Everything You Need to Know About Airbnb

What is Airbnb- Zeevou

It is undoubtedly exaggerating if we claim that the word ‘Airbnb’ is just as famous as Google, but for sure if you have the slightest interest in travelling, Airbnb is, indeed, as popular as Google to you. If you’re a travel lover or a property manager and have this question in mind that what Airbnb is, here’s a straightforward answer according to their own website:

“Airbnb began in 2008 when two designers who had space to share hosted three travellers looking for a place to stay. Now, millions of hosts and travellers choose to create a free Airbnb account so they can list their space and book unique accommodations anywhere in the world. And Airbnb experience hosts share their passions and interests with both travellers and locals.”

As you’ve seen from this description, Airbnb is for two types of people: travellers looking for a place to stay and vacation rental owners or managers that are willing to offer accommodation to these travellers.

What Is Airbnb and How Does It Work?

Airbnb is one of the many OTAs (Online Travelling Agency). To be more precise, Airbnb is one of the most popular ones that travellers usually refer to to book a serviced apartment, bed and breakfast, a hotel and so on.

There are thousands of listings on Airbnb from different locations all around the world advertised by hosts offering their place to travellers.

The idea is to connect hosts and guests to transact and provide a more local experience for the adventure seekers who want to taste a different lifestyle from theirs for a short time.

If you’re new to the hospitality industry, just bought a beautiful house or a couple of units, the first and foremost thing for you to succeed in your business is to get more visibility. You need more people to see your property so that new bookings will flow to you.

Does Airbnb List Your Property for Free?

Of course not, if they did, what else could anybody want?

It is true that you need your property to get seen by more people to get bookings, but running a short-term rental management business is not a piece of cake with no charges other than Airbnb commissions.

So, before listing your property there, you need to know exactly how your payout is calculated and how much money will remain for you at the end.

The payout you receive for a guest’s stay is your nightly rate plus your optional extra charges (like a cleaning fee or extra guest fee), minus the host service fee. This fee is calculated by multiplying the total booking amount by a percentage and is automatically deducted from your payout. To get a better understanding of the calculation of host service fee, you can take a brief look at this page.

What Else Does Airbnb Provide You with Other than a Listing Platform?

There is some critical information go alongside your Airbnb listings:

Your house rules
Your check-in and check-out rules
Reserved dates
Your cancellation terms and fees

You can put all of that on the platform for the guests to take a look at, review, and accept.

The truth is that you can do all of this on your direct booking website as well, but the main advantage that Airbnb has and your website does not is millions of travellers looking for a place to stay in your area.

Just to make a clearer picture in your mind, since Airbnb was born in 2007, 4 million اosts have welcomed over 800 million guest arrivals in almost every country across the globe. See? That is a huge number!

Therefore, it is somehow impossible to at least start your vacation rental business without the help of this booking platform.

Yet, of course, it brings up its own complications and drawbacks. For instance, even though it is a perfect intermediary to collect a good deal of reviews, but at the same time, you have to try too hard to get a good review. Otherwise, you’ll easily receive tons of horrible reviews ending up with a very low Airbnb rate and at the bottom of the list!

Factors that Affect Your Airbnb Ranking

There are millions of travellers every day on Airbnb looking for a comfortable yet affordable place to stay. But, this does not guarantee your property getting booked in a blink of an eye because the competition is also too tight.

You’re not the only person who thought about listing their short-term rentals on Airbnb. This is where Airbnb ranking matters a lot.

In a nutshell, your Airbnb ranking is affected by three main factors:

1. How much your property appeals to travellers
2. Price
3. Availability

The more people click on your listing and contact you from your listing page, the higher your Airbnb ranking will be.

So, be careful to present your properties as accurately and attractively as possible.

Moreover, Airbnb takes into consideration the competitiveness of your price. Be alert not to offer irrelevant prices!

Also, more open days in your calendar put your property ahead of others. So, try not to block days as much as possible.

In addition to all these points, there are other actions you can take to get a better Airbnb ranking. For instance, being an Airbnb Superhost might get you some help. Your responsiveness and having fabulous first impressions are also factors that’ll enable to get a better Airbnb ranking.

How to List Your Property on Airbnb

Sign up or log in before you begin.
After heading to Airbnb.com, choose ‘add listing’ in the top right corner of the homepage.
Fill the form that includes the most general criteria of your place like the home type, number of guests, city, the number of rooms and bathrooms, the exact address and amenities.
Do not forget to select the right amenities for your Airbnb.
Upload photos of your property alongside writing an accurate, appealing description.
Choose the first 3 photos wisely as they can grab the attention of your potential guests or run them away.
Make sure to cover the major features of your short-term rental in the 250-character description you can have.
Also, you have 35 characters for the name of your property. Be creative and think of it as a hook that gives the first impression having the potential to capture travellers’ attention.
Afterwards, review Airbnb’s basic requirements in the Bookings Settings and make additional ones if necessary.
Define your house rules and any other important details your guests should be aware of and careful about.
Set the dates regarding the Calendar including how much notice you need before your guests arrive, how often you’d like to have them at your place, how long they can stay and how far in advance they need to book your property.
If needed, you can block or unblock any dates or even a whole month.
For pricing, you can use Airbnb’s Smart Pricing tool and the prices will be automatically optimised according to the demand in your area.
Constantly compare your prices with similar Airbnb listings in your location in order to stay competitive and relevant.
Finally, set a minimum and maximum price with the currency in which you want to charge your guests.
Are you happy with your listing? Publish it then!

Is It Even Worth the Time to List Your Property on Airbnb?

As we’ve mentioned before, it’s all up to you because nothing in this world is perfect. If you’re a beginner or even in the middle of the way, yet still need more audience, Airbnb is a good choice to think about.

But if you have your own loyal guests who bring you even more by suggesting your rentals to their friends and family, so you’re on the right track and word of mouth is doing its best for you. This way, there’s no need to pay the extra money as Airbnb commission. Instead, what you need is a sufficient, SEO-friendly direct booking website.

But regardless of where you’re standing, you need to have a thorough perspective of all the pros and cons of listing your property(ies) on Airbnb. Here’s a good resource to gain more information.

Also, here are some more articles in case you’re interested in knowing more about different aspects of this hospitality giant.

Understanding Airbnb Cancellation Fees

Airbnb Co-hosts: to Hire or Not to Hire

A Couple of Facts About Airbnb IPO

Airbnb Taxes 101: All You Need to Know about Airbnb Taxes

Further Reading

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