Airbnb Hosting Catch 22: How to get guests when you have no ratings or reviews
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Airbnb Hosting Catch 22: How to get guests when you have no ratings or reviews


Ah there’s a nasty little catch-22 as an Airbnb host, so if you’re new to Airbnb or you’re thinking about becoming an Airbnb host, or even if you’ve been an Airbnb hosts for a long time there is a catch 22 and that is; you need to get guests to get good ratings and reviews so that you can get more guests, right?! But how do you get those guests if you have no ratings and reviews? Well that’s the topic of today’s a very first episode of Hosting with Heart, I’m Jackie bernardi – I am an Airbnb super host, I have a 100% 5-star rating and I’ve been hosting since 2013. A lot has changed during the years, but a few things have remained the same and that is – starting off with a solid foundation with Airbnb is going to do EVERYTHING to help improve your income. All right so I have some notes with me today like I said this is the very first episode and I am so thrilled you’re here i’m going to go over five ways that you can get guests or help improve your odds of getting us to come to your place even if you’ve just listed okay so the reason why this is important is obvious the more guests and ratings that you get particularly the higher ratings that you get the more you’ll stand out in Airbnb’s algorithm. Now everything we work with today has an algorithm right and so who knows what’s actually in Airbnbs algorithm just like who knows what’s in facebook ad’s algorithm no one knows, but I will say this Airbnb does a couple of neat things especially for new hosts So I don’t know if you know this or not but in the first five weeks or so of being an Airbnb host they give you a boost in their algorithm right which means that it’s likely you’ll show up in front of people’s eyeballs that they search for the particular area that you live in or the dates that you have available or the type of properties that you have right and that’s fantastic and they do that for about five weeks and whether or not you get a lot of guests you typically get a lot of activities meaning people landing on your site wanting to stay at your property maybe or just checking you out and they’re checking you out again because you showed up in their feet when they were searching well this goes on for about five weeks and then and it’s pretty dramatic but when that stops and when they remove the label of new from your listing unless you have built up a number of guests with a number of ratings and so on what happens is it drops off pretty quickly so what we’re going to do today is we’re going to try to do everything we can to prevent that drop-off right and we’re going to prevent that by stacking the odds in your favor so I already told you that I’m going to give you five tips to do that today but I’m actually going to give a bonus tip I’m going to give that right now to thank anybody who’s on early in the episode right and so here is tip number six with a bonus tip I’m giving it right out up front and I’m not going to give it again during the show so grab your pen and paper because this is Major all right it might not be major but kind of important then you might want to take notes on it the other thing I want to say is if you have any questions or need clarity at any point during the episode go ahead and write those in the comments this is the very first Facebook live show I’ve ever done so I’m not sure if I actually see the comments as they’re happening or if I see them after I’m hopeful that it’s during I’ve seen that on other people shows so oh well hello Diane thank you so much for coming this is great so feel free to ask anything and if I can’t get to the answer in today’s episode for sure I’ll either get back to you personally I will get back in another shell ok so here is the bomas test alright and this is big when you write your listing and this goes for people who are already listed if you’re not getting a lot of activity on your account I want you to write two listings not in the air B&B app want you to actually take out real paper you know no pad type thing and I want you to write two listings I want you to write your dream listing which it’s likely that’s probably the listing that you already have on Airbnb or what you are planning to put up and what I mean by dream listing is the price you want to get paid for the for your listing the number of nights minimum the availability all these all these things right that that you would like to be true like in a perfect world my place I would only have available for seven nights you know for seven nights stay as I did that that would be suicide for my listening so I know not to do that but in my train that’s what would be on my dream on ok now I want you to make a compromise list that’s memory flexibil flexibil list that’s what we’re going to go with create a flexible list right and the things that need to go on the flexible list would be the elements of your listing that you do have control over how they play off to the client or to the gaps in here let me explain that better your pictures are your pictures right there either good pictures or they’re bad pictures but they show what this space is right if you’ve got one room if you’ve got a whole house if you got a pool in the backyard whatever it is right your pictures are going to show that that’s not really up for debate although some crazy people might debate it right but not really it that is what is there’s other pieces of your listing know someone who might just mention that you do help control over so for example and when you are first starting on this is what we are talking about we are talking about getting people into your listing you’ve got to make it as barrier-free as you possibly can without putting yourself in danger okay so if you have it set up so your availability is more than one night okay so if your listing is a two night minimum if your listing is a seven night minimum you might want to rethink this this is for your compromise listing neither one of the fees are being posted yet right this is just an exercise right you might want to drop that down to a one night minimum now believe me I know what a pain-in-the-butt a one night minimum is and I know what that actually means in terms of the amount of work especially if you’re the one doing the work right it’s kind of a lot of work for just one night setting up doing the laundry you sheets the whole bet it’s a lot of work but what we’re talking about what will make or break your Airbnb experience early on is how many guests you back right so when you make it a two night minimum you could be eliminating all business travel you could be there’s people may be passing through your town they may just have a