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Great booking request, trouble formulating long term pricing


#1

Hey guys,

So I’ve been hosting for about 6 months now and really have gotten in a groove. But alas, it is winter time in the NY area and the traffic on my page and booking requests have dropped significantly, as expected of course. One thing Ive been having trouble with is how to come up with long term pricing without scaring people away. Obviously as airbnb hosts, pricing makes it so that we prefer more short term stay then one long term.
BUT I just recently hosted a guest who stayed for 4 nights request my listing either for a monthly or weekly rental (Mon night thru Thursday night) depending on my preference and I’m really having trouble on coming up with a price for him.

Since its been pretty slow, I gave him an introductory special offer of $175 for Mon-Fri (4 nights). He really liked my place and has asked if its available for from Jan-March. He stated he has no preference between renting Mon-Thurs nights OR for the whole month. I too have no preference as long as the rate is enough to turn a decent profit for my troubles. (I stay at the place myself if it is not booked)

I was thinking of offering the place at $200 weekly(Mon-Thurs night) which would make it $800 total for a month OR a price for the entire month. Weekly is nice because I still can rent it or use it myself on the weekends. Obviously the monthly price would have to be significantly higher as my wkend rates go up a lot compared to Sun-Thurs night prices. I’m very curious what other hosts would do in this situation and how you guys go about coming up with long term pricing.

Like I said, I have no preference monthly or weekly but if it is monthly the price would have to justify having my place locked up for such a long period at a much lower rate.

Thanks a lot everyone, really looking forward to hearing other hosts thoughts/opinions


#2

PS - My personal cost for the apartment hovers around $1150 after rent/utilities/etc.


#3

No idea on the pricing but would caution you that any stay over 30 days can legally convert the guest into a month-to-month tenant. I would negotiate it 29 days at a time. Or at the end of 29 days, write him a standard lease and take it off Air.

You don’t want a guest who turns into a long-term tenant. They can decide not to leave and you’d have to go to court to evict. I would never ever do it.

Google Palm Springs AirBnB squatter to read about the nightmare that ensued for that poor host.


#4

Where will he stay on weekends? Is willing to stay at your place for weekdays only?


#5

Got it about the long term stay. I will write something up if he prefers to do 30+ days in a row.

He said something about having family somewhat close by to stay with over the weekends. So yes, he’s willing to do weekdays only. The more I think about it this is the dream guest?

If I’m giving it to him at $200 its a steal for him and its nice for me to pay some bills then have it open on the weekend for myself or potential additional guests. Is $200 too cheap though? I do seem to get a lot of the random requests to stay for a long period of time being in a suburb of NYC, people visiting family, reunions, etc. Thanks for the help guys, never had other hosts to bounce questions off of.


#6

Sounds like you had a request from the same guy we did! We’re in a NY suburb too - in NJ. He was asking for 4 days or something at first but said he wanted a place also for January - March and maybe April.

He was looking at our super low January prices ($60 a night), and he asked if he stayed longer, could he have a discount off of that. I said no. Because by March our prices will go up and we’ll be losing money on him at that point. So I told him we’d be willing to offer him the January price through March, but he declined.

Your $200 a week is just $28 a night! And you’re in NEW YORK!! Get a grip! That’s insanely low. Hotels charge $400 a night! You can charge A LOT more than that and still be very reasonably priced.

The thing for us is - we’d rather have 10 different guests stay with us in January, each paying the full nightly rate, than to have one guest stay the whole month at a discount. Even a small discount.

We stay booked up almost 98% of the time. But if we took on long-term guests - at any discount - we’d lose money. Even on the page where Airbnb tells us to state what our weekly and monthly discounts would be - we put 0%. Why would we discount when we’re almost 100% booked all the time with people paying full price?

Why rent out your place at a price that helps you pay some of the bills, when you could easily rent it out at a price that would pay ALL your bills! Your rent plus your utilities!

January may be the one possible exception to this rule. But for the rest of the year, definitely don’t do long-term at a discount. You’ll stay booked solid anywhere near New York if you do a good job.

And by the way, an Airbnb month is 28 days. You can’t rent any longer than that at one time. You can, but they’ll only pay you for 28 days at a time.


#7

JonYork “And by the way, an Airbnb month is 28 days. You can’t rent any longer than that at one time. You can, but they’ll only pay you for 28 days at a time.”

Wow, good to know! I wonder if they changed it due to the problems they were having such as the Palm Springs squatter. The longest anyone has ever stayed with me is about three weeks. That’s all right by me! :slight_smile:


#8

I don’t know why they changed it - or even if they did change it - maybe it was that way all along. But it makes sense as 28 days equals 4 weeks exactly.


#9

The $200 is for 4 nights = 50 a night. BUT that’s def lower than my lowest normal price and with out any cleaning fee. Low but like I said traffic on my page and inquiries are at the lowest I’ve seen since I started a little over 6 months ago. But as always your one booking away from a a more favorable one… we shall see. He hasn’t gotten back to me about if he’s 100%.


#10

Everyone seems to be rather dead right now. With the warm weather and low gas prices, you’d think they would be traveling. $50 is really low, surprised he didn’t take you up on it.

Sometimes there’s a big lull until the 15th (today) for Christmas travel and then it starts going nuts.

I’m booked but not as much as usual this time of year.


#11

Sorry, I misunderstood you. You said $200 weekly - and I thought you meant a 7-day week. I see now you meant Monday - Thursday. Well, that’s better. I think $50 a night for January and February is a decent price.


#12

I think you better off just offering weekly price. So the apartment is not yours ? You are renting it, right?


#13

I do not know what lull is but sounds like I have it:)


#14

Jon, I just looked and it’s still showing 60 days max on my calendar settings. I just changed it to 21. Are you in the U.S.?


#15

Wait, you are a renter? Is your landlord OK with you doing this? Isn’t there a clause in your lease agreement that prevents subleasing? You are taking a big risk here. Unless you have it expressly in writing from your landlord that you have permission to do this (and I can’t imagine it… His insurance wouldn’t cover your commercial activity for one thing) you could get evicted immediately if he found out. Your neighbors will only be too happy to let him know by the way as they don’t love all the traffic. AirBnb is easy to spot.


#16

My parents are my landlords, they own the property and are OK with me doing Airbnb. I either rent out the apartment or stay there myself sometimes when no one is renting.


#17

Make sure they know that their standard homeowner insurance won’t cover the Airbnb activities.


#18

Does renters insurance cover it? Because we have that too under my name


#19

Ummm, no. That’s only going to cover your needs as a renter, such as if you got broken into and burglarized. You need specialty insurance that covers commercial activities, such as what you are doing, in a private home. Do not call your present insurance company and tell them you are doing Air. They could cancel you immediately. Do some research and find a company that does cover it. There are threads about it here. It can be expensive but it will be worth it if someone trips and falls on your property and wants to sue you.


#20

Just here asking questions and trying to learn…

And kona thanks for your response but you must be part of the small % of hosts that actually knows about this. I’ve spoken with a LARGE amount of friends and acquaintances who have their place on Airbnb in the NYC area and no one has ever mentioned this, besides telling me to make sure to have renters insurance.


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