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Local Airbnb Bookings Are Surging for Summer

 

Local Airbnb bookings are surging for summer from MaidThis.com

Corona-cabin fever is real and plenty of people are sick and tired of looking at their own walls. While international airplane travel is definitely down and will continue to take a hit this year, local travel is making a comeback.

People with vacation time to kill may not travel across the globe, but they may travel cross-country. Airbnb is reporting a massive boost in same-country bookings compared to this time last year. According to AirDNA, an international Airbnb data analysis company, bookings in the US are continuing to inch upward.

So, what does this new little surge mean for you as an Airbnb host? Get ready now: Depending on where in the country you’re located, it could mean a helpful uptick in your bookings, too.

 

Folks are itching to get out of their own neighborhoods.

The extended period of local lockdowns has even the most dedicated “home-bodies” scrambling to make plans to get out of the house. Now that restrictions are lifting, we’re likely to see a slight shift in the meaning of the popularized term “staycation.” Folks may stay close to home, but not actually at home and ultimately make plans to get even a few miles down the road.

Now, more than ever, having “fancy” or high-ticket amenities is a sure way to draw in guests. People are building up some courage to leave their homes and stay in an Airbnb, yes. But they’re not as likely to be flocking to neighborhood farmers’ markets, cafes, or events (which have mostly been canceled anyway).

Things like having an above-average outfitted kitchen, a household Netflix or HBO subscription, a killer surround sound system, video gaming systems, or even a stash of “old school” games like “Clue” or “Phase 10” are sure to appeal to guests just looking to find some fresh surroundings.

Be sure to implement a deposit system through Airbnb to protect any big-ticket items you may have or plan to add to your vacation rental.

 

Not to mention, summer is officially here.

Many people are eager for a change of scene and summer is traditionally the time for vacations and fun. It isn’t just single people looking, either – it’s people with families.

Families are figuring out their own forms of “new normals” and chances are, many summer vacation plans that were in the works are now distant memories. Big crowd-drawers like Disneyland have made changes to how they’ll handle their own guests and will likely see massive dips in their numbers despite enacting social distancing measures.

That said, parents with youngsters who have been out of school for months now are ready for a break – even if that just means doing the same routines in a new setting and foregoing bigger vacation plans. 

Again, guests are looking for different things these days: Proximity to large venues is far less important than it once was and things like parking availability are likely to rank higher on vacation rental wish lists. 

 

As Americans continue to become more comfortable with the thought of traveling both locally and domestically, it’s becoming clearer that all is not lost for vacation rental hosts. 

So, what does this information combination mean for you as a host?

Here’s our biggest piece of advice for the moment: If you haven’t already, now is a great time to accept instant bookings. Many folks are making decisions at the last minute to leave their homes for a short weekend as lockdown restrictions are lifting. By allowing guests to book instantly, you further increase the possibility of increasing your occupancy rate.

 

Looking for more ideas to keep your guests safe and ensure them of the steps you’re taking? Be sure to check out our MaidThis Covid -19 Resource Center.

 

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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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Updating a Vacation Rental for “Covid-Era” Guests

ways to update a vacation rental during coronavirus from MaidThis.com

It’s becoming more and more clear that Covid-19 isn’t going anywhere: The changes we’ve been making to our “normal” lives – including social distancing, going out less, and wearing masks in public places – are here to stay for the foreseeable future. How long we need to actually keep these measures remains a mystery, but the knowledge that they are necessary is not.

With that knowledge in hand, we all must transition away from how we operated before and start implementing new systems. As a vacation rental host, you’re likely already doing a number of things to reassure your potential guests that you care about their health and safety. As bookings pick up, however, there are a few non-health-related things you can do to potentially increase your booking rate.

Here are our 2 big tips for updating a vacation rental for Covid “era” guests.

 

1. Invest in some “work from home” furniture.

With the “work from home” trend now kicked into full gear, it’s pretty clear that many companies are seeing the benefits of letting their staff work outside the office. Not only is it safer in the age of coronavirus, but studies have shown for years that remote workers are more productive than those who trudge to an office space every day.