apprentice having surgery and they’re just staying one night type thing they won’t look at your place because what they’re looking for is a one night minimum and your place has more than that okay that’s something that you can be flexible on for the very short period of time let me back up just a little bit on what I was saying before about Airbnb five-week boost right it’s five weeks you want to get as many people as you can be a Airbnb but also via your own force of nature right before that five weekends because if you have let’s say you have five gaps in those five weeks and all of them leave you five star reviews when the Airbnb algorithm boost ms for you you’re still going to be boosted in algorithm because you’ve had all these people stay in a short period of time and they’ve all given you great reviews right that is exactly what we’re going to accomplish today or what we’re going to set up to accomplish today so when you’re looking at your your items that you can be flexible on this is what I want you to be thinking about this is not a long-term plan and you don’t even have to do it you just have to decide what you can be flexible on and then decide whether you want to do it or not so aside I wrote down on some notes I’m going to refer to them every once in a while but things that you can be flexible on would be your availability so again that’s the one night stay versus the two nite or week long or whatever three-night stay charging for extra people now you may not want extra people and there’s a place for you to say that okay in your listing and we’ll get to that in a second but if you put in there that you charge for additional people that may be part of your long-term plan but in your very beginning or until you have at least five ratings you probably i would recommend you not do that no of course there can be extenuating circumstances where you think it’s really appropriate to do that I get it I’d rather see not charge for additional people and then put in your house rules section that the that you that the property is only available to the number of people listed on the the initial looking right or some other language that’s super clear super specific about that because they can always come back and say well they didn’t say that I couldn’t have 40 people come over right we’re going to talk a lot about that in just a minute but I’m just saying this is one of these items that you could probably be flexible on that would be a trap or would allow the attraction more people as opposed to less right lowering the deposit okay if there were 10,000 people on right now which I don’t think there are half of you which more than half of you would scream are you crazy and then the other half of you would go maybe Mel won’t even be half it would seriously be like one percent of you that might go okay maybe hear me out I’m not saying don’t have a deposit although depending on your situation maybe maybe that would work for you what I what I would say is lower your deposit okay i get if you have a beach house that you’re not on the property you can’t witness what’s going on if you have an apartment in a city if there’s that’s the situation and you have nobody there to monitor or protect sure have a deposit but maybe not like the full amount of the place I’ve seen some really crazy deposits before I’m is actually somebody in my community who has a place that they lives for $95 night in the deposit is six hundred dollars and frankly as a consumer I would just blow by that not that I was going to do anything wrong to their place but what if something happened like what if the shower had broke off and it was an unreasonable host right so all I’m saying is maybe be flexible on what you have as a deposit I’m going to be completely open kimono here I used to not charge a deposit at all and I never had anything occur during that time all right then I had a conversation with a friend who really highly suggested and gave reasons why I should and then I agreed and so I did but it’s a small deposit relative to the place i also have enough ratings and reviews now where that’s not going to make or break my listing but when you’re first starting out a really high deposit could so if you could reduce it or even avoid it depending on the situation I would encourage that because that’s going to encourage people to say yes to your particular listening over another here’s a big big big big one and I certainly hope that you’re watching hosts with heart and that you have one and that that you come from a place with your listing of not taking advantage of other people and the reason why I’m saying this in this way is the one place where you can really take advantage of people and actually it happen a lot it’s with the cleaning deposit we want to really encourage you to think about that cleaning deposit for a second personally I clean my own listing it’s part of my thing I don’t like to clean at home but my listing yes please it’s just part of the thing it’s I put good intention into the room as I’m cleaning it I you know it gives me a better connection to what I’m doing is a house that’s just me if you are paying for a service to do the cleaning for you or somebody down the street or whatever I think it’s probably smart business practice in fact it is a smart business practice to charge for cleaning however when you’re first starting and you are trying to get guest comments day so you can get the ratings and the reviews so you will show up in the algorithm after five weeks maybe that’s not the time for to charge for cleaning right you can still pay people to do it but maybe you just consider that expense the cost of doing business this is not unilateral and I understand for some it’s not possible and I understand that but if it is possible if there’s a way for you to not charge for cleaning please don’t in those initial five weeks or until you have at least five ratings and reviews okay about the taking advantage this is where I see it a lot and I’ll see exorbitant cleaning fees right and I know that these hopes are doing their own clean not that you shouldn’t charge for your time of course you should but if the cleaning fee is three hundred dollars on a two-night lipstick for a one bedroom place how dirty does that have to be to be three hundred dollars like really so good karma in the whole world of Airbnb telling out the thing to do okay that’s my two cents I’ll get off my soapbox because maybe y’all don’t want to hear it it’s okay um oh it just occurred to me we’re almost done with bonus tip here we are done with the bonus tip here right all oh but I’m going to say something about it if you are finding this at all beneficial all 10,000 of you that are watching right now go ahead and share this with anybody that you know that wants to host or is interested in hosting or