Should I use Instant Book?
A couple of months ago we covered the recent changes on Airbnb and HomeAway. Basically, both of these rental sites and many others are working towards favoring instant bookings over the current system. They’re encouraging every host to use their instant book feature to increase efficiency and make the sites run more like how hotel booking sites do. Vacation rental sites are encouraging hosts to use Instant Book by showing these listing higher in search queries, ultimately getting them more business. Despite this, Instant book isn’t ideal for every host. Keep reading to learn more about Instant Book and if it’s right for you.
So what is this feature?
Instant book rentals are popular because they don’t require any communication between the host and the guest before booking is confirmed. Guests just choose an available property they wish to book and process their payment, just like a hotel.
Should I use the Instant Book option?
Pro: Better rates of conversion- Today’s traveler loves immediate gratification. So booking with the instant book option plays into our modern desire to get everything done quickly.
Con: The decision isn’t yours anymore. If you like to get to know your guests before they book, then instant booking may not be for you. You can always set parameters to make sure that instant book guests have reviews, or photos but this extra step does take time to put in place.
Pro: Less admin time- Hosts like this feature because it cuts the time that you’re interacting with potential guests before they book. All Hosts are busy, so instant booking is an excellent way to increase efficiency while potentially increasing your earnings.
Con: Increased chances of cancellation-Because Instant booking is so simple and fast, guests may book your rental to makes sure they have a space while they look for a better bargain. They may also book even though their plans aren’t set it stone. The ease of this type of booking makes it more susceptible to a higher cancellation rate which may affect your bottom line.
Pro: Rental sites favor it- Most vacation rental sites’ algorithms favor listings with instant bookings. So you’ll see your listings come up higher in search results when this feature is enabled.
Pro tip: Know of another way to increase your efficiency? Hosty – the professional vacation rental software that helps you run your business with ease.
So is this feature for you? On the one hand, it can increase your Airbnb rentals. But on the other, there is some added responsibility attached to using this feature. Do you choose to keep it turned off? Let us know how you handle this in the comments!