LTR/Month-long rentals and discount inquiries

I’m trying to navigate the STR market changes with the pandemic going on. Since the pandemic, on Airbnb, we’ve gotten mostly monthly inquiries, and we’ve been only doing 29 nights or more, which is honestly great from a cleaning point of view (and safer from a legal point of view since the state banned STRs for a while).

But, along with that, has anyone also been getting a bunch of inquiries for more discounts? We already offer a 30% monthly discount, but a lot of these inquiries are asking for 45%-50%, which I look at on a case-by-case basis (mostly if the guests have good reviews and seem trustworthy). So I’ll ask them to provide more info, and depending on who they are/how many people, negotiate. What’s been people’s experiences/how have people been handling these inquiries?

But I don’t know… Airbnb takes such a huge chunk out of guests and hosts. Is there an easy way to take the conversation off of Airbnb and not put one at risk (though on second thought I guess Airbnb has a really strict policy and I don’t want anyone to get kicked off the platform)? Perhaps it’s time to move to another platform (like Zillow? Craigslist? As some have recommended in the recent LTR thread?). Any favorite platforms for month-to-month rentals? I have a rental contract, but as someone who’s mostly done STRs on Airbnb and a tiny bit on VRBO, this is something I really need to do more research on.

Thanks for your input in advance!

Good reviews and a few back-and-forth messages do not guarantee a lower risk, and given that Airbnb customer support seems to be getting worse, they’re not likely to back you up, so keep that in mind.

I would entertain discounts only for relatively short-notice booking where I’d rather take a reservation at a discount than let the listing sit empty. Other than that, I’m not sure why you’d give a discounts to some people but not others.

Strange that you know this isn’t permitted but you ask the question anyway. That said, there’s nothing preventing you from taking repeat business off-platform, so you can tell guests to contact you directly for future bookings.

So, the answer to this is definitely yes, diversification is good. It gives you exposure to a larger customer base, and a backup plan in case one platform goes bust, kicks you off, or you want to leave it. However, you already seem to be on Airbnb and VRBO. It looks like you are more concerned about price. I.e. you’re looking for no-cost platform such as Craigslist to be able to offer a lower price to guests. If you’re giving all of the Airbnb/VRBO’s commission back to guests in the form of a lower price, then the only reason to go to a no-cost platform is if you aren’t able to get enough bookings, otherwise, it will just make more work for you.

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We would never accept an Air booking where the guest has any potential to claim residency. No no no. Full contract that protects our interests and rights with full deposits up front, before a key is handed over.

Zillow is a good platform for rentals - we’ve been landlords for some 12 years or so. FYI - Zillow is cross-listed with Trulia / Hotpads.

Craigslist used to be good but now they are mostly good for scams and having your data scraped, etc. You can TRY it, if you like but do not put any email or phone in your add. Make people contact you through the anonymous system - even then - be careful about the initial discussion. A lot of your inquiries will actually be scammers trying to get personal info.

Facebook Marketplace is worth trying also.


If you are only doing 28+ days stays, you can just set a monthly price. And then when people ask for a discount, you can tell them “we have a monthly rate only”. I think people are more prone to ask for a further discount because they see that a discount exists.

Absolutely. It is such bad idea to do monthly rentals on Airbnb. There are a lot of posts discussing this, as you mentioned. We use Zillow, Furnished Finders and Craigslist. Both Zillow and FF provide an electronic Background and Credit Check. Anyone that comes to us from Craigslist, we funnel through one of the other 2 for the BG/Credit checks. You can also so an electronic signing of the lease through the platforms, but I really prefer the Adobe Pro for that as I tend to customize the lease for different tenants.

Another piece of advice. Take a security deposit that is more than one month’s rent. There is so much to be damaged in a furnished apartment that 1-month’s rent is not really enough coverage.

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“Thanks for inquiring. I won’t know the availability until at least tomorrow evening. I’m sorry but we have this apartment also listed elsewhere. I am happy to get back to you, if you’d like. Thanks”.

It’s only easy if they are smart (which is a good screening tool too ,) and only if they don’t have a reason why they have to rent on Airbnb (e.g. no deposit money, bad credit, eviction record, bad background check - and these are all reasons to not rent LTR on Airbnb ,)

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Strange that you know this isn’t permitted but you ask the question anyway. That said, there’s nothing preventing you from taking repeat business off-platform, so you can tell guests to contact you directly for future bookings.

