What’s a gap night, you ask? (Maria asked :))
It’s simply a period of time between two bookings that’s shorter than your minimum nights stay setting. For example, if you have your minimum nights stay set at 3, but there’s a 2-day gap between bookings, that period cannot be booked.
This is just another method of creating gaps when you feel tired of guests :) I, however, think that's a bit unpredictable method, but also an option, if you just need some gaps, but not sure about exact days. If you need gaps on certain days then nothing is better than setting them manually. It can be done in seconds with Pulse app.
And a little bit of psychology and strategy.
1) short rest for hosts
If your place has many last minute bookings, then open them really last minute. That's way instead of guest arriving at 2pm, you can have him arriving at 11pm. 9 hours of rest in addition to night sleep, especially if you have them every day, are good option.
How to set up:
Off and on. Block the current day, and then open your room the hour you need. It's just 1click on Pulse
High price (running, but less chance of people booking) + low price (last minute and big chance people will book)
Create last minute deal, click on additional options and choose time when your deal will start. For example, from 8pm to 11pm.
Running property completely on your mood (if that's a plus for you:))
Late guests need just a sleep, so they have no time to create a lot of mess. Less cleaning
Less interaction with guests arriving late, can mean more rest
Can leave keys at mailbox or other self check in method, if you love this practice
Minuses: short rest is not enough to fully recharge the batteries
Last minute deals can mean less income
2) short rest or long rest by blocking the calendar for next days or opening them up for future bookings
Blocking coming days for urgent rest. Or creating early bird deals and lowering prices for months ahead. Some people are great planners and trying to catch the deals for May holidays and New Year holidays
And something is very simple as that: resting host means less income. Awake host means more income.
Some people would say, why it is so difficult for him to answer his phone on Sunday? It's just 5 minutes matter. But our brains need time to switch from working mode to vacation mode. That's why it's better not to bother a person, who is on vacation. Labor laws are fighting for less hours working and having vacation time for a good reason.
And consider hiring people to help you. This time you can use for rest or finding another properties, if you need more income. I feel happy, that my staff is well paid and their life became better.
From my experience hosts from different parts of the world start hiring people when they have more than 3 rooms of any kind.
Katerinka once again many thanks for your very helpful suggestions. Now I understand very well what a gap is.
Actually what I really wanted to have is an option for preparation time,to block 1 night before and after each reservation automatically to prevent guests from departuring and arriving the same day. Since my Studio is 85 sq.m. with big veranda and balcony, private parking and not just a room I need plenty of time for cleaning. I can block nights manually but sometimes reservations come in so fast that I dont have the time to make desired alterations. I thought that no departures/no arrivals function was what I needed but unfortunately it is not.
Your psychology and strategy tips are highly appreciated. Happy and relaxed hosts means happy and sattisfied guests. Although last year I only had one last minute booking my rest bookings are mostly early birds.
Until the end of March is relaxing time for me. Starting April I will have no time for so much chit and chat since we have to move downstairs and so many things have to be done inside and outside. Spring is a full time month for the garden, especially this year that we had a very cold winter and many of my beautiful flowers and plants have to be replaced. Although I have a lady for cleaning and a gardener for the garden enough is never enough....
Thanks again Katerinka for posting...
Actually what you would want is unfortunately offered by AirBnb but not by booking.com. It would also be a big plus for me to be able to say I want 1 day unbookable before or after any booking. IT wise a pice of cake. They should do it.
Thank you so much for posting this very insightful and detailed information, Katerinka12.
Surely so many other partners will benefit from it.
Looking forward to your next post :)
I also look forward to Katerinka next post. Katerinka is always posting very interesting and inspiring posts....
My guests can book up to 12 o'clock the day before.
My channel manager has a button for:' no same day bookings" and love that.
No racing for me. And that's ok too.
In busy times you can set a minimum of two days and you will naturally have single days left open sometimes and use that for breathing space.
Another option is to let somebody else do the cleaning now and then. I've got hubby to help sometimes but often too busy on the farm, so most of the year I do it all myself. And if it's getting all too much I have a cleaner coming and she is very good. Often just before someone comes for long term say 3 or 4 days in a row. We host friends in our house as well and have a big garden, so in summer it is all full on.
Aaltje-B- No same day bookings... wish booking.com could have this feature... I also have a lady helping me but if I have same day departure and arrival have not enough time to clean a 85 sq m Studio...
Wish you well...
Katerina, great advice on this and I just implemented it!
M Adamopoulou - I listed my property bang in the middle of high season last year (August for Sardinia). I cleaned it up and had it ready and got a same day booking at peak price. It was someone whose accommodation elsewhere had fallen through. I hear you about same day being difficult, but you can also advise them they will need to check in a little later as soon as they book. I didnt need to do this as my apartment was available before that. I just read the stats that same day bookings are increasing!