I stay in AirBnBs a lot (referral link), and my strategy is as follows:
- Filter on the things I care about (entire place, washing machine, location).
- Pick 2-3 that would be fine.
- Message them expressing an interest, asking a question, and saying something along the lines of “as it’s a longer stay, are you open to giving me a discount?”
- Accept the first that comes back.
You might gather from 4 that I don’t really care about the discount, and you would be right. It’s normally maybe 100 USD or so and because I book entire apartments for > 1 week it’s pretty negligible in the scheme of things (offsets some AirBnB fees). I find it useful for a couple of reasons:
- Test of responsiveness. I figure the person who replies to this in <1 hour will be better when say… there’s no hot water in the apartment (I didn’t run this test there, because my admin booked it. This experience confirmed it’s utility to me).
- Test of goodwill. I have great reviews on AirBnB and want to stay with people who want me to stay with them!
- When you get an offer you can instantly accept it, so it’s great when hosts don’t have “instant book” turned on. Otherwise after making a request you have to wait 24 hours and the service puts a hold on your card, which can get really annoying if you have to request a couple of places.
Anyway I have explained this strategy to a couple of people recently so I figured it was time to document. Happy travels!