With that information in hand, it makes sense to ensure your Airbnb is remote work-friendly. 

If you don’t already have a small work station set up in your vacation rental, now is the time to do it. Depending on how much space you have, you can create an entire work area for guests who will also be on the job during their stays. Add a desk, an ergonomic chair, a surge-protecting extension cord or two, and a desk lamp to your setup.

Need some inspiration? Check out these handy ideas for small office spaces and nooks from The Spruce.

 

2. Upgrade your kitchen basics.

Though the economy is opening back up and as a community, we need to make an effort to support local small businesses, plenty of people are still leery of going out and sitting in restaurants or cafes – and for good reason: There’s no eatery that can promise a “no-risk experience.”

So, while we can, at the very least, advocate for guests to order takeout or opt for food delivery services, you as a host can also make it easier  for them to prepare meals “at home.” This is a great option for updating a vacation rental for Covid “season.”

Take an inventory of what your Airbnb kitchen currently offers in terms of utensils and small appliances. What can you upgrade to make your guests stay more comfortable and more enjoyable to cook?

 

What can you upgrade?

Consider upgrading your pots and pans set – either to ones of better quality, larger sizes, or possibly adding a few extras to broaden the size range. Toss in a few extra “specialty” gadgets that might go over well, such as this OXO avocado slicer, this AdeptChef Stainless Steel Fish Spatula, or a countertop indoor grill for sandwiches, paninis, and burgers.

You could even up your coffee game and add a quality bean grinder, a milk frother, or possibly even a single-cup brewing system.

 

These are just a couple of ideas to better improve the quality of your guests’ stays as we all transition into what are becoming new norms in life. From going out less and eating in more to working outside of the office, ensuring you can cater to Covid-driven needs and desires is one of the best ways to further set yourself apart from other vacation rental listings and pull your booking rates closer to where they were pre-pandemic.

Looking for more ideas to keep your guests safe and ensure them of the steps you’re taking? Be sure to check out our MaidThis Covid -19 Resource Center.

 

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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

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YouTube Is the New Google and Your Vacation Rental Should Be On It

airbnb listing on youtube

 

While many vacation rental hosts are all over Instagram these days, there’s one social media platform that’s been largely neglected: YouTube. Potential guests often turn to videos to get a feel for the places they want to travel. If you can put your rental property where said guests are likely to find it, you can increase your bookings and attract a new audience to your listings. 

Why YouTube?

YouTube offers you an opportunity to showcase your rental property in a way that goes beyond photography. While good pictures certainly matter, a video can transport a potential guest to your property and give them an idea of what it would be like to visit it in person. 

It also allows you to reach a new audience. For example, someone planning a trip to your area might not be ready to look on Airbnb just yet, but if your video pops up while they’re searching for information about a place, they’ll be more likely to click through and see what you have to offer. 

6 Tips for Growing Your Channel

Starting a YouTube channel from scratch can be daunting, but if you play your cards right, you can quickly begin to grow a following. Here are 6 tips to help you maximize your YouTube efforts. 

  1. Quality matters. Just like with photos, the quality of your videos is the #1 factor to pay attention to. You can use all of the search engine optimization in the world, but if your videos are of poor quality, no one is going to watch them. 
  2. Be consistent with your branding. Use the same logos (if you have any) and tone that you showcase on your listing to build a recognizable image for your potential guests. If you haven’t already, invest in a good logo and high-quality images that you can use for your profile image and channel photo. 
  3. Direct your existing audience to your new YouTube channel. If people already follow your rental property on Facebook, for example, there’s a good chance they’d like to keep up with your videos as well. 
  4. Include a call-to-action in your videos and descriptions. Racking up subscribers is helpful, but if you don’t tell them what to do when they get there, you won’t see an increase in bookings. Tell them how they can book their stay with you. 
  5. Host giveaways. Any giveaway you publish must adhere to YouTube’s rules, but you can easily attract more subscribers by offering an incentive such as a chance to win a free night’s stay at your rental property. 
  6. Optimize. Be sure to include any and all relevant tags in your videos so they show up in searches. 

