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Profitable Properties Book: Guide to Airbnb Insider Secrets for Short-Term Rentals

My book, Profitable Properties: Airbnb Insider Secrets, is an all-in-one guide for hosts of short-term rentals and those who are interested in a real estate rental investment. In this post I’ll be going through and describing each of the eight parts of the Profitable Properties book. The chapters cover everything you need to know about how to optimize an Airbnb listing for finding, pricing and booking direct any short-term rental investment for year-round occupancy and how to rank on airbnb.

Or you may watch this description on YouTube:

Preface

In the Preface I introduce the terminology that is used throughout the book. If you’re a brand new host, then this section will also help you determine whether you want to be a host and how to get started hosting.

I also talk about the differences between my last book, Optimize Your BNB, and Profitable Properties. The main difference is that the first book is specific to optimize an Airbnb listing. If Airbnb is the only—or the main—focus of your rental business, then you won’t want to miss that book. In Profitable Properties we take a look at the bigger picture as well as zooming in on the details. So, there’s discussion about pricing, about how to find a market and about the short-term rental (STR) industry overall. There is still an emphasis on how to rank on Airbnb because that’s my specialty, but the perspective is also more general.

Part 1: Introduction

The Introduction offers a little more about the structure of the book as well as my philosophy. I think that’s an important element in order to give you confidence in my strategies and to see how they work.

I also talk about things like the right mindset, the reservation flow and views versus conversion versus rank. This, in particular, is a big topic in the industry, and I hold a very different viewpoint on it from many others. My stance is that occupancy is the most important element to a successful short-term rentals business—that’s your conversion rate.

Then I go through my vacation rental commandments. These are rules for success that can help you throughout your short-term rental journey. Anytime you have some problems or you’re trying to optimize any part of your business, these tips will give you tools to maximize your rental investment.

Part 2: Vacation Rental Market Analysis

This section is brand new to this book and invaluable for making the most of your short-term rental investment. In it I share my knowledge about the details to keep in mind when you’re searching for a rental investment property. We talk about narrowing down not only the market but also the country. Then I take it further, focusing in on the neighborhood and then the micro-neighborhood.

This level of detail about the best location for a short-term rental property is what I’m known for and one of the secrets of my success. I get very detailed about the locations that I want. That’s b

ecause if you get the right market and the right location in that market, you’re setting yourself up for easy wins throughout the rest of your time hosting that property.

In this part I introduce two strategies based on the data you gather during your research.

Description of the hard data and soft data used to analyze vacation short-term rental market

Short-term rental market analysis data

Hard Data

The hard data refers to the numbers that define your potential rental investment property. It’s detail like what the competition is making nearby, how many bedrooms and bathrooms they have.

Soft Data

The soft data is the information I really like to work with. It’s things like location, what’s around the area, how busy the street is, ease of access, how easy it is to get to the local tourist destinations.

Data Tools

In order to avoid potentially costly mistakes, you will want to know what I have to say about data tools. Always remember that you’re the source; don’t rely solely on the data but use them as a tool. Ultimately, you are the one producing the final numbers to ensure that you’re making a good investment. In Part 2 I go through how to do this in detail.

High-ROI Investments

In addition to looking at those strategies for how to optimize your Airbnb listing—or any short-term rental listing—I also give you some supplemental information about improvements you can make in your property to give you a high return on your investment. You can read more on my blog about how to use this strategy to make the most of your rental investment.

Part 3: Build and Optimize Your Airbnb Listing

This section is all about how to build and optimize your online presence—particularly how to do this to attract your future potential guest (FPG).

This is my specialty and what my Optimize your BNB book focuses on. It covers not only building and optimizing your online presence, but we take it a step further by taking you through how an FPG searches. With this information you can tailor your listing to make it easy for your listing to be found. We go through identifying your ideal FPG and how well you know your space to be able to speak to them. We talk about your listing title and how to optimize your photos, including summary photos, photo layout, photo captions, all of this important detail.

Because searching on Airbnb is different from Google, we also talk about how to optimize an Airbnb listing specifically.

Part 4: Elevate Your Hospitality

Part 4 is all about everything you’re doing offline to maximize your rental investment, from amenities to setting expectations. It covers your staff, messaging the guest, digital guide books, check-in, cleaning procedures and surprise-and-delight features.

Description of electronic guestbook used at the Belmonte Penthouse short-term rental investment property

Belmonte Penthouse electronic guestbook

These elements provide a crucial aspect of how you can differentiate from your competition—and differentiation is key! On my blog you can read about six easy and affordable upgrades you can make right now.

