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Your property's curb appeal is one of the most important aspects of attracting guests and driving bookings on Airbnb. Studies show that guests form an impression of a rental in just a few seconds of seeing the exterior. A polished, welcoming exterior immediately captures their interest while a drab, unkempt one is more likely to have them click away. Curb appeal establishes trust and shows guests that your space is well-cared for.
Some savvy Airbnb hosts have seen bookings jump after small upgrades to their home's exterior. Sarah L., an Airbnb host in Nashville, TN, freshened up her 1940s bungalow with a new front door and statement planters flanking the entrance. "I noticed an uptick in bookings within a couple of weeks," she shared. Similarly, Mark R. gave his Chicago apartment exterior a facelift by repainting the front door, replacing burned out light bulbs, and installing stylish house numbers. "It was a small investment that really maximized the return," he said.
When evaluating your rental's curb appeal, focus on elements like the landscaping, exterior lighting, paint/siding, front door area, and overall cleanliness and condition. Overgrown bushes, peeling paint, and cluttered front steps give the impression no one is taking care of the property. Meanwhile, blooming flowers, fresh coats of paint, and decorative touches say "welcome."
Catering to your target guest demographic also boosts curb appeal. For a family-friendly rental, add fun features like chalkboard paint on the steps for kids to draw on or colorful planters that appeal to children. For a romantic getaway, lighting pathways with lanterns and positioning benches or chairs for two helps set the mood.
Ramp up curb appeal with these easy DIY ideas:
- Give the front door a makeover with a fresh coat of paint in an on-trend hue and new hardware
- Add flower boxes, pots, or planters and plant vibrant flowers, herbs, or greenery
- Install path lighting along walkways and steps
- Add stylish updates like monogrammed pillows, a new welcome mat, or unique house numbers
- Power wash siding, outdoor furniture, fences to remove dirt and grime
When listing your rental on Airbnb, professional photos are a must for capturing guests' attention and prompting bookings. Listings with professional photography see up to 30% more bookings than those without. Investing in pro real estate photography delivers images with optimal lighting, angles, and composition to highlight your space's best features.
"I used to just take photos with my phone. They were okay, but I wasn't getting many bookings," said Cindy F., an Airbnb host in Atlanta. "As soon as I hired a real estate photographer, my bookings tripled. Their photos made the space look bright, modern, and irresistible."
Professional photographers use high-quality cameras, lenses and editing tools to showcase properties at their best. They know how to avoid distortion, eliminate clutter in frame, and frame shots to optimize lighting and dimensions. For example, they typically advise not shooting bathrooms head-on to avoid making them look smaller. Off-center shots at angles open up the space.
Staging is another hallmark of pro real estate photography. Photographers suggest decluttering to highlight aesthetics and may bring in stylish decor to help the space shine. "Simple touches like flowers, candles, books, and throw pillows went a long way," said Gary D., an Airbnb host in Denver who hired a pro photographer. "It made my rental look like a luxurious boutique hotel."
When looking through prospective photographers' portfolios, seek examples that align with your rental's style. For a modern high-rise, sleek and bright images capture the vibe. For a cozy cabin, warmer lighting and natural elements like wood and stone set the tone.
Photographers typically charge $150-$500 per shoot, depending on factors like location, size, and image package. While not cheap, quality photos deliver ROI through increased bookings. Hosts also emphasize the one-time investment. "Unlike staging, I don't have to redo photography every year," Gary said.
Identifying and catering to a specific niche is one of the most effective strategies for Airbnb success. With over 6 million listings worldwide, standing out in the crowd requires laser focusing your rental on a target demographic.
Consider what type of travelers would be attracted to your particular space and amenities. For a modern high-rise condo, business travelers and couples seeking an urban getaway may be ideal. Families are more likely to book a suburban home with a backyard. Lean into highlighting details that make your rental perfect for your niche.
"I outfitted my basement apartment with amenities targeted at female solo travelers - fluffy bathrobes, candles, books by female authors," said Airbnb host Jennifer T. in Portland. "Bookings from this demographic increased 30%."
Meanwhile, Gary M. in Dallas transformed his guest house into a mecca for golf enthusiasts. "I added golf magazines, displayed vintage clubs and balls, and even a putting green outdoors," he said. "It really resonates with golfers."