 

If you successfully create a channel with beautiful videos of your property, your vacation rental will practically market itself. While creating a YouTube channel might not seem immediately beneficial, you’ll reap the rewards down the line by having another place for potential guests to view and find your listing. 

 

At MaidThis, we pride ourselves on the quality and reliability of our work. For a cleaning service you can rely on time and time again, check out what MaidThis can do for you.

 

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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

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Make Your Small Space Feel Larger with These Tricks

make small space larger airbnb

 

Small rooms are great but they pose a special problem when you’re hosting guests: How do you make a space feel comfortable without being tacky or making things feel cramped?

Fear not – there are lots of ways to do it and none of it will cost a fortune. Make some simple changes and before you know it, your small Airbnb vacation rental will be all the rage among guests.

1. Repaint your walls and stick to lighter colors.

Light, fresh colors make a room literally feel like it’s breathing. If you’re lacking a lot of window space, this can help brighten your room, too.

Using light colors like white, creams, or even pale pastels can help make your rooms appear larger. This is partly because lighter colors will help reflect light rather than absorb it, like deeper or more vibrant colors.

2. Get some mirrors.

Along with helping reflect more light (and if you follow the advice above, you’ll be even further ahead of the game), mirrors help create more depth. Invest in some mirrors and try a few of these simple tricks from Apartment Therapy to help expand your space with a little bit of reflective magic.

3. Go furniture shopping.

There’s an old rule that a small space should be filled with small furniture. We say that rule is either outdated or a complete myth altogether.

Here’s why: When you fill a small room with small furniture and trinkets, it just reminds everyone that the room is small. You’re making no attempt to change that perception. And while, yes, you can argue that smaller trappings in a room make “more space,” what are you gaining other than winning an obvious argument? Not much.

Instead, choose one or two bigger “statement pieces” that will fill a room and become the focal point. Wedge an overstuffed sofa between two walls or add a large coffee table at the center of your seating area. Opt for floor-to-ceiling bookshelves (you get bonus points here because these also help the room appear taller) and fill them with both books and trinkets. The moral of this tip: Think. Big.

One more thing about furniture: Legs are your friends. Choose pieces that have exposed legs rather than covered legs. The space you see between the floor and the furniture plays another mind trick making our brains thing there’s more space than there actually is.

4. Take stock of your decor.

Look around and see what you’ve got decorating your walls and tabletops. Any trinkets that are rather small and dainty? Experts say this is a no-no.

Instead, follow “The Cantaloupe Rule” and opt to display items that are at least the size of a cantaloupe. Things smaller than this rotund melon just make the room appear smaller. (Not to mention, they’re the perfect place for dust to collect or could possibly be easier to break on accident.)

5. Invest in lamps.

Overhead lighting is so last century. Instead of making guests rely on a harsh, single light source on the ceiling, give them the option to turn on multiple lamps in a space. This will create a warmer, more inviting space that they’ll enjoy spending time in.

 

Don’t sweat it if your place is snug. Try a few of these design tips out to help you make your place appear larger than reality. Your guests will love it.

 

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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

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Get Inspired by Marie Kondo’s “Tidying Up” on Netflix: Does Your Airbnb Need Some Attention?

inspired marie kondo konmari

When Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (non-affiliate) book hit shelves in 2014, it did so with little pomp and circumstance. Fast forward just four years later and Kondo’s KonMari method of organizing has taken the world by storm.

While the book is wonderful (we recommend reading or listening via audiobook!), we don’t all have the time or desire to really get into the thick of Kondo’s organizing tips.

However, thanks to Netflix’s recent addition of their show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, we can get a bite-sized taste of the KonMari method with a favorite joy-sparking bowl full of popcorn while we privately judge the families. (Don’t worry – we all do it, don’t we? Hashtag no shame.)

