Get More Reservations

How To Stand Out And Get More Reservations

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Episode 528.

In this podcast episode I will be talking with Kelvin from Rankbreeze about how to stand out and get more reservations.

Here's the video for this episode:



Timestamps (audio)

00:00 – Intro
01:59 – Kelvins Intro
05:34 – Breakdown of Rankbreeze
11:33 – Is the optimisation multilingual
17:26 – How much did Airbnb affect you?
20:58 – Digging into amenities
25:33 – How much does Superhost play into how you rank?
32:53 – We've boxed off things that you need to be paying attention to
37:05 – Sneak peak into 2023
41:05 – The truth will be in the data
46:31 – Outro

Whilst you’re here

Follow Boostly on the following channels to get more tips, tactics and knowledge on how you can increase your direct bookings

Visual – YouTube 

Audio – Boostly Podcast




Transcript from the Episode

[00:00:00] Mark: Welcome back to another episode of the Boostly podcast. And today, as you can see in the title, we are going to be walking you through how you can rank better on Airbnb and how you can get more bookings with a very cool, better technology and a kit called Rank Breeze. I've got the founder on with. All of your pressing questions in the chat.

[00:00:25] If there's anything you want to know about Rank Breeze, we're gonna get it answered and much, much more. We've got a cool little game to play, and hopefully by the end of this, my goal is to give you all the information that you need so you can rank your listing and your business higher on these OTAs.

[00:00:42] But as we always do, as we start off every single one of our podcasts, let's see it in with a little freestyle.

[00:00:51] Kelvin: Freestyle.

[00:00:57] Ready for my closeup. Good looking. Let me tell [00:01:00] you. Get more bookings. Ah, that'd be nice. Giving me tips. Chosen advice. Yeah. You're gonna get 'em hun. You're gonna sit back. Listen to Mark Simpson. Whoa. Having

[00:01:09] Mark: a

[00:01:09] Kelvin: blast. Gonna get it on the Bruce Lee podcast. Bruce Lee led Bruce Lee cuz it's so hard on the tea years Loose leaf.

[00:01:15] Making up those rhymes. Don't write it. Just do we loose leave if you want my respect. You are better. Put direct. Mm. Here are the words in the podcast. That's what comes.

[00:01:27] Mark: Okay, Kelvin, thank you so much for being part of the Booster podcast today. Um, so we've got Kelvin, who's the founder of, of Rank. Bre Rank Breeze helps short-term rental managers and Airbnb host game better search rankings, pricing and market data.

[00:01:43] That's what I got from LinkedIn. Uh, but Kelvin, can you just do me a massive favor, fill in the gaps. When was the company founded? What's your history? And just, uh, fill the little story in from how it turned from a blog post now into a full SaaS product that is helping Airbnb hosts please. ?

[00:01:59] Kelvin: Yeah, sure. [00:02:00] Uh, yeah, my name's Kelvin and, oh, I, you know, I think probably just like a lot of people we, well, maybe not, except for Mark Mark's probably the only one of the, the few people in, in short-term rentals that they grew up doing short-term rentals and, uh, but you know, I didn't come.

[00:02:16] From that background, I'm guessing the majority of you didn't, uh, come from that as well, but, uh, yeah, so I started doing short-term rentals, and then my background is in search engine optimization. And, uh, at first, you know, you kind of, you get your property set up, you're, you're kind of. Thinking about the guest experience and uh, and the pricing and, and things like that.

[00:02:38] Uh, but rarely is there a, a situation where you kind of know about the, the, the, the importance of search visibility, uh, when it comes to being a, uh, property manager on Airbnb. So when I was running, uh, my property, it. [00:03:00] Just became very apparent of, you know, my, my background's an seo, so I, I just kind of noticed these things a little bit.

[00:03:05] And, uh, I went in and, and started to do a couple of experiments and, uh, started sharing, uh, , uh, some blog posts and about, uh, things that we were doing with personalization. Some, just some general idea of trying to organize the Airbnb ranking factors. There's about 150 plus Airbnb ranking factors, so started to, uh, try to get a better grip on, on, on what those would be.

[00:03:34] Of course, it's impossible for for us to understand all 150, but if we can at least get some of them, you know, that's gonna be better than, than, uh, swimming blind. And, um, yeah, just kind of started to uh, just, people were just started asking us a lot of, a lot of stuff, um, around, around how to improve rankings.

[00:03:55] And then also I was. Manually checking my rankings all the time. [00:04:00] Um, and very meticulously, too , probably more meticulous than the average person would, would be doing that. Uh, so, you know, I was looking at going to incognito window, looking at different date ranges, looking at every guest count for that property as well, and then going to different, and then going to the next weekend and the next weekend.

[00:04:18] Cause weekends are important, but obviously your weekdays are important too. Um, so that, uh, eventually. Uh, led me to, to building some software around, uh, at least tracking the rankings. And then that was the first foundational part of it that, that just helped out with, uh, that, uh, that, that task there. Then, um, yeah, it just have has blossomed since, since then from.

[00:04:47] a lot of grinding and a lot of, uh, a lot of staying focused as well.

[00:04:51] Mark: Well, since then, I feel like especially this year, and particularly over the last three months, you've really become the go-to when it, when it about ranking, you know, [00:05:00] ranking and, and getting your listing and seen by more people. Um, obviously you've been doing bits here and there and, and being on podcasts and whatnot, but like you put out one post about Rank Bree, and there's loads and loads of comments and we've got people in the, in the chat now, Anton.

[00:05:15] Anthony Rao is saying another good one. Keep up the good work with rank Bruce Kelvin. And we've got Marie. Hi Marie tuning in from France. So we've got people from all over. So obviously this is really, um, an important topic. We've even got a shout out to Calgary in, in, in, in the comments as well, which is always nice.

