Bookings Way Down in 2023

Sherry189
Level 2
Kailua, HI

Bookings Way Down in 2023

My bookings are way down this year. I’ve been a superhost for years and my bookings have steadily increased year over year, but not in 2023. I’m down about 30%. I have a few theories: traveling is normalizing post-pandemic and people are going back to hotels, too many short term rentals on the market, airbnb is too expensive. Meanwhile, the costs to run the airbnb keeps going up. I’m wondering if others are experiencing a similar situation and finding ways to combat it? 

17 Replies 17
Nicole3424
Level 1
Ohio, United States

@Sherry189 I'm in exactly the same situation where I've been a super host for 6 years with a steady increase in bookings yoy, but like you not in 2023. I'm also down more than 30%. My theory is way too many short term rentals on the market with terrible hosts, airbnb is too expensive (14.3% fee is a lot to charge a guest), and cost continues to rise while the nightly rate isn't and in some cases dropping significantly to try and get booked. I'm in a smaller market in the Midwest and I used to have more business clients but haven't had many this year. 

@Nicole3424 Thanks Nicole for your response. If this is the trend, I’m definitely going to start planning accordingly for next year. I’m thinking about moving back into my house while continuing to rent it out periodically. I don’t want to be caught in the same situation next year. 

Ekaterina180
Level 1
Los Angeles, CA

Hi @Sherry189 , 

 

I’m a superhost for last 7 years and yes, bookings went down significantly especially in May, September and now in December. And I’m in Los Angeles, where it was always busy and millions of people come in and out. 

I noticed since November a steep decline in bookings. This is unlike anything I've seen since joining in 2012. I've run a popular Airbnb listing in a year round destination location and have had to drop nightly rates these past 2 months to unheard of rock bottom pricing with many nights remaining open.  

 

Not sure if this a temporary slump due to the economy, too many non-licensed STRs popping up, Airbnb's  recent changes making their platform more complicated and un-user friendly, etc. But if this is the new norm then I'm at a loss of how to navigate hosting with higher operating costs, low nightly rates and too many unbooked nights.... 

Mar74491
Level 2
Waltham, MA

I'm in Waltham MA and my bookings have almost completely dried up.

 

Airbnb told me they have a new algorithm in effect since Jan-2023 than randomizes the listings.  I nicely told them that a Superhost should be sorted to the top so they might receive more bookings.  Regardless of their explanation, it seems to be a new thing since early Nov-2023 or even Oct-2023.

 

Does it have something to do with their new Guest Badge or does it just randomize the listings (like they told me for Jan-2023).

 

None of this makes any sense.  I had a slow booking rate last year around this time (2022), but at least I had some.  At this point I am not sure what to do either.

 

I think it's mostly from airbnb's algorithms, but they deny it.

 

What are we supposed to do now?

Suzy0
Level 2
Birmingham, AL

I have been superhost for past 10 years, I have experienced slow last holiday, and this holiday as well.  I am also a traveler but I don't book airbnb unless it is something with good price and location, but most airbnbs are actually more than the hotel cost without much of amenities and services, in this case, I will book hotel.   Airbnb has marketed so commercial and trying to compete with hotel and forgotten what was airbnb originally was from.  Airbnb used to a life style choose of traveling, not much about if hosts are providing 5 stars hotel services with Walmart prices. But this days, if you don't providing 5 stars hotels standard and services with Walmart prices, you mostly won't get good reviews or booking. I have closed two of my rentals last couple months, I will close more in the coming months, it is not long worth my time and money investing in this very risky business. 

Sandi173
Level 2
Laurel, MT

I know the feeling!  I lost my superhost status not due reviews which were 5 star since I started 4 years ago but due to not having 19 more days the last three months of which  I had no! Bookings from Air bnb at all.  I lowered prices trying to attract guests but that didn’t help either. My Air bnb is in florida and   It is becoming really hard to make ends meet with the high priced insurance and taxes rising.  So sad to have worked so hard and have this one perk taken away.  The increase in competition in the last   year or so  has definitely taken a toll and super hosts weren’t put to the top like they should have been!  

