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Making Money On Airbnb Depends On YOUR Love Making Skills

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Relationships: Lovemaking depends on two willing partners.

Making Money With Airbnb


In our metaphor case, the loving parties are Airbnb and the homeowner. Both partners have expectations. But times the dice are loaded against you. You really have worked very hard in this relationship. In this case, Airbnb can pamper you or drop you; Airbnb will gladly continue the relationship as long as you make Airbnb money. Please read that again.

If you don’t contribute to THEIR Pot Of Gold Airbnb will delegate you to the last page and select another from their collective of willing lovers. Yes! the Cape Town flock of lovers grew by more than 163% in one year; currently, there are more than 15 000 listed on Cape Town Airbnb.

This means that there are more than 800 pages with Cape Town Airbnb listings. Luckily you don’t have to be on page one for Cape Town but at least be on page one for your suburb. If you are not on page one or two for your suburb you should be close to the number of people you can accommodate for your suburb. If not Airbnb is not *happy.

Your task is to stand out. To get attention. It’s not difficult. It’s not easy.

One Of Our Homes Made Cape Town Airbnb FRONT Page!

Looking at Airbnb’s Cape Town front page I was very happy to see one of our homes made it. We are in the top 99.88% of 15 000 properties. I am sure most hosts would like to exchange places.

Now think about it:

If you are not willing to make love to Airbnb why should Airbnb list you on their first page? If you don’t make them money do you think they care if you are on page 100 or page 800?
Why should Airbnb promote your home if your rates are too high, if your offer is poor, your photos are bad; basically your home does not stand out.

Today I want to talk to you about Airbnb Property Management and Marketing or Airbnb hosting as we experience it. Let me start by saying:

Ignore the Airbnb Love Making at Your Own Peril! Airbnb has only One Job! To Make Money for Airbnb! 

Figure Out How to Make Airbnb Money and Airbnb will LOVE You Dearly!”

The Airbnb space is flooded with wannabes. And every day more homes are added. You have to better, you must stand out – be exceptional.  If not you may just be another frustrated Philippa.

Without discussing the details let me say that if you want to take part in the lovemaking you must have a home that makes people go ‘WOW!’  If you don’t have a WOW home you will have to be better than the ordinary Joe. Because 80% of all properties will be ordinary. 20% of all properties will make 80% of the money. The question is how do you ensure you are achieving 80% occupancy. If your home is special it will be easier. If not you’ll have to compete on rates. To compete on rates only is not a great position to be in.

Let’s discuss the next major component after Airbnb marketing: 5 Star Airbnb Reviews.

Little Airbnb Property Management Mistake Can Haunt You For Years To Come!

Let me tell you about Riana* quickly.

She has a self-catering home in Cape Town. I searched for a place in her street and found her little mistake. She chose her address as her property name. Nothing wrong with that. But she got a bad review. And every time someone searched for her property name Riana’s bad review would pop up.

Let me say….

Difficult Guests And Bad Reviews Are Not The Problems!

The problem is how you, the host, manages and responds to difficult guests and bad reviews, and if you are willing to invest in fixing issues there and then. Guests understand things can go wrong. Focus on rather using the bad incident to make people happy quickly. The longer guests wait the angrier they get. What frustrates them; are useless owners who do not take responsibility quickly- and yes! even compensate guests fairly. Manage expectations and you’ll be well on your way to minimizing bad reviews.

Use any and all problems as an opportunity;

Riana never took responsibility for the issues. And she ignored the bad reviews.

Why Do ONLY Some People Make Proper Money With Airbnb?A

We really believe in the following words by Albert Einstein.

Try not to be a man of success, but rather try to be a man of value. Albert Einstein

If success is the result of value then fine.

But when you compromise value for quick success you’ll fail in this business. Why? Guests will take you out. Today with public reviews you’ll be exposed.

Apart from your attitude towards guests Pareto has some good news or bad news.

Good & Bad News: Pareto’s Principle:

First, the good news: 20% of properties on Airbnb make 80% of the money; the bad news: 80% of the properties only generate 20% of the money!

 Bad or good news depends on your loving attitude towards Airbnb and the appeal of your home.

The aim is to try and move into the top 20% or at least closer to the top. But how?

Value Adding Ideas For The Super Airbnb Host Who Wants To Move Into The Top 20%

  1. Find the Secret Airbnb Love Formula. And fly with it. Focus on higher occupancy via positive reviews.
  2. Tweak it. Consistently. Get More Positive Reviews. Promote it 24/7
  3. Continuously improve your home’s charm
  4. Go to the beginning and repeat it like Thomas Edison and many others who never gave up.

