7 Tips to Help You Run an Awesome Bed and Breakfast

run a bed and breakfast

The secret to running a successful bed and breakfast is cultivating the right environment to create the best experience for your guests and team members.

 

Living in a beautiful house and meeting new, interesting people on a daily basis sounds extremely appealing, especially if you compare it to some monotonous office jobs. Running your own bed and breakfast can help you achieve this dream while allowing you to do something you truly love.

Although managing a bed and breakfast is fun, there’s also a lot of work that happens behind the scenes. From cleaning bedrooms to carrying out regular maintenance, you have to stay on top of your home to give your guests an unforgettable experience.

Read on to find out how to run a bed and breakfast successfully and create an inviting atmosphere.

 

1. Know Your Audience

Although many managers choose a wider approach, you should try to create a distinct vision and run your bed and breakfast focusing on a specific demographic. Learn everything you can about your ideal customers and equip your bed and breakfast according to their preferences.

For instance, if you’re targeting young families with active lifestyles, offer outdoors activities that are suitable for people of all ages.

 

2. Prioritize TripAdvisor and Other Online Travel Agencies

TripAdvisor is a great tool that can help you gain the recognition your bed and breakfast deserves. Many people have a love-hate relationship with the platform, but we recommend putting your personal feelings aside and work on enhancing your TripAdvisor profile.

What’s more, there are dozens of new up-and-coming online travel agencies (OTAs) that provide a great alternative for B&Bs to reach their target audience. There are more than 4 billion active internet users, so it’s safe to assume that a good portion of your target is online at all times. On top of this, there are now specialized online platforms like AirBnB that specifically target consumers focusing on these accommodation options.

Hiring a professional photographer to take pictures of your B&B as well as spell-checking your listing will improve your chances of landing more guests.


3. Work Out How Much Your B&B Is Worth

Remember to match your price according to the quality of the accommodation you’re providing. If the bed and breakfast you run offers high-quality rooms and social areas, you can’t charge bargain-cheap prices.

In the US alone, travelers spent more than $1 billion in 2017, so it’s safe to say that consumers are willing to pay as long as they think it’s worth their money. It’s vital to be honest with yourself to avoid overcharging customers or leaving money on the table.


4. Create an Awesome First Impression

Guests love to be pampered and treated like royalty. You can improve their experience by going the extra mile and creating an awesome first impression. Welcoming guests with fresh treats, drinks, or simply helping them book meals and tours can help make their stay a bit more memorable.


5. Keep Spares

Even the most prepared travelers forget something every now and then. It’s important to keep extra accessories in case your guests forget anything. Common items include:

  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Phone charger
  • Socks
  • Tampons
  • Razor
  • Hand towel/handkerchief
  • Condoms
  • Nail clippers
  • Cufflinks
  • Local guidebooks

You may also want to get an ironing board and spare neckties in case the folks that stay at your inn need to borrow them.


6. Be Obsessive About the Chores

Nothing is perfect, but if you decide to run your own b&b, you should start to be obsessive about the small details, your guests will be more likely to overlook any issues that may arise.

Don’t fall for the “that’ll do” trap – put in the effort, and you’ll notice a big difference in your guests’ behavior.


7. Enjoy Yourself!

Like we mentioned at the beginning of this post, running a bed and breakfast should be fun – after all, you get to meet travelers on a daily basis. Creating a fun atmosphere is critical for both guests and staff members, so make sure you have a good time and create great memories for everyone in your B&B.

 

Setting Up Your Bed and Breakfast

setting-up-bed-and-breakfast

What’s a Bed and Breakfast?

Also known as a B&B, a bed and breakfast can be defined as the perfect combination of a private home and a boutique hotel. Bed and breakfasts are characterized by extremely personalized service and a cozy, home-like atmosphere.

Financial Aspects to Look to Run a B&B

Remember that a B&B is primarily a business. You have to look at the financial aspects while setting up marketing, sales, customer service, and branding plans.

You should also look at the demand of the area where you want to open your inn. After all, the number of people that come to your B&B will make it or break it!

Lastly, keep in mind that most bed and breakfasts are small family businesses that don’t necessarily make a huge profit. You need to be persistent, flexible, and extremely sociable.  Evaluate your situation to make sure it’s what you want to do before making any big decisions.


Type of Ownership

Bed and breakfast managers often fall into one of three categories:

Owner – Many B&B managers actually own the property where the business is set up. If you own the house outright, then you get to keep a bigger portion of the profits right off the bat. Owners who have a mortgage will also start seeing more profits after it’s paid off, adding a nice incentive at the end of their payments. The only downside of owning an inn is that you have to take care of all the repairs yourself.

Renter – Renting a property means you don’t have to deal with maintenance. However, it also means that your renting agreement can be canceled, forcing you to find a new property to rent. Remember that you can take extra precautions, like establishing a long-term contract that allows you to rent the property for an extended period of time.

Hired Manager – By far the simplest scenario, hired managers work for the person that owns the B&B. This means that the actual owner doesn’t have to worry about any maintenance or chores. This is not the best choice if you’re looking to enjoy the experience of hosting yourself.


Living Arrangements

If you want to start a B&B on your property, you’ll also have to answer a few questions. First off, consider the living arrangements you’re most comfortable with. While sleeping in the same building as your guests is perfectly acceptable, you may want to seek more privacy and set up your room in a separate building.

 

The Destination

As we mentioned before, demand is the name of the game when it comes to running a successful bed and breakfast. Do your research and select a city that boasts of a regular, healthy flow of tourists. You’ll also want to find a destination that’s relatively affordable without sacrificing the quality of your inn.

Some of the up-and-coming cities and neighborhoods in Europe include:

  • Capucins in Bordeaux, France
  • Koukaki in Athens, Greece
  • Triana in Seville, Spain
  • Hammerbrook in Hamburg, Germany

Laws and Security Considerations

It’s important that you understand the laws and regulations governing the country where you run a bed and breakfast. This includes staying on top of the permits you need to obtain and sorting out all other paperwork to make sure your business complies with all the necessary laws.

At the same time, you need to establish a contingency plan in case of emergencies as well as review fire and food safety regulations periodically.

Running a Successful Bed and Breakfast

successful-bed-and-breakfast

Creating a mantra that makes you and your guests happy is critical to the success of your B&B. This is one of the reasons why consumers choose bed and breakfasts instead of hotels or hostels – because they offer a unique feel that is both familiar and lavish.

You’ll also have to define the services you’re going to offer and decide if your B&B will be open seasonally or year-round. Moreover, consider the number of meals you’ll serve per day and make sure you’re offering enough food choices to cater to all eating habits.

Another great way to improve your guests’ experience is by offering them extras, even if they are simple. A basket to take to the park and other small accessories will make your guests feel appreciated and comfortable, even if they don’t actually take you up on the offer.


Branding, Sales, and Marketing

Remember that your B&B is a business, and you need to think about turning a profit off it at some point. To do this, you’ll also have to create a blueprint that outlines your plans from a marketing and financial perspective.

