Airbnb Growth Hacking

Growth Hack your Airbnb

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Airbnb Growth Hacking
Airbnb Growth Hacking

Skip the lame cookie cutter intro.

We’re just going to share the Airbnb Growth Hacking tips from across the world

We’re only going to share the tricks that work.

Half of the Airbnb tips will help you dramatically improve bookings and revenue.

The other half will decrease your costs, and decrease the time you need to put into each unit.

It’s up to you to implement what you learn here.

Take these Airbnb Tips and use them.

And, let us know how well they work. We want to hear from you!

 

Who is This Airbnb Growth Hacking Guide For?

I’ve found there are  3 types of people looking for Airbnb growth hacking. You’re probably one of these:

  1. You own an Airbnb and are struggling to increase profit or you’re even underwater
  2. You just started as an Airbnb Host and don’t want to mess this up.
  3. You’re planning on investing in an airbnb and want to hit a home run with no chance for failure.

Personally, I’m a #3.

I love exploring the nooks and crannies of businesses models, strategies, and toolsets before diving into something like investing in an Airbnb. And I like numbers .

Because of this, I get called a “know-it-all” all the time – but I’ve learned to become less and less offended by that over time. Particularly when I actually know more about these things than most people active in their industry.

I want you to be that person too – you should have deep understanding of how these systems work before you jump in.

Learning all the airbnb growth hacking tactics out there will give you a HUGE advantage.

 

What is Growth Hacking

Growth hacking is a way of increasing the productivity and profitability of an asset without  spending a lot of money.

Basically, I’d classify it as being very shrewd while utilizing modern technology and tactics.

The goal of growth hacking strategies is generally to acquire as many users or customers as possible while spending as little as possible.

Wikipedia Growth Hacking Entry

How does Growth Hacking Apply to Airbnbs?

Airbnb Growth Hacking is the culmination of increasing the performance of factors that drive traffic and revenue, while decreasing the factors that cause negative reviews, overhead costs, and inefficiencies.

Growth hacking in software means getting more users. For Airbnb, we use growth hacking to fill our bookings to the maximum.

Once the bookings are maxed out for a few months out, then we can start incrementally increasing price.

We also want to respect our property and ensure that guests are accountable for abiding by the agreed-upon terms as we are.

Airbnb Growth Hacker

To achieve the goals of full booking and increasing booking fees while respecting our property, we need to find the fastest, cheapest, and most impactful methods.

Airbnb Hosts Need Increase These Factors

  • Bookings
  • Airbnb Pricing per Night
  • Number of 5 Star Reviews
  • Extra Fees to Guests
  • High Quality Guests

Airbnb Hosts Need to Decrease These Factors

  • Cancellations
  • Negative Reviews
  • Refunds or Disputes
  • Theft or Damages
  • Low Quality Guests

Imagination Time.

Growth Hack Airbnb Imagination

 

Time to use your imagination:

Think of a large checklist for an Airbnb that currently generates $15,000 gross revenue per year for you.

Each item you can check off the “Increase these factors” column will increase your yearly airbnb income by a small percentage.

Every item you can check off the “Decrease” list will decrease your costs by a small percentage.

Pretty simple, right?

If we use some Airbnb tips to growth hack our Airbnb listing rank, we might expect a 4.8% increase in yearly revenue.

That’s $720 a year for possibly an hour or two of work.

I don’t know about you, but getting paid the equivalent of $360 per hour to simply follow some instructions from a blog post seems ridiculously enticing!

On an Airbnb Growth Hacking Checklist of hundreds of items, these small fractional wins will compound to ramp up your airbnb profits dramatically.

Its not unheard of to hear of Airbnb hosts doubling their revenue per unit by implementing some or all of these Airbnb growth hacking tips.

Can You Make a lot of Money with Airbnb?

Sean Rakidzich, the host of Airbnb Automated, generates millions of dollars with his network of Airbnb’s yearly. You can check out transparent disclosures of their operations on his channel Airbnb Automated. Frankly, many of the tips here have origins in Sean’s teachings, so we must give credit where Credit is due.

Although we’re not 100% in agreement with his wardrobe, we can definitely agree that his 4+ Million Dollar a year Airbnb business is worth consideration.

