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If you’ve landed on my guide, it’s because you’ve likely said aloud, “Can you negotiate price on Airbnb?”
I’ve stayed in a number of Airbnbs in my travel, and somewhere along the way it occurred to me to negotiate the price on my Airbnbs. I love helping m y readers learn new skills, and sharing my knowledge with them (you). A twitter thread of mine on this topic started gaining traction again, so I figured it was time to write a fully fledged post. <3333
This blog post is all about how to negotiate price on Airbnb.
Can You Negotiate Price on Airbnb?
In my work as a blogger and career coach, I often tell my readers and clients: “You don’t get what you don’t ask for!” I’m proud of you for thinking creatively and wondering how to go about negotiating your stay at an Airbnb.
And, like in all negotiations, there are specific phrases and a spot of research that will definitely help you on your way! Below, I share my own tips and experiences on negotiating on Airbnb.
Let’s get to it!
DISCLAIMER: While I do my darnedest to give the best information out there, it’s important to note that there is RISK when negotiating anything — including an Airbnb! By taking on your own negotiations, you accept that the consequences are YOURS! I can’t possibly plan for every possibility you may encounter! TLDR, the risk is all of yours, and by continuing to read you agree that I’m not accountable for any snafus that may occur! :*
#1 Tip for Negotiating Price on Airbnb: Stay over Tuesday and Wednesday
Ok, my first tip for how you can negotiate the price on an Airbnb is this: Stay over Tuesday and Wednesday.
Most Airbnb hosts know that folks will be likely to stay over a long weekend, adding a day or two to their trip. Most people stay Thursday-Sunday, or Friday-Monday. The demand for these days is higher, because that’s when people tend to go on vacation! (Makes sense to “sandwich” a weekend in, while you travel.)
But, in my experience, people are less likely to stay over the middle of the week, on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Because these days of the week aren’t as popular, you can sometimes use your longer stay to ask for a lower price.
A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush after all! A host may agree that it’s better to get a booking over a longer period of time, even at a discount, so they don’t have an empty Airbnb rental on Tuesday and Wednesday.
#2 Tip for Negotiating Price on Airbnb: Be willing to wait it out
Next, let’s talk about timing! If you’re trying to book an Airbnb more than a month out, you probably won’t get very many bites from Airbnb hosts.
Some folks book an Airbnb 6+ months in advance, and, while I get some folks want to be PREPARED — you likely won’t get a deal. The host will see the stretch of time ahead, and they’ll probably bet they can get someone to pay full freight.
Put yourself in the shoes of the business owner. If you owned and operated an Airbnb, you’d probably decide to wait things out, and see if you can get someone to pay full price.
Getting a lower nightly fee has really only worked for me when I booked 2-3 weeks ahead. I know that can stress some folks out, lol! What can I say — I like to ride the edge, and I’ve also booked an Airbnb a week ahead, with pretty solid results.
#3 Tip for Negotiating Price on Airbnb: Check how full the Airbnb Host’s calendar is
The next thing you’re going to watn to check out when negotiating price on an Airbnb is to look to see how full the host’s calendar is.
You can click the little calendar icon the Airbnb website, and you’ll be able to see dates that are available. If the host is booked up, they may be less likely to accept your ask. Make sense, right? Assuming they have a LOT of people willing to pay full price, they may not want to offer a discount.
But it never hurts to ask!
Relatedly, it’s going to be harder to negotiate the Airbnb price over holidays, as well as during graduation season. Not impossible, but something to keep in mind!
#4 Tip for Negotiating Price on Airbnb: Seek out *NEW* Airbnb hosts
This tip can be a bit scary, as reviews are very helpful! If you’re willing to take a risk, some new Airbnb hosts are down to give a discounted rate — because they need reviews!
You NEVER want to ask for a discount in exchange for a review, as I’m pretty sure that violates Airbnb Terms & Conditions.
BUT, a newer business owner will (usually) recognize that they may need to offer a discount to get folks to take a change on them!
#5 Tip for Negotiating Price on Airbnb: Message 5 Hosts
When sharing how to negotiate the price on an Airbnb on Twitter, I realized a critical point I had failed to make!
You have to message a *minimum of 5 hosts* to get someone to bite. I forgot this tip, as I thought it would be a given. AS someone raised by sales professionals, I know that “Getting the yes” is a numbers game, so I expect to talk to at least a few hosts.
