Step By Step Guide: How To List On Airbnb

Airbnb is one of the most successful online platforms in recent years with the ability for homeowners to rent out their properties to the public. The successful platform which launched in 2008 has been a huge success for both the company and property owners with hosts earning billions of dollars between them. With the ability to rent out accommodation across the world, homeowners have been renting out rooms or the whole properties on Airbnb.

 Whether they want to earn some extra cash or want to earn profit with a holiday home, Airbnb has made dreams happen. It’s also been a hugely successful platform for travellers. Whether they want a weekend break, looking for a destination to go on a week’s holiday or just need somewhere to stay for work, Airbnb has provided them with an accommodation solution. They can filter by location, cost, guests and dates to ensure they find the right place for them. Once they find somewhere they like, they contact the owner or instantly book.

 But it is more complicated than you think to list on Airbnb. After all, you have to try to win over guests from your competition and ensure you make your property appealing. You want to ensure you make the most profit with a successful listing. Therefore, whether you are a beginner and want to list your property for the first time or want to maximise the success of your current listing, here is our guide on how to list on Airbnb. You have to remember you’re competing with other listings, so it goes beyond just location.

Get started

The first thing you need to do is make an account on Airbnb as a host. It’s worth filling out the bio, adding a photo and completing an identity verification. This is where you prove to Airbnb that you are who you say you are using your ID. This will help to reassure potential travellers that you are reputable. Once you have started an account, you then need to create a new listing for your chosen room or property. Before you fill out the details, make sure you know exactly what you are listing and have all the details to hand. That way, you will not need to stop and hunt down important details throughout the process. Also, it’s worth noting that it’s free to list but you will be charged a fee when you get a booking. This can either be host only or can be shared with the guest. Once your account is ready, it’s time to select Create a Listing.

Getting Your Listing Live - the practical steps

Here is how you can get your listing live:

What is the property? The first thing you need to add is the property type. Whether this is a room in a property or an entire place, ensure you correctly identify the property. It’s worth adding if they have access to other areas of the accommodation too.

Where is the property? The next thing you need to add to your listing is exactly where the accommodation is. You don’t need to identify the exact address at this stage, but it’s important to  mark where it is on the map, so the guests don’t book an unwanted location. Once they book, you can give them the full address and directions if needed.

How many can stay? - You also need to identify how many people the property is for. You don’t want a large booking that you have to turn away as the property is for a smaller number. Clearly state how many guests can stay and put clearly the bedroom number on your listing. Also, add if you can put an extra bed or cot for families.

What are the amenities? It’s time to now add what your property has to offer. For instance, perhaps your property has a car parking space. Or you might have access to a pool or gym in the apartment block. Add anything that will attract guests in this section.

How would you describe the property? The next thing and arguably the most important part of the listing is the description. Time to sell your property with all the benefits of the property. You might want to focus on the views from the property if you are in a seafront location. Or perhaps it’s worth pointing out your locality to the centre of a bustling city. It’s always worth writing with the guest in mind. For instance, if you know your apartment will be attractive to families, talk about why it is a kid-friendly accommodation. Remember to be honest about the property and give an overview of what they can expect from each room and the location.

Have you added photos? It’s so vital that you add photos of each room of the property. This will give the potential guest a visual idea of the property before they book. Ensure you cover all the amenities of the room or the whole property so they know exactly what is on offer when they book.

Have you listed your rules? It’s now time to add any house rules that are important to you. Whether you have a specific area of the home that is out of bounds or you are a definite no to parties, make sure this is included in the house rule section.

How long can they stay? You also need to set how long the guest can stay in the room or whole property. You might want a minimum of a couple of nights and the maximum you can choose is 28 days.

When is it available? You need to ensure you make it clear when the accommodation is free to book. If there are any dates you do not want to rent out the room or property, ensure you block these off so they do not get booked.

How much is your accommodation? You need to now price up your accommodation. Airbnb has a smart pricing option that will ensure you get a competitive rate and it will adjust it automatically to ensure you have the average rate for the area. In the pricing area, it’s worth adding in any extra fees such as cleaning so the guests are aware.