Sean Rakidzich Airbnb Automated
Sean Rakidzich of Airbnb Automated in stunning garb

 

As you can see from Sean’s success. It is definitely possible to make a lot of money with Airbnb.

But you’re going to need a system for your Airbnb growth hacking escapades.

To make a lot of money on Airbnb, you’re going to need to be organized.

To make a lot of money on Airbnb, you’re going to need to be consistent.

To make a lot of money on Airbnb, you’re going to need to be resilient.

Increase Revenue with these Growth Hacking Airbnb Tips

Depending on your unit, there may be some quick wins to help increase the revenue your Airbnb unit generates.

Much of the time, it comes down to marketing. You need more eyeballs on your listing, and you need the people behind those eyeballs to click that book now button as impulsively as possible.

Airbnb growth hacking gurus move these needles often. Experiment and document your results in each of these.


Increasing Airbnb Bookings

Marketing in the Airbnb world is all about increasing your virtual “curb appeal” both in terms of how the guest sees and books your listing, and also how Airbnb ranks your listing.

In my mind, you want your potential guests to SALIVATE over your listing. If you spend the right amount of time

Attract More Guests on Airbnb

To increase your airbnb bookings, you’ll need to attract more potential guests to your listing. The name of the game is traffic. There are quite a few ways to get traffic to your airbnb listing.

7 Ways to Get More Visits to Your Airbnb Listing
  1. Increase Internal Ranking of Your Airbnb Listing (Airbnb SEO)
  2. Increase Google SERPS for Your Airbnb Listing Page (Google SEO)
  3. Buy paid traffic for your Airbnb Listing
    1. Facebook Ads for Airbnb
    2. Instagram Ads for Airbnb
    3. Twitter Ads for Airbnb
    4. Youtube Ads for Airbnb
  4. Create a custom website for your airbnb and forward all traffic to your listing on Airbnb
  5. Increase bookings with social mediaTrack twitter for people talking or looking for lodging in your area in the future. Send them messages!
  6. Use a bit.ly link to shorten your airbnb listing url, and use that on flyers you can post around your town (not super effective though)
  7. Find websites that feature vacation and travel tips in your area and provide them commission if they send paying guests to your listing.
Airbnb Growth Hacking
Airbnb Growth Hacking

Make Your Airbnb Listing Stand Out

[Airbnb is] “A Turn-Key apartment or house that works!  ”

-Richard from Short Term Rental University

Make your airbnb listing stand out with amazing airbnb amenities. Richard from Short Term Rental University and Airbnb Superhost recommends the following amenities to make your turn key house work:

  • Kitchen Staples like Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil, and basic cooking
  • Bath Products like Soap, Shampoo, Hand Soap and Body Foam – Buy in bulk, but never in
  • Charging Stations – Dedicated charging stations that are conveniently located and easy to use are becoming more important. Having something by the bedstand is also a plus. (p.s. you can charge if people accidentally take these!)
  • Smart Lock Technology – users expect full automation with bluetooth or code-enabled technology. Avoid hard keys – they’re becoming prehistoric
  • Smart Speakers – Alexa for Airbnb , Google Assistant, or Apple’s Speaker device help your Airbnb Guests feel like they are in a modern, forward-thinking pad. Include these products in your listing pictures.

Alway, ALWAYS include your amenities in the pictures. A picture is worth 1,000 words in airbnb growth hacking.

Your users will see the subtle things like smart speakers, a smart lock on the door, and amazing cutlery in the kitchen.

Don’t hide the best Airbnb gear you’ve decked out your unit with.

Your potential guess WILL notice the smallest of amenities you feature in your images. These airbnb growth hacking tricks will add up over time to massively increase your revenue.

What makes a good Airbnb Listing?

A great Airbnb listing consists of many components that 0n the surface seem obvious, but many fail to implement.

You should be looking at other listings, searching online for other great success stories, and finding examples of successful listings.

This research will help you create your own flair for listing Airbnb units.

First off, great listings are HONEST and TRANSPARENT. To consider the full experience of a guest, you need to ensure that they get everything they expect and nothing less. Guests should never get less than what the listing shows.

