AirDNA is a treasure trove of information and insights for any Airbnb host in any market. So where do you start? Here’s a quick guide to getting the most out of AirDNA’s MarketMinder™ tool as a vacation rental host or operator.
1. Discover Ways to Stand Out
AirDNA’s Overview page is an analytics gold mine for hosts—if you know how to use it right. Every data nugget on this page tells you how to keep up with other hosts in your area and how to get ahead. Here are some things you can do with data from the Overview page:
- Is there a lot of competition on one particular rental platform (Airbnb or Vrbo)? Consider listing in more than one place or on the less common platform. Just because hosts prefer one rental platform in your area, that doesn't mean it’s where all the guests are, too!
- If your entire market has a strict cancellation policy, consider adopting a different approach that might make your listing more attractive. Both Airbnb and Vrbo offer a range of cancellation policies with different nuances. Just because you’re moving away from Strict doesn’t mean you need to be totally flexible. For instance, Airbnb has a Firm cancellation policy that requires guests to cancel 30 days before check-in to receive a full refund. If you’re in a high-demand market and would likely get rebooked, this could be an interesting way to stand out.
- Are you missing amenities that many local properties have? Consider adding them if you can. While you might not be able to add a pool, look for easy opportunities. For instance, if you have a locked washer/dryer, you can easily turn that into a popular guest amenity.
- Obviously, your goal is to have the highest-possible guest rating. But if your rating dips below the average overall star rating for vacation rentals in your area, you really need to pay attention to your reviews and find ways to improve. (Let’s face it: No host wants to be below average.)
2. Stop Comparing Yourself to EVERYONE
The Overview page is a great way to identify general opportunities to improve in your market as a whole. But when you’re looking at the factors that really drive success (occupancy rate, annual revenue, and average daily rate), you shouldn’t compare your listing to the entire market. A one-bedroom condo is not the same as a four-bedroom house. When researching how much you could be charging per night, what your occupancy rate should be, and how much you could expect to make every year, you should only compare against other listings similar to your specific property type.
Filters are your friend. In-depth filters (found on the Rates, Revenue, and Occupancy pages) help you get really granular so you can compare apples to apples. AirDNA helps you filter by:
- Number of Bedrooms
- Number of Bathrooms
- Number of Guests
- Listing Type
- Real Estate Type (B&Bs, Houses, Apartments, and Unique Stays)
- Price Tier (Budget, Economy, Midscale, Upscale, and Luxury)
- Professionally Managed/Not Professionally Managed
- Star Rating
3. Level-Up Your Competitive Research
Speaking of apples-to-apples comparisons, did you know that you can use AirDNA to create a customized list of your top competitors (so you can spy on them … I mean … compare yourself to them)?
Once you connect your Airbnb listing to AirDNA, you can build a list of your top competitors and see their occupancy rate, average daily rate, and even how much revenue they make a year. (You definitely can’t get that kind of information on Airbnb!) The best part is that you don’t have to worry if you missed a listing. Just enter your filter criteria (including amenities you want to include or exclude), and AirDNA generates a list of the top matches. From there, you can tailor your list to make sure you’re only paying attention to the competitors you care about.
4. See Into the Future (for Real!)
Do you ever wish you had a crystal ball so that you can look into the future of your property and area? Meet AirDNA's Pacing page. Understanding general seasonal trends has long been enough for vacation rental home owners to predict their calendars, but things are changing rapidly now. Is it just you who isn’t getting bookings, or is everything slower than usual in your area? Are people waiting later to book trips? Have rates changed so much that visitors might be looking at alternative vacation destinations? Not knowing these answers means you have to make your best guesses. But with AirDNA, you can know for certain.
AirDNA’s Pacing page shows you how many properties are available versus how many have already been booked for the next six months, plus the median nightly price for both still-available and already-booked properties. It also lets you look at how nightly rates have changed over the past year and how far ahead of time people are booking stays (known as booking lead time).
5. Be Confident in Your Nightly Rates
“How much should I charge per night?” is one of the biggest questions when running a short-term rental. You probably spend a lot of time looking at what other people are charging. There’s an easier way (one that’s based on more than just what Ashley down the street is doing).
AirDNA’s Smart Rates™ provides nightly rate recommendations based on real-world factors like:
- Day of the week
- Seasonality trends
- Booking lead time
Setting your rates intentionally and based on real-world demand helps you generate more occupancy. And it can lead to higher revenue by making sure you’re always appropriately priced.
Pro Tip: You can access 30 days of Smart Rates™ for free without an AirDNA subscription by simply connecting your Airbnb listing to AirDNA.
“Our summer bookings were slower than normal. I used AirDNA's Smart Rates to make sure our pricing was in line with the market, and after adjusting my prices with MarketMinder's recommendations, I booked three high-value weeks within 72 hours.” - Tony S., Airbnb Superhost
Want More Host Tips for Using AirDNA?
This article highlights a few areas to get you started. If you want to take your knowledge of AirDNA to the next level and get the most out of the data, the video below goes through each feature that hosts should know about and how to capitalize on all the charts and insights.
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