I’ve been up for about a month, got a couple of nibbles early on but no bookings. I played with the listing endlessly, adding and changing the listing based on things I learned here and dropped the price again and again. I’ve done a lot of research on what’s working for my competition, and I’ve come to realize that the price at which I’m likely to get bookings is too low to be worth it for me. It appears that my setup needs to be in the low $30’s to have any chance of competing. That number, plus my growing uneasiness with badly behaved guests has made me rethink allowing people inside of my home. I’ve snoozed my listing for a month (I’ll be busy with taxes anyway) and will reevaluate the situation then. I do have room for an RV so I’ve started another listing for that. No worry about strangers inside, not much in the check in / check out drama, they just park when they get there and as long as they’re out before the next RV shows up then check out is flexible too.
So have any of you that have places in non touristy locations found that the craze has made the competition harder, affected your pricing, etc? I recognize that those of you that have an established product with lots of good reviews may not be as affected by this, but to the other newbies, have you seen this in your town?
I live in a very touristy place Miami and I am not at all close the south beach but a convenient spot for the everglades or a midpoint to the keys. I do ok with folks that are aware of my location and because I am a entire place. I like your idea of the RV if you have the space for it. Just make sure to set up the outdoor spaces nice for the RV to make the listing offer a lot of outdoor space as well.
What is your location? Here in DC prices are pretty low this time of year. Maybe it will pick up for you?
But yes, people jump into and out of hosting frequently, so there is a lot of competition.
I’ve been hosting since June, in my home, and we’ve had a great time. There are times that the people are loud, but for the most part, we’ve enjoyed meeting people from all over the world.
I live in a west coast city, two miles from downtown, with probably thousands of AirBnBs. I see 300 private rooms alone within 2-3 miles of me. It is our slow season, and I have had to drop my price to $45-50 a night to even get 50% occupancy. I’m competing with the air mattresses at this point, while I offer basically a one bedroom apartment (with some shared spaces so I don’t list as a private unit). I update my calendar everyday and have a less-than-an-hour response time and have five star reviews but I am still several pages in to the listings for private rooms, getting about 4 views to my listing a day. A few weeks ago I somehow made it to the front page of AirBnB and was getting maybe 50 views a day, but had to turn away some inappropriate guests and it hurt my search rating. I’ve been tempted to turn on Instant Book but I don’t want groups of five or people expecting a hotel showing up!
I’m about 10 miles from Sacramento. I initially marketed it towards people in town for business, needing 1-2 nights. I’ve been getting 1-3 views per day, but even when priced in the mid-40’s I’ve not gotten any real bites. To compete with those around me I’ve got to be about $30. I’m doing Air as an alternative to having a roommate, but at $30 I’d have to be almost completely booked in order to equal what I could rent the room for, not counting the extra expense and time of cleaning, restocking, taxes, etc. A lot of the other listings hide fees in order to attract attention to their listing, such as a hefty charge for a second guest, high cleaning fees, etc, so that’s the next thing I could try. About 2/3 of the listings have no reviews, so it looks like a lot of people have recently jumped into the game.
Coy koi, I would say perhaps it’s seasonal and with the weather you are getting right now, many people aren’t really traveling. I could see them traveling along the 5 and using your place as a stopover. It is probably the low season for California as for most of the country except for us tropical destinations.
I would not be too obsessed over the competition. I used to look over my competitors all the time and then decided to stop it. It would only cause me to get stressed out. Most lulls are seasonal lows.
Perhaps wait until spring and see if things change, but don’t rent for $30. That’s going to just attract the riff raff.
I’m with you, I don’t do home shares and will never. It’s just too much of an invasion of my personal space and I’m sure my little dog would hate it. She has enough trouble just having to deal with guests coming and going to their private apartment. But I know others here love the home share experience. It’s just not for me. I would always feel like I’d have to be up for entertaining or making conversation.
Thanks Kona, I think I’m feeling the same way about sharing. I thought of Air as a way to avoid sharing my home all the time with a roommate, but I’m realizing I may not have the temperament for this. I felt the same way about not being the cheapest, the bottom of the barrel would likely head to the cheapest. I might try it again after tax season or I might try a roommate and have the occasional RV in the driveway.
