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What do you guys think since Airbnb's big changes?


#1

Since Air announced all their massive changes recently - what we’ve noticed has been almost no new bookings - and fewer inquiries?

Have you guys noticed any difference?

I also noticed that when I search on our town - we barely show up. We used to always be on the top 3 lines of the first page. But now - sometimes I can’t even scroll through enough pages to find us.

Air’s new upscale orientation I think will hurt them in the long run. Their bread and butter is reasonably priced accommodations in areas where hotels are super expensive. But they seem to be emphasizing something entirely different now in their searches.

When I search on our town now - the top half the of page is filled with POPULAR EXPERIENCES! You can’t see places for rent until you scroll down.

It’s no longer even apparent that Air rents rooms - you have to really know that that’s what you’re looking for or you’d never see it.

We’re in a NJ town just across the river from Manhattan. When I used to search on our town’s name - it would bring up places in our town - not in New York.

Now, it brings up six places - ALL in New York city! And ranging in price from $185 - $450 a night.

The places over here are all under $100 and there are thousands of people a year who stay over here for that reason - to save (a ton of ) money when they visit New York. But Air is really hiding all of us now - so they can emphasize their upscale experiences.


#2

What are the big changes?


#3

Just last week they changed the search listings in my area. Searching wicker park used to pull up 162 full apartments. Now its over 300 and over half arent in wicker park. I have since changed my listing title to say Wicker Park proper. Still getting views and bookings so not sure yet how it may effect me. In a nutshell though, it sux for both host and guest. Deceiving to the unsuspecting guest for sure…


#4

I have not. I’m busier than ever, March was my best month ever and my 4 year anniversary is next month.

When searching for a room you do have to click Homes at the top. and then scroll past the Plus listings in the cities where it is offered. But for my city and honestly, most cities, the search is about the same. Airbnb seems to move search results around based on dates and availabilty. For example if you are pretty much full for the next month you will be lower in search for any open dates this month. They are giving someone else a chance to get booked since you already have a share. Dates farther out you may be ranked higher but people aren’t booking too far in advance.

Right now I have zero bookings for May. But by the end of May I will have been booked every single day if I want to be. My listing caters to the last minute bookers which is the way I like it. I like not being tied to a day way in advance and I can block it off. I am also keeping my prices a little higher than last year. So the cheaper comparable places get booked first but when they are gone there is my place at the top of search.

I have no reason to think Airbnb is doing a single thing that’s going to affect me in the slightest any time soon. Also, in general, I think Plus is a good thing. Airbnb has a lot of shabby listings and if they can attract a bit more upscale client by offering things like business ready and Plus, it’s fine with me. They need to grow the pool of potential guests to benefit all of us.


#5

I agree with every word. My March was the most profitable of all months since 2015.
I don’t think air ia doing anything shady or trying to make situation worse for anyone. They are profiting from each and every listing. It makes no sense for them to harm anyone in any way.


#6

Wow, you guys are having a very different experience than we are!

In past years, January was super slow but it started to pick up in February and March was always okay and then April even better.

Last year, January was bad and February was our worst month ever!

This year, January and February were both horrible. Like we were 20% occupied both months. March really picked up - but it was no record breaker. But April now is looking horrible. We’re about 40% booked right now for April.

Oh - and we just got our first 48-Hour Cancellation!

I’m telling you - this new cancellation policy is making people careless when they book.

This girl booked our place. Then she wrote back about 12 hours later and said, “I just realized you can’t get to Manhattan by bus as quickly as you say you can.”

If you go on Google Maps - they show people the travel time by bus. But they only consider the city buses. They don’t take into consideration the hundreds of private buses that run in our area. If you take a city bus - you’ll wait at least 15 minutes for it to show up. But the private buses come every 3-5 minutes.

So of course if she looked it up on Google it would have seemed like it took a long time.

When she wrote in I didn’t even want to explain it to her because I knew it was a bad rating just waiting to happen. So, I told her to go ahead and cancel, no problem.

What else could I do. I could have tried to persuade her to keep the reservation, but I KNOW that no matter how quickly she would be able to get into Manhattan she’d always be upset about it.

Anyway, it’s funny that BEFORE they had this new “cancel whenever you like” policy - we NEVER had anyone write in with this problem and wanting to cancel. They always checked on that before - usually asking us BEFORE they made the reservation.

So, my prediction is, cancellations are going to skyrocket. But Airbnb doesn’t care - she’ll just book another Air place and probably a much more expensive one.


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