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Managing an Airbnb can be time-consuming, and if you are looking for an efficient way to reduce your workload, increase the occupancy rate, and reduce the execution of repetitive tasks, all with minimal time investment, then one sure way to do this is to leverage technological advancement to automate your whole Airbnb process.
Besides that, there are situations in our lives where we might not have access to the internet or even our phones, and in such situations, an automated task manager can handle the task for us when we are limited by situations. However, for most people, automation might seem like a complex task, which is why, in this post, we have taken it upon ourselves to break down the whole Airbnb automation process into 5 simple yet elaborate tips to help you automate your Airbnb business.
So, without wasting much of your time, let’s get right into it:
- 1. Automate and Personalize Messaging
- Importance of Automating Your Airbnb Messages:
- How To Automate Your Airbnb Messages:
- 2. Automate Your Pricing Management
- 3. Use Smart Technologies
- Importance of Leveraging Smart Home Technology For Airbnb Automation:
- How To Automate Your Airbnb With A Smart Home:
- 4. Automate Your Task Management System:
- 5. Get A Channel Manager
- In Summary:
1. Automate and Personalize Messaging
The first step to automating your Airbnb business is to automate your messaging. By automating your messages with pre-made templates, you are drastically affecting your response rate in a positive way which gives you a competitive edge over your peers on the platform.
We know some of you might think that scheduling your messaging takes out the human vibe from the booking process; however, if you think about it, having an automated messaging system can be beneficial in many ways. Let’s take a look at a few below.
Importance of Automating Your Airbnb Messages:
Responding to queries about your listing from guests who have booked or are looking to book your unit is important due to four main reasons:
- The first reason is that one of the ranking factors of the Airbnb algorithm is the response rate. Essentially, response time refers to how quickly–within 24 hours–you can respond to guests’ bookings or inquiries. Therefore, the faster your response to the queries of guests, the higher you would rank on Airbnb’s search engine listing. This means you won’t have to waste tons of money on paid ads for you to rank higher on search listings since the algorithm would already push you higher above your peers who do not have a swift response time.
- The second reason why you need to automate your messages to improve your response rate is that it affects your super host status. The Super Host status is the holy grail of the Airbnb hosting sector, and if you are looking to earn that status or maintain that status, then one key area you need to work on is your response rate. Therefore, when you automate your bookings and messages, you should be able to handle that area without any sweat.
- The third reason why automating your messages is important is because it helps with more bookings or increased occupancy rates. A study showed that hosts that responded to queries of customers in less than 24 hours saw 12.5% more bookings than hosts that didn’t, and hosts with a response rate of fewer than 24 hours had an average occupancy rate of 52% according to the same abovementioned station. Therefore, by automating your bookings and messages, not only will you be in good standing with Airbnb, but you will also be ensuring that you have a steady flow of income from customers.
- The final reason why automating your messages is important is because it saves you tons of time. Well, the truth is that 9/10 times most guests are going to have questions before, during, and after they book your apartment, and having to respond to their questions during these stages can sometimes be stressful–especially during the inquiry stage where people just want more information about your listing–, having to repeatedly answer the same questions or a variation of the similar questions can be quite hectic and as such, automating the whole process takes that weight off your shoulder by allowing you answer all questions once and for all.
With the above-mentioned points, you cannot underestimate the importance of automating your messages, but how do you automate your messages? Well, let’s take a look at that.
How To Automate Your Airbnb Messages:
a.Using Airbnb’s Template Integration:
As stated earlier, you will need some sort of a system to help you issue out your scheduled messages. Well, luckily enough, Airbnb now has an in-house feature that allows you to write and dish out scheduled messages automatically throughout the booking, checking-in, staying, and checking-out stages of the hosting process. This saves you the stress of having to purchase any third-party software to create an automated message response system.
However, before the template integration can dish out a message, you will have to put in some work by drafting messages for each stage of the booking process. The under-listed video has great tips to help you set up your automated messaging system using the Airbnb app.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sx-nylvnzyc (kindly use this video. I wanted to elaborate on the steps, but I realized I might end up spending so much time on the messaging aspect).
b.Get A Virtual Assistant or a Concierge service:
Sometimes, the guest might have a question that might not have been answered in the scheduled messaging or templates, in cases like this, you need a 24/7 service to answer the questions swiftly in real-time. Well, since you might not always be available, you can decide to complement your automated messaging system with a virtual assistant or a concierge service from companies such as Webcenture to make the stay of the guest blissful.
