Any down side to offering a discount to returning guests?

We have some guests(husband/wife) that come into town once every 3 months. When they stayed at our bungalow last time they immediately booked for this time. I am thinking of offering a discount to keep them coming back. They are the easiest, best guests, and have stayed 4 nights both times. Any downside to offering a discount? Our area is pretty busy but to know I have some great guests returning over and over I tempted to try to keep them coming back to us.

Why don’t you just get them to book directly. Then they would save Airbnb fees. They get a discount - you keep the same profit margins :wink:


Exactly, they are your clients now you paid Air for the lead.



I would not offer return guests a discount if you can easily fill those dates with new guests at full rate. Unless of course, most of your guests are pigs and these guests are like gold…then maybe it is worth it to give them discount. Only you know if it is worth the money.

But like Helsi and Riverrock said…why are you not booking them directly and making them pay ABB fees?

Here is the Houfy import tool. It will import your listing from ABB in less than 10 seconds. Free now and will be for a very long time. Just send your departing guests your Houfy listing, and returning guests can book you directly on the Houfy site - offers Square and Stripe. And guest pays zero service fees. And you aren’t at the mercy of ABB’s extenuating circumstances. And you get paid immediately. No middleman holding the money.


I used to get my returning guests to book directly by having a business card with my details. I offered them a discount for cash. The only problem (I find) is putting your rates up later or as in once case when I no longer wanted that guest booking but couldn’t bring myself to tell her until she cancelled at the last minute for no good reason and then offered to rebook later and take up even more space at discounted rates. Now I just leave people to book on AirBnB and don’t offer any special discount.

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Or if they don’t show up last minute, and you’re left with empty dates that were held for cash. I did that once and never again. Luckily I was able to rebook the dates, and didn’t lose anything.


You can book direct and still collect money up front. I offer the same cancellation policy as airbnb. Just no fee’s for them. Money up front.


I do the same. It is weird getting the money and holding it myself, instead of having ABB hold it.

I like it though! #bookdirect :slight_smile:

I get to interact with guests more, have their address, email, phone. I control the terms and what circumstances are “extenuating” (aka none, haha).

Difference feels to me like working at a restaurant vs working at a restaurant you own. (I’ve done both). A modicum of control is much preferred to a pervasion of fear.


I do that for direct bookings for guests i have’t had before (ie through the government tourism website I pay to list on and they give out my email address). I charge a 10% deposit straight away, 50% within a month of arrival and other 40% within a fortnight. usually because these sort of bookings are for Xmas-Jan (my summer) and I definitely can’t afford to have them cancel at the last minute. The downside is I get the cash myself and spend it well before they arrive, if that is a downside.

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Yes, you are giving away money.

Like all the others say, have them book direct with you. Always take a down payment.

AirBnB charges 100% upfront so can you.
We take 30% to confirm the booking, and the rest should be payed 1 month before arrival.

Last minutes (within 2 weeks) before arrival are 100% at booking. Never had any problems.


The link states that this is a free trial until… Jan 1st 2019!

From the policies on the site, it appears that they want listing from real estate agents, not property owners.


Are you referring to the tutorial screenshots? Houfy is free. When you list, you will not be asked to enter any credit card information, etc.

There are quite a few members of this forum listing on Houfy who can attest to that. Let me know if you are seeing it listed somewhere else. Thanks.

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@nordinghouse - Houfy is short for “House For You.” First and foremost, it is a site to share local information with people. There are several other aspects to Houfy too. Keep in mind the site is currently in test/development mode.

Houfy will include a real estate section, long term lodging, boutique hotels, and vacation rentals, shared spaces, etc. - In essence, anything under a roof.

Anyone is welcome to import their listings - whether that be a real estate agent who manages 100 properties, or if it is a single owner. There is no preference of who can list their properties.

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We don’t offer discounts to return guests… technically. We do offer extras at no charge. Free early check in and free late check out; half off a third night; free third night on a mid-week stay.
The small print says not over holidays or busy seasons.
We also will ask for a much smaller security deposit (which is less of a strain on their credit card).
But the first thing is why they’re returning. We do bend over backwards for our guests and they seem to remember that, right up next to what they remember about the house!
Many of our return guests come back to different properties so they’re coming back for the service.
Treat your customers well and you’re already adding a value that so many other owner/managers don’t!

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When guests book directly with you do you have a system to record and confirm with them? Or is the guest just trusting that the unit will be saved for them?

It’s in red type at the top of the first tutorial page. I’ve contacted Houfy who wanted a screenshot; they didn’t know about this. Anyway, it is still free and they sent me a link.

It doesn’t seem well known in the UK. No listings for my area as yet, but worth a punt.

Yeah…videos, screenshots, etc. are gradually in the process of being cleaned up and updated, as the site sometimes changes frequently since it is being developed/tested.

Def. import your listing if you haven’t already! The majority of people who have listed on Houfy are also listed on the OTA’s - including Thijs with his own rentals. But it’s a great way to build up your own repeat clients with an easy method to book directly with you next time. And also a great way to be found if a traveler googles your property to avoid the service fees on other sites.

Many with their own business FB pages are posting their Houfy listing on there instead of sending them to book through the OTAs.

We don’t discount for repeat visitors. Instead we let them book if they loved our place enough to come back and put a bottle of local wine and some glasses in the fridge for them to get a nice surprise find. I’d love suggestions for another offering. I"m aware that wine could be tricky for someone that has been addicted etc.

What do you think?

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Will you be covered if a drunk guest does damage on alcohol you supplied?

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