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How Helpful is Airbnb Smart Pricing?

Some may remember growing up and watching “The Price is Right” on television.  No matter who the contestants were or where they were from, they loved getting the “right price,” usually because it meant they won a prize.  There’s a prize for getting the “right price” in short term rental as well, and one that doesn’t go away after one visit to a game show: more income.

Price Matters

The right price matters, not just because it determines how much you’ll make in a given night, month, or year, but because it also offers a standard by which your competition can judge you.  Individual pricing changes lead to entire shifts in the pricing of a marketplace.  

One of the ways that Airbnb has approached this issue has been to create a feature called “Smart Pricing.”  These smart prices are powered by an absolute treasure trove of information that Airbnb, and only Airbnb, has access to:

  • Current supply and demand
  • Historical supply and demand (especially relevant after the 2020 Covid-affected year)
  • The amenities of your listing(s), as well as
    • The quality and quantity of your reviews
    • The number of people viewing your listing
    • Pricing of comparable listings in relation to yours
  • Time left to book

You are not obliged to use Smart Pricing as an Airbnb host, and even if you do, you can choose to override/turn it off for specific dates.  You can also set a “minimum price” so that the tool never drops your listing’s price below that level.

Incentives Not Aligned

Keep in mind that Airbnb’s goal is to take on every booking possible, as they take a 3% service fee from hosts.  What might mean a big change for you, say $10 less a night, is almost negligible for them.  On the other side, the service fees to guests can be as much as 20% for them, so a lower price is also cheaper for the end user.

Smart Pricing also doesn’t really know about upcoming major events, like a convention or sporting event, which can lead to missed opportunities for more aggressive pricing.

However, Airbnb argues that the statistics support the case for Smart Pricing.  One tool that was the precursor for Smart Pricing, Price Tips, increased average revenue earnings by 13%.

Alternatives

There are paid alternatives to Airbnb’s Smart Pricing in the form of Beyond and Wheelhouse.  You can also choose to set the pricing yourself.  After all, you probably know the state of your listing and the marketplace in general better than most.  But, if you choose this route, you will need to constantly tinker, for some of the reasons we mentioned above, like special events, and then some:

  • Seasonality (different seasons may bring different levels of demand…and appropriate pricing)
  • Day of the week (the classic division is business travelers come during the week and leisure travelers on the weekends, though Covid has muddied those waters considerably, as we’ve mentioned in previous newsletters)
  • Comparables (how does your competition stack up in pricing and amenities?)

Ultimately, we do consider Airbnb Smart Pricing both “smart” and helpful, but it will depend on how you manage your listing(s) and what your financial and occupancy goals are that will determine how much you use it, if at all.

This content originally appeared in our twice-monthly Guest Book newsletter.

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I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
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What to Charge for an Airbnb Cleaning Fee?

While we have noticed that during Covid-19, people have been more willing to pay higher cleaning fees for vacation rentals, it’s still important to make sure that your cleaning fee is appropriate for your listing and market.  Let’s talk about some things to think about as you come up with the right number.

What’s in a Cleaning Fee?

Technically speaking, the cleaning fee is supposed to cover things like:

  • Toiletries
  • Cleaning products
  • Laundry and linens
  • Labor of the cleaner

You don’t have to charge a cleaning fee, but for the vast majority of vacation rental listings, it’s a given: there’s no reason for you to bear that cost on your own when you can share it with your guests.

Dos

Make sure your costs are covered

When you use a cleaning service (like us) you know precisely what you’re going to pay for a cleaning, whether a guest has stayed one night or ten nights.  Make sure that you are charging appropriately.  That may mean requiring a minimum stay.

Your research

Do a search for a listing like yours in your area and find out what your competitors are charging.  That should help you calibrate the number you’ve come up with on your own.

