Read this article to learn how to make your Airbnb stand out and increase revenue.
Guests choose Airbnb over hotels and motels in part because of the price, but it's also an opportunity to try something different. Customers want an Airbnb that's as much a highlight of their trip as any other attraction. After all, just as every guest is different, every host and property on Airbnb is unique.
In fact, this is one of the most common questions we hear from hosts. Learning how to make your Airbnb stand out is more than filling out the profile sections. You need to demonstrate personality and exude excellence.
You want your potential customers to feel assured that you're trustworthy and authentic. From decorating your property to optimizing your listing, there are numerous ways to make your Airbnb listing stand out. What you need is a little inside knowledge.
Consider how best to show personality, what pricing strategies to pursue, and why a few extra touches push your listing above and beyond. As you begin creating your listing, you'll develop your understanding of what's needed and what others are doing. Follow our tips and tricks to get started – or to give a lackluster listing a boost.
Optimizing your listing
When travelers browse through Airbnb, they're often bombarded with dozens – if not hundreds – of properties. Some are dinky studio apartments; others are palatial mansions. However, the clearest differentiator is between the listings whose profiles wow and those that are a little more lackluster.
From the picture to the rating to the price, we quickly evaluate each listing, sorting them into two broad mental categories: (1) consider for later and (2) disregard.
The job of your initial listing is to keep your property firmly in the former category. Then, when the prospective guest takes a second pass, it's time for your pictures, descriptions, reviews, and even your personal profile to seal the deal and make that sale.
1. Go all out in your photos
We're all visual buyers. Seeing an outstanding opening shot of your property – be it the living room or outside – can spark our imaginations. We picture ourselves sitting on the property with our family or friends; we envision our vacation in action.
Remember what they say: a picture tells a thousand words.
You should clear up your space before taking the picture. Ensures spaces like bathrooms and shared rooms are clean and appear as they would when guests arrive. Decorate with a few light touches – some fresh flowers, artwork, etc. Nor should the space feel clinical and unlived in; a coffee cup or open book gives the space a feel of freshness.
Take your photos in daylight. Lighting can radically change the appearance of a room and is the #1 thing you need to consider. You'll also want to capture any special features of your property, e.g., a posh backyard, jacuzzi, or mind-blowing kitchen.
2. Write an accurate and informative description
Writing an Airbnb description is a tricky prospect. There's a temptation to embellish slightly, using superlatives as if they were chocolate sprinkles.
That's not good! False promises lead to disappointing reviews.
Instead of going over the top, stick to the truth – and sell that. Begin your summary description with an overview of the property. Describe where it's located, what makes it special, and the property's key features. You can then move on to the additional features, such as free parking, laundry services, and any other luxuries.
If you're struggling to know what to write, just start writing. It's far easier to edit to perfection than to write perfection.
3. Update your listing regularly
Creating an accurate and informative listing means keeping it up-to-date. Complete every section available, and ensure that if something no longer works or there's a significant change, you inform prospective guests; otherwise, it's false advertising. (That includes adding new photos if needed.) After all, no guest wants to go digging through your policies to find the truth about your property.
4. Respond promptly
Whether your full-time job is Airbnb or it's a side hustle, responding urgently to guest inquiries is critical. The quicker you respond, the better your guest will likely feel about your listing. Learning how to make your Airbnb stand out isn't solely about glitzy photos and engaging writing; it's about the hard work of pleasing your guests. From the moment they send an inquiry to the moment they leave, you need to be available to answer their queries – or hire someone who can.
5. Target your ideal guest
When you try to appeal to everyone, you appeal to no one – there's some truth in this statement. Guests go to Airbnb for something a little cheaper but also a little more personal than a traditional hotel. They want a vacation to remember. By appealing to everyone searching for a property, you appeal to the base common denominator – you become bland, beige, and boring.
Sometimes it's better to put some people off to attract your target market. After all, one of the ways to make your Airbnb stand out is to pack it with personality. Think vibrant décor, quirky properties, fun and lively descriptions, and more.
While you still stick to the basics of quality photos, accurate descriptions, and prompt communications, injecting a unique style to appeal to your target guest isn't necessarily a bad thing. You just want to tread lightly; too much can be a little overbearing.
6. Create a stellar Airbnb host profile
Your personal Airbnb profile is a fantastic opportunity to talk about your passions and why you do what you do. Your profile should reassure guests that you're authentic – and give them an idea about who you are. Consider adding your hobbies and interests, what you do for fun, or the kind of music you like. It can spark a fun conversation with guests who share similar hobbies and interests; it's a chance to connect.
Moreover, with Airbnb largely built on trust and transparency, verifying your identity is a critical step in creating an Airbnb host profile. You'll need to provide identification and recommendations.
Finish your profile with a friendly and engaging profile picture, so your guests know who they're dealing with and who'll welcome them through the door.
One of the top ways to make your Airbnb listing stand out is to offer value for money. That doesn't mean being the cheapest property in your market but pricing competitively in your class.
At the most basic level, you can calculate your minimum cost by adding your monthly costs (e.g., mortgage payments) and utilities (e.g., water, gas, Wi-Fi, cleaning) and dividing the total by 30 days of the month – that's your average daily cost.
