Getting your first reservations with Pillow

Property owners who have recently started using home-sharing platforms may initially experience a slower than expected booking rate. After servicing thousands of reservations, and building up many owners’ businesses from scratch, we understand it sometimes takes a bit of work before owners start to see some traction with their booking rates. The following are some variables we have aggregated from our experienced listings, which typically help build a listing’s bookability.

Why is my property not getting booked?

1) Lack of ratings and reviews on Airbnb and HomeAway/VRBO
When you're just starting out in the world of home-sharing, you may not have any ratings or reviews on your listing page. Our data shows booking rates generally increase after receiving 3 positive guest reviews. However, while guests typically choose a space that has many positive reviews over a property with no reviews, there are ways to connect with your guests on a different level. Adding a personal photo or other information on your Airbnb profile can help to establish a connection with potential guests.

2) Price has been set too high
A traveler may be more likely to choose your property over one with more reviews if your pricing is more competitive. Pillow utilizes a proprietary pricing algorithm which prices your property dynamically. Pillow  property owners are encouraged to set their price minimums lower for the first few reservations to get some great early reviews. For more information on  how to set your price lower for selected days, please reference this article, here.

3) Pictures are not appealing enough
Pictures are important, but in Pillow's experience they come second to both reviews and price. While verifying your property details, our Pillow Pro may have taken placeholder photos of your property. We highly encourage  scheduling a free, professional Airbnb photographer to take better pictures of your property. However, it can take up to a month to get photos uploaded by Airbnb because  their  editors quality check each  picture. For more information regarding Airbnb photography please read:Are the picture you take final: Airbnb Photography

4) Improve your Airbnb profile
If you're new to Airbnb, there are several things you can do which may increase your booking rate. While you should stay away from the settings and calendar (as those sync with our platform), we encourage all our property owners to take steps to improve their profiles once they're on Airbnb. To read more about how to do this, see our article "Pillow's Guide to Using Airbnb".

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