How To Start An Airbnb Management Company

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If you ask any entrepreneur, starting a business comes with its fair share of challenges.

Starting your own airbnb management company requires a great deal of effort, dedication and most importantly passion.

If you're willing to put in the effort to build your own airbnb management company, you're going to want to follow the critical steps to creating a successful brand.

We've created a guide that covers each step of the process - from making key financial decisions, to launching and marketing your business the right way, and tips/strategies on how to grow your airbnb management company effectively.

market size
$3B
avg revenue (monthly)
$35K
starting costs
$7.93K
gross margin
18%
time to build
2 months
best tools
Google Suite, Evernote, Notion

💡 Introduction To The Airbnb Management Company

How To Name Your Airbnb Management Company

It's important to find a catchy name for your airbnb management company so that you can stand out in your space.

Here are some general tips to consider when naming your airbnb management company

  • Avoid hard to spell names: you want something easy to remember and easy to spell for your customers
  • Conduct a search to see if others in the space have the same name
  • Try not to pick a name that limits growth opportunities for your business (ie. if you decide to expand into other product lines)
  • As soon as you have an idea (or ideas) of a few names that you love, register the domain name(s) as soon as possible!

Why is naming your airbnb management company so important?

The name of your business will forever play a role in:

  • Your customers first impression
  • Your businesses identity
  • The power behind the type of customer your brand attracts
  • If you're memorable or not

It's important to verify that the domain name is available for your airbnb management company.

You can search domain availability here:

Find a domain starting at $0.88

powered by Namecheap

Although .com names are the most common and easiest to remember, there are other options if your .com domain name is not available. Depending on your audience, it may not matter as much as you think.

It's also important to thoroughly check if social media handles are available.

As soon as you resonate with a name (or names), secure the domain and SM handles as soon as possible to ensure they don't get taken.

Here's some inspiration for naming your airbnb management company:

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Players

Big Players

Small Players

Search Interest

Let's take a look at the search trends for airbnb management company over the last year:

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Building an MVP (Minimal Viable Product)

When building a airbnb management company, it's critical that you first validate your product/service rather than rushing to build it right away.

This could save you months, if not years of building the wrong product/service.

If you're hoping to decrease any sort of risk that comes with launching your airbnb management company, designing a prototype can be a great way to de-risk your situation.

The point of your airbnb management company prototype is that it doesn't have to be perfect.

In the beginning stages, it doesn't matter how rough V1 of your prototype is, it's more important to just get started and you can always refine from there based on feedback from your network and most importantly your customers.

How To Build A MVP

Here are several different ways of building a prototype/MVP:

  • Start by building a landing page to see if customers actually need your product and if they are willing to pay for it
  • Build a very basic version of your idea and ask for immediate feedback from potential customers
  • Present a problem and solution via Facebook/Instagram Ads and see what the response is like

Gary Fox, founder of Host Butlers dives deep into the process of designing and prototyping their product:

To start, I really had very little idea of what I was doing. I wasn’t from a hospitality background but I had worked in retail for over 5 years. I applied the best practices I’d learned from that industry and tried to transfer it directly into my new business.

Stop overthinking it and launch the leanest, most basic version of your product or service that you can. Only when you launch will you see if there’s demand or not.

Although the idea for Airbnb management/concierge services wasn’t being done in Ireland, it was getting popular in the United States and the UK. I researched all the market-leading companies in those markets, sending off endless inquiry emails and going through their sign up processes. I became a fictional customer to learn exactly how it all worked, what the costs were and most importantly, where the opportunity was for me to launch this.

I took the learnings from other companies and created a really basic SurveyMonkey form and used targeted Facebook ads to promote it to people in Dublin who were already Airbnb hosts. This was back in 2015 when it was still very cheap and relatively easy to target the exact people you wanted and also gain some organic reach.

how-i-bootstrapped-an-airbnb-management-service-to-35k-month My original Facebook ad to validate the idea

I had plenty of experience as an Airbnb user but zero as an Airbnb host. I needed to know the pain points of hosts and identify if there was a demand for a management service.

Two weeks later, I had 30 responses and enough demand to convince me to kick off the task of creating the business.