When shaping your listing, consider niche keywords to attract searchers. For family rentals, highlight terms like "kid-friendly," "family-sized," or "children's toys." For travelers seeking solitude, use "peaceful," "quiet," and "serene."
Keep niche members engaged with special touches just for them. Family-friendly rentals could offer snacks for kids, toys, and homey decor. Travelers seeking R&R might appreciate yoga mats, meditative music, and plush spa robes.
Local attractions or activities popular with your niche provide natural marketing hooks. A Dallas rental could highlight proximity to top golf courses. A beach listing for families could call out kid-friendly seafood restaurants and amusement parks.
While tempting, avoid trying to be everything for everyone. Stick with your specialty. "I found catering to business travelers to be too limiting. I switched to 'girls getaway' and instantly saw my bookings improve," said Gina D., Airbnb host in Nashville.
Pricing is one of the most important factors for maximizing your Airbnb income, yet many hosts simply opt for round numbers or compare to a few similar listings. Savvy hosts know optimizing pricing based on data insights can make a big difference.
Airbnb"s built-in price tips tool provides a great starting point by analyzing your listing"s details, location, and seasonal demand. However, hosts using dynamic pricing powered by data achieve even better optimization.
"I tested out Beyond Pricing which uses an algorithm to adjust prices daily based on many factors," said Airbnb host Leo T. in Miami. "I saw an immediate jump - my annual revenue increased by 22%."
Dynamic pricing services gather extensive data on market conditions, events, seasonal changes, and even factors like weather to determine ideal daily rates. For example, prices may rise mid-week when occupancy is typically lower to take advantage of a nearby festival driving demand. Weekend prices could dip if the forecast calls for rain.
No matter what service you use, Leo emphasizes the importance of testing. "I tried out a few different services and found Beyond Pricing increased my rates without deterring bookings," he said.
Fine-tuning your pricing settings rather than relying on round numbers also pays off. Airbnb"s research found listings priced at 99 cents saw a boost in bookings compared to rounded numbers. Odd numbers suggest a competitive rate based on real figures rather than a random pick.
"I have to net at least $100 a night after expenses to make it worthwhile," said host Sabrina C. in Los Angeles. Tracking her numbers ensured rates covered costs but still attracted bookings.
"I can charge more for my downtown condo than suburbs since I"m walking distance to restaurants and shops," Sabrina said. "But I still rely on data to optimize within that range."
Reviews make or break Airbnb listings. With reviews driving guest decisions, a five-star rating is essential. Yet hosts can"t control reviews. The key is encouraging great experiences that inspire rave reviews.
"I learned early on to ask every guest for feedback on how to improve," said Michelle K., Airbnb host in San Diego. "Then I work hard to implement their suggestions."
Michelle takes pride in her 100% five-star rating. She credits constantly fine-tuning based on reviews. When guests asked for more towels, she stocked extras. A family wanted childproofing, so she installed safety latches and outlet covers. Her immaculate review score proves responding to feedback works.
Other hosts use reviews to identify amenities that attract bookings. "I noticed guests kept mentioning how much they loved my record player and vinyl collection," said Tom D., Airbnb host in Austin. He expanded his collection based on popular music genres noted. Listing the records and record player in his amenities boosted bookings from music lovers.
While reviews hold power, hosts should focus on the overall guest experience, not just the review itself. "I provide my favorite local coffee, snacks, and a handwritten welcome note," said host Anna S. in Savannah. "The review is just a happy byproduct of creating a great stay."
Anna"s small gestures set the stage for 5-star reviews. When guests arrive to thoughtful touches, they"re already wowed. A guide to the space encourages proper use to prevent issues. Giving her number for questions makes guests comfortable. Anna creates such a positive experience that great reviews naturally follow.
Leveraging reviews may include responding professionally to any less-than-five-star ratings. "I apologized for the guest"s experience and how I"ll improve going forward," said Bob C., Airbnb host in Nashville. His thoughtful reply showed guests he cared, improving perceptions.
Savvy Airbnb hosts know that going above and beyond with extra touches and amenities can truly transform a guest"s experience from ordinary to extraordinary. While a clean, comfortable space is the foundation, special additions customize each stay, delight guests, and inspire enthusiastic reviews.
