Up Your Game To Be An Airbnb Pro

Up Your Game To Be An Airbnb Pro

Listing your home on Airbnb in this day in age is easier than ever.  With forum after forum, and other hosts likely struggling/thriving in the same areas as you, there is no lack of support from the internet.   

Travelers have every home they could ever rent at their fingertips, so you have to be sure and list your home in a way that gets you noticed, and in a way you can still cover your costs.

Over the years, we’ve learned a lot about what to do and more importantly about what not to do when it comes to listing your home on Airbnb.   Sites like Airbnb and HomeAway are extremely intuitive and straightforward. They hold your hand as you walk through the steps, but keep in mind these sights are very “guest-centric” so if you under-list your home they often won’t recommend raising your rates (as one example…)


It’s key that you have professional-level photos of your home because image is everything!  You could own the most beautiful vacation rental on Planet Earth, but without captivating photographs that display such beauty, you might as well own a cave…

Not only is it important for your photos to be high quality, but they need to accurately represent how the home looks and what it includes.  Guests will treat photographs like legal contracts, and they should! So be sure to update your photography as often as necessary.

Accurate and Honest Fees

There’s nothing worse than hidden fees…and Airbnb and Homeaway take pride in protecting their guests from such.  To avoid stirring the pot, be honest and upfront with your guests about any and all fees they might have to pay. It’s better to spell out the details in the beginning, rather than fighting a battle after the fact.

*Another helpful tip:  Ensure all of your fees are active before actually listing your home.  For example, if you forget to set the amount for a damage deposit, or neglect to include any kind of cleaning fee whatsoever, and go ahead and click “publish”…don’t expect to circle-back and charge guests a damage deposit and/or cleaning fee after they’ve booked.  

*Also, be sure to list all amenities accurately, as guests have the right to complain about listed amenities that are not actually included in the home.  If you’re planning on adding additional items to the home, but haven’t yet, make sure your listing reflects the current status.

Clear Communication

There is certainly such-a-thing as over-communication but when people have paid a lot of money to travel to a stranger’s home…it’s safe to say folks would rather have their inboxes slightly over-loaded than completely empty. When your guests book, be clear and set the expectation for how often they will be communicated with prior to arrival.

For example:

Thanks for booking!  I’ll send more details about arrival, and entry as we get closer, but generally, you expect to receive a series of 3 emails/texts from me.

1) Booking Confirmed – within the next day or so
2) Arrival Instructions – 1 week before your trip
3) Entry Codes – 1 day before your trip (email and text)

Feel free to send any questions you have my way.

Guests will typically expect a response to both booking inquiries, and for general questions within 10-15 minutes.  Airbnb requires a response within 1 hour to maintain a positive response rate.  For example, most travelers will put the feelers out on multiple properties in a given area, and more often than not they end up booking the home with the speediest reply.  You can beat out other Airbnb users by simply answering the inquiry faster than others.

If you employ a property management company like Book By Owner, the guest communication piece is completely handled, and when your travelers have questions our team is on-call 24/7, 365 to answer their questions.

Practices like this, in terms of communication, will greatly impact your reputation as a host, and will also offer peace-of-mind and comfort for your guests.

We can’t reiterate enough, just how user-friendly sites like Airbnb and HomeAway have become.  Don’t be intimidated, but at the same time don’t be afraid to seek help! These travel-site giants have hundreds of people working day and night to make your travel experience is the best it can possibly be, and they’re committed to both travelers and homeowners.

When in doubt, reach out the massive community of folks already hosting; odds are, someone has already encountered the same issue you’re coming across, and it’s likely someone has already figured it out.  On the off-chance, you’re the one to come up with a solution, help your fellow hosts and post the answer!

There are plenty of pro’s that can come into play here if you’re overwhelmed.  A very special shout-out to our #1 booking partner in all the land: Evolve Vacation Rental Network!  These folks increase the number of bookings, utilize professional photography, and recommend competitive market rates (in addition to hours of start-up support) for a mere 10% fee.  It’s a no-brainer!

These are just a couple of examples of what we specialize in at Book By Owner. Let us help you achieve ultimate success in your vacation rental endeavors.

Call now! (970) 305-3166 or email info@bookbyowner.com


Interested in a Vacation Business Franchise

Book by Owner offers local franchises where you get to live in a beautiful destination city like Aspen and enjoy a great lifestyle business. Benefit from the proven tools and processes of the Book by Owner system, and add a personal touch to make your BBO franchise all your own. You serve the local rental property owners while enjoying the corporate support that helps ensure your success.

For franchising information and answers to many popular questions about the Book by Owner business opportunity, including possible locations and financing options, visit our franchising page or call (970) 305-3166. We would be glad to arrange a consultation at your earliest convenience.