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Gary Fox, on starting Host Butlers ($35,000/month) full story ➜

Determine Which Business Bank Account You Need

There are hundreds of banks out there, and it can be overwhelming to find one that's right for your business.

Here are some factors you may want to consider:

  • Location - Is your bank close enough that you can easily make deposits or get cash?
  • Low Fees - Make sure to understand any and all fees associated with setting up and maintaining your bank account. Ask for a list - banks usually try to keep this hidden and in the fine print.
  • Online Banking Services - Make sure you can easily navigate through your online portal and you have easy access to everything you need.
  • Line of Credit - What do your options look like (even if you don't need this now, you may need this down the road).
  • Every bank has something that differentiates them from the rest, so make sure whatever that is applied to your needs and values.

Check out this list of the 13 Best Banks for Small Business in 2020 and what makes them so unique.

When it comes to setting up your business, you may find yourself in a place where you have to make some financial and legal decisions.

The first thing you'll want to decide on is whether you want to be an LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp.

These three options are found to be the most common when starting a small business, and all serve to protect your personal assets and also provide you with certain tax benefits.

  • LLC: All income and expenses from the business are reported on the LLC personal income tax return.
  • S corp: Owners pay themselves salaries + receive dividends from profits.
  • C Corp: C Corps are separately taxable entities that file a corporate tax return (Form 1120). No income tax is paid at the corporate level and any tax due is paid at the owners individual expense.

Depending on where you're conducting business, you'll also want to consider securing the proper permits, licenses and liability insurance.

Learn more about securing the right permits and licenses ➜

Startup Costs

If you are planning to start a airbnb management company, the costs are relatively low. This of course, depends on if you decide to start the business on your own or bring on a big team at first.

We’ve outlined two common scenarios for “pre-opening” costs of a airbnb management company and outline the costs you should expect for each:

  • The estimated minimum starting cost = $1,050
  • The estimated maximum starting cost = $14,800
Startup ExpensesThese numbers are based off the average expenses incurred when starting a airbnb management company. Min Startup CostsDefined as an airbnb management company you have started and plan to execute on your own. You’re able to work from home with minimal costs. Max Startup CostsDefined as an airbnb management company you have started with one other team member. You decided to rent out an office space to set up the business.
RentThis refers to the office space you decide to work in. Depending on the cost of living, this number could vary. $0 $2,500
Licenses and Business FormationThis refers to setting up your business license and establishing any legal contracts. $250 $1,000
PayrollThis number depends on if you decide to pay yourself a salary up front and the amount of employees you hire. The average salary for a full-time airbnb management company individual is $0 $4,000
Equipment and TechnologyThis includes (but is not limited to) any expenses such as: laptops, cameras, office supplies and technology platforms $500 $5,000
Advertising/PromotionThis includes (but not limited to): paid ads, public relations, networking events etc. $200 $2,000
Website and Email HostingCosts to host website, domain names and email $100 $300
Total Starting Costs $1,050 (min) $14,800 (max)

Raising Money

Since the startup costs to start airbnb management company range between $1,050 - $14,800, there are ways you can raise money to cover these costs.

Here are a few ways you can secure additional funding:

Leslie Eislen, founder of AlmondClear discusses how she raised the money to start her business

To fund the launch of the business, my husband and I put in about $10,000 of personal savings.

That initial infusion of cash was gobbled up surprisingly quickly, like in a matter of a couple of months, and that was well before any inventory was purchased.

We also took out a home equity line of credit for $100,000. So far I’ve only used $20,000 of the home equity credit, and I intend to never use more than $50,000.

I’m trying to follow the Lean Startup model and well as Profit First, so the goal is to grow the business incrementally as revenue allows, and build a profitable business model from the start.

I know that some people would advise me to get investments or use more of my loan in order to grow the business more quickly, but I’ve chosen to pursue a more lean, build-as-you-go model for now.

-  
Leslie Eisen, on starting AlmondClear ($15,000/month) full story ➜

Revenue Expectations

We've interviewed several different founders in the airbnb management company and asked them how much $ they're making today.

