How to Get More Airbnb Bookings

How to Get More Airbnb Bookings

How to get more bookings on Airbnb

The number of booking inquiries that you receive for your Airbnb listing depends heavily on the number of users that find your listing in the Airbnb search results.

Just like on Google, if you’re not on the first page, you’re unlikely to be found. Therefore, the best thing you can do to increase your bookings is to get your listing on the first page for relevant searches.

To understand how you can achieve this, you need to understand how Airbnb determines these search results. Airbnb aims to show users the listings that they are most likely to book, as that’s how they make money. In addition, they promote hosts who take good care of their guests. Let’s look at this in more detail.

How does Airbnb determine what listings to show their users?

Airbnb uses a search algorithm that calculates a unique ranking for each search that is performed on Airbnb. They take many factors into account. Some of these are based on the guests’ personal preferences.

Others are based on your listing and your behavior as a host and these are 100% within your control.

Airbnb search algorithm factors

Airbnb has published some of the factors that they use to determine the search results.

Booking appeal: Airbnb recommends that you “make the title and description attractive and informative” and “explain what makes your space unique.”

Price: The more competitively priced your listing, the more likely guests will be to book your home. This results in greater revenue for Airbnb.

Number of reviews: Positive reviews greatly increase the chance that your place gets booked. This is essential when you start out, having a few positive reviews versus none is a big deal!
Trust and Verification: Add as many verifications as you can.

Photos: These play a major role in getting your place booked, make an appointment with the Airbnb photographer is you haven’t yet.

How to get more Airbnb bookings Response Rate

Responsiveness: Respond to every single message and aim to respond within one hour. I know you have to sleep sometime, you can use a service like Guesty to ensure all messages get responded to within minutes.

Updated calendar: From the guests perspective, making an inquiry just to find out that the place is unavailable even though it showed up as available is terrible. Always make sure your calendar is updated by visiting your calendar on a daily base.

Acceptance rate: You are free to decline certain booking requests, but don’t be too strict as this will hurt your search ranking. Give some guests the benefit of the doubt, 99% of the time it will turn out well.

No cancellations

Cancellation: Never cancel a reservation, this causes great inconvenience to your guests and Airbnb doesn’t take cancelation lightly.

Instant Book: Listings that can be booked without first making an inquiry get booked more often and are therefore favored by Airbnb.

Social connections: Connect your Facebook account, Airbnb will show the user if you have friend in common.

In addition to these factors, you should also do anything that improves your listings’ appeal or your guests’ experience. It makes sense that Airbnb looks at these factors as well, although this is not confirmed.

Number of Bookings: A booking is always better than no booking.

Referrals: You can request friends and family to write you a referral. This is specifically important if you have no or little reviews.

Log in frequently: There is no harm in showing Airbnb that you’re an active host.

Write responses to your reviews: This shows that you care about your guests and only takes a few minutes.

Respond to Airbnb reviews

Take action now and improve your listing

Here’s what I’d like you to do. Follow these three steps to improve your search rank.

1) Do a search on Airbnb for your type of listing

Specify type (entire house, private room or shared space) and size (1-bdr, 2-bdr etc). Don’t fill in any dates to make sure all relevant listings show up.

First search for your neighborhood and note your listing’s position (i.e. page 2, no. 8). Now do another search for your entire city and note the position.

2) Make adjustments to your listing according to the factors mentioned above

3) Repeat step 1) once a week for the next few months

If you implement the suggestions in the article you should see your listing’s position in the search results improve within a few week.

Here’s a fun video I created that summarizes this article.

Please join my FB group Airbnb Academy, this group is an active community of Airbnb hosts from all around the world that I personally moderate. You can ask all your questions there and you’re guaranteed to get valuable responses.