Below are 3 KonMari-inspired tips for giving your space a little attention and love.

1. Take a good look around. What things in your vacation rental spark true joy for you?

You may or may not live in your Airbnb full-time but regardless, you should still take time to look through the items in your place and decide which things still bring forth a positive emotion for you.

Seeing as this exercise probably will have you sorting more through items of necessity rather than personal belongings, you may find there’s not much that particularly sways you one way or the other.

However, when you do come across something that piques your interest or brings back fond memories, set it aside.

Meanwhile, when you find things that have little or no use to your guests and that also sparks little or no joy for you, put those items in a separate pile.

2. Find a place to display pieces that have more meaning to you.

Being a great host also means creating a warm and inviting space for your guests. While you don’t want to personalize things too much, there’s still a place for things that hold some sentimental value to you.

If you have items you’d like to share with your guests – perhaps some great photos you took on your own vacation, interesting souvenirs or objects you found, or an old, favorite something, honor these things by giving them a special place in your Airbnb. Display them so both you and your guests can enjoy them.

3. Be grateful for what you have but don’t need.

A big part of the KonMari method is showing gratitude to items that no longer fulfill a purpose in your life. This may seem odd, but it’s a great practice to get into.

Tidying Up author Marie Kondo suggests taking each item you are sorting in your hands and if it no longer sparks joy, before you toss it into a pile, thank it. Sometimes, it’s good to be reminded of how much we do have as opposed to the things we feel we’re lacking. Let this exercise bring a positive energy into your vacation rental space.

 

We all can stand to gain something by sifting through our belongings – whether it be rediscovering things we truly love or identifying things that no longer serve a purpose. This spring, as you prepare for the influx of vacationer traffic, take a little time to take stock of your Airbnb place and tidy up.

 

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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

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3 Lessons You Can Learn from Being a Vacation Rental Guest in Your Own City

airbnb guest vacation rental host

 

There’s something enchanting about being a guest in your own city. Have you tried it?

Getting out of your own home and trying out a new place can give you a new perspective on the city or give you a whole new way to explore and learn about new (or some of your favorite!) neighborhoods. There are few “downsides” to being a townie on a trip.

In fact, have you considered what you could absorb just by “spying” on other hosts? There’s a wealth of knowledge and hosting tips to be found just by doing a little in-person research.

Here are 3 things you can learn from being a vacation rental guest in your own city.

1. What “works” and what doesn’t when it comes to comfort.

This is a great time to weed through listings and find a few that have things you’ve been considering adding yourself – a Netflix subscription, a video game console, a specialized work or exercise spot… Whatever it is you’ve been thinking about, seek it out.

Alternatively, seek out things you love and wish you had in your own place, whether or not you plan to add them to what you offer in your place.

Now, book a stay and – here’s the key – stay like you’re an out-of-towner. Plan some activities out of the house and scope out the neighborhood. Act like you’re on vacation!

Think about how likely you might be to use that video game console. Would you use the yoga space?

Do some soul searching: Is it worth the investment to include that shiny, new thing? Because maybe you’ll find that it isn’t.

Get creative, think outside the box, and leave no stone unturned.

2. What you’re missing in your own vacation rental.

Plenty of guests choose Airbnb or other vacation rental sites because they like to feel a sense of “belonging” in the city where they stay. Others like the “homey” feel as opposed to the stark, stiff feeling of a hotel. Whatever their reasoning, as a host, you can play that to your advantage.

Take time to look around you and see what creature comforts you appreciate most. If possible, think about how you can incorporate them into your own place. Alternatively, consider the inverse: What are you offering to your guests that your host isn’t? As a guest, how does that make you feel? How much better would your stay be if you had those things?

3. How to improve your listing description.

This is one task that will require a keen and careful eye.

Early on during your stay, pull up your host’s listing description and go through it while “walking” their place with a fine-toothed comb. What were they specific about in their listing and do their promises live up to reality?

What things do you see that are missing from their description that might be helpful to first-time guests to the city? Alternatively, what’s missing from their description and also nowhere to be found that might be helpful?

