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How to Increase Listing Views on Airbnb

Potential cover photo for an Airbnb

The two keys to increasing your listing views on Airbnb are performing better in search, and improving your click through rate.

Performing better in search is a somewhat complicated thing, but I have gone in depth about it in the past. Search results take many factors into account, including reviews, response rates, cancellations, engagement and filters.

Improving your click through rate is all about how your listing looks when it appears in a search result. That means your title, reviews, rating, price and Superhost status.

It’s not always easy to see exactly how to increase your views, so today we’ll look at the most important items to critique.

What is a View?

Just so we’re on the same page, let me define a view. A view is when someone views your listing page.

This can happen either when someone clicks into your listing from a search results page, or when someone visits your listing page directly (pasting the URL in their browser or clicking a link or bookmarking the page).

Most of your views will be from someone clicking on your listing when they see it in an Airbnb search results page.

Improvement #1: Cover Photo

If you’ve seen any of my other Airbnb articles, you know that I think photos are the most important part of your listing. And when it comes to securing more views, your cover photo is king. Improving your cover photo is the quickest way to increase your click through rate on Airbnb.

It’s so important, I’ve written an entire article about how to get the perfect cover photo for your Airbnb.

Here’s the recap:

First, your cover photo must include the actual property where your guests will be staying. The place may have a beautiful view, or be right next to a huge attraction, but the cover photo is not the right place to highlight those things (perhaps the listing title is).

Second, the photo must look professional. The photo should be well-lit and everything in the photo should be clean and organized. Potential guests will scroll right past a dark or messy looking cover photo.

Third, you want to show off the home’s best feature. Often this is something somewhat mundane like a kitchen or bedroom, but sometimes you can show off an entertainment area or maybe a pool table. The goal is to catch someone’s eye and make them click in to learn more about your place.

Last, you should do a gut check. Look at the photos you have of the home and ask yourself which photos are most naturally attractive. It can help to ask friends and family to give their opinions. If one photo gets more attention than the rest, that’s your winner.

Quick word about supplemental photos

Don’t let off the gas for your supplemental photos either. They can seal the deal and get guests browsing your listing to go ahead and book. This article is about getting more views, but the rest of your photos are essential to increase your booking rate.

And having a a better booking rate can help you reach the top of the search results. And performing better in search results means your listing will have more opportunities to be clicked on, increasing your views.

Improvement #2: Amenities

Like I just pointed out, a huge part of getting more views is improving your listing’s performance in Airbnb search. It’s just a numbers game. If your listing is showing up on 500 search results per month and gets clicked 10% of the time, then if you can get it to show up in 1,000 search results per month, you’re going to get more views.

So with that said, one piece of low hanging fruit is amenities.

People searching for accommodations will obviously search by city and date, and sometimes they search by number of guests as well.

But there are other kinds of filters that can be used in search, and if you’re not paying attention, you can get filtered out of search results.

Maximize guest count

So the first piece of advice is to make sure you maximize the number of guests you can host. If your place can host only 3 guests, then you’ll never appear in search for anyone searching for 4 guests. If you could up your guest count to 4, then that can immediately net you more views.

Rooms, beds, bedrooms

Searches can also be filtered by number of rooms, beds and bedrooms. It’s not exactly easy to increase the room or bedroom count of your home, but it might be doable to add a bed. And adding a bed can also increase your guest count.

Amenity filters

Guests can also filter their searches by amenity. Only listings that have the amenities they’ve requested will show up in search. So make sure you’re taking credit for everything you already have, and add anything you don’t have (that can reasonably be added).

Here’s a list of amenities that have a filter:

  • Kitchen
  • Heating
  • Air conditioning
  • Shampoo
  • Washer
  • Dryer
  • Wifi
  • Breakfast
  • Indoor fireplace
  • Hangers
  • Iron
  • Hair dryer
  • Dedicated workspace
  • TV
  • Crib
  • High chair
  • Self check-in
  • Smoke alarm
  • Carbon monoxide alarm
  • Private bathroom
  • Piano
  • Beachfront
  • Waterfront

Obviously you’re not going to be able to fabricate a beachfront out of thin air, but I bet you could get a hair dryer, iron and high chair, maybe even a crib or pack n’ play.

I know lots of families use these filters because when they request to book they verify that we have a crib or high chair.

Adding these amenities to your listing will increase your views.

Facilities

There are four facilities that can be used as filters in search as well.

  • Free parking
  • Gym
  • Pool
  • Hot tub

Make sure you take credit for the free parking by adding it to your listings’ list of amenities.

And if there is a community gym or pool that guests will have access to, you can take credit for that as well.

A friend of mine bought a hot tub and put it in his listing, it significantly increased the interest in his property. Now he lives in a high elevation area with plenty of cold weather, so a hot tub works great for him. It won’t work everywhere, but something like that can help you stand out from other listings.

Improvement #3: Reviews

Reviews are front and center in the search results. Of course you can’t change the reviews you’ve gotten in the past, but you can definitely make sure your future reviews are great.

Getting good reviews isn’t as complicated as it might seem. Most of my thoughts on getting good reviews are in this article.