maybe hosting and maybe have not had a lot of people come back yet you can tag them in it you can just hit the share button whatever the brand new show I’m hoping to build it into something with fabulous entertainment and actors no that’s not what I’m going to do with it at all but I could talk about Airbnb and hosting all day long and I would love to do that with a group of people that love doing it too so please feel free to share okay so before I go on to tip number one I want to finish the bonus tip which I will not be repeating again during the live broadcast if you came on late and you want to see the bonus tip wait till this is on replay and then come back and you can watch it bonus tip only works if if you take care of tip number one which we’re going into now and that is writing a description a complete profile listing description that is so inclusive of everything you intend to say and everything you do and do not want to happen alright i know that’s a little big it won’t be in a second your pictures are your pictures they will show whatever it is that you have hopefully you’ll get great images hopefully you’ll take great images if that doesn’t work out for you and you’re in an area where Airbnb offers its photography free get that free photography service totally take advantage of it because the difference is night and day but your pictures are your pictures your listing the information that you include what you write what you select is amenities and all that that is what actually makes the decision for most of your guests most guests won’t pick a place on images alone they’ll read through the description will see what else is available or what what’s included with the listing and then they’ll start to make a decision whether they’re going to stay on with it or not a complete profile starts with a really great and catchy title something that is meaningful for the place that you have something that might be meaningful in the community where you are or the location if you live 10 feet from Disneyland you might want to mention that my friend Diane who I happen to know is here right now Diane I hope this is ok to share but it’s brilliant Diane has recently listed her place and she’s a book lover and she included that in her title right how often is that so people may be looking in her area for a place and if they’re a book lover they are going to stop no matter what and look at her place which puts more eyeballs on a more opportunity for people come in fantastic so you want to make sure that your title is meaningful and one thing that I would caution is if you live in a major city I see this all the time where you will you will include a specific neighborhood or specific area within that City where this listing resides and that’s a double-edged sword because people from out of town have no idea we have no idea where all those neighborhoods are so you may want to save the neighborhood portion of it for the very first area which is called what did they call it on your bb hang on a second the about this listing section right put neighborhood information it’s very very specific neighborhood information in there unless it’s really well-known right like if you live two doors off of central park south most people will know where that is but I was looking for a listing recently in Vancouver I don’t know Vancouver very well and I was completely baffled every single listing was by neighborhood and it meant absolutely nothing to me so by the way if you’re watching and you have a listing for two bedrooms in Vancouver I need one in August so hit me up anyway sorry a little bit goofy this is an opportunity for water ok any questions out there go ahead and throw them in otherwise I’m moving on to tip number one the complete profile which i already did start sorry ok so so now let’s say you’ve got a great title that’s very attractive you may even want to include in your title new host that needs to be dealt with carefully if you’re a wordsmith you may find a way to be able to say that that will appeal to people who want to give the underdog a chance on all of this the next section after that is the one that I had to look up and again I already forgot it what was it again what is wrong with me Oh be about this listing section the about this listing section and it just went out of my head I can’t remember if it’s 250 or 500 characters we’ve only got a little tiny space to put in a lot of information so make sure that whatever words you choose to use in the about this listing section really carry a lot of weight with them right because this is the very first thing this is very for copy that potential guests are going to see after they see your images right so they’ll always notice the images first four primary image first and then they’ll start scanning down so make sure you really path is 250 or 500 think it’s 500 sorry guys late afternoon for me coffee wore off a really long time ago beyond the about this listing there’s two other sections that are imperative that you fill out in great detail but before we get there go through the amenities section and the fire safety sections and make sure that everything that truly does apply to your space that is available to your guests is marked so that it shows up right because they’ll glance at that but then go into detail about those things in your profile or excuse me your description so there’s a section called description and i believe it’s pretty much unlimited text i I know on mine I filled it to the nines and same thing with the house rules section anything in the especially with the amenities the amenities on Airbnb they allow you to check what you have or if you don’t check it presumably you don’t have it but they give you no opportunity to say anything about so a great example here in the states is that majority of your guests will want to wake up in the morning and they’ll want to have something coffee tea water whatever right they may or may not expect it when they’re booking when they’re looking at their listings they’re not thinking oh does this place have a coffee maker the pulling up thinking about it and when they look through the amenities they might not even notice that you don’t have one if you don’t have one but if they get there and there isn’t one another coffee drinker in the morning they’ll feel like this is a half-assed listening listing and boom that’s a star gone right you don’t want that to happen doesn’t mean you have to have a coffee maker I’m not saying that what I am saying is if there’s something that a reasonable person would expect a host to have and you don’t have it you should write about that someplace so either in the description i would probably put something like we’re not coffee drinkers in this house but we love our coffee drinkers there’s a great coffee shop just half