Keep a list of these things so you can refer back to it when you review your own listing.

 

Who knew doing research could be so much fun? This year, take a few moments to really scope out your competition and get out of the house to do it. Make this a fun project and see how much you can benefit from it.

 

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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

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Evaluate Your Airbnb Listing This Year

evaluate airbnb listing

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And you know what that means… things are coming to a close and there’s no better time to evaluate your Airbnb business and make plans for 2019.

Even if you’re not a fan of personal reflection or goal setting, keeping close tabs on your business performance is important if you want to earn more in the new year.

Whether you had a stellar 2018 or feel like there’s room for improvement, we’ve got a few suggestions to help you on your way.

Take a moment to reflect.

Like all good year-end evaluations, it’s important to take a look over the time that has passed.

Grab a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle. Label one side “Plus” and the other “Minus.” Now get real about your year. Be honest.

What went well for your vacation rental business this year? What were you excited about? What brought you down or disappointed you?

If nothing else, physically write down at least one thing that you consider the “highlight” of your hosting year and one thing you consider the worst. Hang on to that as you prepare for the new year and new season.

Look over your reviews – both written and received.

What kind of guests did you attract this year? Were you pleased with the folks who stayed at your place? This is a good time to look over your guest year and remember the highs and lows.

Which reviews were you especially proud to receive this year? Try singling out 2 or 3 from the pack and look closely at your guests and what they wrote about their experience. What was it that made their stay so great?

Now do the same with some negative or not-so-fantastic reviews from this year. Of those 2 or 3, what went wrong or wasn’t up to scruff? What could you have done differently, if anything?

Again, be honest: Was it a situation where you really did everything you could or could you have extended a little more to keep your guests happy?

Then, look over and think about the reviews you wrote this year. Which ones stick out in your mind? Choose 2 to 3 positive reviews and 2 to 3 negative reviews.

Looking at those negative reviews, what could you have done on your end to avoid having those outcomes? This can be a difficult exercise because often, we feel all the blame should be on the guests’ side. However, it’s important to do some real soul searching to ensure you’re identifying every area where you can stand to make improvements – no matter how small.

Write out a few goals.

Yes, actually write them down somewhere that you’ll see them a few times a week at the very least.

There is something so powerful about writing down your goals. In fact, according to studies, you’ll be 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down and see them from time to time.

Look at the lists you’ve compiled on that paper of “Plusses” and “Minuses” and take a few moments to think about how you want 2019 to go.

Write down 3-5 goals you want to achieve in your business and then do it! Work hard toward these things and check in with yourself regularly to see where you’re making it happen and where you’re falling short.

 

Make 2019 your best hosting year yet. We’re cheering for you!

 

Clean my
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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

The Case for Building Your Own Vacation Rental Website

vacation rental website

As a vacation rental host, you know there are tons of tools out there to help you harness the power of the internet and make your rental venture a success. From smartphone apps to full-blown desktop management systems, the industry has you covered.

As a new host, you likely gravitated to listing sites like Airbnb, VBRO, FlipKey, and other comparable platforms to show off your place and get the rental ball rolling. But now that you’ve hosted a few (or a lot!) of guests, maybe you’re wondering if there’s something more you could be doing to set yourself apart from the masses of homes out there.

There is: Creating your own vacation rental website.

It can seem intimidating at first, but we’re here to tell you it doesn’t have to be. Whether you decide to build a site through a specialized platform or simply create a self-hosted site using a WordPress theme, you’re still taking one extra step to separate yourself from the competition.

Here are 5 reasons why you should consider building your own vacation rental website.

1. Make more money by forking over less of your earnings to listing sites.

Airbnb (and other comparable vacation rental listing sites) take a cut of every reservation made through their site. This isn’t surprising or even bothersome – like you, they’re running a business and have to make money somewhere.

