In the Airbnb world, searching for your own listing as a guest would is the equivalent to ‘Googling yourself’ – and we’ve all done it. In fact, far from a vacant exercise, it’s actually a great way to check up on competition in order to ensure a healthy flow of guests through your door. And as we’re creatures of convenience, the higher your listing ranks in the search results, the more likely you are to get a booking, no matter how lovely your parquet floors and original features! So, how do you pull your listing to the top of the search results? The answer is communication. Communication is key.
Climbing the ranks
Airbnb’s search ranking algorithm is based on a number of things, but host responsiveness is one of the biggest factors. There are two factors that Airbnb look for: response time, and response rate. Having a 100% response rate, and fast response times, will send you soaring to the top of the list, but did you know that neglecting an enquiry for 24 hours will cause your average response rate to drop? Even more scary is the fact that you could even have your account shut down if you ignore an enquiry for 2 days! It may sound like a lot of effort to keep on top of your inbox, but lucky for you we’ve done the hard work: demystifying the ranking mystery. All you need to do is ensure your phone’s always on you, with email alerts set to loud, and that you respond in a friendly, helpful manner as soon as you hear that satisfying ping!
Guests aren’t just chatty before booking, either. Once they’ve committed, they’ll be full of excited questions: when can they arrive? How will they check out? Will there be milk? And as a dutiful host, deserving of a great review after their stay, you’ll need to be on top of these messages too – responses in-stay have just as much impact on your response rate. This means you’ll need to be armed with the facts, and answering questions in a timely manner, should you wish to rank highly and achieve a 5* rating.
Unfortunately, it’s not always appropriate to whip out your phone and begin typing replies to curious guests. Most board rooms frown on that type of thing, and though we can’t quite understand why, not all long-haul flights have wifi yet. But wait, there’s hope! Any Airbnb management service worth its salt (hint hint) will offer an inbox management solution, and as well as guaranteeing to answer all communication in a timely manner (maintaining your well-earned 100% response rate and fast response speed), they’re experts in their field. This means their replies, both before guests book and during guest stays, will charm visitors’ socks off while answering any and all questions. And naturally, this goes a long way towards securing 5* reviews once they’ve checked out! You can read more about our inbox management service here.