Off season recurring guest considerations

Hello marvelous mind hive,

I’m in northeast Massachusetts in the USA, and our slow season has arrived. I’ve advertised on Furnished Finder hoping for a 3 month stay with a traveling nurse. I’ve discounted the rate heavily for this circumstance. I received an inquiry through Furnished Finder from someone who lives 4+ hours away who would like to rent a place every other week to be here for their aging parents. We’re going to meet this weekend to show the place and discuss specifics. She may be looking to get our long-term rental prices for what is basically a series of short-term stays. Given that it’s dead around here until the spring, I want occupancy above all, but don’t want to get taken for a ride along the way. I’m looking for your input on how to make an arrangement like this work, especially with the following things in mind.

  • Calendaring: If she doesn’t want to pay for the whole month, the days she stays need to allow us to have at least two weekends a month available for other bookings.

  • Pricing: I’ll need to charge a cleaning fee after each of her stays, whereas we were only going to have one larger cleaning fee at the end of a longer term stay. Do I discount my already discounted off-season AirBnB prices? This is likely subjective, but your thoughts are welcome! How have folks dealt with pricing for this kind of arrangement during high season?

  • Agreements: Since we’re starting off outside of AirBnB I’m happy to write a private contract, which means she’ll save on booking fees and I won’t be giving up any income to AirBnB. Anything else I should be aware of there? I have some pretty hefty insurance in place, so I’m not worried about that. What portion of the cost do people require in order to block off dates? If she flakes on us and I’ve missed out on a 13-week traveling nurse booking, that would suck. Last year we had a student stay for three months and it was glorious. However, if this arrangement turns into a year-round thing, that could be pretty great.

  • Options: An initial trial stay seems to make sense. Then, she could book us for as many stays as she likes within the parameters that work for us, or she could book each stay singly, or pay for the whole month until high season starts. Any other ideas?

Oh my gosh, this is a novel. Thank you all for any thoughts you have!
With much appreciation,

Airbnb’s model seems to be the best: full payment upfront for the dates.

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You can actually set different rates in FF for weekly and monthly stays. Discount the monthly stay.

Yes, she’s trying to get the cheap rate for the month when she only needs 2 weeks every other week.

Wrap your cleaning fee into your entire cost. Discount your weekly fees for her but not to the monthly rate. While you don’t want to lose the booking, you also want to be paid a fair price for your accommodations. check out the comps on FF for weekly and monthly. Perhaps someone would like to fill in those empty weeks.

Good luck.

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You might also use the ‘free’ time to do maintenance etc.

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I would suggest the total. If you block 2 weeks for her, she needs to pay the entire 2 weeks upfront. Because this is outside of Airbnb, you can always choose to refund her, depending on the circumstances. For instance, if she calls and says she can’t make it for part of that time, or at all, because she came down with the flu, but you just got someone expressing interest in those dates.

As far as cleaning, if she doesn’t think it’s reasonable to charge for that, then she isn’t worth accepting, IMO. And while you obviously have to clean regardless, if she turns out to be a neat, clean person, who does things before she leaves that you would normally do, like clean the fridge, take out the garbage, leave the stovetop immaculate, etc, your cleaning time might be minimal, so you could adjust it at any point.

And because you’re not going to get an Airbnb review from her, where she could mark you down for cleanliness, she might even say, “You don’t have to clean after the previous guests- I’ll deal with the cleaning” if she wants to save the cleaning fee. At this point, you aren’t even sure you will get bookings between her stays, so she might be coming back to however she left it, not anyone else’s mess or dirt. Also, as she only lives 4 hours away, I assume she would be driving? So she might even be amenable to bringing her own bedding and towels, so you don’t have laundry to do.

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Thanks for your thoughts @Rolf!

I had totally forgotten that shorter term stays are a thing on FF. Thanks very much for this and all your thoughts, @casailinglady!


Lots of creative ideas - exactly what I need. Thank you very much, @muddy!

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