Thinking back to when you first joined Airbnb, before you got your first booking.
What did you do to make your listing attractive, to entice your first guest to book your home?
Did it take you long to welcome your first guest?
@LizzieI was lucky, because I had a cousin who was a host already, and who also works in real estate, so he is very good at property descriptions and he helped me polish my listing description. He also showed it to a consultant for their feedback. I took my pictures in natural light, where possible, and although they weren't professional, I think they were decent and represented the space accurately. I spent a lot of time prepping the wording and pictures before I opened my listing: I started working on it at least a month in advance rather than leaving it to the last minute. I also had a slightly lower price to start: if the price is lower, people will be more likely to just give it a try, I think, despite the lack of reviews.
I took my first booking the day I opened the listing, and I hosted my first guest three days later: the first night that was available to book. That was Friday September 1, 2017. I've hosted about 200 times since then.
This is great @Alexandra316 and it is nice to have someone on hand to give you some handy tips. I'm sure many new hosts will be the same with the tips you have shared here.
It's interesting to hear you spent quite some time before pushing the live button to perfect your listing, I think this is a sensible outlook and then you can really feel proud of what you are presenting. :)
Once you published you listing, did you continue to tweak things?
@LizzieOh for sure... for the first 6 months I made changes all the time, especially renewing photos as I took new ones that I liked better than the old ones, or new amenities were added. Also, I tweaked the description as I found points that were causing confusion or I was getting a lot of questions about. I don't make as many changes now, as it seems to be working pretty well for me.
Yes, I agonized over the listing, maybe a little too much :-) but on the plus side I've had positive reviews since day one and I think my guests have been happy. I really think that setting expectations is one of the most important parts of Airbnb hosting, and the listing is obviously the key to that.
Oh and @Ben551 you reminded me that my opening day was strategic as well. Summer is insanely busy in wine country, so I waited until September when things were dying down a bit to open the listing.
Then my first guest was a (Canadian) famous person, which was nerve-wracking for me as a new host. It was a bit of a case of being thrown into the deep end, but it's all gone pretty well I think!
Yeah, I imagine (in terms of time of year) that you want to make sure you find a good balance between being rushed off your feet and opening in peak and opening when it is normally really quiet.
Do you think that many hosting think of this when you push go on their listing? I support there are normally lots of different things that impact this decision.
@LizzieIf a host is hosting an investment property, I'd think that their goal would just be to open as quickly as possble, without any real strategy. The busier, the better. For those of us who are just hosting part of our homes or personal properties, that may play less of a role. My focus was on getting it right, right out of the gate: I didn't rush anything. If you start with mis-steps and you get less-than-perfect reviews, you may never recover. There was someone locally who only hosted three times: the first two reviews were good, and the third was an absolute stinker. They never got another booking. There is too much competition to be slapdash.
I've observed something really interesting in my local market since I started hosting. Most hosts have turned over since I opened: only about 1/3 of the hosts who were hosting at the start are still at it. Quite a few have also started after I did and alread quit. I would be interested in the stats for host burnout/turnover. It seems to be particularly high in those who are hosting remotely. They open up shop, then end up closing and moving to long-term tenants or selling the property.
I remodeled the property I lease to rent it out as an Airbnb. Took a few months. I have a way with words when describing what I see and how it makes me feel I am a artist and designer and worked as an interior designer for 30 yrs so selling something of comfort and beauty comes naturally to me the minute I went live I booked a couple from Spain then withing an hour had the Month of April and the next 2 months booked. I didnt sleep that night , my phone just kept pinging. It was nuts in all the best ways. Not so much now anymore . That was 3 yrs ago. The vacation rental business population has quadrupled in my tiny city so yah. Bookings tapered off aft er a year. And with all of the restrictions on us I'm not thrilled about not knowing who's requesting. Usually when someone is hiding something is when they would need instant book in my city. Every city is different I would imagine. What is the draw, why do people go there and if your not in. A city people travel to for obvious reasons then that's trouble too. Its ending up having had cost me so very much. Honestly I dont have any family that will ever use it I dont think I can. I have only rented to one in the past couple months and that individual ended up being 6 full grown men and as a 57 yr old woman I had to face them all at 3am to kick them out of my lift. So very Dangerous
My first booking came quite soon after I first posted my listing. I had a professional real estate photographer take my pictures and they really helped draw people in. I’ve only been doing it for a few months but I’ve been pretty much fully booked. So far, so good.
Good photos are a must . I was fortunate enough to have a professional photographer that Airbnb provided .
This has definitely helped getting lots of bookings so my advice when starting is to invest in a professional photographer
you wont regret it .
Hehe @Branka & Silvia1! Well it's turned out well for you. :) How was it for you at the beginning?