Dead Air...............Lack of Bookings

My first season as an AirBnB host (two bedrooms in my house at a vineyard in wine country) has ended. I exceeded my earnings projections by $2000 and was booked for sometimes 5 nights a week since I opened shop last March. Thanksgiving came and everything stopped…dead-in-the-water-stopped. Some views but no bookings. The draw for this area is the 140 local wineries and the access to outdoor, good weather, recreational activities.

My place is “dog friendly” and fully half of my guests brought dogs. Never a problem (lots of vacuuming)

I researched tips on increasing bookings and implemented them and have benefited greatly from the local large municipality banning STR’s under pressure from the local hotels. There’s an AirBnB link on my website and I’ve outreached to other AirBnB’s and yet, dead. No more bookings.

I do have to acknowledge that this region really sucks during the winter months.

All of my ratings have been great and I average 4.9 for both rooms (one couple complained that there were no vegan restaurants nearby and another found dust bunnies under the bed)

I got kind’ve of use to that extra cash.

Your thoughts, please.

Your “Season” seems to have ended. Ours on the Left Coast of Florida is running High.

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Have you looked at what bookings other hosts in your area are getting?

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I get over half my bookings from people with dogs. As well as AirBnB I advertise on specific dog friendly sites like HolidayingWithDogs and DogsOnHolidays. These are Australia sites so no use to you but I am guessing there is something equivalent locally. I also got one very good week long booking over Xmas-NY from Stayz/Homeaway. Even with my high season approaching I am getting few bookings from Air but mostly these sites. So the key here is to diversify your base. I charge more on dog friendly site since I figure their owners are more interested in finding the right dog friendly place rather than the cheapest for the facilities provided. You might think everyone checks AirBnB but I think a lot of people still think it is just rooms or don’t know that they can filter for “pet friendly” (which they can). Good luck!

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Debthecat…Oh, yes. My room rate is actually a bit lower than other folks in the area.

Not price comparison, booked dates comparison. If they areas quiet as you are, then it is off season. If they are busy and you aren’t- you need to look at what they are doing to generate bookings.

May be it seasonal slow down. Though we supposedly should be in high season, I have very little activity going on. Before major holidays I noticed that booking slow down

Perhaps the bad publicity from the fires. Question would also be where are your guests coming from. My wife loves the wine country and at one time I worked for the Napa Valley newspaper. My wife enjoyed the wineries every weekend and I enjoyed taking her. Worked out great for her, they would hand me the glass of wine and when she finished hers we would switch cause I am not a drinker.

These is your slow season so if you want business it will be different than the high season.

For me the slow season (January, February and March) means slashing my rates almost 50%, bookings happen last minute and I spend the time doing renovations and getting ready for the high season which will be right around the corner.

There is always business… just different!


Welcome to the off/slow season. People book at the last minute. Time to do renovations, maintenance, etc.

So I am currently in my slow season and last spring (2018) I decided to try renting to traveling nurses. Well I did it for two months and then I went back to Air for my high season May through Oct. Since Nov I have had a couple who are both ER nurses and very delightful- I may have made more money with the occasional guest but this is guaranteed and since our place is well furnished and on a river with a spectacular view I can change more AND I do not have to clean it twice a week!! This is working well for my off-season!

How do you target traveling medical people?

I would be weary of calling this a “benefit” as the publication of any STR ban in your city can have a significant impact on tourism in the area in general (ie: not welcome).

@Brandt I have posted my property on a website that serves “travelling nurses” which is part of a larger website called Furnished Finders. It cost $99.00 for the year and so far I have made close to $9,000.00. So I had also tried a site targeting academics on sabbatical and had posted my property and I think it cost $79.00 for the year but I did not receive any inquiries. I think my property is too high end for the professor set and travelling nurses are very well paid. When I do the math it may be worth switching to renting to medical staff in my Maryland property. We own a chalet in Canada which is not near any medical facility so I will keep that on Airbnb and VRBO. The other reason to keep my Maryland property on Airbnb would be that I am not booked 100% of the time and that means I can use the apartment for family and friends since when I have nurses in the apartment it is not available to me at all. I hope this helps.

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I know this thread is kinda old, but I put my cottage on a Facebook forum called Gypsy Nurse- travel nurse housing. It’s free and you get a lot of good feedback and networking. I’ve had several already and as long as they can have their pet and a private bathroom, they are awesome. If you’re somewhat near a hospital, it can be amazing year-round income.


I tried Gypsy Nurse, but they would not admit me because they do not allow commercial solicitations.