5 Lessons We Can Learn From Airbnb’s Most Popular Listing
Its listing gets over 300,000 visits per month, and over 160,000 people have saved it to their Airbnb wishlists. It’s for those reasons that this property in Atlanta has been called the most popular — or at least the most desired — listing on Airbnb.
Now let’s jump straight into the obvious: it’s an adorable treehouse in the middle of a magical forest that looks like it might have been built by Ewoks. So it makes sense that people would fall head over heels for it by the droves. Still, Airbnb is full of gorgeous getaways, so what makes this property stand out above the rest?
Aside from its inherent charm, there are a number of things the listing does right. And regardless of whether your own property is a picture-perfect fantasy treehouse in Endor or not, there are some lessons we can learn by taking a closer look.
1. Target a specific audience.
The Atlanta treehouse is not family friendly. No children or pets are allowed due to safety. Nor is it a property to bring a large social group to since smoking and parties are also on the no-go list. As for business travellers? It’s not ideal, missing many of the features — like a laptop-friendly workspace — that contribute to Business Travel Ready status.
So who does the treehouse appeal to? Primarily, couples. Everything about it seems to whisper seclusion and romance. This is verified by the reviews which, time and again, mention cosy anniversary weekends.
Lesson: Know your audience. While some properties are versatile enough to cater to everyone, it can often be worth your while to choose one or two specific markets and direct all your efforts towards them. See: How to market your vacation rental to Millennials as an example.
2. Be up-front.
It’s easy for people to see a few photos of a property they like, get caught up in the excitement and fail to take in all the information. That’s how gaps form between their expectations and reality. As a host, you need to be up-front about all aspects of your property so that, even if a guest has the wrong understanding, you can prove it was not from a lack of clear information.
For example: a major disadvantage of the Atlanta treehouse is that it has no bathroom inside it. Though mildly inconvenient, if guests know this and book anyway, it won’t detract from their experience because their expectations were managed.
To make this clear, the Atlanta treehouse throws down the information in all caps:
BATHROOM IS LOCATED IN THE BASEMENT/LOWER LEVEL OF OUR PRIVATE HOME. GUESTS WILL HAVE EXCLUSIVE ACCESS TO IT DURING THEIR STAY. The treehouses and main house share a lot and are within a 30 second walk to one another.
Similarly, they are very clear about house rules and how they expect guests to behave.
Lesson: A guest’s experience is always measured against their expectations. Be up front about all aspects of your property — positive and negative — and clear about house rules from the outset.
3. Make it Instagram-worthy.
Those enchanting strings of fairy-lights didn’t just start dripping off the wooden rope-bridge by accident. Not only do touches like those make the property devastatingly charming in real-life, but they look great in photos, too. Same goes for interior design elements like flowers and candles and rustic furniture. Making your property social media worthy means your guests will do your marketing for you.
Lesson: Making your property photogenic is worth the investment. See also: 7 Instagram marketing strategies for your vacation rental.
4. Paint a picture.
The Atlanta treehouse doesn’t just come with bedding, it comes with 100% long-staple Egyptian cotton sheets. It doesn’t just have antique artefacts, it has 80 year old windows of pressed butterfly wings and a plaster cast of a Siberian Tiger paw.
You don’t just sleep there; you fall asleep in the trees and wake up with the birds singing around you.
Painting a picture in your listing description really gives people an idea of what it’s like. Of course, not everyone will read it. But those who do will be doubly swept away.
Lesson: Don’t just tell potential guests the facts about your place, give them details that truly paint a picture of how special it is and make them wish they were already there. See: Copywriting tips for a killer vacation rental listing.
5. Get stellar reviews.
The hosts of the Atlanta treehouse know that a dreamy concept and gorgeous photos will only get you so far: you also need to live up to the expectations. With overwhelmingly positive reviews, the hosts obviously do everything they can to make guests enjoy their stay.
Lesson: Don’t rest on your laurels. Getting bookings is one thing, but getting 5-star reviews is another.
So there you have it: 5 things the most wished-for Airbnb listing does right, and what you can learn from it — regardless of what type of property you have. If you have tips of your own to share please let us know in the comments.