[00:05:32] Nice. So, um, yeah, so basically break down, rank brief. So it, it's not a massive team. So versus yourself and, and who else is, is working alongside you to sort of get this, get this business seen by more and more.

[00:05:46] Kelvin: Yeah, so we have, um, we have a customer success person. Uh, Tammy, she's also a part of. Uh, she's like a project coordinator as well.

[00:05:55] And then we have a support person and we just have, uh, a team of developers with us as well. So [00:06:00] we're quite small, uh, still. Um, I think we could definitely be bigger, but uh, um, you know, all things take great, all things take time and, um, so does also finding great people

[00:06:11] Mark: as well. That is true. That's very true.

[00:06:13] So I guess the, the main question to start with, obviously you, you work and you influence Airbnb. Last week, the time of filming, we recorded this November, so the, the, the final week in November last week there was a winter release. Now, whenever these new releases come along and come to fruition, how much does it actually affect your day-to-day with rank Bre and the systems and the structures that, that you have in place when Airbnb go and change things up behind the scenes, if.

[00:06:42] Kelvin: Uh, well this time it definitely impacted us quite a bit. Uh, I would say other times, sometimes it's a little bit, uh, uh, you know, when it's, well, well, I guess maybe let me bring it back a little bit. So, from the, from the search rankings that we look at and the search visibility, we generally notice that Airbnb's pushing [00:07:00] out updates about every two weeks.

[00:07:02] So it's either at the beginning of the month, the middle of the month, or at the end of the month. So it's like this kind of two week sprint cycle, uh, which is very normal. Uh, Software development to, to release your, your, uh, uh, your work every two weeks. And sometimes those things don't really, I would say most of the time they don't really make a major difference.

[00:07:22] It's not something that's, um, very noticeable. I would say though, when, you know, when Airbnb does have these larger releases that come out and they're, you know, they're on the, all over the homepage. Probably the last one was the categories update that, uh, you know, that they pushed out. and then rolled back and then brought back again.

[00:07:41] Um, and so, you know, that's, that's, those are those things that kind of, um, that for us at least are, are, um, are interesting moments. I would never say that it's, it's, it's a bad thing because the Airbnb should be improving their platform ultimately. And like you wanna see these new releases coming and they should continue innovating.

[00:07:59] [00:08:00] That's gonna be, um, that's gonna get them. that's gonna get them more guests. Ultimately that's what they're, they're trying to do, um, uh, more guests for, for the proper. But, uh, yeah, it can be disruptive because Airbnb changes things and it can disrupt our business because we're looking at Airbnb all the time to try to collect some, some data and things like that.

[00:08:20] So if they change something, it can be, it can, it can cause a little bit of a disruption on, on our end. And we are basically hurry up to, to try and fix everything. I was

[00:08:29] Mark: going to say we are going to have a little game very soon, but before that, um, with Rank Bre, and this is something that I've only recently realized is you don't just do listing optimization.

[00:08:37] Can you just walk us through the other aspects of what Rank Breez is doing to help short-term rental os that isn't just like the, the, the ranking optimization on Airbnb?

[00:08:47] Kelvin: Yeah. Uh, so. , I guess maybe first and foremost I would say is that to get started with Rank Bree, uh, you don't need, like, it doesn't require an integration or anything like that.

[00:08:58] So we've ba we've, we've been working so [00:09:00] far with without integrations and then now we're starting to do integrations and part of those, uh, part of those integrations is that we also provide, uh, a pricing engine as well. So we have rank optimization as the first pillar. And then we have, uh, price optimization as the second pillar.

[00:09:17] And then the third pillar is market data. Uh, ranking optimization is. I guess really simply how it happens is you take your Airbnb listing, u r l, you add it into Rank Freeze, we go and we look at your market and we basically look at the top ranking properties in your area and then reverse engineer those and give you some, uh, recommendations in, uh, an area inside of Rank Freeze called the optimization.

[00:09:43] Hub. And in the optimization hub you have some recommendations around titles, around descriptions, around amenities, around, uh, we also look at reviews as well of, of, of, of immediate competitors around you to basically help you improve your visibility and also [00:10:00] your conversions. So that's, that's what that listing optimization areas about.

[00:10:04] Uh, the pricing engine is a, uh, it's a basically, Pretty customizable, uh, pricing tool. So you can really create these really, these, these very specific rules such as, uh, if I have a gap night on the weekend, uh, raise my prices by, uh, 10%. And then you can also spec specify, you know, what seasons and things like that.

[00:10:33] Uh, you can make those change. And then the market data aspect is more like a market monitoring tool, uh, where you can, we have a, a chrome extension. You add this Chrome extension, it's, it's very easy and you can look at some general stats on any property you'd like, uh, and get some average income, uh, occupancy rates, average daily rates for an individual property.

[00:10:57] And then when. Interested [00:11:00] in a specific area that, or maybe one that you're already in, then, uh, you press a little button, uh, sorry. You position the map first, sorry. You position the Airbnb map, you click a button and then we'll collect all the properties in that, in that, uh, in that area for you. And then produce a report for you.

[00:11:15] And you can also have that report, uh, Recurring as well in terms of updating the data on a weekly basis. So yeah, rankings, pricing and market data.

[00:11:26] Mark: So, um, a question that has come in now, obviously we're speaking in English, and um, a questions coming from France. So Maria's asked, is the optimization, is everything that we're talking about, is it multilingual or is it just in, in English at the moment?

[00:11:40] Kelvin: It is, uh, just in English on our end. Uh, but the. The data that's provided back, like for example, like the, the title and description information, uh, like the recommendations there, those would be in English, but they're also pulled from [00:12:00] Airbnb specifically. So the, that. That would be translated from Airbnb's end, and then we are, we are just sending it back to you.

