For Airbnb hosts in Colombia, a strong Airbnb profile covers a wide range of topics, we look how to improve your profile that can result in more guests.
With coronavirus and curfews in Colombia it is important to have a good Airbnb profile to set yourself apart from your competition. Many Airbnb profiles in Colombia are weak, so if you improve your Airbnb profile you can be a step ahead of the competition.
A strong Airbnb profile is around 55-72 words in length and covers a diverse range of topics. These topics including interests and tastes, work or education, personality, relationships, origin or residence, travel, and hospitality.
A Stanford and Cornell Tech research paper (“Self-Disclosure and Perceived Trustworthiness of Airbnb Host Profiles”) found several insights that can help your improve you Airbnb profile. In this article we look at five insights to improve your Airbnb profile in Colombia.
Also, we previously looked at 15 ways to improved you Airbnb search rank in Colombia.
About the Author
My name is Daniel Rusteen and I am a location-independent digital nomad having lived in 50+ cities exclusively sleeping in Airbnbs (1,500+ nights) while remotely managing Airbnb properties and helping Airbnb hosts to be successful.
I run a personal blog – dannybooboo blog and have another website to help Airbnb hosts make more money – OptimizeMyBnb.
I come from the days before the Airbnb you know today. I started working at Airbnb in 2013. I remember countless conversations with residents of San Francisco, the headquarters of Airbnb, who had no idea about the company even when it was valued at over $10 billion and 7 years old.
In the eight years that have passed since I first heard of Airbnb, I’ve become one of the world’s best at everything Airbnb:
- Worked at Airbnb from 2013-2016
- Wrote a best-selling book on Airbnb
- Founded an Airbnb property management company
- Slept over 1,500 nights in Airbnb properties, as a guest
- Am an Airbnb Superhost
- Creator of a popular Airbnb blog for Airbnb hosts
1. Insight #1 – How You Describe Yourself Is Important
How a host describes herself in her profile reduces uncertainty and signals to the guest whether the host is trustworthy.
Trust is tied to ratings and reputation, although one study suggests that since Airbnb ratings are skewed high: “the number of reviews received is predictive of room sales even when controlling for scores.” Another study showed that “profile images were linked to perceived trustworthiness of hosts and higher prices.”
Remember that many reservations on Airbnb are from brand new guests. They’re not as familiar with how secure and safe the platform is. Give them some comfort by filling in completely your Airbnb host profile. And, it’s my recommendation you add a photo of a human, not a company, to your profile. I believe a professional company logo as your Airbnb profile photo increases the guests’ expectations without conferring any benefit to the host.
2. Insight #2 – “Profile as Promise” Approach
The researchers suggest a “Profile as Promise” approach “for understanding how hosts and guests produce and evaluate disclosures in Airbnb profiles.
Hosts disclosed information about themselves that they perceived as relevant and of interest to potential guests, and their promises were evaluated based on their trustworthiness, as predicted by signaling theory and URT” (uncertainty reduction theory).
Keep your future potential guest in mind when filling in your profile. For example, do most of your guests come from the U.S.? Have you visited the U.S.? Add this to your profile: “I’m a world traveler, so I know what you need for comfort. My favorite countries are the U.S., Chile and Brazil.”
3. Insight #3 – Onsite Versus Offsite Airbnb Hosts
The research showed on-site hosts had longer profiles than off-site hosts, and are more likely to write on topics related to personality and tastes, and less likely to write about origin and residence. This helps guests to reduce the uncertainty factor when deciding to book a place where the host is also present.
There is a clear relationship between longer profiles and perceived trustworthiness scores but with diminishing returns with longer profiles (increasing the mean word count from 6 to 13 increased trustworthiness scores by 18.9 percent, but an increase from 106 to 188 only increased trustworthiness by 2.5 percent).
As always, respect the guests’ attention. Add enough, but not too much information to your profile. Focus on the necessities. Put on your marketing hat. How can you communicate trust and excitement to your future potential guest?
4. Insight #4 – Variety Of Topics In Your Airbnb Profile
Researchers also looked into the variety of topic choice on trustworthiness disclosed in the host profiles and separated them into: Origin or Residence, Work or Education, Interests & Tastes, and Hospitality.
The study showed that as the number of topics increased in a profile, so did the trustworthiness of the profile. The most successful three-topic combination was profiles that contained topics related to Hospitality, Origin or Residence and Work or Education.
You should always have your work and education filled in as it’s part of the basic requirements to complete your Airbnb host profile. If you are retired or don’t want to share your profession, add ‘Airbnb Host’.
5. Insight #5 – Bare Minimum Threshold
Finally, the “so what?” question: does a higher trustworthiness score for text-based host profiles predict the likelihood of guest choice?
The study concluded: “when profiles are short, perceived trustworthiness almost perfectly predicts choice, whereas when the profile length increases, other factors appear to influence the choice. This may suggest a nuanced role of trust in decision making – there is a threshold that is needed to pass muster, but other factors … may weigh in once trustworthiness is no longer an issue.”
Remember, this is just one of many factors working for or against your favor. Optimize your Airbnb profile, but don’t overthink or overdo it. Giving a little bit of conscious thought to a lot of the parts of Airbnb hosting sets you apart from most Airbnb hosts.
Additional Noteworthy Insights From The Study
Airbnb Superhosts have longer profiles (72 words compared to 57 words for non-Superhosts.
