34 Replies Latest reply: Nov 15, 2019 6:46 PM by margaret RSS

    Can you believe the Nerve of some people

    captmarkhd Senior Contributor

      So I got an inquiry last night from a Guest that wants to stay 5 nights, with two couples during my peak busy season. The regular price for my nightly rate for this stay is $2,050. This perspective guest asked for a $550 discount with two couple splitting the charges!!!! Who in there right mind ask for this kind of discount???? 25%!!
      I posted this on another site and a user gave me a fantastic response. Now I always try to take my emotions  out of running my business (that’s what forums are for to blow off steam   ) and I always try to be very professional in my response  BUT trust me that it took everything that I had not to unload on him!


      My response;
      Thank you for inquiring on a possible vacation stay at Casa Rio Sierpe. Unfortunately our prices reflect the season, demand, market, and all of the very unique amenities that we provide as part of a stay with us. The listed price is our available price. If you need a different price point, the filter options let you specify a price range.

      We would LOVE to host you so please let us know if you find a way to make a stay with us work within your budget. Wherever you end up staying, we hope you that you have an amazing vacation in Costa Rica and perhaps you will consider us for a future stay.

      Warmest Regards


      Now I also explained to them that I am already running a special off of my regular rates for a short time that saves them $60 per night! As well as I informed them that I just received a reservation for there first requested night stay but that I still have the other 4 nights available.


      His last response to me  

       

      Thank you Mark the info and update.   Understand your position. Unfortunately, I am limited by by our group budget of $300/ night (plus fees).  We are ok with the 4 nights (29feb-4mar) if you would accept the of $1200.

        • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
          ohst8er Premier Contributor

          Hi ____________,

           

          Sorry, wish I could be more help to you!  Good luck in your search and definitely keep us in mind for our future trips to ____________!  Love, Capt Mark

          (ok, you can leave the love part out.) 

          • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
            u0999 Premier Contributor

            I am a Moderator / Admin in several Smoky mountains groups. I see ISO posts like this ALL THE TIME. recent example : they want Thanksgiving week (the HIGHEST priced week in a year and everyone is already has long been booked for months) a 3 bd cabin with this and that at $120 at night. Going rate for 3 bd cabin during Thanksgiving is $300+ per night. 

             

            Good or bad , being a moderator and seeing this nonsense all the time has desensitized me to what people think they can get away with.

            • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
              wildiris Active Contributor

              I've had people ask for a 75% discount.  (Yes, 75% - that's not a typo.)  It bugs me, of course.  I just politely respond that my rates are competitive and I don't offer discounts.

              • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
                scowol Active Contributor

                Your first reply to the original discount request was polite, professional and clear.  Multiple emails on bartering are only necessary if you choose to do so. 

                 

                A wise colleague once showed me a simple step to take when I asked for advice on how to respond to a persistent, obnoxious email after I had already responded very clearly in the first email...

                 

                Capture.PNG

                • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
                  feibus Senior Contributor

                  "Enjoy your vacation!"

                   

                  No reason to engage the weirdness.

                  • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
                    hmmmm Senior Contributor

                    And they would have been terrible guests, or fussy or problematic guests. 

                    • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
                      sanlord Active Contributor

                      I recently had an inquiry for our beach condo for 2 couples.  They not only wanted a discount (she had found 2 other properties with lower rates) but wanted me to arrange an outing on a shrimp boat!  It is the husband's birthday and he apparently has always wanted to go shrimping.  I would NEVER get involved with something like that, even if it would be possible.  After much back and forth concerning price and shrimping this was my final message:

                       

                       

                      I don't believe the shrimp boats take guests, that would be something you would need to check yourself.  I'm sorry but we do not discount our rates.  I'm sure one of the other properties will work for you. If I can be of further assistance please let me know.

                      • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
                        bonesxxx Active Contributor

                        My property attracts folks from two major military / government centers.  I get these all the time.  Practically EVERYONE in my market is 'special class' who think they should get a discount.