Great listings that follow common Airbnb growth hacking tactics have a few components:

  • Honest – true to the reality of the listing
  • Your description does not embellish the truth
  • Your photographs are not overly doctored and do not embellish the truth
  • Listing shows amenities in the pictures
  • Great listings show the Negatives as well. If your listing isn’t accessible to disabled guests, you should not hide it.

Think about when your guest gets to your unit. Are they going to find any “Gotchas”? If so, you should always include those in the listing.

 

Optimize Airbnb SEO to Improve Your Airbnb Rank

Change your listing from something

“Perfect Relaxing Getaway, EXACTLY What You Need”

to keyword-centric titles like

“Perfect Relaxing King Bed Suite in Cedar Springs”

You’ll get more traffic to your listing from Google, and Airbnb will reward you internally as your listing gains more traffic and subsequently bookings.

Get Guaranteed Revenue with Longer-Term Airbnb Rentals

Cater to corporate housing and long term consultants, traveling workers, or others that are in town for months at a time.

 


Increase Price of Your Airbnb

After you’ve got some great ratings and momentum you will find that you want to increase the price of your booking on a per night basis. The benefits of this airbnb growth hacking method are many.

You’ll get more money for your time

The costs become a smaller percentage of total revenue (your margins are better)

Higher price generally means better quality guests

Better ability for you to provide premium amenities and experiences

Generally results in more 5 star airbnb reviews and more visits

Gets you features as a unit.

Price Your Airbnb for Local Event Surges

If you’re bootstrapping your airbnb, a great way to generate more revenue is to know where and when surges of visitors are coming to your area.

Is there a popular pumpkin picking farm nearby?

Are there a huge event like the super bowl, Indy 500, fairs, conferences, or other events?

You need to research your year in advance and smartly plan your pricing.

You should increase prices by 40% months before events.

If you have the time, you should be manually increasing the cost as the event gets closer.

Use Smart Pricing Software for Your Airbnb

There are quite a few dynamic pricing tools for airbnb that you should look at. We recommend that you price your unit manually if you’re only managing one unit.

These tools are great when you want to scale or have multiple Airbnb units to optimize

This tool does NOT know more than you do about the events in your locale.

Otherwise, these airbnb growth hacking tools can really help you optimize and automate your airbnb pricing

 


Get More 5 Start Airbnb Reviews

75% of Airbnb Guests post reviews.

90% of Airbnb Reviews are positive.

Just getting decent reviews is not enough. You have to aim for 5 Star Airbnb Reviews every time. No excuse.

Why? Reviews are what DRIVES reputation based models like Uber and Airbnb.

Some positive benefits of having 5 start reviews include:

  • Higher possibility of being featured
  • Higher Airbnb rankings
  • Higher Airbnb CTR (click through rate)
  • You can increase your rates easier
  • Attracts better guests

Let Guests Know You’ll Make it 5 Star Airbnb Review Experience

Tell your guests when they arrive that you want to give them a 5 star experience.

Say “Let me know what I can do to help make this an experience you’d give 5 stars for” or something similar.

This lets guests know that they are in control of requesting anything that they want.

When it comes to review time, they’ll reflect on what they requested and what they didn’t. Usually they’ll blame themselves for not requesting more and still give you a 5 star.

Ask for 5 Star Reviews

Whenever you ask for guests to review your Airbnb, don’t just ask them for any review. You MUST ask them to give you a 5 star review.

In your materials, change something like this:

“If you enjoy your stay, please consider giving us a review on Airbnb”

to

“If you enjoy your stay, please give us a 5 Star Review on Airbnb.”

 

Ask for Commentary on Their 5 Star Airbnb Review

In addition to asking for a 5 star review, remind the guests to comment thoroughly on their experience.

It’s one thing to see 5 star reviews. It’s an entirely different thing to read about details of a great experience from a happy customer.

These type of commentaries on your airbnb review page act as great testimonials for your service.

Use this airbnb growth hacking tactic wherever you ask for your 5-Star review.

Add in

“In your review, please comment on the details that made your experience great”

Ask for 5 Star Airbnb Reviews in Multiple Places

In order to maximize the amount of 5 star Airbnb reviews that your customers leave for a unit, you need to remind them.  Many times, guests are too busy or don’t think to leave a review.

Don’t take it personal.