However, at Airbnb, that amounts to 3-5% of the rental total from your guests. For shorter stays, that won’t hurt much. But when you manage to land a long-term guest staying for several weeks, suddenly that 3% fee feels a little more painful. When you take into account your weekly or monthly discount to entice longer-staying guests, it really cuts into your profit margin.

2. Personalize your vacation rental website and better introduce yourself to your guests.

Most vacation rental listing platforms have a space for reviews left from previous guests for potential renters to see and better gauge how you’ll be as a host. Such reviews are important for the overall look of your entire listing and how you’re perceived.

But what if you had complete control over what the reviews said? What if you could curate reviews specifically from your favorite guests?

With your own listing site, you can. You set the tone, decide what stays and what goes, and where and how you want to display your praise.

In addition, you have more opportunity to personalize the overall feel of your vacation rental website and introduce yourself on a more personal level. This can be especially great if you like to be very hands-on with your guests’ bookings, arrivals, and departures.

3. Showcase your vacation rental in more detail than what is available to you on listing sites.

We all know the importance of posting excellent photos of your space and why it pays to hire a professional. But even though you have control of which images you share on major listing platforms, you have no control of how they’re shown. The platform will showcase every listing in the same way for clarity and while that’s great for the guests sifting through the countless listings that may match their rental criteria, it doesn’t do much for you.

By setting up your own site, you have total creative control. You can make a slideshow, a special gallery, or simply pepper your pictures throughout your site. Show your guests what you’ve got!

4. Get discovered by guests who want to forego the overwhelming options.

Google is still the friend of every internet surfer. If someone is really curious and not interested in sorting through dozens of vacation rental listings, they’ll be more likely to find just what they’re looking for by using a regular search engine.

To beef up your searchability even more, start a blog and keep it consistent. The more SEO-friendly your website is, the more Google and other search engines will like it.

5. Position yourself as more of an industry insider.

Think about all the vacation rentals listed on the major platforms: There are literally thousands. Now think about how many of those thousands have their own individual and unique websites showcasing their awesomeness.

There aren’t nearly as many.

Want to stand out from the crowd? Set up your own website. Even if you’re only doing it for a single vacation rental, you’re still separating yourself from the herd and giving the impression that you’ve been in the business for a while, know trends in the industry, and know how to care passionately for your guests.

Is It Worth Paying For?

If you’re not using services like Airbnb, FlipKey, or others, you have an opportunity to save money or at the very least, funnel it into another part of your business.

So how do you decide if the cost is worth it? Well, it comes down to doing a little algebra. (We know – you thought you’d never have to do this after you left high school, but here it is, in real life!)

Here’s your equation (and a link to a handy algebra calculator):

 

 

x * 0.03 = $___ (monthly cost of your site though companies like Lodgify or Rentivo)

 

 

In our math problem, “x” represents the rental amount you’d be securing from your guest through a platform like Airbnb. The “0.03” is that 3% cut that Airbnb takes. The “$___” represents the monthly cost charged by the hosting provider to use their platform to create your own website.

Ultimately, it’s down to you to decide if it’s worth the cost. While Lodgify will run you at $36 each month (not including discounts for up-front annual payments), Rentivo currently runs at $50 per listing. These are definitely not the only options out there and with the way things are going, they won’t be the last. But once you’ve done the math, you may decide to stick with the likes of VBRO and its competitors.

 

If you’re ready to make a change and continue to build your business, creating a unique vacation rental website is a great way to make a next step. It’s certainly not the only option available to you, but it’s an excellent way to stand out.

 

Need a turnover cleaning service for your space? Check out what MaidThis! handles for our vacation rental clients.

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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.
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Airbnb Host in LA
90+

Hours
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Blog

Former Airbnb Employee Starts OptimizeMyAirbnb.com To Increase Host Success

Danny from OptimizeMyAirbnb.comAirbnb is like any application—with each iteration, developers add new bells and whistles, and it’s your responsibility to keep up or risk falling behind your competition.  That said, Airbnb often releases product updates randomly and to only certain hosts (e.g. hosts in a certain location), which can be a frustrating experience for those who want take advantage of new functionality to maximize their listing’s potential.

