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3 Beginner Tips to Improve Your Airbnb Search Ranking

3 Beginner Tips to Improve Your Airbnb Search Ranking from MaidThis.com

With literally millions of vacation rental listings online, lots of hosts wonder how they can improve their search ranking on Airbnb. While it’s not an exact science, there are a few things you can do that could make a positive difference.

It’s important to remember that any changes you make won’t affect your listing ranking overnight. That said, to determine how well your changes are working, it’s important to sit on them for at least a month to determine their effect.

Here are 3 beginner tips to improve your search ranking on Airbnb and other short-term vacation rental sites. 

 

1. Invest in good photos. 

We’ve said it over and over (and you’ve heard it over and over from other short-term rental sources): PHOTOS WILL MAKE OR BREAK YOUR AIRBNB LISTING. Guests are more likely to click on listings that have great, professional-looking photos than ones that look like they were simply taken by the host on their phone. The algorithm on Airbnb will learn which listings tend to get the most action and push these to the top of search results over time.

Guests are looking for stellar photos that sell them a dream stay or vacation. Think about it in terms of how hotels market their properties. Hotels are really, really good at selling the appearance of their rooms and common areas because they have professional photos taken from the very best angles. 

The point here is not to over-sell what you have, but to be sure you can truly highlight all your best features. Be sure to choose a great lead photo, too, to entice guests to click on your listing when they’re searching through properties. 

 

2. Respond to guest questions ASAP.

The faster you can respond to guests, the better. In fact, you should stay in contact with guests well before their stay up until the time they leave

Airbnb tracks how quickly hosts reply to guest questions and booking requests. They keep tabs on how often a host replies in 24 hours or less – this is considered a good reply timeline. (Of course, the sooner you can reply, the better.)

Ideally, implement the instant book option for guests so you don’t have to worry about checking booking requests quickly enough (or turning them down which can also be detrimental to your ranking over time). Airbnb’s “What factors determine how my listing appears in search results?” help page explicitly mentions that allowing instant bookings can positively affect your search ranking.

Anytime you delay and wait for more than 24 hours to reply to guest correspondence or requests, imagine a negative “ding” on your Airbnb record. Over time, a build-up of “late” correspondence replies will negatively affect your ranking in search results.

 

3. Keep it super-clean.

This goes without saying, but guests expect a clean home. And we mean 5-star hotel-quality clean.

In the era of COVID, maintaining a clean home is more important than ever. Whether you’re rolling your sleeves up and doing it yourself or partnering with a company like MaidThis, it’s vital that you implement and maintain a coronavirus cleaning process.

Before the pandemic, guests simply expected a home to be squeaky clean and as good as what they saw in photos on the vacation rental listing. Now, they want to be sure they can’t possibly become ill from a previous guest or cleaner that may have been asymptomatic.

How do you accomplish demonstrating your cleaning systems in your listing? Harvest as many positive reviews as possible and ask your guests to specifically mention how they felt about cleanliness and safety. You can also download a free cleaning graphic from the MaidThis COVID Resource Center to add to your photo lineup.

 

Learning the ins and outs of the Airbnb algorithm is tough for all hosts, even those who are well seasoned. To maximize your occupancy potential, re-evaluate your listing a few times every year and make changes based on hints from Airbnb.

 

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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
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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.
Laura G
Airbnb Host in LA
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What We’ve Learned about Airbnb Domestic Travel in 2020

what we've learned about US domestic travel in 2020 from MaidThis.com

In 2019, Americans spent a whopping $972 billion on domestic travel – and that was at a time when international travel was still a wide-open option.

While some states have instituted travel restrictions and there’s no question that all travel levels are down from their expected marks this year, Americans are still making efforts to move around the country. As summer winds down, here are a few things we’ve learned about Airbnb domestic travel in the U.S. and how we expect they’ll continue to make an impact through the end of 2020.

 

Guests are planning ahead less and traveling more spontaneously. 

