It’s a new year! How can we improve our hosting skills and create an amazing guest experience? Read through my tips for ideas to set goals and maximize your earnings.
We spend a lot of time thinking about new year resolutions for ourselves, but, what about our goals for our STR? In what ways can we strive to be better hosts, gain more bookings, and find time for those small upgrades.
Setting a few New Year resolutions for your Airbnb will help you focus on the goals that are most important. Start by looking back at the past year. What are the things that you did well and what things could be improved? Learn from your mistakes and research new trends in Airbnb that have developed throughout the year.
Set Goals for the New Year
The main reason to have an Airbnb is to make extra income. By setting goals for your Airbnb you’ll be more likely to achieve them. In saying that, exciting goals to aim for are:
– Increase your occupancy by 30%
– Grow overall income by 20%
– Achieve Superhost status by the next quarter
– Use your Airbnb income to pay for a trip to a place you’ve always dreamed of visiting!
– Purchase another property for an Airbnb
– Renovate or redecorate your Airbnb
– Improve your social media and Instagram presence
– Be a more eco-friendly host
– Any renovations should only take place in your slowest month. This is a good time to close up and tackle any – projects that require more than a day to complete.
Goal #1: Update Your Listing and Personal Profile
In the beginning, you may have been quick to get your property listed and skipped over some parts of your profile. Make sure to review and properly complete your profile so guests can feel safe choosing your property.
• Have a clear profile photo where you look friendly.
• Ensure you have uploaded your government ID, such as a passport or driver’s license. People feel safer knowing this is on file.
• Fill out all required fields to give people a clear idea of who you are and why they should stay with you. A few lines about your interests and favorite books can go a long way. Remember, it’s all about trust and that will increase your bookings.
Looking at other listings can give you a lot of insight into what you need to work on and change. So, dive deep into 3 listings near you that you consider ‘the competition’. You know the ones, they are down the road, yet always booked, they have the same number of bedrooms, etc. Try to find out why they are more appealing to guests… and then do better. To find out, put on your sleuth hat and look into their calendars (just browsing right?) to see how booked they are, read their guest reviews, look at their listing description, decor and photos. What can you do to do better? Here are some ideas to make sure your property is at its best.
Goal #2: Update your Property Photos
Unless an official Airbnb photographer or a professional photographer took your property shots, it’s time to consider a reshoot. Maybe you’ve changed the color of the walls or added a different couch. Reshooting your photos will give your listing an immediate fresh look and it will also inspire you to make your property look its best.
Use a free and simple editing app like lightroom mobile, to brighten photos and always take them horizontally. Never use a vertical photo, it’s hard to see on a mobile device. Consider professional photos if your Airbnb isn’t performing as well as you anticipated. It may just be that the photos are not doing it justice.
Goal #2 Be a More Eco-Friendly Host
If you want to make a change to all the waste being produced by your Airbnb think about going plastic-free. From the decisions you choose to make, you can prevent your Airbnb from creating excess pollution, toxicity, and waste. Of course, any home or Airbnb reaching absolute zero-waste and generating no waste at all simply isn’t possible, but the goal is to reduce and eliminate waste, as much and far as possible. Plastic just doesn’t biodegrade, it just breaks down into micro-plastics which causes so much environmental harm. More and more hosts are now adopting eco-friendly practices, like eliminating single-use toiletries and providing in-shower dispensers.
The best place to get started is to look at your average Airbnb turnover and try to change the aspects that generate the most waste. Reducing the use of plastic in our Airbnb is the easiest, and makes a positive impact. Here are my favorite zero-waste products that I use in my Airbnb and guests love them! I’ve provided affiliate links for ease, if you choose to buy from them, thank you, I’ll receive a small commission to keep this blog going!
- In-Shower Dispenser for Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.
- biodegradable garbage bags look exactly like regular plastic bags. But, they are stronger than regular garbage bags, tear-resistant, and leak-proof.
- recycled garbage bags made from ocean plastic collected on the beach (yes, really) from Hippo Sak.
- reusable shopping bags to reduce plastic waste. Most guests don’t pack canvas shopping bags, so these will be appreciated as a ‘thoughtful touch’ from their host. A zero-waste Airbnb can help to eliminate guests’ plastic collection too!