I like to use the Airbnb feature where you can “heart” (save) a place to a specific folder, naming it something like “Yosemite March 2023” or “Lake Cuomo Summer 2024.” Then, it’s easier to keep track of the hosts I’m talking to.
#6 Tip for Negotiating Price on Airbnb: Be Polite
Further on down, I share a few example scripts to use when negotiating the price on an Airbnb. But overall, remember that you are going to be a GUEST at someone’s property. People in the hospitality industry are (unfortunately) used to rudeness.
Showing up with a sour attitude or being rude is NOT going to help you.
If you have an attitude of entitlement, it will show in your messages. You’ll come across as a high maintenance guest AND one who wants a discount.
If you were an Airbnb owner, you’d probably avoid guests like this!
#7 Tip for Negotiating Price on Airbnb: 30% Off MAX
Depending on the city you’re visiting, some Airbnb hosts have pretty tight margins — meaning they can’t give a big discount. People love to complain about Airbnb cleaning fees, but cleaning services cost money! (I wrote a whole POST on how much to pay someone to clean your home, HERE!)
In my experience, you’re going to look at a MAXIMUM discount of 30%. Any more than that, and the host is breaking even.
#8 Tip for Negotiating Price on Airbnb: Show them the door
In negotiating and sales, a more ethical sales tactic is to “show someone the door.”
NO, you’re not kicking them out the door!
You want to make it easy for people to leave or say, “No, thank you.”
In my own business, I’m known for tacking “No pressure!” onto every offer I send to a potential client.
In a similar fashion, being sure to communicate the lack of pressure or expectation can lower the hackles of an Airbnb host. Remember, an attitude of entitlement really isn’t going to get you anywhere!
#9 Tip for Negotiating Price on Airbnb: Point out Your Perks
Finally, when negotiating a discount on an Airbnb, I like to point out my perks. Usually, I’m traveling with one other person, which requires less cleaning and pick up. Also, I don’t travel with kids (99% of the time), which can also be a perk.
Another type of perk could be if you’re in the area regularly. You could point out that you visit X times a year for work/personal life, and you could be a regular guest.
Another perk could be getting social media content for the Airbnb host. This hasn’t worked for me (sigh), but if you’re a photographer you could offer to take photos for the host to use in their social media advertising of the property.
#10 Tip for Negotiating Price on Airbnb: Frame it as a WIN for the Host
In negotiations, you must always frame your offer as benefitting the other party. Sharing reasons why YOU want a discount probably isn’t going to sway the other person. They’re running a business.
Frame your ask so it benefits THEM!
Below, I have shared a variety of scripts you can try to negotiate an Airbnb. Keep in mind that I have NO control over how a potential host may react (they could be grumpy and block you), and you’re going to want to keep up-to-date on Airbnb Terms & Conditions so you don’t get booted off of the platform!
In negotiations, you must always frame your offer as benefitting the other party.
Airbnb Negotiation Scripts
- “Hi! I love your place. We’re looking to book for (Date) to (Date), for a total of 7 nights. I’m wondering if you offer discounts for a longer stay, at $XXX per night? I know that guests who stay longer help keep cleaning costs and other fees down, so I thought I’d ask. No pressure if not!”
- “Hi! I love your place. My budget is $XXX per night, tho. Is there a way to snag this rate at your listing? No worries if not, figured I’d try!!”
Note: NEVER offer to leave a review in exchange for a discount. This could get the host in trouble, and is, honestly, an ethical violation.
Another Option (Maybe?)
Some Airbnb hosts have standalone websites for their Airbnb, booking it themselves. If the listing has a name, like “The Swan Lake House” or “Boston Ivy Manor,” you can do some googling to see if you can find an Instagram and then a website for the property.
Remember, renting off of Airbnb can be more risky, as you don’t have Airbnb support to back you up if something goes awry.
(I personally would not do this, unless I was staying for a second time at the same location.)
This blog post is all about how to negotiate price on Airbnb.
What to Read Next —->
Below, I’ve shared some travel guides and tips that you may find helpful!
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- How to Plan a Vacation with Your Best Friends
- 11 Best Tips for Business Travel with ADHD
- Plus Size & Flying First Class | Tips for Best Airline Experience for Plus Size Travelers
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