This is the first time you have the opportunity to shake your guests’ hands is through your Airbnb profile. This is where you’ll deliver your first impressions, and most importantly, where guests have the initial opportunity to thin-slice you as a potential host. This kind of personal snap judgments take only a matter of seconds to take place, yet they can make or break a booking. So how can you be sure to stay on the positive end of the first impressions spectrum? You can create a killer profile, of course.
Think of your hosting profile as your resume: make sure your personality shines through and that you come across as a safe investment to your target guests. Even without reviews, a promising profile may gain you the trust of your potential guests, as you never know on which channels certain users rely most to screen on Airbnb. So how does building your Airbnb profile work as a host? Let’s dive right in.
1. The Face Of It All: The Profile Picture
Your profile picture is not at all about what you look like, it’s about what qualities you’re conveying. Again, think of your professional headshots or your image on LinkedIn: these photographs are meant to deliver a certain message with certain values, not a particular physical appearance. Despite these overlaps, your Airbnb profile photo requires its own distinct approach. This is why it’s important to know the do’s and don’ts of your Airbnb pose.
Do smile: nothing symbolizes the open arms of a welcoming Airbnb host more than some pearly whites.
Do include your significant other or any relevant family members sharing the Airbnb account. An image of a family gives off positive emotions, while it also conveys the image of togetherness, community, and comfort. These are all things that may very well be the final push for a guest who’s on the fence to…well, hop the fence and stay a night.
Do make sure your profile picture is clear, and of good quality. You don’t want to scare away guests by representing yourself as an ambiguous blur who doesn’t even bother to take the time to refine your own physical features.
Dobe color conscious. Certain colors, like red and blue, can manipulate the feel-good emotions, like comfort and calmness (respectively), that your potential guests feel when looking at your profile. In other words, there’s a psychology of colors that can be spliced into your photograph to help sway bookings.
Don’t include any distracting surroundings that steal attention away from you. Just as you aim to keep your listing summary straightforward and succinct, you want to convey who you are with as little background noise as possible.
Don’t take a photograph that is so overly professional that it looks staged. While you want to appear sleek, staying approachable and friendly is your number 1 concern – these are the most overt qualities in a good host.
While it’s the first, your photo isn’t your only outlet for communicating who you are. Luckily, Airbnb is all about creativity within the community. You are given the opportunity to upload a 30-second video or even a personalized Airbnb symbol to express yourself and the experiences you can share as a host. Have fun with this, it’s an easy way to comfort potential guests by showing them exactly who they’re dealing with, while the time commitment gives your prospects a healthy dose of security in choosing you as their host.
In short, if a picture is worth 1000 words, you need to choose your photo with as much care as you would, say, your bio. It’s your job to find a pho keep them interested.
2. The Points of Contact (and Other Short Stories)
Once the big profile photograph decision is out of the picture, it’s time to move on to the ‘edit profile’ form where you fill in all your contact details. To avoid missing potential bookings, make sure you plug in your phone number and email address you check regularly so people will be able to reach you. Sometimes even your most reliable points of contact won’t reach you on time. To make sure you never miss a potential booking, you can sign up to Guesty and our team will make sure your reservation requests are always replied and your guests’ needs are taken care of. Of course, you’ll be kept in the loop while Guesty handles all guest communication. All private contact details will be kept safe and sound until you confirm a booking.
Include anything and everything ‘optional’ if it’s relevant to you, whether it’s your alma mater or any proficient/fluent languages in which you write or speak. You never know, maybe you’ll land a guest who can relate in more ways than one and those seemingly minor details are exactly what sold them on you. Emergency contact information doesn’t hurt either, but that’s more for your own comfort.
3. Take a Good, Long Look In The Mirror
Though many of these Airbnb profile building tips can be applied to your professional resume, your Airbnb bio is anything but. Yes, describe your hopes and dreams and reasons for being an Airbnb host, but more importantly, get a little jiggy with it. Help people get to know you a little better, show some personality, and stand out. Keep in mind that while bookings are, in a way, clients of yours, Airbnb is first and foremost a peer-to-peer and community-based interface, where sharing comes before profitability.
It’s recommended to have at least 50 words, which is only about ⅓ of a tweet. So get creative. Include are your likes and dislikes, your style of traveling & hosting, your favorite foods. The more points of interest that you hit on, the more opportunity for the potential guest to find a connection with you. If you’ve designed your own Airbnb Bélo, make sure to touch on the values that you intended that personalized symbol to communicate: these are clearly qualities that are important to you and that you find to define your hosting style. If haven’t created your own hosting “brand,” you may consider compiling the values that you chose to include in this section of your profile into a unique visual representation.
4. Trust Is All We Have
Three words that can’t be stressed enough: verify. your. identification. Simply inputting contact information isn’t enough these days, there are more steps to be taken to demonstrate that you are who you say you are. For one, you need to verify the contact information that you enter through a simple confirmation text, call, or email (respectively). Next, you need to verify your name by scanning your state ID, Driver’s License, Passport, what have you.
As [Airbnb’s CEO] Brian Chesky describes it, Airbnb’s verified accounts will be a larger step forward for the networked world. “This is a necessity for the shared economy,” he said. So, while today verified accounts may improve trust between Airbnb users, tomorrow they might be a sort of passport between the online and offline world for other services, as well.
Airbnb just wants to be a trustworthy middleman between host and guest communication – they want to be true on their word that John Doe really is John Doe. And aren’t you thankful for that? If you believe in or rely on the trust of the Airbnb community, contribute to it.
5. References, For Future Reference
Writing and receiving reviews isn’t as simple as you think, so you can’t just arbitrarily add these to buff up your profile – they are accumulated over time and experience with Airbnb. Boy oh boy are they helpful to have, though. There is, in fact, a way to cushion your Airbnb profile without a hefty booking archive: references. Your friends, families, and circles can write you a reference to help verify that you’re a reliable host. If you’re not sure who to ask, Airbnb suggests fellow Airbnb’ers from any of the social network connected to the site. Since these members of your circles also use Airbnb, there’s a good chance they’ll understand the kind of reference you’re looking for. Encourage these friends or acquaintances by offering a reference in return, as you now know firsthand how much help this can be.
Keep in mind that you can accept or decline references before they appear on your profile – so why not ask anyone and everyone you think may lead to a positive review? Further, references will not appear on your profile if their writers lack profile pictures, so you may want to encourage helping friends to add these qualifications before they move forward.
The Bottom Line For The Top Hosts
The most important thing to remember is that aside from guest communication, your Airbnb profile is your potential guests’ only way to gauge what kind of person and host that you are. While we can cover all guest communication for you, you’re the sole captain of the image you promote in the Airbnb community. And again, that image is received in a matter of seconds, at most. So take your time and shape your profile to the best of your abilities so you can say ‘hello’ to the Airbnb world as the popular and professional host that you are.
If you’re interested in learning more about property management and discovering the many ways Guesty's platform can help your business, we invite you to a free one-on-one session with one of our experts.