24th April 2019
7 Strategies for Remaining Profitable on Airbnb During Winter
While the low-season does come with its challenges for hosts, through a few tweaks to listings, hosting style and mindset, it is possible to remain profitable all year-round. With Airbnb, winter doesn’t have to call for waning income and interest. Even though attaining bookings may not be as effortless as it can be during peak travel months, there’s no reason why you can’t grow your Airbnb revenue during this time, with the right steps taken. In fact, if you’re totally new to hosting, there are even a number of reasons why winter can be a great time to start out as a host.
With the right strategies and preparation, winter can be the perfect time for setting up the foundations for a lucrative summer while you continue to prosper as a host. While many of your potential competitors on the platform may be dropping their game with the temperatures, the low season can be a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of gaps in the market. Powering through the entire year with the same vigour that is synonymous with high-season gives hosts the upper-hand on their overall Airbnb efforts.
By implementing these 7 strategies, Airbnb hosts can expect to stay profitable throughout New Zealand’s winter:
Lower Your Nightly-Rate
A lower nightly rate for off-peak season accommodation isn’t exactly groundbreaking, but it is something hosts often forget to do or don’t do enough of. Hotels, backpackers and other competitors will all be dropping their rates significantly during this period and if you want to stay on par, it’s a good idea to measure your prices against theirs.
When considering how low you should drop your rates, take all of your expenses into account first. This will help you understand how much you need to be earning to cover your costs and allow you to remain profitable while attracting as many bookings as possible. Lowering your nightly rate doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice profit, with the right fine-tuning you should still be able to earn enough to cover your fixed-costs with additional earnings on top.
Offer Discounts and Highlight Them in Your Listing Headline
Once you’ve decided on how much you want to cut down your prices by, it’s important to ensure you’re making everyone aware of the great deal you’re offering. This is a simple yet effective trick that will promote the value of your discount. Users searching for properties on Airbnb will be made aware of your low prices as soon as they see your listing, making them even more likely to click and enquire about staying with you.
Don’t Charge Per Person
Setting your nightly rate for each guest may be a great earning strategy when accommodation is in demand, however, in the off-season you need to get even more competitive. Offering a flat rate for a property can be just what separates you from the rest with your listing and oftentimes, it can be the difference between a guest making a booking with you or choosing to go elsewhere.
While you may not need to charge for extra guests, it’s still important to set a maximum number of guests. This will allow you to control the number of people staying at the property while still inviting partners or families to stay at a discounted rate. Strategies during winter are important, but it doesn’t mean you need to completely disregard your usual standards.
Offer Discounts to Past Guests, their Family and their Friends
Encouraging guests to return on Airbnb is a highly effective way of increasing your earning potential on the platform. Repeat guests are a valuable asset to have. With a regular customer base of various types of travellers, you’ll be able to sustain high booking rates regardless of the time of year. Reaching out to offer discounts can be exactly what a person needs to trigger them to make a visit to your city and to stay at your property. Going further to propose discounts for friends and family widens this circle even further, giving you a broad network of prospective guests.
Increase Discounts for Long-Term Guests
Long-term guests are highly-sought after travellers than will rent your Airbnb property for up to a few days to a few weeks at a time. There are a number of benefits to attracting these kinds of guests, particularly in winter where your occupancy rates may be lower than usual. Having a continuous revenue stream in the depths of low-season can be highly beneficial for all types of Airbnb hosts.
You can find out more about optimising an Airbnb listing for long-term guests here.
Enable Instant Bookings
Typically, instant booking isn’t the favourite feature for most Airbnb hosts. This is usually due to wariness about immediately accepting guests without manually vetting them first. However, in the winter time, success on Airbnb is all about removing any potential barriers from guests making bookings and this is exactly what the instant booking feature does.
Instant bookings make it extremely easy for guests to book to stay with you. It’s convenient for hosts, convenient for guests and can even help improve your listing ranking in search results for your city. Hosts are allowed to set their criteria for guests that are able to make an instant booking, so this will allow you to filter out some guests that you aren’t entirely sure of.
Consider Adjusting Your House Rules for the Right Guests
House rules are important. They allow you to be comfortable with the guests you accept into your property and provide assurance that your home will be respected. While low-season doesn’t at all mean that you need to compromise on your rules, it can be a time to reassess your values. Certain rules that can be adjusted may lead you to receive more bookings than before. Rules like “no pets” or “no smoking” can sometimes restrict potentially awesome guests from booking with you. If you think that your rules are perhaps negotiable, this time may be an ideal opportunity to make a change with the goal of improving profitability.