To boost your branding efforts, you can:

  • Set up a website
  • Contact the local chamber of commerce and your local tourism office
  • Attend local fairs and events
  • Create a listing on bed and breakfast sites and Airbnb
  • Create a listing on Craigslist
  • Create a newsletter and start building a reader base
  • Learn the basics of SEO
  • Update a blog on a regular basis
  • Set up partnership agreements with local businesses

Remember that creating a good reputation for your business takes a lot of time and effort, so you’ll have to develop a keen eye for detail and work on developing a positive brand image in the long run.

 

Benefiting from Online Marketing Channels

Digital marketing channels have changed the face of advertising, and for good reason. Unlike traditional platforms, online advertising allows you to track the performance of your ads and make adjustments while they are still live.

Moreover, you can target specific audiences that have particular search patterns, increasing your chances of collecting quality leads that actually become guests.

There are different online channels you can take advantage of and use to market your bed and breakfast. Social media platforms, search engines, and display networks provide both organic and paid options that engage with your audience and create a lasting impression.

Start Your Bed and Breakfast on the Right Foot

You now have all the tips and know-how necessary to set up and run your bed & breakfast. If you’re interested in finding out more about our marketing services, contact us today by giving us a call or filling out our online contact form.

 

Get in touch with us!

6 of the Hottest Hotel Advertising Strategies

hotel-with-an-advertising-strategy

Are you in charge of advertising a hotel, but can’t seem to crack the top page on search results?

Do you need to be top of mind when it comes to travelers looking for accommodations?

If you’re struggling with putting your hotel on the map, you may need to take a look at your online strategy. Other than putting out ads on Google’s display ad network and sponsored posts on social media channels, your hotel’s website may be what’s dragging you down in the rankings. Your site may be overdue for some SEO magic.

So where do we start?

The answer is simple, really, but the execution may take a little more effort.

Actually, it’s going to take a lot of effort. And money.

 

1. Figure Out Your SEO Plays

Content and optimisation go hand-in-hand. Yes, you’ll need important, unique, and original content on your site, and you need to make sure your site is optimised for search engines. That means putting the right features in place for spiders—that’s the bots search engines like Google use in order to find content all over the web to list on their results— to crawl and find your site.

Make sure your content is not only unique to your business, but also keyword-dense (without overdoing it), and with outbound and inbound links. Post content regularly, pertaining not only to your hotel, but also about and links to attractions and things to do in your city or nearby areas. That would make your site informative and useful, which Google really likes… then it’ll do the rest.

 

2. Shape Your Hotel’s Brand

Nowadays, what works online – and especially on social media – are businesses that don’t sound and look like businesses. Coming off too traditional will likely force you to hard-sell your hotel and turn people off. Instead, try to humanise your social media strategy and digital presence in order to build connections and relationships with potential and existing customers.

You may have to consider a warmer, friendlier, and more familiar tone when it comes to online interaction, and a skilled team of social media managers may be able to provide this for you. The more you establish yourself as another person on the other end of the internet—the more you engage with the customer and capture their attention— and the better you can communicate and convey what your business has to offer.

 

3. Invest In Strategic Advertising & Paid Social Media Promotion

With so many people and businesses competing for the ordinary social media user’s attention online, you’ll have to find an effective advertising strategy so that your hotel can rise above the competition. When you put up a post on your hotel’s social media page, only a fraction of your followers in any platform will get to see your post organically. Fortunately, this is easily improved on when you promote a post on social media. Yes, you’ll have to pony up to do better online, but promoting ads on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Google Ads is now relatively cheaper with better ROIs than other traditional forms of advertising, especially for hotels that may have the power of a marketing budget behind them.

If you don’t feel comfortable building an hotel advertising strategy by yourself, you might also do well to hire a digital media manager, who is familiar with the ins, outs, and best practices of all the advertising strategies across the web. Sometimes you’ll have to run a specific kind of advertisement on social media to get the best results, and a person who is specially trained to handle this may do better and bring more optimised results than a marketing manager who’s only familiar with traditional marketing strategies and tools. They can also propose more intricate and complex digital strategies to effectively advertise your business.

 

Need to get people to use your site’s online booking feature?

There’s a particular kind of Facebook post for that.

Need to spread the word about a promotion you’re running?

Be sure to select a page post ad boost to make the most of it. Don’t target everyone, target those who are most likely to book at your hotel, and keep retargeting customers who have already expressed interest or patronised your business. Your social media promotion and digital advertising can be made relentless.

If you’re not able to hire someone else to do this, it’s something you can easily learn as well and add to your skillset. This will likely be a trial and error thing for your business, but once you get the hang of it and find your groove, you’ll see your social media promotion—and your money—work hard for you.

 

4. Partner Up With Online Travel Sellers, Agencies & Other Businesses

Travel sites like Trivago, Expedia, Booking.com are far more likely to put your hotel on the radar thanks to the sheer number of people using them. They’ll also help you drive business as they can easily advertise any discounts or promotions you may be running, or come up with discounts for you to drive customers to your business. It may easily be the biggest step you could take for your business, especially if you’re a smaller establishment as opposed to a part of a bigger chain.

It may also be in your and your business’s best interest to partner up with specialised travel agencies as well. They can include accommodations at your hotel as part of a travel package for tourists, and it would mean a steady flow of customers who are visiting your area. If you can, you should also take this further by associating with retail or other tour businesses, allowing customers who stay at your hotel to avail themselves of special discounts and deals at these partner establishments. The more you link up your business, add more value to your deals and offers, and add yourself as another important part of a thriving local economic ecosystem, the more you’ll benefit and entice customers. If you establish a valuable partnership offline, make sure the travel agencies will also advertise it on their own website.

 

5. Design A Loyalty Rewards Programs

One way to retain your existing customers and draw in new ones is the institution of a loyalty rewards program. It’s an advertising strategy pretty easy to execute—come up with a card to give them, and put up a list of rewards they can avail when they have repeated stays at your hotel or accumulate points for each transaction. Such programs are also easy to advertise for the hotel on social media and generally online with minimal investment and effort. You can even use your hotel’s site as a landing point for them to check their loyalty points and the list of rewards, which would naturally mean an opportunity for them to check the rest of your site out and add to your hits.

 

6. Utilise The Power Of Social Media Influencers

You may have noticed that there are people on social media whose followers number well into the tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions. If you need a quick way to promote your hotel, business, or even city or town your business is in, you may want to consider partnering up with these social media influencers. They’ll normally just take a free stay in your hotel in exchange of their online advertising activity: primarily posting on social media photo and video. You’ll likely be just ponying up the cost of one or two persons’ stay at your hotel for the interest of their many followers in return.

Just be sure to vet the influencers you’re looking at properly—sometimes people will cheat the system, using “bot” followers to increase their follower count. As much as possible, you may want to hire someone who’s an actual celebrity, even if they’re not world-famous. Many people online try to call themselves influencers even though what they have is only a padded follower count.

 

Final Thoughts on the Hotel Advertising Strategies to Put in Place

So there you have it — digital advertising may sound daunting and intimidating, but once you have a strategy to follow, the possibilities are endless. If you haven’t already, or if your efforts on the digital side are still rudimentary and basic, now is the time to take full advantage of the media all your customers are already using.

Hotel online advertising and promotion is not just the future; it’s the present, and it’s waiting for you to start using it.

Invest a little time, effort, and money, and soon enough you’ll see bookings rise faster than you can imagine.

Can Airbnb Split payment increase the booking on your listing?

