One recent example of changes that may impact you are the “night limits” that Airbnb has set for rental properties in select cities.
What are night limits?
There is pushback against Airbnb in some markets where available housing for local residents is in short supply and high demand. The night limits are Airbnb’s compromise to appease local regulators and still enable hosts to rent properties in certain cities.
Last year, Airbnb announced two cities in which they would be enforcing night limits–London and Amsterdam. In London, the limit is 90 days, and in Amsterdam it is 60 days. The count is for the whole calendar year. If hosts wish to rent a home for more nights than the limit, they are required to apply for a license. Similar regulations are appearing in San Francisco with a 60-day limit. (Note: The limits apply to properties that are listed as entire homes and not to rooms in a house or apartment in which the host lives.)
How Airbnb Night Limits Affect Vacation Rental Hosts
Limiting the number of nights you can rent out your properties severely limits your revenue potential. In fact, recent reports claim Airbnb has lost up to $400 million in revenue for London bookings since the regulation was put in place.
For someone who runs a vacation rental business as their main source of income, night limits could mean the end of your business. Plus as a property manager, it can be more profitable to book longer stays with guests. You don’t have to worry about properties left empty and paying for the upkeep without revenue from bookings.
The night limit regulation may have you wondering: How can I best keep running my business year-round? Here are some recommendations from BookingTeam.com:
1. List your vacation rental on more booking sites.
Although Airbnb is one of the most popular sites for people to search for vacation rentals, there are several others that you can utilize. Post your rental properties on other booking sites. Other sites like HomeAway, TripAdvisor, Wimdu and more don’t have limitations on the number of nights that can be booked.
2. Accumulate good reviews.
Guests base booking decisions heavily on a property’s rating, so it is critical that you have lots of great reviews. Build up your reputation and ranking on other rental sites by getting more positive reviews. Of course, that may be easier in concept, but harder to execute on as a host.
First and foremost, you need to craft consistently excellent guest experiences. Be highly responsive to messages and inquiries. Communicate with your guests throughout the entire booking process, and be friendly and thoughtful. Don’t be afraid to ask guests to leave a review and give feedback so you can continuously improve your experience.
3. Lower prices on other sites.
Because many guests may go to Airbnb, you need to offer them some incentive or reward for booking with another site. Offering them a discounted price if they book through another site allows you to get more bookings throughout the year and supports your business for the long-term.
The vacation rental industry will continue to be affected by rental site changes and local regulations. Airbnb’s night limits are just one of the most recent examples of that. BookingTeam.com’s platform and booking professionals can help you to stay up-to-date on changes, navigate the complex vacation rental market and optimize your properties to be sustainable year-round.