Have your bookings have ground to a halt-like ours have?

If I booked a “verbow” based on this ad and pulled up to see my host within earshot of me, I’d be saying “Why the f*** is this host here?” and I’d be pissed. But yeah, no shared spaces. I think it’s great that they aren’t trying to be Airbnb.


That’s a challenge for properties like ours that have staff. Although none of our staff live in the house, guests don’t have the property to themselves with no one else there like Vrbo is advertising. I’m being extra-careful these days with Vrbo bookings to be sure guests understand this when they book.


There was some 1st world problems guest who had booked a place in Thailand or Bali, I can’t remember, and was outraged that there was a path right next to the outdoor terrace that locals quietly trooped by on once a day bearing little gifts to lay at the foot of some altar nearby. Instead of being appreciative to get a first hand look at local customs, he was up in arms and wanted some big refund.

I’d say most of the remote host vacation homes where I live have staff that is around, maybe not every day, but some of the time- gardeners, cleaners, etc. It seems to me like a lot of guests might think it was cool to have “staff” onsite- like “Oh, this is what it feels like to be rich”. Certainly no one I know in Canada or the US can afford to have cleaners or gardeners or handymen onsite on a regular basis, even if they can afford a nice home.

It’s hard to provide any marketing advice without seeing your listing, understanding what demand and supply is like in your location for your sort of listing etc.

You can do your market research to understand what other STR listing sites are available in your location, what demand and supply is like and whether it’s worth also setting up your own direct marketing channels.

I don’t know to what extent the poorly executed split-stay feature might be affecting bookings, but this thread on the CC makes it obvious that it is driving some guests to look to other platforms.

I agree that this should be something that a guest can turn on or off. Airbnb (and every other website) could use a lot more filters as far as I’m concerned. But that’s not how they work. They want a bottom trawler, not a butterfly net.

Where can I find the posts of all the guests who were delighted to have Airbnb with split stay options and who booked a stay with Airbnb that they otherwise wouldn’t have?

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I’m suspecting that a lot of the hosts who are experiencing problems were originally attracted by Airbnb’s ‘anyone can host’ type of advertising and believed that Airbnb was all they needed to keep their STR business full and running smoothly.

The advertising makes it seem very easy and almost ‘protected’ by Airbnb. Some hosts even felt that they were in some sort of partnership with Airbnb - there’s an old thread about it somewhere here.

But as we know, hosts have to advertise elsewhere too and have to promote their rentals and, especially after the last few years (the covid years), attracting customers is trickier.


This link did nothing but piss me off! Why, oh WHY, can Air not listen to feedback?! :weary::woman_shrugging:

We started hosting the last few years we lived in New Zealand (the boys grew up and moved out and their bedrooms were redone to become guest rooms) which was easy because NZ is basically a 100% tourist destination - that was from 2011-2014. It was seamless, easy, and way more straight forward.
When we moved back to the states we had to wait 5 years to get a house, and we fully intended to Airbnb the basement- which we did, after extensive remodeling, upgrading, adding a gorgeous new bathroom with heated bidet, etc.
This was supposed to help us pay the mortgage and for the first year it sure did! But we haven’t advertised anywhere else, I don’t even know how! I always just thought people booked through the Airbnb site-
Where else does one advertise?

Here’s an interesting post from the same CC thread

Many hosts use additional OTAs. As many hosts here would say, it’s best not to have all your eggs in one basket.

There are many hosts who have their own websites, which can be done quite inexpensively but for the best results, it’s important to update them regularly. For example, write a blog article every week and post it to social media.

Social media is also great to use if you suddenly need to fill a gap - for example, if you have a cancellation.

Once you’ve been hosting here for a couple of years you’ll get a good number of repeats and referrals. Work on adding to that number and network with local hosts, hotels, entertainment providers, conference centres and any organisation that gets visiting staff.

There shouldn’t be any need to pay for advertising (except with the use of your time) but if you find that you get a lot of guests from one particular area, it’s worthwhile thinking about some sort of advertising or promotion in that country.


I notice that AirBnB bookings are much less than before COVID. I used to get 70-80% of my OTA bookings from AirBnB. It has completely flipped and now 70% is trough BDC, at a higher rate too.

I think there are several reasons.
AirBnB is a small player compared to BDC, and it seems they have a very aggressive price campaign.