According to data compiled by Guesty, there’s been a major uptick in bookings made just a week before “go-time.” More and more guests are “feeling out” the moment – case levels where they’re traveling from and to, restrictions on travel and movements in the area they’re vacationing in, and whether or not entertainment venues and activities are open – before they book. 

These days, such precautions are completely warranted and the emerging pattern makes sense as most Americans are genuinely concerned about their health and the safety of those around them. Because there’s really no telling when this will all be “over,” based on current trends, we’re going to bet that bookings for much of the rest of this year will follow this pattern.

 

More people are opting to stay closer to home than travel across the country. 

Earlier this summer, Airbnb reported a huge uptick in local bookings around the world – meaning guests were opting to stay closer to home rather than travel to far-away places. This surge was a surprise given the pandemic was still looking pretty dire in a lot of places and considering the bottoming-out of cancellations it experienced as the pandemic made its way around the globe.

As air travel is still a risk given the necessary close proximity to other travelers and the question of the safety of recirculated cabin air (even with many airlines promising state-of-the-art filtration systems, there is still no consensus or enough study information to confirm how truly safe airplane air is), fewer travelers are trekking anywhere near airports.

 

More than ever, guests are opting to stay longer

Rather than booking for a short time, guests are often choosing to extend their stays. This could be a combination of necessity and opportunity: Guests who really want to experience a location can’t cram as much into a shorter stay and thanks to the surge in remote work requirements, they may have the time to “live” somewhere else for a while. 

Airbnb seems to be pushing this by alerting hosts like you to update their listings to cater to guests looking for longer-term stays and by giving guests more obvious long-term, close-to-home options. We expect this to become more of a norm than it was before given the continuing crisis, though there will still be plenty of guests who only book for a few days.

 

Things began to heat up for the summer. With the slow season upon us, we’re sure to see more shifts in the “normal” expectations for bookings. That said, by arming yourself with recent facts and having a better idea of what guests are looking for in their stays, you may be able to come out on top.

 

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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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Airbnb House Rules: Should You Create “Seasonal” House Rules?

Should You Create Airbnb "Seasonal" House Rules? from MaidThis.com

Setting Airbnb house rules is something all hosts must do when first setting up their listings. But once the rules have been set, how often are they revisited? Unless you encounter a situation that specifically required a change-up or addition, our guess is not very often. 

While most house rules are applicable year-round, there are a few things that may be more season-specific that went forgotten. Below, we’ve detailed two small-but-powerful season-related situations that could make all the difference in your turnovers.

 

Outdoor Sport Rules

Depending on where you’re located, you may want to implement seasonal rules that pertain to outdoor activities. 

For example, if you’re in California and close to a beach, you may request during the spring and summer months that guests make an effort to remove their shoes after visiting the beach and before entering the house so as not to track sand into the house. (This is a good rule in general but especially important during the high-beach season.)

Alternatively, if your Airbnb is in an area that appeals to winter sports enthusiasts like skiers or snowboarders, you may ask your guests who have been out in the snow to remove their wet outerwear in a specific area of the house to avoid tracking any dirty water inside.

Some things you might consider to be “common sense” may be less evident to out-of-towners when it comes to keeping things clean. It’s not a bad idea to blatantly mention the removal of shoes or clothes in the entryway in your house rules.

 

Temperature Consistency

To avoid astronomically high utility bills during the hottest or coldest parts of the year, you may choose to implement a rule (or rather, a request) that guests don’t change the thermostat temperatures too drastically during the hottest parts of the summer or coldest parts of the winter.  This may seem off-putting to some, but most guests will be understanding (assuming your temperature settings are reasonable).

One way to keep tabs on this – or better yet, control it – is to install a smart thermostat system like the Honeywell T9 Smart Thermostat. With a wifi-enabled thermostat system, you can set up alerts on your phone to notify you when threshold temperatures have been exceeded. Depending on the model you choose, you may even be able to “lock” the thermostat settings so guests can’t go past certain temperatures.

If you choose to enact this rule, whether you install a smart system or hope for the best from your guests, be sure to specifically state where you’d like the temperature to sit in your listing rules. This is especially true if you go with a smart system as guests may be perturbed to discover they can’t do much to change the temperature after they’ve already checked in.

