The ever-expanding world of short-term rentals is becoming more competitive each year, with over 6 million listings on Airbnb alone and growing. It has never been more important to stand out from the crowd and get your listing showing up high in the search results. However, there are some common mistakes Airbnb hosts make that could be costing them bookings, reviews and their place at the top of the page.

Let’s have a look at the most common mistakes airbnb hosts make and how to avoid them.

Host Tools provides an automated, unified calendar for short-term rental hosts, allowing you to seamlessly list on all major channels. Start your free trial today! 

Mistakes Airbnb Hosts Make

Short-term rental hosts, particularly those new to the industry, often fall prey to common pitfalls that can negatively impact their hosting experience and guest satisfaction. Let's take a look:

Not having a pricing strategy

Not having a well-thought-out pricing strategy is one of the main reasons that new and established short-term rental's fail. Simply setting a nightly price is no longer a viable option in the flooded vacation rental market. So, what can you do?

There are a lot of options out there to help you when working out a pricing strategy for your Airbnb.

Let the experts take care of it

• Outsourcing to companies that use dynamic pricing algorithms is a great way to work

out your nightly and seasonal rates. They do all the research and leg work for you

making it simple. But it does come at a cost with ongoing monthly fees to use their

service.

Set yourself apart from the crowd                                        

• Monitoring your competitors is an easy way to keep up with the market. Hotels

spend a lot of money on pricing research and are a great way to monitor pricing in

your area. Another way is to compare your prices to that of your closest Airbnb

competitors. It’s easy and free to do and only takes minutes.

Not using professional photos

A photo is worth a thousand words-Let your photos speak columns about your space!

When trying to stand out amongst the legion of other listings on Airbnb, professional photos are your ultimate weapon. Hiring a professional property photographer is your best bet for success as they know how to sell a property.

The main problems with taking your own photos:

• Light coming in from windows make the rooms look dark

• Camera phones don’t have a wide enough lens to capture the whole room

• The image size and quality are low and less dynamic

Splurge a little and you’ll reap the benefits

The average photoshoot at a property will cost between $250 to $300+, this equates to the cost of a one or two-night booking. Without professional photos, you will be losing more than this in the long run.

To find the best value property photographers, visit your local real estate agent and ask who they use. They will have the most experienced in selling a property and will capture your place in its best light. If you currently have your listing on Airbnb, check out their approved professional photographer's list, but keep in mind, it's not available worldwide.

Failing to maintain excellent cleaning standards

You could have the best Airbnb on the street with the best pricing strategy, but if you fall short on your cleaning standards, you won’t last long. Nobody wants to arrive at an Airbnb that looks untidy and dirty, right? 

Finding a reliable cleaner can be a hard task. You are entrusting them with the most important job and your livelihood. After all, one bad review could cost you dearly in the long run. Having a cleaning checklist ready for them-it will save you time.

Turning to a platform like TIDY or TurnoverBnB is the key to finding and linking up with trusted, verified cleaners in your neighborhood. You can read reviews from previous hosts that have utilized their services and hire them on the spot. 

This is definitely one area of your short-term rental that you can’t afford to make a mistake. Due to Covid-19, it’s essential that your cleaners are following all  cleaning measures to ensure a safe and clean home for future guests.

A breakdown in communication

Another common mistake that hosts make is not checking in their guests enough. From the day the guest books to the day they check out, you should remain in constant communication. Ask how their trip is going, if they need anything or if they need any recommendations.

Host Interaction-Be present and available

There are 5 basic messages that you should be sending out to your guests before, during and after their stay:

• Booking message

• Check-in message

• Check-up message

• Check-out message

• Follow up message - Politely asking for a review if not left yet

Go the extra mile for your guest.

 Keeping in contact with the guest will make them feel special and looked after. It will build trust and create a positive relationship. Then, once their trip is over, they will be more likely to leave you a great review.

Be sure to automate your guest communications by integrating your account with Host Tools.

Not accurately describing your space

Manage your guest’s expectations before they do-No surprises upon arrival

Accuracy plays a big part in running an Airbnb and even has its own star rating. Many hosts will list their space and leave out key details that will affect a guest’s time at the property. Leaving details out like the property is near a train line or the main road can bring your accuracy ratings down. This will then start affecting your ranking.

If there is a potential for the noise you can add this to your listing. Maybe your Airbnb is small, just mention that it is cozy. There is only a bath and no shower, this is something that a guests will want to know. Just starting to write your listing? Consider turning to an expert content writer on CohostMarket to write and optimize your Airbnb listings or take it from the professionals at Airbnb.

Supplying guests with as much detail as possible will set their expectations at the right level. You can add as much detail as you need into the ‘Other things to note’ section. This is the perfect place to add details if they don't fit in the main description.

Final Thoughts

It is important to pay attention to the little details when running an Airbnb. Finding a pricing strategy, hiring photographers or cleaners, and managing guest communications can feel overwhelming.

When you automate your listing with Host Tools, you will save up to 80% of the time you spend messaging guests, updating availability or chasing reviews. When so much of your short term rental management is automated, there is very little opportunity for mistakes to happen. Automate your rental with Host Tools today to start securing those five-star ratings!

Host Tools provides an automated, unified calendar for short-term rental hosts, allowing you to seamlessly list on all major channels. Start your free trial today! 

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