Host Butlers

  • $420K/year in revenue
  • Sells airbnb concierge
  • Solo founder
  • 4 employees

How To Price Your Airbnb Management Company

One of the most challenging and critical pieces to starting your airbnb management company is determining how much to charge for your airbnb management company

When businesses under-price their product, this can be extremely detrimental to their bottom line and reputation.

Often times, businesses under-price their products to drive demand and volume, but that last thing you want is for customers to view your product/service as "cheap." Additionally, this can have a big impact on the type of customer you attract, which can be difficult to recover from.

On the other hand, when businesses over-price, this tends to be just as damaging to the business.

When customers buy, it's likely that they will explore the internet and look at other competitors to ensure they're getting the best value + deal. This is why it's so important that you research your competition and understand where you land in the marketplace.

Here are some factors to consider when pricing your product:

Understand your customer

It's important that out of the gates, you identify the type of customer you want to attract and how much they're willing to pay for your service. One great way to do this is by surveying your customers. Here are some important items you'll want to takeaway:

  • Customer demographic: Age, gender, location, etc.
  • Buying habits of your customer: What they buy + when they buy
  • Level of price sensitivity with your customer

All of these segments will help you identify the type of customer you're attracting and how to price your product accordingly.

Understand your costs

When pricing your airbnb management company, it's critical that you first identify all of your costs and consequently mark up your airbnb management company so you can factor in a profit.

The actual cost of your airbnb management company may include things like:

  • The actual cost to make the product (ie. raw materials, supplies, manufacturer).
  • Shipping + overhead fees
  • Rent
  • Operating costs to run your business

You may want to consider creating a spreadsheet with every single expense involved in operating/owning your business. This will give you an idea as to what you need to generate in order to at the very least, break-even and will help you price your products to factor in a profit.

Create revenue goals

When determining the price of your airbnb management company, you'll want to create goals for revenue + how much profit you want your airbnb management company to make.

This process is simpler than you may think:

  1. Think about your breakeven cost (by completing the above step).
  2. Create a revenue goal based off of your break-even cost
  3. Evaluate the # of items you plan to sell in a given period (make sure this is a realistic number)
  4. Divide your revenue goal by the number of items you plan to sell

This figure will help determine your estimated price per product in order to meet your revenue goals.

Evaluate your competition

The last piece in determining how to price your airbnb management company is by simply looking at your competition.

The best way to do this is by finding like-minded businesses that offer product(s) with similar perceived value. Then, you can compare prices of the different businesses and determine where your airbnb management company fits best in the marketplace.

All of these factors play an equal part in pricing your airbnb management company, so it's important you evaluate each one individually to come up with an accurate price that will help optimize your business from the start.

Pricing Models For Airbnb Management Company

In many cases, the management company is typically paid a percentage of the booking (anywhere between 10-35%).

Typically, there are a few different services you can provide as an Airbnb Management Company.

The two most common services offered are:

  1. Full Management - the property owner is uninvolved and the property manager is very hands-on as it relates to guest inquiries, guest satisfaction, any issues that evolve, etc.
  2. Remote Management - the management company provides support but is not as hands-on (self-check-in, lockbox, etc).

Here's an example from HostButlers on the different packages & pricing models they offer to owners. In our interview with the founder, he also dives deep into profit margins and tips for success:

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Profit Margins

Be ruthless with your costs. In the the early stages, track everything! Know exactly how much money you are making per hour or per product.

Factor in everything from tax, to VAT and labor costs.

Knowing your profit margins will ensure you make it past year 1. It will also allow you to focus on the products that are making you the most margin and double down.

Below is a spreadsheet showing the first 30 days of earnings for client 1

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Gary Fox, on starting Host Butlers ($35,000 revenue/mo) full story

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Build A Website

Building a website is imperative when launching your business, and with the right tools in place, this can be a simple task to check off the list (without having to hire someone).

  1. Pick a domain name that's easy to remember and easy to type
  2. Choose a Web Hosting Plan (ie. Shopify, Squarespace)
  3. Make sure you choose the right theme and design
  4. Implement the proper page structure (ie. about page, contact page, pricing etc)

To learn more about how to build a stellar website with little stress, we give you all the details on this step-by-step guide.

There are a ton of different websites platforms out there, and it's important to choose the right one that will set you up for success

Shopify is most commonly used for eCommerce boutique businesses and Squarespace is most commonly used for physical storefronts.

