Agree wholeheartedly with @muddy. Have never used IB, never had a bad guest or bad experience, get all the bookings I want. Why bother.
Thanks for your input
Our area of about 300,000 (three small to mediun size cities and rural surroundings) has 220 listings. I have never used IB. Pre-covid I would use these techniques that I had heard might help in placement. I looked at my lisitng almost daily as a guest on an incognito window, then I logged in to my account on my regular browser and “fixed” the description (just added a period on day, removed it the next.) I was almost always on the first page, usually the 4th or 5th listing, even ahead of the IBs and the new listings. The lowest it fell in that timeframe was bottom of the second page.
Now that we have had just one, renewing monthly guest, I keep most of the calander closed. I have tweeked the listing occasionaly but admit it has been less and less on my radar to do so - definately not daily. We have fallen to page 3, the 29th listing overall.
Great advice thank you
I’m in this category. There are plenty of things that make booking travel stressful and time consuming, and I don’t need the back-and-forth delays of communicating with a host to make it worse. That said, I’ve never personally had a need to book a shared-space listing but I can see how shared-space hosts would avoid IB.
Brian thanks for your input. I hope you don’t find this intrusive but, I’m wondering if your IB are for business trips, shorter stays, ie. 2 nights, and/or a single guest? Would you still rely on IB if you were planning a family trip, including kids, or a lengthy stay of a week or longer?
I have 2 of the more expensive properties in my area. Also very good reviews and with some distinct and desirable features. And a long track record. So not cookie cutter properties.
I rely more heavily on vrbo than airbnb ( due to choice ). I only allow ABB bookings for last minute fill-ins, and I keep my calender blocked on airbnb much more.
One of my houses is already nearly fully booked until late August…and I keep raising the prices… and the other is is “well-booked” …although not yet full. Demand is definitely up this year and so prices can be raised.
I chat regularly with the CS from VRBO regarding Metrics and cancellations and strategy.
The Instant Book feature, whether on or off, does not strongly affect your search position in vrbo. If a property books well, and generates service fees to them, then they push the house up in Metrics. A key metric is cancellation %. Turning off Instant Book does however, remove the property from some of the peripheal feeder sites.
In order to feed the listing to Expedia, and Classic Vacations, and other companion listiing sites under the Expedia partnership umbrella, a property has to be Instant Book.
I am not willing to have party groups at my properties, nor groups exceeding my capacity, nor groups wanting to hold an event. I ask questions and control the situation as best as possible. I require a signed contract. I use a channel manager now since January.
Therefore, in January I stopped instant book and went back to Request to Book. It did not slow down my bookings at all as can be seen by my steady bookings.
I hope this answers your question thoroughly. My advice is to give it a try…and if your bookings slow down a lot, then turn it back on.
As another poster said, you can certainly try it and change it back.
I’ve booked homes through Airbnb/VRBO/BookingDotCom/InterChalet/etc. about once a year for the past 20+ years:
Always for family vacations.
Anywhere from 4-13 people.
Always with kids.
Always exactly 1-week stays.
The way we plan our vacations is to rent a house for one week that’s relatively central to the area we are visiting and take several day trips to surrounding areas during that week. Yes, I rely on instant book for this. The reason, for me at least, is because the actual rental/listing is never my primary reason for travel. I’m there to see and do other things, and those other things are where I concentrate my travel planning. Of course, a really bad listing could affect my entire vacation, but a listing’s reviews generally give me enough info to make sure I don’t make a big mistake with my choice.
Thanks. I’d like to say right off, how much I appreciate conversing with other hosts through this site, which I only discovered a few days ago.
I haven’t had problems with IB guests on air or VRBO as yet. But, I am concerned about rental trends, eviction moratoriums and passage of laws granting full tenant rights to person/s staying 30 days or longer, including I believe, STR. The eviction moratorium in my state (IL) ended Jan 1. I’ve seen a sudden rash of “For rent” signs go up everywhere. So, where will desperate people go once they’ve been evicted?
Potential landlords can run a credit check before offering a lease. IB doesn’t provide that option. Getting an overstaying guest who won’t leave and can’t pay, removed from the property is costly and time consuming. I’m extremely sympathetic toward people who’ve lost jobs and income but, I still have mortgage, utilities, taxes, and maintenance costs to cover. We depend on rental income.
This concern is what prompted my initial question re. IB vs 24hr. approval. I apologize if I’ve strayed off topic.
I dont let anyone from Airbnb stay longer than 14 nights. And that would only happen in January or February because my rates are too high to encourage a longer stay. No deep discounts.
I’ve always had a 14 day max, too. And I’ve never offered any discounts at all. I live in a destination tourist town, where guesrs seldom come for less than a week anyway, so I don’t need to use discounts to attract weekly or 2 week stays.
I turned IB off during COVID because I have wanted to make sure the guests were aware of the travel restrictions and quarantine rules for our state, plus it lets me be a little pickier and avoid guests coming from places like Florida where they don’t care about COVID safety as much or guests coming from other countries with no clear quarantine plan. Still managed to land plenty of guests and made me feel better about those I accepted. When this is all over I’ll probably turn IB back on.
If you have set requirements for IB, like positive reviews from prior hosts, then it won’t show up in your search for you if you aren’t logged in and thus showing that you meet those requirements.
I have a 7 day max when I’m open. I’m in a community where you have to come by ferry or plane. Oh, and I don’t rent to locals. That means I would never have anyone come close to the 30 days when they become a tenant.
My advice would be to have a max stay of 14 or 21 days and never make an exception.
I’ve always had a 14 day max. I’d make an exception if a great guest wanted to extend or it was a repeat guest who I really liked.
Ok so the place lived up to its reviews, meaning it is a solid 4 ish star place. When we arrived we realized we stayed here in the early 90’s my Mom had rented it and we came and stayed a couple of days.
Same carpet from then…
Grimy in places, deferred maintenance.
BBQ would not stay lit in the wind.
Pots and pans leave a lot to be desired, I now understand why I see people bringing in pots and pans to my place… They have been here.
Smoke detector was beeping, I had to take it off the ceiling and stuff it in a drawer.
Towel rods in the bedrooms, sorta hostel style, kinda weird.
But the view… The ocean all up in our face makes up for a lot.
Being that I had low expectations for the place in general I am not let down, it is big enough for all of us, including Nana who was a last minute add on which the host accepted without charge. (she does charge extra for more than 4, Nana made 5), we have a big garage where we can keep and charge our e-bikes.
I am conflicted about the review, because as I said it is what I expected.
I am thinking something like:
The view was awesome, the sound of the ocean was calming. I read the prior reviews and the house met my expectations.
What percentage more does a 5 star place with an ocean view run?
The place we usually stay is nicer, about the same money less of a view. It was booked this time. The kids are out of school a week, we booked a few months ago and this is where we ended up.