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Conflicted about December booking

Hello everyone,

I just got a booking request for Dec 18th to 21st (3 days). This is something I would (probably) accept if it was for August, say. Even though the guest’s photo looks a little bit like a serial killer :-), and he has no reviews or any information on his profile, and I could not find any information about himself online (his name is really generic), he replied quite fast and reasonably to requests.

But a bigger concern is simply how far away that booking is. It’s over 5 months in the future. Unfortunately, Airbnb doesn’t allow hosts to customize how far in the future one can book. So it’s either 3 months or 6 months. Currently I’m set to 6 months. I’m debating switching to 3 months, but I’d be willing to go a bit further out than 3 months. Also, I’d be willing to be a bit more flexible if the booking looked particularly good - say, a couple of weeks for someone with very good reviews.

I’m fairly new at this. So, I’m wondering how much of a longer term commitment I should really be making. Though I think I’m probably in it for the (fairly) long haul. For one thing, I need to get back the money I already spent on setting it up. Also, I need the money (like everyone else).

Would it be reasonable to leave it at the 6 month level and just decline people who are too far out in that period? Or is that unfair to potential guests?

If I decline this booking request, it will be the first I have declined.

@faheem
Mmmmm, this is a tough one. I set longer stays for holiday time and I increase my rate. If you haven’t done so and would rather hold out just put a minimum stay for the holiday weeks. What do you think? BTW, do you ever sleep? Lol

Is it possible to customize like that? But my immediate question is whether to decline or not. And is it possible to get better rates for that time period? I don’t know.

Heh. I was sleeping earlier. I woke up. 9 pm to 2 am. Something like that.

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I think you’re going to kick yourself if you accept this reservation so I would decline. Yes you can customize specific periods of time with minimum night stays, special pricing and required check in days i.e. Friday check in only. Did you want a longer stay for these dates?
Glad you’re awake​:zzz::zzz::zzz::zzz:

I’m nearly fully booked for December and I wouldn’t mind if people booked for December 2018 :slight_smile:
I take new people with no reviews though (I use instant book) but it is a separate apartment, which makes a difference.

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I have 24th-28th, 31st-2nd blocked off, the dates 3 days before and in between I have increased my rates by 50%. Not too fussed if it gets booked, its party time! :slight_smile:

Hi @Maggieroni,

Yes, I think I’ll decline, and probably fall back to a 3 month out position for now. I need to think about how to handle stays that are further out. And I don’t know whether I could charge more for specific periods in a place like Bombay. Any idea how I could find out?

As for whether I want longer stays, well, if I got a good booking for December, like 2 weeks for a couple with good reviews (2 weeks is nice money for me) I’d seriously consider it, but 3 days (and for someone with no Airbnb track record) is a bit on the short side for a stay that is over 5 months out.

Hah, I’d rather be sleeping, but sometimes my body does not cooperate…

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Are there high periods for tourism.

Quite possibly. But what those might be, I have no idea. How do you guys figure these things out?

Do you have a chamber of commerce or tourist and visitors center? They would know. Here in NYC spring through fall is busy, also summer the most as school is out. We have graduations in May and June and our holidays like Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, etc. I raise my prices during those times. In winter I expect to be slow because of the weather although our first NYC booking was in January. I will raise prices around Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.

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Hi @Maggieroni,

Thanks, those are good suggestions. My impression is that a place like Bombay is always very busy (kind of like NYC, I imagine), but there might be periods of higher demand, for sure. I could try to find out what those might be.

I declined the December booking, though I felt bad about it. And I moved my availability down to 3 months out, for now. Most bookings fall within that period, anyway, though I’d like to be a bit more flexible. Airbnb allows one to manually alter availability settings, so I suppose I could keep going in there and pushing the availability a bit further out than 3 months. But it’s a pain.

We are VERY happy using Beyond Pricing to help us determine when we can charge more/less. Obviously, you have to tweak it yourself and fiddle for a little bit to find the sweet spot, but once you do, it’s a set it and forget it type of thing. We also have all our mins set to 3 days, and then I go in and manually adjust for slower or busier periods, its in Account Settings, you can add a requirement specific to a time period of your choosing.

I believe @ianmchenry is active in the forum and could help explain Beyond Pricing better. I don’t believe EverBooked is international yet, but @dordal is there rep here on the forum.

Hi @azreala,

If I recall correctly, Beyond Pricing is not (yet) available in Mumbai. I asked them. And I think I also told them to let me know when it was. Unless I’m confusing it with another service, which is possible.

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In case anyone is following this thread and is interested, the December booking accepted my decline graciously. He said:

I can understand that and thank you for the explanation, I do appreciate it.

I still felt a bit bad about it. :frowning: Anyway, I’ve now moved to a 3 month booking. I think for now I’ll just set a 3 month out, and manually adjust a bit further. It’s not fair to prospective guests to try to book with someone who is not really available for those dates.

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Hi @jaquo,

Don’t you ever travel? Or do you have backup people in case you need to do so? I don’t not really, which is part of the reason why I’m reluctant to accept bookings which are far out?

You can manually open up month 4 if you want to. You just go into your calendar, click on each day of the month you want to open up, then make it “available”. I’m on the 3 month option as well but manually unblocked until mid December. It was a big pain in the @ss to do but it’s a solution. I agree it would be nice if ABB allowed us to customize this feature easily without the work-around.

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Faheem, that’s why you are a good host! You are a thoughtful person.

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Hi @SuiteRetreat,

Yes, that’s what I’m planning to do, at least for now. I’ve unblocked to 25th Oct, I think, which is a bit further than 3 months out. But that is because I already have a reservation that ends on 25th Oct. So it does not really make sense to have blocked dates before then.

Agreed.

No, I don’t travel much these days. In my younger days I went just about everywhere :slight_smile:

Today I live in a place that other people travel to. I know of people who save all year to afford just two weeks staying in Florida. I live here all the time so feel no need to go elsewhere (until my finances improve, I totally long to go to Cuba!)

Yes, I have backups. In a password protected area of our website I have detailed instructions about preparing the apartment, along with photographs to show exactly how the bed should be made :slight_smile:

Control freak!

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Sure, but you need people to actually execute those instructions. And they need tobe able to read. :slight_smile:
Unless you’ve got household robots working for you, in which case, you have it made.

Yes, Cuba might be interesting. But it’s not particularly high on my list of places to visit…

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