By The Hospitable Team
Creating listings that pop — one of the biggest challenges for short-term rental (STR) hosts relying primarily on online travel agencies (OTAs) like Airbnb and Booking.com. We say you can have a listing that wows from the get-go!
To prove the point, we invited Jeff Iloulian, the mastermind behind HostGPO, to our recent Hospitable Masterclass. Jeff breaks down the importance of that first impression, talks about sustainable stays, and shares his vision of the new Airbnb Guest Favorites badges.
Ready to turn your listings into showstoppers? Watch the full Hospitable Masterclass or enjoy the highlights below and let the magic begin.
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Making a Difference: Your Property and Your Listing
Jeff brought a whole package of hot STR tips to our webinar. From the ways of setting up your vacation rental property to writing the perfect description, all of this is in his insightful talk.
The impact of your interior aesthetics goes far beyond just a pretty picture. Jeff breaks it down: “It’s hugely important for two reasons. One, you’re going to increase your ROI with a highly designed and curated space… but the real thing is that people want to feel a certain level of trust, [the one you get] when you’re looking at a listing that is actually well-designed.”
Jeff also emphasizes the importance of quality furniture as a long-term investment: “When you start with the right kinds of furniture and the right kinds of linens inside of a home, you’re gonna save money in the long run. Because you’re not going to have to replace it every two years.”
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Mastering Digital Space
For Jeff, there is a series of crucial steps every STR host should think of before posting a listing:
- Picture-Perfect Listings: Jeff emphasizes the power of the first impression. The first five photos are crucial, so make them visually compelling.
- Visual Appeal Beyond Basic: Professional photography is a game-changer, but it’s not just about having pretty pictures. Jeff asks a critical question: “Does it look hotel-like?” You should strive for a clean, crisp aesthetic that appeals to potential guests.
- Description & Design Consistency: Think practically. If your listing says it sleeps 10, show that there’s adequate seating for dining. It’s about creating a visual narrative that aligns with guest expectations.
- Trigger Words: Jeff insists on using sharper terms in descriptions. Attention to detail ensures your property appears in relevant searches and doesn’t get lost in the noise.
There you have it — a snapshot of the art and science of making your listing stand out on OTAs. Hungry for the full picture? Watch this Hospitable Masterclass on YouTube.
Sustainable Stay: Future-Proof Strategy
“The definition of sustainability is changing in vacation rentals and the world,” Jeff says. For him, it’s not simply about emissions anymore. A list of potential pieces of this puzzle includes smart amenities, eco-friendly landscaping, supporting local and perhaps even obtaining certifications.
Jeff is confident that in the future “there will be filters for environmentally friendly properties.” Stay ahead of the game by incorporating sustainable practices now, and your listing will stand out when eco-conscious travelers start filtering their vacation rental searches on Airbnb.
New Airbnb Badges & More
The buzz is all around the new Airbnb’s Guest Favorites Badge! In Jeff’s words, “Getting it just means that you’re doing a good job.” The badge represents a virtual pat on the back for hosts who excel in guest satisfaction.
But Jeff keeps it real: “I think it’s a good idea, probably a little bit half-baked.” While we wait to see if badges become the new bling on Airbnb profiles, one thing’s clear — the review ratings and first impressions will keep on being the central piece of guests’ decision-making.
Catch the full episode for more of Jeff’s insider tips and tricks to elevate your hosting game.
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We’ve been inviting the best industry experts to our Hospitable Hosts podcast. Our guests shared their valuable insights and expertise on how to navigate the short-term rental industry and gave valuable tips that can make your life as a host just that little bit easier.
We know that being a short-term rental host can be like a game of Tetris… guests, bookings, and cleaning schedules are constantly falling from the sky and you have to fit them all together perfectly. To help our hosts slot everything into place, we organize Hospitable Masterclasses that are jam-packed with inspiration and insight.