2. Automate Your Pricing Management
Another feature of your Airbnb business that needs to be automated is the pricing. Just like with the messaging, automating your pricing is crucial to helping you scale your business and maximize profits, when necessary.
Importance of Automating Your Airbnb Pricing:
So, you might be wondering why you need to automate your Airbnb pricing, right? Well, let’s take a look at the main reason why we recommend you automate your pricing.
The reason why automating your pricing is important is that prices of rental properties or even the real estate market are dynamic. If you have been in the rental space for a while or some years now, you will notice that the price of renting a property greatly depends on demand and supply. For example, there are certain days of the week or weeks of the month where demand for rentals is low, as such, the rates of your rental might have to be toned down to an affordable rate to get more bookings.
Similarly, there are also certain peak seasons–for example summer or Christmas or during local festivals– where the demand for properties might go high, as such prices need to be adjusted to help you capitalize on the increased demand. Well, regardless of the situation, you want to make sure that you have a competitive price; however, researching to find the sweet price point for your rental can be a hassle, likewise, having to tweak prices always to meet the supply and demand for rentals can be quite time-consuming, which is why you need a pricing automation software to take that weight off your shoulder.
A pricing automation software will automatically look for the supply and demand of the area your property is located, as well as, the neighboring areas surrounding that area. After that, the software will compare the pricing of short-term rental properties similar to yours, and with the help of an algorithm come up with a competitive price and then suggest that you either update your pricing or automatically update the pricing for a fee.
How To Automate Your Airbnb Pricing:
Automating your Airbnb pricing is quite simple, all you need to do is to find a great Airbnb software, check out how they work, and then opt-in for automated pricing or not. This software when installed will automatically integrate into your channel manager– with your permission or approval– and then, it will start working automatically.
That being said, there is three pricing software we do recommend to you; these include:
- Pricelabs: Charges a flat fee of $19 for dynamic pricing per listing/month.
- Beyond: Charges a flat rate of 1% for dynamic pricing.
Choosing between these two might seem a bit confusing for some people since both options seem to offer the same functionality; however, there is a simple trick you can employ to help you choose the best pricing software for you. If you have a single property that makes less than $2000 in revenue per booking, then getting a pricing software like Beyond is a good idea (For example 1% of $300 is $3, leaving you with net revenue of $297 after charges–which makes sense; however, if you use a software like Price lab, your net revenue after charges will be $300-19= $281).
However, if you have a large property that can generate more than $2000 in revenue per booking, then getting software like Pricelabs that charges $19 per listing is a good idea (For example $2500 minus $19 will give you $2481; however, assuming you go in for an automation software like Beyond, then your net revenue after deduction from the pricing software will be 1% of $2500, which is $25, leaving you with a net amount of $2475)
3. Use Smart Technologies
The rise in smart technology has made automation of the Airbnb listings much easier and more and more hosts are installing these smart devices in their homes; therefore, you do not want to be left out.
Importance of Leveraging Smart Home Technology For Airbnb Automation:
The first reason why we recommend that you utilize smart technology is that they are easy to manage. Most smart devices come with an app that allows you to manage and tweak the settings remotely with just a touch of a button and without you having to be proximal to the device. This becomes important in cases of emergencies where you might not be available or close to any of your listings.
For instance, assuming you have traveled and one of your properties uses a conventional key and door-lock system, let’s say your guest loses their key after partying hard at night, say 1 am. Well, with a conventional key, you will have to wake up and drive down to the property and then hand over a new key to the guest, or in the worst scenario, if there is no spare key, you might have to break the door lock and change the whole door system, which can be stressful for you and the client. However, with a smart home lock, should a guest forgets their pin, all you will need to do is to open the app, and then remotely change the pin and then send it their email or send it via text, and everyone is free.
Another important reason is that it helps prevent theft. There have been numerous instances where guests have stolen thousands of dollars worth of gadgets from the vacation homes they stayed at, and since you cannot install CCTV cameras in certain areas of your home, having a smart home system can simply help prevent such theft occurrences. For example, the location of some modern smart TVs can easily be tracked.
How To Automate Your Airbnb With A Smart Home:
a. By Installing Smart Locks
As stated earlier, conventional door-lock systems come with some disadvantages that can hurt your pockets; however, by making a little more investment, you can avoid theft cases. With a smart lock system, each time a new guest arrives, all you need to do is to reset the key or pin via an app and then provide the new guest with their unique key or pin via text or email, and in case they forget their key or pin, you can easily reset that via the app as well. We do recommend that you get smart locks if you have the cash since there have been instances where previous guests have duplicated conventional keys of rentals they stay at and then they return to those rentals to steal items there.
