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Block dates OR put ridiculous price?


#61

Chiming again with my current experience, my calendar is wide open after being blocked lots of days for the last 2 months. But the difference this year as opposed to past years is that I’m not blocking weeks at a time. It’s 5 days then an open one, or 12 days and two open ones. Having experienced the slowdown in the past I used a different strategy and I’m getting a different result. I already have 7 reservations over the next 6 weeks and have had multiple other inquiries.

I don’t know if my strategy is the difference or Airbnb has changed theirs. I also have more reviews now than the last time I blocked off. This is a busy time of year for people driving through my town. In my experience mid Dec to mid January is every bit as busy as peak summer travel.


#62

How long are the periods that you block off?


#63

A few days here and there, maybe a week once in a while. It’s not like I’m anchored to my house all the time. I do travel. Also, have family who stay with over - holidays and stuff. It’s not like I’m going to let them sleep with strangers. I don’t have a “shared room” listing… that could get real awkward, LOL! Sometimes we just need a break, or I adjust the same-day booking availability, which effectively “blocks” the date, (i.e., one day’s notice). If no one’s booked by 3 pm, I say, “Screw 'em, I’m making plans tonight.” We had 619 nights booked last year. This year is about the same. I know you ppl think I’m crazy, but my house is also my home… like, where I live, so I control the calendar, not Airbnb.


#64

I’m guessing this is why you haven’t experienced this drop off then. My prior drop offs were blocking my one room for weeks at a time while I remodeled and or traveled. Summer of 2017 I blocked about 6 weeks and when I opened back up my Sept was very slow. I also think overall volume helps. As I’ve said often, they busier you are, the busier you will be. So if you book in 600 nights a year and block off 40, you don’t notice a difference. If you book in 100 and block off 60, it impacts the algorithm. I’m not in the camp of those who uses the word punish. Airbnb has no reason to punish anyone. They are simply assigning the search rank to the hosts who are most likely to be able and willing to accommodate the searching guest.


#65

Although, our 30-day views are way down. We were up almost 1,100 views in a 30-day period about a month ago, not it’s down to 486. Either no one’s traveling this holiday season, or something’s wrong with Airbnb. Our earnings have’t gone down, so no big deal.


#66

Please see what I wrote above yesterday.

If you’re the only Airbnb in your town then you’re in a very different situation. Most of us are surrounded by other people offering Airbnb accommodation.


#67

There have been other posts about this. Sometimes it’s down to zero for everyone weeks at a time. Maybe that’s affecting overall count.

Mine is currently over 800 but booking rate is only 1.4% It always seems so low to me but by the end of the month I’m almost always competely booked. Like you I end up having to block days to get a break or go out. And while my room is available until 9pm most days, other days I cut off bookings at noon (rather than blocking) so I’m free to do something else.


#68

True, no one in my city thinks people actually come here, but it could not be any further from reality. Many turn their noses up at even the idea of hosting travelers. It’s kind of awesome and really quite very sad all at the same time. Totally a missed opportunity. I just went on our holiday house tour, there are some beautiful homes in my city with 3-5 empty bedrooms - many empty-nesters. Better for me, I guess.

As for not coming up in search results, have we ruled out those potential guests who filter by date? I know some do not, and find out we’re not available until after they plug in dates to send an inquiry. A couple guests have mentioned this to us, and they had to adjust their travel plans based on our availability (booked, not blocked).

And are we distinguishing between blocked and booked nights? Is Aibnb’s computer algorithms really that sophisticated? Are blocked and booked nights really considered different? We have a linked listing that gets automatically blocked when one or both of other rooms get booked. Is that listing now considered “blocked?” We may really, really, really want to host, but we simply do not have the capacity, lest we become a boarding house.


#69

The vast majority of my friends would never host strangers in their home. Of course many are older single women, some empty nesters and frankly, they are afraid. I think it’s hard for many men to understand the culture of fear that exists for many women. For myself I’m a rather fearless (foolish?) gun owner with dogs so I wasn’t really afraid when I hosted in my home. Also for many they really don’t need the money. Why put up with people in their homes when they are finally able to enjoy some freedom?

But yes, better for you. You’re lucky. I feel for the hosts who post here how they are dependent on the money and now Airbnb is going to be regulated or there is so much competition


#70

I’m a host, but I used Airbnb almost exclusively when I travel. I like to consider myself a but savvy with the search features Airbnb offers. Perhaps the more specific a guest is, the better chance an often blocked listing will appear in the search results if it meets her or his criteria. Frankly, I could care less about a host’s listing if it’s not available or meets any of the criteria I use. I would hope/trust Airbnb favors search results and not the whims of a computer algorithm to filter out hosts who use the calendar blocking feature. If the dates don’t match, I don’t need to see it.

But, unless any of us actually wrote the computer programming for search results, I doubt we’ll ever really know the truth.


#71

So based on this post, I decided to increase my prices on dates that I don’t want to book. I’ll be out of town. (I do have a backup cleaning if it gets booked) I raised my rates to a rate where there are better deals in my area but not crazy high and it seems to be working.

I’m getting inquiries and one booking so far since I did this. I think it’s better than blocking.


#72

Don’t believe everything you read on a forum :slight_smile:

I regularly block out dates and it doesn’t appear to affect my ranking.


#73

Well it did for me. And I wasn’t getting bookings until I passed the block.


#74

Different folks, different strokes. The one thing we know about Airbnb is there is no such think as consistency :slight_smile: @Lynick4442


#75

I have increased nightly rate to try to avoid bookings in the past- when I would rather not host but will accommodate if the price is right. If any one books could you pay someone to deal with any issues. To be honest I wouldn’t worry about blocking either if it is to difficult to host.


#76

I too have experimented with this approach.

Background: I’m hoping to have some hardscape / landscape work done in January or February, but still waiting on contractor bids. So rather than getting bookings that will be impacted by unknown construction dates, I’ve blocked out several weeks at $1000 US per night but kept open other days where I know there is demand because of local events.

  1. It hasn’t curtailed any bookings. The last two days have seen several bookings for February and March, and even another one for this month.
  2. It appears that my queue in search is still high.
  3. I’ve sent messages to a few repeat guests, explaining what I’ve done and why; and should they want to book but encounter ridiculously priced rates, to submit an inquiry and I’ll advise if construction is going on, and if not I’ll counter with a standard rate.

While there is no sure way to determine if blocking those dates would have affected things any differently, it has certainly offered an intriguing alternative that accomplishes what I wanted without a negative impact.

Thanks to @GutHend for raising this interesting management calculation


#77

After reading your question I checked my listings, I have three listings : one has no blocked times and the other two have most of the winter blocked. I found that the unblocked one was listed after the other two, although they are all similar in price, stars etc. So my ranking was not affected by the blocking. I hope this info helps.


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