[00:12:08] So I'm, I'm guessing they'd probably use Google Translate

[00:12:10] Mark: on, well, they just, actually, Airbnb has just purchased and they bought out an, um, a translation company. I did remember reading this very recently, which would tie into this, cause obviously if you go on for example, you are very restrictive in the words that you can put into your description because the, uh, the translation is such a key part of their software.

[00:12:30] And, and this is something that I've noticed that Airbnb have. is they, they've bought recently a, uh, translation company to combat that. So I guess the, you know, what Marie would put in would be in French, for example, but the way that Airbnb reads it on their code would be translated straight away into it English, which is what you would pull to then pull back, and then it would present it in the language that you are on Marie, which is obviously French.

[00:12:53] Or if you're Spanish,

[00:12:55] Kelvin: you can, you can sort of think of it like, like me, basically I speak English. Uh, I [00:13:00] probably should speak French cuz I'm in Canada, , but, so I know a little, a little bit was when I was a little kid, but, uh, uh, it would be very similar to as, as me going to go to, um, uh, the, the, the, the, the French website on, on Airbnb.

[00:13:15] But it's ultimately translated in English for me to view as, uh, a person speaking and, and reading English. So, . Yeah, it would be translated and you would have to translate that information yourself, but. But yeah, the keyword that we, we utilize as well are like, you know, one, one words, or two words, or three words max.

[00:13:34] So it's not like, uh, it, it wouldn't be too overwhelming.

[00:13:37] Mark: Well, this is a perfect little segue to go onto our game show that we are, we are going to play, which is going to be rank. In order of importance, what I wanted to do is I've got 13 different ranking factors that I could think of. Obviously, Kelvin, if you've got more, if anybody's in the audience that is watching, you can, uh, you are, you are able to add in any more you can do, but what I wanted to do is I wanted to rank [00:14:00] 'em in importance Now, before we, we get into the game show, I have got some music that we will play for the, for the game.

[00:14:05] And then let's begin this game show.

[00:14:11] Okay, , I can't play much more cuz otherwise this video will get ized and copyright. Yeah, I'm fly. So, uh, we have got 13 ranking factors. Now this is me just typing out 13 things earlier today. Now there may be more, I mean obviously you said there's 150 , so obviously there are Tom more, but here's probably some of the 13 I could think are the probably most important what I wanted to do.

[00:14:36] Cause obviously we've got an expert with us. I wanted to rank these in order of importance. So when you are on Rank Breeze, for example, or when you are going through your Airbnb listing, um, what we wanted to do is we just wanted to tap in with the data that you've got. Obviously some of these can be like your, your not factual, but like your opinion.

[00:14:56] But what would you say as we're gonna go through all 13. So I've [00:15:00] got, for those of you that are listening on the podcast, we've got photos. We've got title, we've got description, we've got amenities, we've got price, availability, reviews, secret view reviews that we'll touch upon. Superhost response time con, convers conversation rate, uh, cancellation policy and wish list.

[00:15:19] Save. So how would you wanna tackle into this list, Kelvin? What can we, what can we do here? And what would you say? Number one being the most important. Number 13 being the least important. Uh, and can you see this screen?

[00:15:31] Kelvin: Yes. . I can see the screen. It was, uh, yeah, it was smaller before. There you go. Um, if you don't mind, maybe just making a little, yeah, there we go.

[00:15:39] That, that's a perfect size right there. Uh, before we organize these though, I think, um, one thing that we can try to distinguish the difference between is when I, when I think about ranking factors, I think of it very much like, uh, art and science. So there's, uh, for example, [00:16:00] Science when we're talking about ranking factors, the, or trying to rank your property, the science part of it, which I don't wanna make sound scary, um, and it's just not scary.

[00:16:10] Uh, but you know, the clickthrough rate, for example, clickthrough rate is an important metric that Airbnb is measuring on their end. And an and, and clickthrough rate is just how many people saw your property? on the Airbnb search results where there's like 20 properties on the page there and then actually clicked on your property and opened it in, um, in a new tab there.

[00:16:32] So that's a clickthrough rate. Um, so that's the science part of it, but the art part of it is how you influence that clickthrough rate. So, uh, probably your photo is gonna be your biggest opportunity to. Maximize your click through rates and your title can also play a bit of a factor in there too. And you know your.

[00:16:57] Uh, pricing certainly can, can play a factor too. We've [00:17:00] seen. Yeah. If you lower your price, yeah. It definitely can help you with, with your rankings. That's, there's honestly, no, no, no question about that. We've seen that many times, but of course, you know, at some point you're not, you've gotta, you've got a, you've got a floor of which you're not willing to go past.

[00:17:14] And also the whole point with us too is that we don't want to, to, to have you feel like you have to lower prices in order to, to, to optimize that. But I just wanna.

[00:17:23] Mark: You can't get around that super quick. So when Airbnb did their, um, summer release and they shortly totally changed everything and they got rid of titles, like bearing in mind that you just mentioned titles in one of those top three things, how much did that.

[00:17:37] Mess . With everything that you've done, did, did it really affect you or not affect you? Or obviously if we were looking at, you could still add a title, but they weren't show it in the description. Like obviously they've brought it back now, but at that time, what, what was your thinking? What was your frame of mind when you were, when, when you saw that they got rid of titles altogether?

[00:17:58] Kelvin: Uh, [00:18:00] well, my thinking was, and my thinking is always just. . You, you just have to go with it. ultimately , it's, it's just, it's like when you're trying to, uh, you know, if you're trying to rank a normal website, like your direct bookings website or blog post, for example, on your direct bookings website and, and uh, Google makes a change, you just kind of have to roll with it.

