The Art of Handling Hagglers – Tips for Airbnb Hosts


It’s quite clear, that in today’s society everyone is trying to get the best service, product and price. Everyone wants a bargain. This is natural, because people feel great when they are able to pinch a few pennies. Guests at your airbnb are not different.

We have to stress that some guests don’t even try negotiating because they know some airbnb hosts don’t welcome it, and can be the trigger to losing a booking. However, there are those guests who have perfected the art of haggling to the point where you don’t even know you’re in the game of negotiating at all. Although we have to admit that perfect negotiating skills are like art, requiring talent, dedication and patience, it’s not a really ideal situation if you’re the owner of a renting property.

Why Do People Take Friendly Negotiations Too Far?

A lot of people don’t want to be realistic, but renting out a property, and not opting for a hotel is already putting money back into your pocket. How much airbnb hosts earn isn’t exactly your business. While politely asking if a discount is possible is completely understandable, having a nagging doubt in your mind that you’re overpaying for the stay and and not taking no for an answer is absurd. Even the most polite, professional host will come to a point when they have to say ’Enough’! In order to avoid that crossover between politeness and rudeness, take a look at how to handle even the smartest haggler you can find.

So, do you ride along the negotiation process, or do you stand your ground? If you’re not sure what to do and want to do a little bit of both, here are a few tips on how to handle a pro haggler.

Let Them Make the First Step

Okay, so you have a listed rate for your home/apartment. The rate of renting out a room on airbnb that you determined YOURSELF. And your guests probably know what it is, or otherwise they wouldn’t have booked the stay in the first place. You already have a superior vantage point, and you’re most likely to come out of the game as the champion. So let your guests make the first step. From there on, you can join the haggler’s game.

There’s the start price point you have determined. That is your, let’s call it, anchor price. And if you decide along way to actually budge an inch and give a discount, don’t deter too much from the original price point. It would only make sense to let a guest have a go at negotiating a better deal. Remember, you have to take into consideration all of the factors, before politely declining their proposition or accepting it. Sometimes the guest is an elderly person or a couple, or a traveler who has stayed with you for several times now. In such case, you’re allowed to make the first step, and award their loyalty by giving them a discount. It doesn’t have to be a big discount, but just a small token of appreciation.

Be careful! If someone is repeatedly asking you for favors and discounts, then we can’t actually negotiate with the person can we? Sometimes, it’s better to lose a client than to constantly get yourself in the awkward position of having to argue or defend yourself.

Get In Their Minds

Not literally, of course. But knowing all the necessary information about your guest is extremely crucial. Once you know how long they want to stay, why they are here, and if there’s anything specific that they need that only you can provide them, you’re already one step ahead, although the negotiator might think he has everything under control.

One think you absolutely have to do is compare yourself to the competition in your area. Once you know why your guest is here, there’s a possibility that he might go to our neighbor airbnb if the negotiation falls through. That’s why you need to do a competition check.

  • See if there are any airbnb hosts near by
  • Compare what you have to offer to what they are offering
  • Check if there are any airbnbs by and inform yourself about their price rates for similar units
  • Compare the pricings

By doing this kind of research , you can ’defend’ your pricing and know how flexible your rate should be, so that you don’t actually lose the customer, rather keep them and have a great outcome as well. Killing two birds with one stone is a rare occasion in a negotiation situation, but it is possible.

Stand Your Ground – You’re Not That Thirsty

There seems to be a common misbelief that owners renting out properties are desperate for bookings, and begging for guests to come to their airbnb. Bargain-hunters tend to believe this, and try to take advantage of the situation.

If you come across a guest who seems to imply that you’re desperate, don’t get angry and focus on the positive. Remind yourself if necessary of who you are. You don’t need to negotiate if you’re offering a quality service, and your listing is one of the most popular online. If you’re booked most of the time, don’t let hagglers push you over the edge. Tell them quietly and politely that you don’t have a negotiation policy, but that you’d be glad to accommodate them anyways if they decide to choose your property at the rate you’ve already listed.


While we personally think there is no harm in asking, bear in mind asking politely, think about all of benefits you’re getting by renting out a place, before you chisel away. Tell us, do you have any tactics when it comes to negotiating with guests, if you do chose to do so?



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