With the sharp decrease in Covid numbers, we have started hosting again, but only for guests whom we already know and whose Covid vax status we can trust. We aren’t using Airbnb at all. Our listings are still there, but all dates are blocked (or maybe the listings say we’re closed—I forget).
Anyway, we take reservations directly and process credit cards, if that’s how guests want to pay. We could use other methods, too.
We’ve opened only one of our guest rooms so far, and we’ve had five or six one-night guests.
I doubt that we’ll ever go back to the crazy pace we had with Airbnb, and we’re perfectly fine with that.
We both feel that we’re in total control this way. We don’t have to worry about any Airbnb craziness or any stranger danger.
Glad to hear you are getting guests again! Do you have a Houfy direct booking page?
No. We’re not on Houfy. We have a little website, but it’s not for booking. Previous guests contact us by text or email. I let them know to do that.
I also stay closed for long periods at a time but am usually available for direct booking if people contact me directly. It took 7 years but I’ve now built up a pretty steady stream of regulars.
This was our model when we first opened one of our three rooms. Now we have opened the one room to Airbnb. The other two rooms have a shared bath so we have held off on that. fortunately we got a traveling nurse for 3 months. My daughter moved into one of our rooms but travels a lot. Some of my repeat guests coordinate with us so that they can use her room when she is away. We will never go back to our old situation.
We were full out Airbnb/Vrbo before COVID hit but that sort of changed that for us, probably for the better. We were super busy and making money, but not crazy money. We still have about 6 furnished rentals now and only do STR’s when we have vacancy in between longer-term direct-book tenants, which usually stay 3 - 12 months. Our lease lets us control the house rules much better.
We are going to embark on your journey as well - as our goal was always to work in direct bookings and build our own customer base outside of the platforms.
I actually have everything built - I just need to go register our company to be compliant with the county for direct bookings
It gets better. We just decided to list our house for sale in May. Coincidentally I got a booking from a man who is coming to the area to look for a house. I hope he falls in love with our place. Luck has to work in the right direction once in awhile!