How to optimise your listings for maximum bookings 🚀

We’ve put together this article for you to help you to optimise your listings on each of the booking channels using Smily. We recommend that you spend some time on these steps to give you the best chance of getting a good conversion rate on your listings and maximising revenue from your rental.

Headline - make your property stand out on the listings page

  • Write a short, relevant headline. A winning formula is [a descriptive adjective] + [the type of property] + [the best/key amenity].E.g.
    • Rustic cabin with amazing mountain views
    • Chic apartment with roof terrace
  • Use a mix of upper and lower case - ensure that your headline isn’t all capitals
  • Check that the translation of your title into English/French is correct and doesn’t contain any typing errors

Photos - these will make the biggest impact on your guests decision - make sure they are the best they can be!

  • Add at least 10 photos
  • Try to use landscape photos where possible
  • Put your photos in the best order:
    • Choose a landscape photo of your best amenity for the first photo
    • Then include the best photos first in the list and the less important ones later
  • Include a photo of each part of the property and exterior
  • Don’t include several photos of the same part of the property
  • Make sure that you use high quality images with high resolution and good composition
  • Add tags to each of your photos to describe what they show
  • *Top tip: when you/your photographer takes photos of the property, ensure to take more photos than you need. For example, take a few different shots of each area. This will enable you to update your photos every few months

Description - ensure that your potential guests aren’t left with questions

  • Provide a clear, detailed description of your property
  • Make sure to include details about the best features. For example, are there some points that past guests have particularly enjoyed? Make sure to mention those in your description!
  • Tell guests about your location. Are there key attractions nearby? Is the property close to a bus/train stop?
  • Specify the number of rooms
  • Specify the room sizes
  • Include the floor number
  • Let potential guests know what precautionary measures you're taking against the coronavirus (COVID-19) (cleaning, check-in procedure, cancelation policies)

Amenities - tick as many amenities as you can

  • Think about providing the following amenities - if you don’t already, we recommend that you make these items available to your guests:
  • Airbnb essential amenities - essentials should only be ticked if you provide all of these.
    • Toilet paper, soap (for hands and body)
    • one towel per guest
    • one pillow per guest
    • linens for each guest bed
    • More information about Airbnb essential amenities can be found here:
    • You can add a charge for linen in the rates tab - if you do not add a linen fee and you tick these amenities, it will be assumed that these items are included in your rate.
  • Having the following amenities can help to improve the ranking of your rental:
    • Iron
    • Coat hangers
    • Hair dryer
    • Free WiFi internet
    • Shampoo
    • First Aid Kit
    • Smoke alarm
    • Carbon Monoxide Detector
    • Fire extinguisher
    • Washer & Dryer
    • Air conditioning
    • 24-hour check in
      • If you don’t currently offer this, you could install a lockbox so that your guests can check themselves in at any time
  • Laptop friendly workspace - attract guests looking to work remotely from your property
  • Pets considered - make your property available to those travelling with animals

Rates - be competitive in your market

  • Offer as much availability as possible - configure your rates for all dates when your property is available for rental.
  • Add rates for future dates, as far into the future as possible. The earlier you add the rates for next season, the sooner you can receive bookings!
  • Adapt your pricing to the seasons and avoid charging one price all year long
    • Are there popular local events in your area when you can increase your prices?
    • Can you help to fill low season dates by offering discounts?
  • Adapt your minimum stay to the seasons. Offer shorter stays in low season.
  • With Smily, you can configure the following rate rules - use them to optimize your pricing:
    • Minimum stay
    • Check-in/Check-out only possible on specific days of the week
    • Weekend price
    • Extra guests
    • Weekly discount
    • Monthly discount
    • Last minute discount
    • Early bird discount
  • Add special offers for any dates possible. Frequently adding offers can help your rental be favoured on the booking channels.

5* reviews = more bookings!

  • Encourage your guests to leave a positive review - you could add a request for guests to leave you a review on the channel where they booked into your “check-out details”. The check-out details are then sent to your guests one day before their departure.
  • Smily also sends an automated request for guests to leave a review using Smily’s review system.
  • Complete our form for leaving reviews of your guests as soon as they depart - this will make them more likely to leave a review for you:

Minimum advance notice and cancellation policy

  • The minimum advance notice policy is the minimum delay until which you accept to receive online bookings.
  • In Smily, the minimum advance notice period and the cancellation policy can be configured under Rentals > Bookings Settings > Preferences
  • Adapt the minimum advance notice period of each property to the minimum possible and to the location. For example, in cities, late bookings are more frequent.
  • Adapt the cancellation policy to the location of the rental. In cities, travelers prefer to be able to cancel till the last moment.
  • Consider adapting your policies for the current situation - during the Covid-19 pandemic, last minute bookings are much more common and guests appreciate flexible cancellation terms.

Responding to messages

  • Response rate and response time are very important for the ranking of your listing on the platforms
  • Ensure to reply as quickly as possible to all requests and messages that you receive from customers. Even if you cannot accommodate a request, make sure to reply quickly as a quick response time will help your rental be ranked more highly.
  • You will receive all messages into the Smily inbox and you will be alerted by email when you have received a new message - make sure that you receive emails and that they don’t go into your spam folder, to ensure that you don’t miss any messages