Airbnb split payment is simplifying guest’s experience without having to get involved in embarrassing payment conversation between friends.

Do you hesitate to ask your friend to go Dutch on a bill? Have you found yourself tongue-tied on a date while splitting the bill?

Airbnb has recently introduced a system that takes the awkwardness out of fun-lodging.


Now, you can book a room on Airbnb and have the total fee split among you travel buddies without having to put your foot in your mouth. By using the new split-payment system, you can book a listing on airbnb and have it equally paid by your travel partners.

It is as simple as a snap of a finger, all you need to do is book the listing that you like. Once you select a listing, Airbnb split payment grants you with 72 hours to settle the bill amongst your friends. At the end of three days, if all your travel partners including you, make the payment, your dates are locked. However, the maximum number of people that the payment can be divided into is 16.

Alternatively, if none of your partners pay, Airbnb split payment does not instantly cancel the booking but offers a maximum 24 hours stretch for you to pay the whole amount. So the crucial check-in dates are not lost and is still available if you choose to confirm the reservation.

Therefore, instead of you having to seek each buddy to pay for the reservation, Airbnb draws an invoice and split the cost equally.

Payments amount can be split equally or at a proportion of your choice

By default Airbnb split payment the total amount equally amongst the number of companions. However, it does offer an option to adjust the payment differently. For instance, if one of the couple decides to pay more in comparison to the other then such a partner may double their payment.
This happens for instance when you have an apartment with different rooms.

An alternative to third party booker

In order to cater to the gaping demand by corporate travelers, Airbnb also started to offer a different variation of payment option. Under this system, a designated person can book on behalf of someone else. Such person is called Booker within Airbnb platform.

A booker is the point of contact at the initial stages of a reservation namely; reservation request, introduction, and payment for the reservation. Once this is complete, the onus shifts to the person on whose behalf the listing has been reserved also known as a guest.

At this point, booker and guest join the message room with the host. Therefore creating a three-way communication channel.

Alternatively, if you’re a host, you’ll have the titles ‘booked by’ and ‘booked for’ differently appear in your chat interface linked to the concerned listing. This makes management of reservation by the corporation as easy as pie.

However, this option was stopped in some countries due to the fact that Airbnb claims its platform is based on trust and people booking on the behalf of someone else will break the trust circle.

On the other hand business travel it is still available, therefore, for instance, a manager assistant can book for his manager, paying with the company credit card.

Airbnb users have doubled since the launch of split payment settlement

Considering the stats, split payment option has been a successful move for Airbnb. At the beta stage, this payment settlement system drove new users to the platform. Out of the 30% of booking that used split payment, there were tens and hundreds of new users who joined the platform.

Being the consumer-centric brand Airbnb is, its founder Brian Chesky instantly incorporated the split-payment because of a tweet exchange he had with one of Airbnb user. In one of his super popular tweet dated December 26th 2016, Brian Chesky asked this question to his followers.

With only less than a year after this tweet, Airbnb launched split payment that made cost-sharing convenient and graceful.

What was the secret sauce in making split payment a reality in 11 months?

In order to speed up the developmental process of split payment, Airbnb made a major acquisition in February 2017. Tilt, a social payment start-up app that specialized in peer-to-peer money transfer, and it was acquired by Airbnb. Investors at Tilt were grateful and counted their blessings which came in the form of unexpectedly large-sum of acquisition money.

What further sweetened the deal was money because tens of millions of dollar were paid only to ensure employee retention. From the onset of this acquisition, it was clear that Airbnb split payment was headed for the kill. Like most acquisition where the team is replaced, existing team was retained. Departments were operational and functional as if it were before the acquisition.

In the end the strategy seems to have paid off.

What are the implication for hosts?

Basically, Airbnb hosts, who have to deal with this group buy system they have a booking left on hold for a longer period that the 24 hours, as it happens for singular booking. On the other hand it may bring many advantages to property owners who has big apartments or expensive one. To sum up this split payment on option on Airbnb can definitely increase the sum of the money exchanged in every transaction within the platform.

It seems Airbnb has tons of ace up its sleeve, let’s see what’s next?

Truly, Airbnb is a company that exploded into fast-track growth because of its aggressive drive. It turned over new leaves on its track, and also left no stones unturned when it came to innovation. This millennial focused start-up never failed to up the ante while causing disruption.

Short term rental revenues: how do you make your property more profitable?

This short-term rental secret is barely legal, now you can make massive money too

Did you know short-term rental can make you wealthy?

Many private-millionaire landlords have their property rented on short-term lease over long-term. Do you know why? Yes, you’re right. Because the bank-roll from short-term rental trumps long-term rental in virtually every locale.

Long-term rental locks your rental property for longer periods. Your tenants will normally extend their stay over 12 months. Terminating a contract before the contracted date may attract penalty that can strip you off your money if a jiffy.

Short-term rental is easy to hack and the fastest method to build a profitable business. A prominently located property will attract masses of tourist who wish to experience the city like a local. Unlike long-term rentals, where negotiations is complex and takes ages to complete.

As you read through this recently discovered fact that uncovers the truth of property rental business, you’ll be spellbound to know that you could make more money in less than half the lease period of a long-term rental system.

How do we know this? In an article posted by curbed.com from San Francisco area, there were startling revelation relating to rental cost. Prior to kick-off at Super-bowl at San Francisco, the prices for 3 days accommodation in Russian Hill 3 bedroom was walloping at $17000. Yes, you read it right. That’s how short-term rental landlords are raking in the dough.

In addition long term rent rental often requires renovation adjustments and you often results in more commitment and legal issues involved rather than a short term rental.

Today many multi-sided platforms they manage to have to decrease the risk of renting to minimum level for landlords and real estate companies.

Here’s a Cheat-sheet for a short-term rental business-owner

Although not all that glitters is gold for everybody, there are certain caveats to short-term renting. If you follow my advice word-by-word, you’ll surely build a mega-successful rental business in no time.

  1. In every country, city, or state, there are legal implication that you must be aware of. Like certain states require you to obtain a license to lease your property for less than 30 days. It is best you contact your local lawyer to get legal assistance before you start-out.
  2. Next, you’ll have to feel the pulse of rental business in your locality. You can get a classified newspaper from the central newsstand and look at prices of apartments that are similar to your rental property with a keen eye. Circle the relevant rental charges, add all of them and divide it by the number of listings (circles that you made). This is the run-of-the-mill price that you can demand.
  3. Another simple but fiercely-effective step is to go to airbnb’s website and look for competing prices. Look for the crown-jewel in every listing, especially the wildly popular apartments. Does the listing has private pool, or tennis court, or perhaps barbecue-backyard? Moreover, analyse the offers and make one that is better than it. An offer they can’t refuse. Are the kitchen fully-stocked? If not, then you offer a full-stocked kitchen along with bathroom essentials and artwork that will greatly enhance guest experience.
  4. You can dramatically spike your rental revenue by tactfully marketing your property. By reading guest review on Airbnb or other sites, you can study the class of tourist/visitors that frequent your city. For instance, San Francisco attracts Super-Bowl fan in flock of millions during the first week of February. Most of the land-lord adorn their listing as per the super-bowl theme to make guest have a one-of-kind experience.
  5. What this means is that you can attract a throng of guest to your listing as   well. All you have to do is strategically theme you property in your city’s or country’s most ravishing festival, season or fiesta. Online channel are often cheaper and more effective but being offline at some certain point can be way more effective.

