How can I make the calendar keep bookings close together?

Hi All. Here’s my issue.
I’m in LA and have gone to 30+ bookings per the new laws. It’s working out ok so long as I don’t have three empty weeks in between bookings.
For example: I have a move out on Jan 1. I don’t want a guest to book for Jan 25 which will leave almost the whole month empty and un-rentable. Can the calendar be configured to only allow check in between Jan 1 and Jan 7?

Yes, use rule sets. Find them under your booking settings

Will that work? I have to do a minimum of 30 nights per new LA regulations.

@Jay1 I think I can help you with this. How far out do you have your calendar open? 3 mos? 6 mos? a year?

6 months right now. But I could change it.

I haven’t found a way to configure check-in by date though the system easily allows different max of stay or check-in/out by day of week. That works fine if you’re dealing with less than a week but months obviously won’t work.

My calendar contains all kinds of rules because I like to “force” minimum stays or a Friday check-in sometimes, different things for different events. One way that I do that, and I think may work for you, is to make the dates you don’t want a check-in (e.g. January 8-31) very unattractive.

The easiest way to do that is to have a Jan 1-7 as a 30 day min booking but make Jan 8-31 (or further if you desire) a 60 day min (if that would make it worth losing the other weeks) or even a 200 day min if you don’t want the booking at all if it’s not Jan 1-7. It’s a few months out so I would probably do the second option and “force” a booking between Jan 1-7.

There are some considerations here. Do you want someone to be able to book Feb 4 or how about May 12? Depending on that answer, your set of dates with the much higher or super-high minimum would change.

For example: I want someone to book for 30+ days with a check-in between Jan 1-7 but don’t mind if they are booking a little more randomly later in the Spring as long as it’s after February: My Jan 1-7 will have a 30-day minimum but Jan 8- 31 will have a 60 or more day min and Feb 1-7 a 30 day min, Feb 8-29 a 60 day min and then Mar 1 and on will be 30 day min.

I probably really confused you. I’m happy to help though, let me know what your questions are.

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KKC. I didn’t notice your big red arrow at first. Duh. I have now found that submenu.
It lets me make a rule for a date range with minimum stay length and check in day. But it doesn’t let me set a range of check in dates. Maybe there is a workaround I’m not getting. Thanks. :smile:

JJD. Thank you! I like where you are going with that. Gaming the system seems like the only way. Let’s say that I set a 30 day minimum rule for Jan 1-7 and then 60 day for the rest of the month. Does the rule only get triggered by the move in date? If they book Jan 3 to Feb 15, would the 60 day minimum kick in because they are booking those dates as well?

My nuclear option is to turn off Instant Booking, but I’m afraid of the Airbnb algorithm will kill me.

What JJD said. You’ll have to do a work around. Also state in your listing what the limits are.

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Yes, the rule is dependent on the move-in date only. In your scenario, if they book for a move-in on Jan 1-7 then they will be able to book for 30+days but if they book for a move in anywhere from Jan 8+ they will only be able to book for 60+ days. Another way to look at is this:

They are searching for 37 days from Jan 6. Your listing comes up in the search and they can book.

They are searching for 37 days from Jan 8. Your listing will not come up in their search and they cannot book it.

But, they are searching for 62 days from Jan 8. Your listing will come up in their search and they can book it.

No it won’t. They will still be able to only book 30 days as a minimum since they are booking from Jan 3.

Thanks so much. That is what I’ll do.
I imagine this will become an issue for more hosts in more cities as STR get regulated more tightly. Hopefully Airbnb can address the issue at some point by adding more calendar controls.
I use HomeAway/VRBO and Booking as well. Neither of them seem have this capability either.

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Hopefully! I know it would really help a lot of hosts. But this seems like one of those things they are doing on purpose. Hosts have been asking for this capability for years. They finally gave more control to other areas but seem to be holding on to this.

I also looked in the Rule Sets for you, in the professional hosting tools, because there are more options there but still not one that allows you to control in/out by date as opposed to day of the week. I tried a work-around in the rule sets by having Jan 8-31 as a block of days with a rule that didn’t allow check-in any day of the week but it wouldn’t let me save it. Also I tried just leaving mondays open for check-in but making a 200 day min and it wouldn’t let me save it. So, basically they seem to be preventing having days that can be booked but aren’t allowed to be in/out days beyond just a week, which is why, I believe, they give control by day of the week and not date - it’s an imposed limit. However, with some markets going monthly, they may be forced to give it up.

Best of luck!

Edit: Make sure to run your dates on your Preview of your listing on the calendar to make sure it’s how you want it. I always double-check :slight_smile:

Thanks for checking the pro hosting tools. I was told by Airbnb that I don’t have access to them because I have AirbnbPlus listings or I’m a Superhost. I can’t remember which one. Apparently their programming dept. needs to merge some things to make that work. But that’s another story!

Good tip on previewing. I’ll start doing that.

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It used to be that only hosts with 6 listings or more had access but they started opening it up and making it more available. It’s been discussed here and it doesn’t seem clear as to what the qualifications are. I have only 3 listings but declined the Plus but am superhost, so not sure. Anyways, they wouldn’t help you in this situation anyways.

I have a sudden onset headache…:upside_down_face:

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@Jay1, did you try what I suggested in the airbnb forum? Curious if it did/didn’t work for you, as it did for me.

Yes I did. Thanks! Great idea.

For anyone following along, Here’s what pgriffin96 recommended I try:

  • In a browser logged into Airbnb, go to your host calendar
  • Select date Jan 8
  • On the right, select Jan 31 end date
  • Scroll down to Rule Sets->Add rule-set
  • Select Check-in and checkout days->Customize
  • Select Monday through Saturday “Guests can’t check in on…”
  • Optionally, choose a name to save the ruleset under, like “Block Jan 8-31 check-ins”
  • Optionally, choose a color for this ruleset
  • Press Save
  • Press Save again on the Selected Dates page
    -Then repeat the cycle to create a rule for blocking Sunday check-ins. Then apply that to the relevant Sunday dates.

This works great because it allows a host to block out any and all dates.

@Jay Thanks! Yes, this was the other work-around I described but I thought you said you didn’t have the Professional Hosting Tools Rule Sets available to you so dropped it after that:

But, yes, this is the other option. I do a version of it when I want to block out days for direct-booked guests without being dropped in the search for having blocked days.

Glad you found a solution!

I didn’t think I had the pro tools but I guess I do. Thanks JJD.
I had also posted my question on the airbnb community forum and pgriffin had the same solution as you did.
All I need now is a booking! Living the dream. :smile:

Not quite, what I suggested was a bit easier:

  1. Over the desired date range, create a ruleset denying check-ins for 6 of the days of the week.
  2. Over the same date range, create a ruleset setting the maximum stay length to 1 day.

It’s a curiosity why this should work, but it does, and only involves setting up 2 rulesets over a date range, instead of going back and having to set every Sunday to a ruleset individually.

It’s annoying that we even have to do any of this. Airbnb should just provide the ability for us to set minimum and maximum stay days, check-in/check-out days, etc. over a date range.