Inauguration 2017 - Washington, D.C

Curious what people are doing for inauguration. How many night min, what prices? Still waiting or already completed booking. I’ve been asking $500/night with 5 night min for private room and private bath in Noma / Capitol Hill, which I thought was competitive with hotels asking $700, but no inquiries after a week.

Hi @marc20002

It has been crazy. New listings are flooding the market for the inauguration and killing to egg-laying goose. A week or so ago I could find only a handful of listings under $1,000 a month and now there are many. While many hotel rooms are sold out there were still 15 rooms available at $500 near Reagan, and 4 rooms on NY Avenue for that same price range; they do not seem to be moving very fast. Hard to know what to do - to hold out for fantastic money or just get it booked. I had my rooms booked for $260 a night (double price) by a supporter of Ms. Clinton who promptly cancelled. Of course she booked immediately when I opened the dates and I realized my price was way to low. I’ve had an inquiry with a fantastic price of over $1,000 a night, but for a marcher, not for the inauguration. She found a march near her home so didn’t book.

Use the little magnifying glass symbol on the right and you can search for other postings - including my original one on which many people posted advice.


I should add, in my searches I look for space for 5 people because that’s my target group size

Hi @dcmooney. Thanks for your reply. Could I ask you for any feedback too on my listings? I have been doing AirBNB for just over two months now.

I started in late September. That was good, and all of October, and the first half of November were very good. The last two weeks have been tough. I cut my prices a lot. I am not sure if it is because I was getting boosted as a new user before, or if because of seasonal slowdown, or what. I put an ad up on Craigslist yesterday for the master bedroom seeking a monthly sublet for Dec - Feb., but excluding Inauguration week, because things just seem so slow now.

Hey @marc20002 :wave:

We’re a predictive analytics startup based out of San Francisco called Wheelhouse, and our specialty is helping hosts/owners maximize revenue on Airbnb & other channels. Here’s what we see going on in DC during Inauguration 2017:

What this means is that, as of today 11-29-16, the average listing in DC is raising their prices 743% above their normal rate, but not yet actually getting any bookings those rates!

The current sweet spot – based on our data – is raising your prices by ~292%, or about 3 times what you would normally charge.

We would expect this number to grow as the stay date approaches. So if you have the appropriate risk tolerance and can hold off, you’ll probably be able to get a booking for more than 3x your normal price as Jan 20 approaches.


@marc20002 Have you tried taking advantage of Airbnb’s free professional photography services? I’ve used them for my listing in the SF Bay Area and it was a huge improvement from the photos I took myself (even though I like to consider myself a photographer, ha).

My feeling would be to set it at 3-4x and try to lock a booking in. I’m not a great gambler ! I’d rather a bird in the hand than two in the bush!


Hi @quinnhubertz. I’ve tried signing up for AirBNB photography, but it tells me none are available in my area. And thanks for sharing that graph, that’s really interesting! I’ve been wondering to what extent the listed prices represent the market prices for transactions, versus unrealistic price aspirations!

I wouldn’t worry about it. There are photographers in our area but we decided against it because we’d rather under promise and over deliver.

Great graph indeed.

I think the ultimate price will largely depend on how much Trump gets the ‘opposition’ riled up by using his Twitter account which always increases even more protesters that will be needing lodging as the inauguration gets closer. How is that for economic analysis? :sunglasses:

Very interesting graphic - in terms of photos having good ones really helps and I know when I first started hosting my guests told me our home was so much nicer than the pictures and they marked me down on accuracy in the reviews - go figure. I had the Airbnb photographer and I only used a few that she took - they just didn’t capture the character of my home - very flat - borrowed my son’s camera and got much better results. Humm I am just outside of DC - Might raise my rates since D.C. will get booked!

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Hi @quinnhubertz. I AirBNB two private rooms in my house. I am thinking about getting a second unit to list as an entire place. How can I access completed bookings data to estimate what kind of revenue and occupancy I can expect from different types of housing (e.g., English basement or 2BR house) in different neighborhoods of Washington, D.C.

any booking yet, @marc20002? I’ve still got my price set very high - but using Travelocity and it’s hard to find any rooms at all. Some hotels have a price for 5 people at about $500 a night, but I called them and there is no actual bed for the 5th person - just a room with 2 double beds.

My family and I are discussing it - lower the price to just get a booking, or, keep it high and gamble?

I say keep it high…

I think I will - thanks. My gut tells me to wait. I’m really not money-grubbing. But still - I think - I’ll just wait and see.

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@dcmooney I just searched and there’s over 300 rentals available for 19 to 22 Jan (including lots who haven’t caught on and are advertising at normal prices). At what point will you lower your price?

It’s December. Those who are planning to go are planning now. I would list it at the high price you want and see what happens. I would say it’s about time to open it up.

@dcmooney, I’m curious to know if you plug your listing into one of the dynamic pricing sites’ demos what they say to list your place at for the 19 to 22.

Our row house is between the Columbia Heights and Petworth Metro stations and we had someone book our English basement last summer expecting a Clinton victory. They canceled the morning after the elections.

In the meantime, I put the apartment back on the market for 3.5 times what we normally charge and we got someone coming in for the Women’s March.

We’ve since linked our account to one of the online dynamic pricing services and are getting quotes roughly in that ballpark for inauguration week.

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