1. Establish a Social Media Presence
Managing and promoting social media accounts for your listing(s) is one of the best things you can tackle right off the bat. Consider creating a cohesive brand around each listing (including a catchy name and a logo), and keeping that brand name consistent across all platforms.
As far as what to share, the most obvious content is photos of your vacation rental. Start by posting beautiful pictures of the listing’s interior, then working your way outwards. Social media accounts for Airbnbs can include everything from photos of local bars and restaurants to popular attractions nearby. Don’t get discouraged if each post isn’t generating lots of likes and engagement — just the fact that you manage a social media account will give potential guests the confidence and trust needed to make a booking.
Social media isn’t just for B2C marketing. One other thing you can do is join vacation rental forums. These social networks are places to interact with other Airbnb hosts and property managers, and gain tried-and-tested insights on how to best manage your properties.
2. Optimize your Host Profile
Your host profile is just as important as the listing itself. Think about it — travelers are turning to vacation rentals largely because they’re looking for a more personalized experience. Replacing the stale marketing of the hotel industry with a well-written and well-designed Airbnb profile is a great marketing tip. Have a clear profile picture, talk about how you’re passionate about hosting, and invite guests to read your reviews before making a booking.
3. Be Vigilant About Guest Interaction
Good reviews are the easiest ways to optimize the SEO of your Airbnb listing. The more reviews you receive, the higher your listing will rank on the platform search results. One way to initiate guest reviews is to write reviews of the guests themselves. This task can be somewhat time-consuming and many hosts end up outsourcing guest interaction to a property management company. Regardless of who does it, make sure someone is diligent about guest communication. Even from a non-SEO perspective, when guests see hosts consistently responding to reviews (both good and bad), it provides a certain degree of trust.
4. Use Bloggers, Journalists, and Influencers to Promote Your Place
If your time allows for dedicated outbound marketing work, consider teaming up with high-profile bloggers, journalists, and influencers to help promote your vacation rental. Research people in the area who have a significant following in the travel space, then draft up an engaging email template inviting them to stay at your place for a night free of charge. In return, ask them to post something on their account or platform praising your listing. This can be a blog post, a photo on Instagram, a tweet, or anything on their preferred network.
5. Implement a Referral Program
Some industries are highly dependent on referral business. Short-term rentals wouldn’t traditionally fall into that category, but that doesn’t mean you can’t implement some intriguing promotional offers. Airbnb actually has its own in-house referral program. Offer your guests 10%-20% off their next stay at your place when they refer someone to your home. You can also operate this transaction outside of Airbnb by making payments through Paypal.
6. Create Business Cards and Flyers
Most of your marketing efforts should be focused online — but you shouldn’t abandon all offline methods. In fact, studies show word-of-mouth marketing is even more powerful and influential than once thought. Consider printing business cards and handing them out to people you meet around the world. People who associate your vacation home with a person and an interaction are much more likely to book than those who don’t.
7. Lower Minimum Stay to One Night
Especially in the first stage of your listing’s lifespan, it’s crucial to increase visibility. One surefire way to accomplish this is to make your listing more applicable to all search criteria. Lower your minimum stay to just one night. While this definitely increases the property management workload, doing so will get more guests in and out the door, plus increase your number of reviews.
8. Use High-Quality Photos
This is probably the most well-documented advice for Airbnb owners around the world. Taking high-quality photos or even investing in a photography service is a great way to stand out from the pack. If your property features some sleek designs, consider promoting it to design communities. Design blogs are always on the lookout for new content and may be happy to rave about your property in an upcoming post.
9. Keep Your Pricing and Calendar Updated
One little-known marketing tip is to consistently update your listing’s calendar. Making minor tweaks in availability actually shows Airbnb that you’re actively managing your property and, in turn, you’ll be rewarded with increased visibility. According to Airbnb, “hosts who don’t let their calendar get a month or more out of date are 70% more likely to get booked.” The same goes for pricing. Managing your pricing strategy shows Airbnb that you care about increasing bookings and guest satisfaction.
10. Use a Channel Manager
Channel managers are features of property management software that allow users to publish their listings on all the top OTA sites. Airbnb may be a priority, but that doesn’t mean you need to list exclusively with them. Using a channel manager will automatically publish your listing on sites like TripAdvisor, Booking.com, Expedia, and more. It will also sync your calendars across all platforms to make sure you never get double booked, while giving your property a much wider reach.