What would you advise someone who wants to get more bookings?

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager
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BOOKINGS! We all know how important it is to get bookings, but sometimes, not having enough bookings can make one wonder: “what’s causing this? Could it perhaps be the low season, or maybe some other factors?” 

 

This is where the Community Center, a place where so many Hosts support each other together, is a wonderful source of information. It's a great place to ask for advice on certain topics or to learn new tips and tricks, and share the benefit of your experiences.

 

So, what would you advise someone who wants to get more bookings? 

 

Could it be keeping your calendar up-to-date, minimum stays, cancellation policy, or perhaps the pricing? Am I just scratching the surface? 🧐 

 

Please share your answers below, as I am sure that your fellow Hosts will benefit from hearing from you! 🙂

 

Thank you,

 

Quincy

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27 Replies

Re: What would you advise someone who wants to get more bookings?

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Quincy I guess hosts could list on multiple sites like VRBO and booking.com. We don't as we haven't been let down by Airbnb but I do wonder if it would help or hinder our occupancy.

Re: What would you advise someone who wants to get more bookings?

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

Thankfully, that hasn't happened @Mike-And-Jane0

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Re: What would you advise someone who wants to get more bookings?

in
Polson, MT
Level 10

@Mike-And-Jane0 I list on VRBO as well and it definitely helps, though I prefer to keep everything on one platform as much as possible, just for simplification purposes.  

 

Re: What would you advise someone who wants to get more bookings?

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

I would say: "Be careful what you wish for" 🙂

Re: What would you advise someone who wants to get more bookings?

in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Level 10

My advice for off site hosts! The ones who let entire space.


Be more professional and accept more booking requests!


I have always used strict cancellation policy. It does not avoid attracting guests. I want guest that book and show up. I don't want reservations from undecided people just to count as reservation for a brief moment, and later on they give up.


As for the prices, It depends on the market and seasons. Lowering prices will not necessarilly attract more bookings. If there are guests to pay a fair price, why lowering the rates?

Re: What would you advise someone who wants to get more bookings?

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

Thank you for sharing this @J-Renato0. In my case, I did lower the prices by just a little as the competition in my area was crazy at the time, but in the end it actually did not change that much in terms of getting more guests during the low season. 

 

Just wondering how you would handle your prices if there's a lot of competition in the surrounding area? 😃 @J-Renato0 @Mike-And-Jane0 

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Re: What would you advise someone who wants to get more bookings?

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Quincy With competition I would always ignore the very low /high ones and aim to be around about the median price charged for the rest. Local knowledge is critical as only a host (without rose tinted spectacles) can see what listings are truly comparable to theirs

Of course it depends on whether you want to maximise revenue, profit or just make a reasonable amount from a 60-70% occupancy. We are in the latter category.

Re: What would you advise someone who wants to get more bookings?

in
Balearic Islands, Spain
Level 10

@Quincy 

 

We are in a highly competitive tourist destination, with lots of choices available, and have studied this quite a bit. Despite the substantial competition, we do have the benefit of high demand, so perhaps it's a bit different than some others. 

 

Nonetheless, our observation is that lowering prices to compete can actually be detrimental in some circumstances. It's not quite that simple. 

 

First, there are different demographics of guests. For example, there's those who are more interested in the price than the quality. This probably constitutes the largest segment of the market. They shop entirely on the basis of price, or perceived value. If it appears to be a bargain, then it's attractive. They'll book it. 

 

Then there's the type who are less concerned about price, and more interested in what they believe will best suit them, or provide the most comfort. They'll shop on that basis, do more research, and then secondarily, consider price. Generally speaking, these tend to exhibit more desirable guest characteristics. 

 

So, who are you targeting? Consider that.

 

But wait, there's another metric. In our case, there's demand. Lots of it. So we tend to look at the competition in the same class of accommodation, and price a bit higher. This tends to lengthen the booking lead time until the lower priced competition is booked up. Then you and a handful of others are the "only game in town", so to speak. You just have to be patient. 

 

And then there's ratings. Many will downplay the importance of that, but when it comes to price competition, your ratings can be the difference between someone choosing a less expensive place with lower ratings and your place, with glowing reviews.

 

Also, styling makes a difference. The photos tell people a lot. And they're more likely to choose something they find more appealing even if the price is a bit higher. And this tends to attract the latter demographic, which is generally a more desirable type of guest. 

 

Also, if the price is too good to be true, then it probably is. Smart shoppers know this. 

 

So, be careful about engaging in price wars, as it can come back to bite. Create a unique and desirable space, make your listing stand out in the photos, consistently achieve good reviews, be patient, and price competition will be far less of a problem. The lesser of your worries, really. 

Re: What would you advise someone who wants to get more bookings?

Level 2

Hi Elaine ,

Thank you for taking the time to write this great advice.

 

Re: What would you advise someone who wants to get more bookings?

in
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Level 10

@Quincy 

Good question.
If there is a lot of competition:

Lowering the price is not always the best idea, in my opinion.
Where are we going to stop? Lowering prices until hitting the rock bottom?


So there are a few things to think about:

 

1-One idea is to calculate what is most worthwhile. We have to see how much we earn depending on occupancy rate x daily rate.
Is it worth having an occupancy rate close to 100% and charging cheaper for that? Or is it better to charge a little more and have an occupancy rate of 65% or 70%.
It's a matter of mathematical calculation to see if it's worth having to work harder to earn the same amount.


2- If we are not getting good prices, one idea is to renovate some part of the property. 1- A new wall painting with attractive colors! 2- bathroom renovation 3 - kitchen renovation. In short, creating something to make the listing more attractive and comfortable and that therefore change the category of price competition.


Just ideas. However each situation can have a different solution.

Re: What would you advise someone who wants to get more bookings?

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@J-Renato0 I agree that it is not necessarily a good idea to drop the price .In low season there are just fewer travellers and they will book at a reasonable price. Just dropping the price is likely to get a similar number of bookings but just at a lower rate.

Re: What would you advise someone who wants to get more bookings?

in
Zagreb, Croatia
Level 10

During the slow period, the good idea is to look for guests who need longer stays. It doesn't have to be on Airbnb but also on social media groups where the security deposit and utilities can be charged extra ( heating is expensive )

 

Re: What would you advise someone who wants to get more bookings?

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

Thanks for sharing this @Branka-and-Silvia0. I actually did get a 1-month booking in the low season (which was great). 

 

Do you have long term bookings on the Airbnb platform from time to time? 

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Re: What would you advise someone who wants to get more bookings?

in
Swansea, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Branka-and-Silvia0 This is the thing.. Heating. Having to have a rethink since a Guest got in via IB and was here all day revving up an Electric beater on constant inc overnight!! He was Homeworking (I understood he'd be at the Uni) and wandering about in a T shirt and shorts (me in my lumpy jumper meanwhile....!!). 

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