About to go LIVE and publish my first Airbnb listing

I’m about to publish my first listing (very excited) but had a few questions.

How far in advance do you allow bookings? 6 months 1 year?

Do you have a minimum hight stay? Max nights?

How does the minimum price, base price and maximum price work? Do you trust the “Smart Pricing” tool?

I noticed many Airbnb listings don’t show the front of the house. Is there any reason for this? I don’t have an HOA or have any issues with the city allowing for Airbnb at my location.

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Congratulations on your almost-live listing! It’s a great idea to read as much as you can at this forum because all hosts are different so we all have different opinions about some things.

However, in answer:

I allow bookings at any time in the future. My minimum is 2 nights, although once or twice I’ve switched it to just one for short periods if I have a gap to fill.

Max is 21 nights and I always do a weekly linen change and clean for guests who are staying more than 8 days or so.

Unlike many hosts here I love using instant book and it keeps our two apartments full. You set your own maximum and minimum price.

I have several photographs of the exterior and don’t know why others don’t. Maybe, as you say, those hosts have some restrictions that they don’t want the HOA or local authorities to see?


Thanks jaquo! I also was trying to find where in the edit publishing part of the Airbnb listing that creates the “Other things to note” and “guest access” description for the property. I also noticed other hosts have a quick bio about themselves but couldn’t find where in the Publish section I could add this?

Currently not very far in advance due to covid. Airbnb isn’t host friendly when it comes to extenuating circumstances cancellations. I don’t want people booking way in advance and then having to cancel. That said, I don’t have a vacation rental per se, I have the kind of one or two night stopover place that can get booked last minute. But for my current lifestyle I don’t want Air bookings far in advance.

I do to an extent. As a new host you aren’t going to be able to set and forget. You need to monitor your market and what the tool is doing. It has to learn from your market and your settings as well. Don’t price too low to start.

Lots of people don’t like it and will tell you in no uncertain terms not to use it. Only you will be able to determine if it will work for you. It’s gotten me more money several times.

I didn’t at first because I didn’t want people randomly coming to the house because they saw it on Airbnb. Now I do show it and have had no problems because I do. As a guest I very much prefer to see the outside of the rental.

I would suggest 3 months for now, that way if you find you have made any mistakes on pricing or holiday minimums or anything else your exposure is limited to 90 days.

I have a 2 day minimum and a 14 day maximum. I have never had a guest longer than 6 days though. Do not buy into the discount for longer stays Air will bombard you with stuff like that.

No. I set my own prices. Do not underprice, do your research.

[quote=“HalonaSedona, post:1, topic:43901”]
I noticed many Airbnb listings don’t show the front of the house. Is there any reason for this?

Show something appealing to the guests, maybe the back deck with a view, or the fireplace with a fire in it. Make them want to stay with you.


My way of getting those important first three reviews.

Open calendar for a month max.

Minimum stay one night, max two or three.

Use Airbnb price tips for pricing.

Soon as you have three or four confirmed bookings, wack your prices up to a normal (for your market) level and then open calendar back up.

While it is contrary to what many on here advise, it’s worked for us on two properties so far.

You need to be on the ball, if you’re cheap folks will book so as soon as you those first few bookings, change it straight away.

It’s essentially a marketing strategy, so don’t expect to make a fortune out of those nights.



Excellent advice!


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Sorry, should have also mentioned the 20% discount Airbnb will push you to add. Do it.

It’ll give you a boost in searches, and is only valid for first three takers.



There are many things you can edit once you are live that are unavailable now. You need to go through everything once you publish.


3 months. The farther you in advance you allow, the harder it is to plan for repairs and maintenance. You also won’t be able to adjust pricing to market conditions.

Minimum 2 and Maximum 14. 1-nighters are a lot of overhead. Longer stay can promote bad guest behavior. A while back somebody posted a link to a study that showed after 10 days guest attitudes begin to change, and not to the host’s benefit.

It’s supposed to prevent smart pricing from allowing a nightly rate lower than your minimum or higher than your maximum. Some hosts have reported that smart pricing has allowed guests to book at a price lower than the minimum, but it’s not clear why. I do remember a case where a host had a promotion enabled, so watch out for those.

I found Smart Pricing wasn’t very useful. It did raise prices in peak season, but it was always pricing a minimum of 15% lower than the actual market rate for my listing. I suspect it works much better in areas where there is a lot of tourism and a lot of comparable listings nearby.

It’s possibly be due to the host trying to operate illegally, but it also prevents people from finding your listing easily. Think about a potential guest that is disgruntled because you rejected their inquiry/request. Also, your listing conveniently shows everything in your listing and has a calendar showing when the property is vacant. Very convenient for a burglar.


Not exactly. The calendar shows blocked and unblocked days. If it’s not available it might be occupied or vacant. My calendar is blocked but the room is empty at this time.

Also, to the OP @HalonaSedona, I hope you have some sort of cameras installed on the exterior. This is especially important if you don’t live on the premises, but I’d advise it for all listings.


3 months in advance, as I don’t want to be constricted in being able to take a trip, or whatever else might come up. If I had a co-host , that might be different.

I home share, so 3 days to 2 weeks. Don’t want to spend the time cleaning for less time than that (1 or 2 nighters aren’t the market where I live, anyway), and don’t want a roommate.

Length of stay should correspond somewhat to your market. Some hosts’ bread and butter is 1 night bookings, as it tends to be a stop along the way or maybe they live close to an airport and guests need layover accommodation. Other places are vacation destinations where guests tend to book for a week or two.

