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I don’t get mad because Of our family business we’d deal with " negotiators" on a regular basis. There is though a difference between negotiating and chewing you down. To ask for a price drop from 17$ is ridiculous. And usually people who do that , will keep chewing you down on other things.
I had an inquiry recently for Christmas weekend where a guy was offering me literally half of the listing price. This is what I call silly games.
He knows very well that it’s not going to happen, he is just wasting my time. I hit decline without thinking twice.
Then there are negotiators that always asking for 5$ less a night. Why?? What difference does it make to them to knock off 20$ of their 4 days vacation?
There is really no difference, it’s just they want to win.
Then there are negotiators who negotiate after they already were given a good discount and agreed to it. Those I completely don’t understand. You don’t ask after the deal. If you didn’t like it the first time you need to further negotiate, but once you agreed, it’s silly to “change your mind”, and still try to lower the price.
The fact that you’re getting mad instead of politely declining suggests that you’re new to this. He might have figured you needed the business. On the other hand, demanding an extra while expecting a discount is not a good sign. Sorry, but you just haven’t provided enough information to guess whether the request was reasonable (or made in a reasonable fashion). As Jana says, you can always negotiate - maybe offer to dispense with something like breakfast that he doesn’t need.
Incidentally, late checkouts aren’t a problem for us. As long as our guests are completely out of their rooms at checkout time, they can leave their bags as long as they want while they go and do something else. Or even hang out on the back porch.
You must decline negotiators. They are throwing out red flags by disrespecting you. From experience we can tell you that accepting negotiators will bring you the worst guests. People who have no compunctions about bullying you and are looking for all they can get for the lowest price. I would rather have it sit empty than kow-tow to that type of guest.
IMHO $17 is giving it away, by the way…what do they want, the room for free!? You will attract riff raff by keeping the price that low. Raise it to a fair rate and you will get better guests and everyone will be happy. Add cleaning and security too and the chances you will get even better guests goes way up. Called premium pricing.
When Air opened its doors and I started hosting six years ago, negotiators were common and I was not offended by them. The Air platform was funky in those days too, I might add But now things are different. Yana is right. They just want to win, and think about it…is that the kind of person you really want in your home?
Hosting is a job and you must think of it like one. Suppose you went to the local Macy’s and got offered a job. The going pay is $10 an hour, but they offered you $7. How would you feel? It’s the same here. This is work. You aren’t here really to make friends (otherwise you’d be on couch surfing.com instead of Air. )
I’m firm about check out times too. Late check out is just more people wanting freebies. Hotels can do it at times because they have other rooms to rent. Not me, I’ve got one room. And I’ve never had a late check out that benefitted me. In fact, once I let a German couple stay until their evening flight for Europe left. Did I get a better review? No, I got a smack about something they didn’t like… As well as a sandy mess. Because late check out in Hawaii also means they nearly always want to cram an extra beach day in which means they come rushing back and leave sand and a bigger mess than if they had left on time. Plus the smack. So that jaded me on late checkout. Never again.
Where in the world are you located where rooms go for $17 a night? By the time you clean the room, wash towels and bedding, clean bathroom, extra electricity, have you made any money?
For people asking for late check out, you can always tell them you receive many same day bookings; therefore, you must begin cleaning on schedule so the room is always ready. Just tell them it’s not possible unless you really want to do it, or you can tell them to book the next day and they can leave whatever time they want.
Actually, that’s my feeling too, but Jana indicated that it has worked for her.
In six months of operation, we’ve only had one request for a discount; I made a suggestion which the guest completely ignored, then she immediately insulted me after I politely declined her inquiry several hours later. Good riddance.
The OP must be in a part of the world where his price isn’t that crazy, and it might be in a place where haggling over everything is normal. This is part of the info he didn’t include.
When the Air photographer came here a few years ago, he told me my place was a GREAT place at a great price compared to what others have out there. That the last place he shot was a hammock on someone’s lanai going for $50 a night. But yet, I still get negotiators at times.
My boilerplate reply is, “Sorry, it’s priced fairly for the season and the location. I don’t offer discounts.”