Your business may rely on 5 Star reviews, but the guests nearly always have different priorities.

Places to remind them to leave a 5 Star Review of Your Airbnb in:

  • Listing
  • Airbnb-based messages
  • At the start of the stay via txt or in person at key handoff
  • In the middle of the stay, ask them if there’s anything so far keeping them from giving this a 5 star rating
  • In any documents, house rules, posted rules or notes, add a friendly reminder about leaving a 5 star review.

Keep Asking Until The Review Period Expires

Guests can only leave a review for so long. After that time period, they will not be able to leave any kind of review about their stay at your Airbnb.

After they’ve checked out, plan on asking your guests to review your Airbnb every 3rd day. This spacing helps remind them without coming off as pushy.

You can remind them via the Airbnb platform, via SMS, and via email.

If you’ve provided a great experience that lived up the expectations you’ve set in your listing, then most of the time your guests will be happy to leave you a review and are OK with friendly reminders.


Increase Extra Fees to Guests

This is your investment and you must protect it. You should not feel bashful about applying extra fees to your Airbnb guests when they violate your explicit policies.

Always be fair. Show them the rules multiple times, and document any violations.

You can boost your revenue a couple of hundred dollars per unit per year by being fair to yourself about applying fees.

Always Take Pictures of Your Airbnb Before a Guest Arrives

Train your staff to take pictures when they arrive to clean a recently vacated unit. Offer your staff a reward if their images are used to catch theft, damages, or other incidental fees.

Your job as an Airbnb growth hacking host is to protect and grow. You can’t risk even a few dollars.

Have Airbnb House Rules and be Explicit About Them

The rules should be very very clear. They don’t have to be all in RED and ominous, but make it easy to read in bold, simple fonts. 

Try out some Airbnb House Rules Examples and Templates to get a head start.

Post Airbnb Guest Fee Schedule In Multiple Places

To ensure guests are always aware of the rules, you should send them the fee schedule in their welcome package at multiple steps.

You should include the house rules along with your Airbnb House Fees in:

  • Your listing
  • An Airbnb message when they book
  • A text message with a pdf link if you have a cell of theirs
  • Follow up Email including rules in plain text of the email and a PDF attachment
  • Posted in each room of your unit or first page of your welcome materials.

It should also be included in your listing so there is ZERO ambiguity. Ever.

Add $200 No Smoking Fee Per Day For Airbnb

You should never allow smoking in your unit or even balconies attached to units. This fee should be applied immediately and video proof should be also used.

There are wifi-enabled cigarette smoke detectors available which provide additional proof of smoking violations.

Add a $50 Fee for Exceeding Airbnb Occupancy Limits

Depending on your location, your lease, and the laws of your area occupancy limits vary. You can set a limit to 4 people at any given time in your unit.

Use evidence from security cams, door cams, or other video recording devices to back up your claims.

Add $50 Late Checkout Fee for Airbnb

Your team needs time to clean. You need to ensure the schedule is followed. Any unauthorized late checkout should incur a fee. Do not let guests put wrenches in your system.

Add Fee for Lost Airbnb Keys

If its a standard key, $25. If you have a FOB or remote entry key for your Airbnb, those can get into the $50 to $100 range.

Add Fee for Other Lost Items

Any other items that have value, you should place a bounty on for your time and cost to replace them. Do not be unfair, but value your time at a reasonable rate.

Add Final Loss & Damage Fee for Any other Losses You Incur if They Do Something Wrong

If ANY non-following of the house rules leads you to refund or cancel the next guest’s stay, then your guests are responsible to pay for that.

This means that if the guest violates the smoking policy, the late checkout policy, or anything that makes you incur further loss of revenue, they are on the hook for that in addition to the line item fee.

 


Increase High Quality Guests At Your Airbnb

 

Avoid Guests Looking for Discounts

If a guests messages you asking for a discount, never budge. Many new airbnb hosts will think that they should give out discounts to ensure more bookings. However, discounts and rapidly eat into your profit margins.

Particularly at the beginning of a unit’s history, it is more important to run a tight, profitable operation than to fill your bookings with non-profitable guests.

Most guests will just “fish” for discounts. If you stay stern, they will likely book anyway. They want to stay at your listing, but are just seeing what they can get.

