Setting Low Airbnb Rates
The short answer: NO!
This is a common concern for new owners. As we implement our trust-building phase we use competitive rates to attract reluctant guests to stay and get reviews at the new accommodation.
The Consequences of AirBnB’s Commoditization On Rates
It’s only after new owners become familiar with the painful reality and impact of AirBnB’s commoditization of the short term accommodation market, that they change their mind about our setting low Airbnb rates philosophy.
After this introduction let me address the concern about setting low Airbnb rates equaling bad guests.
When we talk about setting low Airbnb rates to buy trust we are talking about competitive rates only and not Rock-bottom rates.
As you know, we don’t have the accommodation seeker’s trust yet, and we must use our only effective driver, namely setting low Airbnb rates, to overcome resistance to book.
The guests who book initially are the same guest who may pay a premium rate tomorrow. But with no reviews (trust) forget it.
Only a remarkable holiday home at a bargain will do.
In the market we operate, guests are not poor.
Let me make a statement based on experience.
Even if the rates are competitive you still get great guests.
Now let me share why I say this:
The real risk is not bad guests but rather uneducated guests. With today’s social media profiles guests cannot hide any longer.
And Forbes did a great job of explaining why guests’ requests to stay are sometimes declined more here.
We started our business in 2009. This was before social media. And many people left homes untidy as there was no recourse. Even owners got away with shoddy offerings.
Today Your Social Profile Is A Valuable Asset.
When a guest book and stay they review us. And these positive reviews made us SuperHosts. Trust! As guests depart we review them. And they establish trusting profiles over time. Today we all know the consequences of a bad review for both parties.
Let me repeat: Even if the rate is competitive no guests will risk getting a bad review knowing other hosts will not approve them with a bad previous review.
The only risk for us is first time users on Airbnb. Unfortunately, they are not familiar with the implications of getting a bad review and how it impacts their future ability to use Airbnb. And some of them, ignorantly, will not leave the property in the same clean state they received it.
When they get hit with a bad review they never again treat any Airbnb place poorly. And if they do they get blocked.
Our challenge is to make it as difficult for new guests to book without first qualifying (See Forbes article above) them and then we educate them on what we expect.
To answer the question: No. Competitive setting low Airbnb rates are not the cause of bad guests. Bad guests are mostly new guests unfamiliar with their responsibility.