Perhaps you’ve realized that your Airbnb property isn’t bringing in the cash it used to. Though bookings were down 85% in 2020, they have started to trend up, with bookings now being higher than they were in 2019. After a major travel slowdown from the COVID-19 pandemic, people are starting to venture out and book vacation properties again. Demand for Airbnb stays is up, so why are your bookings down? There can be many reasons that are detracting potential customers from your property.
1. Make Sure the Price Is Right
You want to be able to make a profit on your Airbnb home, but if your listing is priced too high, you’ll find yourself out of most customers’ price range. Take a look at comparable homes on Airbnb and see if your price per night is competitive. Of course, there are times that you can charge more, such as holidays and weekends. However, even under those circumstances, you want to make sure you’re right in line with the pricing similar properties have.
If you’re feeling a little in the dark about where to price your home, check out sites like Smart Rates, which is a vacation home pricing tool that measures your home against 10 million other vacation homes to ensure your price makes sense.
2. Be Pet-Friendly
If you don’t allow pets at your home, you’re losing a swath of people who want to travel with their furry companions. Consider changing your policy to widen your potential customer base. People will also pay more for a pet-friendly home, which means that if deep cleaning or damage repair is needed, you’ll have extra money coming in to make it happen.
3. Update Listing Photos
If your bookings are down, it might be time to refresh your listing. Revisit the photos you have posted on Airbnb and decide if they’re actually good photos, and if they accurately represent your property. To get great photos, clean the entire home and make sure the camera you’re using takes high-resolution pictures. You can use a phone, but make sure it’s a newer model to get the clearest photos.
Capture multiple angles to give people a really solid idea of the rooms, and make sure you’re taking the photos during a time when a lot of light can get in. Additionally, make sure the photos show what makes your property special. Feature hot tubs, pools, large kitchens, and fireplaces as prominently as possible, as guests tend to book based on these hot amenities.
4. Review Your Cancellation Policy
Airbnb defines a strict cancellation policy as issuing a full refund only if guests cancel within 48 hours of booking and two weeks before check-in. If they cancel between 7 and 14 days before check-in, you’ll be paid 50% for all nights. If they cancel after that, you’ll be paid 100% for all nights. Airbnb advises switching to a flexible cancellation policy if your bookings are down to attract more visitors.
A flexible policy is defined as letting guests have a full refund as long as they cancel 24 hours beforehand. If they cancel after that, you’ll be paid for each night they stay, plus 1 additional night. Though it might be a bit frustrating to plan for, having a less firm policy could open up your home to more vacationers.
5. Set a Reasonable Cleaning Fee
Most of the time, customers see the nightly fee, then don’t encounter the cleaning fee until they’re just about to book. However, a particularly high cleaning fee could deter people from booking the property. Based on how many bedrooms your home has, it’s recommended to keep your cleaning fee between $55 and $250 max.
Keep in mind that $250 would still be considered high for a one or two bedroom home, so only go for that price if your home has three bedrooms or more.
6. Urge Past Vacationers To Leave Reviews
A good review can go a long way. Customers usually parse through a home’s reviews before deciding to commit. If you have had satisfied vacationers at your home, kindly nudge them to leave a review so your rating reflects the good time they had at your place.
If you do receive bad reviews, try to look at them as constructive criticism. Aim to fix anything you can, and respond publicly so future customers see that you’ve amended the problem.
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