Here’s an example of what you can tell guests that request airbnb discounted rates:

“Hello, we appreciate you showing such great interest in our listing. Unfortunately we do not offer discounts under any circumstances. This helps us provide the absolute best airbnb experience possible for all guests. We are looking forward to having you!”

Get Long Term Airbnb Guests

As your business grows and you get a few units under your control, an airbnb cost optimization comes in the form of getting long-term stays. This heavily reduces the burden of organizing and paying for ongoing cleaning and per-visit turnover issues.

Also, going for long-term corporate airbnb guests generally equates to higher quality guests in our experience.

Airbnb Growth Hack

Be careful that your local laws allow you to have guests for more than a month. Some local laws allow anyone to “squat” after being allowed to reside in a unit for more than 28 days . Going with only corporate clients (i.e. LLCs or C-Corps) may help you avoid private parties claiming squatting rights to your airbnb.

Get Corporate Airbnb Guests

Same as above: corporate airbnb long term rentals are generally better guests.Focus on marketing your airbnb listing to corporate clients and long term corporate rentals. You can be sure to increase revenue dramatically with this airbnb growth hacking tip.

 


Decrease Airbnb Costs with these Airbnb Growth Hacking Tips

The obvious counter to increasing the revenue for your Airbnb comes in the form of cost optimization.

Reduce costs for your airbnb with these cost reduction airbnb growth hacking methods.

Reduce Airbnb Cancellations

Reducing cancellations is important. This becomes more important when you have shorter term stays, and you market to general public. If you’re in a ‘party’ area, a college town, or are planning around a large event, then you may see more cancellations.

 

Set Strict Cancellation Policies

This Airbnb growth hacking tactic is all business. You need to understand that guest must respect your business. This does not mean you can be rude, disrespectful, or do anything even remotely ‘scammy’. However, you NEED to have a cancellation policy to recouperate funds when guests cancel for any reason.

Last minute cancellations can cost you multiple days of rental fees for your Airbnb home. A last-minute airbnb cancellation of a multi-day costs you money from that guests’ stay. It is also exponentially harder to fill a vacancy for multi-day stays if you have to re-list the property.

Add a strict airbnb cancellation policy to your agreement. Stick to it and always charge. By being upfront with this policy, you will also get far less deadbeat Airbnb guests. Most quality guests are OK with strict policies because they are more responsible.

 


Decrease Negative Reviews on Airbnb

Sometimes guests will be negative no matter what. Don’t take it personal. You’re an Airbnb Growth Hacker and you only seek to improve your numbers while hopefully being a great person.

Use Bad Airbnb Reviews to Demonstrate Service Level

If you get anything less than a 5 star review, address the concerns of the guest immediately. Always apologize and ask how you can make it better for them or future guests.

This indirect Airbnb growth hacking method is harder to quantify and definitive answers might require thorough study.

If the guest never communicated an issue they stated as a negative factor in the review, kindly let the public know that you would have happily solved their problem given a heads up.

NEVER make the negative reviewer look bad. Always take their side and promote your service levels.

Ensure Devices are Working Before Guest Arrives

On your turnover, add checklist items to see if all devices are working properly. This includes making sure the Airbnb Wifi , coffee maker, kitchen gear, and other amenities are functioning at a basic level.

Growth Hack your Airbnb

Manage Your Airbnb Guest’s Expectations

You need to set the bar at a level that you can meet EVERY time no matter what. This gives you wiggle room to be able to exceed those expectations once your system is running.

  • Take brightly lit photos that are REPRESENTATIVE of the unit. Don’t doctor photos
  • In the description, be very transparent and open about the actual unit. If its a basement unit, don’t fluff it up. Be real.
  • Let guest know what people that are a BAD fit for the unit. BAD FIT OUT.

Exceed Your Listing’s Expectations

If you followed our advice and created an amazing listing, ensure that you train your team to always check the property before a new guest arrives.

It should have everything the listing shows and more. It should be pristine. There should be NO room for a user to give you a negative review.

Always Be an Amazing Airbnb Personality

One less common but incredibly annoying reason for increasing the odds of a negative review of your Airbnb are simply that a guest doesn’t like your personality.

How do you avoid irrational hatred? Do it with intent.

