Is Airbnb a channel that’s still missing from your vacation rental marketing mix? Whatever has been keeping you from getting listed on it, now’s the time to reconsider.
Airbnb is undoubtedly one of the lucrative vacation rental websites, attracting millions of visitors from all over the world every single day. Its popularity hasn’t waned as a result of the pandemic: if anything, it has increased.
Add to that the success of Airbnb’s long-awaited IPO, and you’re looking at a solid company and one of the most promising channels to advertise your vacation rentals. So what are you waiting for?
In today’s article, we’ll help you get going by blueprinting how to build a successful Airbnb marketing strategy.
You’ll learn how to distribute your Airbnb listings using a channel manager, how to optimise your properties to attract the maximum number of bookings and how to build a pricing strategy to increase your revenue. Let’s get started.
There are a number of reasons why now is a great time to get listed on Airbnb. Here are just a few, based on Rentals United’s and Airbnb’s internal data:
That should be enough to convince you that if you’re not advertising on Airbnb yet, you’re missing out.
Now, let’s move on to the 5 key components of building a successful Airbnb marketing strategy.
As a professional property manager, it’s crucial to use a channel manager that Airbnb has named a Preferred Software Partner.
This indicates that the channel manager is a trusted technology provider that meets Airbnb’s highest standards and has superior synchronisation capabilities. As a result, working with such a provider is key to getting the best results from your Airbnb marketing strategy.
The benefits of using an Airbnb-certified channel manager include:
Rentals United is one of the few channel managers Airbnb has named a Preferred Software Partner in 2021. Our industry-leading two-way connection allows you to sync your rates, availability and property info without ever having to worry about double bookings.
Furthermore, we allow property managers who can’t accept Instant Bookings to manage their Airbnb listings on a Request to Book basis**. We’re proud to be among the few channel managers that offer this level of flexibility, thanks to our close relationship with Airbnb.
If you’ve been managing vacation rentals for a while, you probably know how to put together a compelling listing. You’re most likely aware that OTAs like Airbnb have minimum content requirements that you need to meet (for example, regarding the size of images). We won’t bore you with any of that.
However, what we would like to point out is the importance of checking whether your listings are actually displaying on your connected channels the way you want them to.
Sometimes, what can happen is that everything looks fine on the backend (in your PMS and your channel manager), but something’s broken on the frontend (on Airbnb). When there’s a discrepancy between what you’re seeing and what your guests are seeing, there’s a chance you’re not putting your best foot forward, and you could be missing out on bookings.
So, as soon as you’ve connected your channel manager to Airbnb and your listings have gone live, the first thing you should do is a health check. Now, you could do this manually, but it would take hours out of your day. A better solution is to use RU Data Studio Property Health Cards, a tool we developed to help you perform health checks efficiently.
Property Health Cards will give you invaluable listing data at a glance, such as:
Regular health checks should become an integral part of your Airbnb marketing strategy as they can help you optimise your listings to the last detail.
Once you’ve got the right software to distribute your properties and have health-checked your listings, the next thing you need to figure out is your Airbnb pricing strategy.
Distribution should always go hand-in-hand with revenue management: otherwise, you could be presenting the most beautifully-put-together listing, it won’t convert.
Here are our top tips for pricing your Airbnb properties:
And now, onto another step that could make or break your Airbnb marketing strategy: implementing Airbnb SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) best practices.
This step is essential to getting the most out of your listings, as it will allow you to rank higher in Airbnb search results. Building the perfect listing is not enough – you also need to make sure that guests actually see your properties.
The Airbnb algorithm works just like any other search engine: it favours listings that meet certain requirements. While no one knows exactly what these requirements are, we do have a list of optimisation tricks that you can use to rank higher, gain more visibility and boost your conversions on Airbnb.
Here are some tips that will help you instantly rank higher on Airbnb:
As the most popular vacation rental marketplace on the planet, Airbnb is always looking to:
As a result, Airbnb makes frequent updates to its platform and regularly releases new features to help property managers respond to changes in demand and traveller behaviours.
That’s why it’s crucial for your Airbnb marketing strategy to stay up-to-date on developments at Airbnb and implement new tools as soon as they become available.
As we’ve mentioned before, the Rentals United channel manager allows you to do this thanks to our frequently updated API connection and close relationship with Airbnb.
However, you should also make a point of learning about new tools as soon as possible so you can stay ahead of your competitors. One way to do this is simply to keep an eye out for the product update emails you receive from Airbnb.
Another is to subscribe to the Rentals United newsletter, where we routinely cover new opportunities that can help our property managers perform better on any channel, not just Airbnb.
For example, we were among the first to report on the new cleaning protocols introduced by OTAs in response to the pandemic. We also released an Airbnb optimisation webinar with advanced tactics to help you make the most out of your Airbnb listings.
We hope this article has helped you wrap your head around what it takes to build an effective Airbnb marketing strategy.
To sum up, here are 5 things to keep in mind:
*Rentals United is an Airbnb Preferred Software Partner. This message, including any claims or statements within, is solely from Rentals United and is not endorsed by, directly affiliated with, authorized, or sponsored by Airbnb in any way.