Case Study: Last Minute Bookings - Part 1

 

Do you ever have times when you're frustrated, because you haven't made the bookings that you expect to at a certain date? That is happening to me right now.

I spent about an hour yesterday on the phone with Airbnb and one of the reps took an in depth look at both of my Hendersonville properties on Airbnb and said they were nearly perfect but there was one minor change that we had to make.

I couldn't figure out how to get advanced notice off of one booking and apparently it was to do with my check-in time. I couldn't change it on my end, so he went and helped me out with that glitch.

I have instant booking on, because I cater to couples and I haven't had any trouble with them yet. Your situation might be different, so I'm not telling you how to do it, I'm just sharing what I am doing.

Now, here's the issue, I'm not booked for this weekend. I'm not booked for next weekend or the weekend after that in Hendersonville North Carolina - and this is September!

This is when people travel to see the mountains and look at the leaves. October is our highest month through mid-September. I'm freaking out a little bit. I'm not going to lie.

So, I'm doing some hard work, so that you don't have to. Check out the screenshots below. I hope you find them really helpful. I'm showing you what I did in August, and where I am at in September.

When I did this, it was a Wednesday and I wasn’t booked for Friday or Saturday night. I do have one night bookings. I do accept that - my cleaner loves it! So, I clicked on the date - I have screenshots of how to do that below - and found something that blew my mind.

I know that last-minute travel is becoming a trend, but I didn't realize how much of a trend and how much it had changed from last year. The industry's been going this way, but I didn't realize in such a dramatic way. In fact, 51% more people are looking this year, than they were last year at this comp set in Hendersonville. It probably will be different at your place in Arizona, or Florida, or Costa Rica. So, you have to look at your stuff, but I'll show you how to do that.

The second thing that just was mind blowing, is that only 19% of people who are expected to book for this weekend have actually booked, and it's Wednesday.

I didn't realize that we were at 80% last minute travel! I have gotten bookings, like at 6:00 in the morning, for the same day check-in. I even had one booking at 10:00 at night, which is fine because we're always set up and we're always clean. So I was able to take them.

One thing the guy told me, even though I thought my prices were really good, he said I was kind of on the low end of the skew of prices. It’s possible that it seems like I don't provide good value, if all the other listings are at a higher price. So, I raised the base rate $20.00 a night on one of my properties and we'll see what happens.

I'm going to be playing around this week, tweaking things and such, and then next week I'll show you the results, tell you what I learned, and what I could do better, what I might change, etc.

 

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