I’m in a lot of hosting forums and membership sites. I rarely post – I prefer the “silent lurker” approach – but I often browse the posts to see what other people are saying. You never know when you might glean something useful.
One thing that comes up a lot is long-term stays – specifically, whether or not you should allow discounts for long-term stays.
Most of the time, the overwhelming majority opinion is against discounts. A monthly discount cuts into your profit, they say. And this certainly might be true, although it’s no guarantee – those arguments fail to take into account that you might not have full occupancy.
But I digress.
If I’m honest, I have to admit that arguments like that really turn my stomach. Yes, many people are in Airbnb to make money, either as a side hustle or full-blown business. But when they focus solely on money, they lose touch with the human aspect of things. They forget that they are running a hospitality business, that there are real people on the other side of their bookings and inquiries.
I don’t have a monthly discount listed on any of my properties. But I will often give one anyway. I did that for the traveling nurse who’d been through 4 other houses in her 6-week stint because people kept kicking her out to make more money with shorter stays. I did the same thing for a local man who was going through a nasty divorce.
- Could I have made more money if I’d insisted these people pay full price, or even not rented to them altogether? Absolutely.
- But would I have been unhappy with how I’d treated these human beings in need? Also, absolutely.
This business is about more than just making money. Hospitality is the lifeblood of short-term rentals. What does that mean, exactly? Hospitality is defined as “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.”
Friendly and generous.
Successful hosting requires generosity. Whether it’s your time, creativity, money, or something else, if you’re not putting your heart into truly caring for your guests, eventually you’re going to burn out.