Budget Hosts, assemble!

This has come up under other topics, and I’m curious (and bored. Putting the baby to sleep… entertain me! :wink:

Do you consider yourself budget, and how do you define budget? (Is it based on what hotels offer/charge? Or what other Airbnbs in your neighborhood offer/charge? Or based on your personal sense of the word?)

I think our main listing is simple, perhaps even streamlined, but I would only consider it “budget” because it’s half the price of the no-tell motel, our closest formal competition. (Full disclosure, our private room rents for about $70/ night, and during our season - mid March to mid November - we usually have 3-4 bookings a month between 2 and 5 nights. I’m very happy with that, so I think we are priced appropriately. For silly comparison’s sake, the closest fancy hotel starts at $400/ night)

There are many Airbnbs in our area, and private rooms run from $45-120/ night.

We just (Thursday night! Whee!) added a second listing and I think this is very much a budget listing - it’s a twin daybed on our unheated porch.

I know that sounds rough, but we’ve had people fight over an air mattress in our living room, so I think there is room in our market for this. (The air mattress was too much in our flight path. The porch actually has much more privacy even if it is still a shared room)

In my head, even though they get almost the same amenities as the private room (towels, shampoo, tea) it is budget because it’s a shared room with no air conditioning. According to Airbnb we should be charging $31/ night to be in line with other listings, but I think that even at $45/50 we’re still budget. (And there is a sofa listed at $300/ night, so I’m not the silliest listing in my area. I’m pretty sure that was just for a football event and they haven’t bothered to de-list)

… anyway, comment away. :smile:

Hi @Alia_Gee,

I’m not sure what makes a budget host either, but I feel budget. I consider the room fairly basic, and it’s certainly not fancy. It’s on my profile, but in any case, http://towerroom.net redirects to the listing page. As you can see, my starting price for one guest is about $33. This doesn’t include the cleaning fee or Airbnb fees & taxes. But my room definitely has A/C. Without that, my guests would be crisply fried (or at least lightly toasted) by the end of their stay.

Listings in Bombay do run for less than that, surprisingly. Though I don’t understand how people can make any reasonable amount of money at anything less than I offer.Some of the time it doesn’t seem worth it even at the prices I charge. Bombay is cheaper than the west, mostly because of the differential of labor costs, but it isn’t that much cheaper.

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I’m definitely budget at $33/night with a $5 cleaning fee. It’s listed as a shared room, bed in the corner of the living room. I’m right at the bottom price-wise in my neighborhood of Long Beach, CA. There are a handful of private rooms for around what I charge, but they are in sketchy areas but seem to get bookings. I sure do.

It’s all about price. People will “rough it” rather than paying three times as much at a “cheap” motel.

As for creating a budget category, that creates itself just by using the slider for the price range a traveller wants.

Your bed on the porch sounds great! You’ll get lots of bookings I’m sure.


Yes also at the bottom of the pile at £30 for two people here in London. That’s £15 each and makes my listing cheaper than two hostel bunk beds, which would come in at £40 upwards.

As I’ve said before, budget relates to the amenities on offer. Budget properties will compromise on any of the following:

Available amenities (hairdryer, etc etc)
Decor (freshly painted vs a bit old)
Furnishings (new vs perfectly fine but certainly not brand new and shiny)

Hey, those are those my numbers too! Though I don’t understand how they work out in CA. Which I’m assuming is rather more expensive than it is here.

I charge $50 for one person and that’s about how much the cheap budget hotels (Value Inn, Motel 6) are around here. I’m about middle of the pack compared to other Airbnbs. The average in El Paso is $46 a night. It seems to me that “budget” is determined by the guest. I’ve had guests who consider me budget, others say this is the nicest place they’ve ever stayed. Using Zandra’s criteria I’m not budget except maybe in the space category. But I stayed at a “Microtel” in Miami, OK that was $89 and the room wasn’t much bigger than mine.

In absolute terms by US standards I think I offer an above average place at a budget price.

I think our listings are on the high end of budget. We have 2 private rooms with private attached baths in our owner occupied home.

Our prices fluctuate wildly from season to season. December through February we get $45 a night. March through May we can raise it to $65. June through mid September we’ll average about $90 a night, with weekends in July going for $110.

In the winter, we are priced about the same as the handful of hotels that are still open. In the summer, we are much cheaper.