[00:18:21] That was the same thing here that, uh, when, when the titles got removed, we didn't see like this crazy movement that, that, that, that, that was, uh, that was. Uh, that, that made a huge impact. But also at the same time too, when Airbnb rolls out these algorithm updates, it's not like they change their algorithm, algorithm on the day that they announce it.

[00:18:41] They release it beforehand. So when they do that is, is kind of, we're just not sure. Mm-hmm. , um, And, but it's certainly probably, it's probably like a month before I would, I would say just, just for safety reasons, it makes sense to release things a month before, and then you've, you've got like your PR team and your marketing team putting together the, the, the [00:19:00] actual announcements of, of those things.

[00:19:01] Uh, but the title was still ultimately at the, on the, on the page. When, um, when, when your listing page opens up on Airbnb, even though they've removed it on the search results page before, it's now back on the search results page. Yeah. Uh, but, but before when you open it up, it was still there, so it was still relevant.

[00:19:19] And ultimately, uh, when somebody arrives on your listing, The title's still the first thing that they see. Of course they see the, they see your photos, but your title is still right there . It's right above your actual photos there. So the more that you can use that space to, uh, engage with the, that potential guest and having them understand very quickly what are the most important things about your property, uh, it's still, it's still valuable.

[00:19:48] And when it comes down to conversion rates, so you put conversion rate there at, at 11 there, I would actually move conversion rate. , maybe even. Um, I would actually probably put it at the [00:20:00] top at number one. I would say it's the most, yeah, I would put it at the number one. Yeah.

[00:20:04] Mark: Whoa. Here we go. Right. So if we were to look at it then, so conversion rate number one.

[00:20:09] Um, are we keeping photos at number two?

[00:20:14] Kelvin: Yeah, I would say photos are number two. And, and probably mostly, uh, I, I, I mean, I'm, I'm ordering this in the fact of there's certain things you can do, . Yeah, right. There's certain things you have control over and there's certain things that you don't have control over ultimately.

[00:20:27] Yeah. So you have control over your photos, you have control over your title, you have control over your description. Um, uh,

[00:20:35] Mark: and would you say price goes above the description?

[00:20:40] Kelvin: Yeah, I would say price goes above description and amenities probably would be above, uh, I might even say it's probably the second, the second.

[00:20:54] Sorry, the in in the third part. Sorry. No, number three. So replacing the title. All

[00:20:58] Mark: right, so let's dig into amenities, and [00:21:00] Cena is now jumped up in the most, one of the most important things, why and what are most hosts? So the most amount of people that you see that are struggling or making a mistake when it comes to the Airbnb ranking, what are they doing within amenities that is just like something that you can go, okay, let, let's start this with a quick fix.

[00:21:23] Kelvin: Well, when it comes down to, uh, amenities and from a very simp simple perspective of, of like being you communicating with Airbnb, the most you can do is just check something off . So the more things that you have checked off, uh, the more opportunities you have to show up because, uh, everything that a guest is doing on Airbnb, when a, when a guest goes and starts to, to, to.

[00:21:52] Starts their search for a place to stay on, on Airbnb or any platform really. Uh, everything they're doing is, is, is, is [00:22:00] basically filtering, right? They've got a date filter on, they've got a guest count, filter on. They've even got a city, A city could also be potentially be considered a filter too. But once you, you know, once you press go, uh, you've got, you know, you've got some pricing sliders that you can adjust and things like that.

[00:22:15] But everything else is, uh, is everything is a filter ultimately and the amenities, uh, adding. Um, adding more amenities and certainly high impact amenities will be, uh, will be some of the best things that you can do. And each area has what I call like an amenities baseline ultimately. Um, so in. in rank Bre in that optimization hub that I was talking to you about earlier, uh, we have this thing called the amenities analyzer.

[00:22:44] And the amenities analyzer. What it does is, is it's looking at top ranking properties in the area, uh, by, by search ranking, uh, looking at the top ranking properties in that area, uh, and then, uh, looking at what amenities they have and then looking at what [00:23:00] amenities you. on your listing and then cross-referencing those two and telling you what you're missing.

[00:23:05] So these are some amenities that you're missing that other top ranking properties have in there, in in your area that you. Uh, should consider adding in to your listing, or maybe you just forgot to turn it on. People, people forget to turn things on all the time. Mm. I've, I've, I've seen like million dollar homes that don't have like, fridge marked off and, uh, , you know, like, it's like you definitely have a fridge.

[00:23:29] Mark: Here's, um, like an old wive's tale where people say, Price of the availability, if, if on Airbnb, if you turn the price up or down by a dollar or a two every day, or if you turn the availability on or off, does that actually impact anything within Airbnb or is that just, uh, an old wive's tale?

[00:23:49] Kelvin: Uh, there's definitely like a freshness aspect of it.

[00:23:52] But your, uh, well, I mean, from what we've seen, people that have like dynamic pricing and things like that, [00:24:00] do, do, do you tend to perform better? Mm-hmm. , so that is price. That is something I've, I've seen price. They live price, adjusting prices more frequently,

[00:24:06] Mark: adjusting prices. So we're basically going through, I would say the top seven.

[00:24:13] You have the ability to have control over, uh, or maybe even this one as well, cancellation policy. There's some things, like you said, that are outside of your respons. Reviews are very much reliant on the guest. I mean, you can do everything that you can do to give an amazing guest experience. We've just been talking with Tyann, uh, of touch day, who's the queen of guest experience.

[00:24:38] Um, but obviously at the end of the day it's up to the guest that will leave the review. Um, Then you've got the secret review. It's the review that you don't see. It's the, after they've left the review, it's the extra questions that Airbnb ask, um, which is obviously impacts your score. Uh, Danny from optimized your Airbnb.

