Airbnb is one of the largest vacation rental platforms around the world. With 800 million visitors and more than 6 million active home listings (and counting), its popularity with travelers and homeowners alike is indisputable. This means there is both plenty of competition and opportunity for making money.
We’ve rounded up many of our own top techniques for driving bookings, commanding higher rates, and staying ahead of the competition. These nine tips will help you make top dollar on every booking on Airbnb, all year round.
Consider who’s likely to book a stay at your vacation home, then aim to maximize your bookings from that audience. One way to do it: Tailor your marketing—from your listing description to your social media posts—with that audience in mind.
Your target guest can depend on home size (smaller homes are likely to attract more couples) and location (ski-in/ski-out cabins are a favorite for families and ski enthusiasts), among other factors. Your target market should also influence your decisions on how to decorate your property and which items you’ll stock it with.
Look at the other Airbnbs you’re up against. Which are similar to yours in the area? What unique amenities do they offer? How do they decorate? How much do they charge at different times throughout the year? Most importantly—read their reviews. What do their guests like and dislike? Scoping out the competition on Airbnb is one of the smartest ways to gather intelligence on what visitors want, what they’re paying elsewhere, and how to stand out.
Design can make a massive difference on your earnings. After all, today’s guests are willing to pay more for a remarkable experience and appealing interiors versus a home filled with mismatched used furniture.
According to the Vacasa Interior Design team, which exclusively designs Vacasa vacation properties, professionally designed Vacasa homes* (compared to similar homes in the same market) capture:
Designing for max income takes more than pretty patterns and colors. Some tips to design your vacation rental like an interior designer:
A vital key to a profitable Airbnb—knowing what travelers need, want, and are willing to pay for. Start with the essentials every modern traveler expects, like napkins, a coffee maker, fresh sheets, laundry detergent, and high-speed WiFi. Make sure you’re covering it all with our vacation rental inventory checklist.
Then, invest in extra amenities that’ll elevate your home above the competition. Base this on your location and target market. For instance, to attract more pet owners (a smart move since dog-friendly vacation homes typically earn 10–20% more) offer items like a dog bed, leash, dog towels, dog bags, and food and water bowls. Own a beach house? Add beach towels, beach toys, and beach umbrellas to your shopping list.
When capturing guests’ attention on Airbnb, looks do matter. When Airbnb users search for a home, they’ll see up to 20 homes on one page—so your photography has to stand out from the rest. From there, the formula is simple: The more people look at your listing, the more bookings you’ll get. Hire a professional photographer—preferably one experienced in capturing interior design or real estate images who understands the right lighting, angles, and details that appeal to potential guests.
If you work with Vacasa to manage your home, we’ll conduct a professional photo shoot of your entire home (at no extra cost) even before you get your first booking.
Photos grab a traveler’s attention on Airbnb. An enticing description holds it. The best vacation rental listing descriptions shine a spotlight on all the great aspects of your vacation home, but with full transparency—gaining trust, building excitement, and closing the deal. (Professionally written listing descriptions are included with Vacasa’s full-service vacation rental management.)
Some tips when writing your rental description:
Some samples of Airbnb profiles and descriptions, written by our Vacasa copywriting team:
Despite Airbnb’s massive audience, don’t rely on the platform to drive all of your bookings. Vacation rentals aren’t a one-and-done business. The most successful vacation home owners market their Airbnb rentals all year long to fill their calendar. Some ways to boost your vacation home’s visibility include:
When marketing gets too overwhelming, many homeowners turn to vacation rental managers to bring their homes more visibility on their behalf. Vacasa’s digital marketing strategies keep your property top-of-mind all year round, from frequent emails to social media posts to blog content promoting your vacation destinations.
Airbnb guests trust other guests. Having better guest reviews can make all the difference in convincing someone to book your home over another. That’s why reviews are vital for your success on the platform.