Of course, you want to do better than break even. Here are some factors to consider when pricing competitively:
Comparable properties. If in doubt, spy on your competition! Looking at what similar properties are charging in your area gives a good benchmark on the general range you can charge. For example, if similar properties are listed at $100 to $150 in your area, that's the minimum and maximum price for your listing.
Occupancy rate. If the average occupancy rate for your area is 50%, and your average daily cost is $50, then you'd need to charge at least $100 a day to break even. No properties are full all the time.
Gain reviews. Penetration pricing refers to starting with lower prices in order to generate interest. As you accumulate positive reviews, you can gradually raise your prices to reflect your listing's value.
Extra charges. Cleaning fees and service charges should not be included in the price per night – it's an additional charge. While it's not an area for raking in profit, you should price your cleaning competitively. Say, somewhere between $20 to $50 per stay.
Seasonal pricing. If your local area hosts a festival, concert, or major sports game – or it's a hotspot for a seasonal occasion – adjusting your pricing depending on the time of year will ensure you don't stand out for the wrong reasons.
Decorating your property
Décor, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. “Taste” isn't something we all agree on; it's why hotel rooms are normally so bland and uninspiring; they're trying to appeal to everyone
Airbnb guests expect something a little different: more homely, more unique, more personality.
That creates a challenge for Airbnb hosts. In order to get your listing to stand out, you need to decorate for your target customer without going over the top. You want pictures and reviews that wow, attract more guests, and increase your occupancy rate.
-Here are a few cost-effective ideas to improve your décor:
1. Use white bedding
I know, we said you need to show personality. But you can't go wrong with hypoallergenic white sheets. Taking a leaf out of the hotel industry's book is sensible. White sheets feel clean, and you can always bleach them to remove any type of stain.
They're also relatively cheap, so if they do need replacing, it won't dig into your profits.
Consider going luxury if your Airbnb listing is a high-end property. Bamboo sheets, for example, are some of the most comfortable and breathable you'll find anywhere. That goes for the rest of the bedding too!
To add a dash of personality, use your cushions, throws, and blankets to liven the room with color. You can use a two-color theme or pick a block color to accentuate the room (see below).
2. Liven the atmosphere with plants
Greenery cuts across styles. It freshens a room and creates a sense of place. In fact, we feel happier when we're around plants compared to bare rooms.
Depending on how often you visit your Airbnb, you'll want to choose a plant that isn't water-hungry. Low-maintenance houseplants ensure the space looks impeccable no matter what. After all, no one wants to walk into a property full of dead plants – it'll have the opposite effect!
3. Go local
Nothing stands out more than injecting a little local culture. It could be a beach theme for a Florida Airbnb rental or a black-and-white picture of the skyline in New York.
Adding these sparks of local life differentiates your property from the bland décor of your competition while creating a real sense of place.
Look on Etsy and other local craft stores for personalized, local furniture and decorations.
4. Add a luggage rack
No matter where your guests come from, they'll always need a luggage rack. Position the rack at the base of the bed for ease of use. It's a common piece of furniture in most hotels, but it's rarer in short-term vacation rentals. Why?
For a little extra money, you can even get a custom luggage rack designed to fit in with the rest of your décor theme.
5. Create a welcome table
Going the extra mile can not only make a guest's day, but it can also transform a vacation. Positioning a table near the entranceway (or the main living area), you should include items like:
If you want to go even further, compile a guide explaining everything on your property, e.g., using the appliances, turning the shower on, and working the oven.
These little details turn your holiday property into a home. Adding a few personal touches, like recommending your favorite restaurant, personalizes the home and sets the tone for your guests' stay.
6. Leave messages on a chalkboard
Like a welcome table, putting a chalkboard up is a fun addition to your property. You could add a welcome message in the reception area or include a humorous note in the kitchen. Oh, and throw in an eraser and some chalk so guests can customize the board while they're there.
Chalkboards are cheap to pick up. But, if you want to make your own chalkboard wall, you can get special-purpose chalkboard paint.
7. Accent with bold colors
Relying on neutral colors throughout your property will leave it feeling bland and forgettable – no matter how luxurious the furniture is. Liven up the room with a bold secondary color scheme. Think patterned cushions, colorful coasters, and block color curtains.
Don't go too flamboyant – no hot pink or neon yellow. But a theme of either green, blue, or orange always accents a room perfectly.
You can even paint your internal doors in your bold color for an extra kick. It's a simple yet effective way to inject personality into a space.
Adding extra touches
Extra touches are something special that helps you stand out from the crowd. It could be adding wine and strawberries for a couple's weekend. You could showcase weddings or family reunions at your property. Even small gestures – buying a birthday cake for a guest's special day – can have an outsized impact.
Welcome gifts, such as a local delicacy, a bottle of wine, or other free items, go the extra mile; they kick off a vacation with a bit of fun.
Nor do your extra touches always need to cost anything – writing down your favorite restaurants and local attractions is more than helpful. It can save guests a bad meal or wasted money on an attraction. Insider knowledge is worth its weight in gold!
You can show off these extra touches through your reviews, description, and photos, demonstrating why your property is head and shoulders above the rest.
No matter what kind of property you've got, there are tons of ways to make your Airbnb listing stand out. Think about what your guests want: a fabulous property, attentive hosts, a competitive price, and something special. Through your photos, listing description, and host profile, it's up to you to showcase how you meet and exceed these expectations.
That way, you can generate the best reviews and build a successful Airbnb business.