By doing this, you’ll rise head and shoulders above 90% of your competing rental business owner.

Again, you do not want be jack of all trade rather master of just one. If your locale boasts of slew of tourist attractions, you should ideally choose only one and gain a magic touch for it. Being popular for singular event can drive revenue faster.

6)  Like everybody else, you are in the rental business to make money, that’s why it’s best you make an expense sheet for fixed and variable expenses that erodes revenue.
You can ask an accountant to prepare the expense and revenue sheet to draw up exact profit from the business.

An accountant can do more than just billing and computation. You can rest on your laurels after employing an actuary because your taxes and returns are taken care of. As long as you’re within the confines of legal boundaries and keep these tips in your mind, you can safely grow your business into a money-churning machine.

Once you get the wheels turning, you must include in this financial plan the occupancy rate. What is an occupancy rate?
It is how many days or months in year is your apartment occupied by guests. In a year there shall be certain months (February—in case of Superbowl) when you will experience a surge in demand.

How much time in percentage your property should be occupied so that you do not lose money? Make discount ad or promotion according to your forecast.

Pro-Tip: Always have a fixed minimum price before you even start-out with the rental business. This will ensure that you stay above the line of cost at all times, for safeguarding yourself against hagglers and people asking for discount

It is always good to know how much you can be flexible on price before losing money.

Short-term rental business has its share of wealth that you as a landlord can massively cash-in. All you need to do hit the nail on the head when it comes to marketing and pricing to watch your profits shoot through the roof.

Calendar integration for short term rental: a secret money saving weapon

Never lose a dollar on your Airbnb by putting together an easy-to-use system

Are you renting several properties? Do you have them listed on multiple rental website? Is it stressful to keep track of dozens of booking? Did you disheartened your guest because of overbooking?

If you said yes any of the questions, you’re in for a million-dollar advice. Your problem ends now. You can easily accommodate every guest and rake in lots of money while gaining a superstar reputation on Airbnb or any other platform.

I get mails from readers who repeatedly ask me this question. One host from Airbnb, let’s call him Billy, had his listings posted on many other rental sites including booking.com, homestay and others. He faces a deadlock when two guests from different platforms booked the same listing for identical dates. Guess what happened?

A bird in hand is worth two in the bush

You might have guessed it right. In order to welcome both the guest, he tried convincing them to change their check-in dates. When one of them didn’t budge he negotiated with the other. Since none of them were flexible with their dates, our host was secretly wishing to have them both stay in his room by asking them to change their check-in date. He was stuck in a delightful dilemma, instead of at least accommodating one guest at his desired convenience; he lost both of them to this dilemma.

As you see, he lost a booking because of conflicting check-in dates for the same listing. This loss in booking could potentially lead to millions of dollar in lifetime value from that lost client. Many like Billy have this predicament on a daily basis and this guide helps to allay dilemma. A must guide for anyone seeking to smartly manage their listing and get the most bookings without losing a dollar.

Synchronize your calendar’s right now to have a self-growing bank balance

How does synchronizing benefit you? When you integrate your calendar, you end having a powerful tool to micro-manage booking. When this happens, a booking that you confirm on Airbnb automatically locks those specific dates on the corresponding booking website. Similarly, Airbnb listing gets blocked for those days that it has been booked on other platforms.

If Billy had been synchronizing his calendar from day one, the first guest who confirmed the booking on one platform gained the exclusivity for those days on other listing websites as well. Billy would not have landed in a tight spot because the successive guest would be electronically restricted from booking for reserved slot in the calendar.

As a result, Billy makes money on his listing by renting it every day without conflicting check-ins. Which also means he can easily provide extra-ordinary service to his guest and build a rockstar reputation on the platform by catering to clients one by one.

Integrate your calendar in few minutes and become a top-renter on Airbnb

iCal is your go-to calendar app for uniform integration across every platform. Like you’d expect from a personal secretary, iCal helps you by syncing every listing you have on a singular platform. Its versatility and ubiquitous applicability makes it extremely proficient in setting up an online calendar that manages most, if not all business day-to-day operations.

Services relating to online calendar, client-mailing, scheduling is now possible through your smart-phone. Even Google calendar can be merged with iCal and it can be shared to users who do not have access to your check-front account.

It is similar to having a personal secretary who notifies you in advance. To set up an iCal account all you need to do is sign up and copy the link generated in it within other platforms where you’ve listed your property. To learn the installation and set-up of a fully-functional iCal app, read this step-by-step guide rolled out by check-front.

The beauty of Airbnb lies in its website. A person who is a novice computer user or is computer-challenged can easily set up his listing on multiple website without a hassle. Here’s a step by step guide to synchronizing your calendar for your online renting business:

Calendar Importing

As the name suggests, calendar importing is updating your Airbnb booking dates as per the calendar from external website and applications. You can connect it with Google Calendar, Booking.com, Homestay or VRBO. In order to set the ball rolling, here’s what you ought to do:

  1. Go to manage listing on Airbnb.
  2. Choose the listing that you wish to integrate and click Manage Listing.
  3. Select Availability tab from above your listing preview.
  4. Go to Availability setting tab on the top right corner of your calendar.
  5. Under the main tab Sync Calendars, select the sub-tab Import Calendar.
  6. Paste your calendars URL in the Airbnb Calendar URL list.
  7. Name your calendar.
  8. Select Import calendar.

Calendar Exporting

Calendar export from Airbnb helps you to transpose information and data relating to occupancy and reservations from Airbnb to other websites. Its best that you do both in order for the integration of operate without any glitch.

  1. Go to manage listing on Airbnb
  2. Find the listing you’d like to edit and select manage listing.
  3. Select availability from above your listing preview.
  4. Under Sync calendars, select Export Calendar.
  5. A link shall be generated by Airbnb, copy it to iCal application.

Become an immaculate micro-manager of your listing!

It is advisable for every host to have their calendar set up with iCal. You can never go wrong with calendar integration because it works like your personal assistant. For instance, if a guest wishes to make a reservation on your listing, iCal integration provides real-time update on its availability.

So it completely eliminates any conflict. Which means you don’t end up like Billy and instead offer a flawless user experience to your potential guest. To become a hot-shot airbnb entrepreneur, it is essential to treat your listing as a professional business to make the most from it.

Let us know your experience in the comments below!

The definitive guide to get explosive visibility for your rental property on multiple platform

How do you make massive money from your short-term rental property?
Are you looking for the most profitable platform for publishing your listings? Here’s your exclusive guide to strategically publish your listing on high-traffic websites to get maximum visibility. Since you already know a smartly managed short-term rental business trumps long-term rental business every single time, here’s a powerful tip on how to turn your business into a mega success.

Minimize the risk: Publishing on different platforms

Do you find yourself biting your nails when opting for the right rental website? Many business owners tend to mindlessly publish on several websites leading to chaos, redundant reservation, and client mismanagement.

Instead of moving the needle they end up digging their own grave! What you should do instead is to target websites that attract host of warm relevant traffic to skim the cream of the crop. As you read on, I’ll share with you the list of top 50 sites that should instantly turn your listing super-profitable.

