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What were your newbie hosting mistakes?


#21

Getting over the fear of saying no. We are not the most child friendly listing. We had a young couple with a 2 month old beg us to allow it for Christmas and they left one day into the three day stay giving us a 2 star review because our old wooden floor squeak waking the baby up and they never slept more than 20 minutes. We apologized profusely and refunded the rest of the stay but those stars hurt for the fact we thought we were being nice by allowing them to stay. Just be nice but firm and say no.

We have a triplex, rent two and live in one. After having air re-home people trying to sneak in extra guests we message everyone upon booking to say we live here and will be meeting you. This curtails a lot of shennanigans before they begin.


#22

My mistakes, were I didn’t think like a guest when I first set up my listing. I didn’t state in the listing it was a lower level apartment and we lived on the main floor. I didn’t take into account that someone new coming into the apartment may not easily understand the pass-code door lock and how it actually locks the door when inside the apartment. My mistakes were about the details, and how to effectively communicate the necessary information without overloading a guest to the point they stop listening. After my first month of hosting, I believe I nailed down the right balance and it’s been fairly smooth sailing with the very odd tack starboard or port to deal with an emergency. A good way to get a true guest experience understanding is have a family member or friend stay in your rental without giving them a walk through or explanation and have them critique the stay. As far as using the Airbnb website I didn’t have any issues with using or understaning the requirements, procedures and available options. I have been on instant book from the start and have never declined a guest request.


#23

Underpriced the crap out of the place. Was charging 1/3 of what I later discovered the market would bear. Still, made a profit against what I would have made renting out the apartment by the month to local college kids like I normally did. Now that I’ve got my act together (somewhat) it usually bring in 2-3x what renting monthly would have brought in.

Now I check surrounding spaces on AirBnb and usually try to be in the lowest 25% of prices. Then if I still don’t have a rental that evening, I lower the price every couple hours until either I get a guest or the deadline for new bookings passes. High occupancy is my goal.


#24

Do you have a season or can you get 2-3X year round.

I used to do that but now keep my price at my normal rate. What I sometimes do is push my deadline for booking back. For example I have tomorrow and Monday open. I take bookings until 3 pm but tomorrow if I’m not booked by noon I may push it back to 6pm. If I’m not booked at 5 pm I push it back to 7pm. In 4+ year and 500 guests I’ve never had a booking after 8pm.

Maybe I could get a few more bookings if I’d lower my price but I usually have maintenence or extra cleaning or just enjoy a day off.


#25

My newbie mistake was including fruit snacks in my bowl of snacks for visiting families. Only took me one guest to learn that lesson, as I dug a half-eaten fruit snack out of the crack of a brand new chair and spent 20 minutes scrubbing the fabric to get all the sticky out. :worried::persevere::joy:


#26

FYI, I get " This listing is no longer available." when I click your link.


#27

That is funny … do you ask for the age of everyone in the group?


#28

ditto here… “no longer available”


#29

Hi @Fahed:

In my mind the biggest newbie mistake I made was booking a local college student. Our first guest too. turned out they used our house as a temporary marijuana trim house. It took 4 days to get that smell out of the house! I am still mostly on the No Locals bandwagon, but if the circumstances were good, I might reconsider. The other newbie mistake I made was cutting some slack in reviews for newbie guests. Always review honestly but without emotion ( I did one of those as well :confused: Fortunately it is far outnumbered by recent excellent reviews and careful responses. It is a constant learning process. I own another business and am very familiar with dealing with the public and have to battle the review process there as well. After 12 years in that business (family entertainment center) people STILL surprise me, good and bad. Just keep checking the forums and asking questions. The ONLY stupid question is the one you never ask! Good Luck!


#30

That’s just how bleak it is!

(I’ve relisted it now, if you want to see what a guest could call bleak)


#31

We work with Airbnb hosts on a daily basis. We have experienced that some of the most common mistakes made by new hosts include: being embarrassed to ask guests for a review, forgetting to research the competition and rushing their listings.

There are so many great tools on the market and so our word of advice would be to invest in automation.


#32

My biggest mistakes were:

  1. Using AirBnB’s recommended prices including weekly discounts
  2. Accepting a 3-week booking when I had the new host bonus

My worst guests were my first guests. They stayed 3 weeks, damaged my home, and with the weekly discount only paid something like $30 a night. I should have taken advantage of the new-host boost and accepted a bunch of short stays to build up my 5-star review. I started hosting in winter and it took a long time to build up bookings and reviews without my new-host boost.


#33

Automation is your advice for most things. Do you sell automation by any chance?


#34

You might get an automated response to that question… :robot:


#35

I don’t find this. I see that the most common mistakes are:

  1. Lack of confidence in their pricing and in dealing with guests
  2. Not making full use of the new host boost
  3. Not learning enough from the Airbnb help section (and here) before starting out
  4. Overselling in their listing

#36

I think this is spot on!


#37

Yeah! I recently removed the fact that I use professional cleaners because i don’t want them to come with th expectation that they can mess the place up. Is that the kind of thing you mean?


#38

I think it’s generally better to be honest about limitations to adjust expectations. Under promise and over deliver.


#39

I know that one thing she means are stating things like “15 minute walk from the beach” when she knows for a fact that listing is 25 minutes from the beach even if you are an Olympic speedwalker.


#40

We weren’t really newbies anymore, but letting my sister in law talk me into having her friends and their 4yo son over was definitely our biggest mistake. NEVER AGAIN !


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