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Do you ever adjust your prices because you are sympathetic to someone?
I recently let a young woman with a son who is getting a divorce stay in studio for $30 a day for 4 days. I’ve also lowered my monthly rate to $800 because a man was bringing his dog to town for cancer treatment, and I’ve hosted visiting professors for that rate as well. I’ve raised my monthly rate to $1100 when I want to help someone because of the inconvenience it causes me having a long term guest.
I do my homework but also trust my gut and do it sparingly. Anyone else do this? Got burned? Is it a matter of time before I get taken advantage of?
I like my guests, and my prices are already low. I’m running a business, and my rates are my rates. But I don’t charge family and friends to stay here. At that point, it’s hosting in my home the way I always did before I started being an Airbnb host.
Yes, I’ve adjusted for people. The main time I can think of is when I had just raised my rates overall and also for a holiday weekend. We had 2 couples who were booked for a wedding and then cancelled because the 2nd couple’s budget wasn’t enough to stay and then they were out the fees. So we got the booking going again and I lowered my rates for them (but still ended up making what I would have if they’d have booked it a few weeks earlier, lol). I looked great.
I also plan to offer a lower rate for a friend of a friend who is travelling in town for a birth and needs a place to stay overnight occasionally for doctor visits and then a few days after the birth to recuperate before traveling home.
Before hosting, I would let down and out acquaintances stay here, and they were sometimes terrible guests, so I got that out of my system before hosting. I never gave discounts because my prices were already low for the quality of what I offered. I’m with you on not charging friends, though! Friends that I am happy to host got to stay free, and if it was a “friend” who only called because they knew I had a guest room, well, I just happened to have already booked it with an AirBnB guest during those dates.
BTW, I would say that visiting professors don’t need a discount. They are usually paid a housing stipend or their salary is high enough to cover housing, and housing can even be arranged through the university. Two of my neighbors prefer to host visiting professors instead of AirBnB guests. I didn’t really like hosting professors though. Maybe it takes one to know one (I’m a prof myself), but two out of three of my worst guests happened to be professors.