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Kitchen Storage and Listing Tweaks: What I Learned from the #1 Ranked Airbnb Listing in my Market

Kitchen Storage and Listing Tweaks_ What I Learned from the #1 Ranked Airbnb Listing in my MarketAbout once a quarter, I like to sit down and go through all of my competition.  This means that I open up an incognito browser, type my city into Airbnb.com, and make note of where my listings fall.

All 3 were in the top 20, and I was pretty ok with that (although it could be better). Unfortunately, our client’s was 47th, which is not ideal at all.  Whenever one of our client’s listings isn’t doing as well as it should, I immediately start implementing strategies to jump start their ranking (I wrote an article going into detail on each of those strategies, click on this link to read – How to jumpstart your search ranking) Continue reading “Kitchen Storage and Listing Tweaks: What I Learned from the #1 Ranked Airbnb Listing in my Market”

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5 Ways to Save Money Furnishing your Airbnb, Plus Where you Should Splurge

5 ways to save money furnishing your airbnbAre you looking for ways to start an Airbnb out of your home, but are discouraged by the potential start up costs? I recently ran across a popular blog post where the author suggested budgeting over $5,000 for JUST the master bedroom.  Conveniently, many of those expensive items were from her own brand – “buy a $1,300 mattress from me! Check out these throw pillows I designed for $150 a piece!” Yikes.

I am here to tell you that you absolutely do NOT need to invest five grand in one bedroom.  If spent wisely, five grand could easily cover the whole house! You just have to be strategic about how you spend it, and put a bit of time and effort into finding deals.  Continue reading “5 Ways to Save Money Furnishing your Airbnb, Plus Where you Should Splurge”

5 Steps to Instantly Increase your Search Rank and Placement on Airbnb

img_0700.jpgRecent research done by Airbnb says that browsing travelers look at an average of 12 properties before finalizing their booking.

While that’s an interesting stat…what exactly does this mean for hosts?

It means that people are spending way less time on Airbnb than experts previously thought.  If your listing isn’t ranked in the top 12, your chances of getting booked trend significantly downward.

The actual search algorithm is a closely guarded secret, but Airbnb has helped hosts out by confirming that those 100 factors fit into three main categories: guest needs, listing details and trip details.  They also confirmed that by providing consistent quality hosting, you will naturally get moved up through the rankings. Continue reading “5 Steps to Instantly Increase your Search Rank and Placement on Airbnb”

The best type of coffee maker you should buy for your Airbnb guests

My Post (86)The great Airbnb Coffee Debate: Keurig vs. Drip..

When setting up an Airbnb business, be prepared for a lot decision making.  When I first started, I had a ton of questions –  everything from what color should I paint the walls, to where should we store extra light bulbs?  I wanted to make sure that I did everything right, so that I could get the best return on my investment as possible.  However, there was one questions I couldn’t find the answer to: “What kind of coffee  maker should I buy for my Airbnb or vacation rental home?” Continue reading “The best type of coffee maker you should buy for your Airbnb guests”

Announcing the 9-Days to Superhost Course

Copy of Untitled (2)After working 9 months to put this 9-Days to  Superhost Course together…it is finally done!!! A ton of research went into the making of this course, along with copious amounts of my own blood, sweat, and tears, ya’ll.

I’m not gonna lie…it’s scary putting yourself on video (and then agonizing having to watch it…and then rewatch it…ugh….) But let me tell you, it was worth it! I am so proud of myself and my team, and I am confident we have created a course that will help other hosts and my blog readers all over the world.

