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Winter Is Coming – Surviving Melbourne’s Airbnb listing performance across Winter

Are you reaching Mother of Dragons levels of concern with regards to your Airbnb’s income as the colder, quieter (off-peak) months approach as a host across Melbourne? If so, this blog post is for you.

How are bookings impacted?

Seasonal change in Melbourne is characterised by the sunshine filled Spring and Summer months from September through to February and colder periods of Autumn and Winter that persist from March through to August.

As the traditional hospitality industry keenly understands, seasonality plays a major role in growth and profits across the months, quarters and years.

Entry into the low season comes with a natural market decline in the number of bookings made, and overall occupancy levels for all short-stay properties across Melbourne. Differences as large as a 40% decrease in average occupancy rate can be observed between high season and low season bookings (Airbnb Hosting Performance data, 2019).

It is important for us to ensure that your property remains a competitive and viable option amongst the hundreds of other properties in the market. In line with an average occupancy level decrease in the low season, we will usually expect to lower your rates across the board to a sustainable yet profitable level accordingly with market trends. This takes careful consideration into looking at your goals and how your property has performed in the past, and tailoring our nightly rate changes accordingly to either remain stable, or to begin pricing more aggressively – after all, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going!

It’s not all doom and gloom!

Here are our key recommendations when it comes to tuning up your listing and helping it stand out against the growing competition both in Melbourne and abroad.

According to Inside Airbnb, the broader Melbourne area now boasts 22,895 Airbnb listings and still growing year on year. This ongoing growth has meant that many recreational hosts have become accustomed to very quiet periods punctuated with ongoing downwards pricing pressure. Good old market forces at play.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Professional hosts across the globe understand that diversifying your booking platforms, being less reliant on any single channel is the path forward. If your properties are only listed on Airbnb, it’s time to consider a channel management solution that helps maximise booking availability and opportunities.

We’re multi-platform experts here at Roomerang; each listing under our management is synced and listed across 30 global platforms, spanning over 7000 websites. Our in-house specialist bookings and pricing strategists are constantly monitoring market data and optimising rates to ensure our properties stay ahead of the curve.

Tell your Wintry story

With increased competition, listings can no longer be left with one singular design aesthetic across the calendar year. Your listing’s story needs to evolve between the major seasons.

Those hosts that continue to invest in their properties, those that style for warmth are undoubtedly the most successful. To achieve a snug and homey setup, focus on tactile textures; think timber, natural stone and rattan. The use of organic materials in furnishing pieces can provide a warm and inviting ambience to any space. It is also the perfect base to add indoor greenery, bringing a freshness and natural quality to the space. Swap out your satin cushion for a decorative knitted one for some depth. And finally, choose a sandalwood based scent to complete your wintry feel. Don’t forget to have a working heater to keep your guests warm and toasty!

With your styling tuned beautifully, professional photographs are a must! It is important to visualise a guest’s arrival and the story you wish to reveal to them as they settle into your listing. So find a fantastic local photographer and make a plan to have great visuals available across both Summer and Winter.

As a bonus, updating your Airbnb listing with fresh professional photos not only helps your listing pop off the screen for potential customers, it is also is a strong factor in improving your listing’s search performance – Airbnb platform loves an updated listing.

Avoid escalating bills

It’s not rocket science, in Summer people want to stay cool and in Winter people are seeking warmth! Unfortunately those desires can lead to astronomical bills as guests leave the heater on throughout their stay.

Avoid these large fluctuations, take control of your listing’s heating and cooling with smart devices that provide guests with limited control. We love Aircon Off’s universal smart remotes and occupancy sensors. The placebo effect on the smart remote is all kinds of amazing, you can set the absolute temperature to be up to 5 degrees lower than that displayed on the remote. Your guests will still stay warm (or cool in Summer) and importantly your electricity bills will be reduced.

Whilst the quieter Winter period can be a difficult time for many hosts, it’s important to remain proactive in your hosting enterprise. Now is the perfect time to plan and implement our simple yet effective tips. We’re confident you’ll be prepared and land new bookings throughout the colder months in Melbourne.

Better yet, take a trip to the Maldives and escape the cold!

As Melbourne’s own property management experts we’re here to help other locals truly achieve hassle-free hosting. Roomerang handles all aspects of short-term rental management service from guest communications, listing your property across multi-platforms and 24/7 guest check-ins.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out on Facebook, contact us or book a time to chat with one of our experts to tailor a solution just for you.