Another thing I noticed is that guest hate getting reviewed, they are good at dishing out, but bad at receiving. (Guests like te retaliate on Google and Yelp after receiving a 3 or 4 star review).

And guests are done with the amateurism on AirBnB, no more endless discussions with hosts before being able to book, endless lists of house rules, etc etc.

I’m at 96% occupancy (9 listings) this month, for me this januari and februari are the best ever. And mostly due to BDC.

I have had the same experience. Market changes may be part of the story but it’s not the major part I suspect. My listing disappeared on Airbnb this past fall/winter at some point. My neighbor’s did not. We both used to be on page 1 of the Airbnb search results when searching by town. She still is but I am not. We are both rated highly but she sticks to Airbnb bookings even for repeat visitors and she has a lot of traffic. I use VRBO and private bookings as well as Airbnb. I can find my Airbnb listing on the first page of a Google search but on Airbnb my listing falls quite far down - out of area properties come before mine even when I search by my specific town. This fall/winter the insights page revealed a big drop in my page views compared to past and compared to comparable properties in my area. So I think that the algorithim has changed. The reason I suspect that it isn’t just a market change is that I have been on VRBO as well as Airbnb for the same number of years. Until this winter I always had many more Airbnb bookings and inquiries than VRBO. That has changed now. I get more VRBO than Airbnb. I am also getting more private bookings than in the past. I am also getting bookings further in advance than in the past. This year I am more booked for the summer in February than I used to be after March break. The market seems strong still for my listing.

I have taken steps to refresh, renew, replenish my listing but with little apparent effect. I did run a test and created another listing as a package deal for a different angle on my property. That listing came up high in the search results as I had always seen my original listing. Maybe because it was a new listing? - I got a booking right away.

So the algorithim has been tweaked and will be tweaked endlessly. It is still a valuable site that has revolutionized my business model so I complain but then remind myself that I’m still a willing participant.


BDC? What site is that?

Booking.com I think.


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Well you say:

So your listing is less available than it had been.

So, Airbnb sees you as less available, and so naturally you would be lower in the search results.

Probably. Plus, there might be more competition in new listings, which Airbnb promotes initially.

We’re in a similar situation. We were always on the first page, usually the first entry on the first page. Now we’re often on the second or third page. I noticed it after they changed how they show the rules, and we have a lot of rules. That might be a factor for our listing, don’t know about yours. We also are on VRBO; I haven’t added the numbers to see if we’re getting more VRBO than before.

SO, for you it might be a combination of: 1) lower availability due to VRBO participation and direct bookings, 2) more competition, 3) new listings that Airbnb is being promoted, 4) a tweaking of the algorithm, and 5) the unknown.

Airbnb is the largest STR operator globally so I am rather confused about your comment saying ‘it’s a small player compared to BDC’. @Chris

I would say about 93% of my guests leave reviews for my listings.

I use IB on Airbnb so guests don’t need to have endless discussions before booking. And house rules are nothing to do with Airbnb they are what the STR owner decides on

Why do you continue to be part of this Airbnb community if you think Airbnb is such a bad platform @Chris


@Chris I also don’t get you saying BDC is a bigger player. It isn’t.

I don’t use IB,but my guests don’t have to suffer “endless discussions” to book- if they have good reviews and send an informative message with their request, which most do, I instantly accept, and most discussion revolves around things they want to know about local transportation or other logistics and they express appreciation that I help them out like that. I also do not have a long list of rules- I basically have none.

That guests don’t get reviewed on BDC is a really good reason for a host not using it- bad guests with bad reviews on other platforms, or even ones who’ve been banned can just book on BDC- so it’s much more likely to get bad guests.

My guests don’t hate getting reviewed, because I get great guests who I can legitimately reward with 5 star reviews.

Yes, you’re right. My availability may be lower than in the past - primarily though because I am not getting Airbnb bookings first. However, I think I have always had lower availability for Airbnb than my neighbour for instance and this is why her listing is still sitting where it always sat in the search results. There is more competition too in my area but my listing is very unique so competition is not a huge factor, but is definitely another factor. The algorithm did not always favour availability so highly but it has been tweaked to favour availability as well as other factors. I also note that listings with low availability still appear high in search results as well and I suspect that this may be because those listings are mostly booked through Airbnb. Therefore, the algorithm doesn’t just favour availability but availability for Airbnb bookings.

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Thank you - that helps!

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