New to Hosting

in
Shallotte, NC
Level 2
204 Views

Hello there! I have just added my very first listing and I was wondering how long it took you to get your first booking? I feel like it's fairly priced, great photos, attractive area, and a great value but I was just curious to know what the expectations are? If you all have any pointers/suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it! I'm not sure if I'm missing something or need to change something to get my first booking. I of course don't have any reviews and I'm not sure if that's causing any hesitation. I know we all started from somewhere, though!  Thank you!

 

https://airbnb.com/h/thecozycornernc

6 Replies

Re: New to Hosting

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Jennifer3217  You say you "just" put up your listing, but what does just mean? A few days ago, a week ago, a month ago? 

 

I think it took about a month or even more to get my first booking. But I first listed a couple of months before tourist season starts around here, so that may have had a lot to do with it. 

 

You have a really nice listing and you've done a good job with it- clear photos, comprehensive description. I don't know your market or competition, so can't comment on the price. But don't be tempted to drop your price just to get bookings quickly. 

 

I definitely saw an uptick in bookings as I started to build up reviews. But guests certainly book new listings without any reviews yet. Hang tight and don't get discouraged- you will get booked.

 

One suggestion. Remove the "Free welcome  basket!" from your listing description. There's a host mantra that has a lot of wisdom to it- "Promise less and deliver more". A welcome basket is  better left as a unexpected surprise. It's the sort of thing, those little extras,  that can lead to great reviews, when guests get more than they anticipated. 

 

In my case, most of my guests arrive here by bus from the airport an hour away. I offer to pick them up at the bus station, and I usually drive them back there at the end of their stay. It's no big deal for me to pick them up- it's a 5 minute drive for me, but saves them a 20 minute walk shlepping their luggage down dirt roads, or paying $6 for a taxi. 

 

But I don't advertise that service in my listing- I just tell them to give me a call or text when they arrive and I'll pick them up. It's a little thing for me to do, but almost all my guests have considered it a special extra they didn't anticipate, and it helps earn me great reviews. Like a welcome basket full of snacks, it's something that starts a stay off on the right foot, as guests often arrive worn out from travelling and anything that makes that easier on them so they can just relax, is usually a high point.

 

Re: New to Hosting

in
Shallotte, NC
Level 2

@Sarah977 Thank you so much, Sarah! that was very helpful and I have already updated my description as I completely agree! When I stayed at one before that didn't have that in the listing, it was a very nice surprise. And there was another one I stayed at that did list it, but it didn't make me book it, so very good point! It has only been listed a few days! I was just curious to know how long an average wait time is to be expected. Not that I'm expecting bookings right away! I have had a lot of views and tourist season is right around the corner. I'm trying my best to cover all the bases and to be prepared as possible. Thank you again for your assistance! You were a great help!

Re: New to Hosting

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Jennifer3217  It's actually a bit of a red flag to get booked the first few days after you put up a new listing. It usually means the price is too cheap. Also guests with ill-intent tend to target brand new listings, assuming the host is inexperienced and clueless and they'll be able to get away with things like sneaking in extra people or pets, partying, etc. 

 

You don't have much to worry about in that regard, as you live on the property yourself- makes it pretty hard for anyone to get away with bad behavior. In fact, I would mention farther up in your listing description that it is an owner-occupied property. That wards off unwelcome guests. You can say it very positively, like "Please note: this is an onsite host property, so we are easily available should you need any assistance. You may see us out in the yard, but we fully respect our guests' privacy in the self-contained tiny house."

Re: New to Hosting

in
Shallotte, NC
Level 2

@Sarah977 that makes a lot of sense! Thank you for explaining that. 

Oh ok! I did wonder about adding more detail the on-site host family and almost added that they may see us out and about but didn’t want people to think that we’re outside all the time or something. That’s a great way to put it, still explaining that they are still fully in their own private area and not sharing a home. Thank you so much! I’m so grateful for you taking time out to give me some insight and recommendations! 

Re: New to Hosting

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Jennifer3217  Happy to help and glad you find it useful. 

Hosts are often reticent to mention things they are afraid might put a guest off booking, but it's to a host's advantage to mention the possible cons along with the great things. The aim is to get guests who are well suited to what you offer, and avoid complainers. Some hosts will mention that it's noisy if they live in a heavy traffic area, some that there are some barking dogs in the neighborhood, whatever might be disturbing to some guests. You don't want guests who will be upset that they aren't totally alone on the property and will be fussed that you and your family are out and about on the property, so that's why it's good to make it clear.

 

I was thinking that your listing looks like a sweet spot for a couple who enjoys being out in nature to spend their honeymoon or an anniversary, or just to reconnect in a quiet, cozy place, so you might also put wording in your intro to market towards the type of guests you see it being attractive to. 

 

I did that in my ad and it has worked really well. I am in the countryside on the outskirts of a touristy beach town, which is also known as a party town. But guests who want to spend the evening at the bar and stumble home drunk at 2 am are not going to be a good fit for me in my home-share, so I wrote it up as a good place for guests who like a quiet spot to hang out and come home to, those who want to work on their art, writing, read books, practice yoga. Close enough to walk to town and the beach, but away from the hustle and bustle. If you market towards a certain demographic, I think guests read it and think, "Hey, that's me she's describing". 

 

It has also seemed to help me get guests who are environmentally aware, which I didn't even consider when I wrote my description. Most of my guests have understood what being on a private septic means, and what is accceptable to flush or not, some have asked me if I have a compost pail before I even have a chance to mention it, they don't create huge amounts of plastic garbage, and they aren't fussed when I tell them I have a somewhat limited water supply and it isn't necessary to flush their toilet for every pee and that 1 hr showers or leaving the water running while they wash dishes or brush their teeth isn't going to work well here 🙂

 

We can't be everything to everyone, so it's better to focus on attracting those who you'll enjoy hosting and who will really appreciate what you have provided.

 

Re: New to Hosting

Level 1

Hello my name is Haley I’m looking to start co hosting if any one has any tips where to start thank you 

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