How to Give a Special Offer Discount and Earn More

On Airbnb, a host can send a special offer to one guest. Sometimes guests approach you directly, asking for a discount on their stay. When I was just starting out, I didn’t even consider it as an option. I would politely refuse all of them. What a mistake!

Now, with hands-on experience, I realize it’s trickier than I thought. If you want to increase your earnings and have a stable source of revenue, you can’t dismiss discounts. I missed out on some excellent opportunities simply because I was too strict about it.

Keep reading until the end of the article to discover exactly when it makes sense to grant a guest’s discount request.

When to give a special offer to a guest on Airbnb?

a special offer discount on a door of an appartement

Never operate an Airbnb business without establishing your pricing strategy. Airbnb provides various types of promotions that you can leverage to your advantage.

When there are ‘gaps’ in my calendar, such as one, two, or three vacant dates between bookings, I agree to offer a discount to a guest who is asking for it. I know that it’s highly unlikely for those dates to get booked at the last moment.

Since I receive numerous reservations for weekends at one of my properties, I can understand and even predict customer behavior. If I have availability gaps in the middle of the week, I provide promotions for those days.

In the beginning, I define a price I consider to be my minimum price per night. Then I can use the discount to keep my calendar all booked, but paying attention not to go below my minimum. As long as you see overall revenue increasing, promotions are doing their job.

I try to avoid unbooked periods whenever possible, and I’m open to negotiating the price to achieve that. Depending on the situation, I am willing to accept a discount of 10% to 25% for up to 7 nights stay (usually 10-15%). However, I never go lower than my fixed minimum price as I consider it to be a filtering mechanism for guests.

This brings me to the next question regarding guests.

Do guests seeking special offers have a bad reputation?

Let me explain my method for determining whether to trust a guest or not.

We often assume that a guest who wants to get more for a small price tends to cause more problems. Is it likely we will end up with a bad guest who could create a mess or even cause damage? That’s often not the case. Long-time travelers who know all the tricks to save money may ask for discounts, yet they often turn out to be great guests. I’ve had a few excellent experiences with such guests—they didn’t leave a mess, we had great communication, and they even left a positive review.

The key is good communication right from the start. I make sure to check the guest’s profile and reviews. I’m hesitant to accept an offer if they don’t have good reviews already. A brand new profile raises a red flag for me, as well as guests who inquire about the price without introducing themselves or providing any kind of information.

I understand it can be challenging, but in such situations, you need to rely on your intuition and base your decision on the way the guest communicates with you.

Other ways to offer a promotion on Airbnb

Just a quick reminder that you can offer various types of discounts and promotions on Airbnb. Implementing the right promotion strategy can work like a charm for your booking rates. It’s important to note that offering a discount doesn’t mean selling your property for a bargain. Done properly, discounts can boost your overall revenue.

One effective approach is to incentivize people to book with you during ‘dead seasons’ or when there are gaps in your calendar.

Now, there are different kinds of promotions you can create on Airbnb.

  1. Special offer (discussed in this article)
  2. Custom promotion
  3. Early bird discount
  4. Last minute discount
  5. Length of stay discount
  6. Non-refundable rate discount
  7. New listing promotion

When you want to give a special offer to a guest you just do it manually when you are in the message of that guest you choose a ‘special offer’ option. Under the Subtotal, you enter the price you’d like to offer for the entire stay (note this!!!)

Takeaway

When you have slow periods or gaps in your calendar, offering a special offer discount (when guests ask for it) makes sense. Don’t miss out on potential guests and income. Make these offers work for you, not the other way around!

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