Donts

Try to make extra bucks on the cleaning fee  

The vacation rental market is savvier than ever and guests can see when a cleaning fee that is higher than they expect is actually “shadow nightly cost.”  Unless you price otherwise, the cleaning fee on many vacation rental platforms (including Airbnb) isn’t included in the nightly rate that a guest is searching for, so if it’s a significant addition to what they were expecting as a bottom-line price, they may:

  • Get angry and abandon the booking
  • Write you and ask for a discount
  • Raise their expectations for cleanliness 

Undervalue your time  

While people might say that it’s “cheaper to do it myself” this doesn’t really account for the other things you need to do in a given day or the fact that you probably didn’t get into vacation rentals so you could increase the amount of cleaning in your life.  What your time is worth and what the market is willing to pay for a cleaning fee often doesn’t match up.  Consider hiring professionals who actually love to clean and spend their days doing so.

Forget Guest Expectations

Whether we like it or not, once guests pays cleaning fees, they have hotel-level standards upon checkin and if there is the slightest thing out of order in the cleanliness department you’ll not only see it reflected on your ratings but you’ll hear about it in the public comments.  Cleanliness (or lack thereof) is the very first thing a guest experiences.

This article originally appeared in The Guest Book newsletter.

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Testimonials

At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

Blog

How to Prepare for the 2021 Summer Season

Spring has just arrived, which means people’s thoughts are drifting to summer and Airbnb recently released an article showing some of the most-searched summer destinations.  Just because your city didn’t make the top ten doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be planning for the traditional summer surge.  People are looking to get away, and with international travel still fairly restricted, short term rental hosts have a larger potential audience than ever.  With that in mind, we wanted to give you a few tips to make sure you make the most of the coming summer crowds.

Update Your Calendar

Sometimes hosts forget to update their availability, and as such miss out on guests that might have booked if only the calendar had shown availability.  If they are looking for specific dates and your calendar isn’t available, they might not be shown your property.

You don’t have to have the whole summer planned out, but as hosts, the further out you can make dates available, the more potential guests will be shown your listing and the more opportunity you’ll have to get booked sooner.

Price Competitively

There has been a lot of change in the market from various angles.

  • Some listings have gone away permanently
  • Due to a drop in the regular number of visitors, prices have been in flux
  • Restrictions vary based on states and municipalities, which lead directly to bookings (more restrictions often means fewer bookings)

Airbnb has an internal “smart pricing” tool which you can use to make sure your listing is appropriately priced.  That tool is based on internal company metrics and search data and ultimately is aimed at increasing bookings for the platform, so it may sometimes offer suboptimal suggestions.  One way to cross check what the internal Airbnb tool is telling you is with services like AirDNA or Mashvisor which use sophisticated data mining to give pricing data not just for cities, but even for specific neighborhoods.

Seasonalize

There are different things to do and see, depending on the season.  Places that are great to visit in winter can sometimes be a challenge (or even closed) in the summer.  Make sure that your guest book has specific summer suggestions for your area.  Your guests will love having this additional information apart from the traditional year-round “See these spots” list.  

This goes for restaurants as well.  While many menus may stay the same year round, if there are places that have special items during the summer, you should mention that.  You might even offer your top ice cream spots with a list of your favorite flavors.

Summer is traditionally a time when a lot of people want to get out and see a new place.  That’s only more so the case in 2021 with pent-up demand from travel restrictions and lockdowns still fresh in many minds.  Following these tips will not only help you attract these coming Summer 2021 guests, but will lead to the sort of awesome reviews that will keep them coming into Fall.

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Testimonials

At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

Blog

12 Months Later: What We’ve Learned a Year after Lockdown, Part II

Earlier this month we shared some of the lockdown lessons of the past year.  This is the second part of the article: we learned so many lessons we couldn’t fit all of them in one article!

Longer Stays

While short term rental guests no longer book stays weeks and months in advance (very often they are making bookings just days in advance) when they do stay, they are staying longer.  Often the reason for these longer stays include being closer to loved ones, the ability to access nature, the chance to have more space, or the chance to save money.  Hosts might consider opening up longer stay windows than they have offered in the past to cash in on this new demand.

Remote Workers

Airbnb reported that of those guests who are booking longer stays, 60% were working or studying during their stay, and of those, 65% reported Covid-19 was a factor in their decision to book a longer-term stay.  In a previous newsletter we’ve discussed creating a friendly space for remote workers to get their work done.  These statistics back up the necessity to do that.  Hosts should be willing to look at their space with new, “remote worker” eyes to see what can be changed or improved in order to attract more of these bookings.

