I am asking if people can look at my listing and give me constructive criticism and price recommendations. I recently found that I am priced CONSIDERABLY lower than others in my area.
The home is Silicon Valley where there is a serious housing shortage and about a million people a day commute at least 25 miles (as much as 100 miles away) into the area to work. Causing HORRIBLE traffic at all times day or night. Like LA on the 405, 10, etc. Public transportation sucks. The reason why I mention this is our place has a great location and it is close to the big companies like Facebook (1 mile away!), Amazon (1.3mile away) and Google (7 miles away) Stanford (3.6 miles away). It is possible to take side streets and avoid the freeway altogether. Also, because we are on the East side of the 101, we are near federally protected Marshlands and walk/bike trails that one could bike ride to work.
I can not trust Airbnb price guide because it lists prices that are WAY below what unfurnished property where someone would have to sign a lease and put up a deposit, 1st and last etc. I have no idea why Airbnb would encourage taking so little when they get more when the host gets more? Not to mention why would someone accept less than the going rate for a typical annual lease scenario? When the guest stays for more than 30 days they technically have renters rights. If what Airbnb is claiming others are charging is true, an unscrupulous person could go into a reservation during a slow time and when the price is low, stay for more than 30 days and then envoke renters rights, demanding to not only stay but at the low, slow market rate that someone offered because they thought some money is better than no money. I never want to charge less than what I can get in an annual lease ($4800 a month unfurnished and utilities NOT included.
Silicon Valley is pretty cut throat. Things have been escalating over the years and more and more people report low satisfaction with life in general given the lack of life-work balance, high housing prices, and huge income gaps. Despite all these things, there is still a long line of people that want to come here to be the next Google.
I mention this because it is not a vacation destination. People are business forward and it is very different than when I used to do Airbnb with an in law apt we had in our home in SF. I find people on vacation or even temp working in a touristy area to be nicer, more honest and just generally easier and better to do business with. I think many people looking in Silicon Valley for short term rentals forget that this is home SHARING. I would estimate that at least 75% of guests and potential guests lie in at least 1-3 ways. They forget that they are GUESTS paying for the privilege to use our home.
I do not understand why I have been not only attracting mainly cheap students. Many are obnoxious and demand discounts beyond the weekly and monthly discounts. Many site that they will be renting for months and deserve a bigger discount, even though the bulk of my reservations are more than 30 days AND there already is a discount for monthly. I actually asked the community here about one young woman that not only demanded a reduction in price but straight up told me that she would not agree to pay for extra guests. It was a charge she did not approve of and therefore would not be paying. Her tone was very “I am going to call the shots.”
Thank you to all that responded and told me that it was a red flag and to look elsewhere and or wait for a better match. I did and now have some nice young professionals reserved to stay at our home from May to Aug. Now I know they got the deal of a lifetime!!
My ideal guest(s) would be a family moving to the area to find a home for them to buy or business/consultants types that are coming into SV to work on a project for a few months. Another scenario is someone that needs a special procedure at Stanford and needs a home to not only house the person/ family member(s) that is coming with them to take care of them but also to recuperate so that they are fit to fly and or travel back home. Our home would be especially good for this purpose because it was our primary residence and I am legally handicapped. The home is wheelchair friendly, on one level, has ADA compliant toilets, handles in the baths, etc, etc.
I do not understand why my place is not snatched up considering it is such a bargain. I JUST raised the price last night from around $5400 to $6100 a month. Nightly from $218 to 272. Should I go higher? Could people think the listing is too good to be true? It might seem high to people in other parts of the country but the average price for a home in East Palo Alto is 1.2 million and just over the freeway in Palo Alto proper, it is 3x EPA at 3.6. There is NO WHERE in SV that one could buy a home for less than a million. One would have to go at least 25 miles out of the area to find that.
Would it be a good idea to “split” the home up and rent out bedrooms because it is a larger home for the area and therefore the price is higher? If I split it up to just bedrooms, I could probably get more money overall and it would be easier to rent given that I could accept the smaller reservations rather than wait for the bigger ones or situations where people are “going in” on the home in a roommate scenario. i think if I did this I would get a master tenant that I would give a break on the rent to supervise the coming and going of the different parties. Obviously, I would have to get locking door knobs with keys or codes for each door? Would this cause more wear and tear on the home and or headache? Is this a good idea or something I should look into?
I recently was contacted by a college student that wanted me to give her a “concession.” I found the choice of word curious especially because she referred to the fact that my property was already “very moderately priced,” she wanted MORE off just because. Used the word “Concession” twice in the short email she sent me. She didn’t even site a reason! Just complained that she has to pay rent 2x to maintain place near college. Why does she think that her problems are the concern of anyone outside of her friends and family?
I got curious and have not shopped comps for a few months. When I did use the dates she and others have requested recently, I discovered that my price was almost half of what others were charging! The pool of available places is rather small given that moderately priced places are booked up presumably. When I click on compare properties on Airbnb, it lists other properties but one is not able to click on a link to that property and see its price. Why does Airbnb make it so difficult to see what others charge?
I am back doing Airbnb after being out of the scene for a couple of years. Rather than seek an annual tenant in the SLOW months of winter, I decided to furnish the home and start doing Airbnb again.
I have all brand new furniture. It cost thousands to buy all new furniture but I did not have the time to find items elsewhere. Because everything was new, it was easy to find things that matched and fit well together. I have gotten professional pictures taken. While this property only has 3 reviews (2 of which are 5 stars across the board), I have about 4 dozen reviews from other properties. Again, most are 5 star across the board.
I enjoy being a host and always leave snacks and other treats in the home for guests. I try and be friendly while giving them their space and privacy.
So, please AirBnb community, tell me why I am not attracting the kind of guest Id like? Why if I am priced so low, I do not have more reservation requests? Should I change strategies?
Thank you in advance to all that respond. I appreciate your time and experience