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Unit type, occupancy rate, general location, profitability? General stats - please share yours!


#1

I’ve been hosting less than a year (November, 2017), and I primarily do it because my wife wanted something to keep her busy (so she’s the manager and cleaner).

There really isn’t anything special about the place, we’re located very close to Charlotte’s business district in a quirky but plain middle class neighborhood and my nightly price is sub $100. My cleaning fee is higher than the nightly rate, usually. I offer an entire single family detached home on a third of an acre in a 60 year old renovated home.

If I put it under an annual lease agreement I’d expect to get about $1300/month.

I’m a “SuperHost!” (meh). I allow instant booking. I use ABB’s pricing guidelines and slide pricing (though my minimum is about $5.00 higher than ABB recommends).

My occupancy rate, on a monthly basis is between 84% and 94%, and usually above 90%. My monthly gross receipts are usually between $2000-$2200, but we’ve pulled as much as $3000 and as little as $1900. Occupancy doesn’t seem too seasonal, but again I’m in less than a year so far.

Any tips from those with more experience and professional experience? We’d been killing it on ratings, feedback, etc, but have dipped lately due to a number of one-night, first-time ABBers who have dinged us on “Value”. We even had one first-timer recently give us 3 stars for “Location”!.. which baffles me since the map and description pretty much shows exactly where my place is, lol. Will that drop me in search rankings? Should I even worry about it? Is my high occupancy rate something ABB manipulates as a new host? Or can I count on whatever algorithm ABB uses to keep my listing booked under current conditions?

Sorry for all the questions… just looking for some experienced feedback. Thanks for reading.


#2

No advice I am afraid, but how come you are the Superhost when it’s your wife who does all the work managing and cleaning the listing?

You can never count on Airbnb, and you have new competitors entering the market all the time.


#3

If that’s the only “help” you offer, I can do without the snark. I’m not here for a social justice showdown. But FYI, the listing is “hers”, even though I paid for it and do all the behind the scenes work like correspondence, taxes, repairs, yard maintenance, and late night check -ins. Should I badger her about that too, since she doesn’t do “all the work”.


#4

Relax Dropnothing! Being thin-skinned isn’t going to help.

Yes Air had you on a New Listing Boost for the first couple months. You cannot depend on that in the future.

If Instant Book is working for you, good. It doesn’t work for many people. Often recommend new hosts NOT use it. I’d never use it; I want to 'vet my guests better. Same with Price Guidelines. Most of them are ridiculously low.

Yes, too many low ratings will hurt your ratings, and search ranking (although there are a ton of factors which go into search ranking). Lower ratings are NOT the fault of one-night first timers! You’re just averaging out overall.

No one likes getting zinged on Location, but it happens all the time. Blame Air – Location is a stupid thing to rate since we can’t change that.

Value is not a bad thing to be rated on – if too many people zing you on value, it probably means you should lower your price – or your cleaning fee – or both.

As a frequent Air guest (often in Charlotte) I will never stay in listing where the cleaning fee is the same as or greater than the price. That means, to me and others, that you’re trying to make your place look like a deal by having a low nightly rate, and then make it up with an exorbitant cleaning fee. Like Ebay sellers who charge $25 shipping on a $3 item.

You cannot count on Air for anything – algorithms, logic, or giving a rat’s butt about you except in the abstract.


#5

I’d suggest poking around the forum and reading as much as you can as time allows. There is a search function so you can look for topics that interest you. For example you will find multiple complaints about the location rating.

A few comments:

The overall ranking is most important. If you get a 5 overall and a 3 on location, no worries.

As @Helsi said, don’t count on Airbnb for anything. I do believe the busier you are, the busier you will be. But I also think they will rotate a bit to give hosts a chance near the top. The algorithim is not host friendly, it’s guest friendly. They want to turn lookers into bookers quickly and easily. Allowing instant book and accepting inquiries quickly will help you stay near the top. If you take a long booking or block off your listing for renovations you will drop and the booking rate will slow. I say this based on experience not due to any inside info.

New hosts get a boost in rankings and we don’t know for how long but it might be two weeks or a month, not several months. You are no longer a new host. Even if you do everything right there are things outside your control that can drop you in the rankings like new hosts coming in because there is only one first page. There are also many things that can interfere like new local regulations, weather events, damage to the rental that has to be repaired, losing your insurance coverage, complaints by neighbors, etc.

You can also set a two night minimum to prevent one nighters from booking the place.


#6

Sounds like you are just relying on ABB which is high risk, also it is a stand alone listing personally not something I would list with ABB but many do.

Look at other systems.

Ignore any 'advice given to you by ABB, will be for their benefit not yours.


#7

Your first line… :raised_hand_with_fingers_splayed: …high five!


#8

Agreed! I’m in my 5th year of hosting, and still I keep reading, posting and learning.


#9

Not only do I learn something new or experience something new on a regular basis, Airbnb changes things all the time. How many times have we seen someone post about something “new” they just noticed that in fact has been in effect for months?


#10

Why is it a high risk? What other systems do you recommend and what are the strengths of those platforms? Why wouldn’t you put a stand alone unit on ABB?

Thanks!


#11

Ha, I assure you I am far from thin-skinned. But I don’t brook know-nothing, off-topic critics either, so there’s that.

It’s a shame you’d never book my place. I’ve done about a gajillion hours of research in my market and you won’t find a similar listing for cheaper anywhere closer to town… not on ABB anyway. I’d gladly change my fee structure to flip nightly rate and cleaning fee when the latter is higher than the former, but the platform is not that versatile unfortunately.