Here's everything you need to know about these two platforms:

Web Design

Once you have chosen the domain, web hosting, and platform, it's time to get started with the design phase.

Themes are a great way to produce the fundamental style and identity of your website - this includes everything from your font design to your blog post styles.

One of the best ways to get started is to simply explore the various themes (free or paid depending on what you're looking for) and test them on your site.

If web-design really isn't in the cards for you, you may want to consider outsourcing a web designer to help bring your vision and brand to life.

Brett Lindenberg, founder of Food Truck Empire discusses how investing in a web designer was one of the best decisions he made:

Like most bloggers, the launch of my business was low cost. I bought a domain name from GoDaddy, website hosting from HostGator, and had my initial website template customized by someone located in the Philippines. I was introduced to the designer from a friend who had worked with the individual for a Wordpress design as well. The total initial investment for the business was around $500. The majority of the costs went toward paying the designer to create the logo and set up the site.

At the time, $500 was a substantial investment for me. I fell into the trap of having around $40,000 in student loan debt another $10,000 in credit cards after college. Adding a monthly car payment shortly after graduation and the other bills (rent, cell phone, internet access) meant things were tight for me financially for the first 5 years after graduation.

In spite of financial woes, I forced myself to invest money in the design and setup of my blog. In retrospect, I’m glad that I did this because it saved me a lot of time starting the website.

When you start a blog, my belief is that you should outsource all the one-time technical work, design, and setup. There are so many people that spend months wasting time trying to figure out plugins and Wordpress themes when they could have solved the problem on Fiverr.com for a couple hundred bucks and be off to the races.

-  
Brett Lindenberg, on starting Food Truck Empire ($5,400/month) full story ➜

Traditional Launch Strategies (that work):

There are various different ways you can launch your airbnb management company successfully.

Here are a few different strategies to get customers excited about your airbnb management company:

  • Set up a Facebook page for your business. This is a great way to establish an online presence
  • Host an event in a fun location with drinks & food. This is a great way to get exposure in the local community.
  • Get Press! Pitch your story to the media and you may just land in an amazing publication
  • Live sales to get customers excited
  • Send a hand-written letter in the mail with a discount on your services to the local community/neighborhoods.

Gary Fox, founder of Host Butlers dives deep into the process of launching the business:

The next step was to create a website. To keep costs low, I designed and built the site myself, using Squarespace. I’m not technical but I wanted to create a professional presence as I knew the look and feel of the brand would be really important. After all, you are asking someone to trust you with their reputation. I needed something that looked really expensive but cost very little!

I used royalty free images from Unsplash and Pexels to add some high-quality imagery to the site and got a designer friend of mine to create a logo for €60.

HostButlers has been self-funded/bootstrapped from day 1 and continues to be in 2019.

It’s incredible what you can achieve when you are forced to be creative due to constraints. Even now when we are trading profitably, I try to keep the mindset of “Doing more with less”. It’s very easy to throw money at a problem but often the solution lies in removing things or processes from a situation.

I timed the launch to coincide with The Web Summit which is the biggest tech event in Europe. It has since moved to Lisbon but in 2015, it was held in Dublin and attracted over 30,000 people to the city over a 3-day period.

In the weeks leading up to the Summit, I used Facebook geolocated ads to target a 5kms area around the venue as I had heard there was a shortage of accommodation and I thought people would become Airbnb hosts in order to cash in on the situation. I assumed many people would be first time hosts and once they realised how much work is involved with guest communications, preparation, greeting, and cleaning that they would want to outsource the job.

Within a few weeks, I had signed up two potential clients and decided to launch the service. Up to this point, I had nothing except a website. I now had to rush to find cleaning suppliers and build systems to support the business.

Once I launched, everything happened extremely fast. I signed two clients within weeks and they wanted me to take over running their properties immediately.

I still remember going to meet the very first guests. I raced down to the apartment, grabbing croissants, and fresh orange juice in the local store on the way there. I was there over an hour early, I was so keen to make sure everything went well.

Finding cleaners was a bigger challenge. I placed ads on Facebook and Gumtree and began testing them. I had no properties at the time, so in order to check their standards, I had them carry out test cleanings on my apartment and apartments of my friends.

