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Going out of service, won't be able to respond to inquiries

Hi! We are just about to put our guesthouse and yurt up as a new posting, so I am new to all this. Later in the month we will be at a remote camp with no cell service for 4 days - about 10 days after I am planning to post. I am anxious to get our posting up there (autumn bookings in Vermont and all that :slight_smile: but I understand that my response time is important. Is there any kind of automated tool that let’s folks know when I will be back? Or if not, any advice on how to handle? Thank you!

You can ‘snooze’ your listing while you are away (see airbnb help centre for instructions on how to do this and quite a few other basics around managing your Airbnb).

Better still as you may have bookings by then, why not see if you can find a local host group where you live and see if they can recommend an experienced host there who you can pay to act as a co-host while you are away.

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I honestly wouldn’t list your rentals until you’re ready and able to devote your full attention to them.

I don’t know if the new host boost is still a thing (it’s a long time since I was a new host) but you can be incredibly busy in the first couple of weeks. For example, when our first listing went live, I had an inquiry before I’d even added the photographs - literally a minute after it had gone live. (He was a great guest too, who has become a regular).

In the first couple of weeks of having a live listing you can get bookings for the next six months - that’s too good to waste. So I’d not make your listings live until you can devote the time.

Also, what will happen if you have guests while you’re away?

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I, too, am looking for an automated tool that lets me have my cake and eat it too.

I agree with Jaquo that it might be best to wait. If you do have a slip up and a bad review results it could really set you back for awhile. It’s a competitive market now, not like a VT yurt in 2016.

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As others have said, get a co-host you can respond / accept bookings or snooze your listing.

In my experience “anything that can go wrong , will go wrong” if you are not available to respond, being that you are new host, I would recommend waiting until you can give your business 100% percent of your attention. It not as easy as one might think, and it’s a big learning curve navigating the platform and guests.

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Are you saying that out of all of the spammers that post here about their awesome tools that automate everything about hosting, none have provided this feature? LOL! Too bad those guys only research what big multi-listing property managers want and don’t actually participate in the forum to know what the majority of hosts want.

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especially in the beginning until you get a hold of things it’s important to be there and handle the guests IMO. What if they have complaints and they cant reach you? You might get bad reviews that will be very hard to overcome.
list when you are able to host and be involved. Unless you have a trusted co-host that can handle everything.

And even then you might run into something that stumps them if they can’t reach you. There’s a lot of things I can anticipate happening but I didn’t expect the door lever to fail leaving guest unable to enter their room from the outside. That’s the kind of things that needs immediate attention. Luckily I was home and able to enter the room from my part of the house and open the door from the inside. If that weren’t an option it would be a lost booking because the only other solution is to break a window to enter or cut off the door lever with a multi tool.

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Thanks everyone, super helpful. I will wait until we return, although that is a bummer as I am hoping to have a busy autumn season with all the leaf peepers who come up to Vermont. This conversation makes me realize what a commitment this all is… I guess it will be difficult to take some time off if necessary!

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I believe the OP would not have guests during this time. Just can’t respond to booking requests.

You could make the listings live now and just block the dates you’ll be away as unavailable. And then snooze the listing while you’re gone. Given that leaf peeping season is pretty short, I don’t know that I would take a chance on being able to secure bookings in only a month or so. Is the yard heated? If not, you’re probably not going to be renting it much past Columbus Day, I’m guessing. Are you close to skiing? Will you be renting year round?

(Oh, and welcome to the forum, and to hosting!)

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CeeBee, thank you. Those are good considerations. Does snoozing mean that the listing doesn’t show up during certain days? If it does, and if I don’t book the days I am gone, that solves the problem, right? The yurt is a four season yurt, for hardy souls at least (woodstove) and the guesthouse is of course heated. There are 5 ski resorts within an hour, not sure how much folks are willing to drive. They are beautiful drives though, with lots of lovely villages and farm to table restaurants along the way, so I am hoping.

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Don’t worry, once you go live you can still get booked. People are waiting until the last minute and with something so unpredictable as prime color, you can get booked if you are patient and flexible. Don’t drop your prices if it seems slow, as supply shrinks you gain pricing power.

And don’t hesitate to come back for more solicited and unsolicited advice.

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Exactly. Prospective guests will not be showing your listing while it is snoozed. If you have marked specific dates as unavailable, they cannot be booked.

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Where are you located? I might come :slight_smile:

Putney!

Will post my listing when it’s up!

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Having instant book will count as a response if you really want to grab the Autumn guests. You can always turn it off after you get back.

aaaackkk so afraid of Instant Book. but your suggestion makes me think about it. I am listing in the next few days, for some reason nervous to jump in.

I love Instant book. It’s the people with questions and needs that make me nervous.

You have a unique property so it might not be best for you but most people with a lot of experience with instant book like it.

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