Tips for Hosts: How to Maximise your Sales

Learn the secrets and watch your bookings soar

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Wooden blocks with arrows pointing upwards, stacked to signify the maximising of sales for hosts

As a host, we know there’s nothing better than seeing booking after booking roll in - you’re clearly doing something right. But it’s not always easy to know the secrets of the trade, which is exactly why we’re here. At Plum Guide, we take pride in going above and beyond, especially for our pool of exceptional hosts (yes, that includes you). That’s why we’ve put together this guide of our best tips for hosts, helping you drive as many bookings as possible. From exclusivity to discounts, there are a number of ways for you to encourage more and more guests to choose your property as their dream spot - as they rightly should. Your outstanding home deserves visitors, so read on to discover exactly how you can make the most of being a Plum Guide host, and watch your bookings soar.

Exclusivity

We’ll kick off this guide of top tips for hosts with what is arguably the most notable point of them all - exclusivity. Hosts who are listed exclusively on Plum Guide outperform the hosts who have listings across multiple platforms by 6x (yes, 6x) - and there are a few reasons why. Not only are your homes boosted in our search results as a result of you being exclusive to Plum, but it also means that, naturally, your availability will be higher, casting a wider net for potential Plum Guide bookers. On top of this, our dedicated team of matchmakers tend to be very familiar with our exclusive hosts, which also means they often recommend these homes more - so what are you waiting for?

Availability

A calendar on a wooden table next to some drawing pins

A calendar on a wooden table next to some drawing pins

Of course, as bookings go up, availability will go down, but maintaining a high level of availability throughout the year is a great way to maximise your sales. Not only will it make your home more accessible for guests, but it will also mean that your rental is easier to find in our search results - allowing it to receive more impressions, and subsequently giving it a higher likelihood of securing bookings. Should a guest ever land on your home and find that, actually, the property isn’t available around the time of their trip, then everybody loses. Ensure that your home has as much availability as possible, and really make the most of being a Plum Guide host. You can even synchronise your calendar with Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, and the like, to guarantee cohesion between platforms and maximise your availability - discover how to do this with our dedicated guide to calendar synchronisation.

Low minimum night stays

In a similar vein to the point of availability, guests will also be much more likely to book a stay at your home if the minimum night limit suits their needs. Picture this: A guest is hoping for a short weekend break away, and discovers your home. They‘re desperate to book for a handful of nights, only to discover that the minimum night allowance prevents them from doing so. Having a low limit on the minimum number of nights that a guest is obliged to stay for is an easy way to increase your chances of bookings, truly maximising your sales. Those with an average minimum stay of just 2 nights tend to be our top performers, as the pool of applicable guests is so much wider. The higher the minimum night limit, the fewer guests you appeal to, so make the most of your platform on Plum Guide and set a low limit. Your bookings will thank you.

Flexibility

An explanation of Plum Guide's Relaxed cancellation policy

An explanation of Plum Guide's Relaxed cancellation policy

Flexible cancellation policies are (unsurprisingly) big hits with our guests - who doesn’t love the assurance that their host is genuinely accommodating? Of course, at Plum, that’s a given anyway, but offering guests the chance to make a late decision on their booking can make all the difference. With policies ranging from Relaxed to SuperFirm60, you can make the final call on how much leeway you are willing to give your guests, but to really maximise your bookings, the more flexible, the better. Our most lenient policy allows for a full refund up to 24 hours before check-in, offering a security blanket that can be so comforting for your visitors - especially in the post-Covid era.

Discounts

Who doesn’t love a discount? Eyes will always be drawn to the value-for-money deals, whatever the product, and hosting is no different. Offering guests the chance to stay at your home for a reduced fee is an incredibly simple way to attract the crowds - especially if other hosts are not implementing their own reductions. Providing guests with a 10% weekly discount, for example, is certain to draw some attention, as is a 15% monthly discount - which is exactly why it's one of our top tips for hosts. However much you choose to take away from the price, it will always encourage guests to jump at the opportunity - staying in a luxury home is appealing enough, but when you throw a discount into the mix, it becomes almost impossible to turn down.

Instant Book vs Request to Book

A brown and gold Reserved sign on a wooden table

A brown and gold Reserved sign on a wooden table

Guests want convenience, and having the opportunity to secure a booking instantly is about as convenient as it gets. As a host, you are able to decide whether your home has ‘Instant Book’ activated, or whether a guest has to wait for you to accept their booking. Homes with Instant Book receive 28% more bookings than those without it, and we also push your home higher up in our search results if Instant Book is a feature - due to its popularity with guests and its superior booking rates. You’ll be granted access to our ID verification service through Onfido if on Instant Book, too, so you will never be left in the dark about a guest. The ability to book instantly is also turned off automatically if a guest is looking to check in within 48 hours, so you are able to manage last-minute bookings as you wish. It may be more comforting as a host to be able to accept or decline bookings, which is exactly what Request to Book allows you to do, but Instant Book is the way forward if you really want to maximise those sales - and we know you do.

Photography

A woman taking a professional photo of her home with a camera on a tripod

A woman taking a professional photo of her home with a camera on a tripod

As a Plum Guide host, you already know one undeniable fact - you have a special home. As we only accept the best of the best here at Plum, there’s never any doubt about the beauty of the homes in our collection, and we make sure that is reflected in a property’s photos. High quality photographs are absolutely crucial, as this is the first thing that really catches a potential booker's eye. Only once they’ve decided that your home looks the part, will they dig a bit deeper and progress towards finalising a booking, so the visual representation of your home is vital in maximising sales. When you join as a new host, we will even carry out a professional photo shoot of your home, giving it the very best chance of appealing to guests and securing as many bookings as possible.

Learn how to make the most of being a Plum Guide host, with our collection of hosting articles.

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