#12

If you read the forum you will find people who have posted that Airbnb shut their listing down after a problem guest (in fact one just posted this morning). If they do remove you or disappear you, you will have to turn to other platforms. You will find stories of neighbors reporting you and code enforcement coming by and leaving a notice on your door. There are tales of $1000s in damage occuring and Airbnb not backing up owners. Como was referring to Airbnb risks I believe but there are others, just as there would be if you leased it out to long term tenants.

I will advise you now that there are members of this forum who are very knowledgeable, have been doing Airbnb for years and have hundreds of 5 stars reviews and helpful posts. Helsi is one of them. She’s a known quantity and many of us have seen her listing. You, OTOH, are a relatively new member who may or may not even be a real host. You’ve read a few posts here so surely you’ve noticed that many threads do go off topic from time to time. Most of us think that’s one it’s charms.

Hope this helps.


#13

Your known quantity made bad assumptions in a not very informative or welcoming post that answered no questions. I understand you think she’s valuable, but she, and a couple others, are making it pretty clear that this community values number of posts over substantive conversations about ABB hosting. I’ll skip on that ‘charm’. I’m not looking for a new online bestie, I’m looking for serious conversations about STR strategies.

Maybe this isn’t the place…


#14

I’ve got just the salve to cure that growth on his shoulder…it’s a chip isn’t it?


#15

I would want a real security deposit and to know who I am letting to, many Hosts do not check ID and it is not something you can get from AirBnB.


#16

Ok, just being clear that many posts don’t answer the questions. The most likely response is for people to tell you what you’re doing wrong or how they do it.

As for sharing stats, I neglected to do that. I have a ensuite, private room with private entrance attached to my house. I’m in a lower middle income neighborhood of single family homes and a few duplexes built in the 1970’s. I get about 65% drive through one nighters due to my proximity to the interstate highway that goes through town, 15% tourists, 15% here for work, 5% other.

I’ve been a host 4 years, have 367 98% 5 star reviews and have been a Superhost 16 straight quarters.

I prefer instant booking and I mostly ignore Airbnb price guidelines, smart pricing or price tips. My occupancy rate is 95% booked for my available days. I block off a few days each month for a variety of reasons including maintenence and my own travel schedule. Each of the last three years I’ve blocked an average of two months worth of days each year. Occupancy has no season here.

I gross an average of $1000 a month. I consider it all profit because I wouldn’t otherwise have a roomie. My house is paid for as is the remodeling I did two years ago to add the ensuite bath and private entrance.


#17

It sounds like you’re doing pretty well to me. I have a basement apartment in a lower middle class 1960s neighborhood outside a larger city in the SE US. We are located very near a major interstate, so we get lots of people driving through for 1 night stays. Most of our nights are taken by people visiting family or for work. Maybe an average stay of 4-6 nights, but I’ve never run the numbers. It’s more work, but I much prefer the 1 night stays because the cleaning fee is a nice bonus AND I’m guaranteed to not have to monitor noise because people are lounging in my basement all day long.

We also get a fair amount of regional people coming for concerts or sporting events who live just a little too far away to commute both ways in one day.

I will come up with almost any excuse to not host locals unless they have a very good reason for needing to stay. I learned that lesson the hard way.

We stay sub $100/night invluding cleaning fee. Our area has some whole houses that have great ratings and go very cheap, so I keep an eye on their pricing and try to stay competitive. We have all but 2 nights this month, and that’s pretty normal for us. Sometimes I shut down for family visiting or for longer term rebtals, so it’s hard to give a good monthly average, but I consider $1400/month a good month.

I do ABB smart pricing, but set our minimum maybe $20/night over what ABB would suggest. Then I do some finagling for same day reservations. I like to just barely be the cheapest “entire place”, 2 bed unit on our interstate corridor. I’m like maybe 65% successful at getting same day bookings when I want them. Sometimes people just don’t need them.

I’m slowly, but surely creeping prices up while still maintaining good ratings and Superhost status. I also am consistently improving the unit on off nights. I’m probably a little too skittish about my pricing, but competition in our area makes it tough.

So there you have it, hopes that helps.


#18

There is no point you getting narked when people comment based on the information you provide. There were no bad assumptions, you just hadn’t made it clear you were involved in managing the Airbnb.

It struck me as rather odd that you would say ‘I am a superhost’ after saying your wife managed the listing and did the cleaning and not recognise her involvement.

Anyway I am sure you and your wife will enjoy running your listing.


#19

I make about the same as you and have gradually been increasing # bookings and nightly rate for 3 years. I’ve learnt that sometimes cheaper is not better for the host for number of bookings. I’ve been getting more bookings since I put my nightly above $100. I presume some people, despite the glowing reviews, are like those folks who won’t order the cheapest bottle of wine on the menu because they think house wine is terrible or can afford something a little better even if budget conscious. The way I think of it is this: if 5 people book in your area on any given weekend and they all book on value then being the cheapest may get you an earlier booking but will also make you less money. There’s no hard and fast rule on this but I would aim to be at least $20-30 above ABBs recommended prices, rather than $5. And mid range for value. ABBs prices are low balled to compete against listings on other platforms not make you money,

Also for other platforms which bring in about 25% of my bookings (and 90% in April) try: Bookings, Tripadvisor, HomeAway, and I know there are others that US hosts use we don’t have.


#20

I can hear Elsa singing: Let it Go! Let it Go!


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