occupancy rates

in
Yukon, OK
Level 2
218 Views

We are considering turning a rent house into an Airbnb. I am trying to do my due diligence with lots of research. I've gone to two different websites that offer stats on short terms rentals and they are within a couple of percentage points of 60% occupancy in my area (roughly 18 days/mo in my area).  But when I look at other hosts listings on Airbnb, they have few reviews.  I read that 70% of guests leave reviews.  I realize that many people stay longer than one night, but almost every listing I look at has only a few reviews even though the host has been on Airbnb for a few years.  How am I to judge what my occupancy rate potential is?  I look at other listings availability, but I don't trust that as an owner might not make the property available 365 days a year.  Does anyone have a way to judge occupancy potential more accurately?  Thanks in advance.   

8 Replies

Re: occupancy rates

in
Arkansas, United States
Level 10

@William1572 

 

Not really, but many experienced hosts say that if your booking rate exceeds 60% your prices are too low and you’re working too hard.

 

There are many factors such as location, local attractions, seasonal appeal, price, etc.

 

You will probably just have to learn through trial and error, although this forum is an excellent place to learn from others’ experience.

 

Good luck —

 

 

Re: occupancy rates

in
Yukon, OK
Level 2

Thanks Brian2036.  I appreciate your reply.  It's a big leap for us to go from a long term rental to a short term rental.  So many unknowns when it comes to income potential.  Thanks for your input.

Re: occupancy rates

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@William1572 we had zero competition in our market when we started hosting 3 years ago. the closest listing was a much larger house about 15 minutes away and that was it. Everything else was either in small cities about a half hour away or more. There was absolutely nothing to compare our listing to. 

 

We started out really low in price and booked up super quickly. We raised prices over time and learned a lot. If your space is unique, people will show up for it. If it something that looks similar to what they have at home, they may not. Ours is an old schoolhouse and we basically created our market. There still isn't a ton that we can compare ourselves to, as our home is very different than others that have popped up.

 

We are pretty much fully booked several months out year round and have been so since we started. All I can say is just put your listing out there and see what happens. Don't rely on what the market looks like. Make your space as unique and attractive as possible. And don't price yourself too low....your guest quality will definitely suffer. 

Re: occupancy rates

in
Yukon, OK
Level 2

Laura2592,

 

Thank you so much for your response.  Your message inspires me to do just what you said, make it unique.  The house is historic for our town (Yukon, OK) and was built in 1929.  It sits a block off Route 66, close to downtown Yukon (population 30K).  We are a suburb of Oklahoma City and a couple of miles from I-40.  I think the house has a lot to offer, especially if I really make it comfortable.  There are about 25 rentals on Airbnb, none like ours.  

 

Pricing seems tricky to me.  I'm sure I'll get the hang of it though.  I vacillate between a slightly lower price at first to get bookings and reviews.  But I sure don't want poor guest quality.  Then I think maybe a slightly higher price is good because of the quality of guests and the perception that our listing is unique and "worth it".  The only downside is the house only has one bath.

 

I took a look at your property.  Wow!!  It's beautiful!  I can see why you have a great occupancy rate!  If I ever get to MD, I will be sure to stay there. 

 

Thank you so much for your help!

Alycia & Bill

 

Re: occupancy rates

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10

@William1572 it sounds like you are on the right track. If you can come up with a theme based on your home's history, be sure to lean into that. For example, our place was the school house that educated the kids on the Francis Scott Key estate...he wrote the "Star Spangled Banner." So we have a lot of stars-- on the backsplash, in the stair bannister, on the dishware, on the front of the house etc. Nothing over the top, but it does tie in to the space's past and guests often compliment the little touches. 

 

Also be sure to name your house and make a sign. Trust me- people LOVE that. I see Yukon has a history with milling for local farms, the railroad and poor Grady the cow (love Wikipedia!) so maybe capitalize on something like that... "Grady's Villa" , "Cabin at the Mill" etc. It will also help with your marketing if you name your place. Start an Instagram with cute pictures (ours is @fireflycottagemd if you want to follow and see what we do.)  But don't spend a ton on fancy furnishings or amenities guests don't care about. A smart TV in a decent size, comfy mattresses, nice linens and a selection of books and games is always a great place to start. 

 

Your first guests will probably be your worst ones. Bad guests target new listings because they know you need those first reviews. My advice is always to price higher rather than lower. At least that way you recoup some of the $$ if they are pains in the behind. Good luck!

Re: occupancy rates

in
Arkansas, United States
Level 10

@William1572 

 

Note that Airbnb’s recommendations regarding base price and discount are absolute BS.

Re: occupancy rates

in
Yukon, OK
Level 2

Thank you so very much!!

 

Gotta love Wikipedia!  Grady the cow!  We are also OK Czech Capital (yearly festival along 66, among other festivals) and hometown of Garth Brooks, which I don't think I'd want to try to capitalize on other than maybe a small bit of memorabilia or something.  I hate to decorate with Route 66 stuff.  I think it gets too  junky looking.  Maybe one or two items, IDK.  Less is always more, I think.  I was definitely thinking of naming the house.  Thanks for your suggestions, they're awesome.  I'm an amateur photographer so I'm thinking of adding my local photos (& having them for sale).

 

Thanks again for taking the time to correspond with me.  You've given me so much to think about.  One more question, if I may.  What kind of mattress do you have in your place?  Comfy can mean different things to different people, but if you have the majority of your guest telling you that the mattress is great then I'd be interested to know what brand and model it is.  

 

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Re: occupancy rates

in
Arkansas, United States
Level 10

@William1572 

 

We had a water bed in the master bedroom which I was certain would be a problem so we replaced the water mattress with a king-size “Mattress in a Box” from Amazon. It’s 12” thick memory foam infused with tea leaves which is supposed to promote restful sleep and pleasant dreams.

 

No one has complained yet but of course that doesn’t mean much.

 

 The other bedroom has an expensive Sealy Posturepedic  mattress and box springs that have not elicited comment either.

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