Divide renter payments into two to encourage more rentals

I had a gentleman who wanted to rent for two weeks for a date 4 months into the future. He then changed his mind when he found out he had to pay the full amount up front.I directed him to my rental on VRBO where the renter can pay half up front and the balance two weeks prior to arrival date. I suspect many people object to paying full amount up front. Is there any dicussion about changing this requirement for full payment up front?

I’ve always thought it a little strange that people would book so far in advance - I have January, February and March 2017 almost booked up. But I wonder if to some people it’s a form of budgeting - ‘Well, we’ve got the money right now and we might not have by March so let’s get it booked and paid for now’.

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Just so you know. This isn’t an official Airbnb forum. We have no control over what Airbnb does.

The only thing you can do is send Airbnb a suggestion. Other than that I don’t know what else.


Thanks for your input. I am aware that it is not an official AIRBNB site. I was really wondering if anyone else has found this to be a barrier for renters.

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Only once had a “pay in advance” kerfluffle with a potential guest. Older couple. First time Air folks from Oregon who’s son lives here. They wanted him to come ‘vette’ the place. They wanted my address and phone number. Didn’t want to understand about security and privacy issues. Didn’t want to pay “all that money” up front…and what if we don’t like it; and why is your cancellation policy… and, and, and. I think they probably went to stay at one of the 4 hotels in town…

I have this situation a lot - guests want to pay in two parts. It’s usually International guests coming for long visits (2 weeks or so) and it does take a big bite on your credit card. I have 10 credit cards that I can use and can carry a debt of a couple of thousand dollars but for some 20+ young girl from Italy to have her entire spending limit taken to pay for a trip in six months, it’s a big deal.

I sometimes refer guests to my vrbo listing where the payments can be broken down. I also offer the option to split the booking up into two or three parts and I work out a schedule with them of when they need to pay. For example - book the first five days now to hold the dates. Then in 3 weeks book the next five days, and one month before the check-in book the last five days. I’ve done this a few times and it’s always worked. I usually waive the cleaning fee on the second/third installment, but sometimes that’s the cost they pay for the flexibility. There are obvious pitfalls to this strategy so I am taking a risk, but so far it’s never been an issue. The guests that I’ve done it with have appreciated the opportunity to have the payments split up, and have fulfilled their end of the arrangement.

My brother-in-law told me something that always stuck with me. He sells steel, so deals in big numbers. He told me - get them to yes. It’s something that I think about all of the time.

An inquiry means they are already half invested - they took the time to inquire, so my chances of closing are decent. They will stay somewhere, so it’s either with me or my competition. I want it to be me, so I’m willing to accommodate some creative payment options.


@jaquo, @QueenAleta, @KenH, actually, in some other countries, guests are permitted to pay airbnb in installments…Brazil is one such country.

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Airbnb should provide the option of splitting the payments like VRBO/Homeaway.

It will never happen. Not enough guests are concerned about it…

That’s surprising to me. I frequently do what my guests do and book a place 6 months in advance, and I would not pay the full price up front. That would drive me to VRBO or Homeaway.

Oh well, maybe others have the money to spare.

Well, I do not know if this has been discussed in any other forum entry, but it’s already happening, and I’ve had my first payment divided into two, with two different cards. The problem is that the guests did an up date with their second card a few days ago, before of the day of check in, which was yesterday, and until now airbnb could not verify that card. And the payment of the first part was not even sent after 24 hours of the check in . As Shakespeare would say, something smells like spoiled in the kingdom of Airbnb.
I believe that this possibility of dividing payments lends itself to facilitating the task of possible scammers.
Airbnb is taking care of the case, but we already know how difficult these issues are.

Someone on a facebook group I’m in was complaining about the same thing today. Maybe they will find that the split payments is more trouble than the bookings it facilitates.

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It might be a gap that the scammers are using.

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My reservation is for 6 days and if I was not aware that the mail confirming the payment processing did not arrive, the days pass until the day of check out and someone won a free vacation.

I am reading this now, but there are no new testimonies, about how this experience has been for those who have received reservations with separate payments
Airbnb pilot - spliting payment among guests

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I read more on the split payment The guest & their guests get 72 hours to pay. Supposedly, if the guests do not pay within the 72 hours, the original guest has another 24 hours to finalize payment.

I wish airbnb would tell me it was a split payment before I accept, or if they are on instant book, they would have to make a request - or have a function to allow me to choose - guest can split payment if reservation is X days away. If they are booking for weeks away from their travel dates, I don’t mind the split payment. If they are booking for within 2 weeks, it causes a huge amount of additional stress - because it holds up my calendar for 3-4 days - when if the payments fail, I just lost the chance to sell it!

The other thing with this split payment - it is in effect, a cancellation. I have strict. So they get a 48 hour grace period. But - with this split payment - they get up to 96 hours - they just don’t complete the payment and they have in effect - cancelled!

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Yes @jumoe, perfect analysis of the possible scenarios at the moment of making a reservation, considering the different cancellation policies. It is totally unfair.
In my case at the time of booking, there were no problems, it was made two months ago and only now, a couple of days before check in, one of the payment method was changed, by the guest, and that is the one that had not passed the verification process, 24 hours after check in.
This was never warned, leaving me without the possibility of deciding what to do, and handing over the keys at check in, as if nothing were happening.
I began to distrust that something was not right, when 24 hours passed and confirmation of the payment process was not received. Only by contacting the Help Center, this came to light.
This shows that the more payment means are used to separate the payment, the more potential drawbacks for the host.

I list on AIRBNB and Homeaway/VRBO. Identical listings, but only 15-20% of my bookings come from Air. I suspect it is because of guests having to pay 100% up front. Personally, I would only use Homeaway/VRBO because I don’t want to pay all monies up front.