Checking our stats after the first full 12 months on Airbnb

I spent yesterday checking our stats after the first full 12 months on Airbnb. I was surprised by a few things. Between the three entire house Airbnb’s, we’ve hosted 137 stays. We have received 131 reviews. I was not too surprised by those stats.

What did surprise me were the number of cancellations. If you had asked me to guess I would’ve thought that we’d had maybe 10 cancellations. But when I checked we actually had 27 cancellations. That’s a pretty high percentage, it seems to me. I also had 57 inquiries that didn’t turn into bookings. I’m curious— Does this lineup with most of your stats? It looks like 84 potential guests ended up wasting my time for no payoff.

Actually, to be accurate, 62% of the potential guests that contacted me ended up booking and staying. Now, the 57 potential guests who ended up not booking—that doesn’t bother me so much. Most of them were not a good fit. Either the dates they really wanted weren’t open, or they wanted to do something I didn’t want to allow (bachelorette party, baby shower, etc). But the 27 cancellations—that does bother me. That’s 17% of my bookings that didn’t pan out. I’m wondering if this is typical. Do any of y’all have similar stats or is my cancellation rate out of line with most?

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3 cancellations in 4 years… but I have very few in competition and a strict cancellation policy.


Since Jan 1 2019:
30 Airbnb stays hosted
5 cancellations
9 inquiries (only 1 resulted in a stay hosted)
7 reservation requests (5 resulted in a stay hosted)
Flexible cancellation
That means 24/30 were Instant Book.

Edit to add that only 2 of the 5 cancellations did not get re-booked. Both cancellations occurred within 2 weeks of the check-in date. My booking have always occurred at least 3 weeks before check-in.

I’ve archived my mail before Jan 1, but the month before that was my first month hosting. I know that I received a lot of inquiries during that first month and not one resulted in a booking.


So it looks like your cancellation rate was 14%. Is your place an entire house? What is your cancellation policy set to? Mine is flexible.

I didn’t check to see how many of the bookings were IB. A significant part of them, I know, but I’ve no idea how many.

that’s an incredibly high cancellation rate @Keugenia

One of the reasons I would never have a flexible cancellation policy


I have not done the numbers so I’m not sure of percentages. What I can tell you is cancellations have increased nearly exponentially over the past 4 years. Year One, we had 2 cancellations. Year Two, there were 3. Year Four saw 9 cancellations and this season we had 21.

Our first year occupancy rate was somewhat less than any year following, but years 2 - 4 had basically the same occupancy rate. So the trend seems to be clear and people expect to be able to cancel their stays, either for legitimate reasons or on a whim. I also had 3 reservations try to cancel and then come after all once they discovered they wouldn’t get all their money back.


We have had 55 reservations in the past two summers with two cancellations. One I cancelled because I discovered they were teenagers and the other the guest cancelled because they had a family emergency. I have the moderate cancellation policy. As someone else mentioned earlier, perhaps you’re having a bit more cancellations because you have the flexible cancellation policy.

Over the last year 18 Nov to 18 Nov I had 160 completed bookings including a 4 who were here and added a day as an additional booking. 15 cancellations, no requests or declines. I have instant book with flexible cancellation policy and a single room listing.

edit to add: I had a few (less than 5) inquiries where the person asked a question and didn’t book but that doesn’t show up on my reservations list and I’m not going to go scrolling through my messages to find them.

Just checked ours since turn of the year, only two, and one got rebooked at a higher rate.

However, when you look at BDC it’s a completely different picture.

Our cancellation rate is well below market average in our area, which is an astonishing 28.3%. Now, if that’s the average it means some hosts must be in the thirties, or maybe even low forties. Ours overall is 20%, 16.1% for one apartment (the busiest with BDC) and 24% for the other.

Interestingly, the vast majority of BDC cancellations have been rebooked at either similar or higher rates.

The stats provided by BDC are way superior to Airbnb, if there is a number, they’ll analyse it. Some of it is totally irrelevant to us, designed more for the bigger operators I think; but a lot is interesting and we can look at the cancellation patterns, e.g. time out from check in, daily rates, and so on. Not sure if it’ll prompt any changes to how we work though.


Something I didn’t check on mine is how many cancelled dates got rebooked. It feels like a good percentage (say half?) but I don’t keep track of those stats. I have the luxury of not really having to keep track since I’m booked most the time. If I were needing to improve my business I’d be using all the tools in the toolbox.

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We generally don’t fret too much over BDC cancellations; it happens and we don’t pay too much attention to them. It wasn’t until I read this topic that I looked back, morbid curiosity over lost money maybe :slight_smile: and was pleased to see my policy of increasing the price on cancelled dates appears to work. Popular dates tended to rebook within a few days, sometimes hours (like one for next month) and always at a higher (sometimes only slightly) rate than the original booking.

I think BDC guests are a very different breed to Airbnb guests. There isn’t the pressure of a host review therefore a lot have very poor communication and they are the most likely to announce “we will be arriving at noon”, expecting to check in.

They don’t have the same “connection” that Airbnb guests have with hosts, not sure that’s the right word, but you’ll get my meaning! I suspect a percentage of them book more than one place, and then decide closer to the time where they’ll stay. Consideration for the hosts simply isn’t on many of their radars. No real evidence for that, just a gut feeling.



0 cancellations in 2 years, strict cancellation policy. So looking at this I think that it’s probably a wash, strict policy may equal less bookings but no cancellations, flexible may result in more bookings and more cancellations. I prefer strict and no surprises.