They usually don’t respond after a terse reply, but once I had a guy persist. “Well what is there to do around there?” As though he thought I should sell him on the location (all in my listing BTW) and then his higness would grant me the favor of booking. I never responded. Don’t waste my time!
I also sometimes get people asking a bunch of questions about the location and even Hawaii or the Big Island in general, and then ask about all the things they should do. Do I look like a travel agent? I politely tell them that once they book, I can answer those sorts of questions and provide detailed suggestions.
I learned a long time ago when I was a newbie advertising copywriter NEVER to give your work away for free. You get tons of potential clients who want you to “donate” your time or do “speculative” work which might lead to “jobs.” It never does. Because the type of clients you really want will never ask you to give away your work. They respect you enough to pay you fairly for your work and meet your price. Also when I was a newbie copywriter I had a low hourly rate in order to attract business. My mentor in the business told me, “You have to raise your rate to double that or everyone will think you are an amateur!”
It worked for me only if negotiating is making sense. For example I don’t set weekly prices as I would rather don’t have week long stays. But sometimes when it’s empty, and someone wants to stay a week, I won’t say no to money. These people usually ask if they get a discount. It’s a legitimate negotiation, and I don’t get insulted or mad, and honestly I negotiate also when I travel, if I stay long term.
When a person says, this is my budget, will you be able to work around it, I consider it honest and appropriate negotiation. Of course it’s not when they offer me half the asking price.
I had great guests who negotiated like this, and they never gave me any problem. I had the worst guest who did not negotiate and were hands full.,
The silliest negotiators I had
A girl who only “was going to sleep for 6 hours”, can I give her discount.,
A guy who insisted on me giving him 5$ discount and then said, I am just asking about 5$. And looked at me like I was cheap.,
A woman who told me she will really appreciate my kindness if I give her half price for the room, and hinting on " being in Christmas spirit".
I have a dedicated discount for longer stays. When we stared we offered no discounts other than these. But recently I have offered a discount to local companies in East London, gave them each an extra £50 off their rentals. One to show solidarity with other local businesses, but mainly to ensure that when they have other bookings they come to me. Will see if this works, fairly hopeful. To everyone else it’s the same response. You are getting 500sq ft in Central London for less than the Holiday Inn 200m away. Go there if you think you can get a better deal. We have had <10 empty nights since we started, so it’s not hurting us.
We check against the local market all the time. Adding on another tenner might be possible, But lose one night and that’s 12-15 extra we need to make that up. I take the points, but would rather have the cash in the bank, with guaranteed bookings, than the possibility of bookings. We raised the rate for Xmas & New Year, a given. But most of our usual trade are business people. We are less than a mile from The City and in the middle of creative industries. We translate about 20-25% enquiries into bookings offering a quality product at a reasonable price. The rate we charge allows us to maintain a flat in a cool part of London, which we get to use as and when, accrue the capital appreciation on the flat, pay all associated bills, obtain a good income, all without the hassle of long term tenants, and minimum stress. I think we have it about right. We might be able to squeeze an additional 5-10% out of it, but that would undoubtedly raise the stress levels. Not sure we want that.
Are you in the “Silicon Roundabout” area by any chance? Just thinking, because you have all businesspeople, they are reimbursed costs by their companies, so they are not paying it themselves and care less what the cost is. I think you should raise the rates and you will still be booked!
So true about never giving your work away for free. I recently got burned by a multiple questioner asking about our place in Skye over New Year and what was there to do etc etc. Stupidly I sent two long emails detailing all the things one can do. Of course they never booked. From now on, I most definitely will do what you do konacoco, which is to say that once they book I can answer those kinds of questions.
It’s easy to fall into the trap because you want the booking. So annoying. But those who ask lots of questions tend not to book in my experience.
The Isle of Skye? Oh my god. I spent one of the worst days of my life there in 1980. I was backpacking around the UK, and landed up there for a day. There were several other young people staying in the hostel there, which was run by a maniac. Most of us had no real idea what to expect, but it was absolutely pissing rain and the hostel owner kicked us all out early in the morning. We spent most of the day mooching around the local cafe or chipper or whatever until we were finally let back in for dinner. We all left as soon as we could the next day!!