Before you publish your listing on a website, you should watch out for the kind of traffic that frequents it. Not only the quantity matter but also the quality. For instance, if you want to go mainstream you can never go wrong with Airbnb; it attracts tons of interested travelers who wish to wander the world like a local. Most of the guests who use Airbnb are from different walks of life. Some people who fly during Christmas, or any holiday season, or sports club fans who are visiting for the match or Digital nomads who work while traveling and so on.

Whereas in Home-stay, guests typically are students who go abroad on an exchange program and stay in a shared accommodation. Most of the times, the guests enter in collaborative consumption, in which not necessarily money is exchanged in return of services (also known as barter economy or gift economy). Do keep in mind that when you put out your listing here, you’re ideally sharing your house with a guest and cannot rent it individually.

Why publishing on many listings in never a fully automated process?

Publishing on multiple sites isn’t all that easy. Most websites limit the number of images and words you can use for description. In such a case, the infamous style of copy and pasting does not work. Keep your eyes open for sites that support embedding videos in the listing, because there are publishers that prohibit video uploads. Here’s a tool that digs deeper into the traffic, frequency and commonly used keywords on a website.

How to get more visibility for your listing?

Ideally, your home-website should become the stepping stone to publishing elsewhere. This gives you the advantage of promoting your listing using the keywords that relate the most to your locality. By targeting the search query relating to listing in your area, you’ll attract swarms of visitors. Moreover, you’re not bound by the restrictions imposed by third-party platforms.

Another simple yet a million-dollar tip is to get your listing published on a specialty website. What’s a specialty website?
It’s government board that promotes special interests. Is your house located near a scuba-diving site? Or is your listing close to a golf course? Then in such cases, you can maximize your occupancy and also not have to worry about screening as the most of the guests that you’ll encounter will be certified enthusiast.

How to choose the price when the listing in on multiple platforms?

Alright now that you clearly know how to choose the ideal listing sites, it’s time to take a look at the existing price trend. It is as simple as ABC to get the best rent pay-out.
All you need to do is browse through few of the properties, filter them on the basis of price from lowest to highest. Compare the size and price, then place your property slightly higher, if you’ve got better accessibility and amenity. Otherwise on lower spectrum, if you’re offering a vanilla experience.

Never quote a dirt-cheap price just to jumpstart your business, because you’ll invite trouble more often than not. After all, it’s your business and you must treat it like one by carefully considering the cost of photography, listing fees, set-up cost and hosting charges. Decide on a bottom line price and always, always quote it higher than your total expenses.

Learn the rules of the publishers, because you’re here to make bank. Airbnb is the kingpin of short-term rental business and you’re bound to rake in a lot of profits from here because it does not cost a penny to publish. Another visitor-rich yet tacky-looking website is craigslist that you cannot afford to miss. It is flooded with landlords and tenants, you should let the long-term tenant settle at the bottom to scoop short-term visitor off the top. There are few notable sites that should be on your mind to increase your visibility online.

Manage your listings like Dr. Octopus with this secret app!

As you garner momentum or once the ball sets into motion, it’s time you put your manager’s cap and administer the listing by synchronizing all of them. Wait, what exactly does synchronizing mean in this case? Right! It may sound complex but it’s simple, easy and highly effective.

It’s integrating the reservation across every publisher on a single calendar application. As a result of this, you don’t fall in a soup because you’ll have the calendar pro-actively giving you updates based on the reservation made on various website. No conflicting check-ins, no more infuriated guests.

One last takeaway from this guide before I leave. Listing on multiple platforms may be tempting, but you’re the best judge on which publisher best suits your apartment’s profile. Always read the major terms & conditions before going live on a platform to minimize mishaps.
There are certain sites that take a cut of the listed price for the transaction occurring within the platform which is yet another point to keep in mind while pricing your listing.

 

New to Short term rental: why you Should start with Airbnb

New to short term rental

New to short term rental? Read this comparison between house sharing platforms and check why Airbnb is your top choice.

Travelling and lodging has become a favourite hobby for many. Seeking experiences and creating memories by traveling is touted as a favourable option over materialistic pursuits. We live in a time where flights are the closest thing to time travel. It makes moving from one corner of the planet to other easier and faster.

When it comes to lodging, choices are many but the wise choice is only one.
Renting an Apartment from Airbnb outshines various competing brand because of the value offered by Airbnb.
There are websites like tripping.com, flipkey, homeaway, VRBO, housetrip etc. The choice is tremendous and may be hard to choose one at first.
Airbnb started 9 years ago and currently valued at $31billion, it is one of hottest success story in the lodging and rental space, as well as in the startup sector.

As a matter of fact, you and I as guests or rental owner stand to gain a lot from Airbnb. When you are new to short term rental, and you rent an apartment Airbnb, you have the opportunity to discover and browse through multiple listing. Once you decide on a property, and you are new to short term rental you can secure the booking through Airbnb integrated payment system. You get confirmation from the website at the snap of your finger!

Thanks to its system and spread, Airbnb redefine the concept of rent itself for an entire generation of millennials.

Whereas Homestay and VRBO are online classified, where rental owners pay a fees to put their ads on the website. Also, the act of booking and payment of the property takes outside the platform. Not only does it take it more time to confirm a reservation, but also at the cost a mediator who facilitate the transaction.

This simply means more security as Airbnb facilitates the transaction between the guest and the rental property owners.

Rent an apartment Booking.com or Rent an apartment Airbnb?

Booking.com is a one-stop shop that offers a blanket travel services from flight ticket to hotel reservation and even car rental. It is a portal which closely resembles the offerings by Travelocity.com or Expedia.

On the other hand, Airbnb offers a unique, personalized stay in a city which is creatively pushed by its tagline – “Book unique homes and experience a city like a local.” Instead of offering a cut and dried check-in services like that of a hotel, Airbnb believes in localized high-quality shacking experience.

What about Homestay vs Airbnb?

Homestay is an online community that connects travellers with families or individuals who wish to open their homes to travellers. Although Homestay and Airbnb possess lot of similarities, the single distinct feature between the two, being that homestay focuses solely on shared property whereas Airbnb lets a guest check in a private space.

Booking fee on Airbnb is only 3%, while it 15% on Homestay, which is paid by the hosts. With homestay you’ll always have a family or an individual sharing the space. Airbnb provides a choice to the guest which makes it all the more superior.

 Airbnb cares more than you think ($1 million pay-out insurance)

While user-friendliness, integrated payment system and a comprehensive review system should in itself make us want to stick to Airbnb, a $1 million guarantee in insurance is simply an offer that you cannot refuse. Airbnb cushions you against any insurance claim made against the guest for up to $1 million, which could potentially erase years of revenue in a single swipe.

In cases of personal injury caused by the rental property to a guest, the claim made by them could be in thousands of dollars. Although, there are mediation services like dispute settlement and mutual peace amends, the end result could be upsetting, therefore the host guarantee becomes a life-saver. In cases of delinquencies from the guest, Airbnb ask the guest to pay for the damages instead.

