Killing the reviews and going aggressive on pricing.

The good reviews have arrived and they feel good.  The skeptic in me now wonders how much they matter because when I look at similar listings they all have perfect review scores too.  Either all our competition is being awesome (I doubt this), or bad ones have quit (maybe), or guests all feel like they have to write good reviews.  It might be a little of all three.  Our first month was the best month so far for income as we only had 2 guests for the full month so there weren’t very many days blocked off for cleaning.  This month we have 7 days blocked off to clean in-between guests.  This accounts for the reduction in money that we are getting.  Our income per night rented is going up but our overall income for the month took a huge hit by not being able to rent an entire week out of the month.  I wonder how much a good cleaning service would cost (and if it would cost less than the money we are loosing cleaning it ourselves).  I’ve started to wonder if we have a friend or sibling who would be happy to do the work.  It is hard to find someone you trust enough as quite a bit depends on them being dependable.  To help compensate for this loss of income I changed the setting on our pricing (we use the website usewheelhouse.com for automated pricing) to aggressive, increasing the base price by $11/night.  I struggle with if this is the right decision and if the only result will be that we will just get more last minute bookings as our pricing comes down as unbooked days approach.  That being said, we have gotten several booking since I’ve made this change.  I would like it if there was some nice metric I could look at to know how this is affecting our listing.  Views have been going down for a while now, however that can just be a function of being about 50% booked through Christmas as the days people search for are not available.  I really wish Airbnb would offer a A/B testing system for their hosts, it could really help me know what is working and what isn’t.  Without science it is just guess work and faith.

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