In a sea of lovely listings how do you stand out? If you don't stand out, you'll have a hard time attracting guests. First thing to do: ask yourself what your home offers that's unique. Niche appeal is the name of the game.
Our house is in a decent area, but more-importantly it's set up for a young child. As a parent I can imagine how appealing it would be to stay in a place that already has a pack n' play and a high-chair, toys, and a baby-gate.
Next, be accurate in your title description. Are you offering a whole house rental? A spare room? A couch? We set our house up to host up to 8 people since there are 4 bedrooms plus a baby room. Not every house can fit 8 people, so I play that up in the listing and price accordingly.
Keep your listing title relevant, descriptive, but most importantly list the beds available. Our listing is called "4 BR Baby-friendly S Philly Home." This way, guests know immediately that there are 4 separate bedrooms. Seems obvious, but it would be annoying to find out that 2 beds are in the same room, or that one of the "beds" is a couch in a bedroom. "Baby-friendly" encourages families to stay and use our baby stuff, and "S Philly Home" describes the location in Philadelphia where we are.
Next up: Photography. Airbnb.com will send a pro to your home for free, but we had our pro-photographer friend take photos of our house.
We started with a really low nightly price ($150 per night) and no minimum stay to get the ball rolling, but now we've raised our rates a bit ($210 with a two night minimum stay) since we have 34 five star reviews!
Another thing you can do to boost your placement in the search is to make sure to respond asap to inquiries, accept more than reject, and list your place accurately so that people won't be disappointed and rate you low. If you're not in a great area, be honest. If parking is hard to find, list that. People appreciate knowing what they're getting into. Clear communication, as always, pays off.