You’ve had your property listed on Airbnb for a few months but have difficulties getting consistent bookings, especially during the non-peak season.
Many property owners face this problem, as there are over two million active Airbnb listings in the United States alone. Competition between listings can be pretty fierce.
Luckily, implementing some tactics can increase your chances of getting more bookings.
In this article, we’ll introduce three actionable tips you can put into motion to get more bookings for your listing today.
1. Market Pricing: Do Your Research
The time of year, location, and competitors’ pricing are three crucial and interrelated factors you must consider when you list on Airbnb rental. It’s no coincidence that rental demand and pricing will wax and wane throughout the year. Your renters are very sensitive to a listing’s price, so it's the first thing you must consider when hunting for Airbnb bookings.
As a rule of thumb, your rental price should match your peers’. Prices must change at different times of the year—it would be unwise to list your Chicago lakeside apartment at its high June price during the low (and frigid) season in February. Follow these steps to get a clear idea of market pricing:
- Research properties near yours and determine which ones are most similar in quality, space, nearby amenities, etc. The similar ones will make up your peer group.
- Know the weekly pricing your peers are listing. Keep a record of their prices to learn how they are pricing their listings during specific seasons and months.
- After some time, you will be able to make educated guesses about your future listing prices. Being armed with this knowledge will help you price your listing favorably and adjust accurately, which many Airbnb users might see as a reason to rent from you.
You’ll want to continually collect and record pricing data every few days.
The more data you have, the more accurate your pricing estimates will be. You’ll be able to list your properties at a price that doesn’t scare renters away.
Knowing your peers’ prices and how seasonal changes affect prices will help you determine your listing price.
Use a no-code drag-and-drop app builder like Adalo to create a data collection app. You can input information about competitors’ pricing, unit size, nearby amenities, and anything else you think is essential. Adalo also allows you to build analytical tools that give feedback about your data. If this sounds too complex, don’t worry. You need no technical or coding knowledge to use Adalo, only your fingertips and a screen.
2. Niche down with your target audience
If you live near several golf courses in a location with four distinct seasons, pricing in the wintertime should be significantly less than in the summertime peak months. Booking guests during peak months will be easier than during non-peak months.
During peak periods such as summer vacation or Memorial Day weekend, you can offer discounts for more extended stays. Offer a lower rate if guests stay five nights instead of three. This offer might entice some guests to take a few vacation days leading up to long holidays and book nights with you that might otherwise be open.
Make the Low Season Your High Season
What about non-peak periods, when bookings are complicated to obtain? This is the time to attract a clientele different from vacationers and weekend warriors.
The following list of people and their needs are prime examples of those who might fill your schedule with bookings during the low season:
Working nomads could be a very reliable source of bookings during the low season. Appealing to remote workers requires your rental to have a quiet, dedicated workspace complete with a desk and a high-speed internet connection. Huge bonus points if your workspace has an inspiring view. A discount for a long-term stay doesn’t hurt for attracting Slowmads either.
How to find them:
This segment of workers is growing, so there are a few ways to find them. Airbnb itself is launching a platform that appeals to remote workers. You can sign up on the page, and your listing will be viewed by a subcategory of clients made up of remote workers only.
You can also join Remote Worker groups on Facebook (“Digital Nomads Around the World” or “Remote Work & Jobs for Digital Nomads”) and on LinkedIn. Scroll through these pages daily to search for remote workers who might need to find a place to stay.
The internet is home to several remote work websites and forums, such as Nomad List, and Reddit Remote Work. Some sites will let you post your booking for free, while others charge several hundred dollars monthly.
Foreign and Domestic Travelers
Is your listing near an international airport, major attractions, or a national park? If so, appeal to travelers. Convince them to stay at your comfortable, quiet, well-equipped Airbnb rather than the local youth hostel downtown.
How to find them:
Finding domestic or foreign travelers by running inexpensive Facebook or Instagram ad campaigns (under $500), targeting certain regions, demographics, and interests is an effective way to popularize your listing. Here are a few points to consider:
- Facebook and Instagram allow you to set your ad campaign to your target country or region. Choose a target demographic, age group, and interests. You'll want to target skiers and snowboarders if your listing is near a ski resort.
