VRBO and AIRBNB inquiries, Airbnb is creating unapproved discount

18 Replies

I Received inquires from HA/VRBO for Memorial day weekend within 20 minutes of each other. I have both set at $450/night. The HA/VRBO quote is correct, but AIRBNB quoted $415.25/night. I found where there is a weekly and monthly discount but nothing to explain this discount.

This is one of the many reason I like HA/VRBO soooo much better.

Anyone have any ideas on what is going on here?

You don’t have your AirBnB settings set correctly and your fees through HA/VRBO will cause you to collect less. I know we have debated back and forth on this and AirBnB is not a great fit for your market, but the amount of AirBnB users is 6 times more then HA. 

@Eric A. My payout is currently shown to be higher on HA/VRBO due to this discount.

Where is this obscure AIRBNB setting that is wrong?

My month of June has 29 of 30 days booked at Top dollar. Not a single reservation came from Airbnb. But I am not renting a couch or a room. I am running a VRBO not an Air Bead and Breakfast.

Hey @John Underwood , there are some settings in AirBnB that give out discounts based on weekly and monthly discounts and automatically apply them if they meet that criteria and if the home is booked instantly. If you go into your listing, go to pricing settings, then scroll down just a little you can see the "Length-of-stay discounts" page. It shows you what percent they are being discounted for those time periods. 

I think this is what you were asking might be wrong though.

There is another situation in which you can lose money on ABB vs VRBO. It's not what you are facing, but it's similar so I want to share.

In my market, ABB automatically collects state taxes of 9.75%, but not the city tax of 3.5%. On VRBO, I set the tax rate to 13.25% (state & city). So the end result is for VRBO bookings, I get all the tax collected and then submit it to the state & city. For ABB bookings, the state gets their tax but I have to pay the city tax out of pocket.

The end result is I lose 3.5% on ABB bookings. Or, I can raise my ABB prices by 3.5%. But because I'm a micro-managing obsessive price-control freak, I tweak my prices all the time based on the the competition and occupancy/seasonal factor. Adding 3.5% to every price change for every date is a PITA. So, this is another way that depending on your tax locale, you may be losing money on one platform as compared to the other.

Originally posted by @Wes Short :

Hey @John Underwood, there are some settings in AirBnB that give out discounts based on weekly and monthly discounts and automatically apply them if they meet that criteria and if the home is booked instantly. If you go into your listing, go to pricing settings, then scroll down just a little you can see the "Length-of-stay discounts" page. It shows you what percent they are being discounted for those time periods. 

I think this is what you were asking might be wrong though.

 I already looked there. This inquiry was for less than a week so it should not have triggered a weekly discount.

Originally posted by @John Underwood :

@Eric A. My payout is currently shown to be higher on HA/VRBO due to this discount.

Where is this obscure AIRBNB setting that is wrong?

My month of June has 29 of 30 days booked at Top dollar. Not a single reservation came from Airbnb. But I am not renting a couch or a room. I am running a VRBO not an Air Bead and Breakfast.

 That’s fantastic! Seeing you’re inferring that somehow my properties are a simple bed in a room we only rent four bedroom homes in year long markets in Florida, California, and Maine. The least amount we get is $495 per night and at peak times we get $1995 per night. So, I’m happy you are doing so well with VRBO, but your market is dramatically different then our markets. Continued success!!

@John Underwood   I generally agree with you about Airbnb -- but VRBO does things that drive me nuts too.  Either way, I'm at about 60/40 in my market between VRBO/Air.  So I have to use both.  I try not to let either of them drive me crazy.

The key is to realize that you have to use slightly different approaches to managing the configuration of each one.  If you've got the ability in your market to ignore AirBnb fully, then more power to you!

@Julie McCoy Luckily of the 2 inquiries I got the booking through Homeaway/VRBO as usual so it is a moot point for me now.

No disrespect big John but perhaps you don’t like AirBnB because you can’t figure it out.
This could have been a last minute discount or a far in advance discount or any number of the seems like dozens of discounts that AirBnB wants us to offer.
To not use the platform is just insanity in my opinion. Why not open up your properties to as many eyes as possible it’ll only up your over all rates over time.
I’m in the same market as Tim but I don’t bother caring about the 3% to me my time is better spent a on my guests happiness.
I get more AirBnB than VRBO. I prefer the guests and the platform. I think those things have a direct correlation. They both drive me nuts at times but the old VRBOers that can’t figure out how to check their email (which is the majority) win in the “diving me nuts” category. As someone else said I just try to not let the little things bother me. Each guest is gone soon anyway. Keep them happy and move on.
I stopped obsessing over numbers long ago. A while back I could have given you an exact AirBnB/vrbo percentage off the top of my head. It’s not worth the space in my brain. There isn’t much lol

