Since it was founded in 2008, Airbnb has taken the travel world by storm. It offers accommodation options you’ve never thought possible. With more than 2 million listings though, how do you find the perfect place? Quora users suggest some great hacks not only for when you want to rent, but also for when you want to rent out your own place and make a few extra bucks. We’ve got hacks for Airbnb guests first, followed by Airbnb host hacks.
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1. For Guests: Look for Hosts With Profile Pictures
Hosts who show their face in their profile picture usually don’t have anything to hide. The ones who want to remain anonymous may not have permission to rent out the property.
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2. Look for Listings with Good Photographs
This shows that the host is proud of their property. Also, if they’ve taken the time to take good photos of their property, they’ll probably take the time to take care of those little details that will ensure a comfortable stay.
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3. Look for Details
Hosts who provide lots of details about the property have put some thought into it and are serious about hosting.
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4. Read the Bad Reviews
Reviews will tell you a lot about the property and bad reviews will warn you about potential problems. While a bad review doesn’t necessarily mean a bad host, the way that the host responds to the review will tell you what kind of person you’re dealing with.
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5. Look for Hosts Who Are Active on the Site
Hosts who respond quickly, who have 100% response rates and who have up-to-date calendars are invested in renting out their property and are more likely to take care of the details.
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6. Look at the Hosts’ Interests
Read potential hosts’ profiles to see what their interests are. Hosts who love cooking, for instance, will probably have better equipped kitchens while those who love reading might just have shelves full of books that you can read on lazy days.
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7. Contact the Host with Specific Questions
To avoid disappointment, ask your host for specifics, for instance how fast the Wi-fi is. This is also a way to get to know the host beforehand.
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8. Look for Discounted Rates for Longer Stays
If you’re planning on staying a while, look for discounted rates either in the description or by checking the monthly rates that appear in your search results.
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9. Haggle Wisely
The best way to negotiate a lower rate is to make the host feel that you’ll be doing them a favour by staying at their property. For example, mention that you’ve noticed they don’t have any bookings for the time you’re planning on visiting. Keep it light and respectful, though.
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10. Look at the House Rules
Hosts often post house rules because they want their property to remain in tip-top shape. Too many rules, however, may make for a less relaxing stay.
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11. Use Wish Lists
A great way to narrow down your search is to do a Google search that includes the search term ‘Airbnb wish list’. You can add the destination, for example ‘Vancouver Airbnb wish list’, or you can add the specific type of accommodation you want, such as ‘castles Airbnb wish list’.
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12. Be Respectful
If you treat your host and the property with respect, you’ll get good reviews. This will make future bookings easier.
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13. For Hosts: Highlight the Things That Make Your Property Unique
You need your property to stand out from the rest, so tell potential guests what it is that you offer that your competitors don’t. Give your property some personality.
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14. Highlight the Things That Will Appeal to the Kind of Guest You Want
To attract a certain type of guest, think about what it is they’d be looking for in a rental and highlight these features if you offer them. For example, if you want to attract digital nomads, you need to let them know that you offer fast, reliable internet and a quiet workspace.
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15. Make Your Price Competitive
Check similar listings in your area and make your price a little lower, even as much as 20% below the average. Once you’ve racked up the good reviews, you can raise your price.
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16. Link Your Property Description to Upcoming Events
People often book Airbnb properties for specific events and you are more likely to attract guests during those times if you can say, for example, that your property is within walking distance to a big concert.
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17. Keep it Clean
If you want to attract quality guests, you need to offer them quality and above all cleanliness. This goes not only for the day your guests will arrive but also during their stay.
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18. Take Care of the Little Things
Thoughtful little gestures will impress your guests and are likely to earn you great reviews. These can be anything from handwritten notes about the lay-out of the property and how to use the appliances to a print-out of great restaurants in the area.
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19. Use Social Media
Link your listing to social media, for example by posting great photographs of the property on Instagram and tagging Airbnb.
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20. Become a Superhost
Superhosts are more likely to attract bookings. To become one, you need to have hosted at least 10 trips, maintained a minimum response rate of 90%, had at least 80% five-star reviews and completed every reservation in the course of a year.