Simplify

Part of the charm of some short term rentals might have been the knick-knacks or books that you were free to examine and play with.  But with the enhanced cleaning protocols introduced by Airbnb and other platforms, these fun bits of flavor for your listing might be an extra cleaning step for you and something your guests might avoid.  With so much concern for surfaces and cleanliness, consider removing from your listing some of the items that are more difficult to sanitize (like the cute teddy bear that perhaps sat on the bed, welcoming guests).

Offer Sanitary Supplies

In the past hosts have enjoyed offering some small welcoming treats, be it some snacks or beverages.  These days guests might appreciate some hand sanitizer or masks.  No need to dump the treats!  Just make sure to add a few additional items that people might need to comply with the health rules in your locality.  No one would have ever guessed masks would be part of welcome gifts to a guest, but these days, it’s a simple and thoughtful addition.

Be Extra Sensitive to Guest Concerns

The last twelve months have taken a toll on people unlike anything they may have experienced in their lives.  There’s no way for you as the host to know what this year has meant to your guest.  What you do know is that they are seeking refuge and comfort with you.  Remember that whatever your own personal views are regarding the pandemic and the rules of your locality, your goal is to make your guests feel welcomed and safe.  Don’t downplay concerns that they may have regarding health and sanitary conditions, but go the extra mile to understand their points of view.

Remember that the most successful hosts have paid attention to trends and changing guest demands in order to continue to attract visitors and earn revenues during this time.  Is there an item you would have added to our two-part series?  Reply to this email and tell us!

This article originally appeared in our Guest Book newsletter.

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At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

Blog

12 Months Later: What We’ve Learned a Year after Lockdown, Part I

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since large parts of the world went into lockdown…in part because 12 months later some parts of the world are in or are entering their 3rd or 4th lockdowns.  But we’ve learned a lot in the past year about how the short-term rental market has changed and what hosts have had to do to adapt and continue to earn revenues during this time period.  We’ve learned so much, in fact, that we’ve had to break the lessons into two different articles!  Let’s get started!

Flexibility Matters

With governments making decisions on a week-to-week basis, guests are no longer able to book trips far in advance.  Guests are looking to book just a few days to a few weeks in advance, at the most, and are looking for listings with flexible cancellation policies.  While it’s true that listings with more generous cancellation policies attract more visitors, it’s also true that those same guests may take advantage of the cancellation policy and cancel at the last moment.  Individual hosts will need to make decisions based on what they know about their local market and their own listings.

A New Look at Cancellation

Airbnb is still dealing with the fallout of the decision they made to override the cancellation policies of their hosts worldwide during the earliest days of the lockdown. They made a decision to offer free cancellations to all bookings made before Mar 14, 2020 and that had devastating effects on the income of hosts. While Airbnb went on to set up relief funds for hosts and Superhosts, there was damage done to the relationship with hosts, as they were not consulted in any way about this decision.  Airbnb is no longer offering this generous cancellation policy, leading to some guests taking it out on hosts when the cancellation policy is enforced.  While each case varies, hosts should consider being more flexible with guests and/or listing on other platforms rather than relying on just one.

Focus on Local

With airline travel in irregular shape, many travelers are focusing on more local travel.  Airbnb at one point reported that the majority of domestic US bookings were within 300 miles.  People aren’t taking their traditional vacations and are choosing closer-to-home “staycations.”  If you’ve been used to serving out-of-town guests, you might consider promoting your listing through various local websites and resources.

Cleaning Standard Step Up

Airbnb created a new 36 page cleaning guide in consultation with experts and has it available for free in many languages.  Not only did Airbnb offer a badge to early adopters that accepted the new cleaning standards, which included social distancing and mask wearing when interacting with guests, but they set a deadline of November 20, 2020 for all hosts to comply or lose the right to continue hosting.  While not all vacation rental platforms did this, hosts who featured their listings on Airbnb had to comply, and clean listings, always a driver of bookings and revenues in “normal times,” came under even more scrutiny.  We’ve always known that guests show a marked preference for high ratings in cleanliness.  This has only become more pronounced during the pandemic, according to The Economist.

