It's August in London and it has been a hot summer. My guests have been complaining about the rooms being too hot to sleep in at night. I have no air-conditioning in the house; the UK is not famous for it's warm weather so most houses do not have it. The Airbnb smart pricing system is keeping my prices low. It seems demand does not increase on any day as the smart pricing always seems to be the lowest possible price. The suggested price for some of my listings is ridiculously low. I honestly feel the smart pricing system is not working, but I have no choice, if I stop using it airbnb will stop sending me bookings.
It's the end of the year and New Years Eve is only days away. I had a last minute cancellation of a guest for NYE. I took this as an opportunity to increase my price for this night and after having done so it was booked again within an hour for a 50% higher price. Clearly there is a last minute rush to find a room and that is when you can really get that extra profit.
Reducing your prices can start a cascade of bookingsDecember I find is a quiet time of year and usually so is early January. At one point during the month I reduced my prices by 20% to avoid being empty, the first time I have done such a thing in as long as i can remember. Reducing prices instead of being empty is sometimes the best thing to do. I am very much of the opinion that bookings usually follow other bookings. By this i mean that if you reduce your prices to get a booking the airbnb algorithm will see you got a booking and therefore promote you further as usually this means more bookings will flow.
Warn your guests from overseas about ChristmasIt seems every year I have a guest who seems to not know the consequences of being a guest in London on Christmas day. A guest from South Korea arrived at my house on boxing day. I had already warned him when he booked that the 25th of December is a public holiday and there will be no public transport and that most of London will be closed. When I spoke to him he started asking me about how he can get to the British library. I explained to him that there is no public transport and even if there was public transport the British Library would be closed! He seemed extremely surprised. I guess some countries so not understand the enormity of Christmas day in the west.
A friend of mine has just become an Airbnb host for the first time. His first guest had just finished her stay with him and had left a nice review. The listing is a private room in his London flat near Shoreditch high street and he charges £35 a night. Being an experienced Airbnb host myself my first question was "did you use the airbnb photographer for your listing?" He said "No need, I did the photo's myself." This is a classic mistake.