5 Important Questions to Ask When Setting Minimum and Maximum Stay Limits on Airbnb

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When bringing someone into your home on Airbnb you want to make sure to set expectations, especially on the duration of their stay.  Here are 5 important things to consider when setting minimum and maximum stay limits on your Airbnb listing.

1.  Is one night enough?

People travel for all different reasons.  Some people always go on week long vacations, some travel only over long weekends, while others may go to a city to work for a month.

You need to ask yourself if people are likely to stay at your place for only one night.  To be on the safe side you can always leave the minimum stay at one night and see what the response is.  If you realize that people never want to stay for only a night, you can always set the minimum stay at two nights or more.

2.  Do you have help for back-to-back stays?

Well what happens when you’re out of town for a week renting out your place while you’re gone?  Say that you get one person who wants to stay Monday and Tuesday night.  Then another guest requests to stay Wednesday night and Thursday night.  Now you’re in a jam and need someone to enter the place to clean and prepare it for the second guest at some point on Wednesday.

Of course this may not be a problem if you have a neighbor or friend who can help you out.  Or you could use a convenient cleaning/guest greeting service like Urban Bellhop or Proprly.  But if these neither of these solutions sound appealing to you, then this is the perfect example where you should set a minimum stay of at least three or four nights while you’re gone in order to maximize profit.

3.  Should you cut a deal for longer stays?

Airbnb offers lots of pricing options including dynamic daily pricing that you can manually set, special weekend pricing or weekly and monthly rates.  In some cases it may make sense to offer potential guests a discounted rate if they are staying for an extended period of time.  Say your place is priced at six nights for the price of seven nights while your competition isn’t.  This could be the small advantage to help you land that guest who is indecisive.

4.  How much cleaning is needed for each stay?

If your place has several bedrooms and requires a lot of cleaning and laundry, you may reconsider allowing guests to only stay for one night.  Whether a guest sleeps in bedding for one night or seven nights, you or your cleaning crew will still need to spend the same amount of time washing them.

If you find yourself overwhelmed with laundry over one and two night stays you may want to try setting a longer minimum stay requirement.  That way you can spend less time on laundry and guests can spend more time being comfortable in your space!

5.  What is the seasonality of your location?

All locations have different desirability depending on the time of year.  For example, ski towns in Utah or Colorado will typically have much greater demand in the Winter.  Beach destinations will obviously see spikes in the Summer months.  As a host, you need to be aware of this data and set your minimum and maximum stays accordingly.

In seasons where demand is waning you can remove the minimum stay requirement to get as many guests as possible.  But when the season is busy and guests are plentiful, you should really consider lengthening the minimum stay requirements in order to cut down on extra cleaning and turnover and maximize the experience of each guest.

Make sure you have answers to all of these questions in order to get the most out of maximum and minimum stays for your listing!

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/matthijs/82616861/

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20 comments on “5 Important Questions to Ask When Setting Minimum and Maximum Stay Limits on Airbnb
  1. zhaolin says:

    Great suggestions! What if I want set different minimal stay ?

  2. Chris Chris says:

    Hey Zhaolin! It’s easy to set minimal stays. You can set a general minimal where every guest may need to stay at least 5 nights. Then in the advanced calendar feature you can also get more granular with this. Maybe guests in January need to spend at least 4 nights but guests in July can spend only 2 nights. You can also approach it on a case by case basis and let your potential guest know of your specific limits/minimals for their stay. Hope that helps!

  3. Nick says:

    Hi Chris, How do I find the advanced calendar settings so i can alter my minimum stay?

  4. Chris Chris says:

    Hey Nick, great to hear from you! Airbnb has made some subtle changes to this after the latest website redesign. They’ve removed the advanced calendar settings but kept much of the same functionality. If you go to Your Listings > Manage Listing and Calendar > Terms you should see the ability to change cancellation rules and minimum/maximum stays. Keep in mind that the terms section only appears once you’ve listed your place as available and you’ll need to scroll all the way down the page on the left column to find it. Hope that helps!

  5. Nick says:

    Many thanks Chris!

  6. Yan says:

    Hey Chris,

    I want to rent out my place but began to hesitate after learning about the thirty day squatter policy.

    Is there anything that airbnb does to keep us safe from squatters?

    Thanks
    Yan

  7. Chris Chris says:

    Hey Yan,

    The squatter incidents have been well publicized but still extremely rare. Of course you’re never 100% guaranteed to avoid a situation like that but you can be smart about it. Be strict with your screening process. Make sure people have previous positive reviews and have some “real” interaction with them to feel out why they’re visiting. Tactics like this probably eliminate your chances of squatters about 99%. On the off chance that you still have an issue Airbnb does have some measures in place. http://www.airbnb.com/trust is a good resource to check out. You also may want to read my post that gives 5 Reasons Why Airbnb isn’t as Risky As People Think!

    Thanks for reading!

  8. Barnaby says:

    Hi Chris

    Regarding your post on 2 December 2014: I have found where I can edit the maximum and minimum stays for our properties, however there doesn’t seem to be any option to set different minimum stay periods for different times of the year. Is this option no longer available now that the advance calendar has been removed?