 

As a former Airbnb employee in the Finance and Local Operations department, Danny Rusteen recognized host pain points and made it his mission to understand Airbnb’s idiosyncrasies and determine how hosts can make smarter choices to reach their goals.

To do this, Danny drew upon his professional and personal Airbnb experiences (he’s been a host since 2013) to perfect the art and science of an attractive listing. His research became a guide for his own work, and he wanted to share his recipe for success with other hosts. With that mission in mind, he founded a San Francisco based Airbnb property management company in 2016.

 

To best serve his customers, Danny strove to keep his knowledge fresh through hosting (he became a Superhost in 2016 with over 200 reservations), renting (as of now, Danny has rented Airbnb listings in over 14 countries), and continuing his duties as an Airbnb property manager dedicated to host success (he’s managed over 50 listings). Needless to say—Danny’s seen the gamut of Airbnb listings and credits these experiences as critical factors that helped cultivate host trust in his services.

 

Seeking to take the host Airbnb experience a step further, Danny leveraged his experiences as a host, guest, and Airbnb property manager to found OptimizeMyAirbnb.com in 2016. Also based out of San Francisco, OptimizeMyAirbnb.com offers services to “Supercharge Your Listing”. Through the site’s main product, the Listing Optimization Report, hosts receive a detailed analysis that outlines suggested improvements by section to increase listing rank.

 

Price $99, one-time fee
Report Length 8-12 pages depending on suggestion volume
Guaranteed Delivery Timeframe 72 hours*

 

*For an additional $25, OptimizeMyAirbnb.com will deliver the report within 12 hours.

What to expect from OptimizeMyAirbnb.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Through the Listing Optimization Report, Danny at OptimizeMyAirbnb.com analyzes the following:

 

  • Photos
  • Title
  • Summary
  • Description
  • Settings
  • Reviews
  • Pricing
  • Profile

 

Additionally, the report comes with:

  • Hosting and listing tips
  • Partner discounts (a value of over $285)
  • Follow-up email support

 

If you’ve visited OptimizeMyAirbnb.com, you’ll notice a bold claim on the homepage: “You’ll earn 627% more in one week.” This figure is based on full listing optimizations, which includes the Listing Optimization Report plus an additional service, (Full Optimization). With this service, Danny makes all recommended changes from the report on your behalf, plus he edits all text (descriptions, photo captions, house manual, etc.), rearranges all photos, deletes unneeded photos, and creates your guidebook (while saving all original content and settings). After Full Optimization, Danny then provides a summary of the changes and monitors the listing’s stats over the following seven days to track metrics and ensure host satisfaction. After optimizing over 250 listings, Danny is confident in the claim that with Full Optimization, a listing of (for example) $100 per night, can expect to earn about $627 in the first seven days.

 

OptimizeMyAirbnb.com also offers additional products to hosts who first purchase a Listing Optimization Report:

  • Airbnb business cards
  • Airbnb listing website (Here is a basic example)
  • Electronic house manual
  • Revenue management
  • Inquiry management

 

Is $99 for a Listing Optimization Report out of your budget? Head over to the OptimizeMyAirbnb.com blog, where Danny regularly posts quick and actionable hosting and listing tips. If your average nightly rate is less than $50, Danny will extend a discount to make services affordable for you.

 

OptimizeMyAirbnb.com has a sole purpose: to make you the best host you can be. Whether your goal is maximizing profit or providing an amazing guest experience, Danny is here to support you. If you have any questions, you can contact him directly through the chat option on the website, or directly through the contact page.

Supercharge Your Listing today with OptimizeMyAirbnb.com!

Simple process at OptimizeMyAirbnb.com

 

 

 

 

Clean my
Vacation Rental


single-blog-sidebar-vacation-rental
  • 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

Avoid Hosting Nightmares: 5 Surprising Things Hosts Forget to Do

Data and feedback help product designers improve their customer’s’ experience. The same goes for how you can shape your experience for guests staying in your home.