Yes, entire 4-bedroom house. Flexible cancellation.

Also, out of the 7 reservation requests, one booked and cancelled, so the cancellation rate for Instant Book and Reservation requests is the same.

This is kind of fun! I hadn’t really looked back and it’s a good exercise @Keugenia thank you!

We opened 1 year ago in Nov 2018. We had only one apartment until the end of May when we added a 2nd apartment and then added a 3rd apartment at the end of June. We’ve had 217 Stays. We use IB. We have a Moderate Cancellation Policy. The reasons for cancellation were interesting to me and I only consider one of them a loss. Most of them have worked significantly in my favor.

We’ve had 31 cancellations (14%):

  • 4 cancellations were due to 3rd-Party bookings that then were booked by the correct party (no loss).
  • 2 cancellations were booked and then cancelled within 15 min. I’m assuming they read the listing details and then realized it wasn’t a good fit for some reason after they booked. Good riddance (no loss).
  • 1 cancellation was cancelled by Airbnb due to guest payment issues. The guy got kind of creepy later, so I wonder if it was actually payment issues anyways. I dodged a bullet and I rebooked at double the rate (no loss).
  • 3 cancellations were initiated by me. They were all crazy bitches. Dodged bullets. Re-booked at better rates (no loss).
  • 8 cancellations were “forced” by me (I asked or insisted that the guess cancel and they did). All but one were based on my house rules ( and that 1 was because I couldn’t accommodate their bicycles but it was ultimately friendly). 2 of these were people with cats that I helped find another listing and it was friendly. 2 were people with kids who argued and bullied me but ultimately cancelled. 3 people I insisted cancel based on not approving their dogs but in 2 of the cases it was actually for other reasons and in 1 of these Airbnb paid me out anyways because it was a last minute booking (I didn’t ask to be paid, they just paid me for whatever reason). None were good bookings for me and all were re-booked (no loss).
  • 3 cancellations were prior to the 5 days and gave no explanation. Seems kinda rude but all were re-booked at higher rates (no loss).
  • 7 cancellations were prior to the 5 days and gave polite explanations (1 even called me :). 2 of these guests actually re-booked for later dates. All 7 res re-booked, 6 of them at higher rates (1 of them at 3x the rate - seemed like an early holiday gift: ) (no loss)
  • 1 cancellation was 4-days prior but was super-nice and I gave a full-refund and my cousin came to visit and took his night. (no loss)
  • 1 cancellation was 2 nights prior for a 1-night stay and was a PITA. I re-booked at the same price and also didn’t refund. (no loss)
  • 1 cancellation was 3 days prior for a 4-night stay. I offered to re-book if possible but he was a real jackasss, wanted a full-refund upfront and called and text and hassled me a lot. Airbnb had to block him. He tried to claim Extenuating Circumstances but it was totally bogus and Airbnb initially denied him. However, 12 days later they reversed their decision against all sense or reason and deducted from my payouts. I was totally ticked-off. I lost the battle and the payout but had re-booked for half of his stay, at a higher rate though the battle itself took a lot of my time and energy (loss).

As far as Inquiries and Requests, I don’t see any easy way to count that without going through the messages. We likely get more of both compared to other hosts who use IB for 2 reasons: 1. We are pet-friendly but require pre-approval before booking - these almost always turn into a booking, I’d guess 99%. 2. We attract people with kids for whatever reason but we are not kid-friendly. These clearly don’t turn into bookings and more often than not end up with some stupid argument but I’ve developed a better initial response that’s harder to argue with so it’s gotten better. Airbnb has been awesome in intervening with these Requests and have ‘cancelled by admin’ when needed, usually without me even calling in, so I don’t have to decline if I can’t get the guest to withdraw. I have made two exceptions, both for 10 year olds and both kids were fine; however, both sets of parents are not welcome back otherwise (I think this goes to the theory that people who ask to be the exception are going to be trouble of some sort , )

Looking at this shows me that the cancellations have actually really helped me more than anything. Seeing things re-book on shorter notice and for higher prices has helped me raise my prices and also feel confident that things will book last-minute, which means I don’t need to drop my prices. So cancellations have equaled more money for me, both for the dates cancelled and for the future in my pricing and availability.

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Question… How does one check these stats?

Is there a feature on AirBnB? Or are you going back through your reservations/email manually?

I clicked on the 'Reservations" tab at the top, clicked “All” and then filtered for “Cancelations”.

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Thank you!

I haven’t been going for a year yet, but over my first full 6 months of operation, my stats are:

71 Bookings
4 Cancellations

2 cancelled with no explanation
1 cancelled saying a friend’s daughter had died
1 cancelled because they used wrong credit card (they rebooked immediately)

You would definitely enjoy playing with the numbers on BDC :wink:


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I only rent about 18% of the nights available on all my properties (I’m at 24 right now) and get about 2 cancelations per month, some months i get like 7 - 10 but that’s because i have a long booking window (3 months), but those dates usually get re booked so i don’t really worry to much about it.

And still getting good profit. My occupancy rate is kinda low too because i have 28 listings too but 24 properties so there’s tons of free available nights.

Would you be willing to share your initial response to people asking to book with kids?

I still feel so nervous about them complaining about discrimination that I usually allow the booking against my house rules. :confused: They get a paragraph about ways their kids could end themselves in my house, but they don’t seem to care.