Firstly, lets work through the pros and cons of each
- Its free to list on Airbnb (no upfront or annual fees)
- You will increase the exposure of your property
- Overseas guests are increasingly using Airbnb to book
- Kiwis are starting to use it (especially those who travel overseas)
- The booking / listing tools are easy to use
- Great Iphone / Android App for managing bookings
- There is a 3% booking fee on each booking
- The guest pays a fee to book also, which makes your rates appear higher
- It takes time to setup your listing & learn it
- Increased work managing multiple listings
- Need to keep the calendar up to date on multiple sites
- People expect instant / fast responses from you!
In general, I think that any additional exposure that you can add to get your property out there is good, so if you have a bit of spare time to get it setup, my advice is to do that. You do need to be aware of the expectations of Airbnb guests, they are normally a younger crowd and expect responses quickly. I would recommend you download the app for your smartphone as this makes responding quickly a much easier task, even if its only a couple of lines!
One of the most important things is to make sure that your calendar is up to date on each site. I recently spoke to a guest who had booked some accomodation in the Marlborough Sounds, only to find out a few days later that the owner hadn’t updated their calendar, and in fact the dates were not available! The owner missed a potential booking, and the guest was upset and is very unlikely to reschedule or book again. So, put a process in place. As soon as you confirm a booking on one website, be sure to go ahead and update the calendar on the other to ensure that the dates are blocked out and can’t be booked.
At Awesome we always list our client properties on all 3 main holiday listing websites (plus our own in-house booking website). Our dedicated 24/7 team manage and co-ordinate calendar requests so that we can reply within minutes to a guest enquiry, and ensure no double booking!