Branka-and-Silvia0
Level 10
Zagreb, Croatia

@Sherry189 

I had 50% fewer bookings in 2023 than in 2022, even in the top season my place was half empty. It never happened before.

All hosts in my neighborhood say they almost don't have any bookings from Airbnb but they are getting bookings from Booking.
com so economic crises, oversupply etc... are not to blame.

Others I've talked to say the Airbnb platform is not user-friendly for guests, the search feature is frustrating and
shows them listings in another city instead of the one they're looking for and it constantly changes so they don't use it anymore.

Several hosts I know have shut down their Airbnb listings for various reasons, including glitches with entering the required tax data (and consequently stopped payouts), useless customer service, constant changes and glitches to the platform, lack of guests,  etc. so now they use other platforms instead.

Overall, it doesn't look good 😞

Replying to you specifically because I can’t see how to respond to this thread. Yours is the most recent reply.

I’m a super host in London and it is normal for our flat to be 80-90% booked for the last 6 years. Last year we were one of the top booked flats in London! This year I have one booking per month. It is totally unusual and thus I have come seeking answers. Not sure what is going on or what to do. Our airbnb has contributed significantly to our mortgage and if it does not pick back up we will need to sell the house 😔

@Cary20 when did you last check your prices against your competition? At £175 for a  night I suspect hotels are way cheaper. I know Airbnb's can offer more than hotels but generally the price needs to be competitive as well. This is especially true if it is someone on expenses as they can claim the VAT back on a hotel stay.

@Mike-And-Jane0 Our flat is on for £110-£140/night. We are in zone 2 in north london. Just curious as we’ve never had a problem until now. For 6 years we’ve been booked at roughly 70% all year

@Cary20 The guest is paying £110+£40 cleaning fee+£25 Airbnb fee all of which comes to £175 if they stay just one night. I totally get that London is expensive and the room is lovely but we have found that price decreases are needed at present and hotels are definitely cheaper than they have been for a while.

Just do a search in your area on booking.com (and Airbnb) to see if you are over priced - You may well not be but its worth a look.

Mari42501
Level 1
California, United States

We have been superhosts since 2011 and now have 4 homes each with 4 bedrooms. In 2023 we saw a 60% decrease in our homes in Vermont and a 35% decrease in our homes in California. One of our homes is in a very small town where there's lots of tourism and still the bookings have decreased by 45%. We've called airbnb every  month for the past year to complain about the drop in bookings. Often times we can't even locate our properties when we search for them on the airbnb platform - they're buried below homes in other cities. We have lowered the pricing to below what hotels are charging, we've listed on other platforms (booking.com seems to be the busiest for Los Angeles), we tried to compete with the new airbnbs that have popped up around us (who have 4.5 stars while we maintain 5 stars) but it's been extremely frustrating. 

We don't understand why airbnb is not addressing this issue of lack of bookings - it's discussed repeatedly on various forums.  This is very frustrating. How do we speak to airbnb and get them to pay attention?

Joy1642
Level 2
Lexington, KY

Sherry, I've run a successfull cabin rental in the Appalachian mountain range of Kentucky for the last 20 years and am absolutely stupified by the lack of business beginning in December of 2023 and continuing into the New Year.  I usually am booked up months in advance and if it were't for the fact that I have a loyal client base and my own website I would not be getting any bookings. I am on various travel platforms and have seen a decline on all of them. I have been a superhost for years on those platforms, but now they are making the requirement to remain such almost unattainable ( We close yearly due to potential weather concerns and now I can't meet their review requirement.) It is so frustrating ! I also know there is an oversaturation of properties just recently in our area which is not helping. Calling the platforms does no good as those answering the phones have no control over any of this and one never hears from management when a complaint is made. I am seeing on FB companies advertising help for listings on vacation rental platforms due to the concerns we are all voicing but who wants to spend more money on something that might not work in the end? My only comfort is that other hosts are experiencing the same issue and that it's not just me. I sure did not expect that after 20 years of hard work I would be struggling.