In order to make money on Airbnb, you need bookings, and you can’t get bookings without views. I believe you can run a successful Airbnb (at least 40% occupancy) with an average of 200 views per month.
Over the last year, across my three Airbnb listings, we got about 360 views per month, and this lead to somewhere around a 60% occupancy rate.
Each listing performed a little bit differently. So we’ll look at the raw data and try to draw some conclusions as well.
Defining an Airbnb “View”
Before we look at the views our three listings had in the past 12 months, we need to understand what exactly a “view” is.
I spent about an hour scouring the web to see if Airbnb, or anyone associated with them, actually defines a “view”. The best I could find was a help article on the Airbnb website titled “How do I confirm that guests can find my listing on the Airbnb site?“
This article is specifically answering how you can tell that your listing is appearing in search results. The quote in the article is:
“Under Views, you can check how many times your listing was viewed by Search Date“
Unfortunately, this was the closest thing to a definition I could find.
However, using some context clues and some common sense, I feel pretty confident saying that “views” are the number of times someone clicked through to your listing from a search results page.
Our Views For The Last 12 months
Kate and I currently have three listings on Airbnb. All three are in the same city. Our listings are in a college town in the U.S. midwest that has a population of around 100,000.
The table below shows our monthly views for each listing between November 2019 and October 2020.
Listing 1 was our first listing and is actually the basement of our house. It is has the cheapest nightly rate, the fewest amenities and gets the fewest bookings of our three listings (between 35-45% occupancy).
Listing 2 was our second listing. It is located near our downtown, has a slightly higher nightly rate than listing 1 and has all the basic amenities. It gets the most booking of our three listings (between 65-75% occupancy).
Listing 3 was our third listing. We decided to buy a much nicer home and list have a significantly higher nightly rate (about 50-60% more than listing 2). This listing has the nicest space, furniture and amenities. It has around 50-60% occupancy and earns the most revenue.
|Month||Listing 1 ($)||Listing 2 ($$)||Listing 3 ($$$)|
|October 2020||307 views||232 views||466 views|
|September 2020||270 views||389 views||426 views|
|August 2020||203 views||331 views||404 views|
|July 2020||286 views||473 views||437 views|
|June 2020||454 views||356 views||386 views|
|May 2020||327 views||269 views||224 views|
|April 2020 *||296 views||238 views||218 views|
|March 2020||402 views||388 views||289 views|
|February 2020||574 views||597 views||433 views|
|January 2020||567 views||527 views||375 views|
|December 2019||338 views||366 views||220 views|
|November 2019||328 views||406 views||258 views|
Making Sense Of The Numbers
First, here are the average monthly views of each of the three properties:
|Listing 1 ($)||Listing 2 ($$)||Listing 3 ($$$)|
|Avg. Monthly Views||363 views||381 views||345 views|
Between all three Airbnb listings we average around 360 views per month. But I like to dig into the meaning behind the numbers, so let’s talk about that for a bit.
Perhaps not all short term rentals have seasonal ups and downs, but ours certainly do.
We have 70-100 percent occupancy in July, August, September and October. But in December, January and February we’ll have occupancy between 30-60 percent.
So it’s no surprise that we have over 500 views in some months and closer to 200 hundred views in other months.
But what I find very surprising is that our months with the highest views don’t necessarily correlate with higher bookings. For example January and February 2020 had over 500 views for listings 1 and 2, but those were two of our lowest booked months of the year.
Why might that be?
Timing of views vs. bookings
Well part of it is that guests often book weeks and months in advance. We had 567 views in January 2020 for listing 1, but not many bookings that month. Perhaps those views did turn into bookings, but they were for March and April 2020, or even summer or fall of 2020.
Availability/Filtering of results
It’s important to remember that you can only get a view for a search that you qualify for.
If a guest searches for a stay for April 6-14 and you have a guest already booked for the night of April 8, you won’t show up in the results. You won’t get a view.
Being filtered out of results isn’t really a problem if you’re being filtered out for dates you already have booked. You’d rather have a booking than a view anyways. I think this part of why my views are lower in the months that we have more bookings. Those listings are just getting filtered out of search results because they’ve already been booked.
Don’t forget that your listings can get filtered out of search results for other reasons, too.
Guests can search by amenity as well. If someone is searching for a listing with wifi or washer and dryer and you don’t have those amenities on your listing, then you won’t appear in search.
If you have a great booking rate, you won’t need as many views to keep good occupancy. But that’s not all, if you have a good booking rate, you’ll naturally have fewer views because you’ll more quickly filter yourself out of searches.
If you can do all the things you must do to maximize your Airbnb profit, then you’ll probably end up lowering your number of views because you’ll be booking at a higher rate.
Thoughts On Increasing Your Views
I want to re-emphasize that more views is not always a good thing. If you’re schedule is completely full, you’ll never show up in search and have zero views.
If you have a healthy number of views, you may want to focus more on increasing your booking rate. This can be done with things like more photos, more reviews and a great cover photo.
But if you have very few views, maybe less than 100 per month, then you may need to do some things to start appearing more in search.
You need to focus on performing better in Airbnb search.
One of the most important things for this is making sure you’re getting credit for all the amenities you have in your home. If you have a hot tub, a grill, wifi, air conditioning or whatever, you need to add those amenities to your listing.
And you can take it one step further. Add amenities that you don’t already have.
Automated messaging can also help increase your response rates, which is an Airbnb search ranking factor. We use Superhost Tools.
Here are a few other items that can improve your search performance:
- Add instant book
- More and better reviews
- Avoid rejections and cancellations
- Experiment with your nightly rate
- Add more photos
- Flesh out your listing profile
- Flesh out your personal profil
Sometimes just letting time pass and getting more reviews can slowly improve your search performance as well and ultimately get your more views.
You need views to get bookings on Airbnb. We keep an occupancy rate around 60% occupancy across three listings and we do it with an average of about 360 views per month.
If you’re struggling to get views, then it means you’re not performing well in Airbnb search. The good news is there are steps you can take to remedy this problem.