Guestbook Refresh

You may have taken many hours to put together an awesome guestbook for your visitors, showing them the best local attractions and restaurants…except that many of those places are possibly closed at the moment, and some, unfortunately, are closed permanently.  Take the time to create a different version of your guestbook that takes current conditions into account.  That may mean calling restaurants or attractions to see if they are open and if so, what the conditions are for accepting guests.  It may also mean highlighting some virtual experiences that are still locally-focused.

There are plenty more lessons to share, but we’ll save those for Part II!  For now, consider applying these lessons to your listing(s) so that you can increase your bookings (and revenue) even as the pandemic continues.

This article originally appeared in our Guest Book newsletter.

Clean my
Vacation Rental


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  • Automated Scheduling
  • Cleaning Report with Pictures
  • Never a No-Show. Guaranteed.
Book Now

Testimonials

At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

Blog

4 Ways to Make More Money As an Airbnb Host in 2021

It’s clear that travel looks far different at the start of 2021 than it did at the beginning of 2020. With the global pandemic shifting travel patterns and guest behaviors around the world, hosts can’t rely on the same old strategies if they want to see continued success.

A savvy host, however, can use this time to build up his/her business and take advantage of new opportunities. Here are four ways you can breathe new life into your Airbnb business and make more money from hosting in 2021.

1. Re-optimize your listing

At the beginning of the year, it’s always a good idea to revisit your listing and improve your optimization. Replace low-quality photos with better ones, break up big chunks of text to make your listing easier to skim, and be sure to include keywords in your title that will make potential guests want to click.

If you haven’t already, now is a great time to add information about your cleaning process to your description. Guests want to feel safe while booking, and they’re more likely to choose a host who is taking the concerns of guests seriously.

2. Improve your communication

In this day and age, travelers are more cautious than ever when booking their travel. There are more questions than usual to ask before booking, such as whether you offer contactless checkin or if local attractions are open.

It’s important to improve your communication and reply to any messages as quickly as possible. A delay can mean losing out on a potential guest to one of your competitors. Set up alerts on your phone so you’re notified the second a message comes through and you’ll be able to respond right away.

3. Know the local scene

As mentioned above, there’s more uncertainty than usual when it comes to travel during the global pandemic. Local restrictions and regulations can change week to week, leaving travelers wondering if their plans will pan out.

You can make the process easier for your potential guests by keeping your listing up to date with all of the important information they’ll need about your area, such as whether restaurants are open and what attractions they can experience while they’re there. You can win over more guests simply by making the booking process as convenient as possible.

4. Offer online experiences

Airbnb has recently launched “online experiences” as a way to help hosts make money even if visitors aren’t traveling as much as they used to. These experiences allow hosts to capitalize on their talents by filming video classes or experiences that anyone can pay to watch.

These can range from meditation lessons to tarot readings to escape rooms—the possibilities are endless! If you have a knack for cooking or a passion for yoga, you can share it with the world while opening a stream of passive income for when the travel season dies down.

Although it’s certainly a challenge to adapt to the shifting travel landscape that 2021 has to offer, a savvy host can still find success. By thinking outside the box and simplifying the process for your guests, you can ensure that your business stays active, no matter the news.

This article originally appeared in our twice-monthly Guest Book newsletter.

Clean my
Vacation Rental


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  • Automated Scheduling
  • Cleaning Report with Pictures
  • Never a No-Show. Guaranteed.
Book Now

Testimonials

At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

Blog

7 Steps to Making a Cozy Remote Workspace

remote workAs remote work becomes more and more standard in a post-Covid-19 world, Airbnb guests will be looking for spaces that they can be productive and comfortable in while they do that remote work.  We’ve picked out the most important items to make a cozy remote workspace for your guests that’ll leave them raving in the reviews.

