Getting the most out of Airbnb

Unless you're lucky enough to own a string of properties across the planet, embarking on a period of remote working is almost certainly going to require heavy use of Airbnb.

Is this not the same as booking for a holiday?!
Yes - but there are some nuances that are best considered which can make a big difference to your overall experience which you may not normally consider.

Strongly consider booking for a month.

Most Airbnbs will offer generous discounts for stays over a month, slashing prices by up to 50%, especially during off-peak seasons when demand trails off. This monthly reduction can often be triggered at periods around the 29 day mark, not strictly for a full calendar month. This saving can make a huge difference over the course of 12 months.

Book in advance as possible.

If you are opting for a month long stay, the pool of available properties tends to dramatically shrink. This is especially the case if you are booking last minute, with the best quality and value properties booked up months ago.

Ensure you've got access to an interest free credit card and check for a free cancellation period on the properties listing. Combining these gives you the possibility of booking well in advance, but mitigating the risk on your behalf in case your plans change.

Use Airbnb notifier.

Be ahead of the crowd and use a service like Accomodation Notifier which will email you when the latest properties are listed. This can save you hours going through pages of listings trying to locate what new items have been added to the market. Get in quick and message the host.

Be extra attentive to negative comments in reviews.

On a 3 day holiday, you can ignore minor concerns with a flat, but after 4 weeks of working there, it might be enough to ruin your trip. If you're planning on working from the property, these could be make or break items. I'm particularly attentive to anything regarding noise around the property in a way that I wouldn't be if I was looking for a holiday flat.

Report issues immediately.

If you’re on holiday, you might be able to out up with something for 3 or 4 nights. If you are there for a month, get it sorted. Whilst their customer service is by no means perfect, I’ve found they are quick to respond to issues raised within the first 24 hours of checking in and will always side on the purchasers side, assuming you can provide sufficient evidence.

Know your local market.

Getting a feel for the local conditions of the market is key getting the best deal possible.

For instance in Turkey, it is common for properties to have radically different pricing strategies for the over subscribed summer months and for the quiet winter period. The pricing is often not dynamically set to match those periods, which can lead to some irregularities when you are looking in advance.

In Cape Town, prices really pick up going into December, as the peak season begins. If you book prior, you may have sone leverage to extend your stay at a reduced rate into that peak period,

In London, there is a never a 'good time' to visit with respect to finding a bargain, you'll just have to suck it up. Knowing these points in advance put you in a great position to know the true market rate.

Know when to haggle.

Identify any positions of strength you may have in being able to negotiate a cheaper price. This can be done by using the ‘Contact Host’ button after you’ve applied your dates. For instance if the property is out of season or if it is a new listing with no reviews.

If the property has recently had bad reviews this is another albeit risky example you could take, worth considering dependent on your faith in the hosts ability to have resolved the issue and the size of the discount offered.

It's always worth being polite in your negotiations.

Keep a good score.

Keeping a good rating on your account is crucial in order to ensure hosts have no reason to not accept your booking. A reduced priced offer is much more likely to be accepted with someone with top recommendations from other hosts.

You may want to reconsider booking any group holidays on your account where the potential for any issues may arise.

Be considerate in your communications and be extra attentive to how you leave the apartment on check out. These are all pieces of standard behaviour but worth putting in additional effort if you are going to be reliant on living through the platform.

Check hotels as an alternative.

In some locations, Hotels offer a more reliable alternative than trying to get Ana apartment. Turkey being a good example of this. and Agoda offer the best discounts and their reward schemes are easy to gain traction with.

Check local Facebook groups.

If you are struggling to find something through conventional sources, remote worker / expat groups can be good sources of picking up short term lets.