through Airbnb's settings or free software.
Across the market, there's a software solution for almost every aspect of managing your property, including guest messaging, creating cleaning tasks, calendar synchronization, and producing reports.
Let's investigate your options.
· Guest communication
· Writing reviews
· Pricing management
· Cleaning tasks
· Key check-in
· Invest in smart amenities
· Buy supplies
Communication is at the heart of any successful business. If guests feel unheard or even ignored, it spells disaster for their stay – if they stay at all. Moreover, you'll need to demonstrate prompt responses to obtain the much sought-after “Superhost” status.
Yet, despite its importance, it's also a colossal time sink. Replying to your current and potential guests can eat up 75% of your day – for property managers, this can mean replying to questions or blog post comments. It's an endless task: no sooner are you finished than there another dozen messages appear.
There are a few potential solutions available:
Message templates. For certain messages, e.g., booking confirmation or availability inquiries, you can create stock templates with space to plug in the relevant information. Keep these stored on a Google Doc, Spreadsheet, or Word document, so it's always ready to go.
Email autoresponder. If you've got a dedicated email for your Airbnb management (and you should have), you can set up an automated message to provide a quick response. As part of your automated email, you can include key information about your property, e.g., check-in times, key exchange instructions, and location. It's a lot more personal than just leaving a potential guest hanging, and waiting for your reply.
Automated messaging software. Specific Airbnb automation software packages include message automation as one of their most valuable features. Through these platforms, you'll gain access to a unified inbox, specialized templates for different messages, automated triggered messaging, and more. If you're dealing with dozens, even hundreds, of daily messages, you'll want to consider investing in this automated software solution.
Building up your reviews and rating is one of the most important tasks for any Airbnb business. That means writing about every single guest. Sounds overwhelming? It can be if you're doing it all manually, but it's essential for generating as many positive reviews as possible. The more positive reviews, the higher you'll rank on Airbnb.
Consider the following options for automating review writing:
Review template. Just as you can create message templates, you can create stock review templates too. Write out examples of 4- or 5-star reviews in a Word document. If in doubt, look at what other Airbnb hosts are writing. Following their lead means your review will seem appropriate. For negative reviews, it's best to do those manually (be specific about what went wrong; avoid generic responses).
Automated reviews. Using certain Airbnb automation software, you can use a template to generate reviews quickly and efficiently. Once you've put together a series of templates, they can be sent automatically to the guests. With pre-written examples ready to go, sending reviews has never been simpler.
No part of learning how to automate Airbnb is more important than the pricing. With a dynamic pricing strategy – that harnesses the latest market data – you can ensure you're always maximizing your net revenue.
Some hosts opt to set their prices lower than their competitors. They hope it'll boost their bookings, leading to an overall uptick in net revenue. That's not true! In fact, this strategy often leads to lower net revenue than your competitors.
Under a dynamic pricing strategy, an automated tool will use in-built algorithms to analyze demand, seasonal variations, competitor pricing, and more to determine the best price point for your properties. These algorithms generate a new suggested price every 24 hours to keep your profile up-to-date and optimized.
Examples of automated pricing management tools include iGMS, PriceLabs, and DPGO.
After answering messages, cleaning the property is perhaps the next most time-demanding task. Depending on your occupancy rate, you could find yourself lumbered with cleaning every week, fortnight, or month. Plus, if you get two short-term stays, it'll drive up your cleaning time.
While there isn't any Airbnb automation software available to clean (yet!), several options can ensure your property is immaculate for the next set of guests.
Consider the following options:
Hire a subcontractor. For small- or medium-sized Airbnbs, hiring an individual cleaner is almost always your best option. You can inform them of all your upcoming stays and provide them with a set time when they need to perform the cleaning. However, you should also create a backup list of cleaning contractors in case your current cleaner is ill or unavailable.
Hire a professional cleaning company. If you're managing multiple properties (or are catering to a messy demographic), hiring a professional cleaning company will ensure the cleaning is completed more efficiently and effectively than relying on a one-person band. You'll also never have to deal with cancellations. You'll pay a higher fee for a cleaning company – but it can be worth it to generate 5-star reviews from your pristine properties.
Many Airbnb automation software systems integrate cleaning management into their services. Using the guest check-outs, your cleaner will be automatically notified by email and/or text message. No remembering to contact the cleaner; it's all handled without you doing anything. Plus, your cleaner can also notify you once they've finished.