50 Comments

  1. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/539840

    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/3548475

    Jasper, hi! I have done pretty much all of the items you have mentioned above, however,
    when you type in buffalo,ny ( a general search) without dates and any other specifics, my listing doesn’t come
    up on the first page and I don’t know why other than my zip code is not in the city proper, I am in a suburb of the city- about
    15 minutes out..is that a reason why it wouldn’t come up on the first page of the general search?

    I have great reviews, great pictures, I do implement Instant Book and I do update my calendar everyday.. mmm.. not sure what else to do?

  2. Jasper says:

    Kimberley I see your listings on page two and three out of 21 for a general search in Buffalo. Total listings are 373, and your listings are positioned around the 30th and 50th spot.

    When I search for “private room” I see your listings on page 1 and 2 out of 11 pages.

    In other words, you’re doing pretty good in the rankings. Not sure why you don’t see your listings, make sure when you do a search to leave the dates blank.

    Hope this helps!

  3. Randy says:

    Hi – Just posting the links to my two rooms… it’s a 100 yr. old house that has not been “modernized” completely so there are aspects of it that may be described as “funky” (?) ….it is an eclectic space, for sure… https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/2771060 & https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1467568

  4. Bobby says:

    I listed my place at pine mountain Lake in Groveland Ca, tuloumne county. I have been really frustrated with the search results, as our place doesn’t come up in a pine mountain lake search only Groveland ca. My wife and I have refered friends to check out our place at Airbnb but repeatedly they can’t find it with an open date search. I noted some new guy listed his place, had zero reviews and no bookings yet he comes up on every search.

    I spoke with Airbnb about this. They also noted it did not come up in a search for pine mountain lake, but did only when you clicked and dragged the map, which then populates additional places including mine. I know we are loosing a lot of bookings because of this but Airbnb was no help. I am about to quit them and go to vrbo instead. Please help

  5. lAURIE says:

    Hey Jasper!
    We are new hosts and have been pretty happy with our results so far- but we were dropped lower on the search in the last week and are not sure why,

    Looking for any tips you may have.

    airbnb photos are not available in our area. I am on the site daily and update my calendar daily. Do you know if changing your prices to match the suggestions from airbnb helps your ranking? I have been experimenting with this.

    Thanks for any suggestion you may have!

    Laurie

    • Jasper says:

      Hi Laurie, I just had a look and I see your listing on the first page. When you check, make sure you don’t select any dates. If you select dates when you are booked, your listing won’t show up.

  6. Hi Jasper!

    I can’t find my listing when I search for alki beach in seattle wa. There are a few in my area but mine is not showing… Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks!

    Margaux

  7. Petra says:

    Hi Jasper,

    I am from Ljubljana, (Slovenia, EU) and I am new on Airbnb and I have two listing. I have been really frustrated with a search results for one listing. They were both listed on the same day, but one is getting quite well if I compare to the other.

    I would kindly ask you for your help as I really don’t know what to do.

    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/9858600?s=KkydJPyY – the listing I have a problem with …

    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/9872061?s=7Smzyjoh – the listing that has quite good search results

    Thank you very much!
    Petra

    • Jasper says:

      Hi Petra, thanks for sharing your experience so far. Your listings look great, the only thing I’d recommend is setting your cancelation policy to flexible. When you’re starting out, getting bookings is your first priority and a flexible policy promotes that.

      As for your rankings, Airbnb sometimes features new listings in the top of the search results, to give new hosts a chance to get booked. My guess is that one of your listings is being featured and the other one isn’t. Airbnb doesn’t disclose how exactly their algorithm works, I wouldn’t worry about it now and just focus on doing the best you can with your listings.

      Hope that helps!

  8. Monika says:

    Hi Jasper, I’ve tried pretty much all tips but my listing is still coming further along than I would have hoped so. Any chance you could have a look at it: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/9327420

    Thanks a mill !!!

    • Jasper says:

      It looks good, are you getting a lot of inquiries?

      • Monika says:

        Well, no unfortunately 🙁 I’ve had 5 bookings so far (started a couple of months ago) and 3-4 enquiries. Right now, I only have two confirmed reservations for Feb/March. Perhaps it is a low season after all ? Not sure what else could I change….

