You asked: Can Airbnb offer hosts more flexibility and options to set our pricing?
Leading up to the last Host Q&A, you asked for more flexibility with your pricing options. We went straight to the team that plans and builds these tools to see what’s on the horizon. What we learned was surprising. It turns out we’ve built solutions for much of what you’re asking for, but lots of hosts don’t know about or use the pricing settings available. We also found out that sometimes offering certain types of discounts harms rather than helps your business. Intrigued? We were too.
To make sure you have the latest insights on pricing, let’s take a look at what your options are and how your feedback influences what we build.
Current pricing options
You specifically asked for the ability to set different prices according to a guest’s length of stay, or based on the days of the week (for example, charging a different price for middle of the week vs. weekend stays). We actually have tools that help you do both! You can offer a discount for stays longer than a week or a month, and you can set up custom weekend pricing.
You also asked about charging guests based on the number of beds they use, rather than the number of guests staying in the listing. While we understand that more beds used means more linens to clean, it’s sometimes difficult for guests to anticipate how many beds they’ll use at the time of booking. For example, not every listing describes if beds are queen sized or double, how many sleeper sofas there are, or how the beds are arranged in a room. Some guests may want to see the place before deciding if they’ll share a double bed with a friend or sleep on the pull-out couch. However, guests can accurately and confidently say how many people will be staying, and you can charge an extra guest fee to account for that. If the cost of cleaning and check-in for shorter stays is a concern, you can add cleaning fees to offset those costs.
How host feedback is shaping our work
Your feedback shows us where things aren’t working for you, and where we can do better. Based on what you’ve told us, we’re focusing our efforts on making every tool more accessible and intuitive. And we’re helping hosts understand how pricing tools work together, which rules take priority when multiple rules overlap, and how to use the tools you have for maximum benefit to you.
When it comes to building new pricing tools, we try to account for a multitude of host preferences while keeping things simple enough for guests to still want to book your space with Airbnb. To do this, we solicit host feedback, test new ideas, and notice what happens to bookings when we add new options.
Here’s a little insight into how we test and pass along our learnings to you: Sometimes we can anticipate reliable opportunities to boost your earnings. For example, you may have seen insight messages on your calendar and emails highlighting discount opportunities for specific dates that would otherwise go unbooked. When you apply these discounts, we highlight to travelers the value you’re offering and that attracts bookings.
Alternatively, sometimes we find that less is more—like in a recent test in which hosts added discounts for 3-6 night stays in areas we noticed travelers were searching for accommodation, and it turned out the guests who booked those discounted spaces would likely have booked the listing at the regular price for the same duration. It’s these types of insights that we pass along to you in how we build and what we recommend.
You always have control over the price you set for your space. And we’re committed to sharing what we learn about pricing best practices. We’re excited that Airbnb offers competitive pricing flexibility for you, a simple booking experience for your guests, and the promise that we’ll continue to listen to your ideas about how to make pricing even better.
In the latest Host Q&A, CEO and Head of Community Brian Chesky answered top-voted questions during a livestream event. For questions he didn’t have time to address, we’ve introduced Airbnb Answers. Want to ask more? We’ll let you know in Airbnb Updates when the question platform will open for the upcoming June 27th Host Q&A.
I'd also like to be able to charge a higher rate for a one-night stay or possibly charge a cleaning fee only for one night stays - might this be a possibility at some stage?
I would like to have automatically higher cleaning fees for stays of a month or more. I have it set for $30 and have spent more than 5 hours cleaning when have had guests for three months... Have to say I'm glad to have the longer stays and have been willing to clean more for it, but still...
How is it possible for Airbnb to adjust your cleaning fee. The cleaning fee need to be removed. Set up a proper price for your daily and long-term guests and include your cleaning. I only host long-term guests and I have to say you are very lucky that you only had to spin 5 hours on cleaning. My staff has to spin this every week, but it is included in my price.
50 Airbnb Hosting Tips
Airbnb hosting tips can be tough to find and many factors will affect getting a good review from your guests. Some of these tips have been borrowed from other hosts, some we learned over time ourselves, and some I found while I did research for this post. I hope everyone can learn something from these. Happy hosting!
Be Upfront – Every city, building, the landscape has difficulties. Whether your Airbnb has 100 steps, the toilet clogs or your wifi is choppy. Let your guests know exactly what to expect before arriving. If you’re upfront then your guests know what they are getting into and will be ready for any surprises.
Have Your Number On Your Guests Keyring – Some Airbnb hosts won’t feel comfortable adding their full address onto the keyring. We suggest only adding your phone number due to privacy and it normally fits nicely onto the ring.
Be Flexible With Check-in and Check-out times – It is definitely tough to be flexible if you have same day turnovers. Changing your bed sheets, wiping countertops down, and vacuuming takes time. If one guest checks-out at 11 pm and your next guest checks-in at 3 pm, things can get stressful.
We have had many guests ask to check out later then what’s in our Airbnb guidelines. We try to keep them happy. How we manage this is by automatically blocking off the next day for cleaning and preparing. To be honest it saves us from scrambling last minute or rushing home to prepare for the next guest. The only downside is the potential profit you would lose.
Read All Guest Reviews – By reading your potential guest reviews, you will find out instantly if they have misbehaved during any of their previous stays. Airbnb host reviews are normal very honest.
Response No Matter What – Regardless if it’s an inquiry, spam, or a simple question, just reply. A simple “No” is adequate and not replying at all will affect your response rate and could stop you from getting Superhost status.
