We all know the above quote from Lord Harold: location, location and location.
With Airbnb dominating the short term rental market the same refrain applies.
Today I don’t want to discuss your property’s physical location. This location is critical but fixed. Your “location” on the Airbnb website, when people search for properties like yours is the issue today. Know how to rank well and you will be located on page one.
If you want to succeed in maximising your short term rental income using Airbnb you need to (always) ask:
“Am I on page ONE when people search for my type of place?”
“If you don’t dominate page one you are not Airbnb Optimised”.
“AirbnB-Page-One-Listings Make Owners AND Airbnb Money”.
Page-One listing guests see first. Airbnb knows how important page one is. They, therefore, try and rank properties, which make them lots of money, to be listed here.
Let us consider the following:
“Why would Airbnb rank you high if you are a poor host with a boring to average home?”
They would not because you are not making Airbnb money. This is why Airbnb has clever teams of people working on sophisticated ranking algorithms to sort out the poor performers and delegate them to the bottom.
Just think about the following logic……
- There are 16 000 Cape Town Airbnb properties (According to AirDNA there are 15 988 active listing in the Cape Town area).
- AirDNA list 6 popular Airbnb holiday regions in and around Cape Town.
- There are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 etc bedroom places. There are more but let’s consider 5 home types.
- To keep it simple you have 6 regions times 5 home choices. Or 30 types (region by home).
- If we divide 16 000 homes by 30 you get nearly 533 property types per region. Okay we know the distribution is skew and there are many more one bedroom, two bedrooms than 5 bedrooms for example. But for argument sake let’s keep it simple.
- If the above is correct then your two bedroom or whatever size property you have, have to compete with about 533 other similar places in your neighborhood (region). That’s a lot. And shows how competitive the market is.
- Unfortunately Airbnb can only list 20 properties on a specific “front” page.
Our task is to know what works, and to not give Airbnb any excuses not to rank you on “page one”.
Luckily there is more criteria guests use to select or search a home. These will dice the 16 000 Cape Airbnb properties into smaller bites.
For example guest may choose based on some of these attributes:
- a pool – heated pool, hot tub
- Number of great reviews
- Wheelchair friendly.
- Professional photos
You cannot do much about your home’s physical location. But most other attributes are under your control. They may not be easy. To succeed you have to find every possible way to rank. And eliminate objections. The competition is fierce. Everytime you add a unique feature/attribute you increase the chances of getting page one ranking.
Let me give you an example:
If guests suggests you get a Weber but you already have a braai, then they have a reason why they don’t like what you have. Investigate and invest in a Weber. Or if guests love your place but ask for dishwasher then investigate and invest. Always err on the side of the guests request. Why sacrifice bookings or get poor reviews for such a small investment.
One last bit of advice:
It does not help you have a beautiful home with excellent ranking factors and you don’t know how to set rates.
I have said that Airbnb only ranks you high (list you on page one) if you make them money. Therefore it does not matter how remarkable your home is while nobody is willing to pay to stay. Airbnb has many measures, one they call “View To Book Rate”. If lots of people view your place but fail to book it then Airbnb knows the house is not up to standard and they will not list it on page one.
Combine unique features with a great airbnb management system and you will win this game. (Remember to collect more and more 5 star reviews).
I suggest you read articles like 27 Airbnb Ranking Factors. I am not suggestion these are the only ranking factors. But you get the idea.
- You either rank well or you don’t.
- You make Airbnb money and they send you money or you don’t make them money and they drop you.
- You may not like the game and you pull out or you play it according to Airbnb’s rules and you win all the way to the bank.
Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or ideas please share in the comment section.
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Y ou have read the previous Airbnb Host tutorial articles (here) in the series?