As a new host, with only two bookings under my belt, I wonder if advertising might be worth it? I just set up a specific page on Facebook, and I hashtag #airbnb everywhere, but I don't know what I can do to keep fresh content. I host just one room, that can be discussed only so much. I can touch on local events, I suppose. But without paying for an occassional ad my organic reach will be limited.
I write a column in a statewide monthly paper. It is kind of folksy, but the readership is impressive and it is stocked at travel rest areas, so there is potential for travelers to see a print ad.
I can only lower my nightly rate so far. Airbnb has "recommended" I go as low as $15 US, and that is insane. Complimentary snacks, breakfast, and toothbrushes cost that much. I am not trying to run my household off my earnings, but I'd like to be able to buy more than a stick of chewing gum.
What are your thoughts on advertising?
Hi again Robin from that other @Robin.
Advertising externally may not be the best idea in that, any guests it does bring, it brings to you outside of Airbnb and it then becomes a problem trying to work them into the ABB platform.
When you first list your property ABB will give you a push along in the search rankings, but the surest way to keep yourself visible is 'activity'! The more things that happen, bookings, enquiries, even views will effect where you listing will be displayed. If you find your listing starting to drag down in the area search pages you should refresh it with new pictures....add or change a house rule to keep it ranking well in search criteria.
I will DM you with other things that I think may improve your appeal.
I appreciate it. I appreciate all constructive comments. I know there are rough spots, the house is old, we still have work we are doing, and it is not everyone's idea of great stay. If my questions can help someone else I'm glad to be the one to ask. 🙂
My views had sunk to under 125 in 30 days until I posted the facebook page. I noticed a bump when I included a link in some Twitter posts, but they did not convert to rentals.
It gets a little frustrating seeing local listings that are basically a mat on the floor in the corner that has 10x the reviews and twice the nightly rate as mine. I will keep plugging away at it.
Hey, you know what we have talked about!! I wish I could be there to help you with some great shots. I don't want to go into it here but you have the basis of an appealing great listing. The last thing you want to do is feed in a lot of information which a potential guest will later dispute.....it has to look real! I even had a guest once who said...."It did not look like this in the listing" ....all because I had on a different bedspread. Your photos have to be an accurate description of what you offer, but make them look as good as possible!
Robin, your listing should be everyones idea of a great stay....don't sell yourself short, but it is up to you to make it that way. There will be a hundred great shots of your property that will really attract a potential guest. You know, I would love to stay there in that lazy carefree environment where I could just unwind with genuine homely comfortable people. Your listing is gold and you don't even know it....you are making excuses for it!! Look at a few other listings (possibly superhost) and see how they do it, and this will help you get those reservations.
Good luck girl....cheers......Rob
Oh @Robin4 I have to share this with you, and take it in the hysterically funny manner it is intended.
You said, "where I could just unwind with genuine homely comfortable people." Here in my part of Appalachia, "homely" means someone who falls between "unattractive" and down-right "ugly," So, I chuckled wildly when I read that. 🙂 I fully understood what your comment meant, but- oh the laughter!
Come on by anytime!
@Robin129.....Oh dear, that's the last thing I would ever want to think, or say!
And yeah we aren't that much different to you....In this part of the world if you are talking about a woman 'homely' is not something you would want to say to her face. She would feel quite insulted.....homely was something my Grandmother was!
You know what I was talking about, your house gives a feel that you could just come inside, kick your shoes off and make yourself comfortable. I would imagine there would be very few 'aires and graces' in your household!
I put my listing on Google maps. I did not have to pay for it. Now, when someone types in "accomodation" and the name of my town, my listing shows up in Google maps. On the google page, I have photos and a link to a Facebook page. I do get people outside the Airbnb system booking with me, but when they call and I don't know them or anyone related to them I direct them to the Airbnb or other platform I have it listed on page and ask them to book my place that way and not with me directly. It is never a problem. I screen very carefully, so thankfully I have not had a problem guest outside Airbnb (whereas I had a few through Airbnb!).