"I love thinking of small extra touches to make my guests smile," says Airbnb host Laura P. of Minneapolis. "It doesn"t have to cost much but really enhances their visit." Laura leaves fancy chocolate truffles in her rentals along with a note for guests to enjoy. She also provides? high-end shampoo, conditioner and body wash in the showers, noting how much travelers appreciate these little luxuries when away from home. Soft robes in the bedrooms add a spa-like touch.
Outside her downtown apartment, Laura added a bistro table with chairs nestled in a corner nook. "It"s a perfect spot for morning coffee or a nightcap, with a lovely view of the neighborhood," she shares. "Guests constantly remark how much they love it in reviews."
Similarly, Airbnb host Rafael G. of Miami welcomes guests with a complimentary bottle of wine or Prosecco and branded stemless glasses they can use. "It makes it feel festive, like they"re on vacation." He also provides beach bags stocked with sunscreen, hats, sunglasses and water bottles to hit the sand in style.
Tech-savvy host Trevor J. installed voice assistants in his Dallas loft to control lighting, music and climate. "Guests love adding a song or dimming lights with a simple command," he says. He also sets up curated local playlists on the smart TV system for guests to enjoy with the superior sound system. "Music is a universal language!"
Host Joanna B. of Charleston finds guests appreciate her homemade lavender sachets. "I sew little bags filled with fragrant lavender from my garden. Tucking them in drawers and closets makes the whole rental smell wonderful." Joanna also brings in live plants and flowers to liven up the space. "I change them out seasonally to keep things looking fresh."
From smart home gadgets to flowers and wine, hosts get creative with extras. But simple gestures also go far. "I leave personalized welcome letters and provide my cell number in case they need anything," shares Airbnb host Henry W. of Austin. He stocks the fridge with snacks and beverages tailored to each guest"s preferences. "It"s just being hospitable, but guests really appreciate it."
Savvy Airbnb hosts know the importance of keeping up with the latest trends and styles to attract guests. An on-trend, fashionable rental stands out and prompts more bookings from style-conscious travelers. By refreshing your space to align with what"s hot right now, you demonstrate your listing offers a modern, stylish stay.
Los Angeles host Alicia T. gave her mid-century home an update inspired by the return of "70s style. "I brought in chairs with curved silhouettes, rattan and cane textures, and a warm neutral palette of taupes and tans," she said. "It gives my home a fresh, retro-chic look reflecting current trends." Listings with keywords like "boho," "mid-century" and "retro" saw a spike after her revamp.
Similarly, Tyler J. in Austin noted industrial style trending. "I capitalized on the craze for exposed brick and piping by spotlighting those details," he said. Swapping dated furnishings for sleek leather and steel played up the on-trend aesthetic. Mentioning the unit"s "urban loft" vibe in his listing yielded more tech and creative professional bookings.
For hosts unsure where to start, Pinterest provides inspiration on emerging styles. Airbnb"s annual trend report also predicts upcoming trends like "green" eco-conscious decor and multigenerational travel. However, tailor trends to your specific market and property. A modern high-rise appeals to different guests than a cozy cottage.
Rather than completely redesigning, integrate trends through accessory upgrades. "I maintained my mid-century modern furnishings but brought in curvy elements like a round coffee table, orb lighting and oval planters," Alicia said of refreshing her space. Swapping dated art and accents for on-trend alternatives keeps the integrity while modernizing.
If reconstruction isn"t possible, spotlight existing details aligning with trends. "I created an accent wall showcasing the great exposed brick chimney that matches industrial chic style," Tyler explained. Styling furniture to feature those attributes calls them out for guests.
Customization for an emerging niche lends trend appeal. "I upgraded amenities for plant lovers like myself," said Terri F., an Airbnb host in Miami. Vintage watering cans, a herb garden and plant styling added flair. Her bookings from plant and nature enthusiasts blossomed.
Finally, limited edition collaborations tap into buzzy trends. Airbnb"s designer collections allow hosts to integrate specially curated furnishing collections. Recent partnerships include Dolly Parton"s Southern flair, Nkuku"s bohemian chic and Hong Kong designer Kelly Wearstler"s contemporary pieces. These exclusive collections align spaces with coveted limited releases.
