Introduction...and search query

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 2
380 Views

Hi all,

 

I'm very new to this and have just listed my property for the first time. I've blocked out most of my calendar temporarily to allow myself to find my way around the dashboard settings etc.

 

https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/48909423?_set_bev_on_new_domain=1620024167_MjU4MDVhMjVlMjk5&source_im...

 

When I sign out of my account and do a search for places to stay in the area my listing only appears if I have more than 2 guests in the search filter. Although the property can sleep up to six, it means that if a couple or two people wish to rent my property it won't come up on their search. Am I missing something here?  Any advice much appreciated, thanks.

 

Steve

17 Replies

Re: Introduction...and search query

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Steve2889 

First piece of advice - Unblock your calendar quickly. Airbnb give you a boost in the search results when the property is new and you will be missing out on this at the moment.

Secondly - I don't know how your pricing works (too any to look) but in some respects missing out on 2 people when you could get 6 is actually a good thing.

I'll stop being lazy now and look at your listing!

Re: Introduction...and search query

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 2

Thanks for your reply! I will be unblocking my calendar as soon as I feel confident I understand everything...soon I hope! As far as house guests are concerned, the price per night is the same whether 1,2,3,4,5 or 6 are staying. The less guests and bed-changing and clearing up the better as far as I'm concerned 🙂 I also worked out that it does come up on a search for two people if you have an Airbnb account (I tried using my wife's account) but if I log out and do a search without being logged in, it only comes up if I enter 3 guests or more in the search criteria. Strange and slightly annoying!

Re: Introduction...and search query

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

I agree unblock your calendars but remove IB so you can vet guests before accepting bookings @Steve2889 

Re: Introduction...and search query

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 2

Thanks for your reply. I assume you're referring to 'Instant Book'? When I try and turn it off I get hit by loads of reasons to keep it on by Airbnb including 'it won't appear in so many searches' etc. Why would you recommend turning it off?

Re: Introduction...and search query

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Steve2889 Switching IB off will put you lower down the search results. Having IB on means that you cannot vet guests in advance to check they will not have parties etc.

With IB you do get to cancel a booking 3 times a year ( I think) if you don't like the reviews of guests that have booked.

Red flags for parties are short bookings on a Friday or Saturday but I think you have a 7 night min term so thats not a problem for you.

We have always had IB on - Have we been lucky? Not sure but we do live next door which helps a lot.

Re: Introduction...and search query

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 2

Yes, I think I understand. I'm not accepting short notice bookings and the minimum stay is 7 nights as you say. Also as I said in another reply below, I think I can keep an eye on the place.

 

There is a neighbour I can trust, my son lives locally and there may well be periods when I can live in an outbuilding without impinging on guest privacy. Maybe I should mention that I will be in the vicinity from time to time?

 

Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

Re: Introduction...and search query

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Steve2889 If you have local support then add something along the lines of: 'We or our team are usually available to help in person if there are any issues with the property' as this gives the impression that there are people nearby who will spot any parties etc.

Re: Introduction...and search query

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 2

That’s great advice and I will take it, thanks!

Re: Introduction...and search query

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Steve2889  Airbnb will hit you with all kinds of reasons not to turn off Instant Book. They try to scare you. You will also see eventually that you'll get urgings from them on your dashboard to lower your minimum night stay, to take long term bookings, to accept last minute reservations, etc, etc. And show you laughably low "price tips".

 

None of this has anything to do with them wanting to see you be successful at hosting, and making sure you get respectful guests- it has only one purpose- to make things as easy and attractive for guests as possible so bookings come in fast and furiously. What you have to understand about Airbnb is that despite their touchy-feely rhetoric, all they really care about is their profits, which are generated mainly by guest fees. They don't care if you only make $10/night, seriously.

 

While using Instant Book does give you a higher search ranking, just as you want to familiarize yourself with the dashboard, the settings, etc. before taking bookings (which is really smart, btw- you wouldn't believe how many new hosts put up a listing without bothering to read anything about how it all works. They don't even understand how hosts get paid, that hosts get penalized for cancelling, or anything, really), it's better for new hosts to learn how to vet potential guests before jumping into IB. 

