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Washington DC and other Spring Break Locations - Rate Increase?


#1

Hi Everyone

I’m still pretty new at this - just 3 months - I’m learning and have lots more learning to do.

I just received a request for a booking in March 2016. Wheee! Then I realized - dang, that’s the middle of Cherry Blossom Festival, I should probably raise our rates! DC is also a popular destination for Spring Break trips.

Does anyone have any advice about what months are most popular spring-break months, and about how much to increase my rates, etc? I’m thinking March-May?

I’ve now increased my rates just $10 a night for the Cherry Blossom Festival. )My regular rate for 2 people is $55 - I’m about 20 minutes train ride from ‘city center’, the guests share a toilet with a student who lives with us and have to come upstairs to shower - so I think my rate is comparable to other lodging options in my area. They also have a small kitchenette they share with the student)

Would love to hear from others how to approach this. “Air” offers no price tips for that far in advance.

Many Thanks!


#2

I have no advice about the DC area. But I raise my rates to what the market will bear. I don’t try to be nice. I offer a wonderful product and if the guest is willing to pay the price, I gladly accept.

With high demand weeks you can always lower the price if it doesn’t fill up. Check the rates of local hotels and see what they charge. Then adjust your rate up or down depending if your place is nicer or not as nice as the hotels. So since your guests don’t have a private bathroom then adjust your rates a little lower. But if you provide luxurious bedding/mattress or a to die for breakfast spread then adjust up a little. Just play around and you will eventually find your sweet spot. Also don’t forget to check out the Airbnb competition and look at their calendars and rates.


#3

My rates go up almost 100%. I am also looking at how much hotels are sold for. During spring break Motel 6 is 150$. Don’t forget weekends. Price should be more for weekends.


#4

Thanks, cabin, that’s helpful. I have done that for current rates - there’s a gal in my area that has nice furnishings, a private entrance studio with a private bath - so I set my rate down $15 night - but I’m much closer to transportation and serve a great breakfast - so far, my guests have been very happy, let me ‘tips’, gifts, etc.

The other airbnb close to me has not raised her rates, so I hoped some more experienced hosts could give me some tips. It looks like the cheap hotels are at least $80 for 2 people, and some are sold out.

I am learning to resist the temptation to lower prices out of a panic of not getting any bookings. I know my price is fair and I have to stick with it!!!


#5

…I just saw something in your post I didn’t see at first - to set the rates at what seems reasonable, then I can lower as I get closer if I’m not getting bookings. That’s a great idea - thanks!


#6

If I get an inquiry that far in advance, I turn it down because usually I haven’t had a chance to set the seasonal rates yet. The Air calendar makes it easy to change rates on a dime, and lowering the rate does bring in more bookings.


#7

Thanks Kona and all -

I just got an inquiry for a month-long stay for NEXT August. I’m to really surprised as they are coming to be close to the University of Maryland so I assume they are attending a long research project, workshop, or other. (Of course they are totally green - no profile pic, id verification, or even where they are from).

Do do you just block off your calendar several months in the future? If the inquiry had been from someone reviewed, who gave me some solid information on why they were coming to UMD, etc., I would have loved to have had the booking -


#8

Are you on Instant Book? I would just decline it otherwise. It’s too far i advance and for too long. Make sure your guest does not stay longer than 30 days, which could make them into a month-t0-month tenant.


#9

I haven’t made the leap to instant book yet. I’m still testing the airbnb waters. I have until October 15 to decide - that’s when my HO policy will renew - or not renew, if I’m still active with airbnb. At that point I’ll buy a ‘real’ insurance policy - then, perhaps, I’ll turn on instant book. We’ll see.

Thanks for the advice - it seems impossible to commit to something so far in advance, especially as I’ve got three kids. However, the money I would make would pay for a chunk of that insurance policy!!


#10

Oh, by the way, I wrote and asked them a few questions - nooooo reply. So I disapproved them, but assured them they were welcome to inquire again when they’ve completed their profile. ; )


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