So your vacation rental listings are perfect, right? But what if you are missing something?
It is amazing what a fresh set of eyes brings to an existing listing. It pays to periodically check your listings, and the start of the year is a good time. You can do it yourself, and you might get a colleague to do another pass for you.
I encourage all my readers to check out their own listings now.
You never know what you might find. If you have a few critical omissions, you may be losing 10-20% from your bottom line.
This hit me vividly when I looked over a friend’s new Airbnb listing that was prepared for him by professionals. There were a lot of little things that popped out as I looked it over. I found 7 things that could be improved.
How alert are you to improvements? The 5 minute check.
You might want to check out the same listing and see how alert you are to improvements. Without looking at my improvement list below, how many items can you find to improve? It is a 2BR apartment in a great location in the heart of downtown Melbourne, freshly renovated and beautifully presented. The target market is out of town visitors looking to discover Melbourne. The Airbnb site is shown HERE.
It should take you about 5 minutes max to do your own check of it. Make your own list before peeking at my list. Do it now if you can. This is what the listing looks like.
My list of improvements:
The Basic opportunities
- No free inhouse WIFI – THE number one requirement for travellers these days. A pain but a good investment
- Add in a CO2 detector – it is cheap and with the business ready table, qualifies for business accommodation.
- Be explicit on saying which floor the apartment is on – if silent folks will assume high or street level floor. Are there stairs as well as lifts? Make it clear.
- Although the photos are excellent, there needs to be a title on each image to explain it. Currently each has apartment title ‘Modern Comforts in Historical Building at Flinders’ – sloppy. eg 1 Living dining, ..11. Entry foyer to historic Smith building, 12 Yellow historic Smith building from Flinders Street.
- Get another 10 photos of local places, eg Our favourite cafe in the nearby laneways, The major local Flinders St train station, Tram stop – 200m from the door, etc
- Add in 2 loan public transport cards cards so folks can get around easily, and promote it as unique. Public transport can be complicated for visitors.
The apartment has no name, no identity, no theme. There is nothing to make it stand out from competing listings. There is no idea or experience to make it memorable, or to make it mention worthy to friends. The lack of name will mean that past guests will find it hard find again or refer to their friends.
It will be just another commodity and occupancy will rise and fall with the local market. There will be 10-20% left on the table!
The opportunity is to create a theme that will make it stand out. It is clearly located in an old building. It could have an historic theme. The old buildings of Melbourne. The history of the early shops nearby. Other alternatives could be: Food – the laneway cafes nearby; Art – the local graffiti scene; Sport – the nearby sporting events. It doesn’t really matter which theme is chosen as long as the property stands out from the competition.
How did you go identifying opportunities? Did I miss anything? Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember, you should also have another fresh look at your own vacation rental listings. Do yourself a favour, it may earn you serious money!