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airbnb

Airbnb Profile Optimization

Airbnb is a great way to make some extra income and meet interesting travelers — it’s a win-win all around!.

At the core of what drives Airbnb ahead of their competitors is their search algorithm, which rewards good hosts by showing their listing higher up in the results; in turn, this can attract more users and bookings, creating a positive reward cycle.

Optimizing your profile to appeal to Airbnb’s search algorithm is important for growing your number of bookings and running a successful listing. Here are the top strategies for optimizing your Airbnb listing:

1. Make Sure Your Photos Stand Out

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As users browse through their options, each listing is afforded a headline and a photo. Make sure that the 140-character headline provides 1 or 2 of the best details about your listing — is it walkable? Is there transportation nearby? Is it in a historic area of downtown, or a trendy, up-and-coming area? Use the headline to grab users attention (but don’t go over the top, since if aspects of the listing are exaggerated, you risk getting bad reviews or losing potential bookings).

Similarly, the photo chosen for the listing should offer a glimpse into a pretty living room or neat bedrooms so users immediately get a feel for what the most important parts of the space look like. Try to take photos during a time of day that offers the best natural lighting. Take photos with a meticulous attention to details like lighting, neatness, color, angle. This can set a listing apart, especially in areas where there are lots of listings at similar price points.

For eligible hosts, Airbnb even offers free professional photography of your space; check to see if you are eligible, and take advantage of it! The photos will be watermarked with “Airbnb Verified”, which helps in building trust with users that the space in the photos accurately reflects what they’ll open the door to. Airbnb rewards those who have high quality photos and descriptions.

2. Make it Easy to Book and Never Cancel

Ease of booking is another element that Airbnb heavily factors into its on-site search algorithm. This is divided into two important factors to pay attention to: cancellations and response rates.

Basically, never cancel a booking. Airbnb rewards hosts who show that they are reliable. Make sure your calendars are up to date. If you are having trouble with fielding too many bookings, Seth Porges, a New York City Airbnb host recommends adding a note to your listing description that prompts users to email you first about availability. This way, you can feel out if you really do want to book with them, while simultaneously avoiding cancellation afterwards.

The response rate is more fuel for search rank; try to respond to people as quickly as possible. Even if you are already booked, or can’t make the accommodation they request, even replying with a simple, “I’m sorry, we’re booked,” is infinitely better than no response at all. Airbnb tracks these responses and rewards hosts who are prompt; striving for that 100% response rate is a great way to optimize your profile for search!

3. Reviews

Airbnb considers the quality and quantity of reviews for search rank. Accumulating numerous reviews is key to pushing your profile to the top.

Hopefully, you really are a fantastic host and your guests will have nothing but good things to say about you. However, if you are uncertain about what they may say, send them an email first. Ask about their stay and if they had any specific complaints about areas you could improve. If they come back with tons of grievances, take it gracefully and leave it at that.

If they come back with tons of praise, ask them directly if they could leave a review on your profile. Another good tactic is to leave a quality review of your guests on their profile (since reviewing goes both ways!). Airbnb reports that if you leave a review for your guests, they are more likely to leave a review for you.

4. Become Verified 

Make sure you go the extra mile and become fully verified. This includes uploading an image of government ID to AirBnB in order to verify your identity, as well as providing a phone number and email address that Airbnb will also verify. At the end of the process, you get a Verified ID badge on your profile.

Going through this process can feel laborious, but getting the badge is a great way to build the legitimacy of your profile!

Implementing these four tactics together will optimize your profile so you get a great on-site search rank, which means more bookings and meeting more great travelers, so you can get the most out of using AirBnB!

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Airbnb Reviews vs Hostel Reviews: What to look for and what to expect!

Airbnb is the new way of discovering new places at an affordable price. But why should you choose to join the Airbnb community instead of going to a Hostel? We wrote down some important things to keep in mind while looking at the reviews of both communities, to experience your stay to the fullest.

First of all, what’s the difference between Airbnb and a hostel? Airbnb is a community where owners of a house, apartment or studio offer travelers a place to sleep. That can vary from an entire apartment to a little room. In most cases, you’ll become someone’s roommate for a short period. The true charm of Airbnb is that locals can guide you around the city and give you some local insight.

Hostels, on the other hand are made for travellers, typically backpackers. They offer you a bed, communal areas where you can socialize with other travellers and in some instances a place to eat too. For most people, Hostels offer the opportunity to socialize with other like minded travellers, especially people who are travelling alone on a very strict budget.