In order to claim the damages as host, you need to provide receipts of articles and items that were damaged or stolen.
Additionally, you need to provide police complaint report that states that damage done was substantial in nature (upwards $300).
Photographs of the damage being claimed along with ownership certificates and other documents that can expedite the claim process.
The purpose of this is to avoid frivolous claims made and always facilitate reimbursements in genuine cases.

This insurance get you covered also for damages created by your co-host.

The longer you associate, the better Airbnb reciprocate!

One of most distinguishing attribute of Airbnb is that it leaves no stone unturned for the satisfaction of the guest or the host. Rent an apartment Airbnb style always trump renting from any other site. In one of its creative marketing campaign, Airbnb revamped the listing interface making each of them appear as a distinct movie poster.

So for instance if you’re renting from a family with three sisters, the listing had a poster of three sisters posing for a pin-up. Similarly, Airbnb offers free photography service to host in order for them to get each listing the uniqueness and personalization it deserves. None of the competing website make for such compelling proposition.

Even though the service has been stopped in some countries where Airbnb was enough present there are still many areas where you can access the service.

Superhosts on Airbnb are those who are providing exemplary services for a long time. It is badge of honour and as a host, it one of the biggest honour you can aspire for. It takes years of dedicated flawless customer service for one to become a superhost. Airbnb understands your long-term association and loyalty to the brand. It offers priority customer support to super-host.

This means if you face a problem you’re provided a faster service than a newer host because you’ve made serious contribution to the growth of Airbnb. Moreover, there is a separate filter for listings with super-host which translates into more bookings. Superhost who maintain their reputation for another year is awarded with $100 travel coupon.
There are other exclusive events that is open to superhosts. I highly doubt if there is any other vacation renting community that offers unparalleled services, or this type of rewarding programs to others like that of Airbnb.

For a starter, Airbnb is your trusted partner.

If you read about what separates Airbnb from competitors, it is highly likely that Airbnb is your first bet for renting out a room or your apartment. For a first time listing, Airbnb offers a great start because the platform offers a secured gateway for payment and booking. You don’t have any to pay any registration fees which makes for zero start-up cost. Another feature to take into consideration about Airbnb, is that it is purely meritocratic. You cannot advertise your property on the platform therefore there is no risk of not being found because of your competitor.

The site runs multiple campaign throughout the year highlighting top listing in a city which keeps the spirit of lodging alive.

Whose better to advice you on this domain than a host himself? So grab your back-pack and experience the destination city like a local through Airbnb.

 

5 Tips about Customer care for home sharing business

Customer care for home sharing business

Turn your average listing into an epic success story through Customer care

By the time, you complete reading this guide, you will understand exactly how and why customer care for home sharing will make you a super host. A guest check-ins your vacation rental for the first time because you have promised him a convenient stay. It is an opportunity rather than an end.
An opportunity to provide unparalleled customer care for home sharing to your guests to have them coming back again, and again and again. It builds a bridge or a highway between you and the guest that translates into repeat business or a referral system.

As a result, the effort that goes into increasing the visibility of your rental property on Airbnb is no longer required. This is one of the prime reason why certain listings massively outdo their counterparts in business, reviews and onsite popularity.
I will show you step-by-step method to fire up your rental business and retain the momentum through a proven system.

Secure a guaranteed 5* rating- First impression directly affects rating!

The process of building an unbreakable client relationship starts right at the moment you receive a query on your Airbnb listing.
You may receive queries that may seem nefarious or obvious or plainly stupid. However, your response to each message must be soft, informative and valuable. You must never forget the cardinal rule of hospitality i.e customer is the king.

Also to make the client fully informed about the ins and outs of the rental property, you can do this by preparing a FAQ page. You should update questions that you receive on a multiple basis and supplement it with every new question. This will save you tons of time when answering that person.
Keeping the guest informed is necessary, it is best to state the type and number of room’s available in for the guest. Help guest identify geographic location of your property along with amenities and value-added services like Local Park, restaurants, airport etc.

You should always advice the potential guest of the legal narrative of your home country. Although the guest normally researches about the law relating to short-term renting, it is best to let them know that the services you offer are legal in your home country. If you pay all the taxes as you should, and do everything according to the law let them know about it. They may be nicer when it comes to the review.

In order to establish trust and prove your authenticity through your profile, it is advisable that you include your personal information, your personal photograph and a brief description about who the guest may meet at the rental property.
Guests feel comfortable and assured because of that personal touch and love to talk to humans rather than to a non-personal hotel. Airbnb establishes its brand recognition as a platform where guests can belong anywhere, in the sense that guests should feel at home everywhere they go.
As the guest sits on the other side of the world, a visual description of their vacation shack along with a face that shall host them builds credibility, which is a pre-requisite to extraordinary customer care for home sharing businesses.

Sharing as much information as possible when talking to your potential guest is the key.
Keeping a healthy communication channel removes the barrier of every form such as cultural, ethical or otherwise. This helps in setting a clear expectation of the property, which directly affects the temperament of the guest while rating. You can speed up your discussion by switching to faster platforms like Messenger or WhatsApp, which are most used usually.

How can you turn $50 investment into $1000 of automated income?

On the day of check-in, surprise your guest with a bottle of wine or an apple pie or a self-cooked cuisine to add a layer of personal touch.

I remember for instance I have met a super host at Airbnb Open 2015 that used to personalize the gift every time a different guest was coming.

A gesture that may seem trivial will separate you from the bulk of host out there. As they check in, you can give them a tour of the property and also demonstrate how certain electronic appliances work. This will build rapport, break the ice between the two and pacify the guest into convenience.

What to do when you’re away? A warm welcome does not necessarily mean you have to be physically present.

To provide an extraordinary customer care for home sharing business, you can record a welcome video and share it with your guest. A professionally recorded video that gives a tour of the house can be used for several guest check-ins. It also gives a wow effect since it is still pretty original. Additionally, you can book a wine or a chocolate cake at the expected check-in time while you’re away. Chocolate always gives a warm feeling and our mind associates with tenderness and care.

Thanks Christmas’ advertising!

To ensure that you’re on the same page as the client during their stay, specifically ask them about their stay after the first night. It will help you gauge the temperament of the guest because a night of peaceful and comfortable sleep usually translate into a warm-receptive morning. Just make sure it is unique and personalized. It is better that you ask them to sit together for a local specialty breakfast and keep the conversation light-hearted.
Pro tip: In this casual conversation please try to avoid conversation relating to politics or religion.

If you follow most if not all these tips mentioned you’ll jump in excitement as you witness your guest turn into frequent and repeat visitor to your apartment. If the guest like you very much they will recommend you not only in the platform but through their network.

A stitch in time saves nine – How to flip disappointment into happiness?

A little kindness always goes a long way in hospitality. Hence, when you’re in doubt or confused, it is best to stick to the basics and remain professional.
Simple words such as Thank you and I’m Sorry can get you out from sticky situations that can negatively impact your reviews and long-term client relationship.

Provide a clean, safe and comfortable environment for your guest. You must at all times be completely aware of the health of the property and ensure that everything remains in stellar condition. If the microwave is broken, it must be told to the guest in advance that it doesn’t cause a disappointment during the stay.

Remember: manage expectations is the real key of the game!

One of most defining quality of a super host is that they always walk an extra-mile. They keep the tea box, salt, pepper, condiments and other essentials refilled. Although it is barely consumed, it adds a brownie point to your overall reputation.

