How to Double Your Airbnb Profits in 2024

blog explaining how to double your airbnb profits in 2024

Table of Contents

When you’re a host trying to make an Airbnb profit, all the problems you face fall into one of three categories:

  • Your online listing
  • Your offline hosting
  • Your pricing

This article will provide you with a list of highly effective strategies to maximize your Airbnb profits margin as well as advice on how to boost your Airbnb listing so you can win as a host no matter what market you’re in.

I’m Danny Rusteen, a former Airbnb employee and author of the number one bestselling book, Optimize Your BNB, essential reading for anyone who plans on becoming an Airbnb host and my latest book, Profitable Properties.

Optimize Your Online Airbnb Listing

Add Amenities To Your Title

To optimize your listing title, include in it whatever amenities your guest is most likely to be interested in. It doesn’t matter how great your listing is; you could actually have a very basic listing, but including your best amenities in the title — smart TV, self check-in, luggage storage — all of these things work. 

If you are branding, you should include your brand name. You should also have an Instagram reference or a Google map location or a website URL included in the title for the purposes of online searches. If someone is searching you on Google, they should be able to find you.

Bullet Point Your Summary Text

When I optimize listings for improving Airbnb profit, I generally remove 80% of the text and 80% of the photos. Make your text easy to read by listing it in bullet points. That way, the guest knows at a glance what they’re paying what are you’re giving them in exchange. 

Examples of information to include in the bullet points:

  • Daily cleaning
  • Breakfast
  • Jacuzzi with glass ceiling
  • Home ceiling surround sound system

Include the little details and key points of the listing, including any particularly interesting features. For example, listing the jacuzzi with a glass ceiling sounds intriguing and would likely encourage the future potential guest (FPG) to look through the photos to see that. 

Ideally, your text should detail something that the reader can’t see. For example, the following amenities are benefits they wouldn’t be able to see from the photos:

  • Daily cleaning
  • Daily breakfast
  • In-home surround sound system
  • Dimmable lighting
  • Flexible visitor policy

Features you can’t see in the photo make ideal content for the text because they’re reading the text after they’ve already seen the title and after they’ve already seen the photos. 

Text is the last step in the process; at this point the FPG (Future Potential Guest) is just looking for a little bit more information before they make the booking.

For a visual reference to these recommendations, have a look at my listing called the Belmonte Penthouse.

Add a Floor Plan Photo to Set Expectations

My Airbnb floor plan for the Belmonte Penthouse looks like this:

a floor plan will help you increase your airbnb profits

All negative reviews are the result of mismanaged expectations. The floor plan is a great addition to a listing because it sets expectations.

Giving a floor plan lets the guest know what they can expect when they actually arrive in the space. It’s not going to be bigger, it’s not going to be smaller. This is also why we include the size of the place in square meters or square feet; it lets the guest know exactly how big the actual space is. 

Another thing the floor plan accomplishes is that it enables you to remove overview photos. Overview photos — or layout photos, as I call them — are photos that show the living room plus the dining room plus the hallway to the bathroom or the bedroom, for example. It shows a lot of things in one photo. But it’s very hard for a site visitor to interpret that in the small amount of time they’re actually paying attention to that photo, so consider getting one.

A typical viewer will look at a photo for half a second to one second. That’s why I recommend keeping one feature to one photo. Like a photo of just the living room, a photo of just the kitchen, one of just the jacuzzi room.

Choose Your Hero Photo Wisely

The listing reader is only seeing one picture, the cover photo — that image is your hero photo. It needs to be unique, it needs to be different, and it needs to be obvious and clickable. For example, you might be in a market where everyone has an awesome-looking hot tub, or where everyone has a backyard with a pool. Although those amenities sound great, if all of your competition has the same cover photo — the same hero image — then you need to change yours to something different. 

Make sure that your hero image and your first five images are not also mentioned in the title. I see that mistake made a lot with people when they are first becoming an Airbnb host. For example, if the hero photo is a pool, and then in the title they say pool or private pool or something similar. You don’t want to put in the title what the guest is already seeing in the cover photo.

Photo Layout Is Under-Valued

The layout of your photos is very important; order them best, second-best then third-best. In addition to that, ensure you’re showing different rooms in your photos, especially in the first five images. 

In the Airbnb listing of the Belmonte Penthouse, you can see I’ve put my hero image first, and this is something that sets me apart from my competition; no one else has this, and that helps with my Airbnb profit. After the hero photo I have one of the living room, one of the master bedroom, and one of the jacuzzi room. I also added a Christmas tree image in December. It had a vertical orientation, so it wasn’t an ideal photo, but the image was useful because it was the holiday season.

How To Optimize Photo Captions

Photo captions are supposed to do one of three things:

  1. Place the guest in the photo so that they can imagine themselves sitting there enjoying a coffee or a wine and good conversation with their friends.
  2. Call attention to a feature you want the guest to see. For example, maybe in the bedroom there’s a desk with a nice office chair that you want the guest to notice.
  3. Call attention to something convenient the guest might not notice, like the fact that there’s a door in the back that leads to a private balcony, for example.

