How far in advance do your guests book?
I know this sounds like a "how long is a piece of string "question, but I would like to get an idea whether the average varies from location to location.
This is important to know because pricing machines like beyond pricing and ever booked base their assumptions on a 30 day window.
For example beyond pricing shows you a score based on how close you are to 50% booking ratio within a 30 day limit. Of course, this may make sense for places with a lot of domestic Airbnb guests such as San Francisco, but for destinations with a lot of overseas guests, such as Havana or Tokyo, I’m not really sure if this benchmark is correct.
If I were to go to Havana, I would make bookings more than a month ahead.
Maybe @ianmchenry has some comments?
How far in advance do your guests book?
It depends on the host more than the location, although location is part of it. We’re getting inquires about January/February already. Our High Season is December through mid-April. I’ve has a couple inquires just a week ahead of arrival, but mostly it’s 3 weeks to a month out.
A month or so to a few days. Most about a week or so. I have had inquiries for the future but no booking requests very far ahead. We don’t accept same day bookings.
I rarely get same day bookings so mostly our bookings are well in advance. I had a guest stay here and booked almost immediately for the same months next year. I have January, February and most of March booked.
But I guess that it depends on the type of rental and the guests themselves. I get a lot of guests from Europe and maybe when they are travelling such distances they like to prepare well in advance.
Same for me. Shocking really, I would never go on holidays without booking at least a month ahead, but guests book with days to go.
Anywhere from same day to a month. Most are below a week.
I think with the quantity of options and the requirement to pay when booking makes the AirBNB model of booking different than other STRs. It’s common to go on a road trip vacation and just find a hotel when you arrive. Or be on a road trip and find a road-side hotel. So Beyond Pricing’s model of a 30 day window for Air makes sense.
Most of my bookings are made 3 months in advance. I think I have only had 1 booking (out of 45) less than 1 month ahead.
You’re in an area where people plan in advance though. I was talking to someone who is thinking of going to Disney in France. I’ll be sending them your way if they decide to BTW!
This is exactly what I’m talking about.
@Barthelemy and @Sarah_Warren’s locations have totally different average periods. This means “a good rule of thumb for urban markets is to aim to be about 50% booked one month out, 30% booked two months out” should be taken with a grain of salt. If @Barthelemy set his prices using this rule, he would probably end up with a lot of vacancies
My prices are higher for future bookings. And I get requests up to a year in advance. I’m in NY and in a family neighborhood, people come for weddings, graduations, etc. And they like to book ahead of time.
I actually had a guest who made an inquiry a year ago for October of this year. I told him I don’t book so ahead of time and he forgot to book me after that first communication. He just contacted me asking about my place and I’m booked. Oh well.
I have a financial strategy knowing what I need, what I can get and what I believe is fair. There is a lot of competition here. Over 30k hosts in NY. In my neighborhood, there are almost 1k listings.
Beyondpricing does have major flaws in my opinion. As I understand, their system considers the Paris region as one single market. With 145,000 hotel rooms and 60,000 Airbnb listings in an area that covers a 40km radius, that’s downright silly (i have had guests from the other side of the region, and I sometimes have a getaway in the other side of the region, that’s how silly it is to consider it as a single market).
They tell me to increase my price when there’s a medical seminar in the other side of the region, like 40km away. They tell me to lower my price for the last week of October and Christmas week, when it’s literally peak season here at Disneyland Paris as all western european countries have school holidays in the same time.
I tried to lower my price by as much as 50% to see if I could get “last minute” (for me, less than 1 month ahead) bookings and it just never happened ! As Accor CEO said (Accor is the leading French hotel group), when people don’t want to come, it’s useless lowering your prices, they won’t come anyway.
I think that to be more accurate, pricing tools should at least ask if one’s listing is business or leisure oriented, as buying and occupancy patterns are quite different.
@Sarah_Warren, that would be fun, don’t hesitate to ask for the link to my listing should your friends want to have a look
We used to get bookings a year + out…but in the last 1.5 years, as airbnb has exploded, and everyone and their mother and aunt have a rental…the mindset of the traveler has changed that they dont need to lock in far in advance. The savvy traveler will still want to reserve and lock down the best rentals a year in advance. That is particularly applicable to the high demand areas. There is probably 10x the inventory now than there was perhaps even 8 years ago. So the competition is much stronger. Answer = it is an ever changing scenario. I think in the end it totally depends upon how many bedrooms they are taking, and how large the rental is. A one bedroom can be a couple booking on the fly, and 5 bedroom needs advance planning for a family.
A small handful of organized travelers will seemingly book as early as I open the calendar. I only unblock 3 months out now since I like knowing my own travel plans (and those of my friends and family) in relation to the rental. People attending weddings, birthdays, etc. (anything with a fixed date and venue) will often book very early. But the majority of my bookings seem to be 4-6 wks.
I would say 90% of my bookings is only 1 month ahead. I can even say that 20% is only 1 week in advance.
Short term bookings depend a lot on the weather. If they predict nice hiking weather, I get a lot of short term bookings.
If the news reports show there is fresh snow, people decide to go skiing on very short notice.
In my region AirBnB is the replacement of the “Zimmer Frei” Flag. In the past before internet, people would just drive into a village, look for a flag and knock on the door.
Thanks - may I ask where in Europe your listings are and what type of location?
I am in Austria, at the edge of the Nationalpark Hohe Tauern.
Between the ski resorts of Kitzbühel and Zell am See/Kaprun.
Bombay, India here. For my listing, currently most of the bookings are from outside India. These typically come between 3 months to 1 month in advance. That’s what one would expect - people generally aren’t going to do international travel on short notice. I have also had a few bookings at short notice. These have usually been either Indians, or foreigners already in India. I’d like more last minute bookings, but currently this isn’t happening.
6 months to 1 month in advance.
Pretty well booked up to Jan, a few vacancies in Jan/Feb then booked to March.
Perth Western Australia
I live in the middle of the US in a suburb of St. Louis, MO. I’m really close to the airport, I just had a family stay the night before catching an early flight. I’m booked for most weekends in September and then around Thanksgiving, but other than that I’m open! I’m hoping for a few more last minute road trip stops. Since I’m centrally located and always reset after guests leave and am on-site, I keep instant book on until 10pm night of!