[00:24:55] In his book, he talks about this, which then these two. [00:25:00] Impact this, which is super host. So Superhost is one that I like to talk about every three months because in my opinion, my opinion and my opinion means nothing. But my opinion is that it is just a fancy market employee. By Airbnb to get millions of people talking about Airbnb on one day at the same time on their social media channels.

[00:25:20] I don't really think it impacts search that much, but I've seen in, um, in a comment on a, on LinkedIn that you sort of spun another light on it. So from your experience, from all of the data, from all the things that you can see, how much does Superhost play into how you rank on that?

[00:25:41] Kelvin: Yes, there. Yeah. I think the, the, the graphic that you're talking about, which I kind, I think kind of kickstarted our, our whole conversation about this podcast Yes.

[00:25:49] Was, um, was around super hosts. So we collected some data over, uh, uh, a few months and, uh, we collected data [00:26:00] from, I believe this was Nashville, uh, Gatlinburg, uh, San Antonio. and. Uh, I think Seaville, if I'm saying that correctly, um, those are, those are four pretty competitive areas ultimately, um, pretty competitive areas.

[00:26:20] And what we saw when we collected, we collected a bunch of data from all, sorry, search rankings data. We collected some search rankings data, uh, over several months. And then we organized, organized it all and just tried to see, okay, well how much does of an impact does Superhost really play here? And Superhost actually was quite dominant on those first, on that first page.

[00:26:39] Um, and, and Airbnb has always said this, by the way, Airbnb has always mentioned that the factors that, um, the factors that are important in search visibility, uh, are also important as super hosts. So we just wanted to see if this was true and what we could see was that, yeah, certainly on the first few pa on the first few pages, it's quite dominant and then it just kind of, [00:27:00] uh, stays pretty stable, uh, in, in.

[00:27:03] uh, pretty much, I think it was after page five to 15. Uh, it's, you get like a pretty even amount of super host versus versus non-super host. Uh, but you also have to take that as a grain of salt too. It's not to say that if you don't rank, sorry, if you are not a super host, that you will not rank , cuz that's not the case.

[00:27:24] Uh, it, I would say I think it was about like 60 60 to. 60 to 70% of the first page was definitely filled with super host from, from what we were looking at. And then, uh, it kind of goes down past, past that point, but it was always, it was always like 40% super host.

[00:27:41] Mark: Pretty much. I think if you, if you're looking at it from a 60,000 foot view and you're looking at it from another way round, is that if you are boxing off eight, which is reviews and you're boxing off your secret reviews and you've got, um, you know, all the things that Airbnb ask you to be, to be a super.

[00:27:58] then you are [00:28:00] by default going to be a super host. There's gonna be a lot of you, because you're all doing what Airbnb are asking you to do for sort of giving you like the little gold star thing. If you obviously then start getting crap reviews, and really bad, like the additional reviews, then you are naturally going to drop down the search ranking.

[00:28:17] You are naturally going to lose. Superhu badge if you start getting crappy review. So, um, it's, it's, it is an interesting one. Uh, there's a question that's coming in from Marie, uh, who's still awake with us in France, so thank you very much. It must be late in France right now, but, um, the question is this, and let me bring it upon screen.

[00:28:35] Are top ranking properties necessarily the most overbooked ones or the most booked ones? So would you say that the ones that are ranked the highest, that are ones that are most. ?

[00:28:48] Kelvin: Uh, yeah, that's an interesting question. So there is a little bit of insight that I can give you in terms of, um, properties that rank high.

[00:28:59] So not [00:29:00] all properties that rank high on Airbnb actually deserve to be ranked high on Airbnb. Um, and the reason why that is, is because. Airbnb. It's sort of, if you kind of think about it like this, you could, if you were to start a search engine just to build a search engine from scratch, you might say, okay, well like let's organize the properties based on like the highest occupancy rate.

[00:29:25] But at the same time, too highest occupancy rate means that there's probably less availability in there. So there needs to be some, some room in there, right? Um, but, and then, you know, it's sort of like, okay, well let's organize things by. By, uh, uh, price or something like that, like all the low price properties.

[00:29:44] So there's all these, all these things that Airbnb had done ultimately to, to get to their algorithm. They've, they've, they've gotten to today. Um, uh, Some of the properties that are on those, some of the properties that are [00:30:00] ranking highly, that are, that you, sometimes you, you might look at it and think to yourself, why does this property appear here?

[00:30:06] Because I don't think it deserves to be here. And you are probably right about that . Uh, and the reason why is because from, um, Airbnb's tests, What happened is that when they started to sprinkle in some properties that were not as attractive and, and what you would think is not in, in somewhat randomized way, in a sense, uh, that led to higher conversions because it made those properties that, uh, that looked really good, looked even better when they were compared against something, another property that wasn't as good looking.

[00:30:43] Um, and. . It's very similar to, you know, if you had all these properties that were just amazing, they had these, these, these. Um, very jolting and imaginative photos where everything was just, you know, stopping. Everything was a [00:31:00] showstopper. Every listing was a showstopper. It just led to less bookings ultimately.

[00:31:04] So that's why they've removed part, part of those, part of those, um, those, uh, those rankings, those top ranking properties, uh, and then sprinkled in some poor looking ones in order to, to, um, uh, in order to improve conversions. Mm-hmm. , so. When it comes down to those bookings that, uh, sorry. Those properties that, that, that, that do rank higher up there?

[00:31:28] Um, I would say that we still need to look further into that, but the, the be because it's sometimes hard to tell which ones are , which ones are the good ones and which ones are the bad ones. Right. Yeah. Um, but it's something we, we need to look into a little bit more onto. But I would say this though, I would say that, um, a lot.

