OK, I hope I'm not speaking too soon (touching wood etc) but since we changed to a two-night minimum stay, last September, I don't think we've had anything less than 5* ratings. [We made the change because we had a run of one-nighter/four-star guests.]
I don't know whether it's just coincidental... but my thinking is that:
many of the one-nighters weren't particularly up for/didn't have time to make a connection with us;
with the cleaning fee, the one-night price was relatively high;
they didn't really chill out/settle in/avail themselves of the facilities, eg kitchen. (I like it when people use our kitchen, feels like they're making themselves at home :))
It's a shame really, cos we met some great people who only stayed the one night, and I didn't really want to close ourselves off to them... but! D*mned reviews, eh ;)
@Patricia I've been hosting for 2 and a half years and have always had a 3 night minimum. I've been very fortunate to get lovely guests who all left well-written reviews full of praise and 5*s. Every one of them!
But some might not have if I hadn't had an opportunity to give them a little info on how Airbnb rates hosts, which would be difficult to do with a 1 night booking. In the course of 3 days, I usually have a fair amount of interaction with my guests, we have conversations about everything under the sun, so there is always some point at which I bring up reviews. Most guests have no idea that Airbnb holds us to such high standards, as they tell guests that a 4* review is Good and are quite shocked that hosts are so harshly dealt with. Many have thanked me for letting them know- most guests have no intention to harm a host, they are simply unaware and actively misguided by Airbnb.
Ah, good for you, that you're getting the message across to guests re the “two-faced” nature of the review system. I know that many guests do need to be educated therein, I just don't feel that I'm up to the job! I've probably discussed reviews with only a handful of guests, and they were hosts too! I find it a rather uncomfortable topic, to be honest, but that's me. I guess I'll just keep my fingers crossed and hope that our run of great guests who are generous with their reviews, continues ;)
PS You never know, maybe your guests were all going to give you 5* anyway – your place looks stunning :)
I have been either three night stay minimum, or two night minimum.
That guest / host relationship and rapport, whether face to face or regular dialogue, tends to be important with the reviews.....
Personally, I will never do one night stays...... ever!
Yes, the rapport is so important, and takes more than a few minutes of interaction to develop. I definitely won't go back to doing 1-night stays, though sometimes wonder if we're missing some nice guests …
Funny, since we started 2-night min., I've been getting the emails from Airbnb telling me that guests are currently looking in my area for stays of “1 night or less” (!!) - if I needed a reminder of how inappropriate/irrelevant the computer-generated emails can be, that would do the trick ;)
If I did that, I'd lose 80-90% of my business..... Despite being on the edge of England's biggest non -coastal tourist destination (I'm on the coast as well!) - I find most of my guests stay ONE night only. eg.
. I'm on the START of a long distance cycle route.
. Many people pass through one night on the way to Scotland.
. Many people who come for the weekend stay away Saturday only.
. Many choose to stay in different locations all over the Lake District.
. A surprising number of workers only need one night.
I find no correlation between length of stay & review.... Lots of (most) 1 nighters give 5*, yet some who stay 3 or 4 days give 4*..... even when we've had some cordial chats & they've used my kitchen!
Aye, I guess one of hosting's golden rules is “Know thy market!” We'd been hosting for about 2 ½ years when we made the change and knew that our guests came for all different lengths of time/reasons. Tbh, I think I dropped the one-nighters in a fit of pique!, as it was nearly always those (and of a certain type) who couldn't bring themselves to give 5 stars.
Also, it did occur to me that the one-night bookings, dotted around our calendar, could be preventing us from getting longer bookings, eg if someone wanted to book just a Friday night, I was thinking we might be missing out on a weekend, Friday & Saturday booking (a significant proportion of our guests). But, you just never know really, how things will pan out... Can I ask, do you have any help with your hosting?
PS Oh, you have a collie dog called Ben; we have a collie dog called Ben! Wherever we go, he comes too :)
@Patricia Wow! Another Ben Collie! No I don't have help with hosting - my house is basic, a little rough & ready - equal cheapest in neighbourhood... I don't work, so have time for the turnover myself, - my prices are too rock bottom to pay help! Lodgers, airbnb & collie walks are my full time employment!
My stats for the past year are showing 183 nights over 119 stays. So I can't afford to ditch the 1 nighters!
@Patricia You did the right move! Single night stayers usually do not communicate too much and are sometimes much more demanding.My minimum was 2 nights until a month ago where i decided to change it to a minimum of 3 nights.I do believe a guest booking for 3 nights will tend to communicate properly and be more respectful of my property.Good luck and happy hosting!!!
Wouldn't you be worried to lose weekenders (ie Friday & Saturday night guests) by doing that? Ah, I guess we all have to know our market and find a balance that works for us. [We had a guest who was also a host – her listing was perfectly placed, close to a long-distance walking route, and she'd done very well for bookings and reviews... the problem was that the walkers only needed one night as they were on their way the next day! She was already weary of it, after a few months.]
Good luck and happy hosting to you too :)
@PatriciaIndeed it depends on our markets! Here i am located in one of the most touristic place of Mauritius and 100% of my guests are foreigners coming to the island for at least 1 or 2 weeks.The demand for weekends stays only is not very high here.
I must tell you that i really like the fact that my listings are now available to genuine guests who are really coming for a real holiday and not just using my properties like an emergency place of transit.
@Patricia, that’s encouraging to hear! I am trying a minimum stay of 2 nights this summer and offering a discount if they stay 3 or more. It was a lot of work last summer with so many back to back one nighters.
Contrary to what we constantly read on here about hosts getting low reviews, I feel that Airbnb is actually oversaturated with 5 star reviews (at least in my area.) When I was searching for an upcoming trip, I couldn't really use the ratings as an indicator to choose a listing because everyone has 5 stars! I definitely think guests give out 5 star ratings more often than not.
@Emilia I've always had a 3 minimum and I love it. But I wouldn't likely get 1 nighters anyway, as this is a tourist destination- people don't just come for a day, generally, nor are they just passing through. Most of my bookings are 5 days-2 weeks.
What you say about the star ratings might be true, in any case, I think they're fairly useless as they are so subjective. The only accurate way to make a decision on whether a place is one a guest wants to book (apart from the photos and description) is to read written reviews, which spell things out more clearly for prospective guests.
I've never been a guest, but if I were, I do wonder how I'd choose a place in somewhere like Paris or Amsterdam where there must be '000s to choose from! I suppose, as with my listing, I put my hope in people's use of filters in order to get the best fit on both sides. But we're not yet saturated with listings in Newcastle, so it would be easier for a potential guest to do the legwork of actually reading the listing descriptions!
An added bonus (yes, certainly not overlooking the reduced housework!) was the fact that our bookings weren't adversely affected by cutting out 1-night bookings, may even have increased a little. Sounds like a good plan to give a discount for 3 nights+ - do you write that into your listing?