However, if you still want to go the conventional route, then we recommend you get a key lock box to help you securely store all your physical keys in one location. However, with this, you will have to manually change the key of the lockbox after a guest leaves.
b. Installing Noise Monitoring Systems
We cannot deny the fact that most people rent out Airbnbs just to go and party, and even if they do not party, chances are they might have some friends or visitors over, and engage in arguments or conversations that can get too loud. This loudness or noise gets to disturb the neighbors that live close to your listing, disrupting the serenity of the neighborhood, which can lead to your neighbors calling you– and as we all know, having neighbors call you due to noise coming from your property isn’t cool.
Well, you can avoid all these noise complaints by simply installing a smart noise monitoring system. What this system does is monitor the noise levels in your listing and then send out a notification whenever the noise level exceeds a certain threshold; this will enable you to automatically curb any noise issues before the neighbors call you or even before the neighbors call the police.
Disclaimer: Ensure that the noise monitoring system you install doesn’t infringe on the privacy of the guest.
c. Tracking Devices
If you do not have the cash to purchase a smart TV or a smart air conditioner or a smart device that has an in-built GPS, then one thing you can do is to purchase a tracking device and then attach expensive gadgets–such as fridges, TVs, washing machines, and others–you cannot afford losing. There are tons of options available that you can choose from and these trackers will send an update in real-time to your phone about the location of your gadget in case it gets stolen or moved. This can save you the stress of having to install CCTV cameras while being able to detect the location of your appliance.
4. Automate Your Task Management System:
Another time-demanding aspect of the Airbnb business model is task management, especially if you have back-to-back bookings during peak seasons. Having to manage and ensure the timely delivery of the refilling supplies, cleaning, and other housekeeping chores can be quite hectic; however, leveraging a task management software can easily help automate the process of cleaning, refilling supplies, and the various in-house management jobs that need to be done. This management software automatically sends out notifications to the various crews you have whenever a guest checks in or checks out. This means you do not have to waste time calling anyone to get their job done since the software will get it done for you.
How To Automate Your Airbnb Task Management:
Well, Airbnb has made task creation and task management simple, Airbnb has a self-integrated task creation and management system that allows hosts to handle all housekeeping tasks, maintenance, and other tasks in a streamlined manner. The Airbnb task management goes to the extent of having the various housekeeping or maintenance crews take pictures of the work they have done for confirmation or further directions.
5. Get A Channel Manager
Airbnb isn’t the only short-term rental marketplace available, and as a business-minded individual, you might want to spread your tentacles to other platforms such as Vrbo or Vacasa, or Homeaway– given that your home type matches the target market of any of the earlier-mentioned short-term vacation rental marketplaces.
Importance Of Having A Channel Manager:
Even though listing your property on numerous platforms can be a great way to increase your occupancy rate and eventually increase your profits, one issue that may arise from listings on multiple platforms is double booking. Essentially, what this means is that two guests using different rental platforms may end up booking your apartment on the same date, and this can cause confusion.
Well, a channel manager becomes handy in such a situation by ensuring that no two guests book the same room or apartment on the same date. Besides that, with a channel manager, you can send out an update to all your listings on various platforms at once from a single portal; this is a great way to ensure that information about your listing(s) on various platforms are consistent or accurate.
I mean, imagine having 5 listings across 5 booking platforms. Well, this means, you will have to manually update information related to these listings individually across all 5 platforms which can be stressful; however, with a channel manager all you need to do is to send out one message from the portal, and all listings are updated.
How To Automate Your Airbnb Using A Channel Manager:
Well, automating your listings via a channel manager is easy and some channel management software also comes with extra features that you might find helpful; however, you need to note that these channel managers aren’t free. That being said we do recommend some channel management software we recommend include:
- and many others
For more information on how to choose the best channel manager, as well as the features of each, we recommend you read this article on the 7 best vacation home rental channel managers.
Automating your Airbnb listing makes the whole booking and staying process effortless for not only the host but the guest as well; first, it takes away any form of forgetfulness to respond to any messages or activities. Secondly, it saves you time and stress since you do not have to do any repetitive tasks, and lastly, it saves the guests time and stress, since they don’t have to feel like they are bothering you.
However, we do recommend that you do automate your listings if you have more than 1 listing to ensure that you are efficient. If you only have one property– given that it isn’t a high-profit margin listing–investing in some of these automation methods might not be a great idea since it might cut into some of your profits, which in turn affects your growth. However, if you have more than 1 property, then automating your process might not be a bad idea.
That being said, we recommend you do the first three suggested automation regardless of the number of properties you have.