- amber glass spray bottles are perfect for any host who makes their own cleaning products. It’s a great plastic spray bottle alternative that’s more durable and long-lasting, and you don’t have to worry about BPA in the plastic.
Goal #3 Set Your Price Calendar for the Entire Year
The start of the year is the best time to review all events and holidays that will impact demand and pricing in your area for the entire year. You can always go back in to change them. After a year or more of hosting you tend to know when your peak season is and which events or special dates draw visitors to your area.
Maybe your city has a yearly marathon, festival or concerts. Make sure those weekends are priced at least 20-50% higher than you normally charge. In the low season, adjust your prices to make sure revenue is still coming in.
You should also check what Airbnb suggests by highlighting each date and clicking ‘View Price Tips’ you may find prices are higher than you anticipated. Airbnb sometimes suggests a ridiculously low price to set, probably to attract more bookings. Ignore the price suggestion if it’s far lower than what you normally charge.
Plan now to avoid missing out on valuable income on your vacation rental. Even if you increase your price for 100 nights over the course of a year by just $20, that is an extra $2000 in your account at the end of the year. Small changes = higher revenue.
Tip: A smart idea Before setting your prices is to spend time researching the prices of other similar listings in your area. Check what they charge in the high and low seasons.
Goal #4: Do a Deep Clean
Every space will need some freshening up after a year of guests. Often we simply turn over properties quickly for the next guest. Consider a deep cleaning by a professional cleaner or spend a good 3 hours cleaning everything from baseboards to the inside of closets. This is also a great way of finding minor repair jobs you need to tackle. A coat of fresh paint to cover up any marks and a deep carpet cleaning can do wonders.
Tip: Always use a checklist when cleaning so it becomes automatic and nothing is missed. You can find a checklist in this guide.
Read my Article: 7 Things you forgot to Clean that Gross Out your Airbnb Guests
Goal #5 Be your own Guest and don’t hold back on your review
Spend a night at your property and experience it as a guest. You could also have a friend to spend a night and ask them for honest feedback on any issues you can improve on. Annoying issues like low water pressure or a banging heat vent can be easily fixed. You can always improve your Airbnb so make the effort to stay in your own place. Check your linens, are your sheets threadbare or do your towels have a crunchy feeling? Are your white duvet covers turning a slight beige? After so many guests and washings, I find after a year it’s time to re-buy those important guest items like towels, washcloths, and bed linens. A few may be still ok but sort out the good, the bad, and the ugly of your linens. Think about investing in a few new items if they are needed. Maybe those throw pillows you’ve had your eye on, or some new modern nightstands?
Grab my Guest Feedback form here!
Goal #6 Have a Solid Instagram Account
One of the best New Year resolutions for your Airbnb is getting on or improving your Airbnb’s social media. This is a great way to help your Airbnb get exposure and to inspire new guests to book. Topping 500 million monthly users, Instagram has become an insanely effective marketing tool for vacation rental sites. Instagram is one of the fastest ways to share your Airbnb’s best features and amenities.
You have a beautiful property with unique features, now it’s time to share it with the world. A Picture says a thousand words. Instagram is a great platform, finding the right hashtags for your Airbnb will make you visible to a vast sea of new eyes.
Goal #7: Join the Community of Other Hosts
Join Facebook groups for Airbnb hosts in your area. You can learn so much from other hosts. Check regularly my blog and the Airbnb blog for new tips and trends in hosting. They have a great forum where you can learn tons and other hosts can help with issues that may arise. Always keep learning to provide the best experience for your guests!
The Host Collaborative is an amazing group of hosts on Instagram. I’m a co-host and every week we have a new post prompt to keep your feed fun and engaging.
Goal #8: Update your Guest Welcome Book
A comprehensive Guest welcome book is one of the most important amenities that you can offer. Here is an easy-to-edit + Modern Welcome Book Template, that will bring your Airbnb up to a professional and polished level. You can always edit it anytime and add a new favorite restaurant or activity in your area that you’ve discovered during the year. Here is my template that you can edit on Canva.