Continuing their series of expert guest tips for hosts, Michael and Debbie Campbell share their thoughts on what makes them choose your space out of all the others.
Michael and I have “lived” in over 140 Airbnbs around the world and can honestly say we really enjoy searching on Airbnb for our next home. It’s like peering in the big display window of a real estate agency and dreaming about buying one of the houses. Which one would be perfect for us? Like most people, we’re drawn to the ones with the best photos and most intriguing descriptions. After searching over 3,000 listings here are five suggestions for creating a sales pitch for your Airbnb that will make it someone’s dream home.
Words: Start with an inviting headline. “Light Filled Apartment with City View” is more intriguing than “One Bedroom in City Center.” Share the features you like best about your home and your neighborhood so we can imagine what it would be like to live there. Is it quiet and restful, or are the best night clubs just around the corner? Some potential guests only look at your photos, so write descriptive captions that emphasize the highlights of each image.
Pictures: Like anyone searching for the perfect Airbnb, we start with the photos. Consider between 16 and 24 professional quality images to tell your story. Use the most appealing room shot as the main photo because that’s your best chance at capturing a potential guest’s attention.
Make sure your rooms look inviting and comfortable. We skip over listings with just a few pieces of furniture and bare walls—we wouldn’t want to spend time there. Likewise, avoid clutter. Don’t use too many tight close-ups of knick-knacks. Instead show off your lovely bed and fluffy bath towels, and images that show your personal decorating style. Make sure the photos allow the viewer to see how the rooms are laid out and how they can be used: a laptop on the desk, or a breakfast setting on the balcony invite us to imagine spending time in the space. We’re on a budget so we look carefully at your kitchen photos to be sure we can cook at home. We look for appliances and a toaster, an electric kettle, and a microwave as clues.
Show the view from your listing, and if appropriate, a nice shot of the front of your building or your garden. As for tourist attractions, unless they are near your listing, it can be misleading to include photos of them—too many and it might look like you don’t want to show the inside of your home. However a few photos of favorite places in your neighborhood are welcome.
Accuracy: We often say a good host can make up for a mediocre listing. And a good host is honest about any challenges a guest might encounter, like the number of stairs to the front door or the Wifi speed. Of course, noise comes with living in a city, but make a note of late night music, or early morning garbage collection. We were even warned of noisy roosters once! When guests know both the good news and maybe a little bad news in advance, you both will enjoy a relationship built on trust.
We also appreciate accurate information about how far attractions, stores and restaurants are from your listing. If you describe a place being just ten minutes from your front door, let us know if that’s by foot, car, or public transportation.
Profiles and Reviews: Hopefully you read your potential guest’s profile and reviews. Now tell us about yourself! What do you do for work and leisure? What do you like best about hosting? Once we have 5 or 6 possible listings for a city in our Wish List, we go back and carefully read reviews looking for feedback on the host or co-host’s communication skills and whether they were welcoming and helpful. We almost always choose the listing with the most positive comments about the host.
Price: Price is always a consideration for us since we live full-time in Airbnbs—and one of our favorite features of Airbnb is the ability to find the best listing that fits our budget. If you’re just getting started and don’t have reviews yet, or you just have a few, price your place a bit lower than the market rate so you can attract guests and build-up positive reviews. We’ve actually chosen Airbnbs without reviews because of the excellent description, plenty of good photos, and a quick, welcoming response from the host. But also because the price was realistic for a new listing.
To learn more about the Senior Nomads visit their website at www.seniornomads.com