Hi Everyone - I’m in the process of setting up our condo for AirBNB and anticipate our ad going live at the start of June. I was curious how did people find their first month as a host?
We’re going to be listing in the middle of high season in Vancouver i’m interested to see if it feels like were being thrown into the fire or if it will be gradual build up. Any suggestions or things you would have done differently? Tips or tricks? Any insight is appreciated. Thank you!
I first listed my home in the middle of May 2014. My listing is Upstate NY, a popular destination for the summer. First reservation was just 1 week later, with a total of 9 reservations from end of May to end of August. For those months, I was renting out the whole house only (since I live here, that means I had to stay elsewhere). I did deliberately block off my home frequently during that summer, because I didn’t enjoy having to go stay somewhere else! So, I didn’t rent it out probably as much as I could have! In September, I started listing both two ways–whole house and private room/bedroom. I had 8 more stays from September to December of that year, mostly as the private room/bedroom. My earnings (which all went into a separate bank account) paid for professional installation of a new shower/tub in the main bathroom. I was quite pleased
We were thrown into the fire! We first listed on Airbnb in the middle of the season like you, and were were swamped with bookings. In our first week we had to refuse two because the requested dates were booked.
Although we’d rented both long and short term before, we were unprepared for the hard work that comes with Airbnb. Although we worked hard previously to aim to make our short term guests into repeat business, once we listed on Airbnb then we had to work so much harder in order to get reviews. I think that’s what we were mostly unprepared for - the work!
Our pre-air short term renters were mainly for long weekends so having back-to-back bookings had been rare for us. What would I have done differently? Been prepared! This includes things like having much more bedding, towels, kitchenware than you’d ever think possible, how to get guests out who linger at checkout time, having a reliable 24 hour plumber/electrician/handyman, preparing a completely up to date house manual, deciding how to deal with guest issues … so many things.
But it’s such fun. Good luck
John we began on Dec 1st of 2015 on the top week of high season with Art Basel in Miami and we were SLAMMED! in fact we had bookings well into March within the first month. Make sure you have at least three sets of bedding linens and at least two of towels. We wanted reviews so we did a lot of back to back and quickly learned that most folks liked to book us for Keys or everglades day trips so we learned how to clean our studio well and efficiently.
We eventually liked our shorter stays because the studio kept a lot cleaner then longer stays and we were able to build reviews sooner. Best advise is to under promise and over deliver, example we don’t state breakfast but we provide a starter breakfast of English muffins, butter, jams, bottled water and coffee-tea.
I think that @Carmen and I were separated at birth because our listing went live a week after hers and we’re also in South Florida. We have been back-to-back ever since. So be prepared for that hard work!
Same here. I started listing in mid-August and was quickly overwhelmed with bookings. They calmed down after a week or so and then I stayed booked solid through October. The traveling season in L.A. comes to a screeching halt in November. We started getting smatterings of guests during the holidays and throughout the winter. Now the inquiries are starting to pick up again though not as frequent, because our prices are substantially higher than when we started (now that we have a couple dozen positive reviews under our belt).
I opened my account in 2010 when no one had heard of Airbnb. I have a fully catering studio on the garden level of my single family home. Air was very very funky back in those days. I really didn’t have the room ready to rent. I just wanted to see if it would generate interest in this new fangled Internet vacation rental thing… and it did! So I rushed to get it fixed up (new toilet, fan, bed, paint, screens, etc.)… and started booking super cheap!
My first guests were a couple from New Zealand. They loved it! I shudder to think of the place back then… as my first guests saw it! It’s been greatly improved since then! I then got lots of interesting guests from places like the Baltic States or the Czech Republic. My favorite guests ever were from Norway. I keep in touch with them to this day. I wish more like that would book but I hardly ever get guests from exotic places anymore.
Now I mostly host Americans and Canadians. Also, Germans.
Our high season is November through April. I am always back-to-back busy during those months. I relax a little in the summer but I can still get the occasional guest here or there. Right now I am hosting a Wimdu guest for 17 nights. I like Wimdu (based in Germany) because the host keeps 100%, and payment was made just as I woke up the next day.
On Hawaii Island, we get quite a rainy season in summer. But summer ALSO brings perfect snorkeling. No waves or swells to deal with… and seems like lots more fish and activity! Who cares if it rains in the afternoons? You can still get out in the sunny mornings and see fantastical sights… large schools of yellow tangs, black tangs, convict tangs, sea turtles and dolphins. Needlenose fish, parrot fish… all going about their lives on the reef. My son and I snorkel together in the mornings now that he is home from school. Our home is just minutes from a secluded beach that is part of our neighborhood. The drop off is dramatic and deep and the snorkeling is so cool… as long as you are not afraid of heights! Today we went to a nearby bay to snorkel and were all alone out there. It’s just not very busy with visitors to Kona right now.
I started in the middle of high season last year and had my first booking request while I was uploading some pictures on the first day.
My tip: make sure your place is ready to be booked.
Yes! You are right on that tip. We were in a similar situation. The listing went up on HomeAway and an artist was on the way to town. It was quite exciting to have a booking request for the same day. We were still assembling a bed for them a few hours before checkin.
I would recommend that you stay in the rental unit as a guest for a night or two. Pack an over night bag from your house and try it out to see what the guest will see when they book.
We are in Orlando right up against Disney property and listed in mid March of this year. We could have booked the entire month of March if we had realized what a popular time it would be. We would have started to host earlier! Aprils’ booking were about 50% of the month with multiple requests for the same dates (so we know what weeks to raise prices a little next year). May and June were quietly sporadic but still a nice amount of bookings. There was more time to casually turn over the house for new Guests.
All this month is strictly weekend Guests - Friday to Sunday/Monday for 7 weekends straight into August.
I completely agree with everyone’s statement about be prepared for all the additional work it adds to your life! But bring on that new lawn and freshly painted house!!