a block down the street on the right okay no big deal if that’s not the case if you don’t have a coffee shop or a tea shop nearby then maybe you should just invest in this small little mr. coffee or something because a lot of gifts will expect it if you’re not going to have it make sure that you make that clear somewhere else in the listing truth is not every guest most guests don’t read through the entire listing but you’ll be covered if they get cranky about anything and they complain to Airbnb because you it was there it was in your listing right coffee thing is a terrible example but here’s a great example some guests will assume especially if the listing is in your home right so let’s say it’s a shared room or it’s a private room within your home they may assume that you provide laundry if not a laundry machine that you may actually do the laundry now I don’t know about you but no way and how am i doing somebody else’s laundry I don’t even like doing my own okay and for where my washing machine and dryer are in the house aight i don’t want my guests in that area of my health I just I don’t so I made it very very clear in my description that laundry services are not available on the property however there’s a fluff and fold shop two blocks away that have really reasonable rates and do 24 hour turnaround that’s enough for pretty much anyone they don’t necessarily expect you to be able to provide the service but that you’ve considered that and that there is an option for them is there it just avoids a misunderstanding does that make sense I hope so okay so yeah so anything in the amenities that you don’t have that you think somebody would reasonably expect maybe just put it in the description that you don’t have it and here’s the alternative to that I know that seems a little backwards thinking but truthfully the thing about star ratings and you’ll hear me say this from time to time but it’s God’s honest truth for out of your 5 stars occur before your guests even arrived Oh almost dumped before they even show up right and it’s all about guest expectation management all right so now the really fun part right so you’re building out this description that says by the way this isn’t always about the negative either your description should be full of like really awesome things like your area and have the awesome fruit trees and your property or whatever so long as they have access to that or that they can see it from their room your description be very detailed the very positive a really great mix of what you have and what you have not another thing that’s been my listing in this super key here’s a tip here’s an extra tip so not really a five or and the bonus tip which if you missed it when this is over go back and watched the very beginning of the show because I gave a bonus tip so this is like a tip and a half right there are certain things that make people crazy universally and I know this because if you look through and read the reviews on air beam if you can find the neck review on Airbnb and that’s a whole other conversation together we’re not going there today if you can find a negative review of a host on Airbnb that’s really unusual not because they don’t happen they happen all the time but because their babies algorithm won’t really show that host blitzing so you won’t see it but if you go on expedia.com if you go on vrbo com if you go on priceline right and you look at reviews and look at what the people say you can pick up pretty quickly the things that make people not right so one of the big big big E’s is if you live on 12 doesn’t matter if you live there or not if the space that you’re putting on Airbnb whether it has parking or not talk about it okay trust me on this talk about the parking situation in your description either it don’t have it or you do have it and here’s where it is right if it’s street parking say that is street parking if it’s driveway parking say that it’s driving driveway if it’s street parking not driveway parking say that to you want to be so crystal clear about this right um more stars have been lost that I know of because the guests have an unrealistic expectation that they could garage their car at the property right which is almost that’s actually very rare when that happens right but because the owner didn’t put that in the description right owner come and go back and say oh I’m so sorry you misunderstood there was nothing to misunderstand they didn’t say anything so it’s avoidance so much of focusing his avoidance ok so the driving thing the other thing is if you live in it like so I’m in Southern California and everybody drives every we’re right in my listening we have street parking we’ve got fabulous street parking are our residential street is so wide it’s almost like the size of some towns highways like it’s just it’s a fantastic straight there’s plenty of street parking however somebody came here and didn’t rent a car they could walk down to the village where I live but they see very limited and where they could go unless they you know uber or flight it plated sit use flight how about that lift not like I’m Philippe dyslexia Batman are they used left right a lot of people come from major cities where public transportation is available everywhere well it’s not really available it is but nowhere near here so in my description I go out of my way and I make it like a little funny thing but I say you know there is public transportation available in Southern California I just don’t know anything about it for where it is okay so that lets the know that I’m not going to be any help with that not because I don’t want to be I just I’m not and they’ll have to either rent a car or I figure out their own transportation needs right okay I think I’ve you labored that point as much as I need to so your description needs to be super clear more clear than your description is that your house rules have to be your version of a hosting persons Bible right this your house rules are not something to compromise on or be flexible with okay I mean it whatever your rules are are your rules and stick with them because if you give an inch with one guest on your house rules any other guests that takes advantage of you in terms of your house rules has an argument why I’m in an argument with Airbnb of things go wrong so just don’t do it make your house rules very complete very thorough and absolute so using my listing as an example if anybody wants to drop in one of their house rules or comments that would be awesome here’s my primary house rule maybe not primary but we have a swimming pool on our property and guests in our listing and our listing have we love it when they use our swimming pool we think it’s great it’s one of the best selling points I think of our property but I wrote in the house rules that even though personally