It's September in London and Summer is drawing to a close. Like every year so far the July and August period has been slow. It's unusual for me to have empty listings so i really notice the difference. I believe things are now picking up as i'm full for the next few weeks. The prices I have been charging for my airbnb listings are higher this year than in previous years but only by a small amount. So far no great wealth has flowed from airbnb for me but it has paid my mortgage and then some.
Should you pay for the official Airbnb Photographer?
When I started doing Airbnb nearly 3 years ago the airbnb photography was free. You simply used the online link and then a photographer was sent to your listing and usually did a very good job of the photography and a week later your listing looked beautiful on the website and more bookings flowed from it.
I have 4 listings and three of them had the free airbnb photographer. When it came time for the forth listing to have its photo's taken all of a sudden I started receiving the message "no photographers are currently available in your area"
from airbnb. I kept trying and got the same message until eventually i forgot about it. I recently tried again and was told that I needed to pay £77 to have the photo's taken. So is it worth paying for the official airbnb photograher?
The advantages of the official photography are twofold. First you get excellent professional photos of your space usually much better than you might ever take yourself. Second your photos become 'verified' which means your listing should rank higher in the search results. If your expecting to be a airbnb host in the long run it must be worth having the official airbnb photos.
Why you must use Instant book!
It seems now that airbnb will automatically apply the Instant book filter whenever someone is searching for a listing in the immediate future. So if someone is looking for somewhere to stay tonight or maybe tomorrow then when that person searches in airbnb it will show only those listings which are 'Instant book' ready.
So if your listing is not instant book and your hoping to fill a last minute vacancy then your chances of getting a booking just dropped through the floor. Anyone who is searching for a last minute airbnb deal is going to go for those places which are instant book ready
; as time is short. So you could be losing your best deals by not being instant book ready. I find I can charge much higher prices on last minute bookings (sometimes 50% higher).