Give New Guests A Shot – Every guest has to start somewhere and at the beginning, this will mean no previous reviews. Give those guests a shot, but remember to ask them further questions. Message them via Airbnb App asking politely “what are you coming for?”, “is this your first Airbnb stay?”, “what time are you planning to arrive?” or “who are you bringing with you?”. These questions will get you a better feeling on if the guest is good for your Airbnb.
Get A Co-Host – If you have a spouse helping you with your Airbnb then great. We would suggest getting a co-host to help with at least the messaging. It can be overwhelming replying to all the inquiries and messages, especially if you have multiple properties.
A co-host can also help if you ever travel to a country where you have no data…. or just want to enjoy your vacation in peace! With the recent Airbnb updated, you don’t have to share profit revenue if you choose to.
Go One Step Further – For us, when our guests check-in we leave them one bottle of water per guest in the fridge and one beside their bed. We also have a fruit basket ready, which has got us many compliments.
You don’t have to do this exactly, if some of you guys have a gym membership, offer that for your guests to use. Another idea would be handwriting a personalized note before your guest checks in. Whatever it is, your guests will feel welcomed.
Share A Meal, Story, Coffee, Or Drink With Your Guests – This really depends on what vibe you are getting off your guests and if you are living in the same property. Some guests want complete privacy, others would love to share stories and enjoy your company. This will change from guest to guest.
Give Your Guests Space – On the same topic as sharing a meal, on the other spectrum, if you get the vibe that your guest is introverted or shy then give them space. Do not push to have an awkward conversation, which your guest will most likely hate. Let them have privacy.
Leave Notes On Specific Instructions – Every home is built differently, some have hidden surprises that your guests won’t understand right away. For us, one light switch needs to be turned on, in order for the dining room table light to work. It is very confusing, so we place a note above that switch saying “leave on”.
Send Your Guests A Message When They Book – We have found if you send a simple message like “Thank you for booking with us, we will have everything ready upon your arrival”. Your guests are much less likely to cancel on you, even if they found a better deal on Airbnb.
Send Your Guests A Message 48 Hours Before Arrival – Not everyone is comfortable with traveling or living in a strangers house, especially if they are using Airbnb for the first time. Send your guests a simple message 48 hours before they check-in. We send a standard message “Safe travels and we are looking forward to hosting you” and usually ask what time they were expecting to arrive.
Instructions To Any Complicated Electronics – Your Airbnb guests will be of all ages. Some tech-savvy and others brand new. If your smart t.v. has many steps in order to connect to Netflix then leave a short instruction manual.
Use Energy Efficient Products – Use energy efficient light bulbs, timed switches, toilets, etc. It may save you a penny now, but a dollar over time.
Leave A Guest Binder – The Airbnb host normally knows the best places in the local area. If you look online you find the most popular tourist attractions, which can be expensive. Adding a guest binder filled with your home instructions, front door code, wifi password, details on where to find extra supplies (bed sheets, blankets, etc), contact information for emergencies, nearest restaurants, grocery stores, attractions and anything else you can think of will save your guests hassle.
Greet Your Guests – No matter where we travel, the first day is stressful due to our new surroundings. If you do live at your place, greet your guests so they know who they are being hosted by and can feel at home faster.
Neighbor Relations – Whether you live in a single detached home, a condo, or apartment, it is a good idea to notify your neighbors about your Airbnb. Keeping a good relationship with them may stop you from getting noise complains or even the cops called. Give your personal number to all local neighbors and inform them to call you anytime if things get too loud.
Use A Key-less Lock Pad or Keybox – In every single one of our Airbnb properties, we use keyless entry. The problem with keys is that they can be copied fairly easily and that is a security issue. With a keyless pad, you are able to change the code whenever you want. It’s a great option for any Airbnb property.
Automate Messages To Save Time – Some interactions with your guests will be similar. Your initial message after they book with you, special instructions such as where to park, and 48 hours before your guest’s check-in messages will be very similar.
After your first few times sending messages and perfecting the process, save everything on your phone or if your spouse is messaging guests as well, save it on something online such as Google Keep or Trello, where anyone can extract from.
Become Verified – This is similar to being qualified. A benefit for a guest becoming verified is the ability to instant-book if a host allows it. With hosts or guest verification, it will show that you are a real person and not a scam. Airbnb does a good job checking.
Make Your Profile Picture Friendly – This can’t apply for everyone, but your guests love to stay with couples more often than not. It isn’t a deal breaker either, but if you can get a picture with your loved one then do so. You will get more bookings out of it.
Make Sure You Have Good Lighting – Just like when you take Airbnb pictures they need good lighting. So will your property when guests stay with you. Regular lighting isn’t adequate at night. Positioning several lamps around your Airbnb will give guests the flexibility for any activities at hand.
Keep Your Place Organized – Make sure everything in your Airbnb has been put there for a reason. Overstocking could mean being cluttered. Keep everything organized and minimalism. You should still have decorations and items but make sure they have a purpose.
Give The Gift Of Entertainment – We love to leave books and classic board games by the couch. They bring a homely feel to any property.
Leave Your Guests With Emergency Supplies – No matter what situation, you want your guests to be prepared. If you have a power outage then a flashlight is needed, if your place is on the coastal line then leave them an umbrella, and a first aid kit is always necessary since guests love to try new places and food which could cause an allergic reaction.
We are pretty new to this but were been charged 65 euro for a clean which is added to the guests bill we are now been asked 85 euro ( apparently going rate in Spain is 150 euro a clean) is this about right?
We can set minimum nights stay for different times (for example, 3 nights minimum on a long weekend) however I’d like to be able to set the minimum amount of guests for different time periods. Currently there is only one setting available. I realise you can add a fee for additional guests but I’d like the option to be able to set it for, say a 4 guest minimum during peak holiday periods.