Let’s face it, Airbnb is not as cheap as it was used to be.  When I first booked an Airbnb it always felt like a great deal. Two bedrooms apartment in the West Village for a fraction of the price of a budget hotel.  But this is no longer the case.

So how to pay less on Airbnb? It is a simple, just ask the host to pay less.  I can imagine the look on your face. Claude, I am busy, stop playing games, I’ve got vacations to book on Airbnb.  Bear with me and let’s think about this:

Why would a host accept to lower their price? There are 3 reasons:

  • Most hosts on Airbnb are individuals looking to earn cash on the side.  Chances are they do not know how much their house is really worth.
  • You have a lot of options available.  The host knows that if they refuse your offer, you are almost guaranteed to find another place, however, the host may not.
  • Their Least Acceptable Agreement (LAA) is $0.  Meaning that even is you pay the host $1 he is making money.  This is an extreme example. But think about a house with a price tag of $6000 per night, if you pay $2000 it is better than $0.

How to ask?

  • A house is typically people’s most valuable possession. Make them feel like you will look after it like your own.  Contact the host and share about yourself.  Read the bio of the host. Get to know them, understand what make them tick.  Highlight what you have in common or anything else they may appreciate.
  • Your Airbnb profile needs to inspire trust.  Add a photo of you and your family, your mom, your dog.  Anything that tells your best story.  Describe yourself kindly, share something personal, give enough details to build rapport but not too much to creep people out.
  • Make a moonshot offer, to many hosts.  I am talking 50% off to every listing meeting your criteria.  Remember, at 50% discount many more listings are within your budget. Consider asking for even more when the situation is right, such as a high-end listing you are ready to book last minute.

This is how I saved $3000 on our next vacations in Hawaii.