AirbnBS: Customers Want the Cheapest Option

I had several listings in central Sydney. The idea was to ‘test’ Airbnb at a few different market levels ranging through cheap, mid-market and high end. My experience has been that the only successful listings are the cheap ones. The reason for this is because Airbnb guests are inherent cheapskates.

Listings at the cheapest end of the market (a share room, backpacker style dorm) show a constant demand and high occupancy and as long as the photos and description are accurate and specific, the guests do not have any grounds for high expectations and, equally, any sustainable grounds for complaint. Alternatively, the opposite is true of mid-market and high end listings.

To attract bookings you have to be highly competitive and provide a full range of amenities, all of which are grounds for some kind of complaint by an asshole cheapskate trying for a free nights accommodation. My advice is keep it cheap and keep it simple and decline any guest who asks any question to which the answer is detailed in the listing preview. The enemy of profitability is time – don’t waste it. Stack ’em high, sell ’em cheap and don’t take any shit from guests or management.

Posted in Airbnb Host Stories and tagged , , , , , .


  1. Nope, we travel extensively and book AirBnB exclusively. Almost entirely luxury homes. We look for amazing places in out of the way neighborhoods. Hotels bore. As do traditional BnBs. Both of which are almost in touristy places which offer little in the way of unique experience. AirBnB is filled with interesting people who offer interesting homes, in interesting places and whilst I can’t argue that there aren’t cheap-skates, being cheap is irrelevant to the reasons we use it. Projection perhaps?

    As for the AirBnb makes housing not-affordable … there is solid argument to be made that the opposite applies … home-sharing also makes it possible for young people to enter the market. We see it regularly … young couples who rent their apartments (Paris), condos (Toronto), boats (Rio), villas (Como, Zurich), or wherever in places with sky-high property values; and who would never otherwise be able to afford a home.

    This conversation is more complex than the throw-away platitudes would suggest. And I’m an old fool for engaging … cest la vie

  2. Since the dawn of the held revolution the only consideration for booking is Price and Availability. All other platform and listing content are totally ignored.

  3. People who have money will go to professional hospitality such as an actual BnB or hotel. It makes sense that with AirBnB and its low prices (for some listings) you attract cheapskates. Moreover, it is much easier to complain on AirBnB and claim the property wasn’t as expected, especially when the host isn’t in sight (such as you, who seems to want to rent out professionally so technically you should really do things properly and become a hotel as opposed to a tax-avoiding milker of homes). In a hotel you can go to the lobby at all times and make your complaint where the staff can help you resolve your issue immediately. It then becomes much harder to claim the place was not up to par.

    I have no sympathy for people who own very desperately sought-after living space who then start an illegal hotel (which AirBnB is). Millions of people can’t afford to live anywhere near where their jobs are or pay and arm and a leg for a shitty tiny flat. People like you contribute to the constant hikes in rent and house prices, making it really hard for people in their 20’s and even 30’s to get even so much as a toe in on the property ladder.

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