02-15-2017 02:38 PM
I agree @Paul, couples make up a large percentage of my short-term guests. They are usually super easy to host as they are out and about the majority of the time and, when they are at home, they keep to themselves a lot even if they are very friendly and sociable. They are away on holiday together to spend time together after all! I wouldn't be keen to host couples long-term though and have never taken them as lodgers.
02-20-2017 03:55 PM
Every point in Jen's message I totally agree on. With HD pics and a thorough solid description of the prop and the surroundings will increase bookings. One other thing that helped me in the beginning to establish a solid 5 star review and continuous bookings is the price. Start with a lower price then gradually increase to market price. Lastly, I also send guests a short list of local eats and to do's, they seem to really appreciate that which translates to hood reviews and bookings.
3 weeks ago
Good post and great advice! I feel that you have build a stellar reputation on Airbnb with over 100 reviews. If I was a guest, I wouldn't even think once before booking with you.
I host in Toronto, where Airbnb is a fierce market and highly seasonal due to the four seasons that we see each year. Its tough to keep higher occupancy in the winter months. Also, if you a new host who is learning and building a reputation on the platform than things are more difficult. In addition to the points you mentioned, I would suggest that:
1. Know your guests - Airbnb is a business and in any business you have to know who your customer is. The more specific you are, the better you will get at pricing, guest satisfaction and anticipating problems that guests will eventually bring to your attention.
2. Listing description - once you know your guests, decorate your space keeping the preferred guests in mind. Write the desciption so that it appeals to that segment.
3. Contantly upgrade your property - set asisde a budget to put money on your listing. If you want to remain competitive and earn good reviews, then you have to regularly improve your offering so that the next guest is happier than the previous one.
yesterday - last edited yesterday
I agree with everyone who says to start cheap and with low standards just to get some 5-star reviews on your page and start towards Superhost status. After a month or so you should be able to raise your rates and be choosier about your guests.
I have a small studio that I started off at $36/night with no cleaning fee and no minimum stay. After a couple of months I now rent it for $46-66 night with a $10/booking cleaning fee and a 2-night minimum, and I never have more than a couple of unbooked nights per month max.
Give some thought to your pricing structure. If you are getting a lot of bookings for 2-3+ months out, you are priced too low - people who plan ahead are perceiving you as a deal they want to snap up before it's gone. You have plenty of time to lower the price if no one wants it at the higher price, and at the higher rate instead of being perceived as a deal, you can get some nice value from of the odd person here and there who is willing to pay a premium to have their plans sorted well in advance.
For me, everything more than 2 months out is $66/night. 1-2 months out is $56 weekday/$66 weekend. Less than a month out is $46 weekday/$56 weekend. If I have a single night free between other bookings I'll drop my 2-night minimum but charge $66 for the night so that it's worth it to me to do a turnover for just one night. If I were to ever have more than 1 night in a row unbooked and it was less than a week out, I'd lower the price to $36, but that hasn't happened to me yet.
But if you start cheap, people who are getting a good deal will often be more forgiving of your early bumps in the road, especially if you gently remind them of the great value you're offering, and by the time you are charging more you will have worked out the kinks and be able to provide a professional quality of hosting that's worth the higher price. People staying for just 1 night are often less critical, too, because they're just after a clean bed to crash on in the middle of a road trip or a business trip. You'll have to bust your butt turning over the unit frequently but it's a great way to really quickly get a bunch of 5-star reviews on your profile. (Remember to ask/remind your guests to leave you reviews! Especially when you're dealing with people who booked your place even though it didn't have any reviews - they are less likely than other guests to leave reviews themselves because they just don't put as much weight on them, and you need 50% of your guests to review you to make Superhost.)