Customize your experience by selecting your role:
Owner, Property Manager, or Traveler
How many of you get the following in an inquiry?
"Please provide your best price inculding all fees. Thanks for your immediate response"
I feel like I'm at a silent auction bidding for their patronage. Fortunately he wanted 2 nights during a weekly only rental period so I gleeful replied thanks for your interest but I rent weekly during the summer, have a great trip to the lake".
For any would be renters out there, do not lead off with the fact that you want a discount. Ask for the quote and once you receive it, you can then ask about any "specials" due to budget restraints etc. Much more apt to find a sympathetic ear than sending a home owner the above inquiry.
Yep, I got one that contained several red flags in addition to "What's your best price?". I promptly emailed back a quote that was $100 MORE than my listed price. Never did hear from that one again.
Best price inquiries are always a red flag that the renter feels they are to get special treatment.
The rules just shouldn't have to apply to them
They always seem to be the ones that set the air conditioner at 68 degrees and leave the doors open.
They always seem to be the ones that leave all the dishes in the sink and the wet towels under the covers in the beds.
They always seem to be the ones that leave a heavy sunscreen ring in the hot tub.
My best response is to give them a $25 discount on the rental and double the cleaning fee.
I love that! a discount with a higher cleaning fee:) (It reminds me of the ones that also ask for a reduction up front on the cleaning fee- 'we will leave it clean'.)
I generally tell them that our place sound like it is not quite what they are looking for if the price seems high; sorry we are not the right fit for you."
I love that, Linda! It really does get annoying. I usually just e-mail back with our standard rate, but there have been some that give no information and then start the e-mail with "Hey, send price, best rate..." I might use your technique next time.
I quote my rate and then note: my rates are discounted more than 30% than thru a local rental agency. I am sure you will find an owner that will discount their published rates, but we update yearly and feel our rates reflect the updates/courtesy we offer our guests. I hope you find a place that fits your budget and enjoy your trip. I usually get a response that they were not trying to haggle but are within a budget. Sometimes I get the booking and sometimes I am booked by the time they return to my listing.
Yes, this type of inquiry is annoying. We suspect most of these people are newbies at Vacation Rentals and probably just think that's the way they should do it. Maybe they're following the "always try to negotiate" mentality. We always just quote them the listed rate. We haven't raised our rates in 4 years and rarely, if ever, give any kind of discount not listed in our rate schedule.
Oh, and the other one is, "Our budget is $XXXX for one week. Will you accept that?" No.
I have noticed this trend in the past several years, assuming due to the economy. I too find it annoying, but I do try to give them some sort of a discount if I can as part of the negotiating process they seem to need to feel that they have succeeded in saving money. I may offer a lower nightly rate because they have fewer than the maximum occupancy and/or reduce the cleaning fee by $25, etc. I prefer that they ask for any discounts up front rather than let me know after I have responded that my price is more than their budget. Even if it doesn't work out, they always thank me for my offer, flexibility, etc.
We have noticed this too. My wife and I have a codename for it.
The codeword is: Deep Discount.
We had an inquiry a few months back, where we gave our standard price(which is about 10% less than other cabins in the area), and received a reply back stating:
"We would love to stay in your cabin, it is beautiful. We just cannot afford to stay unless you could offer a deep discount."
That meant to us: "We likely cannot afford the vacation, much less the security deposit and will treat your home like a motel room."
No thanks.........we'd like to keep our cabin in great shape. I agree with folks, this seems to be all too common.
Beware the "deep discounts".......:)
Yes, I agree with all of you folks here.
It's really sad. The only people who have neglected our apartment or been troublesome in any way were the ones we gave discounts to !
I would think that people would be more appreciative for getting such a good deal for an apartment that normally goes for much more, but the opposite has been the case. I'm not sure why it's like that, but thankfully we have learned this lesson !
You would think that they would be appreciative, but this does not seem to be the mindset of one looking to price gouge. My wife and I are in our first season of renting our cabins, have gotten a lot of great advice from the forum and have stood by a few rules that have kept us out of trouble:
1) Trust your gut feeling. If you have a bad feeling about a renter, don't rent to them. No matter how badly you may want the sale. It's not worth the headache and potential issues down the road.