 

Overall, setting Airbnb house rules isn’t all that difficult. Like most things, though, it’s never a bad idea to revisit what you have and consider making changes or additions. By implementing a few extra rules during the height of the summer and winter seasons, you may save yourself some headaches in the long run.

 

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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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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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Vacation Rental


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  • 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

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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Vacation Rental


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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

Increase Bookings during COVID-19: Airbnb Coronavirus Tips for Hosts

Increase Bookings during COVID-19: Airbnb Coronavirus Tips for Hosts

COVID-19 has changed the hospitality industry – if not forever, at least for the time being. Airlines, hotels, and vacation rentals are all having to cope with massive changes in order to keep both their guests and their staff safe.

These changes are coming about not only because of the highly transmissible coronavirus, but also because without them, travelers aren’t likely to feel confident about venturing out to places where they have little control over their surroundings.

So as a vacation rental host, you may be asking yourself what you should be doing to not only give your guests peace of mind when they stay with you, but also what you should be doing to drum up more business. 

Here are 7 Airbnb coronavirus tips to help ensure your potential and confirmed guests that you’ve got everything covered.

 

Airbnb Coronavirus Tip #1: Update your listing description.

Chances are you were already planning to do this (or already have), but it’s still worth listing in our tips. The point we want to make here is to be mindful of the language you’re using in your listing and to use specific key phrases.

 

1. Add the words “sanitized” or “sterile” to your vacation rental listing name.

Yes, we’re completely serious – this is not going overboard; it’s the bare minimum. Whatever cute name you had before can stay, but adding these words will help you immediately stand out from part-time side hustlers that aren’t using their Airbnb listings as a major source of income or treating them like true businesses. 

Check out how these hosts from Sedona, Kuala Lumpur, and London have updated their listing names.

While you’re at it, you might even want to throw in “COVID-19” or “coronavirus” with your “sanitized” or “sterile” to really beef up your new headline. 

 

2. Add a “sanitized” phrase or sentence to the top of your listing description. 

While your title definitely needs an update, your actual description could do with a reassuring facelift, too.

Guests are on the lookout now for every hint that you’ve meticulously turned over your vacation rental after previous guests have checked out. There’s no better way to put them at ease than to repeat yourself for good measure. 

At the top of your listing, be sure to highlight that you’ve either “sanitized” or “sterilized” your home from top to bottom. You don’t have to get crazy-detailed if that’s not your thing; a single sentence should do the trick. 

Need some help with this? Copy our sanitization message below and paste it into your listing:

 

**COVID-19 SAFETY UPDATE** This home is professionally sanitized and all high-touch areas are thoroughly sterilized between stays. We take the safety and health of our guests very seriously.

 

You can embellish if you’d like – check out this listing in San Diego for an example – or simply leave the message as it is. 

 

3. Add a photo to your Airbnb listing detailing the turnover cleaning process and keep it close to the lead photo.

Here’s another no-brainer: The more you can do to reiterate you’re taking COVID-19 and effective sanitization and sterilization seriously, the more confidence your guests will have in you as a host. 

While it’s true that people are visual shoppers and will be looking for the right words in your listing, they’re going to be even more impressed if you can literally show them what you’re doing to ensure their safety. 

To make this super easy, we’ve created a downloadable graphic in the MaidThis COVID Resource Center for you. Just pop this into your photo lineup and you’ll be good as gold. 

 

Airbnb Coronavirus Tip #2: Make some COVID-inspired changes in your home.

In all seriousness, your preparations and marketing shouldn’t stop at your listing updates. It’s imperative that you make some changes or additions to your home and how you run your business (for better or for worse, unfortunately). 

We’re not suggesting you go out and buy a sanitization fogger for yourself (though you could do that and possibly write it off on your taxes next year) but there are a few small-ish things you can do.

While you’re in the process of updating your listing, you might want to also make mention of the things you’ve done to make your vacation rental more COVID-safe. 