[00:31:49] It. A lot of the conversations sometimes is around ranking number one. Um, which, uh, , which is helpful, , which is helpful from, from, from our [00:32:00] business perspective, like from from the company perspective. But what I would say though is if you're ranked on the top five pages, that is actually very good because from what we've seen as Airbnb tends to rotate these, like these top five pages of properties very, very frequently.

[00:32:12] So it's not that, it's just about ranking on on number one page. I would say if you're ranking on the first five pages, that is a very good place to be in. Um, and it's, it kind of makes sense too, just because probably, you know, mark, myself and, and, um, And everyone else probably doesn't book the very first listing that they see.

[00:32:33] Realistically, you, you probably do your due diligence. You, you've got a couple properties to compare against. But um, yeah, those first five pages are very important. And from what we've seen in the data is that Airbnb's rotating these, these properties in the top five pages, uh, quite a

[00:32:49] Mark: bit. Interesting.

[00:32:50] Really, really interesting. Um, So we've basically, with this, we've boxed off the things that you need to be paying attention to. So I think if, if anything that you can [00:33:00] take from this would be to make sure, number one, I think the easiest win that you can do right now. Go and log in, look at your amenities.

[00:33:07] Make sure that the ones that you have, you box off, you tick off. Easy, simple one to do. And then go on to to rank and see how they can help with the, with the remaining. Now there's obviously some things that, um, You don't have access to, you don't have areas to influence. Obviously try and get all those good reviews, but it's really, really interesting to see that Airbnb to disrupt the flow, they throw in a couple of ringers, amongst the, the, the, the, the, the top listings, which is, which is really interesting.

[00:33:37] Okay, so, um, what I wanna do now, Uh, just, just go on. Sorry, go on.

[00:33:43] Kelvin: Uh, I just wanted to say two things. Um, around cancellation policy that you marked there. We ran a study, looked at cancellation policy cuz it was sort of like, Hey, how much does a strict cancellation policy matter , you know, because everybody, you know, probably wants to have strict cancellation policy.

[00:33:59] Yeah. From, from [00:34:00] the data we looked at. , it didn't actually make that big of an impact. So, um, you can have a strict cancellation policy and you can rank well with the strength cancellation policy. So it is possible for you to do that. Um, but also I think it's, you know, it depends on the market, certainly, you know?

[00:34:15] Mm-hmm. , um, the ones that we were looking at were very vacation rental heavy, ultimately, and when you are in. The vacation rental heavy market that might lend itself to, to these more strict cancellation policies cuz everyone's got strict cancellation policies. But it is possible that you can rank high

[00:34:31] Mark: still with, I guess like Cancell.

[00:34:33] I guess what what you are saying is that Savers 10 properties, heavy tourist destination and nine of 'em have got a super strict cancellation policy just because you're gonna rank higher. And if nine of them have got a very strict cancellation policy, it doesn't mean that you can't do a little win by having a moderate cancellation policy and still appear in.

[00:34:52] In that top, because what the guest will go through and see is they'll go, okay, so strict cancellation. Strict cancellation, strict cancellation over the moderate, [00:35:00] oh, hang on a second. This suits my booking pattern a lot better than a super strict one for, for whatever reason. So when everyone zigs use zag to stand out, which is, which is very cool.

[00:35:12] Um, . Brilliant. I really, really, really like that. And there's so much little nuggets that everybody can be taken out from there. So let's move back. . Could, could,

[00:35:20] Kelvin: could I add one more thing? Sorry. False. No, go, go, go, go lovingness if you don't mind. Yeah. So you were talking about these secret reviews, right?

[00:35:28] Yeah. And the thing with secret reviews, and I think I, I'm pretty sure I know what you're talking about. It's kind of like this, this, this survey that they ask you at the end. Yes. Um, so every time I stayed in Airbnb, because. In this industry and the things I've, you know, it's important for me. So I've, I've got like all, all these screenshots of, of, of questions that they ask you.

[00:35:47] Some of them are like, you know, , um, kind of like quality assurance, I would say, around like, Hey, does this place actually have a 32 inch tv? Yes or no? Yeah. Uh, that's, that's one thing. Um, [00:36:00] but, but now with this new winter release that, that Airbnb's doing, and they're, you know, just like, just like, uh, mark, you and I were, we're talking about this beforehand, about like 20, 23 plans and things like that, Airbnb, Brian Chesky, that team, they're also thinking about 2023 as.

[00:36:16] I think they're looking at a lot of economic data and, you know, how could you given, if you've watched the news at all, it's, it's all over the place. Um, but I think it's also showing in their, in, in, in their numbers. But, uh, uh, they've, they're also readjusting their, their, um, their algorithm to be. To highlight value more Right now, they said that they're prioritizing value.

[00:36:42] Uh, and when you go to an Airbnb property and you see the, I think there's like six different, uh, metrics that, that Airbnb's got. One of them is value. One of 'em is like cleanliness. One of them is location. Um, and there's, you know, there's those other ones there. Yeah. So be very, very mindful [00:37:00] of your value rating, uh, going forward.

[00:37:03] Mark: Hmm. Sneak peek into 2023 where Airbnb could be thinking is value. So basically it's, it's when you've booked a stay and they give you the review, it's like there's additional little questions and one of 'em is, would you say this place that your stay was a good value for the price that you paid?

[00:37:21] And it's like ranking from Absolutely not. I paid far too much I should have done to like, yeah, this is amazing. Well done. Like you wanna. , that one,

[00:37:30] right?

[00:37:30] Kelvin: Yeah. Value's also absolutely subjective to people too, which is quite a, which is quite interesting for them to choose that as one of these priority metrics that they're, they're relying on because, um, you know, you could be , you could be a multimillionaire, pay $50,000.

