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New listing advice please


#1

Hi,
I am new to both the forum and AirBnB. We listed our place just under 3 weeks ago, and have had one booking, and one enquiry. That one booking came, was lovely, and gave us a good review. But I’m a bit worried we haven’t had more interest. It’s probably quiet season down here, which obviously doesn’t help, but I was wondering if you guys would be able to give us some feedback on our listing? Just to make sure I haven’t made some rookie error!

All constructive criticism welcome :slightly_smiling_face:

As I’m new to the forum I can’t post the link- is there a way I can send it? Sorry! Very new, but have been stalking all week!

Thank you!!
Rach


#2

I sent you a private message.


#3

@Rach – we’re International – where is “down here”? I’m “down here” in Southwest Florida. Are you in OZ? Kiwi? South Africa? Latin America? South Texas?


#4

Lovely place. The pictures of the animals are especially appealing. For an airbnb listing, as opposed to the concept of a farm, I’d like complete pictures of where I’m staying. For me to choose a place pictures of the bathroom are an absolute must. Is there any kind of living area in the rental?

Also double check all your spelling. I did see you say etical instead of ethical in the about us section. Not a big deal but a listing with no misspellings is better. As for it being slow, as you say your winter is upcoming. I don’t know how the competition is there but it seems you are aiming for a niche market.


#5

When she typed that she was expecting to be able to link her listing.


#6

Hi Rach ~ Here are some random comments after a quick look-see of your listing.

As a potential guest, I would need more photos of the “full kitchen”, including dining table, etc.

What does washing machine refer to – clothes washer or dish washer?

It says washer is free or for a fee…which is it?

You state that breakfast is provided…is it a hot breakfast (with eggs, etc.) or cereals and breads? Do you deliver it or are the items left on a daily basis…or what?

Photos of the bathroom are a must (especially since it is only 1 bathroom for up to 8 guests?!!).

I would say that you definitely need more photos because I do not have a clear idea of the space you are renting or the area. What I do see is welcoming but I need more room shots and more information about the area (nearest grocery, attractions, petrol, etc.).


#7

You may find you need to price a little under market until you get some reviews. Some guests are hesitant to book without reviews. Good luck


#8

Hi @KenH, sorry about that :slight_smile: I meant ‘down here’ as in Southern Australia. We’re heading into Winter so everything is slower. Summer is crazy tourist season.


#9

Hi @SandyToes,
Thank you so much for your comprehensive response! All great comments- obviously I know what I’m talking about, but equally obviously much less clear to someone who has never seen the space.

I took those pics with my phone, planning to get a proper photographer in to take photos, but you’re very right that we need more. I’ll take some more myself today and post them, as who knows when the photographer will actually come!

The washer free or fee thing is checkbox from Air BnB, but I’ve now edited the listing to specify hat it’s free :slight_smile: I’ve hopefully added more clarity to the rest of the listing as well, but will add photos too as a picture paints a thousand words.

I haven’t added area info yet- I’ve always looked for accomodation on AirBnB based on where I want to go. Do you find that it works the other way too? People find somewhere they want to stay and want to know more about the area?

Thank you again!
Rach


#10

Thanks @Brandt. We did the 20% off for the new listing deal from AirBnB, but once that expires we’ll definitely look at price dropping. Do you think that price tips make much difference? We are on instant book, simply because as a guest that is how I prefer to book, but we’re very open to guidance from more experienced AirBnBers!


#11

Hi Rach
I’m new also and from 'down under (NZ). I have a studio and a house on the same property and it is near a tourist attraction and that has helped. We’ve been going almost a month to the day and had about 23 bookings and completed half of them I think. I played around with the price a little so that once the fees were added on by AirBnB to the guest it didn’t price it too high but mostly stuck to the rate I wanted to achieve.

I found it useful to have a look at the other properties in the area to compare what they offer and how much they charge and how full their calendars look. If everyone else has lots of bookings and you don’t you may need to alter your price. But if everyone has patchy calendars price won’t necessarily impact it.