A Good Chair

Someone is going to be sitting in that chair for several hours, so a standard folding chair isn’t going to cut it.  It doesn’t mean you have to get a Herman Miller Aeron chair (though, that would be pretty sweet), but it does mean that the chair should be comfortable for all-day usage.  Great office chairs help you stay alert while keeping you comfortable.  

Natural Light

No one wants to work in a basement.  Make sure there is some natural light that illuminates the workspace.  This keeps eyes relaxed but also gives people something to see out their window during moments of their day, which can be nice.  Make sure that you’ve also got excellent artificial lighting as well, when those overcast days won’t be able to deliver much natural light.

Plants

You’ve heard all the studies by now: plants can reduce stress and increase productivity.  That’s true.  But it also makes your space more appealing and plants literally clean the air.  No one is saying you need to make the workspace into a botanical garden: even one plant would be a game changer.

Desk Options

While you may like sitting at a desk there are a growing number of people who like to stand while working.  You can get an adjustable desk that allows for sitting or standing positions, or you can get a stand that creates a standing desk platform should someone prefer that.  It’s a nice extra option and shows your guests that you’ve thought through their needs.

Supplies

While most remote workers are pretty good about bringing what they need with them, there are always odds and ends that would be nice to have: pencils, pens, scratch paper, paper clips, a stapler, post-it notes, etc.  Have those neatly arranged in a convenient spot for your guests to use and keep it stocked.

Photo/Poster

Remember those corny “motivational” posters from the 1990s?  Yeah, don’t buy one of those.  You might have a wonderful large scale photo from one of your trips or a print or work of art that really resonates with you.  Just keep in mind that this is something that will be by a work area, so it should be something that allows someone to “drift away” for a moment without distracting them too much.

Blazing Fast Internet

“Fast” internet depends less on what your connection is than on how many people are using it.  If you’re around at the same time as your guest and you are going to be working as well, you would do well to be north of 50 Mbps.  If you won’t be around during the workday or your guest is at a property you’re not resident in, make sure they have at least 25 Mbps.  This will allow them to connect multiple devices and not experience any lag.  Pro tip: take a screenshot of your speed test and put it as a photo in your listing.  People looking for remote workspaces will appreciate it (and book right away).

This article originally appeared in our Guest Book newsletter.

Clean my
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  • Automated Scheduling
  • Cleaning Report with Pictures
  • Never a No-Show. Guaranteed.
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Testimonials

At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

Blog

Airbnb Has Gone Public: Here’s What it Means for Hosts (You!)

It turns out that 2020 had one more surprise up its sleeve for the travel and STR industry: the Airbnb IPO.  While the company had planned to go public this year anyway, no one would have predicted that they would have been able to get the valuation that they started 2020 with.  Those predictions were right.  Airbnb finished 2020 on the Nasdaq at more than three times the valuation it started 2020 with.

Some numbers might help us understand this better.  Booking.com, a well known online travel agency (OTA) and competitor of Airbnb, has a market capitalization of $86 billion.  At just over $100 billion at the time of this newsletter, not only does Airbnb have a bigger market cap than Booking, it has one bigger than Marriott, Hilton, and Hyatt combined.  It turns out those 7 million listings that Airbnb has worldwide continues to inspire confidence in the marketplace, even in a sector that was particular devastated by a pandemic.

What changed for Airbnb?

While there was at first a catastrophic drop in revenue due to lockdowns and quarantines, as Airbnb slashed expenses and made necessary changes, the situation stabilized.  People still wanted to travel, and realized that they could do so while still socially distancing.

The other vector that Airbnb never had planned for was the worldwide acceptance of remote work as a new normal.  This meant that people were able to travel even though they weren’t on vacation.  They were simply “homebasing” someplace else.  This has led Airbnb to reconfigure its website to allow for more inspiration at a closer distance from home: 300 miles seems to be the magic number.

Areas of Scrutiny

Now that it’s a publicly traded company, Airbnb is going to receive even more scrutiny, and can no longer play the “brash startup” that it may have played at times in the past.  

​​On a basic level, this might mean that higher standards will be set for hosts and guests in regards to neighborhood noise, partying, and safety.  On a higher level, city governments around the world will probably try to find a solution with a publicly traded company now that the narrative is no longer protecting the neighborhood from a “startup.”