        • Jasper says:

          Yeah January / February are the worst months, what you could do is list on some other platforms like Wimdu, TripAdvisor, Booking.com, Homeaway or Flipkey. See which ones seem to have the most demand in your area and choose that one. I use Wimdu in the winter months to fill up the gaps.

  9. Kristina says:

    -Hello Jasper,

    The problem is that after all, I cannot find my 2 apartments (listings) in search results for my neighborhood.
    I joined to airbnb in the end of this February, and I had 4 inquires, and 2 bookings.
    Could you please help me find my flats, and tell me what am I doing wrong? Is there some crucial mistake? Please check my apartments here and please give me a feedback. Thank you very much 🙂

    Kristina

    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/11511512?s=g_ByQgBW
    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/11506181?s=vWiLx9L1

    Apartment Karmen – Apartments for Rent in Pula

  10. Jasper says:

    Hi Kristina,

    I see both of your listings in the search results, so I don’t think that’s the problem. I do see a lot of improvements that you could make, I recommend ordering my listing review service on Fiverr.

    https://www.fiverr.com/jasperribbers/improve-your-airbnb-listing

    Best,
    Jasper

    • Kristina says:

      Thanks Jasper for your comment and help. I still cannot see my listings in the search result :/

      I will order your listing review service soon.

      Bye,

      Kristina

    • Jasper says:

      Hi Clive,

      I would enable instant book and set your cancelation policy to moderate or flexible, that should help your ranking improve.

      Best,
      Jasper

  11. David says:

    Hi Jasper,
    My airbnb apartment (Budapest, Hungary) listing:
    https://www.airbnb.hu/rooms/11640587
    Any suggestion for improvement?
    Thanks,
    David

    • Jasper says:

      Hi David,

      your listing is pretty good, well done! You can improve a bit, I’d enable instant book and you should respond to all reviews. In addition, add some photos of your neighborhood, Budapest is a beautiful city so it shouldn’t be hard to find some great ones!

  12. Tiffany says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for writing this. I just tarted airbnb and have only had 1 request. Looking to get more in. Can you help me out? I live in a charming warehouse in Brooklyn!

    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/13114237

  13. Jasper says:

    Hi Tiffany,

    I recommend you start by improving your photos, you have some really good ones but the first few are not very appealing, the vertical shots don’t display well on the Airbnb website for example.

    Please read this article: https://getpaidforyourpad.com/blog/ultimate-guide-creating-best-photo-section-airbnb-listing/ and follow the steps to create an outstanding photo gallery.

  14. Kushagra Tripathi says:

    Hi Jasper,

    I am fairly new to airbnb (about a month into it). Initially I got a lot of bookings and in the past 8-10 days I haven’t been getting any inquiry or request or booking. Any suggestion on how I can improve upon it.
    Here’s the link to my listing:
    https://www.airbnb.com/manage-listing/13044092/calendar

    Thanks for your help in advance.

    • Jasper says:

      Hi Kushagra,

      I would start with improving your photo section, your first picture doesn’t display well on Airbnb because it’s not wide enough, if you search for your listing you’ll notice the two grey areas on each side of your picture in the search snippet.

      Please read this post on how to create a great photo section, just follow the steps in the article. That should increase the number of bookings.

  15. Janice Soo says:

    Hi Jasper,

    I am new to Airbnb and did served 2 bookings during the 1st month (Jul). However, I did not receive any booking since then. I had activated the instant booking, shorten the night from 3 to 2 and the notice to book from 2 to 1 but still didn’t see the improvement. Fyi, mine unit is 2 bedrooms and is 1 of the nearest to the city with very competitive price set. This is the link https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/13467298?preview would you check for me please?

