<![CDATA[For those of you that logged into Stayz on the 1<sup>st</sup> of the month you'll have been shocked to see that you couldn't purchase a priority listing for August 2017. After a swift phone call to the Stayz Sydney team we can confirm that priority listings will no longer be offered from August 2017. Yes, that's right-this is the end of priority listings for good.
Yes it really is gone...
From August onward there will also be significant changes to the way property rankings will be calculated:
- Payment points will no longer be a part of the ranking calculation
- Rank will be calculated based on only conversion rate and listing quality
- Conversion rate will play the most significant part of the ranking algorithm
We estimate that if listing quality maintains the same proportion of rank boost score as it did previously (prior to scores being hidden by the new dashboard) then it will play an insignificant part of the ranking calculation. However, Stayz will be keen to promote it as an important factor in order to continue to encourage owners to improve the quality of their listings.
What does seem somewhat harder to swallow for properties that historically have had extensive bookings is that a new property could quickly overtake them in the rankings with only a few bookings at a high conversion rate. It would seem somewhat harsh that Stayz's best customers could find themselves knocked down the rankings even though they are out booking newer properties 10 or 20 times over. The Stayz staff member was unable to comment on this as they had not been provided with extensive details as to whether there was any criteria to prevent this occurring. Certainly, for a new customer, there is greater opportunity to establish a higher level of income more quickly than previously. Once the new rankings are in place it's unlikely that rankings will move significantly if owner behaviour remains consistent. Only a radical change in behaviour is likely to result in significantly increased conversion rates.
Stayz is peddling these changes as a way to improve the quality of listings displayed to guests - the theory being that higher converting properties are higher quality properties. I'm not sure this is necessarily the case. Under-priced properties also convert at high rates. One thing is for sure – the stability of income that priority listings provided is over. Owners will now face a competitive future where a poor conversion rate will see them spiral down the rankings and revenue dwindle. It's a bold move by Stayz and suggests that they are starting to feel the pinch of Airbnb's growing presence.
Whilst this may result in a fairer system for all Stayz owners it is baffling as to why Stayz didn't proactively notify customers of the change instead of letting them find out the hard way.
If you are concerned as to how this will affect your listing? Contact us to find out how we can help you achieve conversion rates that will keep you at the top of the rankings before it's too late...