Massive decline in bookings Fall 2022

Marie7084
Level 3
United States

Massive decline in bookings Fall 2022

Anybody else in the USA see a drop in business this Fall?   Been doing this for several years and normally make 12-18k in September/October on my two cabins.  This year it was like rentals just came to an almost dead stop.   Slashed my nightly rate,  updated listing, still only about 10% of what I usually make this time of year. 

39 Replies 39
Chris17361
Level 1
Ogden, UT

Yes, I have not had a booking in 2 months and I don't have any in the future so far. I'm thinking about quitting the Airbnb thing and maybe trying a different company

Fred13
Level 10
Placencia, Belize

@Marie7084, @Debra300 , @Huma0 , @Pat271  At the end of this summer we should be hearing 'something' of how the Grand Experiment worked out. To emphasized a 'week' long stay over anything else made no sense from the beginning and the surprising thing is that it hasn't been quietly dropped thus far. Something has to give, sooner or later.

 

P.S. We booked (with only 4 slots/16 days left to fill) one year ahead this time as usual, but really sluggishly;  more Directs than Airbnbs. Very strange/spooky pattern, totally unlike the last 7 years.

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Fred13 

 

Yes, it's been six years for me and I've never experienced such slow bookings, with the exception of when UK homeshares were not allowed to take bookings at all due to COVID. From the middle of 2021, bookings had returned to normal, i.e. I had to turn people away.

 

My listings are now slowly getting booked, but it's a combination of new bookings, repeat guests and direct bookings. Also, before, if I got a cancellation, the dates would get rebooked easily but now I am not confident about that. 

 

I hope we will get some sort of update from Airbnb soon. I don't think I've seen any update on the summer release other than listing titles being restored and hosts being able to request being added/removed from categories. Perhaps I missed something though?

Robin1130
Level 2
Union Gap, WA

From a Airbnb user standpoint, it has become equal if not cheaper to go to a hotel. People are experiencing sticker shock at the checkout. All the fees tacked onto the listed price is sometimes double. It turned me off. I posted my listing without excess cleaning fees and no pet fees. So far I am doing okay thru the first week of October.

Ana2038
Level 7
Santa Ana, CA

@Robin1130 , I agree. I had a week long stay in December (booked by an Airbnb host) over the holidays cancel due to finding hotel accommodations that were cheaper. And I don’t blame them. Im planning a trip to Lisbon Portugal next year and I’m looking at various accommodations besides Airbnb due to pricing. In the past, our first choice would have been Airbnb but I have to admit some of the hotels/apartments pricing are really attractive.

 

 

 

 

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Ana2038 @Robin1130 

 

I recently stayed at an Airbnb because I had a Superhost travel credit to use. The host and airbnb were lovely but, I wouldn't have been surprised if I'd been able to find a decent hotel for the same price or even less, even though there were no cleaning or other additional fees.

 

As a host though, I was able to appreciate that the standard of accommodation and space we got for that price was probably better value than a hotel in the same price range. People expect Airbnb to be cheaper than a hotel, naturally, but they don't always compare like for like, e.g. renting a one bedroom apartment with a living room is not the same as renting a room in a hotel. It's actually the equivalent of a suite. 

Clara116
Level 10
Pensacola, FL

@Huma0 I'm with you the M-11 rollout was a huge thing...that impacted us here in Florida greatly. In most all the groups  hosts are screaming never before so little or no business. Many of us have gone to update pics, listing infoand even IB without any success...zero. lots are in leaving the platform and many going to using other platforms to try and make some money. Yes, other factors have occurred since the rollout but I think the main factor was indeed categories and shifting by ow guests see or don't see properties. No titles to try and present a  unified look I guess...now they have put titles under their grouping names. What's happening here is hosts are dropping prices so much it's a joke...I will stay empty because I know when people pay little they respect little. I refuse to support people that can't afford to travel...they tend to have little understanding of what a good guests is. So I too am confused and saddened by the huge shift of little to zero guests. Peace, Clara 

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Clara116 

 

Exactly. I'm not commenting based only on my own experience, but there are hundreds if not thousands  of posts on the CC from other hosts experiencing the same and who knows how many others that don't use the CC. 

 

I have also not dropped my prices. With costs soaring, it's not worth me hosting if I have to charge pittance. It would be better to get long term lodgers who contribute to the utility bills and would therefore maybe be less wasteful.

 

I am with you also that low prices often attract less desirable guests - not always, but often. At least the constant requests for discounts that I experienced after the pandemic started seem to have stopped. The last guest who asked for a discount left me 3* for value and overall, her reason being "It was over my original budget." SMH.

Clara116
Level 10
Pensacola, FL

@Huma0 @It's thousands...if not hundreds of thousands I'm part of community leaders groups all over the world and many other groups and it's wide spread ... everyone seems in great distress except those with high dollar category placement, lucky ones or new hosts that got a few weeks boost. I am saddened by the outcome.....to go from steady to zero it very challenging. 

Warmest greetings to you, Clara 

Marie7084
Level 3
United States

Can you turn yours into a LTR? My locations do not work for conversion to LTR.   I guess this is why we need to have six months PITI holding at all times.  Wish I would not have overspent on my reno project on my newest listing.    But, in this business we have to spend $ to make $.   Best of luck!