There is a Peninsula Getaway listing that sleeps 10. Dearer than yours but only by $60 I think and is 5 bedroom. She has had 17 bookings since she started in December. Also check out ‘Stroll to the Beach’ listing.
Similar price to yours. Has lots of bookings.

We have one nearby that has animal interaction so they generally get good bookings for families. I think we do well because we are 4 bedroom. You’ve got 5 people sharing a room potentially which won’t appeal to everyone so it’s having a look at how that stacks up with other bookings and it will probably mostly appeal to a single family rather than a group travelling together. Quite a few of ours are 2 couples and 2 or 3 kids, or grandparents, parents and children. Or friends/ workmates.

I’d promote the animal side as much as possible. I like the way you have written your description. I think I’d have an animal picture as the cover to catch the eye. Photograph your breakfast and provision hamper. Maybe some photos from your space looking out so you can see context. It looks like there are a LOT of properties available in your area so the key will be to stand out/point of difference.

Have you listed on Australian based sites like stayz as well?


#12

Not a problem, Rach, just wanted you to “be advised”. Great looking farm and critters; but I agree with the others – better photos and include all the spaces (bathroom).

To most guests, “breakfast provided” means a cooked meal or a section of pastries, not farm-fresh eggs to cook their own brekkie.

The Welcome Basket is a great idea though – as a chef, I’d love that – but I would not call that "breakfast provided! We do “provide breakfast” at our Poolside Cabana – about a dozen prepared menu items for guests to choose from (French Toast, Scotch Eggs, Omelets, etc). Others do a Continental brekkie with sweet rolls, muffins or breakfast bars or oatmeal packets, that sort of thing. Some hosts don’t even provide coffee or tea!

FWIW, a washing machine (We just say “washer”) but no dryer is uncommon these days. I grew up on a farm with clotheslines, so I understand, but most folk think “washer and dryer” these days.

I also agree that you need to go over the wording with a fine tooth comb for grammar and spelling.


#13

Do not use price tips especially once you are established. They are typically much lower than you could get. I also do not recommend (and others here will agree) using Instant Book when you are first starting out. We use it now but you need some experience first. Even many experienced hosts still do not use it.


#14

Lovely accommodations! I would pay you extra just to visit that adorable alpaca!


#15

@Rach - “I haven’t added area info yet- I’ve always looked for accomodation on AirBnB based on where I want to go. Do you find that it works the other way too? People find somewhere they want to stay and want to know more about the area?”

I also (generally) look for accommodations based on where I want to go but on lengthy road trips, there are choices of towns to stay in so I do research each before making a decision. With your listing, I would be interested in nearest restaurants, wineries…


#16

@Rach - don’t worry about your listing. The important thing to remember here is that you can have the coolest listing ever but what you need are bookings and you can’t always rely on the Airbnb search to send you potential guests.

Try to work out a schedule of promoting your listing via social media, blogs etc.