Sorry, it probably wasn’t a well-formulated question. In relation to the discount question, I’ve been approached by potential guests in the past to go offline, but turned them all down. I was just musing if in the past if that was the right choice or if I was being too conservative, but I think I have a better idea after reading the “What to do when a guest wants to pay outside of Airbnb?” thread.

In general it seems like diversification is the way to go (even though I’ve taken a look at VRBO, I mostly use Airbnb.) Anyway, thanks for the insights.

Never would I ever. I can’t even post an item for free on CL without the scammers frothing at the mouth. No thanks!

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Just oh pleease-use the tools you are comfortable with

  1. I moved 2 of my 3 Airbnb rentals to LTR (12 month lease) effective 11/1/20

  2. For one I used Craigslist with a copy/paste link to my Airbnb listing so they can see pics & reviews.

  3. For that one I disclosed credit rating of 650 required with positive criminal & rental check. My HoA property manager will do check for $10 and provided the release form.

  4. Deposit &1st month rental upfront.

5 LTR lease requires via DocuSign. Easy. First 3 docs free.

  1. Comparing markets and tools. The other I listed on Zillow. Same minimum requirements -credit & reference Same 12 month lease.

Zillow brought me valid inquiries. Craigslist was ok but as soon as I pointed out credit/reference check some disappeared-ok by me.

If you use an agency to do credit/reference check via Craigslist I think it will be ok.

If anyone says “I want it now, give me your bank account info so I can transfer $$”. Run away

If they want to use zelle, Venmo or PayPal it’s is good


I swear I must be missing something on Zillow - they really don’t have a good way to search for furnished LTR’s, other than typing in “furnished” in the bottom field of the “filters” tab. Then when you get your results, there is no way to really tell from the listings (that I clicked on anyway) that the units are actually furnished.

From what I can tell is that the search just pulls up listings with the word “furnished” somewhere in the verbiage or rental description. Many of the photos in the search results don’t show furniture.

@JJD I see you also list on Zillow. Hopefully someone can explain this to me before I pull the trigger and list with them.

I’m sure this is just user error on my part. :rofl:


You are not missing a thing. Some of the places that depict bare rooms offer a “furnished option”. Some are furnished, and the photos illustrate such. But … they do not necessarily “have to be furnished”. It depends on the property. landlord, and what one negotiates.

When we list LTR for a furnished listing, we have put this directly in the listing title. Some prospective tenants then end up asking if it needs to be furnished, etc - and we deal with those one-on-one.

All this used to be free. I am not sure if they are yet charging per week or month to list with them.

I can say that the overall quality of our prospective tenants is really quite good with Zillow / Trulia / etc - one listing hits all of those sister sites.

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Thanks for the help…I just did a search putting “furnished” as a key word. I’m not seeing any “title” on Zillow listings, other than the the address and rent amount? From what I can tell you have to drill-down on each listing, read the description, and then maybe they will mention “furnishings” or “furnished” somewhere.

Really, they need a better tool/filter for this type of search.

I DO love all of the tools their rental program offers. It would appear that the 1st listing is FREE for 30 days, unless you renew before it expires (?), the second listing is $9.99 per week until it’s rented.

They really could do a much better job with this, I guess you could call it, FAQ page. It looks like if you renew your first listing before the 30 days is up you won’t get charged the $9.99 per week fee. Then the next time you need to rent it out, you will pay $9.99 per week, but just until it’s rented.

(You can still continue to use the “Rental Manager” tools, even while your listing is inactive & your are not paying the weekly fee, so that’s good)

I’m really looking to do shorter term LTR, as I’m already doing. I don’t think I want one set of renters in there for more than 3-4 months tops.

Would love any other feedback from others who’ve used Zillow!

This is true, but it’s not been a problem neither as a landlord nor as a renter. You just have to add “Furnished” to your amenities. People who are looking for furnished places know to put “furnished” in the search. We’ve had tons of response from Zillow. I recommend.

That’s because not all landlords have been Airbnb hosts and their standards are lower. Good for us :wink:

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Thanks@JJD. I’ll give it another look. It was overwhelming the number of results that came up when I put “furnished” in the search. By reading many of the descriptions I saw very few that mentioned “furnished”. It was really frustrating but maybe I’m not looking in the right place(???)