Can they cancel? Ensure you go for the option that suits you. There is a flexible, moderate or strict option that will affect whether the guest can cancel or not after booking.

How to book? You then need to decide if you want the guest to get in touch with you or whether you want to set up the instant book option. If you go for this, the platform will enable booking without any contact needed with the host. This often is appealing as it makes the process quicker and is less hassle for the host.

Is the listing all correct? Now it’s time to check the listing for any issues that need ironing out before you book. When you are ready, you can press “list” and the listing will be published and in search results within 72 hours, assuming there isn’t anything wrong.

Getting the most from your listing

Here are some tips on how to transform your listing to ensure you make the most profit possible:

Take the right photos - As we discussed above, you need to add photos to your Airbnb listing. But you need to ensure they are the best photos to help win over that potential guest. Use the best camera possible. Refresh your accommodation to make sure everything is in top form before taking the photos. It’s worth moving furniture so that the room looks spacious and you could even remove items before clicking away. Also, it’s worth editing the photos to ensure they are high quality. You could lightly retouch the photos to ensure the accommodation looks light and airy. It’s also common to take photos of the nearby location to help sell your property to guests. And if you can afford it, hire someone to take professional shots.

Add competitive pricing - While you can use Airbnb’s Smart Pricing option, it’s a good idea to do your own research on what competitors are currently pricing for their places. Also, keep an eye on events and seasonality as you could be making more profit when it’s more appealing to visit such as during the summer holidays. And you could also consider applying discounts to attract guests. You could set a weekly discount or monthly discount which will ensure you make as much profit as possible if they stay for a longer stay. Always keep up to date with pricing and change accordingly.

Use instant book - As mentioned above, Instant Book is definitely an appealing option and is likely to get you more bookings. If you have to contact the host and wait for a response, it can put off the guest who might go to a different site instead of waiting. Or in the meantime, they might find a better option before hearing back from the host. Therefore, with an instant book option, they are more likely to book there and then and get confirmation quickly.

Use your calendar - Ensure that you have a calendar on your site that is clearly updated so that guests can find out quickly what is free and what is not. If you don’t have an updated calendar, it can often put guests off if they have to contact you to see if it’s free on certain dates. There is software available that will take the pressure off you by updating it instantly when your accommodation is booked. It’s also worth putting on the calendar any meaningful dates coming up in the area. For instance, if there is a big festival coming up, this might entice guests to book your accommodation.

Enable cancellations- While you don’t want guests to cancel on you, they are much more likely to book if cancellations are possible. After all, it lets them have some flexibility, even if they are unlikely to cancel before the trip. So when you create your cancellation policy, it’s worth going for the flexible option so that they have the opportunity to cancel and get their money back if necessary.

Ensure your description is top-quality- The description can make or break a person’s decision on whether to book so it’s very important to make sure this is of the highest quality to entice a guest to book. You want to market the property to the best of your ability so its worth giving as much information as possible. From where they might want to visit in the area to the best things to do in the space during the day or evening, it’s best to go into as much detail as possible. And if you are not the best writer, a lot of people are sourcing these descriptions out now to professional writers. They will write the best description possible to encourage guests to book your accommodation.

Conclusion

Airbnb is getting popular with travellers around the world, so it’s vital to ensure you have the best listing possible to gain the most profit. Ensure your home is the best it can possibly be and find ways to offer the most personalised experience for your guests. Keep an eye on what competitors are offering to find your own unique selling point for your room or property. You can look at competitor sites to find ideas of how to boost your listing.

It’s important to constantly check how you are ranking so that you can make changes quickly if you are not receiving the most viewings or are struggling to gain bookings. You can do this through your account and keep checking this as much as you can. Remember that as soon as you get completed bookings, ask them to leave reviews as these will help to increase the amount of bookings you will receive. And also promote your listing once you have published it. Share it on social media to help encourage people to visit your listing and gain more bookings.