How to Get Last Minute Airbnb Rental Bookings
Last-minute guests can be great news for your listing. They are likely to give you good ratings and referral business and more importantly they ensure that your property always has a 100% fill-rate. The problem? It can be precariously difficult to get last-minute bookings despite enabling the instant bookings option on Airbnb. It’s almost as if your potential last-minute guests are trying to find specific information before booking. If you’re wondering what that could be, we’ve created a brief checklist to help you attract more last-minute bookings.
Make Sure Your Listing is Search-Friendly
For many guests, the path to booking an Airbnb property, ironically, goes through other travel and hotel portals such as TripAdvisor, VRBO and FlipKey. There will always be guests who simply prefer using a search engine to find the best option for their stay, especially if they’re on an impromptu trip. In both cases, promoting your property on multiple platforms can be an effective way to ensure more visits to your listing.
However, if you are an individual managing all aspects of your property rental, it can be overwhelming to keep track of posting and promoting your listing on multiple portals. Using an automation-based service can help you update all the listings the moment there is any change in your pricing, availability, and amenities.
Pro-tip for making your listing search-friendly: Including unique aspects of your listing in reviews or property description can help with SEO. If you have a jacuzzi, for example, including it in the title of your listing can be a great way to make sure it gets ranked on the top in Google search. Reviews from your guests also contribute towards your SEO. Asking guests to mention your proximity from the business district could help you optimize it for guests searching for places in that area.
Dynamically Adjusting Pricing and Cut-Off Times
Airbnb recently reported that their platform has doubled same-day bookings by increasing the number of business and impromptu leisure travellers using the platform to book their stay. Broadly speaking, travellers using Airbnb tend to be sensitive to price. In fact, a Morgan & Stanley report estimates that about 53% of Airbnb guests value price over other features offered by the property owner. To successfully book these types of guests, your listing should offer the best value for money, without having to entice guests with massive discounts. You can gauge the pricing trends more effectively by working with platforms, such as Angel Host, that offer dynamic pricing services. Additionally, it’s helpful to offer maximum cut-off times so that your listing shows up for travellers at any given point in the day. For example, if the cut-off times for your listing end at 3 p.m., last-minute travellers trying to find a stay option even at 4 p.m., on the same day may not be able to find your listing, despite it being open for instant booking.
Boosting Credibility and Accuracy of Information
Most Airbnb guests tend to value the clarity and accuracy of the information presented in your listing. Regularly updating the amenities provided at your property, along with professional photos can make all the difference. If your listing is posted in multiple languages, that can also be an added benefit. A property that potential guests can read about in their own language definitely brings them one step closer to hitting “Book”. In a recent Neilsen survey, at least 35% of Chinese travellers polled listed “feeling welcomed” as a priority while traveling. To attract visitors from overseas, listings written in multiple languages could increase your booking rates.
Pro-tip for last-minute bookings: Getting “verified” on Airbnb using all of your social media accounts can also increase your booking rate. Guests feel more secure when they know that you are a genuine host, with verifiable Facebook or Twitter handles.
Be More Responsive to Incoming Queries
Roughly 60% of Airbnb users are millennials, who are used to an “Uberized” lifestyle, which makes the speed of your response an important factor when it comes to last-minute bookings. A great response-rate also helps you to earn and maintain the Superhost status. The obvious issue in improving your response rate to messages and requests is availability. This could be even more difficult if managing your rental property isn’t your full-time job. Automating messages using tools such as Porter is one way to tackle this problem. But most message automation tools need frequent updates, and savvy travellers know when they’re talking to a bot versus a real human. The recommended approach? Get a license for an automation tool, and outsource your messaging so that you never miss out on a last-minute rental opportunity.
Pro-tip on communicating with guests: Improving your overall communication strategy with the guests could also help you reach out to them after their stay, and following up with a request for them to write a review. Positive reviews can be instrumental in converting last-minute bookings and have an ancillary benefit of contributing towards your Superhost status.
With global tourism on the rise, and use of smartphones becoming ubiquitous, using a platform such as Airbnb could be the preferred way globetrotters book their stays in the future. Ensuring that your listing is discoverable on multiple portals and search engines, improving the trust-score of your listing with descriptions in multiple languages, and dynamically adjusting the price could be the winning formula to attract more last-minute bookings.