i am a bit concerned as we have had only a couple of enquiries and no bookings at all for the year ahead. This is the first time we have experienced this in 6 years.
I have reduced rates, offered longer let discounts, and checked the text and photos. I cant see any glaring issues?
I lost a cleaner to my last long stay guests who moved to the local area, they poached the cleaner which was not good, putting me off long lets a bit but trying to remain positive.
Are others also experiencing problems with a lack of bookings? Has the bad press for Airbnb caused some lack of public support?
Is it due to ‘cost of living crisis’?
Do i have to drastically reduce prices?
Thanks for reading.
If you do a quick search on this forum, you will find countless posts like your own, from hosts who don't understand why their bookings have slowed down or stopped altogether.
There are no doubt a number of factors that could be contributing to this, including the current economy. However, most of the other responses seem to ignore the enormous elephant in the room, which is Airbnb's recent and drastic changes to its search algorithms. This started with the Summer Release and introduction of categories in May, followed by the Winter Release in November (search from them here) which have decimated views and bookings for thousands of previously successful hosts. You will find hundreds of comments on this forum about this if you search for them.
On top of that, you have a large increase in supply, i.e. more listings on the site, but the demand, i.e. nights booked, has not kept up with that. Although Airbnb has reported its best quarter ever apparently, what it fails to mention is that those bookings are spread out over a greater number of listings and, yet, it is relentlessly pursuing new hosts to broaden supply. Let's face it, Airbnb doesn't care which listings guests book as long as it gets its commission.
As for your listings, yes, you have lots of wonderful, glowing reviews. But, the overall ratings on your listings are not that great. I see that you are a Superhost so I don't know what your ratings are in the past year, but Airbnb requires 4.8*+ for Superhost and 4.7* is supposed to be the minimum acceptable standard, and your listings are below the latter. I totally understand what you are saying about issues with post pandemic guests. I have certainly experienced similar problems and my ratings have suffered as a result. However, there are some complaints in your reviews which reoccur and seem to be mostly to do with the outside spaces such as the pool and the garden, so maybe I would focus on those and see what you can do to improve them.
I would certainly follow the suggestions to list on other sites. Even if Airbnb has been the best for you so far, it has changed a lot in recent months (as has the market), so now is not the time to be putting all your eggs in one basket if you can help it.
Thank you for the helpful info.
The negative ratings are from when we were rebuilding our natural swimming pool and we had a last minute 2 week nitemare due to lock downs/Bexit material order delays. So we warned booked guests work was being completed still in certain hours ( only within the pool fencing) They were insistent they wished to stay regardless after the isolation /stress of lock downs.. .with big expectations to use the new pool immediately ( despite warnings & wet weather, plus not booking/paying for use)
They had half price for their stay in the buildings and had full use of the land/gardens until the pool was refilled/tested/settled safely.
All were new people to Airbnb, loving the review opportunity but maybe not entirely fair to still vent & mark down so low as they were offered compensation or to re book in advance with special offers, then given big discounts & apology gifts which they very much appreciated at the time.. and all did admit they had a great time. We did everything we could…
A shame but just a short period of awkwardness, then good to go since..
We have worked hard to to keep high standards with improvements usually done out of season.
That period was excruciating to schedule the final work completion day & fill the pool despite huge efforts & investment. We took the rap financially, but hope guests see that was in the past?
I am only a guest (not a host) and love airbnb. A single bad review can make me anxious about renting a place, particularly if the host does not respond to the review or appears overly defensive. Maybe post an explanation that ackowledges the experience but explains why it is a great rental choice now?
Thats interesting to get a guest opinion, thank you.
i have made it clear in my description that the pool is completed.
I realised i was deficit in not answering the bad review issue when it was too late. At the time I didn't wish to be negative to the guest on a public platform, the review surprised me as we had resolved the ‘out of my control’ delays issues with discounts, discussions & gifts to apologise & make amends.
I understood the guests sense of urgency to get away after lock downs..we gave them a great holiday despite the fenced off pool still be filled!
You have to give other platforms a try,
The experts say you must also have your own DBS, Direct booking site,
I just got one up and running the other week I have had lots of clicks on it but no bookings as of yet,
Try Booking.com Lots of host say they don't like it, It might work for you,
They charge a lot more for commission just put your rates up to cover it.
i have always been a big fan of the Airbnb format, and community ethos. Hard to find another i believe in? But i shall endeavour, thank you.!
Yes, other listing platforms, Facebook, direct web site, etc like other have mentioned.
Above all do not hesitate to make the visitor to your listing aware of any feature that makes your place different than others. Also think of ways that would accomplish that objective; oftentimes is not a function of money, but of coming up with fresh inexpensive ideas.
Thank you Fred13
i shall do my best
@Kerry26 I suspect that trying to cram 13 people into a 3 bedroom place is part of your problem. If your pricing is comparable to 13 people places rather than 6 people places then you are massively overpriced.
whilst i was leaving myself open to all feedback by asking the question i find your answer unpleasant and prejudice not helpful or considered.
we have an enormous property, and the addition of a large garden lodge which can sleep a couple and child.
we have never ‘crammed’ people in… guests have asked to stay in large groups. We offer 2 acres and many beautiful and fun outdoor spaces including a big heated natural swimming where they can swim day or night.
Airbnb are running a check for us.
Many of us are slower. I wouldn’t drop your rates. You still need to make money, while still paying for your home, taxes, wear and tear on your home, paying insurance, the cost of supplies etc…
yes Debbie210. I am very concerned about income, all my financial investment, plus helpers dependent on wages etc
I am most concerned about my Eco/sustainable place, it is not costly to run but i hate it to be empty and need to make back the investment, we have a vehicle & solar panels on finance, and i have kids to support. 😔 Very worrying times if others are slashing prices in my area..
If you use the search function here you will see many hosts have complained about a lack of bookings
Have you looked at demand and supply in your area to see if you are operating in a saturated market.
As you know we are in the middle of a major recession in the UK so demand has plummeted in many locations.
Personally I have never dropped my rates. I would suggest investing in some market research to see which other platforms you can list on and if you haven't done so already invest in setting up some direct marketing channels so you can promote direct bookings for your listing.
I did see on both your listings you have what Airbnb considers low ratings - around 4.6 and wonder if this is leading to lower visibility on Airbnb.
Thank you Helen3
I have generally had excellent reviews?
In the post pandemic year it brought many ‘new to airbnb’ folk, issues about bringing extra dogs & guests without consent were tricky and may have resulted in spite regarding ratings.. i do my best but people can be strange!
i have looked at and tried other platforms.. happiest at Airbnb.
i shall look into the area saturation.. thank you very much for your advice.
an airbnb advisor suggested doing a special offer.. i cannot see an option to do this?
Which direct marketing channels would you recommend? Any help you can give all of us, would be appreciated.
I see your property is listed as a PLUS property? are you allowed to list on other platforms? I remember years ago they told me I was not allowed,
Right now your calendar is showing fully booked, nobody can book,
You can set up your own website and social channels such as FB and IG and the invest in targeted advertising to drive traffic to your direct booking channels.
There is no one size fits all solution for advertising these channels I'll afraid @Debbie210 there maybe glamping sites, local tourist board, student accommodation boards, local area groups etc depending on your target market for example
Thanks Helen!!! Great ideas!!