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Tips for Maximizing Occupancy Rates in your Short-Term Rental

Updated: Feb 26, 2023

The recent rise of platforms like Airbnb and VRBO combined with the increased popularity of short term rental real estate investing tells us the supply of vacation rentals is on an upwards trajectory. Recent data backs this up, indicating that even as the growing supply trend matures, nights listed will grow by 9% in 2023.

With an increase in supply, competition for bookings has become fierce for both short term property owners and managers. In this landscape, how does one maximize occupancy and profitability? In this blog, we’ll go over a handful of tips to help you do just that:

1. Optimize your listing.

  • Use high quality photos to ensure your property shines. They can be shot on an iPhone but be sure to capture well-lit photos captured with a landscape orientation. According to a study by FlipKey, guests are 83% more likely to book your short-term rental if it has at least 20 high quality photos.

  • Highlight your best amenities. We don’t just mean mentioning a pool or strong wifi. Elements of your property that you might not even see as an amenity are often some of the key factors guests are searching for. For example, if your property has a driveway, free parking is an easy amenity to mention. In fact, it's listed as one of the top ten amenities guests search for on Airbnb.

2. Outsource additional services.

  • Hire a reliable cleaning team. A stellar housekeeping service can be a gamechanger for your short term rental. Vet your team carefully to ensure they can be trusted to get the job done well in between each and every booking. Separately, consider putting together your own deep cleaning check-list to be completed on a quarterly or annually basis to ensure your property is truly pristine.

  • Partner with an on-demand trash removal service. Guests hate being left a chores list, especially one that includes dragging trash to the curb. Our team specializes in supporting short-term rentals, offering on-demand trash pick-up guests can request themselves throughout their stay as needed with an easy QR code. An investment in these services eliminates the potential for bitter reviews that in turn, further hurt your property’s profitability.

3. Be responsive and proactive in communication.

  • Create preformulated messages to increase speed and consistency in replies. A quick response from a host is a great way to increase bookings (and overall occupancy rate). Type out answers to the questions you get most from guests and add them as saved messages to share easily with your next lead. You can even build personalized scheduled messages on Airbnb to be sent to guests at certain points in their stay like check-in and check-out.

  • Generate as many positive reviews as possible. This last tip may seem like a no brainer but you’d be surprised how many short term rental property owners and managers miss out on the opportunity for a positive review. A great way to get the ball rolling is to leave your review of the guest first as an additional prompt for them to leave their feedback. The more positive reviews, the better your visibility will be and in turn your occupancy rate and overall profitability!

In conclusion, operating a short-term rental property can be a great way to earn income, but it's important to make sure that your property is consistently booked in order to maximize profitability. By keeping in mind these tips, you can consider how you might optimize your listing, incorporate additional services and up your communication skills. Questions? You know where to find us:

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