The key to success in business is getting your product or service seen by the people actively searching for it. This idea holds true for property owners using Airbnb. Like Google, Airbnb uses an algorithm to display property search results.
Using the search parameters provided by the user, Airbnb will display the results that they believe will be most relevant. However, in very competitive territories which feature a large number of listings, how does Airbnb decide which to rank first?
While ranking factors were previously shrouded in mystery, Airbnb has recently released a guide to help users understand what will get their listing in front of the right people. This guide coupled proven theories from veteran Airbnb hosts gives us definitive insight into what it takes to get your Airbnb listing ranking.
The Key Factors that determine Airbnb ranking
The Airbnb platform values quality and reliability, hence why reviews are a key ranking factor. It’s pretty simple, the more 5 star reviews your listing has, the better it will rank!
Said to be one of the most crucial elements influencing the Airbnb algorithm is the number of clicks a listing receives. A listing which gets a high level of engagement after an Airbnb user has completed a search is indicated to be a relevant, quality listing. The Airbnb algorithm takes note of this and is more likely to show users listings which have a history of attracting clicks from prospective guests.
In their guide to ranking, Airbnb indicates a push towards the instant book feature. They state that, “Airbnb users value a quick and easy booking experience and are most likely to book an Instant Book listing.” They go on to point out that, in many cases, listings which feature instant booking will be assigned priority over other listings in the search results pages.
This push towards instant gratification is not only a sign of the times, but an indication that Airbnb wants to position themselves as less of a bed & breakfast experience and more of a motel experience similar to the likes of Booking.com and Trivago.
Keeping in line with this push toward swift booking experience, Airbnb also assigns ranking value to listings which respond quickly to guest’s enquiries. Hosts who consistently respond to booking requests in a timely manner are rewarded by the platform which greater rankings. If you want your listing to remain popular in the results pages, it is important that you keep onto these messages, even if it is simply to reject requests.
Staying on top of your Airbnb listing
While achieving and maintaining a healthy position in Airbnb’s search result pages may seem rather straightforward, it does require a consistent commitment of your time. As the platform shifts towards a more instant booking experience, it can be difficult for property owners to keep on top of their listings. This is where the use of a property manager can be useful.
Stefan Nikolic, director of Auckland Airbnb Management company, Zodiak highlights how the use of a property manager can really improve not only your Airbnb rankings, but also the level of cliental which frequent your property.
“While Airbnb property owners often start off with the best intentions, response to messages and optimisation of listings can begin to slip over time as other commitments takeover”.
“Having a dedicated property manager who quickly responds to booking request, communicates with clients and ensures the property remains clean will keep your listing sitting atop the Airbnb search results pages”.