What if you could increase your booking percentage by 1-10%?
Getting more bookings means more money in your pockets. It is a challenge in a market like Chicago because you are going up against 6,135+ other listings on Airbnb. However, there is not a magic formula to achieve this goal.
Here are the top tips to get more bookings in Chicago on Airbnb:
1. Build a complete listing with a competitive and descriptive title.
Fill all the blanks and be as descriptive as possible. Don’t hide any defaults and remember to mention whether you have pets or not. Keep in mind your title show up in google and SEO is your friend. Mention other selling facts, i.e., “Close to Wrigleyville, Navy Pier, best view in the city, best restaurants, parking etc.”
2. Get verified.
If you are into serious business, provide as many verifications as you can (You can have as many as 7).
3. Fill in your personal profile, have a friendly picture and write an honest description of yourself.
A lot of people chose pictures where they are with their family, pets, etc. It helps you look friendlier.
4. Wish-listed and referrals/recommendations.
Ask your friends to favorite your place. Ask your guests to write nice, yet honest reviews. Connect your Facebook account, check which ones of your friends have Airbnb accounts and ask them to write a couple of nice things about you. They can fill in the spot until you get some solid reviews.
5. Have a competitive price and always start low:
At the beginning, offer discounts until you get the first bookings and gain traction. Then, offer competitive prices. Check what is provided by your direct competitors and try to beat their prices. Also, use the extra charge per person option, have a lower rate for one person then gradually increase for added guests. It will make your pricing fairer.
6. Upload nice and professional pictures with their titles in.
If you can’t hire a photographer, remember to use a good camera, clean the property, and make sure there is enough light. Check your main picture and how it appears on multiple devices. Even if it’s a good picture, you might need to crop it or change it.
7. Get as many "tickable amenities" as possible especially if you want to get into the business category (Spending $30 on a steam iron and a hair blower is worth it).
8. Start with low standards.
Having the strictest rules on the neighborhood won’t help you get your first bookings. This doesn’t mean you should aloud crazy parties on your property, but cheap cleaning fees, friendly cancellation policy, and friendly house rules will help you to start out.
9. Allow 1-night stays. 1-night stays are less profitable because you still need to clean the property between guests.
However, it will increase your impressions on search results. Also, it will increase the number of bookings, and therefore, the number of reviews.
10. Turn On Instant Book.
Although it might look a bit intrusive at first glance, the instant book option shows how flexible your listing is and therefore, match more potential guests’ targeted searches. Allowing guests to directly book your Airbnb without your pre-approval opens up your listing to a new market: travelers with strict planning time frames. Also, listings that can be booked without first making an inquiry get booked more often and are therefore favored by Airbnb.
11. Reply ASAP.
Replying within the hour shows you are an active host and makes guests feel more comfortable. Even if you don’t have something to say to your guest, write a quick “Thank you for your interest, I will come back to you with more info ASAP” within less than an hour of the original message.
12. Keeping your calendar up-to-date is one of the easiest ways to increase Airbnb SEO.
Updating your calendar on a daily basis shows the Airbnb algorithm you are an active host and awards you a better position. Airbnb’s algorithm identifies hosts who frequently update their calendars as active and responsive. And with Airbnb, hard work pays off: active and responsive hosts are rewarded with priority seating in the search rankings. Preparing your listing for the summer/winter season is also a good technique to keep your calendar up-to-date.
13. Be a good host and become a SUPERHOST!
Airbnb works with ratings, the more 5star ratings you get, the higher you will appear in the search results. Good and many reviews will also attract more potential guest. Commit to Airbnb and your hosts and don’t cancel confirmed reservations unless extenuating circumstances.
Superhost status places you under better order on the search engine. Moreover, guests have the option to search only Superhost listings.
14. Promote your listing through Google or Facebook.
Your Airbnb is a business as any other and you can advertise it by any digital means such as Facebook, Google, etc. Use SEO tools, set up a website with links to your listings, make videos, in other words, be creative.
15. Register with other similar sites competitive to Airbnb.
The tools are provided to you to migrate listings and sync calendars. Booking.com is a great option, and people on that platform are willing to pay more.
These 15 tips set you off on the right foot. Remember, these need to constantly be monitored and adapted based on the week, weekends, Seasons, events, etc. The more diligent you are, the better your results!