Airbnb NYC provides some insight into how the new style of accommodation is helping local businesses, as well as tourists.

  • in the past year, Airbnb has generated $105 million in economic activity

  • 82% of Airbnb properties are located outside of Manhattan

  • A visitor spends $740 on average in the neighborhood where they stay

Airbnb: Reviews and what to look for

Although Airbnb is a wonderful concept, there are several things you should look at when scrolling through the review section while you’re on the search for that perfect place. The most important one is the way the host accommodates you on your arrival. These aren’t typical hotels so there isn’t a front desk with a fully fledged check-in system. If you read in the comments that the travelers didn’t even see their host, then you won’t be having the real Airbnb experience.  You should also keep an eye out for comments related to the cleanliness of the space. While you shouldn’t expect hotel level perfection, you are paying for it – and you want it to be clean!

Airbnb focusses more on the rational points – Communication, cleanliness and value for your money are key. The ‘unmeasurable’ aspects (such as atmosphere) will be hidden amongst the reviews.

Another important feature of Airbnb is the response rate. You’re not dealing with a brand, you’re dealing with a person – so you want to make sure they’re responsive. If you asked the person a question through the Airbnb app or website, that person has 24 hours to answer. If he or she doesn’t, their response rate will drop.

Reviews stay within Airbnb – as it is someone’s home after all. The various verification steps needed to create an account help provide comfort that all reviews are real people with real opinions.

Hostels: Reviews and what to look for

Most hostels are being reviewed on external websites such as Tripadvisor or Hostelworld.com.

When we look at the rating of Tripadvisor, there is a general rating system just to get an overall opinion about a hostel. On the right there is a rating summary, with almost the same topics as Airbnb. The only difference is that Tripadvisor wants you to know what your thoughts are about the sleep quality and the rooms. The other useful piece of information – is being able to narrow down reviews to suit your travel type e.g. family vs. solo. By viewing reviews only relevant to your travel type you’re getting a more tailored understanding of the hostel to your needs.

We’ve broken down the differences in the table below – so that you can make up your own mind on the hostel vs. Airbnb debate!

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Airbnb in 2014: Rants, Raves, and Reviews!

2014 was a big year for Airbnb. From a new (quirky) logo to petitions & cases to continue renting in NYC, Airbnb got a lot of press coverage. Couch surfing and apartment renting are not a new concept, but Airbnb has made for a seamless competitor to your typical hotel bookings. Airbnb is a website for people to rent out lodging. It has over 800,000 listings in 33,000 cities and 192 countries.

With any consumer product or service, there are reviews and interesting products (or in this case, listings). Airbnb has a lot of lovers AND haters. Airbnb thrives on renter and renting reviews. Some people find the service to be a fun, inexpensive, and more personal way to visit areas around the world – where as other people see it as a risk for craziness and who knows what else. The web is full of Airbnb horror stories. From high reservation and cleaning costs to neurotic renters and cramped spaces – even robbery, weird privacy concerns, and we are sure even WEIRDER things..
Here are some real reviews:
Here are a few featured listings that not even we could make up:

 

Lycheng and Van Bo’s 1-SQM “house” in Germany ($14 a night)

Yes, this is a real Airbnb rental.

 

 

 

According to Digital Trends, “Lycheng and Van Bo found a new way to recycle their kid’s/niece’s/nephew’s playhouse and turn it into an artsy money-making tool. For just $14 a night, guests can stay in the smallest house in Berlin, measuring just one square meter in living space. The house is also modular; flip it vertically to sit out and enjoy the view from what was the door or turn it on its side to lay down for a nap. Since there are permanent holes in the wall and no lock on the door, it’s probably wise to not bring valuables along for the night – unless, of course, Lycheng and Van Bo want to verify their IDs and help guests lock up their properties.

 

 

Steve’s backyard in Napa ($80 a night)

Yep, another real listing. This sand/dirt backyard can be yours for ONLY $80 a night!! What a steal! (yea, right..)

Steve’s backyard accommodates up to six, but provide your own tent(s) or Steve will charge you more money to loan you his. Sure, I’m sold.

 

 

 

Posh Igloo in NY!

How about this fancy Igloo?? Oh, but it is a shared room, so I hope you like strangers.

How could this be listed..

Also, CollegeHumor has a hilarious post about “if Airbnb reviews told the truth”. Read more of the fake yet funny reviews here.

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