Don’t spend months planning the perfect launch. It doesn’t exist. The launch will be messy and throw up all sorts of problems you didn’t even know were possible. Launch and learn as you go.

-  
Gary Fox, on starting Host Butlers ($35,000/month) full story ➜

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Word of Mouth

The most tried and true way to grow a airbnb management company is through word of mouth - some entrepreneurs would say it's more important than all social media.

Why you should focus on word of mouth:

  • Consumers trust word of mouth above all other forms of marketing
  • 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising
  • 64% of marketing executives indicated that they believe it is the most effective form of marketing

Learn more about word of mouth in our guide: 30 Ways Founders Grow Their Business ➜

Sajin Rajan, founder of Epixel Solutions discusses the importance of word of mouth marketing:

In addition to digital marketing, there was another source that provided an equal contribution - word of mouth.

Word of mouth works well and not everyone understands the value of this method. It's the communication that matters the most and marketing is the medium.

We analyzed the persuasion part and found word of mouth like a good marketing source. We're still following this method and our growth backs our choice of marketing.

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Sajin Rajan, on starting Epixel Solutions ($70,000/month) full story ➜

Provide Great Customer Service

Providing exceptional care and creating relationships with clients is a great way to build your reputation and retain customers.

Whether you are an online business or a physical business, it's highly important to communicate with customers and make them feel like they are the priority.

Just remember: customer service represents your brand, values, vision and YOU as a person.

Customer service is huge for us. Like I talked about, building a community has been one of the best bi-products in the shop.

We want everyone to feel loved, cared for, and appreciated.

If we have a customer that comes in quite a bit, we will begin to notice what they buy and reach out to them if something new comes in if we think they will like it. We also try to call people by name and greet them as if they were entering my home, not just the shop.

Another great way we retain customers is through a loyalty point system. When a customer gains enough points through their purchases, they are rewarded with a discount. It’s our way of saying “thank you” for having them be a great customer.

-  
Emilie Casseday, on starting Blush Boutique Co ($25,000/month) full story ➜

Improve your SEO

SEO is not just about driving traffic to your site, it's about driving the RIGHT traffic to your site, and ultimately, converting leads into customers.

One of the most important aspects of SEO is understanding what your customers are searching for, otherwise known as "keyword research."

Here are some tools that can help you choose the right keywords for your airbnb management company.

Publish Great Content

Finding keywords is an important piece of the puzzle, but Google also ranks your site based on the actual content you produce, as this is what your customers are reading and engaging with.

There are various different "forms" of content that you may want to consider diversifying on your sites, such as blog posts, articles, studies, and videos.

So let's discuss what google considers "good content:"

  • Length - This will vary depending on the page, however, generally having a sufficient amount of content helps search engines recognize that your site is a good source for a specific topic
  • Engagement - The longer people stay on your website to read your content, the higher Google will rank your website. It's important to have informative and "thick" content that keeps people reading
  • Avoid Duplicating Content - Google will recognize this and may consider your content to have low value
  • Ensure pages load quickly - This will also help with engagement and time spent on your website
  • Shareability - Create content that people want to share, and is easy for them to share, especially to their social media accounts (ie. "click to tweet" is a great example of this).

Another element of creating good content is creating consistent content.

If (and hopefully you are) publishing content frequently, it's important to stick to a schedule - this helps build brand trust and easy user experience with your customers.

Planning out your content with a content calendar is key to staying consistent.

Here are a few great content calendar tools that can help you:

  • Trello
  • Airtable
  • If you prefer to keep it simple, your average spreadsheet is just as useful!

Backlinks

Backlinks are an important piece to SEO, as they allow for other websites to link to your content.

Search engines recognize that other sites are essentially "verifying" your content and essentially rank you higher because of this.

Of course, some links are more valuable than others and can affect your site in different ways.

For example, if a highly valuable and credible site like the New York Times links to a page on your website, this could be remarkable from an SEO perspective.