In your automated Airbnb messaging, always err on the side of neutral and positive.

Ensure that your persona is consistent across your listing and all communications. Psychologically, guests are less likely to think you’re being a smart ass, difficult, or contentious if your communications are always consistent.

And, if you ever get reviewed by Airbnb, you can be sure that your conduct will always work in your favor.

Don’t ever let a guest break your composure. Don’t be this guy:

airbnb-growth-hacking-freakout

 


Avoid Airbnb Refunds or Disputes

Refunds after the fact are profit killers for obvious reasons. We need to do everything in our power to provide such great service, upfront terms, and strict procedures to ensure refunds are avoided at all costs. D

Airbnb disputes also cause time suck churn that can be frustrating for both the Airbnb host and guests alike.

A dispute on Airbnb can also cause your payouts to be delayed, or your account to be blocked. Don’t risk it.

Always represent your Airbnb Accurately

By presenting your Airbnb unit accurately in every step of the way, your guests are less likely to be surprised and subsequently far less likely to request a refund.

This gives zero leeway for guests to request refunds claiming that they were misled.

This limits a lot of mini fraudsters and thorough listings also turn off potential fraudsters, even if they do account for a very very small percentage of Airbnb gusts.

Perception is key. Always set expectations at an achievable level then exceed them.

Show Security and Monitoring in Your Listing

Show off your security systems – whether its your nest camera for airbnb , smart lock, or noise monitoring tools.

This shows customers that there may be evidence showing that their flippant refund requests have no basis in reality.

It gives you more leverage when disputes occur, and reduced their rate of going against you.

 

Be Responsive – Solve Problems for Your Airbnb Guests

If your airbnb guest has problems during their stay, you or your staff needs to solve them. Not solving problems like utility malfunctions or airbnb appliances breaking down will get you refund requests.

Get that stuff fixed ASAP – its great for your current guests AND solves the problem for future guests.

 


Reduce Airbnb Theft or Damages to Airbnb

Theft or damages will occur over the life of our airbnb hosting career. But, there are some airbnb growth hacking tips that will help you reduce these occurrances and save you a ton of money over time.

Add All Security Systems to Your Airbnb Listing

List out the security systems your Airbnb has. It will make your guests feel more comfortable booking and

You can bet your bottom dollar that there are thieves who case airbnb listings for security vulnerabilities. Make your listing force them to look next door.

Include Security Devices in Airbnb Photography

Same as above: SHOW off your security devices and security protocol. Include images of your cctv cameras, your NEST airbnb camera, or any other device that keeps your guests and your possession safe.

Crappy guests will know they can’t get away with it.

Make sure to post in your listing something that tells guests that you take before and after pictures for every stay – this will send a clear message that your property is to be respected.

All in all, theft will still happen. It is advised that you keep some buffer cash in your bank account to cover potential theft.

Getting great airbnb rental insurance is another requirement to protect you from theft loss.

 

Take Pictures Before & After Airbnb Pictures

 

Have your staff quickly take a picture of each area after cleaning . Make sure this is know in your public Airbnb listing and in any communications or rule sheets you share with your guests.

Airbnb Growth Hacking

This airbnb growth hacking item will show that you are always on top of the game – your guests will appreciate the efficiency of your operation, and you’ll receive the benefit of knowing you’ve reduced the costs.

 


Eliminate Bad Airbnb Guests

Keep bad guests away from your Airbnb. They can destroy your airbnb listing, damage property, violate noise ordinances, steal your unit’s items, and generally cause problems.

Any one of these troublesome behaviors can cost your unit revenue, whether it be from excessive cleaning, replacement of goods, or worst case repairs of structural damage.

Be Straightforward with Your Rules to Weed out Bad Guests

Your airbnb house rules should outline the standards and penalties. In the Extra Fees section above, we shared some fee ideas you can include.

This may reduce your booking rate slightly, but you’ll get higher quality longer term guest if you follow airbnb growth hacking tips that keep bad guests away from your Airbnb.

 

 

Photo Credits:

https://unsplash.com/photos/ortvukjV1bM

https://unsplash.com/photos/DRR5v8TIEYU

 

Resources

Airbnb Automated: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvwmrPfn8ff-rTlc9YoH7Bg/videos