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Late October Doldrums

 
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rosebud



Joined: 14 Mar 2012
Posts: 623
Location: Steyning, West Sussex

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:19 pm    Post subject: Late October Doldrums Reply with quote

My last year and a half have been my best ever for income - hurrah! - and I have a reasonable number of bookings for 2019..

But just 3 days booked so far for this November and my short break prices are a bit lower than last year.

Home Away subscription is now absolutely useless - no bookings since March this year. Last year I did well in Nov through AirBnb but not too hopeful about them as a source currently(fewer people looking, more properties available)
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ianh100



Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 580
Location: Sherborne Dorset

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have been busy through Oct and XMas is booked I think we have one 3 night break between now and Xmas. We will probably get a few AirBnB stays from people working locally or visiting family but don't expect much.
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rosebud



Joined: 14 Mar 2012
Posts: 623
Location: Steyning, West Sussex

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks ianh100. That's reassuring.. Do you use AirBnb in the more popular months or just less popular seasons?

Last year and a couple of years ago, I had more than 3 weeks booked in Nov. However guess it is a matter of 'swings and roundabouts':

A year ago I had 3 weeks booked for the following year, currently I have 9 weeks 4 days booked for 2019!
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ianh100



Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 580
Location: Sherborne Dorset

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We don't tend to get Airbnb bookings at peak times as I set a minimum 7 nights stay. We are getting an increasing number of bookings that route outside peak dates but at pretty good rates so more than happy.
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Sid T



Joined: 27 Oct 2018
Posts: 11
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tempted to go with airbnb myself but do not like their added fees for customers.
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ianh100



Joined: 10 Jan 2013
Posts: 580
Location: Sherborne Dorset

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sid T
That is an interesting comment and I do understand it. The reality is that our routes to market are constantly changing and none of them are free. It's great to get direct bookings but to do so you need a good and up to date web site and work whatever methods to drive customers their which cost time money or both.

We struggled to work out how to keep consistent pricing across channels but have decided that is not really possible. sites like Air BNB and Booking.com drive nightly pricing and short breaks. Our web site pushes for weeks.

I am finding people booking on Airbnb and booking.com are prepared to pay more (they may not realise they are) than looking out a direct booking. I think we just need to adjust pricing models to suit the place they are advertised.

I see an increasing trend on Airbnb to pitch a low price and then have many additions like cleaning and significant costs per guest per night over the base cost. I personally don't like that but it seems to be a trend. I have seen properties that sleep 6 offer a really low price for single occupancy which more than doubles when you say 6 people are staying. I find that very frustrating when trying to search myself.
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e-richard



Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Posts: 5006
Location: Algarve, Portugal

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sid T wrote:
Tempted to go with airbnb myself but do not like their added fees for customers.

All the big sites (HomeAway, TripAdvisor, Airbnb etc.) now charge guest booking fees, but the thing to watch out for at Airbnb are their ridiculous cancellation conditions. Unless you are a Super Super Host by invitation only, you can find yourself refunding 50% for a cancellation only 1 week prior to start of holiday.

For larger homes in foreign destinations rebooking within 1 week is as rare as getting the guest contact details prior to the holiday.
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PIMS: Holiday Rental Management system
They say we learn from our mistakes. That makes me a genius !
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rosebud



Joined: 14 Mar 2012
Posts: 623
Location: Steyning, West Sussex

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting Ianh100 that you have a minimum stay of a week on AirBnb..

Now trying that for Jan and early Feb..

AirBnb have certainly driven prices down locally. I have also had occasional unsatisfactory guests through them, including the last set where it appears a child took away a finial from the end of a curtain pole.
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Sanchisimo



Joined: 03 Apr 2010
Posts: 142
Location: Andalucía, Spain

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For our two city apartments we have found Airbnb the best both in terms of numbers of bookings and quality of guests. We also advertise with HL and HA but have avoided Bookings com based on friends’ experiences. We haven’t gone down the route of dropping prices and don’t include hidden ‘extras’ such as cleaning. I’ve always ignored the ‘lower your prices’ and ‘reduce your minimum stay’ (currently 4 nights) messages as they are just generated by some program. I always thought that reviewing guests and these reviews being prominent when people are requesting to book has helped keep the behaviour of guests in check. For our rural farmhouse in the mountains, Airbnb have yielded almost nothing at all.

Interestingly, when we go on holiday, I am happy to pay booking fees just for the ease of use and peace of mind. We use Airbnb mostly and read reviews carefully along with forensic examination of photos. This has worked out well travelling around Cambodia earlier this year (we were booking places only a few days in advance as travel plans weren’t fixed) and recently in Marseille and Aix-en-Provence last week. I cannot be bothered to book direct, have e-mails going back and forth and make international bank transfers as well as have no real guarantee that the booking is real. As a traveller, Airbnb works very smoothly. It may be stupid but I think it’s how people are these days.
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Sunbeam



Joined: 10 Aug 2015
Posts: 142
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Sanchisimo about guests being fine about booking fees - we have seen a significant increase in online bookings via HA with the associated fees. As owners we pay a 3% fee and are happy to do so for the ease of not having to manage payments, security deposits etc. Lots of change with online booking and fees versus direct bookings in the last few years, but it doesn't seem to have a negative affect on bookings.
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