                         

                        My standard reply to any such request turns this fact into my policy:

                         

                        "My rental market is made up almost entirely with "insert military/government branch here" and my rates have been set to account for this.  Aside from thanking your family for their service, no further dispensation is available.  I look forward to hosting you but, if you decide it's not a good fit, I wish you a wonderful trip wherever you decide to stay"

                          • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
                            floridagirl19 Contributor

                            My market is mostly senior citizens who come to Florida for the winter - and I actually get people looking for "senior citizen discounts" - ummm no since that is my entire market!

                             

                            In my experience, those looking for deep discounts are giant BULLETS you can dodge - they will be annoying as guests if you cave to them and might even cause you other headaches in breakage/stains etc.

                             

                            When I get requests for discounts - if they are not looking for a large discount - I usually offer a small discount like 5% and in many cases just the idea that you are willing to give them *something* will get you a booking. But the people like with original poster who have a specific target price are just not worth the time except to say "No I do not give discounts". If they continue to message you that is a sign they are not worth your time.

                             

                            I also believe Airbnb has created these monsters. So many times I see Airbnb suggesting ridiculously low rates to me as part of their "smart pricing".  I believe enough Airbnb hosts deeply discount their places so that the extreme bargain hunters come to expect really low prices.   I know all of my expenses down to cost per day for my places and I will never rent below my cost. I would rather have the house be empty than rent to Dollar Store customers.

                          • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
                            psphoto Active Contributor

                            Actually...I think they're very smart!

                            Imagine if you were a property that actually GAVE them the discount.....it's not unheard of, and if you don't ask, you'll never get one.

                            I never fault people from asking for discounts....I just say no.

                            There are plenty of websites encouraging people to always try and negotiate any and all prices...perhaps not a bad idea!

                            There's no "NERVE" involved here, just a smart shopper seeing how firm the pricing is.

                            The ball is always in your court.....just say no!

                              • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
                                mauimakani Contributor

                                I believe the captmarkhd did say "No" to a discounted rate and the prospective traveler then comes back and said they are OK with a four night rate for a similarly discounted rate? I think that is nerve. It is fine to ask for a discount and if one is not available, then show the same graciousness that the Owner provided and move on to a property that is within their budget.

                                 

                                I tend to agree with floridagirl19 and find that I have had more issues with guests who asked for a discount.

                              • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
                                feibus Senior Contributor

                                A general "rule" of marketing:

                                 

                                Unless your niche is to be the lowest-priced offering -- e.g., Dollar Store -- you never ever sell on price and always sell on value.  What do you offer that others do not that made your home the one that someone wanted to inquire about in the first place?  Focus on that and let people know that you're not the lowest price offering in the area, but you have the best value for what your guests want in a vacation.

                                 

                                For example, I focus on amazing beds and having activities for the kids on days they don't want to go to a theme park.  The lower priced offerings don't have these things and they're important to my niche.  The airlines charge more than I do to get them to my town, so I'm not the budget breaker for their stay and don't need to engage in a race to the bottom pricing war.

                                • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
                                  mvphawaiicondo Contributor

                                  I have to agree with psphoto sounds like a smart shopper.  That doesn't mean you have to accept the request.  You did the right thing with your cordial reply.  You are right in that this is the perfect place to vent.  There are some out there that are in desperation mode who may have accepted his request.  He may have written to many people.  I have had people ask for all sorts of discounts.  I have said NO to military discounts.  I had someone ask for a discount for staying a whole week when my minimum rental period was 7 days...lol.  Why would I give a discount for staying my minimum require stay?  I responded cordially.  I had someone request a clergy discount.  I honored that one because my son in law and brother in law are both pastors.  It doesn't hurt to ask.  You never know when you're going to hit a soft nerve. Bottom line is that the answer is "NO!" but it doesn't hurt to ask.  "All they can say is 'No' ", he probably thought.

                                    • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
                                      margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                      If you don't ask you don't get!