The Superhost Challenge is made up of 9 modules: Superhost Basics, Accuracy, Check-In, Cleanliness, Communication, Location, Value 1, Value 2, and Overall Experience.  Each module goes into detail on how to increase your star rating of that specific rating category.  There are questions prior to the video to warm up your brain and get you thinking, anywhere from 2-5 videos (depending on the amount of content we need to cover) with important, relevant information on HOW to increase your star rating for this particular category, a step by step plan so you know what actions to take to move forward, and homework designed to introduce you to a community of like minded hosts you can turn to for support in the future.  It comes with a 72 page course workbook so you can take notes as you follow along, and worksheets to help you plan out your specific next steps. Continue reading “Announcing the 9-Days to Superhost Course”

Airbnb Hosting Hacks

For those of you that are more visual learners, I have compiled a list of all my favorite Airbnb Hosting Hacks to make your journey to Superhost that much smoother.  I’ll be updating this frequently, so be sure and bookmark this page to keep updated! Continue reading “Airbnb Hosting Hacks”

Airbnb Photography 101: 7 Steps to Winning Airbnb Photos

airbnb photographyThe world is becoming more and more visual.

Even if you spend hours crafting the perfect Airbnb description, that doesn’t mean everyone will take the time to read it….in fact, only 20% of your guests will read your entire listing.

But your pictures? Everyone looks at your pictures.  It’s what draws in your potential customers, it’s what convinces them to click and learn more. Airbnb’s formatting allows browsing guests to see 2-3 pictures at a time, so winning photos are essential to your listing’s success.

Here are the top 7 tips for how to take great pictures for your Airbnb.  If you are getting professional photographs taken, read on to discover that will help you get the most out of those photos.

Continue reading “Airbnb Photography 101: 7 Steps to Winning Airbnb Photos”

What to do when an Airbnb guest causes major damage to your home

My Post (77)It’s every host’s worst nightmare…

You get a phone call from a guest, saying that there has been an accident.  With major damage – major enough that you can’t rent it out until it’s fixed.

What should a host do when a guest causes major damage to their home?

If you are a host who found this article because they are in this situation and frantically searching for advice, don’t worry.  You are on the right track. This article will tell you exactly what you need to know if your vacation rental guest has damaged your property. Continue reading “What to do when an Airbnb guest causes major damage to your home”

11 Product Recommendations that will Help you become a Superhost

Copy of Copy of What to buy to help you become a Superhost (1)If you are wondering, what is the easiest way to be a Superhost? Or, what products can I buy that will help make me a Superhost? Or, what do I need to buy for an Airbnb?

Well, you have come to the right place.  Although being a Superhost is about more than just buying some products, these strategically selected products will greatly help your chances of reaching Superhost Status.  If you haven’t already check out our Ultimate Airbnb Shopping Checklist, read it, and then add the items below to your list. Continue reading “11 Product Recommendations that will Help you become a Superhost”

5 Tips on How to Run a Successful Business with your Spouse

My Post (37)Starting a business is hard.  Being married is hard.

Doing both? Well, let’s just say it is no surprise to me that entrepreneurs have the highest percentage of divorce rates.

Do you host with your spouse? I host with mine, and I can tell you that we struggle sometimes.  It’s easy to lose sight of our relationship and get caught up in everything hosting.  So, I did some research and spoke with some experts to gather a list of ways to keep your spouse, business, and sanity in balance. Continue reading “5 Tips on How to Run a Successful Business with your Spouse”

3 ways to beat host fatigue

Guess what_

With the new year upon us, everyone is making resolutions about how they are going to grow their Airbnb business and be the best Superhosts ever!

And then right around mid-February, it strikes…host fatigue.

Starting the new year with plans and intentions is great, but sometimes you need to put your own oxygen mask on before helping others.  This includes your Airbnb guests.

Continue reading “3 ways to beat host fatigue”

5 Nights as an Airbnb Guest, and what I learned

What I learned from 5 nights of being an Airbnb guestI never understood why some of our worst guests were other Airbnb hosts.  You would think that the hosting community would be more understanding, especially since they know the power of a 4 star review.  Unfortunately, that is not usually the case.  Traveling hosts tend to be pickier, and not leave as good of reviews.