- “onsite hosts cover more topics and write more overall” – this makes sense because they will be directly interacting with their guests.
- “on-site hosts (M=66.12, SD=59.66) on average wrote longer profiles (measured by word count) compared to remote hosts (M=55.85, SD=52.09)”
- “Superhosts wrote significantly longer profiles (a mean of 72.13 words compared to 57.74 words for non-Superhosts)”
- “quantity and diversity of information increases the perception of trust”
- “Perceived trustworthiness increases with profile length”
- “perceived trustworthiness score is a significant predictor of host choice—especially for shorter profiles that show more variation.”
Medellin Guru’s Airbnb Series
Medellin Guru now has a series of several articles about Airbnb in Colombia:
- 9 Strategies to Find Killer Deals on Airbnb in Colombia
- 15 Things to Know Before Investing to Become an Airbnb Host in Colombia
- 10 Airbnb Best Practices for Airbnb Hosting in Colombia
- 9 Tips to Attract Long-Term Airbnb Guests in Colombia
- 7 Strategies for Airbnb Slow Season in Colombia
- How to Identify Problem Airbnb Guests in Colombia Before They Book
- 15 Ways to Increase Your Airbnb Search Rank In Colombia
- How Safe is Airbnb in Colombia? Is it Safe to Use Airbnb in Colombia?
- Airbnb Travel Itinerary for Your Airbnb Guests in Colombia
- How to Get Started on Airbnb in Colombia: A Guide
- Why Airbnb Hosts in Colombia Should Consider A Pet Friendly Airbnb
- Airbnb Hosts in Colombia: How to Win with Coronavirus
- Improve Your Airbnb Profile in Colombia For More Guests
Are You Looking to Buy a Property for Airbnb Hosting in Colombia?
Medellin Guru partnered with RE/MAX Coffee Realty to offer real estate services to foreigners and Colombians interested in buying and selling properties in Medellín and Colombia.
Several Medellin Guru readers have asked about real estate and advice about buying and selling properties for Airbnb hosting. So, we partnered with RE/MAX Coffee Realty to offer reliable real estate services to readers.
We decided to partner with RE/MAX Coffee Realty for services for buying and selling real estate for several reasons:
- RE/MAX is the largest real estate company in the world and is a well-known brand for foreigners.
- RE/MAX is one of the largest real estate companies in Colombia with 35 offices in four cities (Medellín, Bogotá, Cali and Barranquilla). So, RE/MAX can offer real estate services to readers in several locations in Colombia.
- In Colombia, RE/MAX has over 350 real estate agents including more than 70 agents in Medellín. Also, RE/MAX has agents that are bilingual and speak both English and Spanish.
- RE/MAX ensures properties are not overpriced by performing a study of market property prices known as an ACM (Análisis Comparativo del Mercado).
To use this real estate partner service from RE/MAX, just click on the button below.
Buy or Sell Real Estate in Colombia with RE/MAX
Fill out a very short form and RE/MAX offers a free consultation to provide information about the local market, current pricing information and tips for buying or selling properties.
The Bottom Line: Improve Your Airbnb Profile in Colombia For More Guests
The difference that separates good from great Airbnb hosts is typically how much time they’ve thought about how to improve. Host A sets up their Airbnb profile and listing without much additional thought as to how to use the platform best for their situation. Host B does the same except with a marketing mindset.
If you’re reading this atticle, I know a lot more about you than you think. For one, you’re smart. All you really have to do is use your brain and you’re going to optimize your Airbnb listing in Colombia and hospitality to the point of being the best in your market.
However, don’t over-optimize one thing. This is just one piece to the puzzle. Think about how you can optimize it, try that, and move on.
I hope you enjoyed my contribution! To learn more about me send me a message on Instagram. If you’re an Airbnb host, then visit my blog for Airbnb hosts.
Also, keep in mind becoming an Airbnb host in Colombia is not for everyone. And you can see all 13 of the Airbnb in Colombia articles I have written for Medellin Guru.
Sign up for the Free Medellin Guru Newsletter – You can see all of the previous Medellin Guru weekly email newsletters and sign up here.
As a frequent visitor to Colombia, mostly to the Medellin area (actually with a strong preference for El Retiro, La Ceja and Llano grande) and as a person who has spent well over 1000 nights in say 100 different Airbnb properties over the last seven years I can say with authority I’ve had more problems with Colombian hosts than anywhere else in the world. The range of problems has run from properties not meeting expectations, hosts not resolving problems that have occurred during the stay, hosts being generally unreasonable (particularly true during the pandemic) and believe it or not anti-Semitic and discriminatory comments being directed towards me. AirBNB was of zero value in resolving problems, and was particularly absent and did nothing about the discrimination incident, despite their public stance of zero tolerance – there were no consequences to that host. As such I’ve vowed to never stay in another AirBNB in Colombia and have settled on using the different ‘aparthotels’ that are prominent in the area. It’s all very surprising given how much I love the country and the people, but when you have this many bad experiences it points towards a more systemic problem which somehow needs to be identified and addressed.
Joshua, was this specific to hosts from Colombia, or all hosts who rent out on AirBnb in Colombia in general?
I wish I could explain it but really can’t. Perhaps it was just had luck but as it has happened multiple times it feels a bit more systemic. I have had some good Airbnb stays in Colombia for sure but I’ve had a disproportionate number of problems.