1. How to Increase Views on Airbnb and Other Listing Sites?
Unfortunately, there is no magic potion, puff or powder which can provide an Airbnb host or vacation rental owner all the answers of “How to increase views on Airbnb?” However, armed with bit more information and knowledge around how listing sites like Airbnb and Vacation Rental By Owner work can significantly help convert more lookers into bookers and is the foundation of this discussion. If a person can better understand how to increase views on Airbnb and other listing sites, first they will have more opportunity to get more bookings and grow their business.
Understanding the Airbnb Search Ranking Algorithm
What factors determine how an Airbnb listing appears in search results?
Airbnb is a search engine, just like Google and YouTube. The following information is taken direct from the Airbnb website:
“The goal of the Airbnb search ranking algorithm is to help guests find the perfect listing for their trip—and help hosts find guests who are a great fit for their space. We [Airbnb] look at nearly 100 different factors for every listing in every search (and don’t worry—you don’t have to perform perfectly on everything to rank well). The exact list of features we [Airbnb] consider is confidential, but here are the basic categories:
Guest needs: We look at factors related to the guest, including where they’re searching from, their previous trips, which listings they’ve added to their Wish List or clicked on, and more.
Listing details: We consider things like the number of five-star reviews, price, location of the listing, if Instant Book is turned on, how quickly the host of the listing responds to requests, and many other factors.
Trip details: We factor in how many guests will be traveling, how long the trip will be, how far in the future the trip is, if they have set a minimum or a maximum price, and a variety of other factors.”
For more detailed information visit: Airbnb Search Ranking Algorithm
How to increase views on Airbnb with this insight?
1. Have guests, friends and other add your listing to their “Wish List” (Simply click the “Heart” on the Cover Photo in the upper right)
2. Responded to guests requests ASAP (Response rate and response time matters)
3. Enable InstaBook (Airbnb and it’s guest value quick and easy booking experience)
4. Increase visibility with accurate “Maximum and Minimum Nights”
5. Improve and Influence Reviews: “Search ranking looks at the number of trips that have been completed, and the reviews and ratings that were left by guests.”
6. Set competitive pricing
7. Become a SuperHost
8. Ensure the listing is updated, max occupancy accurate and all amenities listed
The following images is directly from our proprietary Ninja VR + Airbnb Listing Marketing System that we have refined over many listings and which have resulted in “Top Property” accolades on AirDna’s ranking system.
2. Good Airbnb Titles and The Best Airbnb Listing Names
Good Airbnb titles and the best airbnb listing names are no different than headlines on a newspaper. If the headline stinks no one will read further. This means if the headline or title is crappy we don’t get the “click” for the prospect to view the listing page and actually “book” the property. The best airbnb listing names usually create curiosity, stimulate emotion or mention a unique amenity. The worst listing titles are “matter of fact,” they simply state facts about the listing, “3 BR 1 Ba Condo,” which is very boring in my opinion. Spend some time on this, it likely won’t come up in one session. Think about what is unique about your place, what do guest, family or friends refer to it as, what is the property’s history?
The Magical Bungalow OBX, has been a top ranked Airbnb property on Airdna for quite some time. You may find the story of how it came to be the “Magical Bungalow” interesting, maybe not. After, many sale contracts had fallen though, we finally locked up this traditional “beach box” style bungalow, which at the time was a dump but had a lot of potential and even a peak-a-boo ocean view from the covered porch. We negotiated to have the seller leave all furnishings as part of the sale, but did agree to have them remove any personal items from the property prior to closing. Following the closing, we went to the property with our Realtor, Jeff, and found a handwritten note on the kitchen island which read, “To the new owners, please take care of this Magical Bungalow.” And this is how the name for the Magical Bungalow OBX came to be. The Magical Bungalow OBX may not be the best Airbnb listing name but it it a very good Airbnb title! Notice how we also mention 2 unique amenities (Walk to Beach + Surfboards) in the listing title as well.
3. Hire A Professional Vacation Rental Photographer
Hiring a professional vacation rental photographer may be the mort important point to convert more lookers to bookers! You may have an DSLR HD camera, you may have a friend that is an aspiring professional photographer or you may have the temptation to pull out a smartphone and begin to snap away. I will never tell a person what to do, I only showcase what we do at Live Swell and how we have created top performing and top ranked properties. We do have an HD Cannon Camera, we do have friend that is an exceptional landscape photographer BUT we only use a professional “real estate” photographer for our marketing of listing photos. It did not start out that way.
