Many Airbnb Superhosts are reporting a drop in vacation rental bookings.
Most experts chalk it up to a supply demand imbalance. Unfortunately there’s not much you can do to fix that over saturation. Instead, let's look into what you, as a vacation rental host or manager, can actually control to improve your BNB listing(s).
How can I overcome a drop in vacation rental bookings?
If you want your Short Term Rental (STR) bookings to increase, continue to grow and remain profitable. Start by focussing on your main objective, which should be to:
" Stand out from the crowd"
1- Consider naming your STR
This is very simple and easy. If you haven't already. Give your STR a name and even a tag line. For example; Quail's Inn "Kelowna Family Retreat". Then secure a domain name, e.g. https://www.quailsinn.com/.
2- Re-evaluate your marketing strategy
Of course the large OTA's (online travel agency) such as Airbnb and VRBO offer significant advertising value when it comes to exposure. But are you getting lost in their *algorithms? Have the OTA's saturated the STR market?
Regardless, it is always wise to diversify your marketing strategy. List at as many OTA's as possible. At the very least Airbnb and VRBO.
Look locally for booking sites, here's a good example. https://www.okanaganvacationhomerentals.com/
Look for government funded tourism sites that may allow a free or low cost listing. Example: https://www.visitsanantonio.com/category/lodging/vacation-rentals/
Consider creating your own Vacation Rental Booking Site. Not an easy endeavour, but it is considered a very worthwhile investment. From $40/mth plus about 40 person hours of setup. Or. Simply start with a one page web page that could include pictures, contact info and a link back to your listing(s).
Consider setting up a "Google my Business" page.
Have you been building a guest email list?
3- Update and freshen up
Now that we're all dealing with such a competitive STR landscape. Keeping your property up to date is crucial. Inspect, repair and replace.
Refresh furnishings. Freshen up your linen supply. Paint. Get rid of chipped dishes and so on...
Focus on something that helps your property stand out from the crowd.
4- Improve Listing Quality
Refresh images and verbiage. Consider hiring a photographer. Try adding a video.
Review pricing. Not saying lower, just take a good hard look at the competition. Increase value before adjusting rates.
5- Improve turn-over efficiency
How efficient are your turn-overs? Who is doing a final inspection ahead of check-in? Are linens washed on site or off? Either way you should have a clean supply of bed linens and bath towels ready for your cleaners.
Are you allowing enough time? 11am to 4 pm is typical.
6- Customer Service
Welcome your guests either with a message or in person. Follow up again at check out. Ensure any issues go through you or you manager. Otherwise you run the risk of a guest leaving a negative review. As we all know "stuff' happens.
Re-visit your guest manual. Include cheat sheets in particular areas. For example points on how to use laundry in the laundry room. Check out procedures. Contact, WIFI & checkin/checkout times on another card.
Do you leave a welcome card or basket?
*Algorithms are complex mathematical computations, in the case of the big OTA's, booking site algorithms are designed to benefit the corporations desired outcome.