I want to preface this article by saying that I have always been a low maintenance traveler, and am pretty happy with just the basics… I’ve been in hostels all over the world with varying standards of comfort and cleanliness at all sorts of price points.  I’ve been hosting for over 3 years as a Superhost on Airbnb, and I’m a vacation rental consultant for other hosts.  So, I feel like I have a good idea of how to create a meaningful guest experience. Continue reading “5 Nights as an Airbnb Guest, and what I learned”

How to Make a Pet Welcome Basket for Under $10

airbnb pet friendly ideaAs an Airbnb host, you work hard to give every guest a 5-star experience.  But what happens when this isn’t enough to keep your listings booked through the slow season? Unfortunately, there are very few vacation rentals that are blessed with a year-round tourist destination. For most of us,  there is a busy season…and a slow season.  During the busy season, a host can skate by at 80-90% occupancy, however the slow season can put even a great host out of business.

You need to employ additional strategies to keep your occupancy rates high during the off season, such as selecting a few specific target audiences to cater your amenities and marketing to. One of the fastest growing niches is traveling pet owners. Continue reading “How to Make a Pet Welcome Basket for Under $10”

5 Marketing Strategies for Pet-Friendly Vacation Rentals

 

5 Marketing Strategies for Pet-Friendly Vacation Rentals

Airbnb is a powerful tool that will catapult you into financial independence, if you know the most effective strategies to use it.  To receive the highest return on your investment, my clients focus on increasing both their occupancy and their nightly rate.  One of the most effective ways to do this is by strategically targeting niche audiences, and build up a loyal customer base.

It’s a well-known fact that you can’t please everyone.  By narrowing your demographic to a few strategically selected groups of people, you can focus on providing high-quality amenities and services that will be far superior to any other vacation rental in your area.  Continue reading “5 Marketing Strategies for Pet-Friendly Vacation Rentals”

3 Strategies to Make your Airbnb listing Pet Perfect

Copy of Text placeholder (12)People are increasingly traveling with their pets – in fact over 3 million people annually are bringing their pets along for their traveling adventures.  Couple that increase with the small percentage of Airbnbs that are animal friendly, and you have the makings for a real money making opportunity.  Besides having an increase in bookings and visibility, you will also be able to charge higher rates for pet fees, and are covered in the case of any animal related damage.  So how does a savvy Airbnb host capitalize on this pet opportunity?

Easy – you need to make your property the best option for pet owners traveling to your area. Continue reading “3 Strategies to Make your Airbnb listing Pet Perfect”

5 steps to building a website for your Airbnb property, using a free WordPress theme

how to build a free website easy for your vacation rental“How do I start a website for my Airbnb property?”

“Should I have a separate website for my Airbnb property?”

I get asked these questions all the time, and my recommendation depends on where you are in your hosting journey: if you are just getting started, you don’t need the extra expense and time investment of your own website.  Instead, focus on your social media game, which is free and something you probably already know how to do.

An additional website is for more experienced hosts, who are serious about growing their Airbnb business.   Once you have crossed over from paying the mortgage to making a profit, you should be reinvesting in advertising and marketing to grow your business. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is through a website.  You can use a website to advertise your cohosting services, multiple properties, or to start generating your own bookings. Continue reading “5 steps to building a website for your Airbnb property, using a free WordPress theme”

Everything you need to inexpensively Furnish your Bedroom for Airbnb (for under $750)

Copy of End TableContrary to what other Airbnb gurus might tell you, it’s not necessary to spend a fortune setting up your Airbnb.  There are ways to cheaply furnish and set up an Airbnb bedroom, without skimping on quality and style! Continue reading “Everything you need to inexpensively Furnish your Bedroom for Airbnb (for under $750)”

Comforter and sheet Black Friday discounts for Airbnb hosts

We use zulily for all of our sheets and comforters. Right now it’s an amazing deal, under $18 for queen size comforters and free shipping over $49 for Airbnb babes readers! Copy and past the link below for discount.

https://www.zulily.com/invite/jenessanesmith589?tid=social_email_iphone_sharelink_sidebar_modal_3c72d3b1ed4007169143967e86360c38

11 Easy Ideas for What to put in an Airbnb Welcome Basket

airbnb welcome basket ideas.jpgThe secret to getting 5 star reviews? Making your guests feel special.

