Do you have a weekly rate? Normally when I get a monthly rental which has been once. It mainly depends what month they are renting it for. Is it the high season, I wouldn't discounted that much. However, if it's for the low season, I give a 40% discount. Since I don't have to pay cleaning costs and it's always good to secure a renter for consecutive days.
I would see what your competitors in your area are charging for monthly rents and underbid them by a few hundred dollars.
You probably will get more money if you rent it for 4 consecutive week periods, compared to if you rent it for the whole month.
People do expect to get major discounts when they rent it for a whole month. In our market, apartments typically rent for $900 per week and only $2500 per month.
When you think about it, that's quite a difference in income for us ... $3600 versus $2500!
But ... you have to consider, that to get the full $3600, you'd have to deal with four sets of people, setting up their reservations, answering all their questions, setting up the place and cleaning and buying welcome gifts and starter groceries (if you do all of that, which we do ...) ... for all four sets of people. That is A LOT of hassle. So ... when you think about it, that extra $1100 doesn't exactly come for free. It comes at the price of a lot of work on YOUR PART.
Your time is valuable. So ... take that into account.
Now .... if you've got things streamlined so that you spend hardly any time dealing with each client, and maybe you don't spend a lot of money on welcome gifts and maid service, etc ... maybe it's not that much extra trouble for you to deal with four sets of week-long guests in one month. In that case, I would say, you could give a much smaller discount for the month-long rental. (There's no point in giving a discount when you would have had it booked the whole time for a better price ... that is, if the check-in's and check-out's are no trouble for you. ) In that case, maybe you could offer complimentary cleaning every week, since you would have had to pay the cleaning fee for the check-ins and check-outs of the weeklong guests anyway.
By the way, we no longer charge a separate cleaning fee. The cleaning fee is now included in our rates, and that makes things a lot simpler for us.
I definitely agree about the loss if you go with a monthly discount vs renting it to several renter during that month. In order for me to get a monthly guest, I have to give them a very good discount. I did it last year during the high season and lost money for one month. I lost about $1200. I recommend doing monthly discount during your off season and not during high season. $1200 is lot to lose and granted I had more free time but I think I would rather have had $1200
Now during the high season, I'm less likely to give further discounts. Plus if you rent it monthly, there is more wear and tear on your rental unit and the utilities will be higher.
Also, I saw your ad. I like the photos and description you have. Being eco-friendly defintely sets you apart.
Claudio, I agree ... monthly people always want a big discount ... but if it's not advantageous to you to provide that amount of discount, you are not obligated to do so. Just tell 'em, "Sorry, this is high season, we are not offering any monthly discounts."
Thanks for the kind words about our listing!
I checked out your West Virginia cabins, too ... they are BEAUTIFUL! I will keep your place in mind if I am ever traveling to that part of the country.
I'm not sure if Claudio includes the cleaning fee in his weekly rate ... I believe that's the post you were responding to.
But we DO include the cleaning fee in our rates. And yes, it does make our weekly rate higher. But it simplifies our rates, and I think that helps a lot.
Also we are required to charge hotel/lodging tax on the cleaning fee as well as the regular room rate. We've had people who got very self-righteous about this, insisting that we were ripping them off by charging tax on the cleaning fee. The last time this happened, we decided "Fine ... from now on, the cleaning fee is included!" Higher rates, yes, but now no one complains that about the tax on the cleaning.
Now the cleaning fee is invisible to the guests.
We recently revised the rates, to simplify them all around.
Here are the new rates.
$900 / week plus tax.
Stay 3 weeks, 4th week is free.
Extra nights are $150 + tax per night during the week (Sunday-Thursday), $200+ tax per night on weekend (Saturday and Sunday).
If staying 30 nights or more, nightly rate is $90 and no tax.
One-week minimum stay.
If someone is asking about something like an 18-night stay that happens to fit perfectly between our other scheduled bookings, then I may give them some free nights to help encourage them to make the booking. Conversely, if their requested nights are very inconvenient for us, then I do not give them any discounts beyond the published rates. I will still make the booking, but they have to pay full price ... no discounts.
Also, I used to provide a $10 per night discount if you weren't bringing a car. But that complicated things because it made 2 different pricing structures that I needed to publish. As part of our simplification, we got rid of the $10 per night discount. Now we just say "Ask about our Special Offer for Car-Free Guests." Right now our special offer is that we will buy the transit passes ahead of time, and have the passes ready and waiting for the guests, in their welcome package. The dollar value of these transit passes is very similar to the discount that the guest previously had. And actually ... having the transit passes ready and waiting is a real convenience ... because the passes are only sold at a few locations in town, and the closest one is about a 45-minute walk from our house. So the convenience of providing this service, is worth a lot more than the dollar value of the transit passes.
But I like that our new wording simply mentions a Special Offer. So we can tailor the Special Offer on the fly, to provide an incentive for each car-free guest, depending on what is most likely to help them decide to make the booking. We actually prefer car-free guests, because otherwise the guest car blocks our driveway and that's a pain in the butt for us. So we are happy to provide extra incentives for the car-free guests.
One thing I noticed is that a lot of people seem to call up, expecting to book the place, without providing any information about themselves. Many of the guests don't understand that we are receiving dozens of inquiries and weighing the "pros and cons" of each guest, just as much as they are weighing the "pros and cons" of each vacation rental. If it's a guest that I really want (for example, someone with NO car), I will give extra perks and discounts. But if the guest has told me absolutely nothing about himself / herself, then I have no motivation to give any discount, and they will get quoted the full price.
I have a weekly rate of $800 and include my cleaning fee. Actually my daily rates include cleaning fee as well. Our cleaning fee is $54 which is low and most of the other cabins we go against don't have a cleaning fee as well. If we did add it, we would definitely lose guests. I personally hate paying cleaning fees when I rent a vacation property. I rather they include in the total cost.
I am with you although I love to get bookings it irks me when Canadians ( they are the only ones who do this) write to me 6-8 months in advance looking for a greatly discounted rate for my home( they also call it a unit GrRRRrRrRr!!!!,!,!
If I could afford 4-8 weeks vacation in winter would I be renting out my home.....??.
So this year I am saying no to the multi week and monthly discounts and sticking to my weekly rate x4
I am happy to give the 4th week free because it is worth it, for me.
But like Claudio said, if each check in / check out is not that much hassle for you ... and/or if you'd rather have the money than the free time ... there's no reason for you to give the discount for a longer term stay. You're not obligated to! If it's high season, you'll probably make more money and be fully booked with four different one-week renters, compared to giving somebody a discount for the full month.
Right now my life is so busy with grad school and my full time job, I am happy to make a little less money with the monthly guest, and have A LOT MORE free time and a lot LESS stuff on my plate. That's why I would be happy to have a monthly guest. Haven't had one yet, because we are always having shorter-term guests that block up the space. But ...what I'm saying is ... giving the 4th week free is a choice I am making, based on my current life situation. Don't let a potential renter try to talk you down into giving the 4th week free just because some other vacation home owners are doing it. . You've got the home that other people want ... so you can set the rules. You're in the driver's seat, not the guests! It's your house, and you can set the price.
What I have figured out when we get someone who wants a long term (month or longer in high season) rental, is that it is most likely more than one family. They do the rental as one family, but split it with others. For most of the rental, they take turns using the house, but almost always have at least one period, usually toward the end of the rental, where every one will be at the house for a party. I have changed my lease to list everyone who will be using the house. So pretty much if anyone will be spending more than a night or two need to sign the lease. I have a strict 6 person policy, and have someone who reports to me when there are too many people at the house. Most people can not in this economy rent a house for more than 2 weeks.