@Monica4 I don't like having the exact location on a Google or MapQuest map, but sometimes people can find it anyway. What I did put on the Facebook page is the link to the Airbnb listing and a note that guest must work through Airbnb. I am glad it works for you. I like hearing how others manage their listings. Everyone and every listing is uniquie.
Went to look at your "homely" listing and can't find it. Usually there is a link on your profile page. Did you lose it somewhere?
As per your question, when I first started hosting we advertised on craigslist, however after the first contact from that I pulled the ad; not the type of customer I wanted. Instead we are on the top 3 vacation rental websites. Our oldest house stays fairly close to 90% booked while our new house is hovering in the 60%'s.
We have a personal website that showcases our houses and the things we offer, but everything points the potential guest back to Airbnb for the actual booking so as to stay under the Airbnb umbrella.
Monica mentioned placing her house on Google maps. I noticed someone did that favor for me, but I had Google remove it out of safety and security concerns.
Follow @Robin4's advice concerning making frequent changes to your listing/calendar/photos. Make sure, too, that your pictures and narrative tell a great story. Will check back again to see if I can view your listing. Good luck!
@Tim-and-Holly0 My listing is 16751778 , that may help. I've used Craigslist for a long time and would NEVER list my home there. LOL I don't even have people here to purchase something I list there, I meet them about two miles away. Thanks for the input!
Just went and had another look at your listing Robin....that is much better, you have got rid of most of the cluttery shots and the unecessary ones. See how much neater the property looks. I still don't know about the dogs...I know, their great dogs but, look at it from a guests point of view, dogs on furniture suggests that they rule the roost and a lot of guests will be uncomfortable with that. Mention them in the description and say they are very welcoming but, best not show them draped over that nice setting you are suggesting guests should relax on! Also, when you can, get rid of the kids toys on that verandah shot! If it's not practical to reshoot, photoshop them out in 'Paint'. Childrens toys do not conjure up thoughts of tranquility.
And the only other thing I would change now is the kitchen shot. Put as many of those utensils as possible away making the most of the bench and take a shot along the bench with perhaps a jar of spaghetti, a few spoons, a small Basil plant in a pot! Unless it is a suite of Gordon Ramsay stainless steel, it's not required to show a shot of everything in the kitchen, just the hint that it is there. And definitely get the dogs feeding bowls out of sight. Many guests will feel uncomfortable if they think they will be sharing a kitchen with a couple of large hounds.
But gee that is so much better Rob...that lead photo now looks like a nice inviting bedroom without any wires trailing around and not too much brickabrac!
The other thing is, that's about the right number of photos, maybe include one or two of something great to see in the area, a nice part of that river, some local scenery!
Good job Robin......cheers.....Rob
@Robin4 Yes, I have more staging to do. I hope to get that done this afternoon. I've been tending to some outside work, gardening and tree trimming. I'll never be in one of those fancy home magazines. 🙂 Never wanted to be.
This is a mature, working class community so the scenery is not awe inspiring. I have a list of some of the historical places within a couple miles of here. I may get some photos of those. Photos of the river might be a challenge. My section of the Kanawha River is not recreational. Barges carry coal or chemicals from the mines or industrial areas. I'm not saying I can't get a good shot, just it would be a challenge.
The dogs ... Okay I'll change the picture, but I will post a photo of them. 🙂 I find it amusing that the dog photo is a possible put-off but the cat is great.
Cats don't 'slobber' and they are not seen as potentially aggresive....and that cat looks bloody adorable!
Hey Rob, I know people with a boxer, and it's a brilliant dog, so loving, but I am not mad having it around me! He rubs up against you, hovers with those bailfull eyes waiting for a handout when your eating something....and our Betts does the same...they're dogs and that's what dogs do....although Betts doesn't slobber!!
Have a look at my pictures and you will see the way I bring our dog into the hosting equation...she is there but not intruding on what the guest is expecting to have the use of!
@Robin4 That cat, and his two littermates, IS bloody adorable. 🙂
Dog slobber - Jack and Gracie aren't too bad about it, but yes they do on occassion slobber. I did see your listing the other day. Betts looks like a cuddle buddy.
Have a great evening!