Airbnb hosts are now required to supply the essential amenities to all guests: toilet paper, towels, soap, and linens.  An easy way to take your hospitality to the next level is with the addition of a welcome basket.

Most hosts have heard this idea before, but it can be difficult to know where to start.  You want items that are inexpensive, universally appealing, and easy to restock during turnovers.  Through trial and error with my own guests, I have compiled a list of 11 items for your Airbnb welcome basket that are guaranteed to give you the biggest bang for your buck. Continue reading “11 Easy Ideas for What to put in an Airbnb Welcome Basket”

7 Photos that Increase your Bookings on Airbnb

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We have all heard the phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words”.  To Airbnb hosts, it’s more true that, “A picture is worth a thousand dollars!”

Potential guests decide whether to read through your description based on your listing photos and title.  This means that the pictures you post can make or break your Airbnb business.  While most hosts complete the minimum number of listing pictures, you can will stand above the crowd by including a few unique photos your competition haven’t considered.

In addition to the standard room shots, you should showcase your additional amenities and show your future customers why you are the right choice for their vacation.
Continue reading “7 Photos that Increase your Bookings on Airbnb”

Airbnb Marketing Tool that Doubles as a Welcome Gift

The Modern Man's Essential Grooming KitAlthough there are ways to cut costs when starting your Airbnb business, you will still end up investing a lot of time and money to set up your property.  Furnishings, repairs, upgrades…there are a lot of things to consider at the beginning.  What few beginning Airbnb hosts realize is that marketing is just as important as furnishings, and deserves it’s own investment of your time and savings.

Luckily, there are ways to market effectively.  Effective marketing strategies will help increase your occupancy and revenue while making optimal use of your resources.  Ultimately – “Work smarter, not harder!” Continue reading “Airbnb Marketing Tool that Doubles as a Welcome Gift”

Why Every Airbnb Host Should Have a Guestbook

free tax todaySome Airbnb hosts wonder if a guestbook is worth the additional upfront investment and trouble.  First you have to buy the book, and then during turnovers you have to take time to ensure there are enough working pens, and that the previous guest didn’t write anything bad.

We have found that the guestbook is very much worth the trouble! While some guests do use it as more of a “suggestion” book, we just rip those sections out and it’s good to go.  Continue reading “Why Every Airbnb Host Should Have a Guestbook”

7 Cheap and Easy Ways to Add Curb Appeal to Your Vacation Rental

michaeldale (1)They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression.  This is so important, and especially true of for your Airbnb guests. When they roll up to your property, what do they see? A dilapidated house with peeling paint and dead grass, or a cheerful, well-manicured lawn with bright pops of colorful flowers and greenery?

People are going to pay you more and book you more often if your house has strong curb appeal.  You don’t need to shell out thousands of dollars before you see the benefits, just a few low cost and strategically managed upgrades can help you dramatically increase your Airbnb revenue. Continue reading “7 Cheap and Easy Ways to Add Curb Appeal to Your Vacation Rental”

Big Payouts for Pet Friendly Airbnbs, and 6 Myths About Hosting Pets in your Airbnb

685 million US families own a pet.  37% of those families bring their pets on at least one vacation a year. That means over 3 million people annually are traveling with pets, and they are looking for accommodation.  Many different factions of the travel industry are responding – airports are including pet relief areas, and trains are allowing pets on board.

Many of the world’s famous hotel brands are allowing pets to stay with their owners.  Some higher end suites are even catering to your fur babies with pet massages and branded treats, for an extra fee of course.  What does this mean for Airbnb hosts?

