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How do I make my Airbnb listing better? Update your amenities in 2021

Rental Scale-Up

Thibault is the founder of Rental Scale-Up. He owns vacation rentals in St. Barths and Bali. He also leads innovative projects for companies within the vacation rental industry. Feel free to reach out to Thibaut Masson on Linkedin.

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If you have not recently updated the Amenities section of your Airbnb listing, you may be missing out on visibility, traffic, reservations, and revenues. Airbnb has overhauled the way it collects amenities for your listing. Hosts have to indicate whether they own a whole new list of amenities and give more details about them. If Airbnb is asking for this content, it’s proven to increase the number of reservations guests will make at your property. Which, in turn, makes more money for Airbnb.

Hotel and vacation rental platforms are constantly testing what makes someone book a place. For instance, Airbnb may show to their users a new piece of information, such as “this place offers Netflix”. Airbnb then created an A/B test to see whether listings that display this information get more bookings than those that do not. If so, it will keep it and make sure to ask Airbnb hosts to indicate whether they offer Netflix. The platform may even decide to group together the top 10 amenities that drive bookings in an “Popular” list and feature it prominently in the Hosting Dashboard, so hosts tick the relevant boxes.

Video: Why and how edit the amenities list of your Airbnb listing in Spring 2021?

A data-driven approach to what makes a top Airbnb listing

The list of amenities that Airbnb, Booking.com, or Vrbo is not random. The platforms look at data to update such lists. It tells them what to add and what to prfioritize to get more interest from their guests. The product teams may query data to see booking patterns and conduct experiment. Then, to convince vacation rental owners and managers to make the effort to complete an update, they need to share data which backs up their claim.

For instance, here are some data recently shared about what makes a listing on Airbnb successful:

  • Hosts who add laptop-friendly workspace earn 14% more than those who don’t.
  • Hosts who add cooking basics earn 17% more compared to those who don’t.
  • Hosts who tick the pet-friendly box will see 6% more bookings over the next year than those who don’t.

The goal of these data is to make you want to go to the Airbnb Hosting Dashboard and to tick some boxes that may influence your visibility and future reservations. The data may also influence what you may add to your property to keep up with booking trends.

This is not about what guests will see: Your property may rank higher in the search results if the Airbnb ranking algorithm has determined that some amenities were crucial (e.g. a swimming pool at a villa).

Why you need to frequently update your list of amenities

In February 2021, Airbnb announced that it had changed the way hosts could add and edit amenities in their listing. If you understand how updating amenities can be crucial to driving more reservations, you know that it is a much bigger deal than it sounds. It is a great occasion for you to see whether:

  • Airbnb has introduced new amenity options that give you a chance to showcase your property better
  • you understand which list of amenities is seen as essential to Airbnb, which can give you an idea of what to add to your property (Airbnb must-haves)
  • you had not missed some crucial tickboxes in the past
  • Airbnb has lost some details about your property (which seemed to be the case during our demo, watch the video)

How do I add amenities to my Airbnb listing?

If you edit your amenities on Airbnb, your listing can get noticed by site visitors and app users.

Go to your Hosting Dashboard, and then Listings / Amenities / Edit.

Popular amenities in the Airbnb dashboard

On top of the amenities list, Airbnb has grouped items that make properties stand out and generate the most bookings. Some can be obvious basics that all respectable short-term rentals needs to offer, such as wifi and dishes. Others can be true differentiators, such as as pool. Finally, some can be linked to actual trends and to topics that Airbnb wants to drive and collect more information on, such as “dedicated workspace”.

Airbnb essentials must-haves amenities

A 2021 update that may want to keep with: New amenities layout

The way Airbnb is now asking about the amenities at a specific listing is cleaner. If you had overlooked indicating whether your property was offering a certain amenity, your mistake is now glaring.

In the example below, you can see that there’s been no indication whether the listing was offering a baking sheet, barbecue utensils, or even a dining table. You can tell that some of these items are more of a big deal than others.

How do I add amenities to my listing?

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