"I highlight that my historic home is walking distance to the city's most popular sites," said host Veronica T. of Charleston, SC. She lists area attractions like waterfront parks, art galleries and horse-drawn carriage tours that guests can reach on foot. "I get tons of bookings from sightseers who don't want to deal with parking downtown."
Similarly, Airbnb host Ryan G. in Denver emphasizes his place sits right at the base of the Rocky Mountains. "It's perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who want trailhead access right out the door," he explained. He pitches the location for skiers, hikers and mountain bikers. Proximity to those activities drives bookings.
For beach rentals, hosts underscore access and views. "I make sure to include shots of the ocean from my deck. It's truly steps to the sand," said host Jennifer S. of Myrtle Beach. She notes the rental's perfect spot to enjoy both sunrise and sunset over the water.
Urban rentals highlight sought-after amenities like walkability. "I'm located downtown in a trendy neighborhood packed with shops, restaurants, bars and cafes," said Chris W., Airbnb host in Portland. He calls out favorite area eateries by name that guests can walk to effortlessly.
Rentals near major events or venues optimize bookings by touting proximity. "When there's a big concert, festival or conference, I highlight how close I am," explained Austin host Leo T. During SXSW, he pitches musicians wanting convenience. For UT football weekends, he notes his place is ideal for fans going to the game.
Easy airport access is another prized perk. "I'm only 10 minutes to the airport, perfect for business travelers and flight crews," said host Monique D. in Atlanta. She proactively offers airport pickup for a fee since her proximity makes it convenient.
For family-friendly rentals, kid-approved proximity matters most. "I emphasize walking distance to parks, playgrounds, mini golf and the boardwalk," said Myrtle Beach host Ashley T. She notes the best ice cream and pizza joints that are quick jaunts.
Proximity to attractions that align with your niche is key. A Napa rental can tout neighboring vineyards and tasting rooms. A beach listing highlights seaside activities like surfing and fishing. Urban rents can call out bars, shows and shops.
Keeping your Airbnb updated with fresh paint, furnishings, and decor is one of the best ways to attract new guests and delight repeat customers. Travelers want to feel like they"re stepping into a beautiful oasis, not a stale or dated rental. Savvy hosts make refreshes and updates part of their ongoing maintenance plan.
"I repaint interior spaces every two years to keep things looking bright and clean," shares host Veronica S. of Austin, TX. "Neutrals like warm white, beige and light gray work well for a tranquil vibe." Veronica updates bedding, pillows and lamps seasonally to inject new hues and patterns. In spring, floral and green accents freshen up her space while cozy textures add warmth in winter.
"It"s amazing what a little paint and few new throw pillows can do for refresh," says Airbnb host Leo T. in Portland. "I pick my accent colors based on forecasted top paint palettes that year. I know guests will appreciate the modern, trendy look." Leo also hangs updated art prints from Etsy each season to introduce fresh wall decor.
Airbnb host Jennifer F. in Charleston likes to tweak her mid-century modern furnishings by painting frames, side tables or consoles on-trend colors. "I"ll do muted pinks, greens and blues on a rotating basis. A fresh coat updates vintage pieces." For bigger refreshes, Jennifer scopes local vintage shops for "new" scoring side chairs or unique lamps to swap in. "It keeps my look current while retaining the retro vibe my guests love."
In the kitchen, host Tyler H. of Denver rotates out small appliances every couple of years to provide the latest gadgets. A smart coffee maker, voice assistant, or air fryer adds high-tech appeal. He also updates dishes and glassware to on-trend styles. "Right now, my guests love using the mod striped ceramic mugs and geo-patterned plates I found at HomeGoods."
To appeal to traveling families, host Sabrina C. of Orlando updates toys and books every six months. "Kids grow and change interests so fast. I check ratings and reviews to identify popular new toys and swap those in." She peruses Scholastic book order forms for the latest hot titles as well. Refreshing her selection keeps kids excited to visit.
For outdoor spaces, simple refresh ideas help hosts like Chris W. of San Diego keep his courtyard inviting. "I use stencils and chalk paint to update my patio furniture every season," he says. New throw pillows and plants liven up the space as well. He also swaps out rugs and hanging lights periodically for fresh flavor.