4 Tips to Increase Your Bookings on Airbnb

Turning your home into a bed and breakfast is a tougher side gig than you might think.

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By Carly Okyle • Mar 3, 2016 Originally published Mar 3, 2016

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The sharing economy creates opportunities for people to make money on the side as a part-time driver or hotelier. It's no wonder then that nearly 38 percent of Airbnb hosts describe themselves as self-employed.

While Airbnb itself estimates that its revenue for 2015 hit $900 million, 75 percent of hosts make $10,000 or less per year from their rentals, according to a joint report by Everbooked and LearnAirbnb. To make enough money to justify the time investment, hosts on the Airbnb platform will need to up their game.

The study collected data from almost 6 million bookings for more than 400,000 Airbnb listings across more than 200 cities over the course of a year. More than 1,300 hosts from 83 countries also took part.

Related: Is the Sharing Economy High Over?

Here are the report's big takeaways:

1. Get reviews. The more, the better.

Good or bad, any review on the site will increase your likelihood of booking your space. Even locations with one to three stars performed better than those that were unrated, according to the report. Therefore, the study finds that "the number of reviews a listing has is a significant indicator of its occupancy rate."

2. Privacy is paramount.

Of all of the lodgings listed, 97 percent are for an entire house or a private room. While guests are looking to save money by avoiding hotels, they're not willing to give up their personal space.

3. Keep it short.

The average guest will stay an estimated four nights at an Airbnb location, and almost all -- 99 percent -- will stay for less than a month. Knowing this, don't get discouraged by single-night or two-night bookings. The high turnover is probably helpful.

Related: Researchers Say Airbnb Fudged New York City Listing Data

4. Know your price point.

When creating a listing on the site, you'll want to make sure your rate is similar to or better than the competition. It will be helpful, then, to know that the average price for a private room is $65 and an entire abode can go for $141 on average. Shared rooms, on average, net $45 a night.

Carly Okyle

Assistant Editor, Contributed Content

Carly Okyle is an assistant editor for contributed content at Entrepreneur.com.

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