 

What your goal should be is preventing party scenes, over max guest counts, people bringing 4 dogs, and other objectionable behavior, before it can take place, rather than having to deal with it when the guests are already in residence. Cameras, a nearby co-host, more than 1 or 2 night minimum stays, not accepting last minute bookings, all help, but prevention is preferable to damage control.

 

So being able to communicate with guests before deciding to accept a booking gives you the opportunity  to make sure there's no red flags in the guest's communication, nothing that gives you a wary feeling. Once you get familiar with reading between the lines in reviews, knowing what guest questions are red flags that this is a guest you shouldn't accept, etc, then you can always turn IB on.

 

Set up your hosting settings in a way that works for you and to get good guests, rather than listening to Airbnbs scare tactics. No settings are written in stone- you can change them any time you want.

Re: Introduction...and search query

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 2

More good advice and thanks for taking the time to reply. I'm only looking to let my property out for a couple of months in the summer but I have a couple of months to go before letting in guests. I'm going to consider the things you have said and see what happens. Thanks again.

Re: Introduction...and search query

in
Lincoln, Canada
Level 10

@Steve2889 Also remember that guests are also often searching with other filters applied, not just number of people. For example, they will likely have entered dates, so any place that isn't available when they want to travel won't show up. That's a bonus to you, because your calendar will be wide open. Then most people enter number of people. Also, they may search for whole home, which will further narrow the results. All of this will bring you closer to getting your ideal guest to visit and book your listing. 

 

Your listing looks good: lots of info on what to expect and nice pictures. I just have a couple of pieces of feedback. Your cover photo of the front of the house isn't all that welcoming. I would wait until you have some nice flowers out during the summer and take it again. In the meantime, I would lead with something else. The rest of your pics are colourful and engaging, but the first one just doesn't wow me. 

Second, have you taken steps to prevent parties? This is a stand alone property with self check in. I would consider how you're going to prevent people from using your space for gatherings, if you haven't already. Ring doorbell cameras are a good choice so you can see who's coming in. Having a nosy neighbour who will let you know if there's an issue can also be good (provided that they're okay with you Airbnbing). Whatever you choose to do (or are already doing) make sure it's disclosed in your listing to deter partiers. 

 

Good luck with hosting! Your place looks great and I'm sure you'll do well with it. This forum is a really good place to learn if you want help or just read about potential challenges and pitfalls of hosting. 

Re: Introduction...and search query

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 2

Thank you for your informative reply! When I search with the exact dates I know are available it comes up...but ONLY if I enter 3 or more guests in the search criteria. If I search with 1 or 2 guests, nothing....with 3 or more guests...it comes up. This only happens if I'm not signed in to an Airbnb account. Maybe that isn't a bad thing anyway I suppose.

 

Your other advice is interesting 🙂 All of the photos are temporary and will be replaced when I have time to do them properly but I take your point about the leading cover photo and will change it.

 

Regarding parties: It does state 'No parties' on the listing but I think you're saying that it isn't enough to prevent that happening?

 

I do have a neighbour I could trust to keep an eye on things so I will discuss that with him. Some kind of security/doorbell system is also something that I am looking into.

 

Thanks for taking the time to reply, much appreciated 🙂

Re: Introduction...and search query

in
Lincoln, Canada
Level 10

@Steve2889 No problem! Glad it was helpful. 

 

Probably the biggest detterant for partiers booking your listing is your seven-night minimum. Most people having parties book a night or a weekend.  You're probably fairly safe based on that, but having an eye on your property at all times isn't a bad thing. Maybe in the case of your listing it won't be a party, but a family who says they're booking for 4 and shows up with 12 people and tries to cram everyone in.  Unfortunately, just writing no parties in your rules won't deter the rule breakers and the earlier you can nip problems in the bud, the better. 

 

I've also always had instant book switched on and I've not had a problem. I would put conditions on it, though. I require guests to be verified and to have reviews from other hosts and they have to send a booking message. 

Re: Introduction...and search query

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 2

More good advice...thank you!

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