 

4. Switch your main door locks to keyless entry options.

Cut down on guests needing to use actual keys (and you having to disinfect them after every checkout) or touch much of your entry door by adding keyless entry locks.

Some locks are designed in such a way that guests can enter codes with their knuckles rather than their fingertips, further protecting the deadbolt system from becoming a new home for COVID virus particles or your guests picking it up from there.

 

5. Deck the halls with disinfectant. (Fa la la la la, la la la la)

At this point, no amount of hand sanitizer is too much. If you can manage to get your hands on enough, put hand sanitizer and/or sanitizer wipes in every room of your home. While it’s still a bit hard to come by in some places, you can still purchase bottles from a few major retailers

Additionally, consider adding a portable disinfectant stand by the door so guests can sanitize their hands the minute they walk in. Even if you’ve installed a keyless deadbolt, guests should clean their hands as soon as they can. 

This is a habit we’re all getting the hang of, so by putting a sanitization station immediately inside the entrance, you’re helping create a new habit and protecting your guests and ultimately your vacation rental. Put a photo of this in your listing pictures to market it along with your downloadable cleaning graphic.

 

6. Display your Airbnb turnover cleaning checklist.

Give your guests the ultimate peace of mind by leaving a copy of your cleaning checklist. Seeing exactly what goes into a turnover cleaning will help them better understand the amount of care and attention to detail you’ve put into ensuring their safety and comfort. 

Download and print out the COVID-19 Cleaning Checklist provided by Airbnb from the MaidThis COVID-19 Resource Center and leave it on the kitchen counter or in another obvious spot in your home. Your guests will appreciate it and may even go as far as to mention it in their review.

 

7. Air out your Airbnb between guests.

While the norm pre-COVID may have been to stack as many check-ins and check-outs back-to-back as you could muster, now the opposite is true. 

Airbnb Official Guidelines recommend that you leave your home vacant for 24-72 hours between guests to help eliminate viruses. If you can, open windows to help circulate fresh air. Make a point to mention all of this in your updated description, too.

 

While it’s true that we’re all heading for a “new normal,” this isn’t the end for Airbnb hosts. As travelers gain more confidence and begin learning how to better protect themselves as they move around the globe, things will get better. 

The best way to ensure your success is to make changes now, whether big or small. The more you can do to reassure your guests by using these Airbnb coronavirus tips, the more likely you’ll be to bounce back quickly and finish the year on a high note.

 

Clean my
Vacation Rental


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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

Hosting through the Coronavirus Surge

hosting an airbnb during coronavirus covid-19

The novel coronavirus, officially named COVID-19, is coming in full force. Technically, it’s already here. It should come as no surprise that millions of travelers across the globe are canceling their plans – both out of fear and because of legitimate, lawful restrictions.

There’s a lot of fear going around and for good reason, but there’s no reason to panic. No one wants to be the bearer of bad news, but the reality is that many, many people will feel some negative repercussions as the result of COVID-19 this year, especially the travel and hospitality industries. 

As a vacation rental host, here are some facts about the current situation as well as a few tips on what you can do to weather the storm. 

 

COVID-19’s Impact on Travel

As of now, main airline carriers in the United States, including Delta, American, and United have interrupted or completely suspended flights to and from countries hardest hit by the virus, including Italy, South Korea, and mainland China. Though these changes are not permanent, they clearly put a damper on travelers visiting the US from abroad. 

Travelers from those same countries have been denied entry to dozens of other countries around the globe as the mass public deals with containing the outbreak.

Within the US, at the time of this writing, no travel restrictions are in place. However, as the virus continues to spread from state to state, that may change to help curb the spread of the virus. After the cancellation of SXSW in Austin last week, it’s likely that many more events will follow suit this spring. Unsurprisingly, guest cancellations will follow future event cancellations.

 

COVID-19 in California

As of Sunday, more than 110 cases of COVID-19 had been reported in the state of California alone. Los Angeles County had, as of March 8, identified 14 cases of the coronavirus and the county and city officials have declared a state of emergency

Most concerningly, workers from LAX International came into contact with a traveler who had the virus but was showing no symptoms. Due to the sheer size of the state and because of the density of metropolises like LA, state officials “have acknowledged that the spread of the virus is beyond their control,” according to the LA Times.

