A Detailed Look at Airbnb Instant Book – Is It right for you?

What is the difference between Instant Book and Smart Pricing?

In today’s post, we will explore the difference between Airbnb’s Instant book and Smart Pricing, the pros and cons of turning Instant Book on, and the pros and cons of Smart Pricing.

Instant Book Vs. Smart Pricing

Understanding the Pros and Cons of Instant Book: the Pros

If you had any previous experiences booking a hotel room, then you have come across the concept of Instant Book. It is a convenient feature that allows guests to instantly book a place to stay. As a host, this feature is not automatically turned on in your host profile and needs to be turned on manually.

One of the benefits of turning this feature on is increased visibility and higher ranking amongst your competitions. I wrote more about it here. According to another third-party, 9flats.com, hosts that have turned on Instant Book received a 61% increase in bookings.

In addition, another benefit of turning on Instant Book is the ability to increase your response rate, which is an important factor in ranking higher in Airbnb’s search algorithm and working towards the SuperHost Status.

The Cons

Instant Book is a convenient tool for guests to instantly book a place to stay. In my previous post, I talked about how these party crashers almost killed my business. When you become an experienced host, the challenge is in the screening of the guests, because you are more picky about the type of guests that you want.

My Experience with Instant Book

I have Instant Book enabled from day 1. In the past 9 months, I have progressed from my journey as a new host to a Superhost. Airbnb’s Instant Book allowed me to:

  • Earn more revenue
  • Build my reputation as a new host by getting more reviews
  • Helped me achieve Superhost status by increasing my response rate
  • Helped me rank higher in Airbnb’s search algorithm

Is Airbnb Instant Book right for you?

Hosts usually fall into two categories (myself included):

  1. Profit-driven hosts aim to maintain high occupancy by having Instant Book turned on.
  2. Hosts that are more interested in achieving a balanced lifestyle by having Instant Book turned off.

You can decide if Instant Book is right for you! Obviously, there are more than 2 categories for hosts, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s just run with this for now.

What Is Smart Pricing?

Smart Pricing is an automated tool developed by Airbnb for hosts and lets you set your prices to automatically go up or down based on changes in demand for listings like yours.

I wrote a detailed post on why I would never use and recommend smart pricing to new hosts or experienced hosts. You can read more about it here.

It is a clever business strategy for Airbnb to compete with hotels by slashing prices. You know that Airbnb is doing a huge push to compete with hotels and in order to attract new customers and it is in their best interest to slash prices to compete with the hotel chains. While this strategy is great for Airbnb, the hosts are left to eat the costs.

Be sure to check out this blog on why Smart Pricing is a really bad business decision for hosts that are profits driven.

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