Add a Walking Map to Photo 11-15

Another image you can see on the Belmonte Penthouse Airbnb listing is a walking map. The interesting thing about a walking map is that, in addition to setting yourself apart from the competition, it’s branded. If you have a brand name, you can put it there. 

The Belmonte Penthouse in Medellin walking map
The Belmonte Penthouse in Medellin walking map

Another element of my walking map is a grayed-out area indicating that the area is not walkable. Let’s say there’s a guest who is unfamiliar with this area and they’re considering two or three listings. One or two of those listings might be in this grayed-out area, and when they see my map, it might convince them to book my listing instead. All these little details can help to boost your Airbnb profit margin.

Create a Review Photo

Another special photo is the review photo. Airbnb puts the reviews all the way at the bottom of page two of your listing. I want to bring those reviews up to where the reader can find them. One of the ways to do that is by creating a nicely designed image and putting it in the listing somewhere between photo 6 to 10.

Be Smart About Other Text

In my listing I have an image showing my reviews and star ratings. I recommend you do the same; pull your reviews up to a place where the viewer can see them easily. You can also put them in the photo caption. 

I don’t recommend adding the full review. Don’t add three or four sentences, just add three or four words. Make it really easy and digestible for the FPG to convince them to book your listing.

Ideally, you want the review to reflect something that you want to highlight. For example, “My kids loved it!” If someone is looking for a family-friendly place, that review is going to speak to them.

Don’t Overdo The House Rules

There’s a concept I’ve developed called the flexibility concept which is very helpful when you’re considering how to boost your Airbnb listing. The flexibility concept says that you can dial up and down the flexibility of your listing depending on where you are in terms of your occupancy and your price. If you have an impressive listing and you’re always highly occupied at very high rates, then you can make your listing a little bit less flexible, which reduces the risk. So, what does that mean? It means you can add in a set of house rules. Sometimes house rules can scare away guests because it makes the listing less flexible.

If you’re looking to increase your occupancy, then flexibility can help you with that. Maybe your listing is not top-notch and you’re struggling with occupancy, then this is one of the changes you can make to loosen up your listing and make it more flexible; take some of the house rules out. 

If you do still insist on having a lot of guest house rules, it’s a good idea to highlight the ones that are going to actually affect the guest. If you feel you need a lot of legal text, that’s fine, but at the top put the most important details that might affect the guest reservation. 

This is the best hack available for improving your ranking to maximize your Airbnb profit. This is the kind of detail I wouldn’t normally say in public. But because I think it’s information that’s already available, I’m going to say it.

Wishlist Saves To Increase Search Rank

The wishlist saves are indicated by a heart in the top right corner of the listing. Airbnb has said that the more of those you get, the higher you will rank in searches. So, we want as many of those as we can get in the analytics dashboard. On the site they show you how many wishlist saves you have and how many your competition has. That tells you that everybody is paying attention to that metric, which makes it an important one for your Airbnb profit margin.

Automate All of Your Messages

Airbnb has automated messages, but let’s say you want the guest to take out the trash on Tuesdays. You cannot do that with Airbnb, but you can do it with several tools. As for what software you should use, I’ve done reviews on many PMS tools. PMS stands for property management software, and there is a wide range to choose from. On my YouTube channel, for example, there are reviews of Hostfully, IGS, and Guesty for hosts and for pros.

Improve Offline Hosting For Better Reviews

You Need a Digital Guidebook

This digital guidebook is different than the guidebook on Airbnb. Their version just contains local recommendations, and it’s mostly ignored by the guest. A digital guidebook also lets the guest know more information about:

  • How to work the amenities, like the jacuzzi
  • Time of the check-in
  • Where to park
  • Where to empty the trash
  • The Wi-Fi password

If necessary, you can add pictures to the digital guidebook as well. A good guidebook decreases your workload as a host and increases guest satisfaction because they no longer have to worry about asking you questions about the property — it’s all in the guidebook. 

If you’re looking to learn other tips to boost your Airbnb profits check out my YouTube channel.

A Digital Lock is a Must

You must have a smart lock in 2024 and beyond. It just makes sense. After all, you don’t want the guest losing the key. However, the smart lock shouldn’t be too smart. There are really sophisticated smart locks that often give you more headaches than they solve. My preferred smart lock is the Schlage BE365 V CAM 619 Camelot Keypad Deadbolt, available on Amazon.com. It’s digital but it doesn’t have any extra bells and whistles.

Amenities For 5-Star Reviews

In terms of amenities, I’m going to list only the ones that are missing the most often. You want a guest to feel comfortable when they’re in your space, but you don’t want them feeling like they’re on vacation.