Aside from organically getting mentioned from other sites, there are other ways that you can increase and earn backlinks:

  • Create infographics with relevant data that people want to share
  • Promote your content on different sites/look into "guest blogging"
  • Contact influencers/journalists/bloggers and ask them to mention you!
  • Write testimonials for other sites in exchange for a backlink
  • Leverage existing business relationships

Learn more about the fundamentals of SEO ➜ here

Build A Blog

One of the most effective ways to build brand awareness and grow your business is through consistently blogging.

We've outlined some useful tips for you to consider when creating content:

Consistency and Quantity

Quality is important, but it should be the standard for any content you publish.

What’s more important is consistency and quantity.

Consistency is as simple as committing to publishing and sharing a certain number of posts per week. For me, that’s three per week right now.

This kind of commitment is key, because one day, a random post will blow up, and you will have never expected it.

Oversaturation

The easiest mind trap is to think "I’m posting too much", and “I need to give my readers/audience/this platform a break”.

This is nonsense.

There is no such thing as oversaturation. Well, there is, but it is just someone else’s opinion.

For every person that tells you you are posting too much, there is another person that wants even more of your content.

You should ignore people’s opinions on how much you post.

Patience & Persistence

Keep posting, keep trying, and keep putting out good content on the regular. Your time will come, and when it does, it will change everything.

The only thing you have control over is your content.

You can’t control how people will react to it. You can’t control pageviews, likes, or shares.

So the only metric you should focus on is how much content you can put out in a week, month, etc.

Where to share your blog content

Mailing List

I know it sounds obvious, but the best places to share your content is on your mailing list. It is guaranteed traffic and it is a great way to get rapid feedback from your most loyal readers.

Send newsletters often. I have done once a week since starting, and I’m moving to twice a week soon.

Work on increasing your mailing list as well. Look into ways to increase your conversion rate to your mailing list. I added a flyout popup thing to my site and now I’m collecting ~30 emails per day.

An email newsletter is one of the most powerful assets you can have and it is worth its weight in gold.

Reddit

Reddit is one of my favorite places to promote content.

It is a very scary place because you will often get banned or heckled, but it can really pay off.

Create social media accounts for your blog, the main ones I use:

Twitter Facebook Instagram LinkedIn

Set up Buffer and share all of your blog posts to all of your accounts. All of these little shares really do add up.

Automate this as much as possible. I automated all of my social media for Starter Story.

Facebook Groups

When I started out, I put together a spreadsheet of relevant Facebook groups for my niche, and I would post to these groups whenever I had a big story I wanted to share.

Social Media Advertising

Social Media Advertising is one of the leading ways to get the word out when it comes to airbnb management company.

There are various different Social Media platforms available to you. Some may be more critical for your marketing efforts than others, however, it's important to have an understanding of what's out there and available to you.

Let's talk about a few of the main platforms and what makes them unique:

  • Facebook Advertising - more than 2 billion monthly users. Facebook is the best for lead generation + capturing email addresses for e-commerce businesses.
  • Instagram Advertising - approximately 500 million monthly users and has a higher audience engagement rate than any other platform. Instagram ads are best for linking to a product page or landing page and reaches the 18-29 age group most effectively.
  • Twitter Advertising- Small businesses typically use twitter ads to drive brand awareness, but the platform is meant more for organic engagement (and is not as heavily used for paid advertising)
  • Pinterest Advertising - 175 million monthly users and most effectively reaches the female audience. Pinterest is great for promoting products without "promoted". The promoted pins have a way of blending right in.
  • LinkedIn Advertising - 227 million monthly users and is geared towards the B2B market and generates the highest quality leads. Great platform for recruiters, high-end products and services that will help businesses

It's important to first define your goal/objective so that you don't waste time and money into the wrong platform:

Here are some different questions to ask yourself as it relates to your goals:

  • Do I want to simply drive brand awareness?
  • Do I want to drive users to my website to gather information?
  • Do I want to increase sales and get my customer to take action?

From there, choose the platform that targets your audience best and start experimenting!

Learn more about social media advertising ➜ here.

Founder Andy Hayes talks about mastering FB ads and the pixel:

The biggest bang for your buck will likely be mastering Facebook and it’s platform - which we all know is pay for play, so you’ll have to come up with a small amount of budget to start for marketing.

We’ve spent countless hours (and paid numerous coaches) before we cracked the code that works for us on Facebook, but it is working really well for us now.