#17

Hi Rach, you’re listing looks great and the price is certainly not too high. You are on what I like to refer to as “the fashionable side of Westernport” whereas I am across the bay from you at Jam Jerrup on the road to Phillip Island. Lovely weather today and apparently 25C tomorrow so still getting flashes of summer! But I digress.
After a rush of bookings 1-2 months in advance in Feb, that meant I don’t have a weekend off till the week after next week I haven’t had any new bookings for 2-3 weeks. I have noticed that Australians in general tend to be last minute plan makers except over Summer when they realise if they don’t book in advance everything will be gone. So in no particular order:
Tip 1: make sure your Xmas-Oz Day calendar prices are up to date there are sneaky people who will look 6 months in advance for any IB places that have just set normal prices.
Tip 2: you don’t appear to have a photo of the exterior of the place people are staying. If this looks as great as the rest of the farm this should be your main photo - maybe with a llama or two in front.
Tip 3: more photos of the interior. Several of the living area and if there are picture windows show them off Maybe a photo of a nice outside area to sit in.
Tip 4. Your first line sounds like they might be sharing your house with you. In your very first line be very clear what the place is they are booking: “A self contained (stunning/heritage/modern/character) cottage that comfortably sleeps 8 located in a secluded corner of our beautiful farm in the stunning Mornington Peninsular less than 1 hour from Melbourne CBD.” Don’t mention potential negatives like traffic. Melbourne people know all about traffic these days. If it is the same house say “in a separate cottage/apartment attached to the main farmhouse where we live”.
Tip 5. After a 2 year sh*t fight with NBN we finally got on wireless NBN rather than useless Skymuster or ADSL2+. So we get up to 20Mbps. Maybe mention what broadband you are on and the speed which you can check with ozspeedtest.com
Tip 6: if I was a family and there was no tv and I had been told in advance the broadband was too slow for streaming I might be put off bringing the kids. In my experience the first thing kids ask is “what’s the wifi password” so I have it on a card as they walk in the door. Of course this might be a feature in which case mention it as a feature with a chance to disconnect and be a family together etc, make sure there are penty of games and books for all ages. Mention all the other things they can do nearby I know Mornington has plenty of family/kids activities not just wineries for adults. If I had the space i would build a small playground for the littlies.
Tip 7: one of the main points that comes up from experienced hosts to newbies is to set out your rules in detail and firmly. Don’t say “we ask you don’t enter this area” say “For your safety you must not enter this area without one of us present under any circumstances”. Currently your rules are short and generic. Be detailed and assume if you don’t rule something out (“do not pet or feed the llamas”) someone will and when they get spat at will complain in the feedback. Before I moved here everything I knew about the country I learned from watching A Country Practice in the 1980s. Now city folk don’t even have that!

I hope some of that was useful. After doing this for 4 years the only real low month I have is August for some reason. I think Melbourne folks let Lavinia and Paul tell them that Spring only starts on September 1 without realising August, even July, when the acacias bloom, is actually one of the loveliest times of year, I call it Sprinter. But after 4 low Augusts with always half the usual number of bookings of July and September I am closing down for a fortnight and taking the dog on a road trip around Victoria (woo hoo!).

My listing is here if you want to check out the way I have written it up after much rearrangement over the years to emphasise what it important up front and to sell it in 30 seconds to someone casually perusing who might not really be thinking of my area. Anything which doesn’t sell your property or which might be slightly negative put under “Things you need to know”.
ps. can I also suggest Bookings, TripAdvisor, Stayz/Homeaway and HolidayingWithDogs. I get a drip feed from all of these that now more than matches what I get through on ABB.


#18

Thanks for your reply @limetree :slight_smile:

I must admit I hadn’t ooked too hard at the competiiton, but it’s interesting the variety. And also the way they price. The Peninsula Getaway you mention looks like a far better deal than ours initially (almost comparable in price!), but when I played with the bookings, for 8 people on a weeknight we cost $180, where as they are $340. Our cleaning fee is $20 theirs is $100. Obviously they are appealing to a different, larger market. But when I first looked my immediate thought was to give up! So it was a relief to see that we are significantly cheaper, and also made me think about shifting our pricing structure a bit.

I also looked at a few others in the area, and either they are empty (or have one or two bookings) in the next three months, or they are booked out completely (I think more likely blocked. So it seems a quiet time for everyone, which is again a relief.

Sounds like you guys are going amazingly well :slight_smile: I’ll definitely take a photo of the outlook and basket. I’ve added some more of the space tonight, but will do more in daylight as well.

I’ve listed on Stayz as well, but that’s all. any others you would recommend? Thankyou again! Great feedback!
Rach


#19

Thanks Ken. I think the common consensus is heaps more photos! So I’ll work on that and then tweak the listing more- great point about the breakfast- I hadn’t realised it meant more a provided buffet :slight_smile:


#20

Thanks @SandyToes. I’ll make sure I update that then. Will hopefully sort it out early this week. I have a folder of suggestions once people get here, but will make a short online version


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