I am new to hosting. I have a guest that is asking for me to reduce the minimum night stay requirement that I have for the summer from 7 to 3 or 4. I’m trying to figure out the best thing to do . Should I tell her no and hope for someone to book it a for a week or just let her do it?
It’s a difficult question for other hosts to answer. You need a couple years of booking history for your listing to know whether it benefits you (higher occupancy) and what nightly rate you would need to set to cover the additional overhead of a shorter stay.
Here is what I think is likely: your rates/property is attractive compared to the other options available, so the guest took the time to inquire about this possibility. This suggests you should raise your rates and you have a high chance of getting a booking from another person at a higher rate.
I used to think a 7 night minimum in the summer would be a good idea. I did an experiment where I set the rate high enough that for a 3 night stay that I would make the same amount as the 7 night stay. I set up discounts for 4, 5, 6, 7 night stays.
I found that many guests are willing to pay a high rate for 4 nights. I was losing these guests willing to pay higher per night rate by setting a 7 night minimum. YMMV.
That’s interesting I really like your thoughts on this and greatly appreciate taking the time to reply. All valid points and I guess I have some thinking to do. THANKS!
I explained the discount set up in this post.
With the higher rate that won’t that scare some people off?
Yes, it might scare some people off but that’s ok. You just need one person willing to pay that rate.
High and low are relative terms and what is high to you may not be high for a guest. What I used to think of as a high rate was perfectly acceptable to many guests. I feel it’s hard to define whether a certain amount is high and low in advance, and I constantly test how high I can go.
Great point something I’m going to have to toy around with since it’s my first short term rental.
Hard to decide if you don’t have a good feel for demand. If it is high, stick with the minimum. You can reduce the minimum as you get closer if you have big gaps. If you really don’t know, it’s a bit of a coin toss.
7 days is not classified as a long term rental. A short term rental is anything under a month.
What you mean is it’s shorter than the period you normally rent for.
Just say no. Unless you’re desperate for the income (which you won’t see for several months anyway).
Or offer them a special, higher rate for that time that would net you the same amount of money as a weekly booking would. They’ll either pay it or go somewhere else.
Trying to be attractive to everyone is not a great idea. There are people you want to scare off.
Personally, I would accept the booking. As a new host in the initial stages, it’s important to get those first few guests in, spoil them rotten and start building a great review history. It’s worth being extra flexible at the start and sacrificing a little cash while you get a feel for hosting, for the demand in your area, and learn more about what it entails. Good luck
As you look at your options, perhaps consider
- Are you in a summer destination?
- What are the minimum stays of your competition
- Can your cleaner accommodate more frequent cleanings?
If: you are in a summer destination so there is increased demand
Then: you will probably book 80%-100% of 6/1-8/15
If the majority of your local competition only books 7 nights
Then there is a niche for you to offer shorter stays at a higher nightly rate
If your cleaner can accommodate more frequent cleanings,
Then You can offer shorter stays at higher rates
I like offering 3-5 night minimum stays because there will probably be a break or two between summer bookings so I can easily get into the condo to restock or do maintenance
This is really interesting.
I ended up saying no and with getting a whole bunch of bookings within my first week of listing it, I ended up upping my pricing and found someone to do the whole week. Glad I waited.