Some of the most important things to know when it comes to FB Ads:

  • Start with retargeting (that’s showing ads to people who already know you but did not purchase). Master this - and start building information on your Facebook Pixel - before you do anything else
  • Once you have that down, try working with the 1% “Lookalike” audience to prospect for new customers. This may take awhile because your pixel audience is small, so try layering on interests - 1% Lookalike and your largest competitor, for example. Don’t use interest-only targeting until you master this.
  • Great photography and videography is key, as is smart copy. Research what’s out there in your industry and constantly test - what works for one company may not work for other people.
  • Make sure you have good offers. For example, we have a $5 trial for our subscription, which converts affordably - if we promoted our subscription with the standard $30 front charge, it wouldn’t be as cost-effective.
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Andy Hayes, on starting Plum Deluxe Tea ($75,000/month) full story ➜

Ryan Schortmann, founder of Display Pros talks about their investment in PPC Ads:

My name is Ryan Schortmann and I’m the founder of Display Pros. We are a custom trade show display booth company offering easy to use portable display “kits” for small and medium businesses wanting to get into the trade show game.

It did not take long to come to the realization that to compete at any reasonable level, we were going to need to take the plunge and invest in Pay Per Click ads and display.

From experience, I know that it is important to give Google’s hivemind some time to settle in before each campaign starts seeing consistent results (this is largely dependent on budget).

A certain amount of PPC budget must be viewed as a “marketing research” expense and then you can look at the analytics data and make informed decisions on where to refine, tweak or plain scrap an idea.

Google Shopping was an entirely new concept for me. You can’t assign keywords to products so at first, I was asking myself “How the hell do you refine these?”. Then I found some good reading material and courses and learned of some advanced methods that the pros are using. It turns out you can utilize negative keyword lists combined with the priority setting on each shopping campaign to “shape” the keywords that are coming in and how much you are spending on them.

To learn more about PPC Ads and Google Shopping, check out this video to learn everything you need to know!

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Ryan Schortmann, on starting Display Pros ($30,000/month) full story ➜

article

Get Press Coverage For Your Airbnb Management Company:

The more buzz around your brand - the more the phones ring, the more traffic to your website, and the more customers as a result.

Here are a few ways you can get press for your business:

Press releases:

Press releases are a great way to share big announcements or news, but in order to get any traction, you'll need to find a way to make your press release stand out amongst others.

Try to convey a story that really matters, not just to you, but to the reporter and to their audience.

Here are some things to consider when submitting a press release:

  • Craft a catchy subject (keep it short and sweet).
  • Acknowledge the journalist's past work and interests - this is key!
  • Include the main point of the story in the first paragraph, heck, even the first sentence. Reporters want to hear the juice first and foremost.
  • Focus on the facts and try to limit the amount of jargon used.
  • Pitch yourself! Help them put a face to the story.
  • Make sure your topic is newsworthy. If it's not, find a way to!
  • Try not to include any attachments of your release!

Email is one of the most effective and preferred way to send your press release, so as long as you keep your pitch brief, interesting and personalized (no cold emails), you should stand a chance!

Get Press Using HARO

HARO, otherwise known as "Help a Reporter Out" is an outlet for journalists to source upcoming stories and opportunities for media coverage.

The best part is, HARO is free to use! There are, of course, premium versions you can purchase, but the free version is still an accessible way to get press.

Once you set up an account, HARO essentially will email you based on stories (that are relevant to you) that need to be covered where you will then have a chance to essentially "bid on the story."

Here are some tips when crafting your pitch:

  • Discuss your experience and expertise in the space. Make sure it's obvious why you're relevant to this story.
  • Answer the question in 3-4 sentences. Try and be as direct as possible
  • Offer to provide the reporter with more information and make sure to give them your contact info

Plan a Publicity Stunt

Planning a publicity stunt is an effective and quick way to raise awareness for your brand and gain some traction from the press.

If you're looking to plan a stunt, the objective should be to be bold and create something memorable

However, being bold has a fine line - it's important that you consider the timing of your stunt to ensure you don't come off insensitive or unethical. For example, timing may not be in your favor if you plan something during the general election, or in most recent cases, a global pandemic.