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Marie7084 

 

I can't speak for anyone else, but I host private rooms in my own home and, before using Airbnb, I used to rent these out to long term lodgers. In the UK, people who rent rooms in your own primary residence do not get tenants' rights.

 

So yes, I could go back to doing that but the whole reason I started hosting was to get away from that! However, now that utility bills and other expenses are so high and bookings on airbnb slow, financially, it might just make more sense. 

 

I have in the past week or so had some activity here though. I mean not loads, but the most I've had since the summer release.

 

Why are your locations no good for LTR?

Marie7084
Level 3
United States

@Huma0   Two of my cabins are by Yellowstone.  It is a remote area with only tourism work during busy season of summer and Christmas holidays only 400 year round residents.   Most of my employees live about an hour away.    My other cabin listing in Utah is near a ski resort and same issue,  locals can not afford anything there as an LTR.

 

My newest listing, Osgood Estate, I am thinking of pushing more as an wedding venue that allows a few guests to stay overnight as part of venue fee.    To try and move away from only it as an STR. 

 

My place in Cabo San Lucas, MX I did switch it to an LTR after multiple issues with management/cleaning which resulted in two bad reviews which killed the STR business.   

 

 Love my job.  But, as a single Mom, with two children, my two big dogs who are my furry kids 🙂  and my RE investments being my only source of income,   the STR income needs to be reliable.   Anybody in this business knows, all our expenses for STR's do not go away because rentals have declined.

 

Anybody here have luck with social media?  I started profiles on Instagram/Facebook for each listing a few months ago.  Lots of views and likes on my content, but not converting to many followers or monetization/bookings.  

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Marie7084 

 

You certainly sound like you have a lot on your plate and you are right, the expenses don't vanish just because there are no guests. It makes sense to diversify if you can. 

 

I'll let others respond RE social media as I really haven't tried to market there yet.

 

I am suddenly getting interest in one of my listings again and got one booking for another one (the third one was already booked long term by a repeat guest). It might be short lived, but let's see. Maybe Airbnb have been doing something behind the scenes to improve the interface/search. I don't know...

Debra300
Level 10
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia

@Marie7084@Huma0,

 

We've received only five bookings across our six listings since the Spring Update, and all of them came from very seasoned Airbnb users.  This leads me to believe that infrequent and new users do not find the search filters and search result intuitive, and are missing out on finding a larger selection of listings that may fit their criteria, because they will not fine tune their search or zoom into a specific area to find listings that aren't easily visible on the results map.

Pat271
Level 10
Greenville, SC

@Debra300  I do believe you are correct that many users are bewildered by the new interface, and simply don’t want to bother with it and end up booking on another platform.  Just to test this theory, I registered 1 of my listings on a competing platform, and got 5 bookings there over the next 2 weeks.

 

According to Brian Chesky, the traveler mindset is changing from “I want to go here on these dates, what’s available?”, to a more fantasy-minded, day-dreaming approach of “I have flexible dates, where should I go, and where are the cool and unusual places to stay?”.  Maybe there are some vacationers like this, and maybe Airbnb will even be able to change the vacationer mindset over time.  But there will still be a significant number of vacationers, workers, convention attendees, and wedding participants who know the area where they want to go and when, and those vacationers may gravitate to other platforms to book their stays.

 

And this may be the Airbnb strategy all along.

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Pat271 

 


@Pat271 wrote:

 

 

And this may be the Airbnb strategy all along.


True. I can buy that. But, after the losses caused by the pandemic, it seems like a very risky strategy to alienate core markets. I am not sure what game Airbnb is playing, but but I feel like there is definitely a game plan behind these changes because a multi-billion dollar company surely wouldn't make such random mistakes, would they? 

Maybe in certain territories., they think there is a lot of competition already and, therefore, they need to reinvent the wheel to stay on top off that competition, i.e. appear to be offering something the others aren't and distancing themselves from the original concept that others have copied.

 

It's a gamble, to be sure. but it would be crazy if the folks at Airbnb had not already thought this through. I am assuming they are more than ready to let a lot of hosts fail as a consequence because they have their eyes on a different goal.

Pat271
Level 10
Greenville, SC

@Huma0  I agree with you on all counts.

 

I have noticed, though, that recently Airbnb has been missing expectations and their stock is down by a large percentage for the year. Maybe sometime soon they will be forced to reexamine their strategy. One can always hope…

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Pat271 

 

That's really interesting, but I can't say I'm that surprised. The Summer Release seemed like a really big gamble to me...

Pat271
Level 10
Greenville, SC

Interesting…I just went to the Airbnb home page, selected some of those fun, quirky listings, and looked at the availability. The ones I saw were sparsely booked as well!

Marie7084
Level 3
United States

I am listed on VRBO too.  Alot less bookings there as well.  Airbnb has always brought a lower SES guest than VRBO.  Been doing for this for 15 years, way before Airbnb.  I remember those sweet days before reviews.     When a guest could not ruin your buisness when it was not deserved.    STRs have changed alot , guests are more demanding then ever, but do not want to pay for the amenities or location they want.   Cleaning and maintenance are more expensive.  I believe in a living wage for contractors I work with, but it is hard when you raise your cleaning fee, bookings dissapear, so I lower the fee and then take the difference out of my already small profit margin. 

 

 LTR's are better from that perspective.  People do not have to go on holiday,  but they have to have a place to live. 

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