    Besides, my unit is appeared mixing up with those 0-1 bedroom listing during my search without filter the bedroom. This can be a low side for me as other 0-1 bedroom listing price is almost similar to mine, and the visitor would not know mine unit actually is 2 br. Will this affect their interest to click into it too?

    Thanks in advance for your advise.

    • Jasper says:

      Hi Janice, your listing looks fine, I don’t see any problems with it in the search results, I was able to find it. You can definitely optimize it though, the picture of the bed without any pillows or sheets on it doesn’t look inviting for example, some of the pics are vertical and don’t display well and some of the info under “neighborhood” doesn’t show and is replaced with “phone number hidden” or “Sensitive content hidden”. Your title isn’t very inviting, it’s very factual, try to come up with something more catchy that highlights your listing’s best feature.

      • Janice Soo says:

        Thank you so much for your advise Jasper. Will amend the listing accordingly. Really appreciate for your help.

  16. Hi Jasper,

    Thanks so much for all of this information. My husband and I are new to Airbnb. We love it ! We did so well with bookings when we first started, but our views have dropped off big time. I know we were probably featured as new and that has probably gone away now, but I would LOVE to get your feedback on our listing. If there is something we could do better we will.

    Cheers,

    Shannon B.

    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/13966389?guests=6&s=36GtOkqu

  17. Lacy Pontes says:

    Hi Jasper! I have followed you for awhile . My first listing has been performing well for the last 8 months. My newest listing (listed 1 month ago), however, is not doing as well and I can’t figure out the problem. I am just not getting many views or bookings. Would you mind taking a look please? https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/13764144

  18. Lars says:

    Hi Jasper

    My villa is currently managed by a 3rd party villa manager.
    Not sure if we getting enough bookings from airbnb.
    Heard some great booking stories using airbnb only.
    Please help me?

    Villa came up on page 4 for Koh Samui.

    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5106745?guests=8&s=PPx7Xgjk&sug=51

  19. DAVIDE says:

    Hi Jasper what do you think about my ad in Rome?

    cozy and cheap apartment in Rome for short rent holidays.

  20. Cristina says:

    Hello I would love your thoughts on my Budapest Airbnb apartment. I’m not sure why I don’t appear higher up in the search results 🙁 thx! https://airbnb.com/rooms/13589111

  21. Lali says:

    Hi Jasper! ttps://www.airbnb.com/rooms/17773278 This is my airbnb listing in Tbilisi, Georgia and it does not seem to appear in search at all, what is wrong with it

    • Jasper says:

      Hi Lali, I found your apartment on Airbnb in the search results, but only after I zoomed in on your location. There’s a lot of apartments in your area, that’s why it’s hard to find you. Just follow the recommendations in this post and your ranking should improve over time. Do you have any bookings yet?

  22. Stano says:

    Hi Jasper,

    thank you for useful informations.
    Can you please check mine listing what can I improove? Dont have too many bookings, thanks so much.

    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/16685549

    Stano

    • Jasper says:

      Hi Stano,

      Your listing looks good. I would take the caps out of your title, looks a little aggressive, try this: “★Couple’s Getaway | Close To Everything | Parking★”

      Also I’d put picture 11 first and refer to this article to improve the rest of your photo section.

      Hope that helps!

      Best,
      Jasper

  23. Don says:

    Hi Jasper, thanks for this useful guide. What do you think of my listing? Any way to improve it? Thanks.

    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/17434640

    Don

  24. Nic says:

    Hi Jasper, Can you set variable cancellation policies for different times / seasons of the year ?
    Great book BTW, any ideas how can I improve my listings ?
    https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/19485821

    https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/19473025

    • Jasper says:

      Hi Nic,

      no you can’t unfortunately. As for your listings, since you don’t have any reviews yet I’d make it as easy as possible for guests to book, you could enable IB and lower your price temporarily to get some momentum. For the long term, you could improve your pictures. Some are a bit dark, did you request the Airbnb photographer yet? Also check out this photo guide.

      Best,
      Jasper

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.