In order to measure the success of your stunt, it's important that you first determine your end goal, for example:

  • Is the stunt aimed to raise money for your business or a particular organization?
  • Is the stunt aimed to drive more traffic to your website?
  • Is the stunt aimed to get more followers and engagement on Instagram?

Here are a few tips for creating a great publicity stunt:

  • Research to ensure that there haven't been similar stunts done in the past by other businesses - this could easily turn off journalists and your audience.
  • Make sure you can explain the stunt in one headline - this will help grab the media's attention. In other words, simplify!
  • The stunt should be related to the product you are promoting. Even if the stunt is a success in terms of viewers, but it doesn't tie back to your original goal, then it's not useful.
  • Keep the stunt visual with videos/images.
  • Leverage the internet and social media platforms for your stunt by sharing your message across a variety of audiences. This will help with word of mouth and the overall success of your event.

To learn other strategies on how to get press, check out our full guide here.

Gary Fox, founder of Host Butlers dives deep into the process of attracting and retaining customers:

After the success of my Facebook ads, I kept running new ads every month for around six months. I would change up the copy and it delivered reasonable results. I had assumed all my hosts were tech-savvy, young millennials who consumed a large amount of social media. I was completely wrong.

I had started to run a series of Airbnb host workshops to bring together hosts and share best practices. I viewed this as a win/win as it provided value to potential clients and allowed me to present myself as an authority in the space.

I invited a travel blogger along who also happened to write freelance articles for a well-respected newspaper here in Ireland, The Irish Times. She was fascinated by the business idea and pitched a story about us to an editor. It was accepted and that article changed the future of my business completely.

how-i-bootstrapped-an-airbnb-management-service-to-35k-month

When the article was published, I couldn’t believe it. It was previewed on the cover of the newspaper, and it got a full page in the business section of the paper. The phone started ringing immediately. I vividly remember going to the local shop to get a copy of the paper and before I had returned home, I already had a call from a potential supplier who wanted to work with us.

Link to Article

how-i-bootstrapped-an-airbnb-management-service-to-35k-month

Traditional media still has a massive part to play in your marketing mix, and most importantly for me at the time, it gave me instant credibility. Even today, almost 4 years later, I ask every new client where they heard about us and people still say they read about us in the newspaper.

We do zero advertising at the moment. This is due to a combination of factors. We have been in Dublin almost 4 years now so our ranking for “Airbnb management Dublin” is always within the first couple of results on Google.

At the start, I focused on getting the basics right. I added my Google Business location immediately and got a couple of reviews as quickly as possible. It was vital to establish a reputation and a physical location to build trust with my clients.

I wrote frequent weekly blogs on the subjects related to Airbnb hosting, tips of hosts and generally acted as a useful resource for aspiring hosts.

The most important acquisition channel always has been providing a great service to clients and they then go and tell their friends and colleagues. This has been the number 1 source of new business and continues to be that way. This is not the sexy answer and you can’t just turn it on by hiring a consultant or paying for ads.

In today’s world you are competing with automation and poor customer service. Be the company that puts the personal touch back into businesses. If you are selling to a local market, this will be the single biggest success factor in the early days. Put a physical address, a phone number and a short bio of yourself on the website. Build trust at every stage.

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Gary Fox, on starting Host Butlers ($35,000/month) full story ➜

Outsourcing

If you can afford to hire someone to help support your airbnb management company, outsourcing is a great way to save you time and energy.

Most importantly, outsourcing can help you focus on the core growth of your business, versus spending your time on day to day tasks that other people can do just as well!

If you do plan to outsource your work, it's important to be hyper-familiar with the actual work involved.

Why is it important to be hyper-familiar with the work?

  • So you can understand how long it takes
  • So you understand the full process, edge cases, things that can go wrong.
  • So you can explain it in detail to your employee.
  • So you can make sure it actually works (for example - how do you know cold email works for your business if you’re not on the ground floor trying it out?)
  • Understanding the tasks at a deep level will save you a lot of time and money.

Resources

We put together the best resources on the internet to help you start your airbnb management company.

Tools

Books

Web Resources

Videos

Case Studies

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Starter Story,   Founder of Starter Story

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