If you don’t want to self-manage your property, then sections 4.9 and 4.10 are for you. That’s where I talk about whether you need a property manager and, if you do, how to choose a good one.

Part 5: Pricing Your Rental Investment

The pricing of short-term rental property is a huge topic that I know you’re interested in. Almost all of my private consultation calls talk about pricing at least a little bit. Luckily, I have become an expert on this. In this book I will teach you my foolproof two-step strategy for how to price your listing.

  1. First, we’ll cover the basics: developing occupancy targets based on booking lead time. I explain all of these terms and make it simple. This section will teach you exactly how to price your listing using occupancy—your known data.
  2. Step two is customizations that we use to counteract booking trends. I take you through my weekly process, and then we look at the five common calendar occupancies and how to deal with each one.

You can find full details about my Airbnb listing calendar strategy on my YouTube channel.

Part 6: Direct Bookings

Another hot topic for BNB hosts is direct bookings. I’ve done direct bookings with the Belmonte Penthouse, and I’ve reached my goal of about 50% direct bookings.

In Part 6 I talk about the pros and cons of direct booking so that you can decide if it’s right for you or not. Then I talk about all the ways you can do direct bookings, from social media and search engine optimization to YouTube and paid ads.

For promoting your short-term rentals, you’re always going to be listing on the many online travel agencies (OTAs), like Airbnb, Booking, Furnish Finder, etc. In this section I’m also sharing some really powerful secrets you can use to leverage the OTAs to bring in more direct bookings.

Actually Getting Direct Bookings

In Chapter 6.11 I talk about how you actually go about getting direct bookings. Many people can make you great-looking websites for direct booking, but how do you attract customers to the website to get direct bookings?

Email and Text Marketing

Chapter 6.12 is dedicated to email and text marketing, which is generally an underleveraged tool that you can take advantage of if you’re going the direct-booking route.

Part 7: Questions and Answers

This part is bonus content in which I give you brief answers to 22 frequently asked questions. It covers things like:

  • How you can you identify a problem guest in advance
  • If you have problems, how to deal with them effectively
  • Short-term rental insurance
  • Hosting profile
  • How to can get more long-term bookings
  • Interior design
  • How to brand your short-term rental and whether you want to

You also get my new listing calendar strategy. Whether you’re just starting out with your first listing or you have 100 listings under your belt, this strategy will tell you everything you should do to make a great impact.

Part 8: How to Rank #1 On Airbnb

The final chapter is specific to how to optimize an Airbnb listing. Throughout the book if I’m just talking about Airbnb, I make that clear, but in this part, I cover solely how to rank on Airbnb. I have 13 different factors that contribute to ranking you number one on Airbnb.

Your Airbnb Search Rank Does Not Matter

Having said that, there are a number of elements that are more important than your Airbnb search rank when it comes to success with your short-term rental investment property. My blog explains what these are in detail.

Why Your Airbnb Search Rank Does NOT Matter blog post

Why Your Airbnb Search Rank Does NOT Matter blog post

One-of-a-Hundred

If finding out how to rank on Airbnb is important to you, however, then this section is for you. It covers my concept called One-of-a-Hundred. What that means is this: let’s say there are 100 individual details that you need to make a decision on that contribute to a top-performing Airbnb listing. No single one of those decisions is going to have a significant impact on your business or make you a winning Airbnb host. However, the host who makes good decisions on the most of those 100 issues is going to be the most successful.

There’s no magic trick with this strategy; there’s no ‘you do this and you will rank high’. It’s more about how to get as much as possible working in our favor. It’s how we manage everything that we can. Obviously, not everything is in within your control on Airbnb, but the elements that we can impact, we want to get 100% under control.

Bonus Material

Throughout the book you’ll find QR codes that you can scan with your phone to gain access to all of my bonus material for free. The bonus material includes:

  • Two versions of my amenities checklist; standard and luxury
  • Spreadsheet to estimate revenue on future purchases
  • Color photos
  • Deal sheet giving you discounts for all of my recommended tools
  • Discounts on every item in my online store
  • 50% discount code for my online Profitable Properties program

Thanks for tuning in. Until next time, happy hosting!

 

 

 

 

About Danny Rusteen

Starting in 2012, Danny has been an Airbnb employee, Superhost, and Airbnb property manager. Danny lives in Airbnbs (2,000 nights). As a guest, Danny has traveled to 36 countries and sifted through thousands of Airbnb listings, so he knows what makes a listing stand out and how to offer a world-class experience to your guest. Follow his journey.

GET DANNY’S BOOKS

Also on “Optimize My Airbnb”

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