Continue reading “Big Payouts for Pet Friendly Airbnbs, and 6 Myths About Hosting Pets in your Airbnb”

Crowd sourced Airbnb hosting advice #1

Crowd Sourced Airbnb Hosting AdviceOne of the best things about being an Airbnb host is the hosting community that comes with it.  Once a month, I pose a question to my Airbnb Superhost Community.  This Superhost community has many years of experience, and between all of us we have seen hundreds of thousands of guests. Continue reading “Crowd sourced Airbnb hosting advice #1”

Ask Airbnb hosting Questions to the Airbnb Babes…get personalized Airbnb hosting advice!

bake saleI asked our lovely readers if they had any question that they wanted to ask the Airbnb Babes.  And we got such a great response! I really want this site to be useful to my readers, so I am excited to start this weekly crowd sourcing of Airbnb hosting questions.

(If you are interested in ongoing feedback from Airbnb Babes and other hosts, check out our Facebook group!) Continue reading “Ask Airbnb hosting Questions to the Airbnb Babes…get personalized Airbnb hosting advice!”

7 Reasons every Airbnb Host needs a security camera, and the best security camera for Airbnb Hosts

Lifehomes Real EstateAs an Airbnb host, part of the job is having strangers constantly rotating through your front door.  Although Airbnb does provide some peace of mind via guest verification requirements and host guarantees, the idea of opening up your home is still unnerving to most people. This is especially true if you don’t live on the property, and don’t have a way to directly monitor guest activity. Guests and hosts alike love the convenience of self check-in, but how do you balance that with the need for security? Continue reading “7 Reasons every Airbnb Host needs a security camera, and the best security camera for Airbnb Hosts”

Airbnb Host and Taxes

Airbnb Hosts and Taxesty.How does an Airbnb host deal with taxes?

When you become an Airbnb host, the days of throwing together your taxes at 11 pm on April 14th are over.  I would recommend finding an experienced accountant to help you with this, especially if this is your first year. Taxes for Airbnb hosts are complicated, and I always get asked questions about them.  In this article, you will learn whether you should file on a schedule E or C (and what the difference is), what you can deduct from your taxes, and some tips on how to make filing your taxes as an Airbnb host easier.

*****Disclaimer…I am not an accountant, or a lawyer.  All of this information is just from my personal experience and for entertainment value only 🙂 Continue reading “Airbnb Host and Taxes”

Wedding hacks that will save you thousands: how to save money on your wedding

Save Money with these wedding hacks

Airbnb has been a huge help on my journey to being financially free.  I am so passionate about it that I started an entire blog devoted to helping other people learn Airbnb and reach financial independence.

However, earning more is only half of the equation.  You also have to spend less.  You could have an Airbnb empire – but if you spend every penny you make, you will never reach financial independence.  This post is different from my usual posts, as I want to share with you how I saved thousands of dollars on our wedding and still had an awesome party!  Continue reading “Wedding hacks that will save you thousands: how to save money on your wedding”

How to use Hostfully to create a Kickass Airbnb Guidebook

The New CollectionWhat is Hostfully?  Simply put, Hostfully is an online, electronic guidebook for your Airbnb property that you can send to guests ahead of time.  It’s a simple link that you message your guests, and then they have your guidebook information at their fingertips.

How is an electronic guidebook better for Airbnb hosts? One of the best reasons to get an electronic guidebook is that it cuts down on unnecessary messaging both before and during their stay.  No more questions about restaurant recommendations or the closest grocery store, and no more guests asking about parking information three months in advance…you send them the guidebook ahead of time, and it answers all their trip related questions! You can include both pictures and videos, so guests see exactly how to turn on the TV and dishwasher without having to message you at midnight.  Although this information goes unread in my Airbnb house manual, for some reason guests will actually read it on Hostfully.

Continue reading “How to use Hostfully to create a Kickass Airbnb Guidebook”