I love skinny dipping skinny dipping is one hundred percent against the house rules in this property and I went on to write that I have children and I have an ex-husband and if ex husband finds out about naked people running around my property I have a problem so absolutely no skinny dipping same thing with smoking like the things that are absolutes for me and even things that are not maybe so absolute go into the house rules because that is your only ability to defend yourself against you know fat things happening so so I know so many of you are going to run away now and never stay here because you can’t skinny dip such a drag right but the point is is that your house rules that is your place to put down your absolutes and you can do it in a really entertaining or you could create a story you know however creative you are as a writer so on get your rolls down make them entertaining because you want them to recruit them nobody wants to read house rules right but when you say absolutely no this is a big one right especially if you have a property where you’re not living on it if you don’t want other people then the people you contracted with through airbnb to be on your property you need to say that in your house rules and I do have that in my house rules nobody other than the the guest list it listed on the Airbnb request or posting repeat the words not coming to me but those no other people right we have plenty of people that call oh we’re going to a wedding when we want to have an after party hell no no am I too picky to not want cigarette butts in the yard oh no you are not the other thing is you need to consider and this isn’t Diana’s it’s a great point that you’re putting their because one of the things for me is one I can’t stand cigarettes most crazy I can’t even tell you how much I hate it but even more so I don’t want my neighbors to have to suffer with somebody who’s smoking up on my property so I have an absolute not in the street that on the sidewalk not on the side yard not in the backyard not at the front door not inside the property nowhere on this property is it smoking or facing either and kind of crazy that way but what I would say is if if you’re okay with them smoking outside dyin I would really be certain that you have a place for the bus to go to and that they’re actually instructed that that’s where the Bucks go and I would put that in your house rules in some super clever way yes right so yeah I hope that answered that okay so your description your helps rules that is your opportunity on Airbnb to make your place so amazing and so safe right that it helps to attract the kind of people that you want and your listing and what I mean the kind of people that you want your listing what I mean are the people that will come that will appreciate your place and that will leave you a great review right okay how far off track in mind here that was bones tip number one all right then I am going to move on to bonus tip number two because this is awesome and if you don’t know this about Airbnb this is going to help a lot in terms of getting you in front of people’s eyeballs ready okay the calendar right Airbnb calendar first thing I want to say about the calendar and for me this is an absolute and I hope for you as a host is some absolute to you should always take your own personal calendar and book out as far as you possibly can on Airbnb any dates that you do not want to host all right do that immediately right we’ll talk about why in a second maybe obvious focal clock foot why in a second personally I never host from the week before Thanksgiving until the week after a new year that’s my time for my family if family is coming into town I want them to be able to stay in my listing I don’t want to be in service to people that time of year other than you know buying gifts for my Bentley that’s just my time of the year that’s my vacation from hosting as much as I love hosting that’s my time off the other thing is like I know that this June just coming up Gates has to be blocked up because my son is graduating from high school and people will be coming into town will be all sorts of activities that will do around that you know I I don’t want to I don’t want to be hosting people while I’m having the major life event right so it’s really important to do that here’s the real reason why it’s important to do that makes you a better host because you won’t be resentful on days that you know you should have blocked off but you’re hosting instead right that’s a really quick way to get a star room just like my host had an attitude and I don’t know why right so avoid that from happening the other reason and here’s the brilliant thing ready get out your shirt pencils whose you’re going to want to remember this Airbnb algorithm is super smart like super smart and a little bit dumb at the same time right and so it’s something that you can take advantage of and I don’t mean that in the big nasty way what I do mean is that the algorithm records activity on your listing as activity it doesn’t care if it’s you and it doesn’t care if it’s you know Joe Schmo from Idaho what did I just do there nevermind um what it recognizes is that there’s activity occurring right and that fits into the algorithm some hair somehow I don’t know how please don’t ask me to explain the algorithm I can’t but it’s widely known that when you fiddle with your pants calendar it help it doesn’t hurt let’s just put it that way it doesn’t hurt you’re showing up in the algorithm so a practice that I used to do I still do sometimes but I have enough ratings and reviews now that I don’t need to do it as regularly but when you’re first starting out attend to your calendar every single day and what that looks like is you know if you have dates in the future that you want to block off go ahead and block them off if you have no dates in the future that you want to block off go ahead like two or three months out block one or two days off make it a Tuesday and Wednesday maybe or whatever and then the very next day go back in and remove the block on those two days this is the teeny tiny bit of maintenance that you need to do with Airbnb every day especially when you’re new or don’t have very many reviews write it shows activity on your listing that gets the algorithm excited and helps to promote you and your listing does that make sense it’s very cool and it really does health so there is that ok so that’s tip number two right tip number three is all about friends and family and what I’m talking about here I want to be very very clear about what I’m saying invite your friends and family to come and stay at your listing as a paid air B&B guests ethically right um yes you can ask your you won’t hear me I just realized the mic is now collecting I’m really hoping you can hear me I could somebody please write you must be able to hear me because Diane ropes and comments apologies I just realized it’s not even plugged in okay to her thank you thank you alright so there is an ethical way to get your friends and family to come and stay at your air being from airbnb property and then there’s the not so ethical ways we’re talking completely white hat here I again you know hosting with heart this is all about doing the right thing being the right person in the world and really having a great house of experience from it so the easiest way to get ratings and reviews is to invite people that you already know to come and stay at your property for it to count as a legitimate Airbnb review they need to pay they need to look it through the air B&B apps they need to pay for it they they need to come and stay they need to leave you need to write a review I mean you should write a review of firms they ready to review with you and that is that like kind of like the circle of life with that if you really don’t feel comfortable inviting your friends and family to compensate and pay you we’re going to talk about that a really great way to handle that in a second if you feel very uncomfortable doing that there is another way you can ask them to write a recommend station now recommendations are fantastic however they carry absolutely no weight whatsoever in the El Dorado okay so so when I first started so back in 2013 when I started hosting I didn’t have any reviews I didn’t have any ratings and I didn’t know any of this that I’m sharing here like 0 right and I was just so excited like oh good a list of air baby and I’m going to we’re going to make so much money and I don’t even know I’m going to be beating people off with a stick trying to stay at my place but I knew enough to know that I had to have something that showed that I was a human being so I had a friend of mine who had stayed here before writer recommendation she wrote a really beautiful recommendation and maybe it helped you know get my first couple of guests here I really don’t know and there is no way to know because the recommendations are there for people look at but in the interest of social crew potential guests know that recommendations are typically from friends right and that reviews are like legit ‘it legitimate transactional reviews kind of like em xuong really it’s the same exact premise right we we buy products on Amazon largely because of the reviews if we haven’t bought that product before so same thing with hosting and guesting on air bean babe alright so here’s how to ask your friends and family to come and pay money to see with you right you just tell them the truth listen you know depending on how close they are to you I’m starting a new business as a host with Airbnb and to get my business off the ground it’s really important that I have reviews but the only way are the only way for me to get reviews is to have people book through air B&B so I would love to have you come and stay I’m going to create very special friends and family only rate that when you book it I’ll give you the code for that or they forget what it’s called now but so that they only pay you know this minimal minimal rate but that the transaction is going through here’s why also you want them to pay there can be some really funny weird things that occur around the payment and the whole system of booking the reservation the communications between you and the guests the payment and then what happens afterwards and it’s a really good idea for you to be able to go through that process with a friend or a family member right to see the whole process get it working before you before you start seeing strangers in your home so you know what to expect right so that’s one way you can do it you can offer a reduced rate you’re not asking you you’re not giving them the reduced rate for the review I want to be really clear about this what you’re doing is giving them the repeat the reduced rate so that you can have the experience the entire hosting experience as a beta test for when strangers come in almost everyone will help you do that alright so let’s step out one degree right so let’s say you don’t have friends or family merry living near you let’s say that you know you don’t like your friends what you don’t like your family what I hope you like your friends like you can take them anyway let’s say you don’t have that available to you you could reach out to people that you know in your community so let’s say you’ve got kids in school right and you’ve got the school teacher whose fantastic you all love her maybe you know whatever maybe you offer her vacation in your listing right and just say it’s a super reduced rate I can’t give it to you for free because it’s a you know I it all has to be done through air baby but I would love to do this for you or you know provide this right now this is a terrible example actually anyway what I’m getting to is you’ve got to be above board blame then know that there’s going to be some feet whatever I mean ten dollars like literally could be what you you charges just to get the wheels going it went a little off track there sorry guys or even even in your neighborhood I’ve actually done this a number of times where neighbors have had a big life event so a 65th birthday party a wedding where I’ve said you know I’ve got this listing I’d be more than happy to give you a very special neighborhood rate you know to have your family there and they all took me on I wasn’t doing that for reviews at that time because i already had that but you could certainly offer that up or at your church if you if you work for an organization that brings in speakers for events I’m depending on the type of place you have you might want to do that just getting beyond the scope of this episode actually but the point is is that I would really encourage you to find a way to ask your friends and family to stay at your place as a legitimate Airbnb guest because again this whole episode is about the race to getting as many reviews and ratings before the algorithm booth boost drops after five weeks right you want to set yourself in the best position the easiest way to do that obviously is video people you already know okay got that did I overkill that I hope not so we’re going to tip number four tip number four is all about social media actually and this might be the big like the right I want you to look at a little bit differently though instead of just blasting your social media you know like if you’re on Twitter let’s say and you’ve got 10,000 followers on Twitter and just blasting every you know everybody on and your feed that you have this listing you may not want to do that I probably would not recommend doing that when your very first starting as a host because you do want to kind of get your sea legs value but