Maximize Your Airbnb Occupancy to Maximize Cash Flow

Maximizing your Airbnb occupancy rate requires a proactive strategy and constant attention to your guests and listings throughout the all seasonal period. Here are pro tips to help you get the most from your Airbnb business during peak season.

Max Chicago Occupancy Airbnb VRBO.jpg

Your Airbnb occupancy rate is one of the most important factors to determine whether or not your Airbnb business is successful. Essentially, increasing the number of bookings you receive, and filling in the calendar's gaps, virtually guarantees you more money.

However, maximizing your Airbnb occupancy rate during peak season needs proactive planning and 2-4 months of forethought. Often, there’s only a Season, in which the demand for your short-term rentals are higher. Here are some quick tips to help you get the most from your Airbnb business during peak season.

Weed Out Outdated Information

How do your photos look compared to the competition? Have you made changes to your house rules? If you haven’t updated these items on your listings, do it now.

To increase your Airbnb occupancy rate, it starts with creating 5-STAR listings. Errors such as missing information, typos, and outdated photos will only drive potential guests away. While you should never mislead guests about the accommodations, optimize your listings with keywords or emotional words to help to create interest and boost the number of bookings you receive.

You should also be aware of the fact you might receive more guests who are looking for accommodations for a group or want to book at the last minute. Cater to these guests by updating your listings to emphasize how easy it is to book at the last minute or the fact that you offer ample sleeping arrangements for groups.

Keep Your Listing+Calendar Updated

Updating your listings frequently is the best way to maximize your Airbnb occupancy rate during peak season. Frequent pricing updates ensure that your listing prices are priced competitively at all times. .

Finally, to maintain your listings and ensure that guests always have access to accurate information about their availability, update your calendar at least 1 to 2 times per day. By following these tips, your listings will stay on top of Airbnb’s rankings, helping you to stay ahead of the competition.

Instant Book = Higher SEO

If you haven’t already, enable Instant Book because it increases your listings SEO. The easier you make it for guests to book your property, the easier it will be for you to achieve maximum occupancy rates.

If you’re wondering why Instant Book is so effective, consider things from the guest’s perspective for a moment. As a guest, you want the booking process to be simple and fast. Any additional steps that make it harder to book a listing simply make you more likely to consider listings from other hosts.

Even if a property has gorgeous Lake views, it isn't worth it if working with the host is difficult. Turning on Instant Book means it's simple and easy for guests to book with you.

5-STAR REVIEWS + Audit Your Review Count

As a host, quality customer service matters all year round, but it’s especially important during peak season. The more positive reviews you receive on your listings, the more bookings you can expect. In turn, the easier it is to maximize your Airbnb occupancy rate.

Make sure that you always deliver consistent, friendly service. Provide fast and complete answers to any questions that your guests have before booking and during their stays. By ensuring that every guest enjoys a safe and comfortable stay, you increase the chances to receive 5-star reviews.

Finally, ask every guest to leave you a review at the conclusion of their stay. Don’t expect guests to do this on their own, especially when you’re racing against the clock to achieve as many reviews and new bookings as possible before peak season ends.

SPRING Cleaning + Update

While guests should be impressed with property's cleanliness, it doesn’t hurt to give it a makeover. This shows guests that you are dedicated to maintaining your property in the best condition possible.

You don’t even have to spend a fortune to change your property come Spring time. A few updates of the décor, such as fresh Spring flowers, Spring dinnerware for the dinner table, and lighter bed linens can attract more attention.

You should also update your photos so that they focus on amenities that people tend to use more during peak seasons, such as the swimming pool or patio. By using peak season as an opportunity to make your listings shine, you can dramatically increase your Airbnb occupancy rate.

Longer-term Rentals (1-3 months) During Off-Season

If maximizing your Airbnb occupancy rate is your primary concern during off-season, consider long-term rentals to help you fill in the gaps. 

Make sure that you adjust your listing to appeal to guests who might be looking for this sort of arrangement. Some types of guests you could target include those who are looking for study abroad accommodations or long-term business travel.

Plan Ahead to Maximize Your Airbnb Occupancy Rate

It’s not hard to keep up with your bookings when they’re fewer of them. However, managing your Airbnb or HomeAway listings can quickly become chaotic during peak season if you don’t plan ahead. In addition, peak season may vary from year-to-year, often due to circumstances that are outside of your control. You want to be prepared for these variations.

If you consider how demand for your listings changes in advance, you can ensure that you can have the resources you need ready.

Master Leasing, Highest-Best Use. Increase Your NOI with Airbnb. Oh, my.

In Chicago, as of 2018, the multifamily market is in flux. 8,800 apartments are coming on-market in 2018, according to Crain's Chicago, and Landlords are uncertain because the market appears soft.

Family in Apartment.jpg

Deals in Chicago's transition areas, which were once selling for 8-9% cap rates, are only trading for 6% cap rates now. If real estate is your preferred investment vehicle, what do you do with your money now? Is a 6% cap rate worth it? 

What if you could turn a 6% cap rate into a 8%, or even a 10%? How do you get highest and best use in multifamily investing for your money? 

How Master Leasing Helps

With a Master Lease you lease a property as a tenant and then sublease it to occupant tenants (or, in the case of short-term rentals, guests.) The tenant, also known as the lessee, secures control of the property with the Master Lease, and then manages the property. 

The goal is to increase the cash flow from the property and pocket the difference between what your master lease payments are and what you are collecting.

Why would a property owner agree to this?

A common reason is the owner is just tired of managing the property.  They have what we refer to as ‘tired owner” syndrome.  Another common reason is someone or a group of people have inherited a property and have no idea how to manage it.

In the case of short-term rentals, a single unit in the property may be vacant. The owner may want rental income from a short-term rental operator, rather than let it sit empty.

Marrying Short-Term Rentals and Master Leasing

The key tenet in the section above is the ability to increase cash flow from the property. How do you do this? One way is with a proven Short-term Rental Program.

This is commonly known as rental arbitrage in the short-term rental operator world, and many large Landlords have began to use short-term rentals in order to fill vacancy and increase their NOI.

Redefine Highest and Best Use.

With a proven short-term rental system and a market that warrants higher short-term rental revenue than long-term revenue, short-term rental operators can signs leases in your new (and old) developments, accelerate lease-ups and boost your NOI.

Proven short-term operators can lease and manage a number of units with a building, and fully design and outfit these spaces to host clients for monthly or nightly stays.

Taking Short-term Rental Master Leasing to Market

The Idea is simple:

  1. EXPEDITE YOUR LEASE-UP - Obtain 100% occupancy on day one after completion; no lease-up and no ramp-up.

  2. NO VACANCIES - Eliminate vacancies, credit loss, ongoing maintenance, leasing commissions, and turnover costs.

  3. CREDITWORTHY TENANTS - Virtually guaranteed monthly income; on-time, every time.

  4. INCREASE YOUR NOI - Increase the value of your building by increasing your cash-flow.

With too much money in the market, and real estate investors seem to be chasing yield. There are creative solutions to increase your returns. If you’re interested in increasing your multifamily returns with a proven short-term rental system, we’re here to help.