Neighborhood Support

​Airbnb already has a Neighborhood Support page in place for your neighbors to file a report should they feel there is excessive noise, a disruptive party, or unsafe behavior happening at your property.  

If people have a way to resolve an issue with you, it’s easier for everyone than filing a claim with a company.  Reach out to your neighbors and give them ways to get a hold of you.  If there is something strange happening, you want to hear it from a neighbor before hearing about it from Airbnb (or the police).

Party Prevention

​Airbnb negotiated good rates for Minut, NoiseAware, and Roomonitor, all simple-to-use solutions to keep you in the loop should the noise at your listing get beyond limits that you set.  But beyond that, the pandemic forced them to ban parties globally indefinitely.

Post-IPO Airbnb will likely to continue to put rules and regulations in place to make sure that it solidifies its place in communities worldwide.  Hosts can prepare for these changes ahead of time by following regulations in their municipality, having an open line of communication with their neighbors, and using technology to help them monitor noise levels.

Sharing the Wealth with Hosts?

As many of you experienced, there was a major loss of revenue in the first half of the year, but Airbnb tried to address this by offering some percentages of the refunds they had unilaterally given to guests and by establishing a fund that offered strings-free grants to the neediest hosts.  

Airbnb continued this line of thinking with its IPO, in which it set aside a $9.2 million endowment fund just for hosts, mostly to fund programs and grants.

All this means that there are more opportunities for you (and for us!) as the new year continues.  Who would have thought that after 2020?

This article first appeared in our Guest Book newsletter.

Clean my
Vacation Rental


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  • Automated Scheduling
  • Cleaning Report with Pictures
  • Never a No-Show. Guaranteed.
Book Now

Testimonials

At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

Blog

Year-End Review for Short-Term Rental Industry

2020 Year-End Review for Short-Term Rental Industry from MaidThis.com

It’s clear to everyone that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected travel in unprecedented ways. Some hosts have struggled to maintain their businesses this year, while others in different parts of the country have enjoyed renewed success as restrictions have shifted throughout the course of 2020. 

Guesty has surveyed over 400 vacation rental owners to discover just how the pandemic has affected bookings throughout the year and has released their findings in their “Industry Report: State of the Short-Term Rental Industry Amid COVID-19.” 

Here are 5 of the most important takeaways for vacation rental hosts and the STR industry as a whole. 

 

1. Travel is more spontaneous. 

As the news about the pandemic seems to change every day, it’s becoming more difficult for people to make long-term plans. As such, last-minute bookings have become the norm. According to the hosts surveyed, 30% of reservations were made within 30 days of a stay, 40% of reservations were made within one week, and 15% were made the same day.

 

2. Families are looking for space. 

Lockdown has forced many families to cut back on their usual activities, which can be particularly hard on young children – especially if a family doesn’t have an adequate outdoor space for kids to run around and play at home.

Because of this, vacation rentals with large yards have seen a jump in popularity. If your property has a great outdoor space, be sure to highlight this in your listing to attract guests who are looking for a little more space. 

 

3. Digital nomads are thriving. 

With many companies switching to full-time remote work, employees are free to work from anywhere with a reliable wi-fi connection. Because of this, rental hosts have seen an increase in extended stays, with the majority being around 1-3 months in length. 

Earlier in the year, many travelers were looking to escape the city, so hosts in remote areas were more likely to see this type of extended stay. However, as the pandemic stretches on, people have begun booking stays in larger cities once again, so many hosts can capitalize on this demographic. 

 

4. Flexible cancellation can help. 

In the spring and summer, there was a rise in emergency cancellations, as COVID-19 restrictions progressed at a different pace everywhere around the world. Today, according to the report, the majority of cancellations occur 2-3 weeks before a trip, which is a significant improvement.

While those last-minute cancellations have tapered off, a flexible cancellation policy is likely to make guests feel more comfortable when booking their stay, especially as cases are on the rise in the United States. 22% of the hosts surveyed in the industry report have found that flexible cancellation was the most helpful strategy for their business in 2020.

