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Nathan Griffioen, February 8 2022

How To Get Your Airbnb Noticed | Part 1

Welcome to our Airbnb Blog Series! In this first blog post, we are going to teach you the ins and outs to ensure the quality of your Airbnb is at its best to get your listing noticed!

Airbnb is an amazing tool that has completely changed how we use and rent Short Term Accommodations. 

It is now the easiest way to start offering your property for people to rent. While it provides an incredible service and much more exposure than what was attainable before, it has become a competitive industry. With so many listings being offered seemingly everywhere, how do you get your rental noticed? 

© OneLook Productions Inc.

There are two main things to keep in mind when trying to set your listing apart:

How to get more people to see your listing and how to convince people who see your listing to book.

While it may sound simple and obvious, there are many elements taking place behind the scenes that contribute to the success of your listing. Let's break down these two points into what impacts them and how you can optimize your listing to climb the search rankings.

Similarly to Google, YouTube and Facebook, Airbnb has an algorithm that determines what is being shown to the user based on their search criteria. Search results are based on numerous factors to ensure an easy and consistently positive experience for their users. While this is great for the end user, it means that there is an uneven playing field for those posting their accommodations who are not yet informed on how to optimize their listing. While there are more factors fed into the algorithm than what can be explained here, there are a few key factors that play a bigger part which is what we will focus on.

Thankfully,  most of the factors can be manipulated to your advantage, which helps your listing rank higher in searches and increases your visibility to potential guests.

Airbnb says that their algorithm has been designed to favour three major considerations:

QUALITY - Refers to the overall quality of your listing and includes variables such as the photos, reviews and descriptions.

POPULARITY - It's not just measured by how many people book with you but also by users' engagement with your listing. 

PRICE - Airbnb does its best to determine which ads have the most value for their users. They are able to compare listings with similar features and award those with lower prices a better ranking.

While Airbnb doesn't talk about it specifically, I believe the following consideration is almost equally important.

REMOVAL OF BARRIERS - There are many ways to put up barriers that impede your guests from booking with you. They are often unintentional but easily fixed.

In this blog series, we will explore each of these in depth to see how you can improve in these areas and move your way up the rankings and win more bookings. 

© OneLook Productions Inc.

The first major consideration we're going to discuss is quality.

PHOTOS
The most obvious factor in quality are photos. There are so many rentals on the app that have photos taken on a phone. While phone cameras are getting better, even professionals will have a difficult time making the photos look good as they lack flexibility. Using a professional photographer is an easy way to quickly stand out over other listings. A good photographer will come with a tripod and flash which allows them to make spaces look bright and inviting. They use flattering angles and know how to make the property look its best. When scrolling through rentals on the app, it is easy to see who used a professional and who did it themselves. It’s natural for people to be drawn to the more attractive photos. This improves your chances of a user clicking on your listing when scrolling through and ultimately makes them feel more confident in booking with you.

Airbnb offers a photography service to its customers. They boast that professional photography can increase a listing’s bookings by 20 per cent. It’s not hard to see as it is the first impression a user of the app gets when scrolling through and is generally the reason they will choose whether or not to book with a particular rental. 

They don’t list their prices as they hire local photographers who will have varying prices from each other. On their website they say. The payment is actually just automatically deducted from your future bookings. In our *biased* opinion, it is easier to book with a local photographer you know - hint, hint, use OneLook Productions!

This takes the guesswork out as well as you don’t otherwise know who the photographer is that Airbnb will send and likely aren’t familiar with their work.

REVIEWS
Almost indeterminate of where you look, you will find reviews now. Online shopping has made reviews essential to mitigate purchasing disappointing products and services. Airbnb is no different and reviews are often a big factor when someone is deciding whether to book with you. 

When you are first starting out, it is best to have some friends make nice reviews for you so your review slot shows something rather than nothing. This also shows the algorithm that there is interest and engagement with your listing and makes it more relevant in searches. As a whole, reviews are something that you will have little control over but it is important to understand how they will impact bookings and your rank when searched. To avoid poor reviews, it’s paramount that you have accurate descriptions and titles so your guest knows exactly what to expect. It is far too easy for guests to be disappointed when their expectations aren’t set accordingly. Show your guests a good time and this part of your listing will build itself and help your listing by leaps and bounds in the future.

TITLES + DESCRIPTION
After your cover photo, your title is going to be the first thing your guest sees when scrolling through rentals. This makes it a major player when considering your listing’s engagement. Once you have grabbed a user’s attention and earn the click, your photos, descriptions and reviews are going to be the only factors they consider when deciding whether to move on or commit. This makes your description another key factor to boosting the number of bookings you’re getting.

A detailed and catchy title will help your listing twofold. It helps you gain more attention and clicks by potential guests which in turn makes your rental more relevant in user searches in your area. The key is to be accurate while painting a picture of a guest’s stay with you at the same time or highlight special amenities or sights nearby. Many follow the same title structure with the name of the property followed by some quick word imagery or highlights. A quick search in the county has some great examples that include: “Lake by Blue - Uncork and Unwind”, “Sauna + Fireplaces + Stylish 8 bdrm. Dog friendly”, “Picton Bungalow - Overlooks Water!”, and “Cozy family and pet friendly County home.” All of these offer more than just a name for the property and quickly grab attention in the best way possible.

Make sure to check back for future entries in our Airbnb Blog Series to learn more!
Looking to purchase top quality photography for your listing? Book with OneLook today or visit our Vacation Rentals page for more information and let's #MakeGreatContent!

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Article Sources:
https://www.airbnb.ca/help/article/39/how-search-results-work 
https://www.airbnb.ca/d/pro-photography
https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnrampton/2014/11/24/how-to-rank-higher-on-airbnb/?sh=7ea4b51f7488

Written by

Nathan Griffioen

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