Coykoi – i think hunting for a roommate who is rarely home (they travel a lot for work, or they’re over at their boy/girlfriend’s place all the time) would be SO much easier than doing a share on AirBNB in your situation. It’s an incredible amount of work to do clean-outs, deal with check-in/out, and stress about strangers in your space.
Yes – in the last 8 months more and more people from my town have joined and now that it is winter we are all competing more for the very few guests visiting ( rural pretty town in England). Bonus for me is that i’m quite central <20min walk to the nicer parts of town. Yes I lowered my prices (I solely use the price tip matcher now) and also scrapped the additional person fee. no cleaning fee. I airbnb our spare room in our home.
I’m in Toronto, & not really central, although still really convenient to anything any tourist would want to see. The number of listings can seem overwhelming, although we sort out well for anybody looking in our neighbourhood. The problem we have is the question as to why anyone would actually be zooming in on our neighbourhood. But we were booked pretty solid in the summer - it’s extremely dead right now, though part of that is that we’ve shut down to get some renos done. And then the roof leaked… oi vey.
Dear fellow airbnbers try to state in your listing what is closest to you tourist wise and work the listing from there. I am Traffic wise far form south beach even though I am close mile wise. With inquiries and request I rather be upfront on this then to have a guest sitting in 2 hour weekend traffic just to get to a tourist area.
I do state my place is ideal for those folks that want a stop over before the long drive to the keys and a trip to downtown Miami. guess what that works for us.
@Coykoi there is absolutely a flood of new supply in the market. The combination of far more hosts and winter means occupancy and prices are at all time lows in many markets (like London and Paris). Since there really are few barriers to listing your place, as soon as anyone hears that there’s money to be made on Airbnb, the market gets flooded and can temporarily drive prices down until people decide it’s not worth it, and remove their listings. Then the market goes back to normal. Because of all these changes in supply and demand, you really do need to be changing your prices dynamically using something like Beyond Pricing or another service, to make sure you can still book up. But being a Superhost, having great photos, and all the stuff experienced host do will put you ahead of all the newcomers, too!
I also have hosted 20 brand NEW airbnb guests with no reviews and after leaving my place a lot of them want to rebook my place if in Miami ever again (BTW Miami is either 2nd or third after Paris as fastest growing airbnb market) I think what the competition will do is hone in what travelers want and what older hosts that really didn’t put attention to detail in their listing to be weeded out.
It Took me a few months to make my listing perfect before I would even list it and studied to the last details including most soothing paint color and design elements to make my small studio attractive since I was not close to south beach but close to everglades and the keys.
I think as Airbnb becomes more of travel option and not something that only a few folks know about, more Newbie guests will come and if we provide a positive experience we will be fine.
I’m in a suburb of Philadelphia, and February seems to be a very slow month. I’ve had some inquiries and a few one-night bookings. I was booked solid throughout December and January, but this month is going slow.
I looked at it this way, to get guests i need good reviews. My price was so low that Airbnb said that it was lower than minimum price, yes they actually do have minimum price in Philippines. I did not make money on this but now with over 150 reviews I more than double the price and the booking been good so far. I guess you can say that the low price is your marketing budget to build up your business.
i did this at the start as well it seemed to work at the start but then a few people only need to give you 4 stars and your back at square one
We keep getting new hosts all the time and in Miami beach most of the time. I know that my location is NOT convenient to that part of town so competition in my area is not as fierce. I am super convenient to deering estate, the keys , everglades and now a growing number of folks staying for weddings at Thalia estate, crawley square, Deering Estate.
I have had over 40 guest and now 30 reviews almost all 5 star so I just keep working my mojo and bend over backwards to try to please and wow the guests. Hopefully folks choose also based on reviews and not just price points.
Our city is over saturated.
The going price is really low now.
On top of that it’s low season. Bad news all round
Same for me more guests are coming online all the time too
Hi, its now more than a year ago from your comment and I have done this low price in the beginning for 6 different rooms and it has been working well. I have 1% 3 star, 13 % 4 star and the rest 5 star. It has been enough to be a super host for over 2 years.