    This is quite a big drawback for anyone in a seasonal business as it means we either miss out on short low-season bookings (because our minimum period is too long), or we have to reject lots of booking requests during the summer (because they are too short) which reflects poorly on us.

    If it is still possible to set different minimum booking periods for different months please can you confirm how?

    Many thanks

  9. Barnaby says:

    Hi Chris

    Regarding your post on 2 December 2014: I have found where I can edit the maximum and minimum stays for our properties, however there doesn’t seem to be any option to set different minimum stay periods for different times of the year. Is this option no longer available now that the advance calendar has been removed?

    This is quite a big drawback for anyone in a seasonal business as it means we either miss out on short low-season bookings (because our minimum period is too long), or we have to reject lots of booking requests during the summer (because they are too short) which reflects poorly on us.

    If it is still possible to set different minimum booking periods for different months please can you confirm how?

    Many thanks

  10. Chris Chris says:

    Hi Barnaby,

    Thanks for reading! These calendar features change often, I know it can be frustrating. As of right now, there are some new settings on your calendar page. Just click the little settings gear and you’ll see some advanced options where you can set the lead time needed before and after bookings. Also, there is now an additional link that says “Add a requirement for seasons or weekends” this will let you set specific requirements for specific times (i.e seasons, holiday periods, etc.) Hope that helps, it may require its own upcoming post, great question!

    -Chris

  11. Terra says:

    How do I set up my calendar to only be open for weekend stays without having to go in every week and block out week days past the 3 month advance booking?

  12. Chris Chris says:

    Hey Terra, thanks for reading! Just click the little settings gear and you’ll see some advanced options for the calendar. Also, there is now an additional link that says “Add a requirement for seasons or weekends” this will let you set specific requirements for specific times (i.e seasons, holiday periods, weekends etc.) Hope that helps!

  13. Evandro says:

    Is there any way to set a seasonal minimum stay ?

    I have a beach appartment and most of the year its ok a minnimum 2-day stay, that’s what I set. But during summer, more specifically new year’s and few other holidays I’d like to set 3 or 4 day stays, so I don’t have people wanting only two days of the 4 day off asking me.

    Is it possible ?

  14. Chris Chris says:

    Hey Evandro, thanks for reading! Airbnb doesn’t make the seasonal minimum stay very intuitive but it is possible!
    -Go to “Manage Listings and Calendar” from under your listing options.
    -Then click on “Settings” above the calendar
    -Then you’ll see a small link that says “Add a requirement for seasons or weekends”
    -This will let you add certain requirements for different time periods. So in the dropdown menu you can choose “specific dates”, then pick a start and end date (maybe for you this would be the summer June 1 – Sept 1 perhaps) then you can add a minimum requirement for that period!

    Does that make sense? You should be able to add as many specific periods with specific minimums as you’d like if you just replicate that process. Maybe you want one season in the summer with 2 night minimum then you can create an additional season in the winter with maybe just a 1 night minimum.

    Hope that helps!

  15. Michael says:

    Hi Chris, is there a way to ensure minimum weekend stays are three nights and the rest of the time require a minimum stay of a week? I’ve tried various ways to work with the requirements but don’t see any facility for this. Any suggestions?

  16. Chris Chris says:

    Hey Michael, Great question! Airbnb doesn’t make this very easy. Try this: Manage Listing And Calendar – Then click “Availability Settings” in the right corner. Then click the tiny link that says “Add a requirement for seasons or weekends”. This may not be ideal for what you’re describing but you can then add specific date ranges (potentially weekday ranges) and then add a minimum of 3 nights for fridays and saturdays (which is pre-populated in the dropdown). Play around and you’ll see what I mean, it’s a tough thing to explain. Thanks for reading!

  17. Jonathan Forster says:

    HI,
    How do we set a minimum of 7 days but allow increments only in 7 day blocks? We rent out as full weeks only and guest can book two or three weeks in a row. I’ve set the minimum to 7 days but can’t seem to add a maximum that will stop people putting in 8, 9 or 10 and so on in as an option

  18. Chris Chris says:

    Hey Jonathan, thanks for coming to the site! I feel your pain, Airbnb hasn’t made it easy to control your minimums and maximums that specifically. My best suggestion for you would be to keep the 7-day minimum, but then just put a note in your description that describes the weekly booking. You can also put a note asking to message you before putting in a booking request. Most guests won’t be deterred by this and they’ll understand your request. Hope that helps, feel free to send me a note at info@darebnb.com if you need more info!

  19. Nicole says:

    Hi there,

    I’ve set a minimum stay of 7 nights during the busy season, however, when I look at my listing as a traveller, it looks like the whole month is blocked off with the exception of the check-in day that I have specified (i.e. Saturday). Now I understand that once you put in your dates it would show available, but for a new Airbnb user this might restrict them from booking?

  20. Chris Chris says:

    Hey Nicole, thanks for reading! You bring up a good point, I’ve seen that scenario as a traveler myself. This could turn off some people that are new to Airbnb. One possible solution would be to just clarify this right in your description. Tell people that you have a 7 night minimum and that’s why the calendar may look a little light. In most cases, people just want to see a human touch and a clear explanation of what they’re seeing. Hope that helps, feel free to send me an e-mail if you need any other guidance!

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