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Top Ways To Be More Visible in Airbnb Searches

9 Aug , 2013  

So, you tried Airbnb searches for your new profile and you found that your competitor, who is at the outskirts of the location you searched for, is ranked higher than you. You think “that’s not fair! I’m at the center of the place”. That’s because there are certain factors that affect the algorithm of Airbnb search results (the algorithm is what determines how high or low you listings are ranked). There are a number of factors that gives or takes away points for your profile’s visibility. These include the number of nights you have already booked, the number of ratings and reviews, etc.  Well, if you are just starting out and you want to make your profile more visible, there are still things you can do. Just follow these tops tips.

Accept Short Time Guests

It does not make sense to accept short time guests over long staying guests. Short time stays are much more of a hassle to manage compared to long stays which will give you maximized use for the linen. Long term guests also mean you more money. But for those hosts who are just starting out, it will be get long term stay requests. Guests who are going for a long and expensive stay will want to make reservations in a place with a higher reputation and reliability. So, go for one or two night renters. And this strategy has the added bonus of getting you more reviews, faster. Additionally, this will give you points with Airbnb algorithm since (at the moment of writing) they count the number of guests you have received without giving much weight to the length of stay.

Leave Guest Reviews ASAP

Reviews are the backbone of any best selling profile and you want your guests to leave you good reviews. But many new guests don’t bother to leave reviews. And even if they do, some give you short one liners like: “I had a good stay”. You don’t want that. So how do you get your guests to leave you a full review? Simple, give them one yourself. After they see you giving them a full review, the natural reaction is for ­reciprocity (guilt) to kick in. Giving them a review as soon as you can will also serve as a great reminder for them to give you one back as soon as possible. That is, before they get swept back into their busy lives. Of course if you have just recently created your profile, and you don’t even have a single review yet, you will get a hard time getting guests who could leave reviews in the first place. In that case you should -

Get Your Friends To Review You

Get your friends who have Airbnb accounts or ask them to create one. Ask them to give you a positive review. Getting the first couple of reviews that will attract the rest of the guests can be the hardest part of the game. It’s understandable that hosts starting out will find this first hurdle the hardest. Just a few reviews from friends will work wonders and attract your first real guests who will in turn give you your first real reviews. Just don’t forget to treat your friends to lunch.

Complete Your Airbnb Profile ASAP

Would you rent to a guest who has no reviews, no picture, or little information in their profile? Of course not. Will guests rent your room if you don’t have a completed profile? They won’t either. This common sense rule seems so simple but not everyone follows it to the letter. You have to complete your profile as soon as possible. Not only does this give you points in the algorithm ranking, it will also help guests trust you. Moreover, make your profile information substantial. Write more about yourself and your space and when you do. Revise and review what you wrote; give a great effort. A half-hearted attempt will show everyone a half-hearted rental business.

Use the Airbnb’s Free Professional Photographer

So, you are a professional photographer and you take beautiful pictures? Or maybe you want to do this part yourself because you want to get things right just the way you envision it. Well, even if you do take mind blowing pictures, you should still consider using Airbnb’s professional photographer. Aside from the fact that it is a free service and that the professional photographers generally do a great job, you also get to have the watermark “Airbnb.com Verified Photo” which helps soothe some fears for first time guests. At least they know for sure that your amazing loft is real. After that, you can upload your own mind blowing photos.

Update Your Calendar For No Reason

Here’s a useful thing to do at the start of your Airbnb hosting. Block out any date in the far future even if you don’t really have anything planned on those days. Then, later on, unblock those dates. What this seemingly useless exercise does is that it signals to the Airbnb algorithm that you are managing your calendar and will therefore give you points to help you rank higher in the searches. This is a great trick when starting out and when your calendar isn’t being used much since you don’t have any guests coming in. Afterwards, just make sure that your calendar is up to date and active.

Respond To Everyone

Responding to both reservation requests and messages give you algorithm points. So do not get lazy with those replies. Even if your guest replies to you with “Ok, I got it”, reply just to acknowledge that you have received their message, however short.

List Your Neighborhood

Tag your neighborhood even if you think people won’t be searching for it. You should, no matter how obscure your neighborhood is. Remember, you never know just when a guest will type that in the search bar. And while you are at it, be as detailed as you can be.

So there you have it. Remember that Airbnb looks at your activity during the past 30 days so if you don’t do well in a certain month, don’t worry. You can recover next month. This also means that you have to have regular activity. Just keep at it and be as great a host as you can be.


2 Responses

  1. Maeve May says:

    Great advice. Thank you.
    But confused about two things.
    Firstly. How do you ask friends to give a review if they have not paid money to airbnb. Both my guests only got the possibility for a review after they paid their money and had stayed at my place. Otherwise they didn’t have the opportunity to do so.
    Secondly. Not sure how to tag my neighbourhood. Do you mean write a little bit about the neighbourhood? which I have done. But not sure what you mean by tagging it. In the airbnb site?
    I didn’t realise the photograph service was free in Airbnb, so will investigate that. Thanks so much. Maeve

    • Kim says:

      Hi Maeve,

      Sorry for the late reply.
      Thanks for feedback, really appreciated.
      I hope you already found out how to get reviews from friends without reservations.
      You can invite them to leave a review on your personal profile, not about your listing.

      Good luck!

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