Setting Up Your Airbnb Listing

Creating a high-quality Airbnb listing is one of the most important parts of running a successful short-term rental business. Having a well-written description, flattering photos, and an appropriate rental price can make or break your listing's success.

Here's how to create an optimal Airbnb listing for your vacation rental.

Beginning with the Basics

As you might suspect, the journey to create an Airbnb listing begins on Airbnb.com. From the home page, click on "Airbnb your home" in the upper right-hand corner. This will take you to a page inviting you to input your location and available living space to create an estimate for potential earnings.

From this page, click on the "Airbnb Setup" icon (once again located in the upper right-hand corner). This will prompt you to provide essential information for setting up an account, such as a phone number or login credentials for Facebook, Google, Apple ID, or email.

After verifying your information to create an account, you'll be prompted to either get matched with an Airbnb Superhost (which is an experienced host who can provide setup and listing creation advice via video chat or direct messaging) or set up your listing on your own.

Once you've made a selection, Airbnb will provide you with a form to complete. This form records the most pertinent information about your potential listing, such as the type of property (Apartment, House, etc.), how much space you plan to rent out (such as "Entire Place" vs. a specific "Private Room"), how many guests your space can safely and comfortably accommodate, and your property's exact address.

Setting the Right Rental Price

A major part of creating an Airbnb listing is setting the correct price for a rental booking. Resist the twin temptations of setting the price either as high as possible (which could deter prospects from booking with you when there are cheaper options available) or as low as can be (which could cut into your profit margins by quite a bit!).

Airbnb will provide an automatic calculation (or you can try our calculator) for your approximate price range, taking into account metrics such as available space and location relative to your local short-term rental market. While you might not always want to rely solely on Airbnb's recommendations, it doesn't hurt to follow their auto-generated advice at the start.

Generally, you should price your listing on the lower end of the spectrum until you've secured at least a few successful bookings. Lower prices will attract paying guests whose (hopefully!) positive reviews will boost your listing's rankings, making it more feasible for you to increase your rental price as appropriate.

Keep pricing simple when first setting up your Airbnb listing. Over time you'll get a better feel for your local market and your property's performance, at which time you can branch out into using features such as weekly or monthly discounts, early-bird discounts, and more.

Establishing Your Booking Rules and Policies

Airbnb automatically includes certain baseline requirements for all guests who book through the platform. However, you as the host have the option to add extra booking requirements and rules ("house rules," essentially). You can also let guests know things such as whether your Airbnb property listing includes parking or whether pets are permitted (though bear in mind any laws regarding the accommodation of service animals for the latter point).

Airbnb gives its hosts considerable leeway in determining individual booking rules and policies. For example, you can choose from a wide variety of cancellation policies (from flexible to non-refundable and everything in between), turn on the "Instant Book" option for automatically accepting bookings from guests who meet certain thresholds (such as ID verification), and more.

You can also allow or prohibit various forms of smoking (from traditional tobacco smoking to e-cigarettes and vapes), choose whether or not to allow events on your property, and limit the maximum number of guests allowed on-site.

Just remember that any rules you set must comply with local laws and regulations, so check out your city or township's ordinances before setting your booking policies! 

Listing Amenities and Perks

Amenities are one of the biggest draws for potential Airbnb guests, so make sure to be as clear and up-front about any unique perks that your vacation home may have. Be as thorough as you can to give guests the full picture. Everything from kitchen appliances to workspaces and central heating can sway a guest, so be sure to include it in the listing!

Apart from letting potential customers know what safety and convenience amenities your rental home has to offer, you can also provide additional information to make their stay easier. For instance, by creating a guestbook for your listing, you can share recommendations to enhance your guests' stay.

Providing clear directions to your property, information in a house manual to help guests make full use of your home's amenities (including Wi-fi), and instructions for your check-in procedure will all make life easier for your guests and provide for a better experience.

Creating a Gorgeous Listing

Many of the pieces that contribute to a good Airbnb listing are a matter of simple nuts and bolts: filling out the right information, being thorough, and so on. When it comes to crafting an eye-catching description with good photos, however, you'll have to be more creative.

During the listing creation process, Airbnb will prompt you to upload photos of your vacation rental property, give your listing a title, and write out a brief yet helpful description. Each of these factors can either help your listing stand out or make it look indistinguishable from your competition.

All of your photos, especially the first five you upload, are vital for creating a positive impression that makes guests want to click on your listing and learn more. Use a high-quality camera (or at least a smartphone's camera at its highest resolution) to take current photos.

Show off any unique decorations or design features of the property. The biggest thing is to take clear photos that put your listing in the best light.

When drafting a title, remember that you only have 50 characters (NOT words) to make your listing "pop" to interested prospects. Use pleasant-sounding yet evocative adjectives, plus vital keywords that will attract the type of clientele you're looking for. The title should make your property sound special!

Finally, the description of your listing gives you a maximum of 500 characters to show off your unique personality, the particular amenities of your property, highlights of the local neighborhood, and more. Once again, include relevant keywords and phrases, but also be sure to add a lot of color instead of just dry details.

Deciding on Your Hosting Calendar

Once you've completed the initial set-up for your Airbnb listing, you'll need to determine how often you plan to host guests at your short-term rental property. You'll also need to decide how much advance notice to require before guest arrival, length of stay, and more.

If you already know specific dates when your vacation rental property won't be available, you'll need to flip through your digital calendar and block off those days in advance. Once you've updated the calendar, your listing will be ready to accept bookings on the dates you've indicated are available.

Finishing Touches for Your Airbnb Listing

And that's about it! Once you've taken all of these steps, your listing should be ready to start killing it on the Airbnb marketplace.

With that being said, there are certain steps you can take to boost your ranking and earn more profitable bookings. For instance, using a dynamic pricing tool after you've netted a few successful bookings can help maximize the profitability of your listing, and promoting your Airbnb property on social media can further spread the word about your rental home.

As you become more experienced with the Airbnb listing process, you'll be able to decide which parts of the process you'd like to do yourself and which parts you'd prefer to outsource to vacation rental management experts.

Contact Us Today!

Ready to start earning on Airbnb? Contact the property management team at Vello to find out how much we can do for your Airbnb business today!

If you have any questions feel free to ask

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