2 days minimum vs 3 days - will this in fact increase days rented?

good morning fellow hosts and hosting experts. Seeking advice on whether to drop to a 2-day minimum, from my current 3-day minimum, & whether that would actually increase revenue - does anyone have a good algorithm for this?.

Context: my airbnb is usually rented 100% of the summer months, 75% of shoulder season (March - May and Sept - Oct), 65% the rest of time. Some of this non-rental is available days that dont get booked, however the majority is days that are eaten up either in preparatory time for the next booking, or in 2 day blocks between bookings that can’t be sold as my minimum is 3 (around 4 days a month are ‘lost’ in this way). I need to increase revenue. However I cannot handle same-day changeover nor one day bookings.

I’m conflicted as while in theory this change to 2-day minimum would get me more bookings, my fear is that moving to a 2-night minimum could actually create a larger number of smaller breaks between bookings, and this just all results in the same revenue but with more frequent cleaning.

Couldn’t find a similar previous topic, so hoping someone can help or re-direct me.

Thanks

Do you do your own cleaning and charge a cleaning fee (i.e. does your cleaning fee add to your revenue)?

Good thinking. Unfortunately I dont have capacity to do my own cleaning, in the same way I dont have capacity to do a same-day turnaround, as I have a full-time job. So I have to try to wring more bookable days out of the model.

I only asked about the cleaning fee because I have seen hosts that do keep the fee for themselves claim that they make more money overall by having shorter stays. But if you’re not profiting from the fee then that doesn’t necessarily add up for you.

I’d suggest that you keep your 3-day minimum and then manually change dates in between to shorter minimums, that way you’re not losing days by keeping your 3-day. I have a 4-day minimum but sometimes get stuck with 2 or 3 days in between longer bookings and change those dates to shorter minimums manually so that they still get booked.

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Just antidotal - pre-pandemic I had a 1 day minimum and my booking were about what yours are. I too am blocking the day before and after a booking.

Post-pandemic I put in a 2 day minimum and I seem to get mostly 2 or more day bookings. Mostly weekends. I then go back into the weekdays that are open and change it to 1 day bookings.

You could do the same - stay with 3 day, then open up unbooked weekdays to 2 or 1 day.

I do my own cleaning so I get to keep more money even if it’s only one day.

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I also have a three-day minimum since the pandemic and block a day between stays. If someone is arriving or departing on a Friday or Saturday, I usually allow a same-day turnover because I know I’ll have time to do it and don’t want to lose the weekend. I also then change the minimum stay to two days, since folks usually don’t want to stay Saturday through Tuesday, for example.

I find that I am now getting mostly 3-5 day bookings and have raised my prices so am making more overall, with most Tuesdays and Wednesdays empty, which suits me fine.

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We have 2 day minimum except direct, most guests come Fri and Sat, other weekdays do fill up.

I would do 3 night min instead of 2 night min. I think that with 2 night min you would get booked for Fri and Sat. night leaving Sun night unbooked. I personally would book a stay for 3 nights thinking that I would check out Sun night.

Try the 3 night min for a month and see if it works out. If it doesn’t work out, you can always change it back to 2 nights.

good advice, a lot of site maintenance but feels like it’d be worth it. Thank you.

Also, when I decrease the minimum, I raise the price. For example, if it’s $179/nt for 4 nights but I go down to a 3-night min then I might change it to $189/nt. On the rare occasion that I have a Fri/Sat that I change to a 2-night minimum, I increase the price more dramatically because people will pay quite a bit more per night for a Fri/Sat combo (and that decreases the loss I’m taking by booking a lower minimum at least by a bit).

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Hi @icenisf

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to hosting, so no-one here can answer your question with any authority I’m afraid.

You need to look at your local market for similar properties. You need to look at what demand is in your area for two/three night stays and what supply in your market is like.

Many are facing reduced demand due to saturated markets, and in the case of the UK falling demand due to inflation and hugely increased cost of living due to massive utility hikes,

Finally many have been affected by the way Airbnb has messed about with its website settings.

You’ll find a detailed article on this topic here: https://www.airdna.co/blog/whats-the-best-minimum-night-stay-policy-on-airbnb

I’d be curious on what Hosts think of AirDNA’s MarketMinder service or alternative pricing services like Wheelhouse.

Why don’t you try allowing 1 day bookings with highly marked up price, and give discount to more than 2 days 30-50 %, that way when guest search for more days they think they getting huge discount, and you will be in search more often also.

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that sounds like a do-able idea! Thank you!
Air shows the lowest price available, right?

I might try a $99 weekday add-on special during July to get some more bookings in my new listing. Since I have the days before & after marked off for prep, that leaves either people adding a Thursday or Monday, or booking in the middle of the week.

I thought about this and I think it may help to at the very least to make Fridays a 2-day minimum, even if you kept your other days as 3-day mins. My reasoning is that one of the auto-choices for guests when searching right now is “weekend” and it appears that weekend only means Fri and Sat to Airbnb so Friday has to be a 2-day for it to come up.

But I think it means inclusive of a weekend and not only Fri/Sat to some people so some may book more than just the 2-days anyway but it will get your listing seen. And even if you get a couple of 2-day weekend bookings, there’s nothing that begets more bookings than a booking - your listing will pop up higher for 2 reasons: first for having a weekend available and then second because you just booked. It may be worth a try.

For example, if my target price was 100 USD, I set my base price to 200 USD, and will give 50% discount for 2 days booking, so whoever searches 2 days or more will see a discounted price, 200 USD crossed out and showing the guest 100 USD daily price thinking they are getting a huge discount. From experience, I almost never get 1 day bookings, only few a year, and they are always last minute same day booking.