but depending on what platforms your you’re using on a day-to-day basis facebook is fantastic and I’ll tell you why you can reach out individually to people you know or you could put a post up about your listing and people who know you people whether they know you personally is in terms of friendship or family or people that you’ve worked with in the past or whatever they’ll see it in maybe they’ll say oh yeah my cousin is country it’s going to your town I should tell her about it right you don’t have to be in a month you don’t have to run ads you don’t have to do anything but if you if you post it would be hey i am new i happen to know somebody who’s here to do this and she did a brilliant job with it but hey i’m i’m a new host with Airbnb here’s my listing if you know anybody who might be interested here’s the link to my listing right use it it’s there it’s social I’m not saying go out to the strangers of the world with it on social media certainly not right now but reach out to your network of people and use that as a springboard for getting more at least more eyeballs on your property right so that the algorithm fluctuates up okay all right tip number five it’s really tip number six and if you’re here at the very beginning there was another bonus tip that you can watch the replay and see and it’s totally worth it right it’s going to make a difference Diane was here at the beginning and I hope she’d say yes that bonus tip was awesome but the tip number six or five depending on how you want to look at this is this and this is the hardest one to swallow for a lot people depending on your reason for becoming a host or one of your reasons for becoming house and that is and I kind of touched on this a little bit earlier i think but you may need to discount your listing at the very beginning and don’t run away before i get this out okay one thing that almost all of us is host forget is that we have our listing we list our properties at a price and that’s what we you know that’s what we get minus and fees but what our guests see as our listing price is substantially different all right so I can’t do the math on the head I’m not going to but let’s say you got a listing that is but let’s say it’s seventy nine dollars a night and I’m totally making up these numbers because I can’t do the math in my head let’s say your listing you looked at seventy nine dollars a night your guest is seeing it at something like ninety three dollars a night right so that’s it definitely it doesn’t pretty big price difference if somebody’s looking in the 50 to 100 dollar range we’re talking what they’re saying is that that the high end of that range and so they may look at a lot of properties that are less than that I am talking about a short game here this is not a longing you don’t want you to discount your listing discount your property once you have ratings and reviews right because that’s terrible business no matter what you do right but I am suggesting is that at the beginning it’s important to be flexible with the things that you can be flexible with where you can still be safe so even though you may need the income now even though you may even though you may like you may think oh my god it’s already too low all I’m suggesting is until you have at least 5 reviews and have five five star reviews the elder ISM is going to kind of ignore you so make it as possible for people to come and want to stay with you as it is long term sure you don’t want the person who’s you know bargain-basement always coming to stay in your place for sure you don’t want that but in the short term it’s the greater good right because once you get those ratings right it gets you closer and closer to being super host when you become a super host seriously you can’t you can’t price your place like crazy and expect to get gas but you’re super hope status and the ratings that go with it do so much that two properties pretty similar one of them is more expensive and it’s got a super host rating one of them less expensive but no service rating they take super hosts they always book with super hose okay let me take that back that’s not true but what I’m saying is given two properties that are pretty identical that’s what they’re going to go with that’s what you want to get to because it does bring in more money and it brings in a lot more money okay so so you may need to discount early on I’m not suggesting friends and family discount to the general public I’m not saying that don’t list your place for ten dollars to the general public if it’s a if it’s a ninety seven dollar place or for you know a 50-dollar place even don’t go down to ten dollars that’s don’t know but you may need to bring it down a little bit being conscious of what they are paying on their end somehow after all these years the guests never know that they’re paying more than what we’re listening at four right and it’s kind of funny because you will always get approached you want to do this off look you want to just make this a cash deal which that is for sure a whole other episode please don’t do that and four million reasons please don’t do that back but anyway going back to what we’re trying to accomplish today which is getting the ratings getting the reviews when you don’t have guests you know just flocking in so all right big breath here because I don’t think I’ve even breathed in 10 minutes have I who all right so to recap right the key to succeeding especially early on with Airbnb is to get guests to come and stay at your place and the way that you have to to state your place and leave ratings and reviews it’s the ratings and reviews that you can have the best pictures in the world but if you have no ratings you have no reviews you’re going to have no gas okay so it’s really important to do what you can to get the guests in their early on definitely take advantage of the boost that Airbnb gives to new hosts right that’s the first five weeks so you’ve got a lot to do in those first five weeks right then you do the bonus tip which again go back to the beginning and watch it after this is over and it put it’ll probably take like an hour so for this to post on Facebook because oh my gosh we’re already at an hour whoo so bonus tip then tip number one is I really do a bang-up job with your your listing description your your house rules so everything that gets written in coffee on your listing make sure you really talk things out right so that there’s nothing ambiguous to your guests ambiguity is the thing that takes stars off of your rating right you definitely don’t want that the other by the way the other really good important thing about having your friends and family come and stay at your place is that they’ll tell you the things that are wrong like how did you know that you have a bunch of cobwebs up in the corner or you know