Airbnb hosts and property managers know how competitive the short-term lettings business can be, especially around the holiday season. You may have put a lot of effort into making your property appealing to the rental market, only to find that you are spending more and more time managing the bookings.
The good news is that with the benefit of automation, it is possibly to simplify things hugely.
Did you know that you can save up to 70% of your time on routine operations by streamlining your business operations? Better still, recent figures suggest that Airbnb automation can push your occupancy rate up by a staggering 80%.
If that isn’t enough motivation to change the way you do things, what is?
There are many tools and software solutions available to help you manage every conceivable management function. From guest messaging to calendar synchronisation, the guest arrival process and changeover cleaning schedules, they can all help you save time on mundane tasks, increase your revenue and productivity and, ultimately, accelerate the growth of your business.
Here are 7 ways to help you achieve your goal.
1. Using dynamic pricing tools for Airbnb lettings
A clever pricing strategy can make all the difference to grow your holiday lettings business revenue. While you obviously want to remain competitive, it’s no good simply setting your rates lower in the hope of attracting more bookings. You may get some short-term gains but in the longer term you are likely to end up earning less than your competitors.
Enter dynamic pricing, which determines the optimum price per night for your Airbnb at any given time. Dynamic pricing tools have built-in algorithms that use market related data to analyse the most important criteria to automatically generate the best price for your Airbnb every 24 hours. You don’t have to do a thing.
2. Automating guest communication
Great guest communication is one of the key elements of success on the Airbnb platform. Reply to a booking enquiry quickly and get more reservations – easy! Your response rate to enquiries also helps to grant you Superhost status with Airbnb. Unfortunately, messaging guests and potential guests is one of the most time consuming tasks for property managers, and therefore something to work on with your Airbnb lettings.
Creating simple message templates is the first step to help you cut down on your time. Have a list of standard replies ready for all the major stages of the booking process (enquiry, booking confirmation, welcome message, thank you and review request) and save them somewhere easily accessible.
Use an autoresponder (Airbnb or your own email service provider) to set up automated messages for quick responses and better customer service. A simple personalised message can work wonders to show that you are a caring Airbnb host and include important information such as key exchange instructions, directions to the property, WiFi passwords, house rules, check-in/out policies and much more.
3. Streamlining rental agreements
Having your own customised Airbnb rental agreement in place creates greater clarity between you and your guest than Airbnb’s general terms and conditions can ever provide. There may be additional details that are important to your holiday home such as a swimming pool, fire pit or kids’ play equipment, or specific house rules that must be observed.
It is important to deal with this as early as possible in the bookings process, and to make it as hassle-free as is humanly possible. Don’t bother with hardcopies and manual signing of documents. There are plenty of software tools available to help you automate the task of sending, reminding and thanking your guests, using digital document sharing and pdf signing tools to streamline the entire process.
4. Providing automated check-in
The check-in process and key handover is another crunch point where a lot of management time can be needlessly wasted. While it would be nice to meet and greet every guest in person, this is simply not feasible if you have a professional property lettings portfolio.
Automating your check-ins can streamline your operations in various ways. Install secure key storage by using a lockbox or keysafe outside your property that is easily accessible but extremely safe. Tell your Airbnb guests where to find it and provide them with the access code. Electronic locks are an alternative option that do away with the need for keys altogether. You can even autogenerate a unique code for each guest. Smart locks offer the greatest security by allowing access via a wireless signal from a verified smartphone, providing a competitive advantage over other Airbnb lettings at the same time.
5. Installing smart home features
And speaking of smart features, installing internet connected amenities can be a clever way to gain a competitive advantage in a crowded property market where an enhanced guest experience will position your holiday rental a cut above the rest. From a management point of view, it can also help you save time and money.
Consider the installation of a smart meter that accurately records energy use and without you having to provide periodic readings, while allowing you to monitor the energy efficiency of your property. Couple this with a smart thermostat such as a Nest or Hive, so you can control your Airbnb’s heating remotely via a mobile phone app, and motion sensor lighting to help cut your electricity bill.
6. Generating positive reviews
Good reviews help you rank higher on Airbnb and attract more guests. The most successful hosting businesses put a lot of effort into growing their reviews and testimonials – both the ones they receive from guests and the ones they write about their visitors.
Unfortunately, guests tend to be more inclined to leave a review after a negative experience, so encouraging happy guests to leave a positive review is absolutely critical.
Airbnb hosts have 14 days after their guests check out to leave a review on the site – an easy thing to forget if you are managing multiple properties. To streamline your Airbnb lettings review writing function, compile a document with some standard formulations that you can reuse.
Google is full of great examples for 4 and 5 star reviews that you can save and tweak as needed, to save you the bother of writing your own reviews from scratch.
After working as a Business Growth Consultant for over a decade I developed my knowledge and experience extensively and now aim to establish myself as an expert in the field. I’ve contributed to a number of authoritative online resources which has given me the platform to share my voice with like-minded professionals.Writing independently enables a fantastic work-life balance, allowing me to travel and enjoy being a full-time Mum to my two amazing boys.