Howdy, to all you happy hosts and rental rock stars! I hope your November was full of booked nights and 5-star reviews. I know a lot of hosts, especially newer ones, fret when winter comes and their booking rate drops. It's the holiday, everyone is traveling, why am I not booked solid? Well, for much of the country the holiday season is about family time over sightseeing. Even though a short-term rental is more comfortable than Aunt Lucy's pullout couch, travelers will suffer through back pain for more family time. So, if your winter numbers are slumping, don't panic. Just jack up those New Year's Eve prices and wait it out. Now, with that little PSA out of the way, let's get into November's Rental Host Wrap-Up:
CFO for IPO
In case you missed the last episode of corporate musical chairs, ten months ago Airbnb let go of its CFO, Laurence Tosi. The reason behind this move was murky at the time but it seems like things have cleared up with this new hiring. They have poached Dave Stephenson from Amazon and within moments of being hired Dave spoke about the plans to take Airbnb public by 2020. Why should you care about any of this as a host? Well, if Airbnb goes public then the company will be beholden to its stockholders. This typically means that a company will become a profit-driven entity above all else. It could mean more efficient processes to make hosting easier and it could mean higher fees both for hosts and travellers. It is hard to say what kind of effect this will have without being able to see Airbnb's financials. This is just something to keep track of as there might be big changes coming to Airbnb's business structure. For more details on the hiring, check out this short video from Bloomberg.
Want to be on TV? Want to get your short-term rental spruced up? Well, why not both! The producers behind the reality TV show, "Running Wild with Bear Grylls" are casting for a new show where they work to improve short-term rental properties. They are looking for everything from experienced hosts with slumping sales to new hosts with the perfect location but no idea where to begin. If this sounds like something that tickles your fancy, check out the casting page and start filling out the forms. Just let them know that Good Host Shop sent you their way. And, don't forget us little guys when you make it big, ok?
In this month's listing spotlight, we travel west to check out a gypsy wagon right on the edge of a national treasure, Joshua Tree State Park. This little wagon is the ultimate in hipster cool for all you boho badasses (or at least those that want to play the part for a few days.) If this listing lives up to its incredible pictures than it is worth the $150/night price tag. The listing asks guests to "come in with an open mind as this might be an adventure that you have not yet experienced. Lose yourself in all the details as you feel the beauty of the outdoors brought inside through the windows in this tiny house." Well, all I can say is, sign me up!
Hosting Tip: Avoid the Hosting Sin of Wrath
Guests can and will rub you the wrong way. These guests are strangers in your space and it's hard not to, at some point, get pissed off at one of them. Whether you're a new host who is not familiar with how to handle troubling guests or you've been hosting for a while and find yourself with a growing resentment towards guests, you need to find a way to shake it off. This is especially true when a guest leaves a negative review. When a guest chooses to write a review and publicly criticizes you, how can you not take it personally? This is when you need to separate your personal feelings from the fact you are running a business. Respond quickly and politely. Make sure to address any possible concerns that future guests might have based on that review. And, don't get into a back and forth battle of words. Just calmly and politely state the facts and move on. If you find yourself perpetually feeling angry at guests for even the smallest things, maybe it's time to take a short break from hosting. There's nothing wrong with taking a break. That's the beauty of this business. You can start and stop hosting whenever you want and you should take advantage of that. Need help with your other hosting sins? Check out this post, 7 Deadly Sins That Will Kill Your Short Term Rental Business.
Poll Question of the Month
Hosts rarely get to see how other hosts operate which makes it hard to learn and improve. The solution? Every month, I ask a poll question so we can all learn from each other. Last month, I asked about your pillow situation:
How many pillows do you put on a Queen size bed?
- 45% - 2
- 47% - 4
- 1% - 6
- 7% - 6+ decorative pillows
Over 90% of our hosts go with the 2 or 4 pillow option. So, if you are looking to match up with most hosts then that is where you want to be when it comes to pillow offerings. And, for those wanting to be a little extra, go a little crazy with the 6+ pillows!
This month, I want to ask you about your check-in situation: