Wishing I wasn’t a prisoner to Airbnb, anybody else feel like this?
I just recently had a reservation that Airbnb allowed to cancel two days prior to check in with a strict cancellation policy in place. I even called and spoke to an Airbnb representative a couple of days prior to the reservation arrival, to make sure that I was in the right and that I would not lose my income. I know that Airbnb can do some questionable things sometime so I wanted to make sure I had all of my bases protected. If on the phone Airbnb were to have told me that they were going to issue money back I would have just canceled and put my house back on the rental market. However, on the phone call, Airbnb assured me that I would be receiving 100% of the income and then I did absolutely nothing wrong and listing up my property. Feeling pretty good about my conversation with Airbnb, I was surprised at the fact that they were actually on my side. Therefore, I did not cancel the reservation and get the house back on the market. Two days later Airbnb refunded all but $500 back to the guest without my permission. The rental was for around $2600. They also left one night on the calendar and upon completion of the stay, which nobody stayed, the people left a bad review. It’s taking me almost a month and Airbnb not returning at least three phone calls. One time the resolution center hung up on me when I waited on hold for 30 minutes. I feel like it’s just a nightmare dealing with Airbnb and they do not look out for their hosts. I’m even a super host and my rental property is almost 100% booked every night. I probably bringing around $200,000 a year to Airbnb. This is how they treat me. I’m over it. But I’m a prisoner to them because I get so many rentals. But they just think they can treat house however they want and get away with it. So who’s with me on this??
I noticed you received a bad review from J., who complained about the accuracy of your listing and wanted to cancel the reservation because of that. it seems Airbnb agreed on this.
Seems to me a reasonable way of doing business, but feel free to share your opinion here.
A lot of hosts are arguably "prisoner" to Airbnb. It's the world's largest by orders of magnitude, and generates bookings rather ubiquitously.
Many have become dependent on Airbnb. They have a long history of high ratings, glowing reviews, etc. That credibility gives them a big advantage. In the past, Airbnb has been a great platform, with good support. There's no reason to go elsewhere.
But as Airbnb grows into a giant booking machine, it's increasingly attracting a different, broader range of guest which isn't always suitable to the accommodation being offered, and host support is also declining. It's not as if this is some unknown obscure secret.
So, many hosts who feel victimised by this "evolution" assume they can just sign up for another platform, such as VRBO, and somehow, it will magically all change. Well, it won't.
First, VRBO has far less market reach, and you can't expect the same volume of bookings as Airbnb.
Second, as a new listing with no history of reviews, you'll end up showing up in the last pages of listings on another platform. Better prepare to wait a while to receive any bookings, unless of course, you cut your prices in half, and then, you'll be attracting the same types of guest you're running from on Airbnb.
Third, if you keep your Airbnb listing, it will be booked up long before your VRBO listing, and therefore, VRBO will never stand a chance.
Fourth, VRBO host support isn't much better than Airbnb, nor are the guests it attracts. So, if you're leaving Airbnb for VRBO, then be aware that you'll have to suffer the same thing, but with fewer bookings. And VRBO is more expensive, in terms of comissions and hidden fees.
So, yes, it's very very difficult to leave Airbnb. Like being "captive" or "prisoner". And you can be sure that Airbnb is well aware of that.
Your best defence is simply to look past the rhetoric, and realise that Airbnb is just another booking platform. It generates bookings. Don't expect anything more than that, watch your own back, and use Airbnb for what it's best at: bookings. Don't be afraid to scare away "uncomfortable" or "unsuitable" bookings. There's another one in the queue to take its place. It's Airbnb's greatest strength. Use it.
it's your problem to avoid bad guests: scare them away, and inexplicable Airbnb interventions and the stress associated with it: just avoid Airbnb support.
Or do what many other hosts do and invest in marketing your listing directly through your own website/FB page etc @Chad373 . You are not a prisoner you run a STR business and can market it though whichever listings companies you like or directly.