I’ve been thinking about starting a blog for some time. I procrastinated for ever, and had lots of fearful thoughts about failure, and then fearful thoughts about success, and I finally decided that if I don’t start somewhere, I’ll never know anything about this medium!
We have been renting our 4 vacation properties on Airbnb and other rental platforms since 2009. You will be hearing from me (and sometimes Rob) as we document some of our own experiences. We plan to include information that will help us all in our Airbnb/vacation rental process. My hope is that we will learn together, and if an entertainment factor is present, that’s great too.
Yesterday on a vacation rental forum (vacation_rentals@yahoogroups), I learned that Airbnb has made Instant Book mandatory for new hosts. You never want to believe everything you read, so today I searched the Airbnb community pages and found confirmation. New hosts cannot opt out of Instant Book. Period. What I don’t know is if this is rolled out system-wide to ALL new hosts or if it’s a trial. I also have no knowledge of whether Instant Book will eventually be required of all hosts across the platform.
The one and only time I tried Instant Book, my property was double-booked. I list on other vacation rental platforms, and the calendars had not synced correctly. This was before the Superhost system was fully in place so there was no long-lasting fallout from it, but I was penalized in that my home fell in the search rankings. (This is an intuitive guess, I just didn’t receive any inquiries for awhile.) At any rate, I immediately turned Instant Book off, and have advised others that list on multiple platforms to not trust this feature. I’m also wondering how those who share rooms in their homes feel about this, since it eliminates the vetting process.
Rob and I have organized a local meet-up group, called Home Share PDX which holds meetings monthly. We have had over 18 meetings since our inception. I’m planning to include this topic during our next meeting. I’ll let you know how it goes, and I expect there will be some strong energy expressed. Our meetings tend to be energetic and fun, we have a great group of hosts that are truly passionate about what they do. Our last meeting was on “Sex, Drugs and Rock n’ Roll” which was a hoot, but that’s another topic for later.
Do you use Instant Book? I would love to hear your experiences and what you think of this new change on the Airbnb platform.