 

5. Expect more bookings, but also more cancellations. 

Many travelers feel more comfortable booking an Airbnb than staying in a hotel. Guests report feeling safer in an Airbnb, as there are fewer common areas and shared surfaces, fewer people, and less guest turnover than in hotels. 

Because of this, travelers who would normally stay in a hotel for the holidays may book Airbnbs instead. However, COVID-19 is expected to spike after Thanksgiving. If regulations surrounding health and safety become more strict, more guests are likely to cancel their stays and decide not to travel at all for Christmas and New Year’s. 

 

While travel has changed beyond what we could have expected in 2020, it’s clear that many vacation rental owners are still seeing a level of success. The important thing is to understand the shifting trends and make adjustments to your business strategy accordingly.

 

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At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
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Hours
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I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
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Airbnb Host in LA
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5 Tips for Writing a Killer Airbnb Description

5 Tips for Writing a Killer Airbnb Description from MaidThis.com

We’ve written in the past about the importance of choosing the right photo for your Airbnb listing. While a picture says a thousand words, you’ll still need a killer description if you want to attract the right guests. 

If you’re not sure what makes for a good Airbnb description, don’t worry. Here are our 5 top tips. 

 

1. Make the title catchy.

When a potential guest is searching for a vacation rental, they could be scrolling through hundreds of similar properties in a certain area. Make sure yours stands out right from the search results page with a catchy title that will make them want to click. 

Your title should be descriptive and let potential guests know what to expect. Instead of just writing “San Francisco condo,” be specific about neighborhoods, nearby attractions, or features that your property has to offer. 

 

2. Emphasize what makes you unique. 

Chances are, many properties in your area offer similar benefits in terms of home size and location. You’ll need to emphasize your own unique selling points in order to beat out the competition. 

You might want to point out a specific amenity you offer, nearby attractions, the size of the yard, pools or jacuzzis, or anything else that might appeal to a potential guest. 

If there’s nothing unusual about the property itself, you can create a unique selling point by going above and beyond. Include gaming consoles for guests to play, provide equipment for outdoor recreation, throw in passes to local activities, or feature other bonuses that will entice guests to book. 

 

3. Know your audience. 

If you try to cast too wide a net with your target audience, you might not end up attracting anyone. It’s better to be specific when writing an Airbnb description so you can win over the type of guest that’s most likely to book. 

For example, if your property is a big house with a yard, you don’t want to target couples looking for a romantic getaway. Mentioning family-friendly activities in the area is likely to be much more persuasive to your potential guests. 

 

4. Keep it short and sweet. 

Many people don’t have the patience to read a wall of text. If all your information is crammed into a single, long paragraph, people might close out of your listing before they even see what you have to offer. 

Consider the fact that many potential guests will be looking through multiple properties before making a booking decision. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to find out what they need from your listing, even if they’re just skimming.

Use strategic formatting like paragraph breaks to make your description easy to read. If there is any really relevant information that a guest should know before booking, or something you think is sure to wow them, put it near the beginning of your listing so they won’t miss it. 

 

5. Answer the FAQs.

If your guest has questions about your property, they probably won’t reach out to you unless they’re really serious about booking it. That means you might be losing out on more casual browsers if you don’t include all the information they need up-front. Anticipate everything your guests will want to know about your property and include it in your listing. 

 

You don’t have to be a professional writer when writing an Airbnb description for your listing – it’s all about the strategy. By keeping a potential guest’s needs in mind, you can create a description that targets your ideal audience and converts their browsing to bookings. 

 

Clean my
Vacation Rental


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  • Automated Scheduling
  • Cleaning Report with Pictures
  • Never a No-Show. Guaranteed.
Book Now

Testimonials

At first I tried to take care of all of the cleaning process myself, and it turned out to be a bigger headache than anything else. So a friend told me about MaidThis and its been fantastic. I’ve been working with my cleaners for a few months so far. I recommend you check out the service for yourself.
Brent
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved

I definitely think that as a company we've been able to make more money, not only because we're saving money by using Maid This, but also because they're helping take a few of the necessary evils with doing vacation rentals off of the property managers plate.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
Saved