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Any tips on getting last minute bookings?

Hey guys, having some trouble filling the last few days on my rental this week in LA. Might it be a good idea for me to offer last minute discounts on instant bookings when i can’t find renters for days to get my place rented? I feel like I’m leaving money on the table. I wanted to take a quick survey for anyone willing based in a big city:

What percentage of days are you not booked?

Would you rather always be booked or have a some vacancy?

If you could give a discounts for last minute bookings to get your place rented, would that be beneficial? How much discount would you be willing to give?

I don’t know what is going on but this year I’m not getting any good last minute bookings. I recently advertised 2bd/ 2th condo for 119$ a night for week days ( just to fill it in ) and all I got were people who want to stay but don’t want to pay . I got two request asking me to illuminate cleaning fee / give some more discount . I better stay empty in this case.

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It’s better to reduce the nightly rate. Sometimes even a small drop will immediately result in a booking. For some reason. I haven’t figured out why but have seen it happen several times. It could be a search field that is adjusted?

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We don’t allow last minute bookings. People who don’t plan ahead tend to be more difficult. The last request we had was from a guy on the road, didn’t know when he would arrive and could he check in at any time. We declined him as it is our home we live in. Maybe if it was a rental that we didn’t live in we would feel differently. Had a similar one yesterday for today (we only block our calendar for same day) who asked to crash at our place for a last minute fishing trip. Also declined. These were all at our regular NYC rate. So, I don’t think you should lower your rates, in fact if someone wants a place at the last minute they should pay more imho.

I rarely get last minute bookings but that’s probably because I’m fully booked :slight_smile:

But I recently had a cancellation and the dates were booked up at pretty short notice so it’s good to know that it does happen. Personally, I wouldn’t discount in order to fill dates - I just step up the promotion a bit.

I block days off every month so I’m actually booked about 60% of the days available. I use the smart pricing on ABB but I’ve also gone in and lowered my price sometimes if I’m not booked by noon of a day. I’m a very low price anyway so I only discount maybe 10-15%. I am not in a tourist town, I get people driving through. Often times they are seeing how far they can get and realize how far apart ABBs are in this part of the country and decide last minute to pull in to rest. I like these bookings because they tend to be in and out, not need recommendations on what to do or where to eat, it’s just easy money. Being in LA I would guess that last minute price reduction wouldn’t help you much.

Where is your place located?

Right in the heart of Fort Lauderdale :sunny:

It’s a lovely location right on the water. It’s a small apartment so not for everyone but happily, guests seem to love the quiet atmosphere and the views.

You could put your data into the Beyondpricing and see what they say (just for a trial). They will mark prices up and down just for that reason. For instance, if I have just a two-day opening they will deduct from the price because two-day bookings are hard to fill.

Their theory is that a ‘healthy’ score is 50% booked in the next 30 days, and 32% in the next 90. My price was way to low so my score is awful.

I just had a cancellation so this Friday to next Wednesday has just opened up. Beyondpricing will sync my calendar at midnight and I’m super curious what they will do with the prices for this next week.

Good Luck!

I usually get booked the last minute and I like it. Room is ready code is on a door, I don’t even have to be home.
I reduce my price when it’s slow but it does not always help.
I am booked on average 60% of the time. But we are seasonal here in South Florida. Summers are pretty much dead. I rented one room to 2 flight attendants for a month with big discount only because they are not going to be even staying that much, they told me 50% of the time they won’t be at the house

Beyondpricing still has my calendar marked as ‘successful booking’. Aurgh! This is when I need them!

I also like last-minute bookings. I don’t know why but the guests always seem cheerful and engaged.

Edit: The calendar did update. Beyondpricing is marking 25% off for the next two nights, 20% off for the third night, and 10% off for the rest of the week - BAH! However, they added some for seasonal so its not a total 25% loss. IF I HAD SEEN that quicker I would have just blocked off the weekend and gotten the floor painted. As it is I almost immediately got a booking - waiting for verification. Only 2 people so that’s not a big money-maker - my real money comes with groups of 4-5. What a way to end my first year of hosting.

On the other hand, I have a booking for this weekend, so it seems that they really do know what they are doing for pricing to get bookings.

Anyhow, @tony, I hope that little bit of data gives you some helpful info.
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Some people have a range of prices they’re willing to spend, so determining what the cutoff is for the various ranges can help. So, for example, if you have a home on the market for 559, it may be more profitable overall to cut it to 549.9 and reduce the carrying time, as you will pick up a whole new segment of buyers looking up to a max of 550.

What is your typical price point?

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Well, in the process of dealing with a pending verification that was blocking my calendar, I did a bit of shopping around. With Beyondpricing taking 25% off my base my price was a minimum of $30 cheaper than the cheapest - so I raised it way up - and got a booking almost immediately. Now I’ve jacked-up my Beyondpricing base price.

So, forget all of my advice!! See what your competition is and price accordingly, taking into account what you’re willing to let it go for.

@jaquo, it sounds lovely!

C [quote=“Maggieroni, post:4, topic:5216”]
We don’t allow last minute bookings. People who don’t plan ahead tend to be more difficult.
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My experience is opposite. I have a lot of last minute bookings and they tend to be my best guests, they also tend to leave 5* review most of the times, I guess they feel grateful to be attended despite being difficult, and they probably don’t regret their choice because there were not so many options at hand.

Maybe it depends on travelling trends, though. I am in the South of Spain. Many adventurous EU couples in their 30s just book a flight to my country, rent a car and build up their trip across the country on the go. They often enjoy knowing the less touristy side of the city and appreciate my tips as a local. I feel good to be of service and I like the good vibes these adventurous couples bring to my home :slight_smile:

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My experience, too - I think these types of guests are more care-free, up for adventure, more open and friendly.

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