The important thing to remember is to not panic. Basic health and safety protocols like washing hands, keeping a safe distance of 3-6 feet from people you don’t know or who appear sick, and avoiding touching your face – especially your eyes, nose, and mouth – are all ways you and those around you can avoid contracting the virus.

Maintaining High Occupancy & Revenue

This year’s high season is likely to look more like a low season. While you can’t control what people do, you can control how you market your vacation rental. Here are a few tips for doing what you can to stay on top.

 

1. Publicize that you sanitize in your listing title.

Sanitizing is a big way public locales can protect visitors from contracting the COVID-19 virus because while we don’t know how long the virus can live on surfaces, according to the WHO, we do know that it seems to react similarly to sanitization the way other coronaviruses do – meaning it can be killed with a quick cleaning.

By reassuring your guests that your place is COVID-19 free from the get-go, they’re more likely to flock to your listing. 

When we turn over your Airbnb after guests check out, we make sure to wipe down and clean every surface. You and your guests can rest assured that your place is a safe zone.

 

2. Adjust your cancellation policy.

Airbnb has already put a special COVID-19 cancellation policy in place for travelers going to or traveling from infected areas. That said, it makes you look better if you relax your cancellation policy and explain in your listing that you’re allowing flexible cancellations due to concerns surrounding the virus. 

At the top of your listing description, write a sentence or two that explains you’re open to flexible cancellations because you understand your guests’ concerns about traveling during the COVID-19 outbreak. Put them at ease from the start.

 

3. Offer airport pickup as a safe add-on service.

Right now everyone is concerned about using public transportation because you just can’t be sure who’s been in the car, bus, or train and when it was last sanitized. 

By offering your guests transport to and from the airport (for a fee!), you can guarantee their health safety. Of course, this means you need to take precautions and ensure your transportation is truly sanitized. 

 

4. Consider adding an Airbnb Experience to your hosting lineup.

The beauty of offering experiences is that you can market to both local and out-of-town guests. While guests may be canceling their stays in Los Angeles and greater California, locals who are staying closer to home might be looking for ways to get out of the house.

Experiences can be confined to small groups which, due to how easily the virus can be passed in large groups, may be comforting to many experience guests. You can also advertise your experience on social media the same way you would your home listing and thanks to the robustness of advertising platforms like Facebook, you can target a very local market.

 

Don’t lose hope yet: There are still ways to keep your vacation rental business afloat during this season of uncertainty. Remember to stay calm and practice good health habits. As always, keep an open door communication policy with your guests. By following our tips, you’ll be more likely to keep your bookings up and cancellations down.

 

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Vacation Rental


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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

Marketing Your Vacation Rental

how to market a vacation rental online

 

When it comes to marketing your vacation rental property, it pays to think outside the box. Websites like Airbnb make it easy for anyone to create their own rental listing, meaning it’s harder than ever to stand out from the crowd. Fortunately, there are a few strategies that casual renters don’t tend to adopt. 

If you’re looking for new ways to market your vacation rental property this year, here are 3 uncommon marketing methods to try. 

 

1. Try new social strategies. 

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram have all been growing for a number of years. While they’re great tools for your rental business, they’re also saturated with all the other rental properties that are on the market. If you’re not seeing the right results from your social media strategy, why not switch things up to set yourself apart? 

Taking a risk can pay off in dividends if your rental property goes viral. Play around with different methods of posting and engagement to find one that works for your business. 

Think outside the box: Try creating a music video, filming a skit, or brainstorming another marketing campaign that will target a new audience. The goal is to grab your audience’s attention in a fun and engaging way. If your old strategy isn’t working, you don’t have much to lose! 

 

2. Reach out to influencers. 

If your vacation rental is Instagram-worthy, why not share it with a wider audience? Influencers are a great way to put your property in front of thousands of eyes. Bloggers and Instagrammers in the travel and lifestyle industries specifically tend to be open to this type of collaboration. 

