I am a new host (started Labor Day weekend and got a group for 2 nights). My pricing, I believe, is pretty low for the size and location we are in ($220/weeknight for 8 beds, central Coeur d'Alene, Idaho area). Our first guests gave us a very good review, and I believe we have a pretty marketable offering. So why aren't we receiving more interest? I realize this is probably a slow time of year, so I just wanted to ask if this is normal, or should I be doing something extra to attract more interest?
@Cindy1070 I can't speak about any of the local specifics to your area, but if you want to do some research on seasonal patterns in occupancy rates, you can check AirDNA, which scrubs data from STR platforms, and also give a friendly call to your local tourism bureau (still an underrated source of information these days).
As for your listing, it looks like a nice and comfortable place with good descriptions and a cute dog. If you're hoping to start taking winter bookings, this would be a good time to switch up the photos and emphasize the house as a cozy cold-weather retreat - prominently feature the fireplace, shoot a steamy bathtub in candlelight, and show the yard blanketed in snow if that's a common occurrence there. Move the most eye-catching winter shot to the front position in place of the cute summer shot, to keep it timely.
One thing to know about Airbnb is that when you publish your listing, you get a brief bump in search results, but by this point you've come down to a level playing field with more established listings. That's not an ideal place to be with only 1 review, so you might need to offer a deeper discount for the coming weeks to stack up a few reviews. One way to do that is to toggle the Extra Guest Fee for a limited time so that you can book in a few couples and lock off that bunk room. Not gonna lie here, that sleeping arrangement might potentially pose a problem with the groups of youngish adults that make up a big portion of Airbnb users; it's really more fitting to a couple who couldn't get their heads around birth control and had way too many kids.
Welcome to Airbnb hosting! I would say if you are comfortable with your pricing--just be patient. This is our third year--we started out in December and got two bookings with excellent reviews--then got a few more each month. We have tripled what we did the first year and quite honestly are doing more than we ever expected from this experiment. Hang in there--it just takes a bit of time!
Thank you for the encouragement! I appreciate you perspective, and we look forward to what the holidays bring! 🙂
@Cindy1070 As Andrew suggested, I'd lower your guest count and charge extra for guests over a 6 person booking. But I wouldn't lower the price- $220 for 8 guests, as it stands now, seems too cheap- that's $27/ person. Can they even get a hostel room for that?
When you look at prices for other listings in your area, don't just look at the listed price- go through to enter number of guests (8) and dates. You may find the price comes up much higher with other listings extra guest fee and cleaning fee.
Oh, I didn't really understand it that way, so thank you for the clarification. I know the $220 is cheap, especially for that many beds. I just didn't know how else to attract new guests. Would you suggest raising the price? Also, would an extra guest charge of $25/person be reasonable, and should that be per night, or just for the entire stay? (sorry for all the questions, just wanted to try and get as much info as possible)
@Cindy1070 I only host one guest at a time, so I'm not an expert on extra guest fees, but I believe they are per night. They are basically designed to cover the extra utilities and amenities, linens and towels, etc. used by an additional guest, and because more people increases wear and tear, and cann turn a quiet booking for 4 into a party atmosphere.
Many hosts whose places can sleep up to 6, for instance, may prefer to host no more than 4, so it's also a way of encouraging smalller groups to book, if there is a base price for 4 with extra guest fees over that amount, rather than them having to pay what you have listed for 6 or 8.
And it sounds counterintuitive, but I've read posts from hosts who said they actually got more bookings when they raised the price.