Should I list on Airbnb?

That’s right! That’s the question I’m asking myself right now.

Keeping an open mind, I logged into Airbnb for the first time in a while, as I recorded here:

<<Looking at Airbnb as a host>>

<<Looking at Airbnb through the eyes of a guest>>

I must say that both experiences, weren’t particularly positive. It brought back a lot of angst.

Why this change of heart? Why even consider moving back to “listed”?

Everything I teach through The Business of Holiday Rental is experience led. I have to experiment with various aspects, technology and third parties to know what works and what doesn’t.

And I feel I need to experience Airbnb again, to reconnect with it.  With the good and the bad.

Despite negative press and peeved owners, Airbnb is still a buzz word in our industry, still the go-to place for many holiday makers.  It’s a huge player with a loyal fan base.

Moving to “listed” will not take away one bit, my drive for direct bookings.  Highly likely the opposite as I just know from my first impressions above, how I’m already clenching and tightening up!

And I won’t want to stay listed for long.

My key questions that I need answered are:

Is it as frustrating as it used to be?

I know previously, my business model is not a good fit with Airbnb’s.

I price either a short break (3 or 4 nights) or 7 nights.  A short break is approx 80% less than my weekly rates.  I do not take my 7 night price and divide it into a per night rate then multiply by 3 or 4.  That would mean in low season a 3 night short break would be £233 (£545 weekly rate divided by 7 x 3).  My low season short break is actually £445.  And that’s the lowest I’m prepared to accept per booking.

My changeover costs are the same all year around and high because of the extra touches I add and me outsourcing as I don’t live locally. They cost me around £110 (welcome hamper, cleaning, laundry, guest toiletries, supplies). And that’s without factoring in my time when I do help out and doing the admin and the marketing to get the booking in the first place!

Plus add in some wear and tear and heating costs – taking only £233 -absolutely no way. It makes no business sense whatsoever.

On Airbnb I opted for a 4 night minimum stay at £100 per night in the winter.  Which then makes me expensive for 7 nights as I don’t charge £700 but £545 as already mentioned.

And will I still have to list my downstairs cloakroom as a 0.5 bathroom? I think I will.

Aaaarrggh!!!!

Will it actually be successful for my holiday rental business?

I’ll judge success on number of no-quibble bookings at my prices.

Not the number of enquiries from people asking for a 2 night stay when my minimum is 4. They can stay for 2 but would need to pay for 4!

I’ll judge it on the amount of admin time needed to handle enquires (that don’t lead to bookings).

I always ignore Airbnb’s recommended/average prices.  This immediately makes me look uncompetitive versus other holiday lets. No wonder as generally you’re comparing apples to oranges!  My cottage is not and never will be simply a place to lay your head!

And of course, will my listing even be shown to those searching for an entire home in Yorkshire? I don’t intend to select instant booking as that takes away the control. It’s my business, I want and have every right to approve the bookings.

How will I know if I don’t try? And I so look forward to sharing my learnings with you.

So, I’m going in!

karen

PS I still can’t bring myself to hit the “listed” button! For now my finger is still hovering!