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How far ahead can guests book?

I currently have this set to

"Guests arriving any time are Ok"

This seems to be the default.

I think I read somewhere (but can’t find this now), that this means that they can schedule an arrival any time in the next 2 years. Is that correct?
Props to Airbnb for not actually putting that information right there.

The alternatives are arriving within 3 months, 6 months, and a year.

I was wondering if people would like to share what they have this set to, and what considerations came into play when making their choice.

I have it set to anytime and a couple of months ago I got a booking for February 2017.

Hi @jaquo,

Yes, I see. What do you think are the downsides for allowing booking so far in the future, if any?

Max is one year in advance.I think.

We’ve been renting for several years (but only since last December on Airbnb) and have always allowed people to book in advance. That’s because, as far as we know, nothing is going to change.But if we were brand new to renting, I think I would avoid letting people book too far in the future because so many hosts don’t last long in the rental business once they realise that it can be hard work.

It does mean that you have to keep a careful eye on your calendar though. For example, in January we had someone book for the first week in July. I had forgotten to put the prices up for the July 4th holiday so they got a cheaper deal that they ordinarily would :slight_smile:

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Hi @jaquo,

Thanks for the feedback. I’m now debating how long in the future I should allow bookings. My concern at the present is more whether I’ll get too many booking rather than whether it will be too hard work. But I expect my concerns could change. :slightly_smiling:

Hi @mlyates

Hmm. Can you point me to documentation for that? Thanks.

I don’t have documentation but just try it. I had a guest who wanted to book more that a year in advance so I just tested it out.

Test it how? Hosts don’t respond well to “experimental” bookings. :slightly_smiling:

Try to book your own listing for May of 2017.

Hey @mlyates,

Huh. Is that possible?

I once had a reservation about 13 months in advance (in October 2015 for late November 2016).

Most of my reservations are made 3 months ahead. I never had a booking less than one month in advance. I set prices for the next 12 months, and after 12 months I set the maximum price I feel comfortable asking for my rental.

I have a commitment phobia :slight_smile: So renting too far out in the future is not something I like to do! Right now I don’t even have my place listed for the month of August which is practically THE best month to rent. I never know when family or friends may decide to visit. By the first of July I will be letting all family and friends know that if they plan on coming (this is a very touristy area) in August, they better let me know :slight_smile: I have to balance my life with friends and family (who like staying here as much as my paying guests) with my business.

Yes, always keep an eye on that calendar! I’ve learned from that type of mistake also!

I have ours currently set to 3 months. Will extend it soon to 6 months. Ours is a seasonal area and the reason it is just 3 months at present is that I want to get a few reviews up first so I can increase my prices for the peak season which starts in 6 months. In other words, I want to keep my options open. I also know that the peak season will be very easy to book.

I wouldn’t go ahead for 12 months - especially if you are a new host. Six months is more than ample for most travellers/guests.

However, if you have guests you are totally happy with - ie repeat guests, then I would allow them to book ahead that far. Just a matter of opening up your calendar for them at a prearranged time. Ie, Let them know that the “window will be open” for a period of x many days. Once they book, you can change it back to a shorter period.

Hi @Clyde,

Thanks for the advice.

What do others think? Would restricting renting to 6 months be reasonable?

I’m not too bothered about this as of right now. I made the listing public yesterday, and nothing yet… And I suspect few people are going to be renting further out than 6 months anyway.

Hi @jaquo,

If you don’t mind me asking, which sites were you using in the past, and would you recommend any of them? (I realise this isn’t strictly relevant to this thread.)

Most people seem to be of the opinion that Airbnb, while less than perfect, is better than most other sites when it comes to getting bookings.

Hi @faheem - we weren’t using any other sites. We have our own website and articles about the apartment on other websites too. We also had repeat guests and some were word-of-mouth. We also use social media a lot. (This used to direct people to our own site, now we direct them to the Airbnb listing).

There is another rental in our building and the owner advertises it on almost every other site there is out there. But nevertheless, we get many more bookings, despite the same location, same amenities and and almost identical apartments. So I hugely prefer Airbnb.

Hi @jaquo,

I hope you don’t mind a few more questions about this. I’m quite interested in trying to find (hopefully cheap) ways to advertise my listing. :slightly_smiling:

Do you mind if I ask for your website url? I’d like to take a look. And do you get many hits?

I wonder how you managed that. :slight_smile:

Meaning like Facebook? That’s actually a site I try to avoid. But if you have any tips to offer on how to do this, I’m interested.

Hi Faheem,

Here’s the website. It’s very basic and only has a few pages because it’s there to drive hits to the listing. We used to take bookings directly from it before we started with Airbnb but changed it when we started the Air listing. Because I’m pretty sure that the page views a listing receives helps in the Airbnb search engine, that’s its only goal. It gets between 200 - 500 hits per day depending on whether I promote it via social media.

There are lots of sites where the owners will let you promote your listing as long as it’s an original article. If it isn’t original, Google won’t list it so it defeats the object. I’ve been working on the internet as my full time job since the last century (I’ve mentioned before that I’m old!) so I know plenty of people who have their own sites. But even if you don’t, it’s worth writing to sites that you think are a good fit, asking them if they’d publish your article.

For example, I have a site and I write articles about the listing there. I’m also happy to accept articles from other hosts too - here’s an example - so any host here is welcome. This site gets approximately 5000 hits per day. There are also several ‘content sites’ such as Hubpages where you can sign up and write articles. Lots of site owners are only too pleased to have free articles!

As for social media, I hate Facebook! But it does bring hits. I use Google+, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn mostly. Pinterest is probably the easiest if you don’t already have good social media presence on the other sites.

By the way, I have Twitter, FB and G+ accounts for our local area so if any South Florida hosts would like me to promote their listings, just let me know :slight_smile:

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