To full-proof your bit of an extraordinary service, you must proactively assume mishaps and possess instant solution. For a guest could accidentally lose the keys to the house, your thoughtfulness can quickly switch the situation in your favour. The security of the guest’s key is beyond your control however, your superhost power did not let the guest have a bad day.

Similarly, when a guest is about to check-out, you should ask them if and when would they like to visit next. Give them tips on how to reach their next destination, so their travel in your place will be smooth from the beginning to the end.

If they liked the stay, remember to ask them to share a 5* rating with a raving testimonial. If you’ve given due thought from the start of the conversation, you’re most likely to be given the ratings even before check-out.

Pro tip: always give the rating first to motivate the guest to do the same.
If you’re a superhost, you may gift a memoir or a souvenir along with a coupon code that’ll keep them invested in revisiting your vacation rental. A letter thanking them to choose to stay with you along with a call to action to induce them to add your rental listing to their favourite list will directly affect your visibility on Airbnb.

Now that you’re equipped, put on your cape, become the superhost

Summarised tips on guaranteeing ratings through extraordinary customer service:

  • Respond quickly to Airbnb listing queries.
  • Set expectations from the start.
  • Personalise the experience by putting pictures, photographs to convey a human touch.
  • Communicate off Airbnb to drop boundaries and talk like a friend.
  • Surprise the guest with a bottle of wine, cheesecake or box of chocolate at their first day of check-in along with a FAQ page.
  • Give a house tour and explain the working of appliances. (Record a video of the same if you’re unable to attend to the guests personally)
  • Enquire about their stay after the first night.
  • Provide a clean, safe and convenient environment for the guest to stay.

 

That’s it. It may seem overwhelming at first, which it is, however, your future self will thank you immeasurably for this.
You’ll be referred and recommended so many times because of your personalized offering that your business will surge to untapped limits.
This is what separates average Airbnb host from the legends, whose listings get tonnes of hidden bookings sprawling from references rather website bookings.
Did we forget something? Do you have any other tips you would like to share with us?

 

Digital branding strategy: from offline to online introduction

Digital Branding Strategy

The meaning of Digital Branding

A digital brand is mark, symbol or letters that represent a company and its business online. A brand is perceptive and it is defined by the company that owns it.
It represents trust, credibility, and authenticity of a product/services offered by the company. Building a brand online is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences to an entrepreneur. In the Internet-centric age most, if not all businesses have moved online and some of the popular brands have started business in an online channel. In the transition, though many established offline companies have left big space opens to new comers.

In order for a new website/blog/business to build an online brand, it must ensure that every form of communication to the outside world, represents the personality of that brand.

Words are powerful and it fundamentally impacts the overall perception of the brand. Although brand building is a life-long process, there are five key points that can help you connect with your audience and carve a name for your business.

Digital branding strategy

Five ways to skyrocket your brand online

  1. Put a voice behind the brand – Some of most successful brands have a unique voice that defines their identity. For example The wall street journal is a formal business tone, whereas cracked.com has a comical and satirical tone of voice. By publishing in a consistent tone, these brands have defined their identity and audience.
  2. Create valuable and shareable content – It is the most simple yet one of the most powerful method to build a brand. Content that is value-driven, informative, entertaining with accurate infographic boost a brand perception instantly. As the content becomes viral, the authority of business shoots through the roof. As a caveat, care must be taken while publishing a comical article as it has a high probability of being misinterpreted.
  3. Social media engagements – Unlike blog post or articles, social media post are dynamic, flexible and has a far wider outreach. A brand must choose the social media tool appropriately to convey the right message. For instance, a B2B industry may prefer Linked over Facebook, whereas IGN may choose vice-versa.
  4. Brand symbol, logo & tagline – In order to distinguish your business or brand from others, it is impertinent to design a logo or a symbol that is unique and relevant at the same time. A tagline is always advised to micro-tune the brand leaving no room for assumption by the audience. It is a double edged sword, hence a tagline must be wise fully considered.

Target audience – A brand must speak to an individual in the most personal manner possible. It is critical that a business shall define its audience. This is because every effort in positioning the brand shall be based on the perception and values of the target audience.

Digital branding strategy

Transforming a brand into a jargon!

A brand becomes a household name or in most cases replaces the verb that describes the pain area it seeks to solve. For instance, in casual conversation, it is common to hear suggestion like “You want to learn about Optic fiber, why don’t you Google it?”

Google is a noun which is used as a verb for the word “Search”. In order to establish a life-long relationship with your audience, it is essential that you communicate and reciprocate with your target audience. Answering their queries, sharing your personal stories shall build trust and reflect authenticity.
Pew Di Pie became the most subscribed Youtuber in the world because he remained authentic to his followers. He also took the time to humanize his brand by answering personal questions that were asked by his fans. However, he recently removed the possibility of comment under his video because of an argument with Youtube.

How Seo, Sem, and PPC can help you?

In order to carve an online brand, Search Engine Marketing is a key component to be considered. SEO helps in boosting the rank, whereas PPC ads (SEM) helps businesses or brands to appear right below the search query on Google as an advertisement.
PPC helps in placing an ad even above the top organic search result. This not only causes a massive inflow of traffic but also make the brand stand over and above other top queries search-related brand. A smart and aggressive PPC strategy can boost the brand by making it prominently visible. Thereby, sparking the process of associating a search keyword with your brand.

For instance, if you put the term “traveling to the USA”, the search result page shall display a list of website in order of their SEO ranking.
You own a travel solution website that helps in booking flight ticket, hotel reservation etc. A SEM strategist can help you place you site above the top web-searches by winning a bid at Google for your targeted keyword.
As a result, you can vastly improve the visibility of your brand through the strategist proposed action.

Given these points, SEM becomes a crucial tool in your brand building strategy. SEO and SEM work wonder in boosting your online presence. So, all in all, it is critical to include SEM as well as SEO strategy in the blueprints of brand-building.

Digital branding strategy

The importance of a network in new-born project

A brand can be only be positioned to a limited set of audience at one time. Or a brand building strategy outreach is defined by the effort of the strategist.
In order to build an image or brand, it is essential that your business, website or blog is targeted carefully. Association impacts reputation of the brand, as much as or even more than merely the content that is shared.
You have to choose a blog network wisely as the brand that you associate with, reflects values & voices of your brand as well.

Collaboration helps in sharing audience base who have similar taste and preference relating to your content. If operate and function independently, the pace and impact of your strategy will be lesser than if you would have collaborated.
As a result, valuable link building from credible and relevant sources will positively influence your brand perception. When an authority website sends a link to your website, it makes your brand valuable to Google and drive quality traffic to your site.
Guest blogging in this sense is one of the most common method to create a portfolio of credible and valuable back-link. Here some tips you on how to do it correctly.

A brand is a voice, a statement or a perception. It is defined by your online contents, actions, reviews and opinions. In order to carefully shape a brand, your content strategy must be directed towards one well defined person. The more precisely you define it, the higher will be the credibility, authenticity and trust with your audience. Although targeting a broad audience is what we all want, but the precision at which you define your readers or viewers determines the tenacity of your brand positioning strategy.

