One of the major reasons why travelers love Airbnb is because it offers something for everyone. Whether it’s a three-bedroom home in a quiet, residential area or a shared room right in the middle of the city, you’re bound to find a property that fits your budget.
Even though guests will probably find a property in their price range, it’s not uncommon for guests to ask Airbnb hosts for a discount. After all, what’s the worst that can happen? The host can decline.
But should you? Can a lower price ever work in your favor?
In some instances, it can. Read on to discover examples of when several hosts are typically willing to negotiate.
Guests are allowed to contact the Airbnb host about the nightly rate. They can, for example, ask for a lower nightly rate or a percentage off the total cost of the booking.
While there’s nothing against negotiating, be cautious of guests asking for a discount on top of a special offer. This could be a potential red flag that a guest can cause issues and the booking more trouble than what it’s worth.
It’s essential to understand where your potential guests are coming from when they ask for a discount. Many travelers operate on tight budgets, and a small discount can make a significant difference in their travel experience. By being empathetic and understanding, you can foster a positive relationship from the outset.
Several factors can influence the negotiation process:
Offering discounts or special offers can be a way to build trust and loyalty with guests. If a guest feels they’ve received a good deal, they’re more likely to leave a positive review and even return for future stays. Consider implementing a loyalty program where repeat guests receive special offers or discounts.
Instead of just offering a price discount, think about other value-added services or amenities you can provide:
To help Airbnb hosts and guests get the best deal, here are a few pointers to help with this sensitive situation. You can offer discounts and still make a great success of your short-term rental business. Here’s when:
It’s a common strategy among new hosts with few reviews to reduce their rates. The idea behind this is that if they can attract bookings quickly it will make it easier for them to get reviews. Once hosts have a number of good reviews, they can start to increase their price slightly as they now have reviews to help them attract bookings. In other words, they no longer simply need to rely on a discounted rate to make their Airbnb rental an attractive option.
This strategy, though, can only work in your favor if you land positive reviews. If you neglect the guest experience, the guest can still give you a bad review. In short, a rental at a lower rate doesn’t guarantee a good review.
The proverb better half an egg than an empty shell comes to mind. If it’s the off-season and supply is high, you might have to be willing to negotiate your rate. It’s a common pricing strategy used in the hospitality industry and makes sense in the bigger scheme of things.
It’s the end of the year and travelers are looking forward to a proper holiday. You’re happy because your calendar over the festive season is basically full, apart from those two available nights before the next stay. In this case, you’ll need to consider offering an incentive to make these dates more attractive to guests. One of the best ways to do that is to ask a lower price for these dates.
If you accept longer stays, offering a reduced rate or discount is a good idea. As a matter of fact, many hosts do this and so guests kind of expect it. Think of it like buying in bulk. If you go to Walmart to purchase your cleaning supplies in bulk, you also expect to pay cheaper. The same principle can be applied to Airbnb rentals.
It’s not just about pleasing guests. Making longer stays more attractive can work in your favor. You’ll be able to save time on guest communication and cleaning. Plus, it solves the problem of midweek bookings which are generally harder to attract.
If you don’t like the idea of offering a lower rate, how about dropping the cleaning fees for a booking? Cleaning fees can be a deterrent and can bump up the price as soon as the guest is ready to book.
In fact, Airbnb introduced a feature specifically for this reason allowing guests to display the total before taxes. What’s more, the platform prioritizes hosts with upfront pricing and no cleaning fees.
However, if you still want to go ahead and charge your separate cleaning fee, you’re more than welcome to do so. Just keep your act clean and be transparent about additional fees.
If a guest sends you a message via Airbnb’s messaging service before they make a booking request, you can respond with a special offer that includes a custom price. The guest will then have 24 hours to accept or reject this offer.
If they ask for a discount after they’ve sent a booking request or booked the property, you’ll first have to change the reservation details before you can offer a discount.
If you plan on offering a special offer, just make sure that you first screen the guest by reading prior reviews or doing a quick Google and/or social media search. After the guest has accepted the request the booking will be confirmed automatically and then it will be too late to withdraw your offer.
Airbnb also lets you send multiple offers for the same dates. Though, if you want to use this approach, make sure that you’re open in communication. In this case, make sure that you mention to guests that multiple guests are interested in the same dates and that whoever accepts the offer first will get this deal. You can also encourage guests to check out other dates if their booking request is unsuccessful.
Here’s the thing: unlike a discount, being polite won’t cost you a thing. When a potential guest contacts you about a discount, it’s key that you remain professional. In some cultures, this way of doing business might be seen as inappropriate, but it still doesn’t give you the right to respond rudely.
If it’s a common occurrence, consider crafting a message template while you’re still cool, calm, and collected. Not only will it prevent you from messaging in anger or annoyance, but it will also save time.
For example, with a tool like iGMS, you can create message templates in a matter of clicks. Aside from using it for responding to requests about special offers, you can also use it to create check-in and checkout instructions. Then, using the message template editor, you can organize the templates using criteria like date of creation.
In addition to its message template, it also offers Airbnb hosts of loads of other features to help them advance their business like:
Negotiating prices on Airbnb is a two-way street. While guests are looking for the best deal, hosts need to ensure they’re still making a profit and providing a quality experience. By understanding the factors that influence negotiations and being open to offering value-added services, hosts can strike a balance that benefits both parties.
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