When we started with Airbnb we knew nothing about the Airbnb-Love or the tricks to ensuring success. We had some ideas of what might work. But we had to find what would make Airbnb love us…….

Let’s Break the It Down Into 10 Value Adding Ideas To Launch Your Property For Success

    • Honesty and Transparency 
      Your photos need to show the entire house. You have to tell people everything. Do not try and hide the fact that there are exactly 85 steps to your home. Or that there is noisy construction going on next door. If you have an ugly bathroom, and I really hope you don’t, show it! It’s better to send them away before they book than manage angry guest reviews! Always be fully transparent.
    • Being Responsive.
      Responding to your potential guest quicker than the opposition will give you an advantage.  That’s not all; being unresponsive when guests have issues can be the seed for bad reviews.
    • Show Respect With Professional Photos. 
      This is all about the image you project. Professional photos show you care for your home. Take some time and set your home up to look great; flowers, fruit, immaculately made beds with rolled towels. And pay a professional to take photos. Some owners tell me photos lie. Yes, they can. But this is no excuse to take bad photos on your cell phone. Get the best photographer! 
    • Manager or Owners With Positive Attitudes.
      You have done the deal and the guests have paid. They have high hopes and expect a warm and friendly welcome. The owner/manager needs to have great people skills and know-how to patiently deal with all guests and their issues/concerns.
    • Win With A Well Maintained And Managed Home Striving To Improve It All The Time. 
      This may seem obvious but many owners pocket all the income; others re-invest, revamp and improve all the time – it takes longer, it’s slower. But eventually, the tortoise wins the race to the bank. Be consistent, friendly, firm and responsive.
    • Initially Set Your Rates To Make Money For Airbnb. 
      It’s not about you -yet. You will make money eventually. It’s all about value for your guests and Airbnb. Airbnb uses all kinds of algorithms to decide if you are adding value. I am not suggesting you give the place away, but focus on occupancy before high rates. As occupancy increases so do profitability.
    • Attract More Guests With Competitive Rates 
      High rates with no reviews will get you empty beds. Low rates will at least give you something to bank as well as higher occupancy and, importantly, Airbnb love. What I am trying to say is that low rates make Airbnb happy and they promote you. But it’s not necessary to be naive. You can and should research competitive rates and also see how you can improve your rates while still getting high occupancy. It is important to note that some competitors will have higher rates, but will not be able to actually sell the place. The only evidence of selling is high occupancy.
    • Positive Reviews Will Generate Money
      Very few Airbnb marketers understand the relationship between getting Airbnb Love, the value you offer, competitive rates, competitive minimum stays, and positive reviews – you need at least 40, 5-star reviews. What will happen when you have 150 reviews?
    • Wowness! Wowness allows you to be part of the top 20% making 80%. Invest in the best photographer to capture the charm of your home. Always ensure your house stands out. And if you have not read my article dedicated to Wowness then do it now.

What Do You Get If You Follow These Airbnb Value Adding ideas?

You’ll be launched into stardom. You’ll be part of the top 20. You’ll be running at occupancies above at least 20% above the norm. You’ll be dictating rates and not Airbnb.


One solution does not fit all situations.

I know that. We have many owners who don’t want to maximise income. Owners who don’t want high occupancy. And we adapt the strategy to meet their lifestyle rules. By tweaking rates, or by adjusting the length of stay occupancy levels can be reduced. But never expect fireworks with a new home with no reviews. Don’t expect bookings with rates set to scare guests. This is an experiment. And we always experiment from the conservative end rather than the over-optimistic end – during the first year.

Giving Airbnb Love Is One Big Step But Is It Good To Have All Your Eggs in One Basket?

The big Booking Site players in the market are Airbnb and Yes, there are others like LekkerSlaap, Expedia Flipkey But 85% of our bookings come from the first two. They work. The rest are from our own websites and other Cape Town Agencies.
Other options are Facebook and Google ads. This option is risky as you need to know what you do. It’s our decision, after experimenting, not to use these services. If you search on Facebook, and Google you’ll see that Airbnb and already advertise on these. So we leave advertising to Airbnb and
Let’s look at one example of what I mean….

Search for “camps bay accommodation” or “Kommetjie self-catering” or “green point holiday accommodation” or whatever Cape Town accommodation on Google. Every time you will see as the number one advertiser on Google. takes the risk.

Why am I sharing this with you?

The first reason is you don’t have to directly pay Google for exposure. will do it for you.