[00:37:45] I was just listening to a podcast today and this guy was talking about how he's spending. He spent $300,000 last year on just Christmas alone for his family, because that's important for him. Um, and I love Christmas, so that's great. for, for, for his family. But those [00:38:00] people are out there, so their value is just, is completely, is is different than maybe some other people.

[00:38:04] But just keep that in mind, that value is Yeah. Is a very important thing right

[00:38:07] Mark: now. I think what they want you to do is to underpromise and then over. I always remember the, um, it was either Joe Ge or Brian Chesky. If we're on a podcast, whoever we're talking about, the the 10 star Airbnb experience where they ranked em all, et cetera.

[00:38:22] And I think what they're wanting is for host to sort of underpromise, but overdeliver, but don't deliver way round where you overpromise and they literally rock up to a bed on the floor, you know, so, uh, like a, like a, like a blow of bed on the floor. So you know that that is very important. Okay, so here's a little question and seeing that we're talking about potential 2020 threes, um, do you think there will be a time where Airbnb, the final, the final piece in the pricing?

[00:38:48] Because obviously when we're talking about pricing, they were hammered recently on, on social media for the additional guest fees. For example, cleaning fees, X, Y, and Z. They got rid [00:39:00] of that. So it's gonna be a more transparent pricing. Do you think it's a point in time where the final thing that's a little bit sticky is that I believe they're the only ones that do, but I may be wrong on this, is the guest service charge.

[00:39:11] So what the guest service charge is when the host pays free percent. So if you are, uh, an independent host, you pay three. Commission cost to Airbnb, and then the guest pays a service charge fee. If you are a business host, then you pay 14% commission to Airbnb and the guest pays zero. Do you think there's a point in time where this may happen where Airbnb just scrapped the guest service charge fee and the host just pays a flat fee?

[00:39:37] Doesn't matter whether they are a hobbyist host or a business host on that platform, do you think there's a, there's a time where that potentially could happen?

[00:39:47] Kelvin: Mm. I don't think so personally. I I, I don't see them going that way unless they were just like completely desperate and needed like some sort of marketing campaign to, to, to reinvigorate [00:40:00] their, their business.

[00:40:01] I, I, I, I, I guess, I don't think so. Um, most people when they're booking a platform, they will. There's just kind of like an understanding at this point. Like when you're, when you're purchasing something from a platform, uh, whether it's Uber, uh, or Airbnb or, or, or DoorDash or, or any of these other services, there's always a service fee that's involved.

[00:40:22] And it's, um, it's, uh, I, I, I would say it's kind of blind to most consumers, . Most, most consumers just kind of look at the total price that they're paying and then decide or not whether or not that, that, uh, that it's worth the stay. Mm-hmm. , um, E well, maybe in my case even, like, I think I just booked a place and I was looking at the, the, you know, one place had like a really.

[00:40:48] Cleaning fee. And the other place just had like a higher nightly fee, but it all came down to the, to the total fee. So it really didn't matter to me what, what it was, because either way, I have to pay for this. Yeah. And the service fee wasn't even [00:41:00] really like, uh, um, a major thing for me. A least, uh, it might be,

[00:41:04] Mark: well, I guess the, uh, I guess the truth will be in the data, like the what gets track gets measured in and if they notice for example, that, um, our save as an in independent host and then as a professional host.

[00:41:17] and say that they, they see that the guest is booking with the professional host because they don't have to pay the service charge. I wonder if they go, okay, well this is happening a lot now. I know they're not just making their decisions blind. They're obviously going on best data probably in the industry at the present moment in time.

[00:41:34] So I wonder if that'll become a, become a case. But it's very interesting to see what they do, because whether we like it or not, Airbnb are on track to have 60% of this whole entire industry, which is crazy. Cause in 2017 there were. 15%. So the growth has been phenomenal. Uh, scary , but at the same time, you've got to see what they do.

[00:41:55] You've got to see what they do. There's obviously. There's reasons why, and you [00:42:00] know, whether it's a winter release or a summer release, or just Mr. Brian Chesky tweeting at random times, , they're doing it for a reason.

[00:42:07] Kelvin: You know, before we hopped on this call, you know, I've, I, I've, I think we've kind of known each other.

[00:42:11] We've, we've, this is the first time that, that, that we've met. Um, but I was talking to my girlfriend, uh, before we, we hopped on, on, on our podcast here. Um, I was like, yeah, the guy I'm talking to, he's, he's like the direct bookings guy. Um, so I don't know. Conversation will go. Um, uh, and , I think I said to her, well, I don't know.

[00:42:31] He's probably not really into what I'm doing, but I'm very much into what he's doing, , because I think it makes a lot of sense. Um, and I would, I'd be, I, I guess I, I want to be clear about, I guess my positioning too is that I would never say to a person to not build their direct bookings website. That is like, that is nothing, uh, you should be on channel, different channels and, and things like that.

[00:42:52] Um, but it's just. . It depends on what positioning. I think that, that, that, that you might have if you're, if you're running one property, [00:43:00] The, I think it's just very difficult. It's, I mean, it's always gonna be very difficult to compete with, with Airbnb, um, to, to, to not use Airbnb at all or, or any of these channels.

[00:43:12] Realistically, you should be optimizing your, your. You're listing because it's a 24 hour salesperson in front of millions and millions of travelers. And then those people come and they can, they can book with you, uh, through Airbnb or if you optimize your listing to kind of be a little bit more brandy, you know, you might be able to get some opportunities for them to book directly with you through your, through your website in, in that manner.

[00:43:37] But mo you know, 99% of people are probably just gonna book on Airbnb and then getting that. Uh, business back from them is yes, is to me like the, that's like the easiest thing, rather than fighting and, you know, trying to beat them in search results. It's just, this is not in your favor to,

[00:43:53] Mark: to do that. No, I, we would talk about it a lot.