Working with influencers will usually involve offering a free stay at your rental property in exchange for a feature on their blog or social media account. Be sure to get the terms of the agreement in writing in order to protect both parties.

Influencers build their entire careers on pairing storytelling with great photography. If you reach out to the right person for your brand, your property will practically market itself. 

 

3. Get featured. 

Do some research and see if there are any websites dedicated to tourism that would be willing to feature your rental property. Official city websites might be reluctant to endorse any particular property, but local news sites, magazines, or travel sites might be more than happy to run a feature or let you take out some ad space. 

If you’re drawing a blank with the tourism scene, you can cast a wider net and reach out to sites in other industries as well. Think outside the box: wedding websites might be able to feature your property as a possible venue, for instance, while home decor websites might showcase your design style. Some of these sites allow user submissions, so if you have high-quality photos, you can easily throw your own hat in the ring. 

 

There are so many different ways to market your vacation rental listing, but not all of them are going to get results for your property. Marketing is all about finding the strategies that work for your target audience. With a little trial and error, you can come up with a solid marketing plan that increases your bookings and sets you apart from your competition.

 

Clean my
Vacation Rental


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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

How to Choose the Best Lead Photo for Your Vacation Rental Listing

tips airbnb lead photo

When choosing photos for your Airbnb listing, you might be blessed with a lot of options. That’s great! But how do you narrow it down?

Worry not – we’ve got the answers for you. Take a look at our recommendations below on how to choose a great lead photo.

Showcase professionally taken photos – only professional photos.

This should be a no-brainer by now: Literally, every source sharing Airbnb tips will tell you it’s worth every penny to invest in professional photos of your vacation rental. And they’re not wrong.

According to Airbnb, having photos taken and edited by a pro can increase bookings by as much as 24% – and that’s not nothing. Depending on your nightly rate, you might even be able to cover the cost of your photos in a single stay.

Now, while every source tells you it’s pretty much imperative you get a professional photographer to snap pictures of your place, many of them still have some outdated information. If you do a search, you’ll find plenty of tipsters suggesting you sign up to receive a free photoshoot. This is no longer a thing and it’s not surprising. 

Now that Airbnb has caught on like wildfire across the globe, it’s not cost-effective for the company to cover listing photos for every single host. It’s a bummer but it’s also reality. 

That being said, it’s still super important for you to invest in your business and hire a professional. If you’re not sure where to turn, Airbnb will still hook you up with a tried and trusted photographer. They’ll even work out the payment and backend stuff for you, taking some of the hassle out of the process.

NOTE: If you go the route of signing up for service through Airbnb, know what you’re getting into. There are lots of community posts like this one or this one where hosts discuss that they’re not able to use their photos on any other listing sites per Airbnb’s rules, among other things.

Now that we’ve gotten the basics out of the way, let’s get to the most important part of this article: how to choose the best lead photo for your listing.

Here are 3 suggestions on how to choose your winner.

1. Choose a smart common area.

While many guests won’t be spending much time in the living room or other common areas, there’s still something that speaks to people when they see a breathtaking common room.

If you’ve got a sparkling kitchen that’s well stocked with handy appliances and would be any home chef’s dream vacation rental, lead with a kitchen photo.

Do you have a particularly cozy or modern living room? Show it off.

If you’ve got something unique in your common areas, like quirky art or a baby grand piano, show it off in a room-encompassing picture.

2. Lead with a luxurious bedroom.

Is the master bedroom everything and more? If you’ve created a tranquil space that looks like something straight out of Architectural Digest, don’t be afraid to lead with it.

Bedrooms that have large, inviting focal points (the bed, obviously) and relaxing color schemes are good candidates for lead listing photos. 

Alternatively, it might be a good choice if your master bedroom is funky and unique, and might be THE reason a guest would want to stay with you.

Think carefully about this one: Is it something you’d be enticed by if you were shopping for accommodation? If the answer is yes, it’s probably a good choice.

