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Temporary Discounts to attract renters

Trying to add a temporary discount for next week to try to attract renters during our shoulder season but not sure how to do it.

Just reduce your prices?

Or if you have the calendar with rules, create a rule set and adjust the price there and apply that rule to the days in question.

JF

Don’t do it for just a week unless virtually all of your guests are “book two day ahead” types. Such a strategy would not work where I am, where the vast majority of guests book from 1 to 12 months in advance.

Most shoulder seasons last a month or two, not a week.

Is it worth doing sales on your property. Im rather short of work at the moment thanks to covid… is it ever worth it or does it attract bad types?

What do you mean ‘sales’ on your property. Do you mean offering a discount? @Mark_T

What does this have to do with your work?

We’re ALL “short of work” in these Covid times. It’s simply a fact that only irresponsible people, or those who must travel for work are looking for accommodations. This isn’t the fast food business. Short term “sales deals” seldom work unless (and that’s a BIG maybe) your area is at it’s seasonal peak and you aren’t busy for some reason. Then you’ll get the bargain hunters.

It helps to NOT think of AirBnb as “work”. If you are trying to make all of your annual income from STRs, that’s not gonna work this year and probably next. STRs are not a career, it’s a paying hobby. Likewise it helps if you think of the people who come stay with you as Guests, not Renters.

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In my experience, the first guest who stayed after I lowered my prices gave me my first 4 star review. I have since decided to keep my prices above the “competition”

I think that lower prices equates to lower quality of guests, in my market anyway.

Good luck

RR

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thanks @RiverRock

I guess it was more a question of creating a deal. For instance if you’re charging $250/night, trying to price that at $200/weekend.

Is it better to have your property open and earn $0 than trying to grab the $200/weekend customers?

Depends on your situation I have a base price I won’t go below @Mark_T , but I am not financially dependent on STR income to pay core operational costs.

What’s your situation do you have an investment property or is it a side income?

Well it was side income until I lost my job. Now paying the mortgage on the property means I’d like the income.

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Than you have to do what you have to do. Don’t go too low… What kind of guests do you normally get? Where are you located?

RR

What do you think the side effect is of going to low is?

We’re in Sydney, Australia, the city area

I raised my prices. Inventory is low, and so demand relatively high. I’m getting booked like crazy.

Going low, as others have said, just brings bargain hunters and generally the kind of guests you just don’t want, IMO.

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The side effect of going too low is that you will, inevitably, attract undesirable guests - not all but some will be difficult. The most demanding guest we have ever had paid a rock bottom COVID price. I don’t regret having them as guests but this was a once off and we won’t repeat that again. So my recommendation is to be cautious abount going too low.

You are in Sydney? This must be a huge market. Can’t you think a bit outside of the box and see if you can target a new type of guest: travelling nurses, visiting academics, remote working professionals etc. - that sort of thing. Everyone frames COVID as a disadvantage for AirBnB hosts but if you are a good host, then I think there are some massive opportunities out there.

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We have been steadily raising our prices. Especially since re-open covid -19. Our guests are good quality. But, we are so unique, no matter! If you do raise your prices, try to make sure the guests feel like they are getting something special. We provide lots of extras. they look good and create good feelings of value, even though often they are completely untouched.
example: Raise price twenty $ Provide a bottle of chilled San Pellegrino and a Swiss chocolate bar… net +16$

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I’ve been doing this for a long time and for me, in my area and with the type of rentals I have, it’s never worth it. I imagine that a lot depends on the location and the types of guests you get.

Like Ken who commented above I have guests who book a year in advance and it’s very rare that I need to attract guests for next weekend or other short term periods. But it has happened when I’ve had a cancellation.

That sends me straight to social media to promote the rental ‘due to cancellation’ or to the phone to get in touch with assorted contacts.

There are dozens if not hundreds of ways to fill your properties at full price and as this is now your full-time job then go for it.

Poor quality guests who feel entitled because they’re doing you a favor(?) by offering to rent your place at all, but want discounts. They take you and your property for granted, and are pains to deal with. Save yourself some grief and don’t discount.

I suggest that you check your competition with a private browser session. Check similar listings near you, check the prices for some dates, including cleaning fees etc, and read their reviews AND their reviews of guests. You need to do this with a computer so you can install the AirReview extension on your browser to see full reviews of hosts and guests.

I’ll bet the cheaper places have the 3 and 4 star reviews, starting when the host started discounting. Then check your actual competition, the ones charging what you are now. Check to see how heavily booked they are. You want to find a price point that will result in the level of bookings you want while minimizing the chance of attracting problem guests.

I allow instant booking but not for those without ID or reviews, and I require 2 days advance notice (that reduces attempts to book by locals) and a 2 night minimum stay. Or I would if I was open. :wink:

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I think what happens is that you get guests whose main goal is a low price. They prioritize price over specific amenities, style, location, house rules etc. So, they book your place for the price and the price alone. And then, once they get there, they realize it doesn’t have stuff that they wanted, that it’s too far away from where their going, they are minimalist and your decor is too cluttered for them, it’s on a busy street and they’re light sleepers, etc. Basically, you don’t get guests that are the best fit for your listing. You get guests who book with their budget in mind, instead of their actual needs and wants in mind, but they still hold you responsible for their needs and wants once they arrive.

When my prices are the highest, I tend to get the very best guests for my listings. They are willing to pay the higher price because they really want a backyard, or a clawfoot tub or it appeals to their aesthetic sense or the location is exactly where they need to be. Basically, they are already happy with my place before they ever arrive, because they are renting it because it fits their needs and not because it was the best price. As long as I give everthing I promise, I’ll have happy guests.

It may even be as simple as this: I think that people paying a higher price might look at the details of the listing more thoroughly. I know I would “make sure” it’s the right place if I’m paying a lot.

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Another effect of going low is that the bloke next door (or your nearest ‘competition’) might see it and lower his price to below yours. Then you see his and lower your price even further. Then he sees your new price etc. etc. etc.

So before long everyone is operating at a loss.

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