Recently I have noticed that I have had to drop my rate drastically to be competitive. A person has come into my neighborhood and bought up several small houses and turned them into Airbnb properties. I welcome competition and I believe in having several options for traveler. This person is renting entire homes for 49-100 a night and it has forced me to drop my rate so low that it doesn’t make sense for me to even host anymore.
Has anyone else run across this? Does Airbnb have rules against monopolies?
@Stephanie222 That's really unfortunate. Unfortunately, Airbnb has no rules regarding maximum number of lisitngs or one host having a monopoly. Someone posted a host on here the other day whose profile looked like it was one person - there was personal profile information and the photo of a woman - but they had 100 listings. There is no way that one host is managing 100 properties, even if they're delegating cleaning. It seems a bit dishonest to me to suggest that the potential guest will be dealing with this host rather than a company. Airbnb really does seem to be putting more emphasis on larger, professional hosts with multiple properties, even going so far as to waive service fees for guests who book with these hosts, giving them a significant commercial advantage.
One thing I would suggest is perhaps listing with other sites to diversify, if you haven't already. Sites like Booking.com and HomeAway can be good alternatives.
Thank you, Alexandra. I am looking into other sites now. It’s fristrating because my occupancy rate has dropped considerably and my nightly rate has been cut in half. I can’t compete with this person.
Ann, great suggestions. Thank you. I do need to update photos and the listing. I’m painting the walls a lighter shade of grey next week and I’m getting a smaller bed to open up the bedroom a little. In the meantime, I will get some new throw pillows to lighten that sofa!
@Stephanie222 And if I may, a few nores on your listing. You say you “just” put it up, but you have 250 reviews (well done!), so you might want to update that. The apartment is so chic but comes across as a little dark, so maybe some throw pillows on the black sofa that could introduce a color into the room? Many guests mention the baked goods, so your cover shot is the right idea, but I would take a new photo of fresh muffins close up - lose the other things. Also add a phot of that BBQ place nearby that someone mentions. And I would price the place at $89 a night and say high up or in the listing title “breakfast included” since you always seem to provide something, and I doubt the monopolizer is doing that.
I constantly have new listings opening in my area and often at a lower price.
I never drop my price. My price is based on what I feel it is worth and what I need to earn from it to make it worth my while.
My answer is don't drop your place by half, don't rely on Airbnb there are plenty of other listing sites and ways to market your site directly or through local third party orgnanisations
Helen, that’s a great point. I kept getting emails from Airbnb about turning lookers into bookers and that people were staying in my neighborhood for much less a night. It takes me about 3-4 hours a day on average to do the cleaning, shopping, laundry, baking, and responses. I try to be thorough. You’re right I need to price it accordingly. Thank you.
@Stephanie222 Those messages from airbnb are usually nonsense, if you listen to them you will be renting your place for peanuts. It is useful to see what similar listings in your area are renting for, but I agree with the advice to raise the price and/or otherwise switch up the listing rather than getting in a race to the bottom.
Welcome the competition, learn from it and beat it.
Befriend them to learn.
What are they doing well? What are you doing better?
Don't hate your competitor, after buying so many houses, he/she has a lot more financial risk than you. Figure how you can price higher and stand out on the listing.
As a guest, when I find a cluster of offerings in a neighborhood, I think "Hmmm, that must be a popular neighborhood."
PS. I just reviewed your listing and calendar. Loved the food porn - those bottles are so homey.
Your well-booked up schedule indicates you are stressing over nothing and that you should RAISE your prices.
Thanks, Paul. I’m getting g great ideas from everyone on this thread. I feel kind of limited by my space but I’m trying to make the most of it! I think I need to up the baking game some more!