Some guests will message you prior to placing a reservation request and ask for a discount. From their perspective, they have little to lose in asking. These requests can be frustrating to you as a host however. They inevitably require a lot of back-and-forwards communications which take up your time and inevitably raise the administrative overheads in managing your listing.
Furthermore, they occasionally indicate a “red flag” for potentially problematic guests. Whilst by no means always representing a troublesome guest, these individuals tend to be the type of guests that occasionally require a more “hands-on” management style throughout their stay, and will be more likely to cause any number of additional problems that cost you time and money.
Your best strategy is to reflect on what you stand to gain in offering a discount. Questions to reflect upon include...
Once you’ve determined the desirability of accepting the particular booking to you, consider the availability of alternative booking options for the guest requesting the discount.
If you live in a big city with lots of Airbnb listings, chances are that if you say no, the prospective guest can comfortably accept this fact, and move on with their search to find an alternative listing of comparable price, quality and amenities.
If however, the current competition is low, or your place represents something that makes it unique amongst a scarcity of comparable listings, then you are in a much stronger bargaining position to deny the request or offer only a minimal discount.
Use smart negotiation tactics when getting back to the request for a discount. A few strategies you may wish to consider include…