[00:43:55] If you've got a guest that is traveling to your town or city for the first [00:44:00] ever time, they'd never have heard of you. They've never got any friends or family in the area. They've never. Then, you know, you're just gonna have to suck it up in that their first booking experience with you is gonna be of a brand that they know, recognize, and trust, whether that'll be a vrbo, a, or an Airbnb.

[00:44:14] But as soon as they walk through your door, you should be doing everything in your power to make sure that if they ever do come back, Or if they ever recommend a friend to come to your area, that they're booking with you direct. And this is the problem where so many hosts don't know how to do that, that next step, um, which is why with a little pitch, I've created this, which has got the playbook, which gives you the playbook and exactly how to do it.

[00:44:38] But enough about boosting. I wanna finish our fist by talking about Rank Breeze and the 2023 plans. Obviously, um, you've done phenomenally well this year. So many people are using the service, but what, uh, what's the next on, on the roadmap? On the blueprint for, for Rank Breeze, what's the 2023 plans?

[00:44:57] Kelvin: Um, well the [00:45:00] 2023 plans for us are certainly, um, more integrations.

[00:45:08] That's definitely what we're doing. We've got some exciting integrations coming up, um, with some. Uh, right now all our integrations are mostly with pricing, but we're gonna have some integrations that do pricing plus some other things as well. Um, more on, uh, the listing optimization end, which I'm very excited for.

[00:45:29] Uh, and, uh, I think a lot of it will also be. I don't wanna call it foundational. Um, but really, you know, we're, we're gonna just, we're gonna be looking at a lot more data and, um, trying to see how these things will be helping the product. And if they don't help the product, they'll at least help the community of people around, uh, in, in, in short term rentals.

[00:45:55] So that's, that's kind of a big thing for me coming up next year is, um, [00:46:00] uh, r and. Really, that's like a, that's really a big thing that we're already preparing for. And um, Yeah, I think those are basically the two things we've got, you know, we've got already systems in place to, uh, to help people doing what we do.

[00:46:18] And really, I don't really wanna build more in a sense. I'd rather just focus on what we have and polish those things, uh, and make, make, you know, that experience much better going forward. Good. Well,

[00:46:31] Mark: good luck. I look forward to checking. Several points for our next year. And Sarah getting on. And in terms of content, podcast, YouTube, what's on the horizon?

[00:46:41] Do you have more, more, more social media things happening going on the pipelines? .

[00:46:46] Kelvin: I do not, I'm not, you know, I'm not a big social media person, so when I, when I look at the stuff that, that you're doing, mark, it's like, it's just amazing to me. I'm, I feel like I'm becoming more and more of an introvert every day, which is, I [00:47:00] don't know, uh, it's a little bit of like an internal battle on my end.

[00:47:02] Uh, but yeah, we'll be doing a lot more content for sure. We'll be doing a lot more content and. Um, I'm sure we'll be talking about that content as well, like on, on our end and, and hopefully maybe I can come back and

[00:47:13] talk

[00:47:13] Mark: to you about that. Yeah, Abely, absolutely. Absolutely. Well, the cool thing about being an introvert is you're literally talking to a camera.

[00:47:18] That's, that's the cool thing about it, is that you can just put some out The end of the day, you're just talking to a camera, so it's cool, but it's good to see more. I, I love to see it when, when businesses like. Document the process, talk about content, educate. Um, I'm a massive fan of it cause I can speak, speak wholeheartedly to it.

[00:47:34] So thank you so, so much for coming on today and um, I know that there's going to be little gems and little things that people can take away. Um, go to rank Uh, is there any, any particular way you want to direct people to? Is there any page on the website or is there anything in in particular, anywhere to get started?

[00:47:52] Or is it literally the best place? Rank Uh, yeah,

[00:47:56] Kelvin: rank is the easiest thing. Uh, we have a trial, you can sign up, there's [00:48:00] no integrations required. You just copy and paste your existing Airbnb listing URL to, to get started there. Um, yeah, and then there's, uh, there you, you hit with a guide when you come through and there's a video that you can watch, which is just like a rank breeze in less than five minutes video.

[00:48:17] And then we have some other guides around improving your rankings, improving your pricing, or improving your market data so you can. Choose your own adventure at Brilliant. That point. Brilliant.

[00:48:26] Mark: Brilliant. So r a n kb, r e e z Please go. Uh, go and check it out. Uh, make sure you, you, you told him you come from, come from Bosley and, uh, yeah, really, really appreciate your time.

[00:48:39] As you can see, my voice is going , so we're gonna call, uh, help to it. Uh, but yeah, thank you so much and thank you to everybody that's tuned in. Uh, thank you to Marie who's tuning in live and stuck out for out. And we've got, we've had all the loads of people who have been tuning. Route. So I know this is a really important topic.

[00:48:53] It's a very important topic because obviously over the course of the next 12 months, uh, there may be [00:49:00] fewer people looking, uh, on, on these platforms, but there still will be tons of bookings to have. You just gotta make sure you've got everything in place to make sure that you're in the right visibility at the right time when your right guest is ready to book.

[00:49:12] So for me, thank you so much. My name is Max Simpson, giving host the tools, the tactics of training, and the confidence on how to get. Diary bookings. If you wanna see more of this, just leave it in the comments below and I'll be back very soon. We're gonna see you out with a little free sour wrap, having a blast.

[00:49:28] Kelvin: Gonna get it on the Bruce Lee podcast, Bruce Lee. Let Bruce Lee cuz it's so hard on the tees loose leaf, making up those rhymes. Don't write it, just do it loosely.

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