While there are benefits to meeting your guests at the door – a short chat, explaining the property, and giving local recommendations – it can take up a significant chunk of time (especially if you don't have a property manager).
The solution is to use some form of a lockbox or smart lock. Lockboxes allow you to keep your key in an accessible location on-site. They're opened with a code, which you send to the guest in advance.
Electronic locks and smart locks use either an entry code or rely on a smartphone. Smart locks are clever and allow you to manage who can enter your property easily. But they do presume guests have a smartphone and sufficient battery power.
Of course, you can always rely on the old-fashioned approach: key exchange service. You can ask a nearby café, restaurant, or business to serve as your key depo.
Invest in smart amenities
Smart amenities don't just automate certain maintenance issues; they also increase your property's efficiency. Modern smart energy meters, for instance, can allow you to monitor the property's temperature from your phone. You can even set rules under some systems, e.g., stop the HVAC while the front door is open or turn lights off if not in use.
With your property vacant for a significant chunk of time, these settings mean you can reduce your overheads when empty and then turn on the utilities when it's time for the next guest.
One aspect of running an Airbnb that even experienced host managers forget to automate is buying supplies. No property can function without the supplies your guests expect, e.g., toilet paper, garbage bags, salt, sugar, spices, dishwashing liquid, cleaning products, tea and coffee, and more.
Perhaps you also include guest toiletries, like soap or shampoo, as part of your Airbnb experience (alongside a few food items).
Whatever you include, you can set up recurring orders on Amazon to ensure you never run out of supplies. Plus, you can purchase the products in bulk to reduce your overheads.
You should also check out online stores, like aBundle and Freshbnb, that cater to Airbnb hosts specifically. You'll find some fantastic deals and supplies available.
5 Best Airbnb automation software
Guesty is an all-encompassing property management platform that aims to automate and streamline every aspect of your current property business. It'll unify your inbox from all channels into a single destination. Plus, it's not solely dedicated to Airbnb; it'll integrate with all the world's top online travel agencies to help you succeed.
Other features include automating routine tasks, processing payments, storing reservations, generating detailed reports, and more.
Hostaway is a leading all-in-one vacation rental software and Airbnb management system. The sheer volume of tools available with Hostaway is phenomenal. From automated messaging and a unified inbox to calendar management and payment processing, Hostaway has it all.
Moreover, Hostaway is integrated with over 100 different partners to help grow your short-term rental business, including Expedia, Booking.com, PriceLabs, Airbnb, and much more.
If you're looking for an easy-to-use platform that distills all your relevant information into one location, Hostaway is your answer.
Smoobu is kitted out with everything a property manager or host could ever need. Simpler to use than other platforms, its features include a channel manager, booking system, all-in-one calendar, guest review automation, automated templates, guest communications, and more.
In addition, Smoobu also boasts a codeless Website Builder. You can create your own booking website to generate additional sales without paying commission – and it'll function seamlessly alongside your Airbnb business.
Best of all, Smoobu's pricing is fully transparent – no booking commissions or hidden extra charges.
For an all-inclusive Airbnb automated property management software, Bed24 is a popular choice. It's not hard to see why. Like most other platforms, it'll integrate your listings across multiple platforms into one easy-to-use management system. This property management service will do everything you need, from communication to payment processing.
Beds24 is also the preferred partner of multiple online travel agents (OTAs) like Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, and TripConnect.
Plus, their channel manager and property booking engine are available on desktop and mobile – so you can check your property no matter where you are.
Kigo is a trusted global platform for vacation rental managers. Through this innovative system, you'll be able to individualize your marketing and pricing strategies, manage customer communication from the same platform, and organize your business's routine operations.
As one customer said, “what used to take me 6 hours a day now takes only 6 minutes.” That's the promise of this incredible platform.
Services include channel management, operations management, guest experience, and reservations and bookings. Being specialized in the financial aspect of running a business, Kigo is perfectly placed to save you time and money. For example, its price optimization features are truly impressive.
No matter the size of your rental business, you can benefit from Airbnb automation. Whether it's reducing your screen time or ensuring cleaning is done on schedule, implementing these automation ideas will increase the efficiency and productivity of your business.
Consider subscribing to an Airbnb automated software platform if you manage multiple properties. You could shave hours off your workload, streamlining your business, and leaving time to focus on the most important tasks.