We’re now approaching the low season in Sydney, and so many Airbnb rental owners may find that their bookings are dropping.
It can be more challenging to keep your property booked up during these quieter months. However, with a little creative thinking, you can make your Airbnb rental more attractive and ensure your income keeps flowing in, despite the lower numbers of tourists.
1. Lower Your Prices
The first and most obvious course of action is to lower your prices when demand is lower. As there are fewer people looking for rentals, you’ll need to make your prices more competitive if you want to get any bookings.
Airbnb makes this very easy with their smart pricing tool, which will adjust your nightly rate depending on demand and the rates of similar properties in your area automatically.
You can turn on this setting in your Airbnb dashboard in the pricing section. While Airbnb will offer suggested rates, it’s entirely up to you what you set the minimum and maximum rate too. The nightly price will then be adjusted automatically between these limits depending on demand, season, and other factors.
Be careful not to lower your price too far. Super low rates can attract a different type of budget traveller. While it’s not always the case that those paying more will be more respectful of your property, it’s worth keeping an eye on reviews. You also want to make sure that you’re still earning enough to cover all your costs and make a profit.
Another good idea to boost your bookings is to set a special discount for a set period. This is a unique feature in Airbnb that isn’t always available to all hosts, but it’s worth logging in regularly and keeping an eye on your calendar. You’ll sometimes see suggestions for getting more bookings to the right of the calendar, which might include promoting your property with a 5-15% discount for a limited time. If you do decide to discount your property for these dates, Airbnb will email users who have been looking for accommodation over those dates. These users will also see a special offer discount graphic that draws attention to your listing when browsing the site.
2. Edit Your Description
In the shoulder months between high season and low season, it’s a good idea to re-work the copy on your Airbnb description to highlight the different attractions and reasons for visiting Sydney in the autumn and winter months.
While ocean swimming and water sports may be off the menu for most, you can talk about how this is a great time to visit the city due to the lack of crowds and cheaper airfares, and mention some things that are fun to do in the cooler months of the year such as watching a show at the Opera House, dining at the city’s best restaurants, and enjoying the natural beauty of the area on a coastal walk.
Your description is also a good place to note some of the special festivals and events that take place in Sydney during the low season such as the Sydney Winter Festival, the Sydney Film Festival, and the Australian International Film Festival. This can help your Airbnb listing come up when people who are visiting the city specifically for these events are searching for accommodation.
3. Promote Your Listing on Social Media
Don’t rely on your Airbnb listing to promote itself – you should always be looking for other marketing opportunities.
Social media can be a great way to do this – set up specific Instagram and Facebook accounts for your property and post regularly on them. Mix up attractive photos of your property with local attractions and scenery. Comment on other local and travel accounts too.
Make sure you use the geotagging feature of Instagram on all your images and use Stories too – this can be a great way to reach a new audience who might well be researching their next Sydney trip. Use seasonal tags like #winterinsydney and if there’s a big event coming up, make sure you use the hashtags for that too.
Encourage people who stay in your property to post their photos on social media. You can leave a card in your welcome pack that lists the links of your social media accounts and hashtags they can use on their photos.
Facebook groups can also be a very effective way of advertising holiday rentals. Depending on the style and price of your accommodation you can look for groups for backpacking in Australia, Sydney holiday rentals, and any other groups that allow advertising of short-term rental properties.
4. Invite a Travel Influencer or Lifestyle Blogger to Stay
This strategy isn’t always the cheap advertising option it once was, as being a blogger or social media influencer is big business today. The biggest names can ask for thousands in exchange for a quick mention on their accounts.
However, if your property is sitting empty anyway, it’s well worth looking around for some less well-known influencers with a smaller following who may be delighted to stay in your property for free in exchange for a post or two about their stay. Look for travel bloggers who are planning to be in Sydney during your preferred dates, or contact local lifestyle bloggers to see if they’d be interested in a complimentary staycation.
Influencer marketing has had a fair amount of negative criticism over the last couple of years, but it can still be effective if you choose your influencer carefully, especially if the compensation is in the form of a complimentary stay rather than cash. Influencer marketing can:
Promote your property to thousands of people
Boost your SEO and bring you further up the Airbnb and Google listings
Get some high-quality photographs (or videos if you choose a YouTube influencer) to use for future promotion
Promote Sydney in the low season as a holiday destination in general
5. Ensure a Comfortable Stay
Sydney’s winters may be mild compared to many other parts of the world, but as locals will know, many houses can get chilly when the temperature drops.
Make sure your guests can keep the temperature at a comfortable level. You can do this by supplying adequate heaters if you don’t have an integrated heating system and investing in some basic energy saving measures such as blocking draughts and adding insulation.
You can create an extra level of cosiness by supplying extra snuggly blankets, doonas, and electric blankets.
A comfortable, warm apartment will be a much more attractive option than a draughty holiday home that’s intended for summer use only, so make sure you make a point of describing the steps you’ve taken to ensure all your guests have a comfortable stay. If you have a heated pool or a hot tub, even better!
6. Offer a Little Bonus
Think of the little extras you can include with every stay to make your place more attractive to casual browsers.
A hamper of local deli goodies and a bottle of bubbly, a spa treatment, or a free tour package could just be enough to persuade someone to take that weekend trip or to choose your property over a standard hotel room.
Even something as simple as a free airport pickup could be enough of a perk to twist someone’s arm into booking your property. These little extras can help you to get better reviews at the end of their stay too.
Get Ready for Low Season Bookings
Keeping your property fully booked over the winter months may take a little creative thinking and compromise, but it’s worth the effort.
If you need any more help with securing more bookings for your Airbnb property, managing guests, or any other aspect of running your holiday rental business, get in touch with the team at HomeHost. We take the hassle out of Airbnb management so you can sit back and enjoy the benefits.