The second issue is related to having all your eggs in the Airbnb basket:

Everyone in the world, looking for self-catering accommodation in Cape Town, is not using Airbnb. Research indicated that about 60% of accommodation seekers visit 3 or more sites before they confirm. If you are only on Airbnb and your opposition advertises on Airbnb and three or more websites who will get the deal?

If it’s your objective to play around and make a few nice bucks then stick your eggs in the Airbnb basket. But if your objective is to maximise your self-catering income then placing it in one basket is not the brightest idea.

But there is a hassle-free solution for busy Cape Town self-catering owners (get the free ebook on Unhassling Airbnb here). This is what one owner had to say (and 18 other owners said here)….

The Horak Clan (Cape Holidays) has been acting as an agent on behalf of Welgelee Luxury Self Catering for the last year. It has been a great success. They [are]… constantly cheerful and light-hearted and simultaneously ruthlessly efficient and reliable. I have only the highest praise for them and the ethical and straightforward way in which they conduct business..”Homeowner.

Thank you Cape Holidays for being so passionate about what you do – I sleep peacefully at night trusting that you guys take care of everything!I honor your commitment to this industry, thank you”  Homeowner

It’s great knowing that everything’s under control when I am out of the country and would otherwise be stressed about managing things back home. And I know if push came to shove you would make a plan to sort it out. Very happy! Alistair Clacherty – Homeowner

  • Why not have a look at our +900 4.9 out 5 reviews at Airbnb from happy guests? Click and scroll down (here).
  • While at it read one of many emails where Airbnb complimented us (here).

The Horak Clan

About the Author And CapeHolidays 

Our company, which was established in 2009, is constantly evolving to ensure both guests and homeowners receive 5-star service. We personally market and manage over 50 properties, but can also offer guests an array of homes in and around Cape Town. Our aim is not to be the biggest, but rather the best by offering a personalised experience.

We dedicate a big part of our business to the homeowners who have given us sole mandates. We work alongside them to ensure the properties are respected and continually improved so that guests can enjoy this 5-star experience. We believe a big factor in having an exceptional home is having happy homeowners and therefore we give them the opportunity to give us their lifestyle rules so we can adapt our marketing strategy accordingly.

Because we understand the power of 5 out 5-star reviews we have created a team that works for you. Elmarie Horak (who started the business) looks after the finances, home experiences and guest bookings. Nandi Horak works with guest bookings, tracking payments, and marketing. Johan Horak focuses on development, marketing and advertising. Aureol Lara leads the team of experience-creators that helps guests along the Southern Peninsula, with Janene Booth assisting her in creating exceptional experiences. Kevin Bester is the experience creator along the Atlantic Seaboard and Central Cape Town.

“But What About The Costs?” (Read FAQs)

You get two kinds of owners; one looks at cost while the other looks at the profit after cost and peace of mind.

They say you get what you focus on. The first type also doesn’t like agents and asks, “what have you done to earn your commission?, while the other owner knows that without an agent she will need to deal with all the hassles and potentially not have an occupancy of 80%. We prefer to work with owners who want to make a reasonably fair profit after cost and ones who respect the role of an agency.


We will market your home with love and care; sharing it on as many international websites at 20% commission to us. This includes setting up competitive rates, achieving high occupancy,  maximizing income on your unique home. We aim to get positive 5 star reviews with highly responsive and responsible Experience Creators.


We aim to create a sensational, memorable experience. Our objective is to find ways to minimize management costs to zeroWe are not interested in making money from management. We are only interested in value. If we fail on the value we fail the guest, the home and ourselves. We provide the management service exclusively to homes we market – in other words or management service is not available to owners who self market. Any costs are based on incidents. This is why maintenance-free homes are ideal.

CapeHolidays Experience Creators

Read our FAQs. Critical.

  • Expert Marketing & Management creating wow experiences
  • Understand the idea of “Loving Airbnb” to maximise income
  • Focus on zeroing management cost to benefit the owner.
  • Maximising income by marketing on many marketing channels
  • Our aim is not to be the biggest but to be the most personal and most effective.
  • We are not afraid to say no! We do it for value. Not Success. Value comes first. Always. – Thanks, Albert Einstein!

“Hi Nandi, Firstly, I would just like to thank you for all you emails, quick replies and your constant contact. Thank you anyway for your time and patience and information and hope you have a good summer season and Christmas. Will keep in touch Best regards  Thank you for everything” Guest

*Happy. When Airbnb is not happy and has downgraded your property you’ll never know why. Airbnb does not tell you why they drop you for another lover. You have to go and tweak; rates, length of stay, photos, title, features etc. This is a full-time job. You have to be on it. (back).

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