Discounts and Such...

in
Charleston, SC
Level 10
5,327 Views

 

This morning I pulled the trigger on something my husband and I have have been discussing for a few weeks. Offering a 10% discount for Public School Teachers, Military and First Responders. (US Markets)

 

While no good deed goes unpunished, I'm sure this is going to end up with a flurry of calls to the Crack Call Center Team with me profusely apologizing for the inconvenience of asking them to retroactively adjust my payout amount, --because as we are all painfully aware, guests typically jump first and ask questions later.

 

Because we are a modestly priced space in an insanely expensive lodging market, we already attract many from these job categories.

Can I assume there are probably more than a few other hosts who might also want to engage in this practice? That being said—how much trouble would it be for the Internet team at corporate to: A. Put this offer button on the Host settings, and B. As a part of the verification process, let people who are part of these professions, offer to make their ID’s for these jobs an additional ID as proof they should qualify to receive a discount without a lot of hassle? I mean, all these jobs have official ID's right??

 

Is there already something out there like this that I’m missing? Bueller? Bueller?

 

11 Replies

Re: Discounts and Such...

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

I don't offer discounts to specific groups. I haven't neard of anyone else that does.

 

 

If you want to, just send them a special offer.

Re: Discounts and Such...

in
Como, CO
Level 10

Major issue I see is that it is against AirBnB discrimination policy.

David

Re: Discounts and Such...

in
Charleston, SC
Level 10

Hmm-- Interesting Thank you for the response, @David0.

If I may?  The offer has nothing to do with the clearly defined race, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability or sexual orientation discrimination categories.

Most major US retailers including many travel assist/liaison organizations already offer some kind of discounts targeted at specific groups and markets to build brand awareness, loyalty and community outreach without recourse and to widespread public support. There are public corporations (for example, IdMe) whose business revolves around making it easier for people, including the groups I mentioned, to participate in discounts they qualify for on-line as well as in person. Additionally, they assist the companies who offer discounts to targeted groups reach them and streamline the process of verifying qualifying customers.

 

As the nightly price is set, and it is not being artificially inflated to detour business from any of the groups we as hosts have agreed not to discriminate against, or to offset discounts offered, but is actually inclusive of those groups, I’m interested to hear your thoughts as how you conclude this could violate the discrimination policy? Thanks in advance!

Re: Discounts and Such...

in
Como, CO
Level 10

AirBnB mentions certain specific categories, you mentioned in your original post that it would be limited to US guests:

 

"We welcome guests of all backgrounds with authentic hospitality and open minds. Joining Airbnb, as a host or guest, means becoming part of a community of inclusion. Bias, prejudice, racism, and hatred have no place on our platform or in our community. While hosts are required to follow all applicable laws that prohibit discrimination based on such factors as race, religion, national origin, and others listed below, we commit to do more than comply with the minimum requirements established by law."

 

You will see the specific commitment to go beyond what is legally mandated.

 

Those Retailers are not subject to the AirBnB policy and as long as they operate within the law can do whatever they want to do.

David

Re: Discounts and Such...

in
Charleston, SC
Level 10

Right-- I read that. I'm just not sure how this violates any of the policies. I may be a simpleton, but "Going above and beyond" for me, is interpreted loosely as "hey, you can't discriminate for any of these reasons-- and we also expect you to be respectful and welcoming." 

 

I have, as far as I know,  the autonomy to price however I judge, provided those prices are listed publically. I can choose to send a special offer if I so chose, as well. There wouldnt be a button for that if not.

 

Is it discrimination if I choose to send you a discounted special offer and not your neighbor?

 

Interestingly enough, I have already (within a few hours) received an inquiry for one of my spaces, and she mentioned her husband was a Police officer-- she didnt ask for a discount but I assume it was implied. 

