Business aficionados swear by the psychology of pricing, and nothing entices short-term rental customers more than offering Airbnb discounts. Ever heard the saying “you need to spend money to make money”, well this applies in roughly the same way. By offering a slight discount on your prices, you’re actually making more money. Why? Because without said discount, you wouldn’t have secured that booking at all.
Most experts cite urgency as one of the reasons that discounts work so well. By introducing the fear of missing out, customers are motivated to act quickly and ensure that they financially benefit from the limited-time offer. According to Yoast, in their piece titled ‘The psychology of discounts’, “If people don’t buy the product now, at the discounted price, they’re likely to miss out on saving some money. There is urgency involved. That anticipation of missing out is exactly why discounts work.”
Before we show you how DPGO optimizes and automates your discount offerings, we wanted to explore both sides of discounts.
The Benefits of Offering Discounts
The first benefit of offering discounts is that it can give you a very quick boost in sales. By offering a limited-time discount, you introduce urgency and encourage your target audience to book sooner rather than later.
Offering discounts also help you attract new customers and in the short-term rental game, new customers are important. Not only can you not run a business on return customers only, but it’s also highly unlikely that you have enough of them to cover your calendar.
Discounts can also extend your reach. If you aim to attract guests from a specific market segment, then offering a discount can serve to extend that target group. Decreasing prices as a promotion can allow guests who ordinarily wouldn’t pay your normal prices to access your offering.
The Drawbacks of Offering Discounts
There are strong voices in most industries that stand against discounts, dismissing them as gimmicky and ineffective. The main concerns with offering discounts stem from the worry that discounts cheapen a product’s image within the marketplace.
Whether it’s accidentally signaling to the customer that your product is somehow inferior to your competitors, or making your target audience suspicious of your product’s quality in light of these discounts, they can have the opposite effect to what you would expect.
Discounts also cut into your earnings, which makes most people unwilling to offer them. Especially in times like these when the business world is still recovering from the pandemic.
What Sorts of Airbnb Discounts Should I Offer?
As short-term rental hosts, we don’t have the same discount abilities as product vendors. We can only accommodate one booking per night, so our discounts need to be slightly more complex and thought-out.
The sorts of Airbnb discounts that you should offer depend on your aims. The discount that you offer, if you want to encourage longer bookings, will differ from if you want to encourage a booking very close to the desired check-in date.
With DPGO, our users are given the opportunity to predetermine two Airbnb discount categories, should they decide to do so. The first is discounts for longer stays, and the second is discounts for last-minute stays.
Last-Minute Airbnb Discounts
Let’s explore the last-minute discount capabilities first. Industry experts predicted at the end of 2020 that short-notice stays would see a huge booking surge in 2021. This is thanks to the restrictions of the pandemic.
With the lifting of travel restrictions, people are feeling more willing, and more able to travel. This travel is still mostly domestic, but more people are traveling now than they were this time last year.
If your listing gets through the prime booking window and doesn’t get booked, your last-minute settings will step in. Your DPGO settings will reduce your prices by a percentage that you set ahead of time on the interface.
Long-Term Airbnb Discounts
Another popular trend in 2021 is what’s known as the ‘digital nomad’ trend where individuals working in the digital industry have newfound freedom to work from anywhere in the work. These individuals can work virtually from anywhere in the world, provided they have an internet connection.
Working from home is no longer limited to specific age groups or industries. In fact, in some countries, the percentage of the economically active population that switched to remote work in light of the pandemic increased by almost 50% (according to Ons.gov.uk, Flexjobs.com, and Statistics Canada).
If you already know that a larger percentage of Airbnb’s business comes not from holidaymakers, but free-traveling working individuals, you can start to optimize your offering to attract more of that customer base. Install faster Wi-Fi, create a workspace, get a coffee machine, or perhaps even create a local guide to meeting spaces.
Once your listing is attracting the attention of this target guest, you can then try to push their spending by offering a small discount for slightly longer stays. If they book six days, offer a 10% discount to encourage them to book one more night. If they book 24 days, offer them a discount if they book another four days, taking you to a full month booking.
How Can DPGO Help?
DPGO users have access to a range of management capabilities which means the operations of their short-term rental business are easier than ever. And now, thanks to our newly debuted PMS connections, Hostfully, HostAway, and iGMS customers can now optimize their pricing with DPGO through their existing PMS interface!
Every aspect of your pricing strategy is customizable with DPGO, and you can set your discounts ahead of time, as well as the circumstances in which you want to offer said discount. Not only does this make your life easier, but it also speeds up the booking process! This will affect your ranking in Airbnb search results.
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