3. Showcase a bright and airy angle.

Nothing sells like sunlight. If you’ve got an angle in your room that shows off brighter vibes, then it’s a sure winner for a lead photo.

Consider your well-lit dining nook that might also showcase your kitchen or living room in the background… or your living room space that leads down the hall to the bedrooms. Think in terms of brightness and warmth: what shots make your space feel most inviting?

 

It’s not so hard, is it? Definitely not! Start by getting in touch with a professional photographer, sift through the images they provide and pick that perfect shot to help you stand out from the crowd.

 

MaidThis is a proud partner of hundreds of Airbnb hosts in the greater LA and San Francisco areas. We help get vacation rentals ready for new guests with quick and consistently top-notch turnover cleanings. To learn more about our team, get in touch.

 

Clean my
Vacation Rental


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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

3 Tips for Dealing with Early Arrivals and Late Departures

airbnb late check-out early check-in

We’ve all been there: Your vacation flight lands in the morning but you can’t check in to your accommodation until mid-afternoon. Or, perhaps your flight leaves town much later in the evening but you have to check out by noon. So, what can you do in those in-between hours?

Many times, check-in or check-out doesn’t line up well with your guests’ timeline. Because of this reality, they may ask for a little wiggle room when it comes to arriving or leaving.

Instead of stressing when these things come up, prepare ahead for them and avoid unexpected snags in your business. Here are 3 tips for how to manage early arrivals and late departures.

1. Offer to let your guests store bags.

When people are on vacation, they want to get the most out of the time they have. That means they may have to figure out what to do with their luggage before or after they stay with you. Depending on a lot of factors – how early or late they arrive or leave, how close the airport is, whether or not they rented a vehicle – this may prove difficult for them.

You can give your guests a little something extra to rave about by providing them with a place to keep their bags for a few hours before or after they stay with you. Whether you give them space in your home or access to a place outside, like a waterproof outdoor storage bench, you’ll potentially be saving them a lot of hassle.

Whether or not you charge your guests for this service is up to you, but we recommend offering it for free. Consider how most hotels do this for their guests for free: You’re certainly not a hotel, but you are in the business of making your guests’ stay as excellent as possible. If you choose to charge a fee, we recommend setting your price somewhere in the ballpark of what other options charge, if not offering a fairly big discount.

2. Charge a late check-out fee.

As an Airbnb host, solid check-out times are a necessity. When you’ve got guests lined up to come in the same day or even the following day, you can’t waste time getting your turnover cleaning scheduled.

When you set your check-out time in your listing, be firm. Don’t be swayed by guests, especially if you have other bookings to worry about.

If you’re providing a place to keep luggage, late check-outs shouldn’t be a common issue. However, if guests don’t follow your rules or unexpectedly aren’t ready to check out on time, charge them a late check-out fee. Be sure you’ve mentioned this clearly in your listing and do your due diligence to communicate with your guests about when they expect to arrive and leave. This way, you’ll have no headaches trying to collect the fee for your inconvenience.

3. Give specific recommendations on how to fill the in-between time.

What better way to avoid early arrivals or late departures than to usher your guests to suitable time-fillers or solutions to their problems?

 

  • Baggage: If you’re not comfortable storing bags or don’t have a good way to do it, provide your guests with a few options on how they can do it themselves – whether that’s at the airport or at various locations in town.

 

  • Sight-Seeing: Make a few suggestions on places your guests can see in a few short hours that are somewhat near your place. Get creative here: Choose a few local things that are off the beaten “tourist” path.

 

 

  • Eateries: Your guests will need to eat on either side of their stay, so make some recommendations of where they can go to fill their tummies. If you can, talk with the restaurant or business owner about allowing your guests to store their bags while or after they dine for a few extra hours, too, for a small fee.

 

 

Dealing with early check-ins and late check-outs can certainly be a headache but they don’t have to be. As with everything, the more prepared you are, the better off your business and your guests will be.

These tips will help you manage guests looking to bend the rules and still keep you in the hosting “winners circle” – all while providing an above-expectations experience.

 

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.

 

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