We previously wrote about Airbnb’s fees and how quickly they increase the cost of your stay. At Lodgeur, 75% of our room nights are rented by extended-stay guests and we’ve developed a quick list of tips to save money on your next extended stay.
Depending on the city and length of stay, hospitality taxes can dramatically increase the cost of your booking. In Houston, taxes add 17% to the cost of a booking of less than 30 nights, and Lodgeur is required by law to collect these taxes.
If you see ‘Occupancy taxes and fees’ listed on Airbnb (or another booking website), check to see if your total stay cost goes down when you increase your stay to 30 nights. In fact, booking a stay of 30 nights with us on Airbnb is actually 15% cheaper than booking 27 nights once you add up the monthly discount, the service fee discount, and the occupancy tax waiver.
On the stay of 30 nights then, the guest will have paid $2,775 and Airbnb collects $341 between the host and the guest, which is equivalent to 13.6% of the actual cost charged by the host of $2,509 (of which it receives $2,434).
Unfortunately Airbnb’s system doesn’t flag this to guests, but Lodgeur usually sends guests a message to allow them to extend their stay to save on their overall booking cost.
Airbnb’s service fee adds 10.6% to the cost of an extended stay, adding hundreds of dollars to the monthly rental cost. If you were going to book a place to live on Airbnb for a year, you could get six weeks free by booking directly with us, the operator. Our longest stay to date, by the way, is a whopping 371 nights. And our average extended stay guest spends 70 nights with us, which would include $667 of service fees if booked on Airbnb.
The truth is, Airbnb has captured the market for extended stays because people don’t know where else to book a place for a few weeks or months. There is no dominant mid-term stay website that has the same brand recognition or reputation as Airbnb.
But why would you continue to keep paying Airbnb each month? Some people do, but many guests will prefer to book direct, particularly if the host is a professional operator that has the capability of processing direct bookings.