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I have been lurking for a while and finally opened up my home on Airbnb last month. I am really enjoying hosting! I have an entire home in small town Georgia and I have had a fascinating variety of guests.
Knock on wood, all of my guests have been fantastic so far! I attribute some of this to the excellent tips I received reading through this forum before joining Airbnb. So thank you to all of you!
I would love constructive criticism on my listing, if you would like to see it let me know and I will PM you a link.
Welcome! I’ve only been hosting for about 6 months, but I lurked for about a year before I got my bnb up and running. It has been a wonderful experience so far and I’m convinced its because of all the good advice I’ve gleaned from all the helpful hosts who make this forums such an excellent resource!
Albany, in southwest Georgia way off the interstate. I have been really surprised that I have been booked basically full time since starting - I had no idea so many people would have a reason to come here.
As a new host you get a boost in search ranking. When that ends (no one knows how long it lasts) you may drop down in the ranks, though it sounds like you’d be one of the few in the area. So just be prepared for a possible let down.
I suspect (but no-one really knows) that it lasts for about four weeks. So it’s really important that new hosts make the most of it. During the boost period, you can get bookings for many months in advance. That’s a great thing unless the host has made the error of believing the old ‘price low at first until you’ve got reviews’ malarkey.
Hosts who do this are stuck six months down the line with guests who have booked at the cheap ‘introductory price’.
Yep (raises hand) that was me. I had someone book sooooo far ahead when I started because he realized we were in the path of totality for the eclipse and I hadn’t realized it…and I was purposefully trying to build reviews so I had set prices lower than where I am now. To the OP, I would say, don’t lower your rates!!! Take advantage of the bump as a new listing and if you need to build reviews after the first two months, then judiciously look at your rates until you get a track record that speaks for itself. No need to leave money on the table. Albany/Americus GA
btw, is a love place to vacation. My family did a great trip there, camping and visiting the lovely old hotel for high tea: http://www.windsor-americus.com/
Yes, this is where I take my own visitors when they come from out of town - to Plains to see Jimmy Carter’s Boyhood Farm, then Americus to see the Windsor. I had a family coming this weekend to watch Jimmy Carter teach Sunday school, but they had a death in the family and had to cancel last minute. This is my first weekend free since I started!
I have added a link to my listing in my profile - does anybody have any suggestions for improvement?
I’m trying desperately for something to criticise, but you seem to have thought of everything which is why you have such excellent first reviews. Kudos also for offering your home for Hurricane Dorian victims.
I absolutely love the sunshine yellow bedlinen in the master bedroom.
Erm (thinks …), the den could do with a rug? Thank heavens I found something imperfect!
I took a look at your listing…what a lovely place!!! I have two thoughts:
Raise your price and consider a change to a minimum number of nights. That’s a big place to clean and doing it for one night at $99/night ($119 with extra guest fee) makes ME tired, especially when I read you are providing snacks, etc. I wouldn’t expect all that for what you charge. Yes, I know Albany doesn’t command “city” prices but you provide a LOT. What, no cleaning charge either? (haha, read the threads on those if you haven’t already…)
I think you’ve got most all the small touches down (it’s what we get a lot of compliments on as well). I’d check to make sure you have a power strip on each side table in the king BD (I didn’t see one in the picture) and power strips/easy outlets near the sofas where people congregate. I’d add a small table to the right of the sink in the bathroom (or shelf attached on the left side of the vanity) as every available flat space has your stuff on it…where is someone to put their toiletries/makeup bag? I also bought black washcloths on Amazon with “makeup” embroidered on them and women like knowing they aren’t staining ours. There are a couple of places where I might add an area rug, but they are not essential.
Congrats on a great start and your touch of adding doggie poo bags in the backyard is brilliant.
I am actually a little worried about this… I am afraid I will get a guest with too-high expectations because of my reviews and they will be disappointed. I am not sure how to encourage reviews that are less effusive, though.
Yes, I have been thinking about raising the price. I do charge $119/night and have a minimum two night stay on weekends to discourage partiers.
I have these, and USB plug-ins on the alarm clocks for phones, etc. They get a lot of use!
I know, tiny bathroom (and the only one in the house!) with no counter space. I can’t fit a shelf on the left of the sink because it would block the door; perhaps I could add a tiny shelf to the right of the sink. The trash can is right there on the floor and I hate to crowd anyone sitting on the toilet… Something I need to think about.
These are all great ideas, thanks for the advice Atlnative!
My experience may not apply to you as I’m just small ensuite that attracts one night road warriors. However, I have a lot of effusive reviews and I suspect that they act to influence the mindset of the guest in a positive way. It’s not you overpromising on your home. It’s independent, honest folks who have actually stayed there.
Many have commented that guests seem to take cues from previous reviews. They probably look at them because they can’t think of how to word the review. So when you’ve got reviews that say “modern” don’t be surprised if you suddenly have 3 of 5 new reviews that also say modern. It goes the other way too. A guest sees a complaint about no toaster and thinks they also have to complain about no toaster.
Yes, I didn’t notice this and it is one of the things that most annoys me in Airbnbs, though I wouldn’t mark it down in a review . If there isn’t room in the bathroom to put on makeup, blow dry/straighten my hair I tend to get a bit cross … I agree there’s not a lot that @georgiahost can do about that in that small bathroom, but I would therefore make sure that there is a convenient wall mirror, shelf and power socket in at least one of the bedrooms!
I do have full size mirrors in the bedrooms, and the king and queen bedrooms have smaller round makeup mirrors sitting on the dresser/chest. I must have taken the pictures before I added them because they are not shown.
I would really love to just tear out the bathroom and redo it - all of the fixtures are glued in place so I can’t just change out the old tub or sink without tearing the entire room apart, and all of the tile had been painted over by a previous owner (it is pink and brown tile underneath). Perhaps I will earn so much money from Airbnb that I can afford to renovate the bathroom.