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Conflicted about December booking

Oh, it is on mine - ever since watching the Buena Vista Social Club :slight_smile:

My main backup person lives locally and was one of our long term tenants (before we started with Airbnb) and I’ve fully trained him. He knows the apartment very well and is a great handyman too. He’s also very personable as a meeter-and-greeter. I’m lucky :slight_smile:

Christmas is family time
My hubby and children wud kill me if i took bookings for over that period

I have the same thoughts, @faheem, especially since I have a family with three kids and therefore my life is a bit less predictable than others. We are one year in now but I’m still not 100% sure we’ll continue. Our b&b insurance expires on 10/15 so I’m blocked off for dates after that - until we know that, as a family, we can continue. I can’t commit so far into the future.

(I do use Beyond Pricing but it has some flaws in my situation, so it still requires me to understand my market. For instance, they slash prices 25% if it’s the day of the open night and the next night, too. But here in DC we get a lot of spontaneous guests - I think because we are on the east coast with NY, Miami, and other popular spots that one can take a bus to. So I don’t need to slash my prices, especially as my prices are very reasonable. So when/if it becomes available, you’ll still need to have such knowledge for yourself. I think I may discontinue it.)

I wonder if you could shop your competition and see what prices they are charging at different times of year? The other option is to set your prices very high and see if anyone nibbles … ?? Open up just bits of the calendar and see how it goes? Our first year is all about learning, right? Hopefully our second year will be all about profit!! ; )

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Hi @faheem,

Before I realized I could set controls. I booked a reservation almost a year ago for this coming August. I am curious to see if they show up! I will keep you posted.

Interesting…maybe we can get a thread about this stuff. I am newer and just use Airbnb’s automatic pricing. Sometimes it scares me a bit. I mean, it jumped my price up to almost double within a very short time.

I’m pretty sure there are threads about it already. :slight_smile: Just do a search…

Personally, I would not rely on Airbnb’s pricing. Do your own.

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I would only be concerned as it is a few short days in December rather than a longer booking. Do you have a high season there? That would be prime time in Hawaii.

Hi @konacoconutz,

I don’t know. It’s a big city. The commercial capital of India. Probably the closest thing India has to a Manhattan/NYC. Though much less attractive. I don’t think it is that much of a tourist attraction, though. Unlike NYC. So, all in all, I don’t know what the busy periods are, or if they even exist. I’ve currently got no bookings for September, though I do for October. Though I don’t know if that means much.

My reason for declining, as I said here earlier, is simply that the time period is relatively far away. Something might change before then. It’s hard to say. Also, I’ve no idea what kind of pricing I should be doing for that period.

The lengths of bookings here seem quite short on average. For example, in July I have 8 bookings, ranging in length from 6 days to 1 day. 1 day is really more trouble than it is worth, though. These are mostly people who are passing through Bombay on their way somewhere else.

Hi @dcmooney,

I doubt I’ll be stopping the rental thing. And I’ll stay with Airbnb if they don’t go insane. For the simple reason that I need the money. It’ll take me a while just to make back the money I spent doing the room. I’m surprised you aren’t planning on continuing. Do you find it too stressful?

The main reason I didn’t accept the December booking is that it was relatively far in the future. If it was for August or September I probably would have accepted it.

There isn’t that much local activity. Nor do I have any reason to believe that the competition knows what they are doing. There is an India Airbnb group, but it seems both inactive and useless. But I suppose I could ask there - there’s no harm in asking.

Setting high prices for some period and seeing what happens is certainly a possible experiment. Have you tried doing that yourself? :slight_smile:

Jaquo,

Who do you use to handle your listing as a backup? I have my trip in October and one in December and I don’t know anyone that I would trust to clean my place and prepare the turnover. So I have just blocked off the dates.

Really?? I hear it all the time that people are booked for so far ahead. I am never booked even a month ahead, even with my long terms. My long term guests booked me maximum a week ahead, and one guy booked and moved in the vey next day.

