Part 6 - Getting Your Booking Parameters Setup – Encompass RL


Part 6 - Getting Your Booking Parameters Setup

Posted by John Fryer on

Now it's time to get all the nitty-gritty details put into your listing. There's a lot of options and nuances, and making sure everything is set will avoid hassles and make management possible, and let you get the most out of your listing.

Booking Settings

How Guests Can Book

This is where you set if people can book your place without messaging you first. Many entire place rentals will set this so they can vet guests, talk to them before they allow them to book. A big reason for this is because one of the main problems with renting out an entire place on Airbnb is house parties. This is much less of a problem for private rooms. You will miss out on a lot of bookings if you're not set for instant booking, but you can set it to require guests to message you before you accept the booking.

Guest Requirements

The Airbnb standard requirements cover some basic things, but if you want to get a little more built-in vetting for guests, you can set to only allow people with a profile photo, government ID, or even ben recommended by other hosts so you don't get anyone new on Airbnb or anyone rated as bad.

The biggest most important thing here is the Pre-Booking Message which you want to set so guests have to read it before they book. This is a good place to do some prevetting yourself. If you have any out of the ordinary rules you can put them here. Otherwise, this is a good place to ask what they're coming into town for, and what time they think they'll be here.

House Rules

A few checkboxes here for you to fill out. If you allow children, pets, smoking, and parties.

Then a section for additional rules is an important section to fill out for things you don't want to allow. Quiet hours, if you have another Airbnb room, and anything else that people should know. It doesn't need to be an extensive amount of rules, just anything unique or that you want to make sure guests are aware of.

A little further down there are a few other checkboxes for things about your property, like if stairs are required, or if you have pets, and a few other things you'll need to checkmark and explain.

Policies

The Check-in and Checkout time should be separated enough that you can get the room clean in-between. There will be times when guests ask to check in earlier or check out later of course, but having these policies set will give you the grounds to stand on for enforcing it when needed. Here you will also set the latest time someone can check-in, which you may want to set before you tend to go to bed, or later if you have a self-check-in option like a keypad.

The cancellation policy is also set under this section. Having a non-flexible cancellation policy is for when you have guests that book your place well ahead of time and then end up canceling. During the time that they have it booked, other potential guests can't book your place. If you're in an area that doesn't get a lot of last-minute bookings, this could end up costing you a lot of money. It also could end up being a hassle with management. Even still, there's something to be said to charging people for bookings they end up not using. There is a balance here, and you may have to find a policy that fits best for you and your situation.

Pricing

Nightly price

Setting your price in a unique art that you may end up tweaking a lot. There is a built-in Smart Pricing in Airbnb you can turn on, however, at the time of this writing a lot of experienced hosts find this to be in adept and end up setting your price much lower than it could be costing you a lot of money. Same with the pricing tips that Airbnb gives you. This can be a good way to get started and get a bunch of bookings, but for optimal income, you'll want to set these yourself.

To find a good price manually, you can look at listings in your area and find a good median price. Being the lowest price in the area can end up drawing in guests you don't particularly want to host. Having too high of a price will cause your place to not be booked. To help find this, you can look a few weeks ahead, looking for 2 consecutive days in a row to find a nightly price.

If you plan on having a cleaning fee, then you will want this to be on the lower side per night. This helps encourage longer stays, but you may miss out on a number of overnight stays. If you plan on cleaning the place yourself because you work from home, then you may want to skip out on the cleaning fee and have a slightly higher base price.

There are also a lot of different services you can use that will help you set your price. These can really be worth their cost just for busy times alone. If there's an event going on over a weekend, and the demand goes up, then having these services can make you more than they cost by a lot.

Wheelhouse is one of these services and the one we currently us. Use our referral link for a $10 credit.

https://www.usewheelhouse.com/u/account/register?referrer_id=jb1Kl

Length-of-stay Discounts

You can set a discount for guests looking to book a week or a month at a time. Even with a discount, being fully booked by a guest could end up getting you more income than if you had different guests without a discount. If you find that you aren't getting full occupancy, you may want to increase these to get those long term bookings.

If you're doing a cleaning fee, then you may not want a large discount as that will be partially built into your base nightly price.

Early Bird Discounts

If you're more worried about knowing ahead of time what your bookings are, this is a great way to help get those early planned trips to book with you. 

Extra Charges

This is where you set your cleaning fee. The Security deposit is good for whole place rentals. If you're not using a service like Use Wheelhouse that will handle this for you then you can set Weekend pricing too. Be sure to set the Extra Guests fee. The first two guests should be built-in, but after that you will have more laundry and clean up time, and other costs. Generally, a small amount makes sense here, either $5, $7, or $10 are some good prices for this.

Sharing Settings

This can help you find out what is going on with your neighborhood so you know how you're doing compared to others in the area.

Availability

Reservation preferences

Advanced notice for what the latest time someone can book on the same day. If you go to bed at 10 pm, then set this to that or maybe a little earlier. The latest people can book is midnight. If you think you need a full day to clean, or your city ordinance demands it, you can set the Preparation time for a day or two between bookings. Then for the Availability window, setting it further out can help you get the early bird bookings. At the same time, as events are brought up the demand goes up, so you may not want to be booked for a busy weekend before the prices are increased.

Trip Details

Setting a minimal stay of 2 nights can save you a lot of cleanings, but you will miss out on a lot of overnight stays. Some cities have ordnance on this that you may need to follow. For the maximum stay, many cities have tenant rules that kick in for stays over 28 days, so you may need to limit the bookings to not allow longer stays than that.

Check-in and checkout

Set the time that people can check-in, and what time they need to check out by. The standard average is 11 am and 3 pm, however you may need to change these for your schedule. Although you may want to set something else to attract stays that need later checkouts or earlier check-ins. 

Sync Calendars

This is also where you can get calendars to sync somewhere if you want to coordinate with cleaners or having things in your personal calendar.

Linked Airbnb Calendars

If you're creating multiple listings for the same space, such as if you want the option for people to book either the entire house or individual rooms, you can get them to sync together.

Local taxes and laws

Read this section, and if anything is needed you may need to take action here for your area.

Co-hosts

Having a co-host is a great way to get help in managing your Airbnb. They can communicate with guests for you, edit the listing, and a few other things. We'll cover Co-hosts in another part.

Interested in becoming an Airbnb host?

If you'd like to get started hosting, the first thing to do is sign up as a host. Use our referral code for extra earnings on your first reservation, and get started today.

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Shop From Our Airbnb Host Supplies Collection

We've created a collection of supplies for Airbnb Hosts that link to Amazon product pages. It makes it easier to find what you need for your Airbnb.

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Setup Your Airbnb Guest Account Today

Not even tried Airbnb as a guest yet? Use our referral code to setup your Airbnb guest and you'll get $40 off your first booking, and $15 off your first Airbnb experience.Total of $55 off your first adventure

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