                                       

                                      I don't get upset by people asking for discounts, I just say no. It can be annoying when they ask for a ridiculous discount but we can always say no.

                                      • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
                                        u0999 Premier Contributor

                                        No, it is not a smart shopper. Unless they are shopping in Asian bazaar where haggling is part of culture and is expected part of sale process, and the sellers customarily have their initial price 2X of what they will actually sell for just to allow for protracted haggling. But every place else you just alienate (and potentially insult) seller by asking for 25% off right off the bat. When I see someone asking for a discount like that, as an owner I think that they will not agree if I offer them 5-10% off because they expect 25% off. So I would not even entertain further interaction.

                                          • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
                                            psphoto Active Contributor

                                            Gee...I've negotiated many things in business without thinking I was in an "Asian Bazaar" !

                                            Ever buy or sell on Craigslist?

                                            Ever watch "Shark Tank" ?

                                            I never understand why people think it insulting to ask for a discount....it's called "price discovery", and it's done all the time in the business world.

                                            My clients in my profession negotiate pricing with me all the time, they would be remiss to their stockholders or clients if they didn't!

                                            If some one asked me for a 25% discount, I would simply respond that based on the season they were trying to book and current booking levels, the best I could do  would be ___%, then the ball is back in their court. Or I could just say we are unable to offer any discounts currently based on seasonal or booking levels.

                                            Smart shoppers negotiate when they can...I've never seen anyone thrown out of a store or hotel for trying to get a lower rate!

                                              • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
                                                u0999 Premier Contributor

                                                Well maybe because my VRs are not Craigslist material? But on a serious note, it is different in one-time transaction on Craigslist buying a used crock-pot (i.e you negotiate the price, money exchanges hands, transaction is complete, you take a crock-pot home, no further interaction between seller/buyer. If crock pot does not work, oh well, you are out of your $10).

                                                With VRs it is not quite like that., the guest who was haggling is still yet to stay in your VR and owner still has to deal with them before and throughout their stay. It is an observation of many owners (including myself) that those guests who were haggling and got a substantial discount are usually difficult, demanding, hard to please and complain-y. You may call it "smart shoppers", I call it "avoid at all costs PIA in the making". I am not opposed to people asking for (and getting) reasonable discounts ( 5-10% is reasonable). 25%+ is not reasonable. It implies that I, as an owner, do not know my market/property/season and that I have overpriced my property by 25 % which is not the case.  But that is just me.

                                                P.S One of the worst reviews I got was from the people who haggled and got a discount. No mas.

                                                  • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
                                                    euster2001 Contributor

                                                    Yes- I have had the same experience. I do not really understand why this is. One  person asks if they could have a discount for two days before her rental in June because " you aren't going to rent it anyway."

                                                    They went on to drive away with  a Bose Speaker, tore up the house including kids paint spots on the rugs and a broken closet door. they complained about the expense of returning the speaker.

                                                    • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
                                                      psphoto Active Contributor

                                                      If you asked other owners ( myself included ), I think you would find plenty of stories of damage caused by renters who NEVER asked for a discount!

                                                      As I mentioned previously, B2B transactions involve negotiation on pricing and deliverables  ALL the time. The story you tell is much like the story municipalities tell when they try and ban STR properties using anecdotal stories. There's always a few "bad apples" that ruin it for everyone, but it doesn't mean one thing necessarily follows the other. I have rented to people negotiating price, and when an agreement came to fruition, never had a problem with them. You should look at Vacasa's price spread across the seasons....some of their properties rent at multiples of 8-10x seasonally. Many renters who would normally try and negotiate just have to look for a "cheaper" period to rent, I would think if their data showed a much higher level of damage at lower price points, we would be hearing about it. I think what's riskier is larger groups, since it's harder for the signatory renter to police a crowd. And usually the crowd hasn't read the rental agreement.

                                                      Your mileage may vary....

