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Pricing strategy for a bigger property (3 bed up to 8 people)

Hi everyone,

Hoping that some fellow hosts could share their insights or experience in hosting a larger property, ours is a 3 bed whole house on our small farm, very private, separate entry and lots of room for cars/boats etc. There are very few properties like us nearby, most are suites or bottom levels of bigger houses, ones that are stand-alone houses are on suburban blocks…I am confident in my current pricing for 2 people with $10 extra per person each night…minimum 2 night stay outside of holidays and 4 nights minimum during holidays. It is nice to have couples staying but obviously we make more money with more guests and I’d like to target these bigger bookings as it then makes it feasible (hopefully) to employ a cleaner…so I wondered what strategies similar properties may use, like perhaps a minimum of 4 people per night? or a total price regardless of the number of people? and if I did that, would I cut out a significant proportion of my market? I realise I need to analyse my bookings so far but I cant help but wonder that we received more bookings from couples or smaller families because I am not efficiently marketing to larger families? hope that makes sense

Any advice greatly appreciated
thanks again

My listing is smaller. 2 Br 2 ba sleeps up to 6. However the wear and tear by 6 people became too much. Now I list for 4 maximum. I know 6 will occasionally show up with an air mattress.

Anyway point being, I checked other local listings and priced mine on the low end based upon maximum occupancy of 6 although only listed for 4.

This past summer I was fully booked at the higher rate with lower occupancy

Also I didn’t get high school or college graduation party (not family for ceremony) requests after decreasing my occupancy.

When I tried to have a per person fee, dealing with sneaking in guests was a bother so go for the maximum

I didn’t do it but you could mention you offer a discounted rate for 2 and the guest can ask about it.

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Perhaps you should consider a flat fee. I rent a 3 bedroom house with 5 beds and I charge $200 a night (high season) regardless if it 's two or eight people. I decided that after reading so many posts here about people lying in order to save a buck and then difficulties trying to collect the extra person fee after host confirming amount of guests with cameras.

I recently removed two beds so now the home sleeps six instead of eight. I felt that eight was a party even though it’ in house rules that parties are not permitted. It’s been easier with six guests, less laundry.

Best wishes.

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We have a three-bedroom home, too, and I’ve struggled with this question since we started hosting five years ago. I hate to be wishy-washy, but I’ve decided it really depends on your market and your target clientele.

For our location (St Lucia), I’d prefer to price it for the entire property in high season and a base price and then an extra-person fee in the low season. That’s because everyone rents out in the high season so I price high in competition with hotels, but the low season gets a lot of honeymooners and bargain-seekers.

But I can’t price flat for part of the year then with an extra-person fee for the rest of the year (unless I create two listings), so I price for two and add $30 per night per person over 2. We’re a high-end property with staff on-site, so we don’t get a lot of “snuck-in” guests.

If you think there is enough demand from larger groups for a property of your size and attributes to hit your income and occupancy targets, then I recommend you price at a flat price.

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My listing is 4 bedrooms for up to 8 guests. I do not have an extra guest fees, just a flat nightly rate. I originally set it up that way because I read multiple internet article stating that guests prefer it. While it makes sense, I don’t really know if it’s true. However, now I realize the benefit for me is that I don’t have to worry about trying to collect for extra guests after check-in (whether it happens accidentally or intentionally on the guest’s part). It’s not just the inconvenience, but any time you ask a guest for more money after check-in, you open yourself up to the risk of a bad review.

The guest count on my reservations has consistently averaged between 5 and 6 and I have only once had a reservation for 2.

After the first 5 months, I modified my nightly rate to be in-line with what I want to make based on my average guest count.

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Just curious, is there any reason you don’t split it into two listings?

I have a 3bd 1ba and take a maximum of six people. One king bed, one queen, two singles. I’ve only been Airbnb-ing for a few months but I’ve already tried several strategies.

I first thought I would have a flat rate regardless of how many people booked, up to six. I didn’t want to have people lying or sneaking in extra people to get around paying extra guest fees, and figured this would make it easier.

Then I changed it to a base price for four people, and extra charge for up to two additional guests. Haven’t had any problems with people sneaking in extra guests, although I always confirm guest count in my welcome message and again the day before check in, plus I have clearly disclosed exterior cameras, so that probably helps.

Now I’ve realized how much I love having just one or two guests. Most of the time I spend cleaning is doing laundry; having only one bed to change makes me very happy. So I’ve set it to a base price for two guests with additional charges for up to four more guests. I’ve even thought about raising my extra guest fee. I still get plenty of 5-6 guest groups in.

I have also not lowered my base price throughout this, so I am now making more money on the larger groups. I’ve even raised my base price for some dates. I seem to be getting just as many bookings with the additional charges as I was before.

Your mileage may vary, every location is different and every Airbnb is different. It doesn’t hurt to experiment though, you can always change it back if it doesn’t work for you.

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HI everyone,

A big thank you yet again for all of your comments, I appreciate all of them. I have taken them all on board and yep its tricky, I think I might take a serious look at the past year and a bit and probably employ a strategy similar to you PitonView….ie a high season rate at a base price, probably based on a minimum of 4 people and keep the low season more flexible. I will clarify though that we don’t really have people sneaking others in….we live on the same property and can see the number of cars so I don’t think guests have tried to sneak in extras so I’ve been lucky enough that I don’t have to confront anyone who’s trying to get away with this. I have compared my rate to others based on 6 and 8 people and I am confident its competitive, in fact the lowest rate in the area. I am interested in your suggestion Georgiahost about creating 2 listings, did you mean a listing for just 2 people and the capacity to add more, then pausing this one and making a new listing for the high season with a base price? Reason I ask is I have seen lots of negative articles about hosts listing the same property twice. I do agree with you also that having just 2 guests sometimes is bliss….and I probably need to take the plunge and experiment!

BUT I do want to ask, currently I am listed at $130 a night for 2 people (low season) with $10 per person extra….if I list my property with a minimum of 4 people at $150 a night how will my property be shown in the search results? So for example is someone just searches on dates will they see $150 or $130? Does that make sense? Apologies if that’s a stupid question

Thanks again everyone,

Sarah

I started to do that on Vrbo (where we get most of our bookings). I split it into three listings - one that sleeps up to 2, another that sleeps up to 4, and a third that sleeps up to 6. But then I realized that this would hurt the rankings of the main listing. We have the third-most reviews in our market, and are ranked #12. The other two would start from zero reviews and a low ranking and work their way up, but at the expense of the “old” listing. I decided that wasn’t worth it.

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I was actually just asking @PitonView about their listing, but this is how it would work:

You would split it into two listings.

  1. Lower base price for up to two people with extra guest charges up to eight.
  2. Higher base price for up to four people with extra guest charges up to eight.

Then block off the calendars for the different dates that you want to use one or the other pricing strategy. It is a little kludgy, and may have other effects on your listing as reviews would only attach to one listing, your listings may have different rankings in search, and some guests may be turned off by seeing your listing twice/with different prices if they are searching without dates. If you decide to try this I would get advice from some of the hosts on here with more experience than I have. :slightly_smiling_face:

If you set your base price at $150 up to four guests + $10 per extra guest the price will show up as $150 whether they search for one guest or four.

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There is no setting for minimum number of guests. The minimum number of guests is always 1. If your listing is for up to 6 guests, the system will allow a booking for just 1 guest at your base rate. Your listing will show up in searches for less than 6 guests, but remember that the search results when searching for a booking for 1 guest will be the largest set of results since all listings support at least one guest. The list gets smaller as the guest count goes up in the search criteria.

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