Often, hosts aren’t providing a lot of amenities, so beating your competition at this can only help your Airbnb profit margin.

  • Kitchen Amenities: Just to name a few: pots and pans with lids, scissors, cutting board, can opener, and strainer. I’ve been a guest on Airbnb since 2018 — that’s more than 2500 nights in more than 100 cities across the globe. These details are conveniences that are missing even in expensive listings.
  • Bedroom Amenities: Amenities for the bedroom include a soft and a firm pillow, ideally. If you have a window, make sure that it can be fully blacked out. No one ever complained about a room being too dark, but they sometimes complain about a room being too light.
  • Common Area Amenities: In the common areas, some good additions include a hook near the entrance to hang things like hats and bags, a Bluetooth speaker, dimmable lights, and extra pillows on the couch. That’s more of a design hack, but it makes your space more comfortable.

Amenities Checklist: If you want my entire list of amenities, you can find them in my blog post called Airbnb Superhost Checklist.

amenities checklist that will improve your airbnb profits

Master Pricing To Double Revenue

Pricing gives people the most confusion when they are first becoming an Airbnb host, but I have a two-step strategy that is very clear for setting your pricing and maximizing your Airbnb profit. In fact, it’s really not that difficult if you focus on the right things at the right time.

Connect To A Dynamic Pricing Tool

In terms of pricing, you should not be using Airbnb smart pricing. With a few exceptions, you should not be managing the pricing yourself. To make the most of your Airbnb profit margin, it’s best to sign up for a dynamic pricing tool that helps you get more revenue. I’ve done studies listing both with and without dynamic pricing, and I’ve discovered that listing with dynamic pricing always makes more money. I recommend a pricing tool called PriceLabs, and you can find a PriceLabs playlist full of information and advice on my YouTube channel.

The Important Base Price

When using any dynamic pricing tool, you’re going to see the base price. The base price represents what would you expect to earn on your listing on an average day of the week in an average month. If you go on Airbnb and search for places in your area like yours, for example with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, you will see what everyone else is doing. You’re going to have to change the base price anyway, and PriceLabs will give you a suggestion on what your base price should be.

Know Your True Minimum Price

The minimum price should be about half of your base price. The minimum price is the price you’d accept if the alternative is $0. It only comes into play in days of low demand in slow season. It should include your fixed costs (your mortgage, your insurance, things you’re paying regardless of whether or not a guest is coming), your variable costs (which would be things like extra toilet paper, and extra electricity) and then a profit margin. That’s your actual minimum, and it’s a lot lower than most people think it is.

Step one of my two-step strategy is to focus on the base price and minimum price for a few weeks until you get adjusted. 

Overview: Common Customizations & Orphan Nights

Step two of my two-step strategy is customizations. These two steps are important, and I go through this second step in detail in my PriceLabs customizations video. In this video, I identify every single customization offered by PriceLabs by name and timestamp.

Gradual Last-Minute Discount:

One of the customizations is gradual last-minute discount. This is a discount that you have over a certain period of days, as opposed to a step discount. A step discount works by, for example, giving the guest 10% off at 10 days out. So, at 11 days out the price might be $100 and then at 10 days the price goes down to $90 for all those days. But the demand doesn’t go down equally.  With a gradual discount using PriceLabs, you might select 10% over 10 days. So, at 10 days out the discount will be 1%, at 11 days out it will be 2%, on so on, until the booking day. But it will never be lower than your minimum price.

Orphan Nights:

Another highly used and highly recommended customization is a minimum night setting. With orphan nights, let’s say you have a booking that ends on a Tuesday and then another booking that starts on the following Thursday. That means Tuesday night and Wednesday night are open. But say your minimum booking is three nights, that means that no one could book those two open nights. So, with PriceLabs you can change that minimum to two nights to fill that gap.

That’s a total of 23 individual steps you can take right now to increase your Airbnb profit margin in your market for 2024. For more details about my most effective strategies, I’ve put together a video playlist called Start Here of very specific strategies that you won’t find anywhere else. These are not generic, but very effective steps you can take that will put you in the top 10% of your market.

Join ☞ The Profitable Properties Program

The reason why I don’t like to talk about my Airbnb profit hacks publicly is because Airbnb is reading my blog (Hi Airbnb! How are you doing?) I know they’re reading because I’ve noticed that they make changes after I reveal something on my website or YouTube channel. That’s sometimes fine, but sometimes it ruins the hack. 

So, in order to avoid ruining the best hacks, I put them into a new program called Profitable Properties. It’s a program I launched in conjunction with the new book that I published last year. In the book and the program I’m giving away some other highly valuable secrets that I can’t share publicly anymore because that just ruins the hacks for everyone. 

You can sign up for the Profitable Properties program for $39 a month and be among the first to find out how to boost your Airbnb listing, and all the steps you can take to improve your Airbnb profit. 

Until next time, happy hosting!

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