One helpful exercise is to observe how your guest interacts with your listing for the first time. Where do they look? What links do they click? What do they notice? What questions do they have? We’ve used these discovery principles to think carefully about how the guest experience can be as easy as apple pie.

Next time you prepare to host guests, use this reminder — here are the 5 things that hosts commonly forget about.

1. Personalizing Your Place

Guests love getting a personalized perspective on their destination. After all, they’re choosing to stay in your home over a generic, standardized hotel room. Help them discover the unique personality of your vacation rental as soon as they enter. This can include unique art or objects that show off your neighborhood or family’s character, or even food that is special to your area.

For example, one Hostfully host we chatted with loves hummingbirds. He leaves hummingbird art and objects all around his home. It’s an easy way to share a bit about yourself and also be even more welcoming to guests. If you’re comfortable sharing a photograph of you and/or your family, displaying that can be a nice touch, too.

2. Providing the Essentials

People’s attention span is dwindling. Unfortunately, this means that it will be even harder for you to share the important things that your guests need to know when they stay in your home. However, we discovered that many hosts fail to include the most essential information at the beginning of their guidebook. This free online tool will allow you to share basic information for your listing including check-in, directions to your listing, your contact information, and wi-fi instructions.

Make sure that the first page of your guidebook includes all the important things your guests need to know — period. If it isn’t essential, don’t put it on the first page . You can include it later for those of your guests who are patient and like to read.

When you pay attention to how you share information and you help prioritize that information for your guests, you’ll give them a much better stay. And what’s more, you’ll have to spend less time explaining the information you need your guests to know. So it’s a win-win all around. Just a tip — every guest will need to know how to:

 

 

  • Operate the lights
  • Lock the doors
  • Turn on heating/cooling
  • Use water in the bathroom
  • Use the remote controls

 

 

Guests will also need to know the location of the nearest grocery store, pharmacy, and of course, the closest coffee shop. Make sure you include safety precautions if that is relevant for your listing. Keep this information short and sweet.

3. Offering a Local Experience

Most people don’t like to go to crowded places with overpriced prices when visiting a new place. This is where you, as a host, play a key role. Showing your city with the eyes of a local is an experience guests look forward to. Andrew Ostrowski, an avid host in Nashville, has opened his house to dozens of guests across the country.

His favorite part? Helping guests live like a local and sharing with them the hidden gems that made him fall for his historic city.

 

vacation rental guest book
Andrew’s Ostrowski Favorite Local Recommendations

4. Focusing On the First 24 hours

There’s nothing worse than a communication breakdown in the first 24 hours of your guests’ stay. We’ve seen hosts who rent out 2 different areas of their home — and when one group couldn’t contact him, they got confused entered the other guests’ bedroom at midnight!

While it made for a great laugh around the kitchen table the next day, you want to ensure that your guests can reach you and ask important questions , especially within the first 24 hours.

Make sure your phone and email are turned on and encourage your guests to text you with questions (because it’s typically the most reliable and fastest way to communicate).

5. Sharing Information about Your Neighborhood

About 50% of tourists do detailed planning about their trip before they arrive, but most hosts don’t do as much as they can to share their own local recommendations.

Help your guests discover what you love about your neighborhood by sharing your guidebook before they get there. That way, they can come with better questions and make more informed decisions about what they want to do during their stay.

Make sure your guidebook includes recommendations . Feel free to sprinkle in a few stories about you and your family enjoying your favorite local spots . This makes it more personal.

 

What tips can you share that will help other Airbnb hosts create better experiences for their guests? Make sure you don’t make the 5 biggest Airbnb hosting mistakes. Listening to your guests’ feedback and observing how they interact with you are key to provide the most out of every stay.

 

This article is courtesy by Hostfully—a platform for people to provide better hospitality to their guests. They couple local, personalized recommendations with essential listing information to make a complete guidebook for each listing. Hostfully currently operates all around the world.

Clean my
Vacation Rental


single-blog-sidebar-vacation-rental
  • 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