Some ways to get 5-star reviews on Airbnb:
At Vacasa, our dynamic pricing software (with oversight by our local market analysts) automatically adjusts your nightly rates on Airbnb based on local market conditions—all in real time. Which means, you can make top dollar on every booking.
Managing your own Airbnb—not to mention making the most money possible—takes work. So much work that many vacation home owners often describe it as a full-time job. After all, there are always rooms to clean, guests to assist, marketing to keep up with, repairs to make, rates to adjust, reviews to respond to, and so much more.
Full-service vacation rental property managers (such as Vacasa) take care of all those tasks for you, all with the goal of helping you earn top dollar from your property every year.
With 800 million users, Airbnb is one of the most popular vacation rental sites around the globe. The opportunity to make money on the platform is yours for the taking, but you have to be strategic on many fronts. Use these tips to help you get a leg up on your competitors and boost your rental income.
The best place to make the most money on Airbnb can change year to year, depending on guest demand and many other factors. Every year, we rank our Top 25 Best Places to Buy a Vacation Home, based on the rate of return on your investment and median home sale price.
Starting an Airbnb is worth it, as they can reward you both financially and personally if managed right. The pros are numerous, including:
However, running an Airbnb can also be extremely time-consuming. To make it more worthwhile without tiring yourself out, work with a vacation rental company (like Vacasa) that can take most of the management work off your plate.
Many types of properties can be successful on Airbnb, from cabins to beach homes to lake houses. Plus, many factors (besides what property you buy) go into how much you earn on the platform, including:
*Data based on homes that participated in the Vacasa Interior Design program in 2019
Call 844-518-0967 to speak with a Homeowner Consultant, who can answer preliminary questions and see if we’d be a good fit for you.
If you'd like to move forward, we’ll put you in touch with our market expert in your neighborhood to explore the financial potential of your home, outline our management fee, and introduce your local team.
Vacasa offers property management and other real estate services directly through Vacasa LLC and through Vacasa LLC's licensed subsidiaries. Click here for more information about Vacasa's licensed real estate brokerage/property manager in your state. Vacasa’s licensed real estate brokerages/property managers include: Vacasa Alabama LLC; Vacasa Arizona LLC; Vacasa Colorado LLC (Micah Victory); Vacasa Delaware LLC, 302-541-8999; Vacasa Florida LLC; Vacasa Louisiana LLC, Dana MacCord, Principal Broker, ph 504.252.0155 (Licensed in LA); Vacasa Michigan LLC, 947-800-5979; Vacasa Missouri LLC, Susan Scanlon, Designated Broker; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC, P.O. Box 283, Conway NH 03818, Dave Grant, Broker of Record; Vacasa New Mexico LLC, 503-345-9399; Vacasa New York LLC, 888-433-0068, Susan E. Scanlon, Real Estate Broker; Vacasa North Carolina LLC; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacasa Real Estate Corporation, California DRE #02105811, Joseph Czapkowicz, California DRE #01380722; Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc., California DRE #01523013, Joseph Czapkowicz, California DRE #01380722; Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Colorado, Daned Kirkham); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Idaho, Oregon, and Utah); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Maine, Michael McNaboe, Designated Broker); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Texas, Debra Brock, Designated Broker); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Washington, Robert Brush, Designated Broker); Vacasa Seasonals Inc., California DRE #02160171, Lisa Renee Stevens, California DRE #01485234; Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa South Dakota LLC; Vacasa Tennessee LLC; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Hawaii LLC, 3350 Lower Honoapiilani Road, Suite 600, Lahaina, HI 96761; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, Terah M Young, Licensed Property Manager; Vacasa Virginia LLC; Vacasa Wisconsin LLC; Vacasa Wyoming LLC. In Canada, this advertisement is provided by Vacasa Canada ULC, CPBC lic. number 75826, 172 Asher Rd. V1X 3H6 Kelowna, BC.
Data is based on Vacasa.com searches and reservations booked April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021, unless otherwise indicated. Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.