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How to optimize your Airbnb listings

Sep 16, 2019

You've heard it countless times—your success on Airbnb is determined by whether or not you play nice with the ranking algorithm. But what does that even mean?

When it comes down to it, Airbnb is basically a search engine that employs a ranking algorithm to determine what listings appear first when a guest searches for their perfect stay. Although Airbnb holds the exact algorithm under lock and key, they've revealed that it takes into account nearly 100 different factors when it's evaluating rankings.

Think of it like this for now:

When you go above and beyond in creating an exceptional experience, guests will reward you by (hopefully) leaving a 5-star review. When you go above and beyond in creating an exceptional listing and booking experience, Airbnb will reward you by boosting your listing in search results.

Here are 3 things you can do to optimize your listing right after reading this post:

Rewrite your listing title

Airbnb Listing Title

Does your listing title clearly communicate what a guest can expect? Is it enticing enough to receive a click? If you answered no to those questions, it's time to rewrite your title. Do a quick search for stays in your city and look at the listings that come up first. You'll likely see a lot of titles along the lines of location + adjective + amenities. Apply that same formula to your own listing title. If you're feeling stuck, here's a list of some descriptive words to get you started.

Improve your response rate

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The faster you respond to inquiries, the better you'll rank in searches. So go respond to those message! It's not always easy to respond to everything within Airbnb's preferred 24 hour window. We use a messaging automation tool to help us maintain our 99% response rate and within an hour response time.

Update your calendar daily

Airbnb Calendar Update

If you only list on Airbnb, you might see no reason to update your calendar. But Airbnb looks at frequent calendar updates as a sign of an active host. Here's a quick trick: go into your calendar and block off a single day as unavailable. Immediately go back into your calendar and make that same day available again. Now you've tricked the algorithm into labeling your calendar as “Updated today” and you'll be rewarded with a boost in your listing’s search position. Success!

There's no denying that pleasing the ranking algorithm matters, but you can't expect to be a lackluster host and still climb the Airbnb charts. In the end, remember that providing memorable guest experiences will reward you the most.


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Rabbu offers Airbnb management service for homeowners and property investors located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Connect with one of our team members to learn how you can earn more while working less.

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