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, 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 or Rent an apartment Airbnb? 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 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.


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.


Airbnb new co-hosting service: find a trustable business partner for your home sharing business

Everything you need to know about new Airbnb co-hosting service

Airbnb Co-hosting feature began with a beta stage in Miami, Dublin, Seattle and Austin.

Co-hosting helps a host by freeing him from the responsibility of managing check-in and queries. Airbnb offers a pool of host to choose from who can assist you in managing an apartment. Alternatively, you may delegate part of your tasks to friends or family members who can act as a co-host. Launched in October 2016, and by the end of 2016, 46000 hosts were added to co-host database, which proves that this service is gaining tremendous popularity and momentum from the date of launch.

Property management business may be very profitable especially for short term rental but it also implies a lot of responsibilities, duties and engagement for the host. It is tiresome, tedious and time-consuming to manage a rental property and many hosts cannot handle this task individually. Airbnb understood this pressing concern and it was quick to implement a revenue sharing system. This swift yet major upgrade was made possible due to the feedback that Airbnb received from its host.

Airbnb walked an extra-mile to ensure that partnering and managing rental property is safe, reliable and hassle free. In October 2016 Airbnb launch a service called find a co-host.

With find your co-host, the rental property owner i.e the host has the liberty to hire a co-host amongst Airbnb certified hosts who are experienced in managing properties. They undertake a portfolio of guest management services for a fixed percentage of the revenue. Usually this is around 10-35% of revenue depending on the number of services offered by the co-host. The list of countries where ‘find your co-host’ service is offered is continually growing every week.

It is an interesting proposition as it offers a source of revenue for super-hosts who can monetize on their superstar reputation on Airbnb.

Ripple effect of Co-hosting services on other industries

Airbnb, which starts as a startup to empower individuals in the name of sharing economy, is clearly turning itself into a real estate management platform.

With that being said, Airbnb is posing a threat to hotel industry, this cold-war alike situation was brought to light when Federal trade commission was asked by the US Senator to intervene. Airbnb was under the radar for causing housing cost to rise and penalizing Airbnb host’s in New York State. Co-hosting services was another giant step to fortify Airbnb existing business, on the contrary hotel industry faced more than marginal decline in their business. Almost 90% of guest who used Airbnb services were satisfied because of personalized and unique experiences that made it far favorable that standard cut and dried services offered by hotel.

Although there were guest who preferred hotels to home-stay, the chasm between the two lodging model must be appreciated should both the industry wish to make a mutually profitable business. Other companies like Expedia, Price-line etc may also be concerned after a move taken by Airbnb to professionalize its offering by clubbing tourist packages and airline flights to its vacation rental services.

Airbnb co-host program

Layman guide to hiring a co-host

A Co-host provides direct interface with guests and tourist, therefore, it is all the more important to choose a Co-host who will make guests feel at home. As a host, the rank of your listings on Airbnb is directly related to number of 5 star ratings and positive reviews that your listing receives. Hence, a host must ensure that the Co-host takes up his role professionally and exercise diligence in handling customer queries. A neighbor, friend or relative may be your first preference, however if that is not feasible then a co-host with experience in hosting services is your next best choice. The pre-requisites for a super host are:

  • A person who has hosted at least 10 trips.
  • Maintained a 90% response rate or higher.
  • Has a 5 star review at least 80% of the time and at least half of the guest who checked in must have left a review.
  • Completed every confirmed reservation without cancellation.
  • is approachable as well as professional in his/her manner.

In addition to this, a co-host must define the guest expectations from the first point of contact. Therefore, a co-host must share the unique and personalized experience that a guest is ought to receive when they check in to their target destination.

From my personal experience, I have observed varying taste and preference; therefore it is imprudent to apply a one size fit all formula to every guest. It is safer and convenient for co-host and customer alike when expectations are defined from the start.

In addition to this bear in mind that different properties reflect different services and expectations. Be sure the co host you choose is align with the style, brand and target of your property.

Airbnb co-host program

Is my house at risk when I rely on partnering with a strangers?

Every home-owner who rent his/her rental property must be stressed. There are two kinds risk inherent to renting and leasing, one that emerges from potential guest who checks-in. Second, the risk from hiring a co-host to manage your property.

In order to be protect yourself from a dodgy co-host, it is best to take safety measures. In addition to hiring a credible co-host from among relatives or trusted friends, the alternate of hiring a super-host status as co-host is relatively safer. So when you pick a co-host you should always look at the history, review score and testimonials of the guest’s undertaken co-host’s services.

In addition to that, always, and I cannot stress this enough, always communicate contractual obligation through Airbnb messaging system. From a legal standpoint, it acts an evidence and documented conversation is always a sure way to demarcate responsibilities of co-host. In case of mishap, as a host you can always raise a dispute on Airbnb Resolution Center.

Accept and remit payments only through Airbnb payment system. This again corresponds to the reason above as document transaction provides a proof of payment. Airbnb pro-actively takes charge in cases of revenue sharing by spelling it clearly at the start of a co-hosting arrangement.

Other than that, it is best to exercise caution and judgment from the very start to avoid any road-bumps towards the end of the arrangement.

Airbnb offers host protection program which indemnifies a host against damages to the property by a third-party. It means not only does the program covers against detriment caused by guest but also a person who accompanies the guest maybe his friend, co-host or any related party shall also be covered. It is best to understand the terms and conditions of the said program and Airbnb offers resolution in most of the cases through Airbnb conflict resolution system. You can read the comprehensive coverage and eligibility to make claims here.

Airbnb co-host program

Is this the Walmart of tourism and lodging industry?

Introduction of Airbnb co-hosting feature is a game-changer and shall attract ever more business for the $31 billion valued start-up. As you read above, it may cause steady and continuous decline in business for the hotel industry. Due to this, hotels must rock the boat and jump on the band-wagon by offering personalized offering to fortify their position.

Similarly, property management companies may have to bite the bullet because Co-hosting practically offers identical service except at micro level. This should be a cause of concern for property managers, hence they ought to switch to more refined business model if they wish to survive. They must formulate strategies by joining hands with Airbnb or upgrade their offering.
Lastly, the third industry that shook because of Airbnb, was the online travel and vacation planning websites like Expedia, Price-line. It seems Airbnb is organically widening its business model from being a merely vacation renting website to a complete travel and lodging solution company. Who knows, it may become the Walmart of travel industry in no time.

Are you planning to lease out your property on Airbnb or use the new co host service? Let us know in the comment section below.