- Targeting ads to people who can indulge in their hobbies in your listing’s area is something you’ll want to keep in mind. These people might be more interested in visiting for extended periods than average vacationers.
- Post visually appealing pictures of your property and nearby amenities to give your listing visual flair. Actively monitor your ad campaign, and keep a close eye on the analytics to determine what changes you need to make to increase your campaign’s appeal.
- Airbnb allows you to translate your listing page into a few languages to stand out to foreign guests. Determine your target countries and translate your page into those countries’ languages. Make sure to link to your listing on your ad campaign.
Catering to foreign clients could be a solid way to get bookings during off-peak times because many countries have different holidays and allow citizens lengthy vacation time.
With most of the Baby Boomers now out of the workforce and left with lots of time on their hands, retirees have great potential for your Airbnb. Keep your rental exceptionally clean and provide wheelchair access if possible.
How to find them:
Facebook has many groups for retirees, including travel groups (“My Itchy Travel Feet,” “Just Us Seniors,” and “Solo In Style: Women Over 50 Traveling Solo & Loving It!”), so join them and start working on promoting your listing.
Facebook and Instagram ads are both powerful tools for publicizing your listing. Like with travelers, leveraging Facebook’s ad features should play a key role in narrowing down retirees who might enjoy an extended stay at your Airbnb.
Make Your Booking a Home Away From Home
Obtaining long-term bookings requires you to make these guests feel at home. You need to have comfortable furniture, up-to-date appliances, and reliable internet. Because many of these people might want to stay for extended periods, offer discounts for long stays. They might be more motivated to book your listing when you offer discounts for extended stays.
3. Build a Direct Booking App
Instead of using the Airbnb platform, build your own booking app using Adalo. Adalo comes packed with countless vacation-themed templates ready to go. You’ll be able to build in plenty of features, like:
- Customizable Property Booking using an interface that you tailor-made.
- A Chat System for quick communication with guests that avoids Airbnb Messages or WhatsApp.
- Payment Processing using Stripe, Square, PayPal, and more for quick, contactless payments.
- Push Notifications for notifying guests when their property is ready or letting them know other important information.
- Loyalty Programs and Referrals for repeat guests and incentives to refer your property to friends and family.
- A Guest Review Section that is similar to Airbnb’s.
Best of all, you can avoid Airbnb’s nightly fees - allowing you to give guests a better price. Doing this will give your property a price advantage over similar ones on Airbnb.
Your guests can download your Adalo-made app in the Apple iOS or Google Play Store.
Work hard to build a reputation that will all but guarantee good reviews. Here are a few professional tips that will inspire your guests to give you positive reviews enthusiastically:
- Respond to guests promptly—never keep them waiting for over 10 minutes.
- Make your listing stand out on social media and your website by using only high-quality photos, well-written and honest descriptions of amenities, and a list of nearby attractions.
- Remember always to keep your property clean and presentable.
A higher number of positive reviews will make your direct booking app shine. Ensure each guest knows their positivity is appreciated by thanking them for leaving a positive review.
Past Guests, New Network
Each guest will have left you their email and phone number. You’ll want to keep in contact with all your past guests to maintain a relationship with them. To do this, send out a newsletter no more than once a month highlighting special events in your area. Offer past guests special deals to fill more bookings during the off-season.
When past guests give you a referral, offer both parties a discount. Giving two discounts will show that you genuinely appreciate their business and help. Treating guests like this will create loyal customers who you can count on in the future.
One thing that would make your property memorable is to create an “Instagrammable” spot in your property. It can be near a fireplace, in the backyard pavilion, or by the ornately carved front door. Pick an aesthetically pleasing spot that sums up your property’s feel in a lovely Instagram post.
A One of a Kind Property
Your own booking app, complete with a messaging service and coupled with unique aesthetic features, will set your property apart from others. Throw in the lower booking prices you get by listing your property on your own app, and you’ll position yourself perfectly for more bookings.
With time and persistence, listing your property on your own custom-made app will pay off. You’ll have opportunities to build a large and loyal client base by leveraging your customized booking system. Your clients should love the ease, personalization, and relaxation-enhancing benefits your custom-made booking system brings to their vacation experience.