                                                      Pete

                                                        • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
                                                          u0999 Premier Contributor

                                                          and a lot of vacasa managed properties soon turn into dumps with poor reviews. Also we were not talking about negotiating for a cheaper period to rent (such as my Feb weeknight rent is almost 60% cheaper than peak holiday rate - so rent in feb). We are talking about people trying to negotiate normal (and often in-demand seasons) rates down. Vacasa does not CARE of their data shows higher than average damage,. because guess what - the homes are not THEIRS. They pass on damages/repairs costs onto owners.

                                                           

                                                          Off topic: I know you will call this anecdotal but we have a group of over 200 Smoky mountains owners and small time managers (5-20 homes). It is almost universal that a) cabins managed by large PMs sustain more damage and neglect than owner-managed homes and b) most owners who initially had a property manager and then moved to self manage report significant reduction in damages, neglect and associated expenses ( these owners do have something to compare against, before-after). Not to mention revenue - PMs love to "spread the wealth ' across all properties they manage meaning that even mediocre ones get bookings steered to them.  In a normal situation the better properties get more bookings. Property Managers also tend to give wild-a..s discounts just to get something.  And oh yeah. PMs do not screen out larger/rowdy/over occupying groups. Why? because THEY DO NOT CARE. they already got the money, let owner deal with the fallout.

                                                            • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
                                                              sanlord Active Contributor

                                                              I completely agree.  We have been with 4 different management companies in 3 different locations (some better than others) and had much more trouble with guests behavior, damage, theft, cleaning issues and over occupancy than with self managing.  With all of the PMs we were "in line" for reservations, it didn't matter how much nicer our properties were than the others we all basically got the same number of rentals.  We took all the risk and paid all the bills and the PMs made their money no matter what the guests did.  All of the PMs had insurance for guest damage but somehow the damage or theft was never covered!  Sound familiar to anyone?  They set the rates for maximum occupancy!  All that mattered were "Heads in beds", lost track of how many times we heard that!  (Two of the PM groups actually said that at ALL of our annual HOA meetings!)  I guess we were lucky that none of those heads had lice!   We get MANY more reservations and make a lot more money now that the PMs don't have their hands in the till!  We would sell our properties before going back to PMs.  PMs may work for a lot of owners but not for us.

                                                               

                                                              I know that was slightly off topic.  On topic - I never negotiate - REALY, REALY DON'T LIKE IT!  Feels like buying a used car - just my opinion! 

                                                      • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
                                                        twobitrentals CommunityAmbassador

                                                        We don’t haggle in the grocery store, etc. We don’t haggle when renting a LTR. I think if a guest wants to see if there is a lower rate available they should asks if there is a time/season where the price would be lower. I find it insulting to have people ask me for less money, more occupants, more vehicles, parties, more than one pet. What part of our listing, contract, etc. can they not read and comprehend. If we want to get less for our properties surely we would advertise that way.

                                                          • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
                                                            margaret CommunityAmbassador

                                                            I don't get insulted, some people try to negotiate everything, some people are reading the blogs telling them to ask for discounts, some people think they are doing us a favor by booking our homes so we should be grateful for their business and some people think any amount of money is better than the home sitting empty. I don't let it bother me. I recently had someone inquire saying " I am willing to pay $250 for these two nights, all in, total out of pocket" the rate would have been almost double that plus tax, cleaning and service fee and my minimum stay is 3 nights. I responded saying "My best rate for the nights you are requesting is the rate you were quoted. My minimum stay is 3 nights. If you would like to book please add either the night before or the night after to meet my requirements to book."  

                                                      • Re: Can you believe the Nerve of some people
                                                        thaxterlane Premier Contributor

                                                        I reply (paraphrasing):

                                                         

                                                        "Thank you for your interest in our home.  Our rates are an excellent value for the area.  There are many lovely properties at various price points and we are certain you will find one to suit your needs.  Enjoy your stay!"

                                                         

                                                        And, cut . . . .

                                                         

                                                        That's all you need.