Extra Goodies

in
Horse Shoe, NC
Level 2
442 Views

So I just posted my first listing, welcoming my 3rd guest today. I provide a light breakfast, usually fresh fruit of their choice, yogurt and granola, maybe also croissants. I also have beer or a bottle of wine in the fridge for them. I have a gift basket with about $25 worth of locally made items. I love providing a great experience, but all this is getting really expensive as I only get the $75 cleaning fee for essentially running the Airbnb. All the earnings aside from the cleaning fee to to my ex to pay for the mortgage. My question is, long-term, how necessary are all the extras that I provide in terms of getting good reviews? I thought it would help me stand out, but I personally am losing money with every listing, so are they worth the expense? Thanks for any advice!

19 Replies

Re: Extra Goodies

in
Ohrid, Macedonia (FYROM)
Level 10

@Amy1033 they are most definitely not worth the expenses especially if you loose money, what is the point of hosting? I have done this and found out that they don't do much good  for the reviews or the overall experience. Just keep the place clean, bright, fresh and comfortable, that is what guests really care for. You can leave a selection of coffee or tea and that is enough. 

Re: Extra Goodies

in
Horse Shoe, NC
Level 2

That's really good to know, that just by providing a great space I can still get good reviews! Thank you so much!!

Re: Extra Goodies

in
Jersey City, NJ
Level 10

@Amy1033   So, it sounds like you are providing around $35 or $40 of extras, if your rate is only $70, that seems like too much.  A $25 gift basket, plus wine, plus breakfast seems too extravagant.   

 

We provide a lot of staples in the pantry for guests: spices, coffee, tea, condiments, oil, vinegar, hot chocolate.  This is fairly cost effective because most people don't use much of any of this except the coffee, but it gives a feeling of the place being fully stocked. 

 

Then, we usually leave a small gift for guests who stay more than 3 days, cookies, a small cake, breakfast pastries with a note thanking them for choosing our listing...we never spend more than $6 for these items, but they make a big impact.  We sometimes also leave a bottle of sparkling juice [$2-$4] also fruit, but we don't do that much because it's rarely eaten.  I think you could still give a personal touch to your guests but end up spending closer to $10, which seems more in line with the cost of your place.

Re: Extra Goodies

in
Horse Shoe, NC
Level 2

That makes sense, a little extra for longer term guests, 3 or more nights. That's more than reasonable! It's so great to hear all this from hosts who have experience! I've been kinda winging it! Thanks!!!

Re: Extra Goodies

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

You're providing an entire listing, why on earth would guests expect a free breakfast? Get that off the amenities now!

As for the freebies, ditch them. A bottle of wine is more than enough for long-stayers/returning guests.   

Re: Extra Goodies

in
Horse Shoe, NC
Level 2

You're right. I'll remove breakfast and just do the wine for guests that haven't already booked. That alone will cut my expenses in half!

Re: Extra Goodies

in
Texas, United States
Level 10

In reality, all you need to provide is a clean place for the guest! 

 

Some good tips are to make sure you have good towels and bedsheets, and also to always have a good supply of toiletries available (toilet paper, soap, shampoo, conditiones, etc...) for the guest's use.

 

We always have little extras around the house (mayo, mustard, ketchup, coffee, sugar, creamers, olive oil, etc.) and I let them know they are available for their use in my welcome message. 

 

Try to stay in contact with your guest to make sure they don't have any issues/questions/needs...and let them know that if there is anything that is not up to your listing standards, they can to let you know right away...they have to let you know in order to give you a chance to fix it.

Some people do not say anything to their host during their stay, but then give them a bad review for something that could have been fixed.

Re: Extra Goodies

in
Horse Shoe, NC
Level 2

Ok! I have the extra toiletries covered, good coffee. And Ill make sure that I mention that if something's isn't what they expected that they let me know so I can fix it! Thanks so much!!

Re: Extra Goodies

in
Concord, CA
Level 10

@Amy1033Are you to spoil guests at your own expense? We don't have the luxury to do that 🙂

Re: Extra Goodies

in
Horse Shoe, NC
Level 2

You're totally right, I'm operating at a loss. I love treating guests to a great experience, but I don't want to feel resentful that I'm doing it at my expense. I need to scale back. Hopefully my reviews will be less and less about the extras and more about the space and the area! I do have a tendency to go overboard with things. I think this is one of them. I appreciate the perspective! It's good to look at it like that, so thanks! 🙂

Re: Extra Goodies

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Amy1033 You certainly are getting good reviews but the problem is that the most recent one mentions all the extras you provide so it is going to be difficult to get rid of them after other guests read it and expect the same.  I would suggest that you cut out breakfast and  increase your prices a bit, then gradually cut down on the wine  and fruit.  You want to enjoy hosting as well as making some money from it, so being stressed out about your lack of profit is not going to do you any good.  I hope it goes well for you.

Re: Extra Goodies

in
Horse Shoe, NC
Level 2

Hi Rachel! Ok, so keep the gift basket but scale back on the extras as far as breakfast and wine? I think that's totally do-able!  I'll scale back gradually. Thanks so much!  🙂 

Re: Extra Goodies

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

If the need is just for your ex to cover the mortgage @Amy1033 , wouldn't he be better just getting long term tenants in.

 

Definitely not worth you getting involved in managing a whole place, cleaning and paying for all those goodiesat $75. Sure it would work out at less than minimum wage for you.

Re: Extra Goodies

in
Horse Shoe, NC
Level 2

Hey Helen! So I had long term renters downstairs, but they really left it in shambles, just didn't take care of it at all, so my thought was that short term guests wouldn't mess it up as much. Also, we couldn't charge enough per month to cover the mortgage. Rental prices where we are aren't too high. But it's a sought after vacation destination, so that's why we chose this. It's a lot for me though, working full time and managing the Airbnb. And you're right I'm making way less than minimum wage for my time. I may give it another 6 months and rethink. We have the potential to make a lot of money, and anything over $1400 a month will be mine to keep, but being so new, with so few reviews, rates are still low,  so we aren't reaching that point yet. Maybe in time we will. I guess I need to scale back little by little. Thank you so much for your response! 🙂

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