In July 2017, while staying in a struggling Airbnb in Tallinn, Estonia, the book concept for Optimize YOUR Airbnb hit Daniel V. Rusteen, prior Airbnb employee and owner of OptimizeMyAirbnb.com. Over the next six months, the book would come together and be considered the definitive source for any serious Airbnb host. Chip Conley, former Airbnb executive and founder of Joie de Vivre boutique hotels, said this about the book: “[This] authoritative book is as comprehensive as it is enjoyable to read. I have never seen so much valuable, actionable advice in one place for an Airbnb host. Highly recommended!”

Optimize YOUR Airbnb is a book of strategies for the intermediate and advanced Airbnb host. After reading the book, you will know how to optimize both your offline and online guest experience while automating much of the work which Guesty is well-equipped to do on your behalf!

The book is broken down into five sections:

Part 1: Your Online Airbnb Listing
Part 2: Your Offline Hosting Style
Part 3: Your Online Hosting Style
Part 4: Company + Book Reviews
Part 5: Bonus Content

Part 1: Your Online Airbnb Listing

Part 1 lays out a path towards creating or perfecting your Airbnb listing in order to rank #1 in your Airbnb market. The overall theme throughout this section is to give your Future Potential Guest (FPG, as referred to in the book) the easiest experience possible by providing them the most information in the most accessible way possible. The chapters go into specifics on how to create the best title, what and how to write your text, all things related to photos (how to take them, angles, proper order within your listing, which photos to leave out, etc.), and how (not just why) you should respond to guest reviews. The final chapter provides a checklist for future mini-optimizations to your listing in the future to remain on the top of search results.

Optimize YOUR Airbnb is the definitive guide for all-things-Airbnb. As a former Airbnb employee, Superhost, seasoned guest, and consultant, Danny has a truly unique view of the landscape. Now he’s sharing his wealth of knowledge and years of experience for everyone. If you are new to hosting, this book is all you will ever need. Yet as a seasoned host myself, I still found countless helpful nuggets that I have already implemented. I will be recommending this to every host I speak with.
– David Jacoby, Co-founder/President of Hostfully, Superhost for 13 consecutive quarters, and ‘15/’16 Airbnb Open speaker

Part 2: Your Offline Hosting Style

Part 2 lays out your new strategy for interacting with the guest before, during, and after their reservation. There are some really interesting bits in there based on behavioral psychology and how to encourage the guest to act as you want them to whether that be making a booking, following house rules, or leaving a 5-star review. My favorite is Chapter 14: Interior Design Tips as I’m unskilled in this aspect yet I know it creates a better environment for the guest. Rusteen included a bunch of easy-to-do (and some harder-to-do) tips to level up your internal ambiance (and photos!).

Rusteen introduces a company called Peerspace, the Airbnb for events. For anyone able, it opens up the door to an additional stream of revenue for those looking for photo shoots, commercials, etc. Plus, a cleaning team checklist is provided at the end with, as usual, a bunch of powerful tips on where to find a good clean and how to properly communicate with them, especially if they are prior residential cleaners, a big difference than vacation rental/hotel cleaners.

Part 3: Your Online Hosting Style

Part 3 has to do with strategies when it comes to your hosting style prior to the guest’s arrival (ie the virtual part). The first chapter of this section, Chapter 18: Optimizing + Automating Your Messages, is one of the most powerful chapters in the book. It lays out a strategy on how to communicate with your guest prior to, during, and after their arrival in order to make their experience seamless, increase the chance of getting a 5-star review, and securing future reservations from the guest. Rusteen has come up with a strategy that includes eight messages (with an optional 9th) to be sent to your guest from initial inquiry to review reminder and/or a final message with a “Friend’s and Family” discount to encourage future reservations. Guesty is well suited to send out any of the suggested nine messages mentioned in the book.

“I am an Airbnb expert…then I found you…you are the top!”
– Blog comment from OptimizeMyAirbnb.com

Part 4: Company + Book Reviews

Rusteen fully reviews the following companies: Smartbnb, PriceLabs, Payfully, Hostfully, NoiseAware, and Party Squasher. These are detailed reviews and I found them useful as he touches on aspects that can be improved, it’s not just a sales piece for these companies. If you’re interested in trying on of these services, it’s a good idea to get an honest opinion before you commit. He also provides a couple reviews of Airbnb related books. I found this part random, but the thinking here must be that the readers are fans of Airbnb and may be interested in reading about the history of the company. You can skip this chapter as it will not have an effect on your Airbnb hosting, but they are short and provide some value if you were interested in reading them.

Part 5: Bonus Content

Part 5 is my favorite section because it is jam-packed with tons of actionable tips for even the most seasoned Airbnb host, of which I consider myself. Chapter 34: Slow Season Strategies was of extreme interest to me. In summary, Rusteen recommends having a year-round strategy to lessen the impact of the dreaded slow season with tactics around calendar availability, pricing, minimum nights, title, and other tips. I’m ready for next years slow season! Other chapters include information on third-party Airbnb insurance, how safe Airbnb actually is, unique ways to get in touch with Airbnb, and 17 ways to level-up your hosting. I found Chapter 32: How to Identify Problem Guests Before They Book to be very insightful. It proposes a strategy based on only the guest’s profile to figure out whether or not they will be a problem guest. Surprisingly, the verified ID is not as important as taking a holistic approach to the profile (ie how much time did the guest take to fill out the ‘unimportant’ areas of their profile?).

“If you don’t read this book there will be a lot that you don’t know you don’t know.”
– Excerpt from the foreword of Optimize YOUR Airbnb by Symon He, founder of LearnAirbnb.com

Final Thoughts on Optimize YOUR Airbnb by Daniel V. Rusteen

This is a powerful book. On the back cover it says: He lives, eats, breathes, and dreams Airbnb. It’s true. Chapter after chapter, I discovered insightful bits that demonstrate his mastery of how Airbnb works and what the FPG is looking for. Additionally, the Pro Tips sprinkled throughout are like the cherry on top. Rusteen travels the world while staying in Airbnbs and he owns a small Airbnb property management company which gives him a unique perspective of both the host and the guest side (not to mention having worked at Airbnb). In the book he mentions his YouTube channel where he does a live walkthrough of every Airbnb he stays in pointing out both the positives and negatives. At the beginning of the book, he details his insiders perspective of Airbnb while working there which is really interesting for anyone who considers themselves an Airbnb fan. Overall, Guesty highly recommends this book for all Airbnb and vacation rental hosts as much of the content can be applied to any platform of your choice.

You can purchase the book on Amazon or visit OptimizeYourAirbnb.com to learn more information.

Author’s Bio

Daniel V. Rusteen started his career at Airbnb where he worked from 2013-2016. During that time, he became an Airbnb Superhost. In 2016, Rusteen started an Airbnb property management company at BeloPM.com and started OptimizeMyAirbnb.com which provides actionable tips to the Airbnb host to increase their search rank and hosting style. In 2017, Rusteen sold his belongings and started traveling the world while staying in Airbnbs. In January 2018, he published Optimize YOUR Airbnb: The Definitive Guide to Ranking #1 in Airbnb Search.

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