A good real estate photographer is a specialist. They understand how to capture entire rooms (and small spaces) using wide-angles lenses and may have other value added equipment like a drone. They know how to get the correct lighting and edit accordingly as needed. In addition to the required room by room images, they will capture unique amenities, decor and booking magnets which all help to sell the essence of staying at your place. Below is another portion of the Ninja VR + Airbnb Listing Marketing System, “Professional Photography + Video Checklist.”
Of course, once we gotten back all the images from the vacation rental photographer we will have to upload them. So the next section to dial in is the “Photo Selection and Arrangement.” How well this next step is executes will help turn more lookers to bookers!
The Airbnb and Vacation Rental “Billboard”
The most important listing photo is the “Cover Photo.” The cover photos is the first photo of a property listing. This is the ONLY photo which appears in listing search results as a “thumbnail” style image. The cover photo, together with your headline, are the only visible marketing a potential guest is able to see among all the other search results. We call this the cover image and headline the, “Vacation Rental Billboard!” If the billboard is crappy or simply not attractive it will stink, the consequence of stinking is less bookings! Think of the first image and your headline/title as your billboard. How can we get more people to take the action of clicking our listing? What makes it stand out from the sea of increasing Airbnb listings? Choose your cover photos wisely, and from time to time, test new ones.
Airbnb Professional Photographer
One of the value added services Airbnb provides hosts is access to an Airbnb professional photographer. Airbnb is smart, they know that the interests of their hosts are in alignment with their interests, beautiful attractive listing images with the objective of converting lookers to bookers. To help hosts improve their Airbnb listings in some area’s an Airbnb professional photographer is available to take photos free of charge. You must check with Airbnb to see if they offer this service in your area. When Maria and I inquired about it in the Outer Banks the service was not available so we hired our own professional vacation rental photographer.
Vacation Rental Photographer + Airbnb Photographer Price
The Airbnb photographer price will depend a few factors, most important, is the size of the property and room count. When we recently updated our listing photos and hired our vacation rental photographer the fee totaled about $160 per property, which include aerial drone shots (highly recommended). We do have multiple properties so we do benefit from volume pricing, however, an investment in of under $200 for professional vacation rental photos edited is one of the best investments a serious host can make!
4. Best Vacation Rental By Owner Listing Sites
The landscape of short term rentals, Airbnbs and vacation rental listing sites is continually evolving. So which are the best vacation rental by owner listing sites to leverage? You may be listing on only one platform currently, if so there is an opportunity to increase the quantity of lookers.
At Live Swell, we list on both the VRBO network and Airbnb. Many people are not aware that VRBO is part of the HomeAway network and the HomeAway network was purchased by Expedia a few years ago. That means that a person who lists on HomeAway will appear in search results on VRBO, Expedia and other sites they own. The more listing sites an owner is on the more lookers they have the opportunity to convert to bookers.
The combination of both the VRBO network and Airbnb, for us, are the best vacation rental by owner listing sites. However, this may change as time goes on.
5. AirDna MarketMinder: Model “Top Ranked” Listings
Do you believe success leave clues? We do! In fact, we have invested hundreds of thousand of dollars into real estate, vacation rental and business “best practice” education to learn from successful brands, investors and business people. We also believe in investing into products designed to give us competitive advantages. One of those competitive advantages is data. Yes I am a data nerd, you may soon be too.
I stumbled into AirDna in my quest to find more data a while back. AirDna is a company that scrapes data off live Airbnb listings in every market all over the world and can make sense of it though complex analysis. They can provide estimates for ADR (Average Daily Rate), Occupancy and many other valuable metrics in their MarketMinder package. One of the most useful components of MarketMinder is the “Top Properties” section. This section lists the top 10 performing properties in a given marketplace. If you believe success leaves clues, the opportunity, to be aware and spy on the top performing properties is very powerful. We believe in modeling success, it allows a person to fastback the trial and error and see what’s working now. Take a look at the top performing properties on Airbnb in your market, what are they doing well? How is their billboard? What can you apply to your listing to get more views?
In our market, we are grateful and proud that we have 3 properties ranked within the “Top 10.” It was not easy and took a lot of hard work to develop our processes to get consistent results but we are glad we did. Even though, we are competing at the top of our market we still review the other listings in the top 10. Why? We are not perfect and still learning, spying on other top ranked properties in our market allows us to continue to learn and get better. You will too!
The “MarketMinder” tool investment is a reasonable fee, typically, in the $40 range but depends on the market. You can find direct links to all the aforementioned tools and resources on our Vacation Rental Resources page. This list contains the exact tools, resources and books we personally use in our business everyday to help create top performing and top ranked vacation rental properties.
I hope you have enjoyed this read and have found value in it. Reading is great but nothing happens till we implement! So start to improve your vacation rental listing today!