Howdy to all you happy hosts and rental rock stars! I hope your September was full of booked nights and 5-star reviews. As we move out of summer and into the winter, for many hosts it means the end of the busy season which makes a good time for some rental evaluations. Did you receive multiple reviews with the same suggestion? How does your pricing compare to the competition? Do your pictures do a great job of selling your rental? Slower times are the best time for a little rental self-reflection. Now let's get on with the September Host Wrap-Up!
Airbnb IPO Drama
We have been hearing about it for a while now but the question still remains: when will Airbnb go public? Its been looking like they have been aiming to go public for 2 years, but no official word has been given. For those unfamiliar with what that means. "Going Public" is essentially the process of when a privately owned company becomes one that can be bought and sold on the stock market. It means the company no longer has a soul owner or owners that are making the decisions but now must answer to a board and its shareholders. I have no idea what that will mean for hosts, but it will undoubtedly mean changes will happen. So it's a good thing for hosts to be aware of.
While we wait for Airbnb to announce, you can get some amusement from the internal soap opera that is playing out. Many of the Airbnbs employees received stock options as part of being hired, but those options expire in November of 2020. Bottom line is if Airbnb does not go public by next November, a lot of employees will lose out on a lot of money. So there is an incredible amount of internal pressure for them to go public soon. If you want to read about it in more detail I suggest these write ups in Business Insider
and the New York Times.
STR your Swimming Pool
You can use Airbnb to rent out your home, Turo to rent out your car and now you can use Swimply
to rent out your swimming pool. That's right Airbnb for your pool! Rent your pool with all its amenities for an hourly rate. I have to admit at first I thought this was completely silly. But the more you think about it, on a hot summer afternoon with a couple of friends and some cold drinks I would happily pay to have access to a private pool. As a business owner, I would worry about liability issues and maintenance. But if you can get enough per hour those seem like issues that can be overcome. Good luck to all you future pool renters out there!
This month's listing spotlight is a natural off-grid Adobe Dome in the Desert. This rental
looks like the perfect place to go off the grid and connect with the barren beauty of the desert. The first thing that jumps out about this listing is the photos are amazing! I am not sure I love including real people in the pictures though, makes guests feel like they are looking at a friends vacation photos making it less special for them. The listing write-up starts out strong with great selling points but ultimately suffers from TLDR syndrome (too long didn't read.) I would advise pulling out the important pieces of information into bullet points to make the readability easier. But overall I love the listing and would be thrilled to get to sleep there myself someday.
Got a listing you want us to feature? Send it our way at firstname.lastname@example.org
How to Automate your Airbnb Messages!
Constant, clear, communication with every guest is the key. Provide it every time to every guest and you will dramatically cut back on guest issues and increase your 5-star reviews. The only problem is that constant clear communication is stressful and time-intensive. Guests need answers quick! And, you want to message them as soon as possible in order to secure more bookings and to keep your current guests happy. But being available to answer messages day and night is just not possible. I mean, we're all human and we need to sleep at some point, right?
Question of the Month
Rental hosts rarely receive the opportunity to see how other hosts operate. Which makes it hard to learn and improve. The solution? Every month I ask a question so we can all learn from each other. Let's take a look at last month's question:
Do you allow guests access to the Washer & Dryer?
I am on the majorities side here. It seems like giving guests access to a washer and dryer is almost all downside with very little upside. Are guest really booking your rental over another one because of the washer and dryer? I highly doubt it. Giving them access is just one more thing that can break and needs to be cleaned. But I could be wrong if anyone in the 22% has a compelling reason for giving guests access I would love to hear it. Hit me up at email@example.com.
This month, I want to look at what kind of TV options do you offer: