Travel

How To Make An Airbnb Profile That'll Rake In The Cash

It's all in the details.
10/09/2015 09:18am ET | Updated October 9, 2015

Airbnb is a popular way to lodge, and it's easy enough for just about anyone with a little extra space to make some dough by renting through this site. But for someone just entering the Airbnb market now, there's a lot of steep competition. How are you supposed to get noticed, trusted and rented when others have been doing it for years and have hundreds of reviews? It's easy -- you just need the right profile, of course.

Airbnb itself is a good source of information for how to best present your rental property -- and yourself, because that's important too -- in your profile. In some locales, they even offer free professional photographs of your rental (which come with an Airbnb-verified watermark, a nice bonus). But it's also important to know what actual renters are looking for. That's what we have for you today: Eleven things that make all the difference in an Airbnb profile, from the perspective of a person looking to rent. Plus, a few great recommendations that a spokesperson at Airbnb shared with us.

1. Include a profile picture of yourself -- and make sure you have a shirt on. You might live on the beach and not even own a T-shirt, but wearing one for your profile shot is a good idea. It just makes you look a little more responsible, and when it comes to rentals we all want responsible. We also just want to know who we're renting from.

2. Include relevant information directly in the title of your listing, say the folks at Airbnb. That's how you get noticed right off the bat.

3. Be quick with a response and make sure it comes across as friendly. Even if that means sometimes having to use a 😃. These small interactions are the only thing renters have to judge you by, so a little personality goes a long way. (Emphasis on little here, you don't want to scare them off either by being overly friendly or, ahem, creepy.)

4. Mention that you have wifi, if you do. And clean towels. And coffee, tea, or whatever other goodies you're providing. Not everyone provides amenities like this, and this is important.

5. Take lots of photos, and show every room. Even if a room is small, or it's just an entry nook, renters want to know. Also, try to help renters understand the layout of the rental property through the photographs. The better they understand the place, the more likely they'll be happy with it when rented. (And leave a good review, which is what you really need.) If you can, take advantage of the Airbnb photographers.

6. Be a host. The folks at Airbnb have put together hospitality standards for those new to hosting that are super helpful. Check them out here.

7. Be sure you're verified. It's easy enough to do, but knowing that you've gone through the steps to prove that you're a trusted rental makes all the difference.

8. The folks at Airbnb suggest you update your calendar so that it highlights upcoming events and festivities in a simple and effective way to improve your search ranking. This will draw people to your location

6. Once you start getting reservations, don't make a habit of canceling -- and never do so less than a month before a guest's arrival. That kind of information, which shows up automatically in your reviews, is like the kiss of death on any renter's profile page. Airbnb recommends that "if a cancellation is unavoidable, make every effort to help guests find somewhere else to stay."

7. Offer lots of details about not just the place, but the neighborhood too. Details help your place stand apart, and they also let the renter know you care enough to take the time to share. This kind of thing will help you get rentals, which will eventually lead to reviews, which means more renters (if those reviews are good). So, with that in mind ...

8. Be sure to leave your renters thoughtful reviews so they leave thorough ones of you too -- this is everything. It doesn't take longer than a few minutes of your time, just do it.

9. Make sure you have more than 3 stars in cleanliness. No one wants to lodge in someone else's filth. No one.

1o. If it's loud, be honest that it can be noisy sometimes. People will share this information in the reviews and it makes you look like you're not being honest if you say it's quiet when its not.

11. Actually, be honest about any and all shortcoming of your rental. Sure, this might deter some renters. But some might not care that the bathroom is the size of a matchbox or that you're an eight-block walk to the action (as opposed to right in the thick of it). The more honest you are, the smaller chance that someone rents and is unhappy. Unhappy folks leave bad reviews, happy folks leave good ones. That's what it all comes down to.

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