How To Optimize Your Airbnb Cancellation Policy
You know Airbnb is trying to make guests’ lives easier and hosts’ lives a little harder… Recently, I got hit with one of their tips to lower my cancellation policy from strict to moderate( if you don’t know what that means yet, don’t worry! We’ll cover that in a bit).
I took a deep breath and declined it.
It’s complete garbage. It is like when they give me “price tips” and those price tips are drastically tipping me to go way below my market rate. Here’s an example of what I mean.
As you can see, my average nightly booked price is $184, and I’m charging 200 dollars for that night. They want me to go way below my nightly rate. That is a horrible price tip…
( If you’re interested, you should read “Why You Should Never Use Airbnb’s Smart Pricing.”)
I have no faith in their pricing tips and at this point, any tips from them are straight up garbage. Based on my experience of running multiple units for the last year- this is what I would recommend.
But before I give you my recommendations, let’s quickly cover the types of cancellation policies that are available to you as a host.
The Types of Cancellation Policies
Airbnb allows hosts to choose among three standardized cancellation policies (Flexible, Moderate, and Strict) that they enforce to protect both hosts and guests.
Guests will also be asked to agree to your cancellation policy when they make a booking.
Flexible: For a full refund of accommodation fees, cancellation must be made a full 24 hours prior to listing’s local check-in time on the day of check-in. For example, if check-in is on Friday, cancel by Thursday of that week before check-in time.
Moderate: To get a full refund of accommodation fees, cancellation must be made five full days prior to listing’s local check-in time on the day of check-in. For example, if check-in is on Friday, cancel by the previous Sunday before check-in time.
Strict: To get a 50% refund of accommodation fees, cancellation must be made seven full days prior to listing’s local check-in time on the day of check-in, otherwise no refund. For example, if check-in is on Friday, cancel by Friday of the previous week before check-in time.
In other words:
- Flexible = more than 24 hours for a full refund
- Moderate = more than 5 days for a full refund
- Strict = more than 7 days for 50% refund
Optimizing Your Airbnb Cancellation Policy
If you’re a new host that is still working to get as many reviews, then please set your cancellation policy to flexible.
Now, if you’re a seasoned host that’s been doing this for a while, then it is in your best interest to set your cancelation policy to moderate or strict…
Do hotels give you a refund after you booked? No, they don’t! So, why should you?
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