Faheem, i set my price twice more for Holidays. It does not always work, as this past December was unusualy slow even in my other business, But i managed to get at least 50% more of summer prices. Also, depending on your cancelation policy, people often cancell if they book so far ahead

Carmen, he used to be a long term tenant a few years ago so he knows the place inside out. He’s very fastidious - sometimes with things I don’t always notice, for example, when AC vents need cleaning etc.

He also does electrical and handyman work and works nights so he’s available during the day. Perfect :slight_smile:

Yana, don’t you rent rooms rather than an entire place? Maybe that’s one reason. Also I have a lot of guests from Europe and I guess that when they are travelling such long distances they like to have their plans set in stone well in advance. I very rarely get last-minute guests.

Hi @faheem - no, I don’t find it to stressful - but I want to be wise regarding my kids - they are 16, 15, & 11 (going on 20) so I want to be sure I’m keeping things balanced (which I haven’t actually done very well, honestly) and not commit our family to far in advance.

And, I want to get a better handle on pricing, which I find very difficult. It’s not enough to compare to other listings, at least in this area, because there is such a huge variety in offerings and prices, and new hosts all the time are jumping into the game and underselling everyone. And hosts who bend the truth or out-and-out lie. At this point I’ve looked at what I made, on average, for my part-time job that I’m quitting, and the rental income we had from a student. Then I looked at how many days a year we would like to host - taking off a week during spring, summer & fall, then two weeks during the holidays, and 2 days a week. Then I backed into what we would need for rent, on average - our ‘sweet spot’. Yes, I am experimenting to with that price - though it’s not very high, it’s higher than what I’ve been getting and twice what airbnb thinks I should charge - to see if we can get that. So far, yes, but it is a waiting game and I’m not good at playing ‘chicken’ in this instance. But I have filled most of my spare days at that price (most of the calendar, sadly, booked up earlier this year when my price was much lower, out of ignorance) even though Beyond Pricing would have slashed my rate. I do try to tell myself that, when I see empty dates, and am tempted to lower the price, “experiment, experiment, experiment…”

It will be so interesting to see how this shakes out in the next 5 years - the whole airbnb thing - will all these hosts stay in the business? Will I stay in the business? Will regulations make it harder? Will the hosts in my area that don’t collect and pay taxes get caught? Will I finally give up having to explain to my guests why I have to collect the taxes, and just roll them into my price? Will I keep serving a hot breakfast every day? Etc Etc.

I also manage my daughter’s house. Its a separate 4/2 house with a pool.
But even with rooms, you would think my long term guests would want to make plans a bit ahead of time.
This guy who moved in within a day told me that he read reviews and he was sure he was going to like the room.
ANd he got a new contract suddenly and needs to stay in Florida.

ANother guest who i hope will stay another month, i really like him, even came from a different country. How do you move from another country and inquire within days of arrival?? But he turned out to be the best guest i ever had.

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I need to find someone like that. Still thinking of using Guesty for those weeks. but I don’t know if they would take me on for a total of only 4 weeks.

Hi @Yana_Agapova,

Thanks for the thoughts. I know the Christmas vacation is big in the West. I forgot to say that most of my guests are Westerners. Europe and North America. So maybe there will be more demand then?

And yes, the further out in the future a booking is, the more likely it is to be cancelled.
My cancellation policy is “moderate”. Though the chap who requested the December booking said he had already booked the flights, so he was “all in”.

So, what period would be considered a “holiday” period? All of December? Part of it?

Here in NYC the week of Christmas and new years approximately the 23rd of December to the 1st of January normally, depends on the day the holidays fall on. I know Americans are complicated! Just curious @faheem that you use Bombay and not Mumbai, are they equally acceptable? Just a curious New Yorker!

Hmm, that’s only one week, though. There’s not much one can do with a week.

Ha. I get asked that all the time. It used to be called Bombay. And I prefer that name. Some people still do call it that. I guess I’m just stuck in my ways… Plus the people who pushed through the rename are dreadful creeps.

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