It's evident that we are starting to gain traction in our fight against COVID-19 and the global pandemic that has plagued us for the the past year. And no one is as ready to get back to business as those in the tourism and hospitality fields, including Airbnb and vacation rental operators.
Some areas have been shielded from the lost revenue and reservations, such as costal and mountain destinations. Many travelers have specifically sought our houses to rent over hotels for the safety and privacy they afford. Making meals at home and having areas to relax and unwind are ideal to those looking for safe travel options over the past year. And many tourism experts believe Airbnb and vacation rental properties will rebound faster than hotels over the next two years.
Tourism Recovery Is In Sight
Promising signs of recovery are all around us. For Airbnb hosts in Louisville, KY Business First, a business publication that frequently reports on the local tourism industry, recently published an article showing March 2021 is on pace to be the most lucrative month for the tourism industry since the start of the pandemic over a yer ago.
With a tourism recovery just around the corner, this is a great time to get back to basics and ensure your listing and property are ready for the onslaught of leisure and event travelers setting their sights on your city this summer. Here are our top suggestions for preparing your Airbnb property for post-pandemic success!
Tips for Airbnb Hosting Success
First appearances are important. So let's begin where it matters most - the listing.
Let's Talk About Airbnb Reviews
It's true that guests are still a little on edge about travel. Our experience hosting during the pandemic has shown that guest are not holding back when it comes to reviews. So let's start there. Take a look at the reviews you've received from March 2020 - March 2021. You may not have very many...and that's ok! But what feedback did you receive? Make a list of the positive feedback and set that to the side for later. Now make a list of the negative feedback. Sit with it for a second. Try not to focus on the guest that left the review but the actual words and what a future guest might think when they read that review. It's best to get ahead of the issue and address it with a kind and informative reply to set context and let future guests know what you are doing to remediate the issue. But if you didn't reply, that ok. We can still address these issues and move on to bigger and better things. Don't let a negative review get you down. They are a fact of hosting.
Take a breath and cleanse your system. I'm sorry I had to take you down the path or reading old reviews - but it's important to your future success. And hopefully therapeutic to remember the good ones. Funny how only the bad ones stick with us, isn't it?
Improve Your Airbnb Listing Game
Now let's spend some time on our listing itself. What do you think? And be honest. Is your description the best it can be? Did you fill our every section? Do you provide recommendations? Are your pictures amazing?
Airbnb offers some great tips to clean up your listing and attract your ideal guest. Here are a few that I think are most important:
Put your best foot forward with amazing photos! Here are some Airbnb photo tips:
Hire a professional real estate photographer. No exceptions!
Pic the BEST photo for the cover. Highlight your good side.
Select your top 5 photos first. No one wants to go through 30 pics before they see the kitchen.
Highlight AMAZING reviews with screen shots. Make sure they are seen!
Add captions. This is often overlooked! Describing what they are seeing. This will reduce the number of questions guests have about the property.
People show with their eyes, so pictures are the MOST important part of the listing, in my opinion. Here are a few more things to work on as we get our profiles post-pandemic ready!
Update your listing title, making it fun and informative.
Look for other top hosts in your areas and model your after theirs. Highlight guests favorites like: pet friends, big yard, hot tub, downtown view, etc. Periodically changing your title will also help with search rankings. The algorithm is known to give priority to profiles that change.
2. Re-write your listing.
You may not need to re-write the entire thing, but let's at least take a look at it and see if anything needs to change. Have you made any updates to the property over the past year? Many people took being homebound as a tie to make improvements to their residences and investment properties. Have any new businesses opened around you? Are you offering special deals to attract guests? Sometimes only minor improvements are needed. But make sure the COVID-specific language is removed if it no longer applies. Nothing says "I'm an engaged host" like the statement about travel restrictions and limited gatherings.
3. Adjust Pricing