Let's get to the bottom line. You run an Airbnb to make money. Meeting new people is nice and a wonderful perk. But if you weren't making money, you wouldn't be letting strangers from around the world stay at your place. So, if you are going to make money renting out your property, you want to make the most money you can. We have compiled this list of tips from experienced hosts on how you can maximize your rental income.
Set a Minimum Number of Nights
This might seem contradictory as it will rule out some travelers but setting a minimum number of nights that guests can book will help you fill more nights per month. Think about it, if someone books a Saturday then Friday and Sunday are unlikely to be booked because most guests are looking for accommodations for the whole weekend. That one-night booking is blocking another guest who is looking for a multi-night booking. It will take some experimenting to find the right minimum for your area but we have seen an increase of monthly bookings by up to 20% with this one.
Bonus Tip: Keep an eye out for those single night availabilities between two bookings and make sure to open that night up to single night bookings.
Try A Price Optimizer Program
There are programs that will automatically adjust and optimize your nightly rate to get you the most money from a booking. I am not talking about the suggested price recommendations like the one from Airbnb's Smart Pricing option. Ignore these as they usually recommend prices that are way too low. The programs we recommend have their own internal independent algorithms and it is in their best interest to get you the most money from a booking. They do charge a fee, which is usually a percentage of the booking price, but that fee is nominal and you will still come out ahead if the program gets you more money on even two extra nights a month.
Bonus Tip: While the algorithms are great for your average night, they sometimes miss the surge pricing for special events. Make sure to manually go in and increase the price on events in your area.
Increase Your Price for High Demand Nights
Whether it's hunting season, a concert, a large convention or something else, every area has an event or time of year that dramatically increases the demand for bookings. Make sure you do your research and know when these events are happening so you can increase your prices accordingly.
Bonus Tip: Set your price much higher for these high demand nights as far ahead in time as you can and be bold with your pricing. If it is six months away, try 5x or 10x your normal rate. If it is only two weeks away, try just a few dollars over your normal rate. As the dates near, you can slowly decrease your price to entice guests to book.
Offering top quality amenities enables you to demand a higher booking price. Makes sense, right? The more features and option upgrades on a car, the more it costs. But the key to making money from these amenities is to do the math. Let's say the amenities cost you an additional $10/night. In this case, you need to increase your average booking rate by a minimum of $11/night. Or, you need to see an increase in the number of nights booked in a month. If on average, you book 15 nights/month then your $10/night amenities will cost you $150/month. At a minimum, these amenities need to increase your number of nights booked by three. Now it will cost you $170/month to make an addition $300/month. Phew, that's a lot of math but totally worth it.
Bonus Tip: Make sure your amenities fit the type of rental you are offering to ensure profitability. I.e., don't offer premium silk sheets in a $29/night rental. Instead, try offering an organic soap and shampoo like these which can get you several extra bookings a month while only costing you pennies a night.
Your listing is all about the pictures. The better the pictures, the more you will book. It is that simple. Good pictures will dramatically increase booking rates.
If you don't have a picture of a feature or amenity in your rental, your guests will assume you don't have it (even if it says so right in your listing). Use beautiful, bright pictures of everything that would encourage a guest to book. And, be honest with yourself about your pictures. Do your pictures pop? Do they make you excited to click the book now button? If they just show the essential items and all they have going for them is that they are in focus, you need better pictures. If you don't know how to take better pics, get your friend that is good with a camera to do it. Or, hire a professional. Pictures are really that important.
Bonus Tip: Airbnb offers a service where they send a photographer to your rental who will take pics for free. But don't assume they are going to be great images. Be as critical of these pics as you are of your own. Only use pictures that pop!