Airbnb : You know where, who knows when

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During recent years, I’ve used a number of apartment and hotel booking services, but I get more questions from folks about Airbnb than any other company. A frequent question is how far in advance is it best to book a property. There are lots of stories on travel sites and blogs about the ideal time to book a flight, but little focus on hotels and apartments. Now a property management and concierge service that specializes in Airbnb properties has done the research and released an analysis.

My Property Host examined the pricing details for 55,000 London properties to establish the best time for travelers to find rentals at optimum prices. The results indicated that Airbnb hosts were more likely to begin reducing their rental fees about 15 days out from the arrival date. They found that rates tended to drop 5% at 15 days out, 10% at 10 days out, and 18% at 6 days out.

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When booking an Airbnb property, it’s essential to know that about 20% of all properties are booked at at least 2 months in advance, while 80% are rented by 10 days in advance. So, if you’re focused more on price than location and amenities, you may find slim pickings by waiting to book.

In my experience, it’s better to find your preferred property early and approach the host with an offer at a slightly reduced rate. If you are booking for three or more nights, it’s likely that you can get a 5% discount. And, if you’re booking a week stay, a 10% price cut is not unreasonable to expect when the host can be confident the property is rented for a longer period of time. This approach is more likely to be successful with single property hosts than with multiple site rentals.

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