Friday, May 24, 2024

Competing in a Saturated Market: Make Your Airbnb Listing Shine

If you’re listing a prime location property on Airbnb you may be tempted to assume the hard work is over — after all, a prime location means more bookings, right? However, being located in a hot spot often means facing stiff competition in a saturated market filled with accommodation options for holiday makers. This article aims to guide you on making your listing stand out, ensuring a steady flow of enquiries despite the competition.

Understanding the Saturated Market

In 2023, Architectural Digest reported that supply oversaturation and falling demand appeared to be taking a toll on the Airbnb short rental market. They noted that the situation seemed to be a “perfect storm of demand decreasing at a time of increased supply”.

If you want your property to avoid becoming the collateral damage of market saturation, make sure you understand the market your listing occupies. This understanding is crucial for strategic positioning. Being situated in a well-known city with a large market (such as Las Vegas) will make it far more difficult to attract bookings. Sometimes it can be useful to consult with Airbnb management companies to fully understand the market your Airbnb occupies. For example, Dubai-based rental management company Frank Porter has a team of in-house pricing specialists who can assess and explain the market, and adjust prices accordingly.

Crafting Compelling Listings

In Airbnb’s list of factors that influence search results, top of the list is quality of listing. They state that their ranking algorithm assesses listing photos, listing characteristics and amenities, and customer service and cancellation information. In a saturated market, try to highlight what makes your Airbnb unique from the rest in your description — maybe you’ve just had a state-of-the-art hot tub installed in the garden, or perhaps your listing is just minutes away from the hottest tourist spot. Keep updating this description as you receive feedback from guests on what they loved about your property. Regular updates based on guest feedback can enhance your listing’s appeal. Airbnb has released a handy YouTube video guide on how to make a listing that stands out, and this is a good place to start if you’re a beginner host.

Setting Competitive Prices

The Airbnb algorithm compares the total price of your property with other similar listings nearby. Setting a competitive price can be tricky, because you want to attract as many people as possible by offering a fair price, but equally don’t want to undervalue your property. In order to reassure guests of the value of your property, make sure the various features and amenities included in your Airbnb are crystal clear on your listing page. It’s also worth asking previous renters on their opinion of your pricing — do they think you’re charging too much, too little, or the perfect amount? Feedback from previous renters can be invaluable in setting optimal prices. Adapt your prices accordingly.

Offering Exceptional Amenities and Services

Everyone loves an extra — whether it’s a plethora of streaming services, a top of the range power-shower or the latest espresso machine, offering that little bit more can significantly increase your listing’s chances of standing out in a saturated market. Take a look at what your competitors are offering and ensure that you’re offering a similar (if not more extensive) list of amenities. Airbnb have released a list of the top searched for amenities as follows:

  1. A pool
  2. Wifi
  3. A kitchen
  4. Free parking
  5. A hot tub
  6. Air conditioning or heating
  7. A washing machine or dryer
  8. Self check-in
  9. TV or cable
  10. A fireplace

Offering a range of these amenities will give your listing the best chance of making its mark on the Airbnb search ranking page and give your guests a highly-anticipated stay. It’s also worth providing some recommendations that will enhance your guests’ experience as it will make your property that little bit more unique than the next. Personalised recommendations can elevate the guest experience.

Leveraging Guest Reviews and Feedback

In 2023, Airbnb introduced a “Guest Favourites” badge for listings with an average rating of 4.9 or above. Those searching for an Airbnb will be able to filter search results based on whether a listing has this badge. Clearly, having positive guest reviews on your listing page has never been more important for making a property stand out from the rest.

If your guests are loving your property but aren’t always leaving reviews, feel free to (politely) ask them to provide feedback on your Airbnb page, and tell them you’ll do the same. If your reviews are currently lacking, reach out to the guests who have given you negative feedback and ask them for more information. Implement their suggestions and reply to their reviews — in doing so, it shows that you are acknowledging their feedback and makes it clear to future guests that you’re a host who is truly invested in providing the best experience possible.

Claire James
Claire James
Claire is an accounts manager at Fire Digital UK, an online publishing and content marketing company based in the North West.

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