What is boils down to is:

  1. Represent your property accurately in your listing
  2. Meet your guests’ needs before they ask

Represent your property accurately

It’s important to take great pictures in order to put your property in the best possible light, but you never want your pictures to give the impression that your place has things it doesn’t actually have. Same goes for listing amenities.

If your guests show up expecting a crib and there is no crib, then you probably won’t get a 5 star review. Make sure everything in your listing is accurate to what you actually provide.

Meet guests’ needs before they ask

Meeting your guests’ needs before they have a chance to ask is also simpler than it sounds.

Think about what questions guests could have (or have asked you in the past) and find a way to provide the answer inside your Airbnb.

Here are some examples:

  • If your guests want to know the Wifi network and password, then put it in your check in instructions.
  • If guests want to know about nearby restaurants, put up a poster with suggestions (this is what we do) or just make a guest book and include your suggestions.
  • Do your guests often ask how to access Netflix? Label your remotes, or put it in your guest book (or both).
  • Have guests asked you about the temperature in the house? Label the thermostat and leave instructions.
  • And always make sure you have extras of everything: sheets, towels, soap, toilet paper, and anything else that gets replaced.

I want to tell one more quick story about meeting guests’ needs.

We have deadbolt locks with keypads on all our properties, and in the early months of running one of our Airbnbs, we found that guests would sometimes be unable to unlock the front door.

Every time this happened they would call us and I would drive over there to let them in. I started to realize that not only was I getting really tired of this, but it’s an awful experience for our guests.

The solution we finally arrived on was keeping a lock box with a physical key outside. Whenever our guests couldn’t get in and called us, we simply gave them the code to the lock box and they let themselves in. Maybe not perfect, but it was a huge improvement and nobody gets significantly inconvenienced anymore.

Improvement #4: Title

Your listing title is a place where you can highlight things not specifically tied to your property.

Where your photos should show bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, living area and any outdoor spaces, your title doesn’t have to mention any of that.

There is a concept in business called “unique selling proposition.” That’s a fancy term to describe what it is that makes people buy from you and not somebody else.

If your place is a 2 minute walk from the university’s football stadium, then there’s a good chance people will book with you for that reason. If your place is super private and relatively secluded, then that could be a reason people would stay with you.

Use the title to take your best shot at selling someone on your place vs. anybody else.

Here are things you could highlight in your title:

  • Location – What attractions is your place close to? Downtown, arena, sports complex, lake, park, playground.
  • Experience – What unique experiences await guests at your Airbnb? Tiny home, gardening, homemade breakfast, video games, privacy.
  • Size – Do you accommodate lots of guests? Highlight your large space to book more large groups.

You can come up with other ideas as well. If you have a hard time coming up with anything, think about the kind of guests you want to book.

If you prefer families, then make your place family friendly and highlight that in your title. You could market to older groups by highlighting how quiet your place is. Whatever your “unique selling proposition” is, just make sure you deliver on your promise!

Improvement #5: Price

I’m always reluctant to talk about price, because it’s easy to misunderstand the effect price has on a listing.

It is true that lowering your price gives your listing a positive bump in the search results, BUT, that doesn’t always translate to you making more money.

If your listing is struggling to get bookings, then lower the price can help get the ball rolling. I recommend putting your price low when you first open, but as you get good reviews and see that your place is booking well, you should slowly raise your price until it starts to negatively affect your profitability.

I would recommend tweaking your price as a last resort.

Conclusion

The two approaches to getting more listing views for your Airbnb are to improve your search performance and to improve your click through rate.

Both of these are somewhat complicated, but entirely possible. I recommend keeping it simple and looking at your photos, amenities and title first. After this, look for ways to improve your reviews. And as a last resort, consider tweaking your price.

And here’s my last plug for my article taking a more comprehensive look at how to improve in Airbnb search.

Happy investing.

Michael

I'm living the path to financial success and sharing everything I learn in this blog. I believe in the power of cash flowing investments, due diligence and time. This is my journey so far.

Before 2016: Just living my life, working full time and trying to get by.

2016: Kate and I start to discuss the possibility of getting into real estate investment. We read books like Rich Dad Poor Dad and listen to the Bigger Pockets Podcast. We find a Realtor and start looking at property. We even make an offer or two, but nothing happens.

2017: Kate and I continue looking for property. We meet with banks and find lenders willing to work with us. In one month (August), we turn our basement into an Airbnb and list it AND we purchase our first long term rental property, which is a triplex. We can't find good tenants for our triplex.

2018: In April, we finally get our first tenant in the triplex, our second in June and get it fully rented in July. Our basement Airbnb makes so much money that in September we decided to buy another property to exclusively rent out on Airbnb. It makes us even more money than the first one!

2019: Kate decides we should put together a mastermind group. So we get in touch with people we know who care about money and start sharing knowledge with each other. Our triplex is profitable, but our two Airbnb properties are making way more money, so we buy another property to put up on Airbnb and VRBO.

2020: Coronavirus hits in March and all the guests booked at our Airbnb properties cancel. We freak out, but after a few weeks everything comes back and we're making money again. Discussion and research from the mastermind group makes me want to investigate online business as an investment strategy. Kate and I started Unbound Investor with plans to purchase a website in 2021.

OK you're all caught up!

I learned everything I know from books, podcasts, conversations with friends and family and of course through real world experience as a cash flow investor. And I'm always pushing to learn more.

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