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How to Get More Renters: 13 Ways to Optimize Your Airbnb Listings 

Optimizing your Airbnb listing for search engines will ensure it ranks high on the first page of listings, leading to more clicks and bookings.

Luke Babich //September 5, 2023//

How to Get More Renters: 13 Ways to Optimize Your Airbnb Listings 

Optimizing your Airbnb listing for search engines will ensure it ranks high on the first page of listings, leading to more clicks and bookings.

Luke Babich //September 5, 2023//

If your real estate investment portfolio includes one or more Airbnb listings, chances are good you’ll want them to have as much rental traffic as possible. But with more people renting out their homes and spare rooms, how can you make your listing stand out in the crowded short-term rental market? Optimizing your Airbnb listing for search engines will ensure it ranks high on the first page of listings, leading to more clicks and bookings. Whether you’re an experienced real estate investor or listing an Airbnb as a part-time gig, here are 13 ways to optimize your Airbnb listings.

READ: Promote Your Real Estate Business — 5 Best Digital Marketing Strategies

1. Start with the right property

If you’ve not yet purchased a rental property, take the time to consider which one has the largest potential return on investment. Some investors look for condos or townhouses, while others focus on single-family homes. Others may even buy properties from a real estate wholesaler. Whatever property you want to buy, ask a real estate agent to complete a comparative market analysis so you know you’re not overpaying.

2. Give it a name

The title of your listing may seem insignificant, but it’s the first thing potential guests read. Make sure it’s eye-catching and unique. Focus on a specific element of the property that makes it stand out from others nearby.

3. Take great pictures

You don’t need to be a professional photographer, but photos are a critical part of your listing. Make sure the rental is clean and uncluttered, then take as many pictures as you can of the property, the location and any outdoor areas. 

Select the four best photos, and move them to the top of your listing. These will appear on the thumbnail.

READ: 8 Strategies for Weathering Real Estate Market Volatility for Investors

4. Focus on the description

What is unique about your property? What makes it the best choice for guests staying in your area? Perhaps it’s a great place to unwind, or maybe it’s perfect for large family vacations. Chances are good your rental won’t be for everyone, so identify your target renter and tailor your description to their needs.

5. List specific amenities

Adding your property’s specific amenities, such as gym equipment or breakfast supplies, is critical, especially if your rental isn’t in a “prime” location. This information can help make your listing more attractive and appeal to people who are searching for specific amenities.

At a minimum, you’ll need to supply what Airbnb calls “essential amenities,” including bedding, towels, toilet paper, and pillows. The more boxes you can check off under the amenities section, the better your listing looks and the more Airbnb likes it.

6. Be clear on the price

Price matters to travelers on a budget and to Airbnb. If you’re just starting out, look at similar successful listings near you. Consider starting your price 20% lower to attract renters, gradually decreasing this difference with each five-star review you receive. If you’re more than 80% booked a month ahead of time, your price is too low. If you have fewer than 50% of nights booked in the same period, it’s too high.

READ: How to Reduce Real Estate Investment Risks — 12 Expert Tips

7. Respond promptly

If a guest contacts you, responding within 12 hours makes it more likely they will book. In fact, the most consistently booked properties have a response time of an hour or less.

8. Be flexible

Cancellation policies across Airbnb range from flexible to strict. In the beginning, opt for a flexible policy, especially if you’re renting to families. You can always change your policy as your listing becomes more popular, but starting with the most lenient cancellation policy makes you more attractive to guests and Airbnb’s ranking algorithm.

9. Use instant booking

Homeowners renting rooms in their house might want to screen potential guests, but for those who are renting an entire unit, make sure Instant Booking is on. This allows guests to book without contact, and it’s a favorite feature of Airbnb. Your listing will likely drop in the rankings if you turn it off.

READ: Identifying Emerging Real Estate Markets — Key Indicators for Lucrative Investments

10. Consider discounts

The more nights your rental is filled, the more money you’ll make. Consider offering weekly and monthly discounts to improve both your search ranking and your bottom line.

11. Get verified

In addition to adding a host introduction that includes a description of you and a photo, become a verified host by uploading a government-issued ID. This security feature provides guests with peace of mind.

12. Review guests

At the end of each stay, Airbnb gives hosts the opportunity to review their guests and vice versa. Good reviews are what help a listing stand out and attract more visitors. Reviews are also a type of rental data that can help you improve your property and increase your profit.

13. Know when it’s time to get out

If you’ve struggled for years to make money on an Airbnb rental with no success, it may be time to sell your house and invest elsewhere. For new investors, it’s better to find a real estate agent and get out while you’re still breaking even than to hold on and lose money.


Screen Shot 2021 12 28 At 113128 AmLuke Babich is the Co-Founder of Clever Real Estate, a real estate education platform committed to helping home buyers, sellers and investors make smarter financial decisions. Luke is a licensed real estate agent in the State of Missouri and his research and insights have been featured on BiggerPockets, Inman, the LA Times and more.