 

As an aside, as the proud mom to a gay, woman of color, I am particullary tuned to the discrimination issues.  I think the verbage of my listing is pretty clear we welcome everyone, with a grateful and open heart. 😉 

 

I appreciate the points of view from fellow hosts, like yourself, and always welcome a hearty and mutually friendly debate.

Re: Discounts and Such...

in
Holly Ridge, NC
Level 2

As an Air Force Retiree and a former earth science teacher, I want to thank you for your consideration to offer discounts to those who have served their communities.  

 

I see no way to confirm on AirBnB itself whether a guest fits the requirements, and as far as the discrimination policy goes, as long as you accept everyone as a guest, you are not discriminating.  My suggestion would be to buy a gift card to a popular restaurant in the area and leave it in a small "Thank You" card on their pillow.  

 

I would love to hear what other suggestions you have tried and how this is going for you.

 

Mike

Re: Discounts and Such...

in
Como, CO
Level 10

Fits what requirements?

 

I have seen some Hosts leave a bottle of wine whatever, something not specifically mentioned in their listing. A voucher for a specific local attraction I can see maybe not working out, maybe of it was a chain and could be used elsewhere?

David

Re: Discounts and Such...

in
Holly Ridge, NC
Level 2

@David126

 

"Fits what requirements?"    I was referring to the requirements set in the Booking Settings (reviews, verification, etc).

 

A bottle of wine could work, but there are people out there who do not drink alcohol for various reasons.  Maybe a fruit basket?  A coupon to a chain restaurant would work, but why not get a coupon to a local restaurant that is found only in your area and receives rave reviews?  Whether the guest's visit is for business or pleasure, we, as the hosts, can help make the trip memorable by recommending these unique places.  

 

Mike

Re: Discounts and Such...

in
Como, CO
Level 10

Maybe if your business is mainly longer stays it could work, mine are mainly shorter and I never know what their plans are, some will be looking to eat out locally, others not.

David

Re: Discounts and Such...

in
Philadelphia, PA
Level 10

While your heart is in the right place, the technology from Airbnb is not.  Look at all the frustrations so many hosts have as it is with long standing  problems on the platform.  Asking Airbnb to add this special feature is like whistling in the wind.  As @Helen3 said, send a special offer.  @David126 is right that it might be seen as discriminatory.  Not maybe by Airbnb but other groups.  There are many groups besides teachers, firemen and other first responders who might think they should qualify.  Do you include people who work for the Red Cross for example.  Is it all teachers - substitute, ESL, yoga, librarians?  

I think it is a lovely idea if that is the route you want to go.  I think the aggrevation of anything other than a special offer will just add to the stress you are trying to mitigate. Send a special offer and tell people that they must produce the proper ID upon check-in.  Or after they book, you can look them up and double check.  Apparently many guests are challenged by the whole ID online uploading process.  Have you thought about gift certicates to a great local restaurant or passes to some poplular sites in your area?  Much less stressful.

Re: Discounts and Such...

in
Austin, TX
Level 10

@Nancy67

 

 I think it's a great idea and I think the people saying it violates the Airbnb policy are a bit overreactive, not to mention lacking specifics. If they point out actual language regarding this specific issue, that's one thing. Quoting the entire policy as evidence is less than helpful.

Your discount would be the same as offering a senior discount, or an AARP discount, which literally every hotel already does. Zero discrimination. In no part of Airbnb's policy does it mention the groups you do, nor does it mention you can't discount any other groups that you see as benefitting society. If you were giving discounts to white supremacy groups, maybe, but that's something else entirely. The groups you mention have no racial, gender, sexual or religious specific elements so I'm unclear as to why anyone would think it would be a violation of the policy.

As for the comment regarding where to draw the line, this isn't an issue - you draw the line wherever you want to. My assumption is you won't be drawing any lines, but rather going on a case by case basis.

Airbnb won't create the option you want but you can ask that they text you with a photo of official ID after booking and you can adjust the price prior to their checkin. No price adjustments after the fact - your numbers may get too confusing.

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