little things that you want to think a third side tip sorry that I’m going off the rails like this but this is awesome you need to stay in your listing as a guest now I know that sounds nuts but you need to sleep in the bed you sleep on the sheets you need to use the towels you need to you need to stay in your own listing as a guest right I promise you if you do that even one night you’re going to notice things you’re like I can improve this at no additional cost just this could be better oh I should have a coaster click on the nightstand which you wouldn’t think of necessarily when you’re setting up the room but now that you’ve stayed in the room but now you’re like I should really have a coaster here right so do that ok back to the wrap-up so a complete and awesome profile right that’s very clear very descriptive ah your calendar make sure you update it with all the dates that you are not available to be a host it’s a terrible thing to have to cancel a reservation because you screwed up on your calendar and I got to tell you something guys that will hurt you that actually hurts you terribly on Airbnb is if you cancel a reservation so please try never to do that yes yes Diane you’re exactly right you can use the coupon code so that others don’t see the deal that your friends and family are getting yes thank you for that why cuz that word not come to me that’s exactly one hundred percent right you can create a coupon code that you can use for your friends and family or whatever you want to use it you can use it but one hundred percent correct right so you’ve got the calendar is important so that you don’t screw up and have to cancel reservations but the real jewel of the calendar is that it bounced you up in the algorithm just by playing with it every single day adding dates removing dates and i’ll let just keep track of what you’re doing for sure right because you don’t want to block yourself off or a whole bunch of dates and then also wonder why nobody is looking for those days so really important tip 3 was get your friends and family on board to help you succeed as an Airbnb host when you frame it that way there’s really no issues and likely they won’t have a problem financially supporting the endeavor let’s just say all right number for tip number 4 is use social media to help you in the beginning get the people that you already know into your property I’m not talking about running ads I’m not talking about a big giant campaign that’s just spread out to thousands of strangers across the internet people that you actually know I’m this would usually be through like LinkedIn or Facebook where you can just reach out and say I’m starting this new venture and I’d love your support if you know anybody who needs a place where ever it is that I live or where ever my listening is you know please I’d love it if you would consider me it’s really all you need to do if nothing’s been bring in thousands of people you don’t need thousands of people what we’re trying to get here is at least five gaps with five star reviews write it that that is the fast track to making money on Airbnb and then finally the the least liked tip but maybe the most necessary to do at the beginning is discounted rates right so and that’s not we just talked about the coupon codes it’s not really what I’m talking about there I’m saying like maybe for real you need to discount the rate awesome thing about Airbnb is you can change your rates whenever you want you can increase your rates for holidays you can with it whatever you want to do you can do with the rates but to get those early bookings early reviews and early ratings sometimes you might have to discount a little but not as a long-term practice like one of these episodes we’re going to we’re going to have a whole conversation and that conversation is going to be about the business of Airbnb and why discounting is a long term practice is maybe not the right thing to do you know there’s always going to be every rule but that’s not for today and for discounting when you need to get ratings and by the way this whole conversation is not just about new Airbnb hosts it’s about Airbnb hosts who have not had a lot of traffic or who put their listing on snooze for a while and are just coming back into it if you’re not on the algorithm you’re not on the algorithm right so these everything that we talked about today applies universally all right so I’m going to take a sip of water and I’m going to watch you know all 10,000 of you got questions into the comments or or just let me know if you like the show or do you like the premise of the show because if you do believe me I’ll do the show if you didn’t find helpful or there’s if you’ve got suggestions for improvement please tell me because this is this is not my show this is our show like I want everybody who wants to host to be as successful frankly as successful as I have with it so so go ahead and if not we’re going to close out let’s see this is this is Ben aww Thank You Diane I really appreciate it I may have to invite Diane if I could figure out the technology there is a way to do interview style on Facebook live I’ve got to figure out that technology because I would love to do interviews I’d love to do interviews with other hosts I’d love to do interviews with people from air baby like corporate I’d love to do like marketing people and how to help us get our listings out there in really clever and creative ways so if any of you have ideas for future episodes I want you to put them in the comments down below to the side wherever it is and also if you want to be notified in the future of any episodes going live you need to like this page so hosting with Jackie I’m go ahead and like the page this is a gratuitous at all I’m just telling you the only way you’ll be notified at this time is if you like the page and I’m going to do my best to make the page you know really interesting and valuable for whatever you need and so that requires me knowing what you all want to know and need to know so if you want to ask me questions privately that’s awesome just like the page and DMV if you can or if not just make some kind of notation to me that you’d like to talk to me and I will figure out some way to do that again this is the very first episode of this and really not sure how this is all working yet but there’s got to be an easier way to do all of this but i hope i hope it works for you and that that you’re hosting experience is just brilliant and that it brings you everything that you want it to all right so this is jeffy out Taylor thank you thank you so much Taylor well I look forward to you being at the next 12 is that the Hulk now that would be an interesting thing to help that’s an awesome picture alright guys have a fantastic night

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