2) Keep your prices competitive, but not too cheap. Low rental rates will attract folks who will treat your home like a "Motel 6". (avoid the "Deep discounts")
3) If during the rental agreement phase/payment phase too many roadblocks come up, just "cut bait". Don't try to "make it work", they just may not be the right fit. You will only get a headache and disappoint the renter.
Not to be captain obvious, but these rules really have saved us from unnecessary frustration.
For some folk, asking for 'deep discounts', is a knee **** response; i.e. something that needs no response. Some ask for a break, don't have the money- I recommend our smaller unit; this helps sift out the crowd. Those that repeat the need for preferential treatment, generally don't play well together with others on the playground. We prefer those to play somewhere else!
I have to chuckle at this thread, since the topic to SO common these days. It seems that every travel blog, magazine etc. is advising travelers to attempt to haggle with private home owners- even hotels.
On a RARE occasion I've offered a discount, only after having extensive interaction with a prospective renter.. But I'm with everyone else- if the 1st thing is "what's my BEST price?" the price may actually increase.
I'm lucky, since I have no bank/mortgage to answer to montlhy on my home. If I want to offer a Deal, I certainly know how to do that. The inquiries that want discounts can go elsewhere, with my blessings.
My dreaded inquiry is the one where they want to have a gathering, family dinner being hosted by the guest in my home. They have no problem telling me that there may be as many as 26 people in my home that states 6-8 people in the website. It is so hard for them to understand that while, I am fine with opening my home to a small family gathering, I am not interested in anything that even has the appearance of more than just a few people in and out of the house during their stay.
My dreaded inquiry is one from a local resident who wants to use my place for a "gathering" of friends and family.....now that's really scary for me. I have a one-bedroom cottage. As a newbie I didn't realize this could "happen" ...until it did....and "Oh My Lord" what a mess, what a misuse. The place was emptied completely of any and ALL stock I supplied for a "weekend" stay of what was supposed to be 2 registered adults, with 2 additional day guests...expressed to me as ..." just a BBQ with two friends".... who lived in my near vicinity. The two friends were joined by a few more...than a few others were called....and then yet more. We never really knew how many people congregated ...flowing out onto the deck...into the driveway. My indoor furniture made it's way "outdoors"....everything strewn everywhere.....closets emptied of all plates, pots, etc.. What a mess they left us with. All the indoor furniture became very dirty....and we were finding and picking up things from outside that we found all over the place, outside. Inside looked like it was used as a cafeteria. My registered "guests" check out ...said nothing....left no note....and "no aloha". My husband and I were not only new to the vacation rental "world", but we were also new to this island...it was our new home and we were so shocked that people would do that to us. It could and probably does happen anywhere...though. I've since had nice local residents as guests....but I'm "very communicative" about my house's usage ..."no added visitors". We now get the guests we want....and the others who seek a place to freely "expand" their "party" find it elsewhere.
We've been here for years now...appreciate our island home ...and have developed more skill. I love my island, my neighbours and am very sympatico with my "local residents"....this is a nice place to be among good people.....but they may not use my house for larger than life gatherings , of any kind. Keep it real, folks....this is someone's home you're messing up. OH...I almost forgot to add the relevance to this thread: 100% of the time the local residents expect a "local resident" discount...they do not ask if I offer discounts....they ask me WHAT my local resident discount is...in the very first contact with me.
I am in my first year of rentals and have experienced every type of renter seeking discounts. Yet I have given AARP discounts and found them to work very well with the clientele that I am seeking.
I had an inquiry yesterday. It was a foreign area code, somewhere in the Pacific. The email address, per a web search, was involved in lots of not so good activities. I filed his request. My gut said "no way, buddy".
If someone starts off by asking "what is your best price", I simply tell them if they are looking for a less expensive place to stay with fewer amenities, they might try XYZ. It is also an opportunity to list your competition that is less expensive. It is a win-win for both you and your competition. And who knows, your competition just might return the favor.
Bobbie, I always recommend another VRBO owner that I am friends with, because when she is full, she does the same thing. We have different properties and draw different types of people. She has a game room and can sleep 8-10 people. My home does not have that, but has more privacy with a quiet location and can sleep 6-8 people. So, you are absolutely right! We don't have to "compete" negatively, we can enjoy the differences and help each other out