It is best to keep your eyes and ears glued to your audience’s feedback, as that is a pre-cursor to the image that your brand portrays. Positive feedbacks from your fans can help your micro-tune your strategy to build a brand that caters to a specific set of individuals to establish a profound connection with your audience.

Digital branding strategy

Accelerate your effort: hire an SEO expert

Building an online brand is based on your personal vision, mission and values that you assign to the brand. The technical aspect of branding is best left at the expertise of an SEO professional. A brand must be nurtured with care, effected with a strategy and not left to chance.

Want to know more? Get in touch with us!

 

Airbnb Seo: what is it and why you should you use it

How your Seo knowledge can get you more booking on Airbnb

Airbnb is an online lease and lodging services powered by home owner around the world. It provides rental services like apartment, home stay, or hotel rooms. It follows the same online marketplace principles as Amazon and ebay, where buyers and sellers meet on a common platform to make a mutual transaction. It proves to be an effective interface between homeowners who are willing to capitalize on the vacant room, or shared room, or an entire home available at their disposal.

Moreover to fully understand the functioning and operation of Airbnb, it is highly advantageous to know the tip and tricks of SEO.
Airbnb uses an algorithm, similar to what Google uses to position a website on its Search Engine Ranking Page. If Airbnb listing is given the same care and attention as given to a website by an SEO expert, it shall definitely move up in the rental property listing.

Let us look at how you can increase the visibility of you listing inside of Airbnb.

Little things you can do by yourself to enhance your listing

Now that you have listed your property for potential tourist, let us find out how you can stay on top of your game by appearing in the first page of the listing.
Your listing was meant to be alive, ever-changing and responsive to climb up the ladder.
To do that, you have to ensure that you address customer query within 24 hours from when it was asked. Response time reflects that the listing is active and alive. The algorithm is similar to the Google SERP, where a site which is active is ranked higher than a dormant or relatively lesser active websites.

To enhance and demonstrate even higher activity on your listing, it is advised that you update your prices on monthly or bi-monthly. By doing so, you apprise Airbnb of the price change maybe in respect to spurt or drip in rental demands. Moreover, you can tweak the description or shuffle availability status every once in a while to up your listing.

Consequently, if you wish to further optimize your listing for additional business, you can enable the instant booking option. By doing this, you are allowing a convinced guest to book without waiting for an approval, thereby speeding the process. Additionally, you may synchronize your Airbnb account with other social media accounts, which provides credibility to your listing.

Lastly, make sure your addresses, email id, contact details are verified by Airbnb.
If you haven’t done it already, you are losing a lot business because guest perceives your listing as non-credible. As a result, a listing that otherwise would have been a hot listing has failed to do so because it was not verified by the host.

Use keywords strategically and understand your guest

Like Amazon is the biggest market place for online purchases, there are articles or items that are listed under specific departments. For instance, running shoes shall fall under the footwear department. Searches performed by potential buyers on Amazon is similar to query that is completed on Google search page.
It becomes essential for a retailers to make their shoes appear on first page. In order to do that, a little tip is to find the most searched keywords or the most popular keywords that is associated with running shoes. Once you identify those keywords, you incorporate those in the product title or description, to make it keyword optimized.

A similar analogy applies to listing of rental property on Airbnb. For a property to appear on the first page of the search result it must contain the targeted keyword. Therefore, it is imperative for a property owner to identify the query or search keywords that a potential guest uses to complete his/her query on Airbnb. To find the right keyword, it is essential to know your target audience.

Ask yourself: what is the best customer for you? Which kind of customer your property suits you most? Which kind of customers go to your area?
Make a research on the top 5 listings pertaining to the area of your property. Read the property description of the entire five vacation rental, you will find certain keywords that are oft-repeated and common to all of them. For instance, a property that is located in the coast of Los angeles, may contain words like proximity to Venice beach or perhaps the pier.

Therefore, it is evident that guests are putting forth their query in the form of landmarks or amenities, which can play a crucial role in determining the ranking of your listing. So, write a description that encapsulates the tourist and leisure spots in and around your vacation rental to make it pop when a specific experiential query is made.

Even if the lengthy description is not read by users, the search engine crawls and index those listings to appear when a query is made consisting of those keywords. Hence, it is a rule of thumb to ensure you identify and incorporate keywords that is significant to your listing.

How users’ interaction can help your visibility

One of most effective Airbnb seo method to help your listing surge to the top is by gaining 5 star reviews from guests who have checked in your property.
Interestingly, most of the tourists are more than happy to share a review, if you only casually request them. As you gather and rack ratings, Airbnb will boost your listing as feedback is the most influential factor a potential guest consider before making a decision.

Additionally, you need to make your listing desirable that tourists find your listing super attractive, so they end adding it to their wish list.
This action signifies that your listing is valuable and is in the last stage of decision making by a tourist.
An online marketplace is similar to real life market economics, where the demand of a product, in our case listing goes up when it is purchased and stocked by a lot of buyers. Hence, you cannot ignore the importance of wish list should you want to make your listing more visible within Airbnb.

Pro tip: If you have already have a guest who has taken your services as a host, you can ask them simply add your listing to their wish list.

Using Airbnb brand authority to your advantage

As your listing starts driving revenue and gain new bookings regularly, its time you take the word out to the street. Airbnb permits and promotes the idea of adding three different official badges to promote your listing independently.
Three types of badges that you get to promote your listing are Reviews, Ratings and Super-host badges. Like typical SEO tool, a snippet of code for each badge can needs to be copy-pasted into HTML source file of the website.

By doing so, it is a mutual gain for the host as well as Airbnb because the traffic from a specific website is diverted to the host’s listing that translates into bookings. To learn more about badges and widgets from Airbnb click here. Airbnb snippets can be coded on multiple websites, which can act as a backlink page for your website.

Search Engine Ranking Page position of Airbnb

Airbnb has become increasingly popular rental booking website among its users, however looking at it purely from a SEO perspective, it has catching up to do.
When a potential guest puts his query on Google, it is unlikely that Airbnb appears on the top of the search result. Doing a test with popular cities when specific queries were entered, there were mainly competing websites that took the top spot i.e 9% of the time and Airbnb appeared on the top result only 2% of the time.

You can read an article Airbnb SEO ranking here.

Not appearing at top of SERP is harming the business by about 40% and with the increasing number of host on Airbnb, this website is made to thrive.

Is Airbnb SEO all that great?

Although, Airbnb has its merits, there are certain drawbacks in its SEO algorithm that is not identical or similar to Google or any other search engine.
Unlike in Google, content is the not the king for Airbnb Seo, because the written aspect of the content is often times ignored by potential guest as well. It is an online marketplace and hence if a potential host has huge number of reviews, it is often difficult to compete directly against such listings, as review score trumps other form of listing position.

On the data metric there is only limited user information that a host has access to, as a results most of the host may risk to play it by the ear.
Number of views a listing get is the only significant data that Airbnb provides. Information relating to the heat map, user behavior or information of the guest is never disclosed. There are tools developed externally that can tackle this issue, however you need to have a specific Seo background in order to use it properly and efficiently.
Nevertheless, it is an amazing platform that has gained tremendous brand authority and is one of the hottest brands in travel and vacation space. What do you think about Airbnb and how was your experience there, as a host, guest or an SEO expert? Let us know in the comment section below.