Should I Allow for 1 Night Stays on Airbnb?

Should I Allow for 1 Night Stays on Airbnb?

##What is a Minimum Night Stay Policy on Airbnb?

Also known as a minimum length-of-stay requirement, the minimum night stay policy on Airbnb is the minimum number of nights that a guest can book a short-term vacation rental. It’s determined entirely by the host, and it can be adjusted to correlate with yearly, monthly, and weekly trends.

One simple number to track the weekly health of your vacation rental. When it comes to setting your minimum night stay policy on Airbnb, there’s a handful of competing theories on what’s best practice.

Some hosts are partial to the three-day policy. Others favor week-long (or even month-long) stays. And still more tout the benefits of a one-night minimum. Depending on your market and hosting style, it may truly make sense to simply “set it and forget it.” Find something that works, and run with it.

However, based on the data, we’ve found that a little tinkering goes a long way. Hosts that are proactive about toggling their minimum night stay policy -- in accordance with market demand, seasonality, and upcoming events -- can see impressive increases in monthly revenues.

Here’s how to leverage the minimum night stay feature to your advantage.

##Which Minimum Night Stay Policy Earns the Most Money? Just because most hosts prefer one strategy over another does not mean it is necessarily the best for maximizing rental revenue. In fact, based on the data, we’ve found there is a substantial disconnect between what’s most profitable and what many hosts choose to do. Money is being left on the table.

##How do I set the minimum and maximum number of nights a guest can book?

To set minimum and maximum night requirements for reservations:

Go to Your listings on and select a listing. Click Manage listing. Click Availability at the top of the page. Next to Trip length, click Edit. Enter minimum and maximum night requirements. Click Customize by day of the week to create custom rules for each day of the week. For a specific date (like a holiday), click Add a custom rule for seasons or specific dates.

Note: If you have multiple minimum night requirements that apply to the same day, the more specific requirement will be used. For example, let’s say you have a minimum 1 night requirement for all reservations, but you have a minimum 3 night requirement for reservations on the weekend. If a guest requests a Friday reservation, they’ll be required to stay 3 nights, not just 1 night.

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##What is the Current State of Airbnb Minimum Night Stays? Before diving into the numbers on which strategy is most sound, here’s how hosts decide to set their nightly minimums throughout the course of the year.

In seasonal markets, the most apparent theme is the uptick in the number of three-night listings during the summer months. From April to August, over 1/3 of the market requires three-night minimum stays.

One- and two-night stays run neck and neck until the end-of-summer push when one-nighters experience a significant boost. Additionally, there are over twice as many listings with 7-27 night minimums as those with 4-6 night minimums.

As for the non-seasonal markets, the story is a bit more straightforward. Month-to-month fluctuations are essentially nonexistent, and listings with 1-night and 2-night minimums dominate market share year-round.

##What are the benefits of Allowing for 1 Night Stays on Airbnb?

###Helps fill gaps Long stays also create what are called “gap nights” (also known as “orphan nights”), or nights between bookings that cannot be booked because they are shorter than the minimum. For example, if you have two 7-night stays with 5 nights in between and a 7-night minimum, that 5 nights will not be bookable. It will not appear in Airbnb or VRBO, or even on your own website. By allowing a shorter minimum during the gap, you can increase occupancy. Otherwise, it’s unbookable lost revenue.

###Helps increased occupancy One often-overlooked strategy to increase occupancy and revenue. Lower Prices Can Drive Results could be hiding in your minimum stays. Here’s how you can leverage minimum stays to increase occupancy and revenue, and even have a surprise effect you probably never expected!

###Attracts different markets segments One of the major overlooked perks is perhaps that one night stays could attract different market segments like backpackers or business travellers who are in town just for one night. And if they like your property, there is a good chance they will re-book with their family when they are back again in your area. By offering a shorter stay as a product that appeals to different travelers, you can potentially drive higher revenues.

###Keeps you on top of your cleaning Overnighters enable you to keep right on top of cleaning. While this may feel like a chore, this helps your apartment or Airbnb unit remain clean at all times. If you live on site or are able to clean yourself, and you're willing to change the beds, clean the entire place, etc daily, then one-night stays may very well work for you!

##What are the downsides of Allowing for 1 Night Stays on Airbnb?

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###You could be compromising on a longer stay There are several ways a short minimum can hurt you. Short stays can prevent longer stays, reducing your occupancy. For example, if a company had four bookings in July after Coronavirus – each for only 2 nights, blocking every weekend in July. With every Friday and Saturday booked, they can no longer get a full week booking. Their listings won’t even show up in an Airbnb search that includes a Friday night.

###You would need extra logistics Short stays can also create extra work and costly inefficiencies for staff. For example, if everyone stays Friday and Saturday night, your cleaning staff will have a lot of work on Friday morning and Sunday. But if you require a 3-night stay, you might have checkouts on Monday, or arrivals Thursday, spreading out the work. This can reduce stress and turnover in staff.

###You could be booked by party makers One of the greatest disadvantages of offering one night stay is that you could be attracting party makers who book the venue just for a party. If you live on the property, that makes you undesirable for 'Party' bookings. Learn more on screening your guests so you won't fall victim to this common problem.

##Should I Allow for 1 Night Stays on Airbnb? Whether or not you should allow one night stays entirely depends on factors like whether the revenue makes sense for you, whether or not you have to pay someone to clean etc.

Before you make that decision, take into consideration the below:

  • Do you live on the property or do you have to drive there?
  • Do you meet your guests in person or do you have a self-check-in option?
  • Do you wash the bedding by yourself or do you pay for laundry service?
  • Do you have a garden or terrace where you can dry the sheets and towels or do you use a dryer?
  • How much do you charge per night and do you charge a cleaning fee?
  • Is it a transit or holiday area?
  • How many properties do you have?
  • Do you do all the work by yourself or you have a family member to help you or you have to pay a cleaner?
  • Is it your main and only job/income or you work somewhere else?

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