Compared to other private room listings, we are on the high side, but I think we get bookings because we’ve got good photos and great reviews.

We don’t have a lot of space, we’re not right on the beach (mile and a half away) or complete privacy due to the fact we live here. We do have well appointed, attractive and comfortable rooms in a quiet and safe setting convenient to the highway.

Just to show how insane Airbnb’s smart pricing is, while we had the first room we listed last year occupied in March at a rate of about $60/night, it suggested we price the new, nearly identical listing at $17/night.

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I feel like I fit in the mid-budget category. When I started out I was definitely a budget listing just because my furnishings were sparse and somewhat old. My first price point was $65 and $89 high.

I have a separate granny suite with a full kitchen, private patio and BBQ for guests. I’m right by a secluded bay with premier snorkeling. On the Big Island of Hawaii.

Well now I have better furnishings and have added several pieces. I’m priced at $95 low season and $125 high. Christmas and New Years I ask $950 per week and get it. From early December through April I am booked back to back.

You have the really high end places that are comparable to here, but you’ve also got lots of budget places that are way cheaper than our budget places. The Motel6 down the road from me is $91 a night.

In any case, as the OP indicated, we will always have customers if we stay below what commercial places charge. I even remind people in my description that they are getting a deal by telling them in so many words.

I think that a listing is “budget” if it’s priced in the lower tier or quartile of your local market.

Even budget hotels offer clean rooms with WiFi, comfortable beds and duvets, hot water and heating.
Obviously a budget listing may be more sparse, but I don’t think it is ethical/legal/professional/good to make compromises on cleanliness or the basic amenities. It’s not because there’s a market for it that you should do it (ie listing an unheated porch…) . If you comprise on the basics you become like these landlords who rent garages as houses.


Well of course we’re not going to cut back on the cleanliness! :slight_smile: That’s one thing customers won’t put up with. The rest of it: not having a hair dryer or salad spinner, etc., they’ll gladly forgo if they’re getting a basic, clean place to sleep.


If people will pay for it, want it, even fight over it as the OP said, take their money. Everyone wins.

I don’t have heat in my place other than a couple small space heaters. I wonder where this porch is? Sounds nice to me.

You got me thinking about pricing and budget places, so I put the pricing slider to $32 for the greater Los Angeles area and I came up with hundreds of listings–some way cheaper than $32! It’s amazing, even shocking to see how many Airbnb places have sprung up!

I love this place, which reminded me of your bed on the porch. This isn’t exactly a porch, but similar concept:

And the host is a Super Ho! What a scream.

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No host could possibly cut back on cleaning and get away with it for long. The reviews have made us all OCD, even if we were not that way before.


I sure hope there isn’t a person who thinks cleanliness is something that doesn’t need to be offered at the budget end of things.

I feel I should clarify that while the porch isn’t connected to the main house’s heating system at this time, we have both a space heater and two fan options. We also only list during warmer weather (it’s listed as “The Summer Porch” to underline this) - and my sister has slept there in the winter and was comfortable.

It’s possible it won’t get booked - or it won’t get booked at this price point. It’s very much an experiment at this time. (I need to take some photos in daylight, but if you’re curious the current listing is http://abnb.me/EVmg/U2gQJQMiXC. )

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When I was a child in the early 1960’s sleeping outside on a screen porch was not unheard of, that was my sleeping place part of the year in Ardmore, OK. Every space wasn’t air conditioned all the time and that was the prime sleeping spot for people of a certain SES. This is an enclosed room and for hostel prices you shouldn’t have any problem booking up.

This is interesting. A porch in England is outside, usually the entrance to the building. This looks like a room ! Is it inside or outside the house ?

Well in my case, it is mostly location. My flat is about 3 kms (2 miles) from the centre of town, and if it was right in the centre, I could get away with charging probably double the price.

At €29 a night for the single room (€49 for couples), with higher prices during trade fairs and slighly lower in the middle of the week, I am certainly offering budget accomodation. As I mentioned before, I should probably try and raise prices. But as others in this thread also noticed, Airbnb listings have multiplied in recent years, also in Germany, so the competition certainly is tough, and this helps to keep prices down.

Right now mybpeice is 40% less than cheapest hotel in the area. And even with this price if I don have long term
Guests I am among many others for the same price. But I am always in 1% category so very much budget