Sometimes your technology breaks on you! Even so, we’ve got a number of listener questions tackled today including a couple brutally honest (but helpful) short term rental listing reviews. We always come from a position of honesty in hopes that you will make more money, so we’re not going to tell you comforting lies just to make you feel better. Listen in to learn why the bad photos can sink your listing and what you can do about it.

Questions and Answers

  • A question about a 37 day booking and the importance of reviews 

One of the things to know about the short term rental business is that it is definitely a review based business. Experience in this business is generated specifically by scaling up and doing the work more often. For this caller, they shouldn’t pass on the 37 day booking unless it is going to hurt their business long term.

A long term booking will always make that unit’s performance suffer when compared to other more short term reservations. But if it allows them to add another unit financially, it may be a good move because it will allow the caller to achieve Super Host status by the end of the quarter. 

It can also be important to run an AirDNA report on your zip code to understand the trend for your area. That will allow you to understand whether your prices are on point or if you’re leaving money on the table.

  • How do I get an affiliated link from Uber and Lyft?

Inside the app, you can find your share code which is the code you can use for your bookings and guests. Working with restaurants by sending them business instead of getting paid for the referral may actually be superior to an affiliate relationship. Having them on your side in political or municipal issues will probably be more important than having an additional revenue source.

  • J reviews a caller’s first post on Airbnb

When creating a short term rental listing, lead with photos with the inside of the unit instead of the amenities. Photos of the exterior can also lead to security issues if it’s possible to identify the address of the unit.

The caller’s photos should probably be re shot due to the handheld nature of them as well as the general poor quality. They suffer from lighting and focus challenges and the caller’s bookings will probably be lower than what they could have achieved. Another good tip is to stay away from vertical photos at all times.

The caller has definitely put in some work on the short term rental listing, but seems to have skimped on a few crucial elements like the photos and design. In order to tell the right story with your photos, you have to make the investment and do them right.

The ideal reaction to your short term rental listing should be the reader feeling like they must stay at your unit.

  • I’ve got a meeting with the zoning department, do you have any pointers for me?

Since the caller only has three minutes to talk, he should be using his time to instill doubt in his listeners because right now they are certain that the caller is the bad sort of short term rental owner. He should show them that he’s a professional and has systems in place to deal with all the common issues that people complain about with other less professional short term rental owners.

  • Another review of a caller’s first short term rental listing

The caller already has some hesitation about the photos for her listing. The reason the photos look off to the caller is that their photographer used HDR, which is something that you should always avoid. HDR can cause many different types of issues with the lighting and focus of the photo.

Nearly all the photos on the listing have to be scrapped. Preferably, the next photographer avoids HDR, uses a 15 mm lens, and uses natural light instead of attempting to color correct after the fact.

  • How much can I depart from the blueprint you’ve laid out if it makes sense for who we want to serve?

If you’re thinking about who you want to serve and making choices based on that, you aren’t deviating from the blueprint at all. If the caller wants to serve business travelers from Mexico and knows what they need and want from a short term rental listing, then they should go for it. 

One thing to keep in mind is that business travelers probably don’t need much square footage and if the caller goes with a larger unit they may run into under utilization. The bulk of business travel is done with smaller units.

  • Any thoughts on Properly to manage cleaners?

Properly is a great tool to manage cleaners, but the question is can the staff doing the clean effectively use the tool. If they can, then definitely take advantage of it.

  • Do you refresh Wheelhouse manually?

J lets the software refresh all its own and it handles everything just fine. He does check it a couple of times a week just to make sure it’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing but that’s it.




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