Sorry, I’m back again, asking for help and advice.
My listing was going ok till around the end of April. After that things started to dry up. And it’s been mostly empty all summer. I did get some inquiries for longer summer stays, but for one reason or another they all fell through. Maybe I was asking too much money.
This is not unusual. I’ve been running this listing since April/May 2016, and the first summer (2016) was quite busy, but the following summers have not been. But up till now the fall and springs have been busy.
It’s now early October, and still not much of anything, except for the occasional flaky inquiry. People who inquire, and then you never hear from them again. I actually got a booking request about 5 days ago, and shortly after I replied to it, the person cancelled, saying he had found a cheaper place elsewhere. I just got another inquiry, but I’m not holding my breath. My only upcoming reservation starts on Wednesday, for 3 days. The odd thing is that, if Airbnb statistics are to be trusted, I’m getting plenty of views.
So, I’m wondering if it is just that the Bombay market has become saturated, and prices have dropped so much that my listing is no longer competitive. Or am I missing something else?
I’ve not changed my price in the last few years. In fact, it’s hardly changed since I started. And the Rupee has certainly experienced inflation in the last few years, and fallen significantly against international currencies. I’m reluctant to reduce my price, because it’s a fair amount of effort, I don’t earn that much, and it’s barely worth my time as it is. It might lead to worse quality guests. (I’ve mostly been pretty happy with the guests I’ve had so far.) And I do have other things to do. Airbnb adds 25% on top (it’s take, around 12% and 12% GST (Indian Tax)). But that’s always been pretty much the same. Though the tax might have increased a bit - I’m not sure.
And my reviews are ok, I think. At the moment, there are 155. I think I make reasonable efforts to keep my guests happy. There is still the odd review saying nasty things, but you can’t keep everyone happy. And anyway, it’s just supposed to be a room in a flat, not a portal to Xanadu.
The photos are now quite old and out of date. They were taken around February 2019, before my listing even went live. I’ve added a few more recent ones, but most of the photos are still from February 2016. While I’ve not done a lot of major work since then, they are increasingly inaccurate. But I don’t think the overall look is spectacularly better or anything. The room itself is little changed. It’s a small room. I do have a flat screen TV in there now. I guess I could put up some pictures on the guest room walls, if that would help.
I was wondering if folks can take a look at my listing and tell me what they think. Would getting new photos done “professionally” help? Is there anything else I might be missing? Are people simply ignoring my listing because they can stay elsewhere for cheaper? Please do also take a look at the prices. As you are doubtless aware, you don’t have to book or even inquire to see the price for a stay. This url: http://towerroom.net redirects to my listing.
ADDENDUM: I just went to my listing, and Airbnb is asking me if I have a patio. Would a balcony garden count as a patio?