Originally posted by @Lucas Carl :

No disrespect big John but perhaps you don’t like AirBnB because you can’t figure it out.
This could have been a last minute discount or a far in advance discount or any number of the seems like dozens of discounts that AirBnB wants us to offer.
To not use the platform is just insanity in my opinion. Why not open up your properties to as many eyes as possible it’ll only up your over all rates over time.
I’m in the same market as Tim but I don’t bother caring about the 3% to me my time is better spent a on my guests happiness.
I get more AirBnB than VRBO. I prefer the guests and the platform. I think those things have a direct correlation. They both drive me nuts at times but the old VRBOers that can’t figure out how to check their email (which is the majority) win in the “diving me nuts” category. As someone else said I just try to not let the little things bother me. Each guest is gone soon anyway. Keep them happy and move on.
I stopped obsessing over numbers long ago. A while back I could have given you an exact AirBnB/vrbo percentage off the top of my head. It’s not worth the space in my brain. There isn’t much lol

 Don't get me wrong I still use Airbnb. I am not going to burn any bridges on something that brings in a couple bookings I might not have otherwise got. And your correct in that since I don't get many booking from them I am not as familiar with their interface and that is why HA/VRBO is much easier for me to use. If things were flipped and Airbnb got me even 50% of my bookings or possibly 25% I would use it more often and things might make more sense. I really love the new tools that HA rolled out that sounds like what Airdna charges for. I can see what average prices are, What percent of my market is occupied, how many inquiries are coming in for certain dates. If I loose a booking HA shows me the property I lost to and and can look at their property and amenities. If I win a booking I can see the 30 other properties the person looked at before booking my place. Many times it might be a lake in another state. Airbnb does not offer these tools. Maybe one day Airbnb will be more popular in my areas but for now HA/VRBO is the 500lb gorilla in my market and I will focus on what works for me. If Airbnb picks up in my area then I will still be on board with them and I will have an active account to benefit from.

Actually I find those tools on VRBO are increasingly inaccurate and worthless. I looked at mine for the first time in weeks yesterday as per @Julie McCoy suggestion and once again they were totally wrong. One of them even said that I canceled a reservation in the past year. I called customer service and we went through every one of my cancelations and indeed found that every one of them was traveler initiated and I had zero real cancelations. I would never cancel a guest I know that’s bad I’m not THAT dumb. Then I noticed they had me for 2 cancelations in another property. That’s when I rolled my eyes and gave up.

Did you figure out what the AirBnB discount culprit was?? Last minute discount?

Originally posted by @Lucas Carl :

Did you figure out what the AirBnB discount culprit was?? Last minute discount?

 It was for Memorial day weekend so it shouldn't have been a last minute discount. I have gone through the settings. Beyond the weekly and monthly discount options I see no place where I have something set wrong. The young melinial on Airbnb drug their feet and the person on HA ended up booking (Don't know their age yet) So I didn't have to give up that discount.

@Tim Schroeder if you don't want to increase your rate on Airbnb to account for the 3.5% city tax you can always advertise in the listing and house rules that you will ask the guest to pay the tax after their booking is confirmed. As long as you disclose it up front it should not be a problem. Why should you "eat" that cost if the guest knows about it in advance and essentially agrees to pay by booking your property?

@Valerie Rogers Excellent idea. I did read that somewhere before. I think you have to manually send a payment request through the Resolution Center or something like that....?  Which is a hassle, but would definitely be worth it in the long run. Personally, I wish they'd just find me on VRBO -- I like that platform so much better.  Not least because I'd rather pay $500 per year to VRBO than 3% of gross to ABB

@Tim Schroeder , you are paying $500/year subscription to VRBO PLUS the 3% credit card processing fee (and an additional 2% for international payments.) 

On Airbnb you pay no subscription fee but 3% to Airbnb...which includes your credit card processing fees.

It actually costs less to advertise on Airbnb.

Originally posted by @Valerie Rogers :

@Tim Schroeder, you are paying $500/year subscription to VRBO PLUS the 3% credit card processing fee (and an additional 2% for international payments.) 

On Airbnb you pay no subscription fee but 3% to Airbnb...which includes your credit card processing fees.

It actually costs less to advertise on Airbnb.

 Good point, I had forgotten about the VRBO 3% credit card fee

Let’s take a poll. VRBO vs AirBnB. It’ll go something like this.

Over 50 - Green Texts/VRBO
Under 45 - Blue Texts/AirBnB
45-50 -stuck in hotels

Bahahahaha!

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