People often ask me questions about getting started as an Airbnb host. Sometimes the most difficult part of getting started is getting that all important first review. Positive reviews will obviously lead to more bookings, but what does it take to get that initial review when starting from scratch?
Even if you have the best description and stellar photos it can sometimes be intimidating for potential renters if you don’t have any reviews yet. Let’s face it, people are more likely to try your place if they can read first hand accounts of how wonderful it is. You need to do everything in your power to get that positive first review. Let’s look at how to do it.
When you have no reviews on your listing you are at a distinct disadvantage when compared to other listings in your area. These other listings have all been vetted for, potential guests feel a sense of security. In order to overcome this on your listing you need to compensate in another area.
Pricing is a vital component of any good listing, and now is the time to use it to your advantage. In order to get that first review you may need to significantly lower your nightly rate. Starting off slightly below the neighborhood average will help you stand out as a viable option despite your lack of reviews. Don’t worry, you can always raise your rates later, but right now a positive review will be far more valuable to you than the money you’re trimming off the asking price.
You should always be comfortable with the guests staying at your place, but now is the time to broaden your horizons! First time hosts need not be as discriminatory as established hosts. Getting that first guest in the door should be your priority, so give someone a chance and don’t play favorites.
Once you have your first guest booked you need to do everything in your power to make their stay exceptional. While every booking should be treated this way, your initial guest is even more important. Go the extra mile! Confirm check-in and check-out times, make sure the space is impeccably clean, leave something special like a bottle of wine or gift basket. Do your research on the guest and suggest potential activities that might strike their interests. Whatever you do, just be in tune with their needs and try to anticipate anything they may want to enhance their stay. Hospitality is the name of the game.
It may seem daunting when you’re faced with a profile with no reviews, but rest assured that if you follow these rules you’ll be swimming in positive reviews in no time.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ginable/111412432/