Front of house photos, depending on whether the place looks unique enough to stand out from others in the area, means guests who are already in the area can drive around looking for it and bother you, if you live on-site, or guests who may be in residence, trying to make an off-platform deal. Or, as mentioned, target for thieves. I think hosts could take some outside photos from certain angles that would give the idea, without it being easily recognizable on a drive-by.


Congratulations. Agree with others - there are some lessons learned that would be to your benefit to apply BEFORE you pull the trigger and post your listing.

New listings get a visibility boost. It is thought to be “around 4-6 weeks”.

There is a TON of great info here. IMO, it would be prudent for you to spend more time reviewing it and taking action - before opening your doors and the new listing boost kicks in.

Some quick thoughts:

  • Get an external camera asap. Make sure to disclose it clearly in your listing. Even if you are doing in-person check-ins - that video evidence will be crucial if it comes down to “he said / she said” - because Air will take the Guest’s side most of the time.
  • IB can be great BUT with all this Covid stuff you need to be careful about people looking for parties.
  • I am a big fan of In-Person Check-ins. If guests show up with extra people or things you maybe do not allow (infants, kids, pets, etc), you can deal with it. Especially as a new host, some of the “party people” may look to target you.
  • Have a really solid set of great house rules. @HH_AZ has great ones that you should look at.
  • To start with, I would do 3 months availability max. Perhaps even less? You will be learning a lot and do not want to find out that you have all sorts of bookings at reduced rates far out in the future.
  • Only allow short bookings for the first 1-2 months. You want to gather up a LOT of reviews while you still have the visibility boost.
  • Enable professional hosting tools
  • We like smart pricing but also set rules and apply them to different days, to make sure that we are asking a good amount for higher demand days and weekends.
  • Take Great Photos
  • Watch out for scammers. They LOOK for new hosts. Some may be convincing.

Good luck!


Thank you! We do have security cameras in the front of the property. I was thinking of putting one in the rear just to watch the back fence. Hotels have cameras every where, not sure why a couple at the house would bother anyone?

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Well, hotels are public places, at least their common spaces and hallways are, which Airbnbs aren’t. So comparing how things are at hotels with Airbnbs isn’t really a good analogy.
But having them focused on entry areas outside could be considered just as much for the guests’ safety as for your ability to monitor comings and goings.


@HalonaSedona. Congratulations on new listing.

About cameras: I love my ring doorbell. I didn’t see this mentioned earlier-Airbnb doesn’t allow hosts to have cameras in the rental. Exterior ok but must disclose camera in property description.

I have a full condo rental

Min rental: 3 days In my case, wear & tear and Communication requirements for daily rentals are too difficult. For other hosts it is the majority of their rentals. It depends on what you are offering.

Max rental: depends on time of year. If slow season up to 6 months but 5/1-9/30 is my busy season and I charge seasonal rates.

I get/have a supplemental rental agreement for rentals over 28 nights so I am covered for the local long term rentals regulations.

Airbnb really isn’t built for long term rentals so if you get one, come back to the forum for ideas.

Booking advance period: usually 1 year BUT this year people are booking a month in advance at best.

Exterior pictures:
Some owners don’t post pics that could be used to make the address public. Airbnb displays neighborhood. It’s easy to use Google earth and find the house.

I have exterior pictures, Building front, back, parking, pool, docks etc. My specific condo is not identifiable.

Instant book: I tried it. Not for me. Other hosts love it.

Wait until you’ve got some experience with guests before you activate it.

Later you can try it and if you like it keep it. If not for you it is quick & easy to deactivate.

Have fun. Best wishes for much success


This is probably the reason folks don’t post street view pictures, especially if it’s a whole house rental.

They must be disclosed in the listing. If you have wildlife in the area, that would be a good reason for “watching the perimeter”. Some guests might find it creepy, especially if the back area is otherwise private.

As others have said, when you start you want to have a lot of short stays to build up reviews. During this critical period you will need to be obsessive about making sure everything is a as perfect as you can make it.

If you would like folks here to review your listing and offer tips to make it better, you could make it live but with a closed calendar so that we can review it before you open bookings.

Also, before you open, be sure to enable Professional Tools on your computer and try creating some Rules for pricing. These are handy for making sure you can raise rates for the dates of events that will create high demand. Otherwise I use Smart Pricing with my regular price as my base price. I have a minimum 2 night stay, maximum of a week, and never discount, which works for me in my highly seasonal market.

Well, if there’s a back gate, then one would assume there is a back alley or the like. As long as the camera is focused on the method of entry, rather than where guests may be sunbathing or otherwise hanging out, their privacy isn’t being invaded.

I’m not someone who likes the idea of surveillance at all, but if I had a whole place rental and didn’t live on the property or next door, I’d have cameras. If guests found it “creepy”, I’d say, “Yeah, I don’t really like having to have them either, but I just need to make sure that when someone tells me there are 2 adults and 2 pre-teens, like you guys did and are, that it doesn’t actually turn out to be thirty 18 year olds. And it’s for my guests’ safety, too. If you came back to the house after dinner to find the house had been burglarized, I’m sure you’d appreciate it if the perpetrator had been caught on camera, so the police had some chance of getting your stuff back.”

It really depends on your market and property type. If you have a large home in a vacation location, many guests might book 6-12 months in advance (we’ve had inquiries as far as two years ahead of time - we have a 3-bedroom home in the Caribbean) and you’ll want to allow bookings a at least 6 months, and maybe a year in advance. If you have a room near an airport where people just stay for one night, then guests probably will book a few weeks ahead of time at most.
Good luck!