What is your opinion about welcome gifts?
We are typically hosting tourists that comes to enjoy Copenhagen for a couple of days, which also means that we don't have any repeat guests.
We provide coffee, tea and other basics if our guests wants to cook. Our appartment is super well situated in the center, modern with an "upmarket" feel, and we generally get good ratings from our guests (avrg 4.9) on over 100 stays, which we of course are happy and proud of.
What would be the pros and cons of providing a welcome baskets of some snacks? Is it worth it or just an unnecessary expense?
We provide all our guests with tea, coffee, milk, sugar and biscuits. We buy the biscuits wholesale which provides us with a super low cost biscuit but very delicious. We bought a sealer and we package and seal the biscuits with our own label. I definately would recommend it as it counts towards an improved review and also towards "thoughtful touches".
I so agree with you Jennifer! I had a guest that complaint about us leaving a non-commercial bottle of filtered water (we are environmentally friendly and don’t use plastic bottles) The expectations are sometimes over the top and we have to be careful not to set them up even higher. This one guest (1 night stay)was a second time ABB guest and wrote us the following review:
Provide more bath towels - 2 towels for 2 adults isn't really enough and doesn't allow enough time for towels to hang dry. 2.Consider adding a mini fridge, microwave and small coffee pot to the space. These items have become so standard in even the most basic airbnb/VRBO units that guests don't really notice they're missing from the unit description, but definitely miss them when they're not provided.
So I am definitely against any gift baskets if a second time guest is expecting me to provide appliances because they are “standard”
I’m in Stockholm, so pretty close to the same market as you. Coffee, tea, instant cocoa and condiments are included. But I recently decided to start to leave a welcome treat with a card. Decided on «Swedish fika» = some lokal cookies/baked goods, typical stuff that Swedes take with their coffee break. It seems to be appreciated by most. I got great reviews even before I started this, and for some guests, it probably makes no difference. But for some it might be a bit of a silver lining, and if so, it’s an inexpensive one.
We usually leave two local beers in the fridge with a welcome note. We also have two jars out - one with pistachios and one with chocolate covered almonds. Not too much effort but a nice impact on most guest. Maybe 50% of the time both beers are gone and only once did someone eat all the snacks (they were a problem guest for MANY other reasons).
Recently we had one couple staying for New Year's (a rare kid-free night for them), so we got them a bottle of champagne (< $20). They really appreciated it.
A lot also depends on price point. Right now we are at @ $65 per night. Once we get to around 30ish reviews, hopefully we'll start the climb to @ $80 per night with a max if two guest.
It depends on your strategy and pricing. Are you selling a bed or an experience. We are trying to sell an experience- and hopefully getting better/smarter as we go.
I provide home made shortbread biscuits, usually 2 per person with a minimum of 6 in the bag. I make them myself, but the cost is nothing plus a little of my time
but the feedback is really worth the effort
Recipe for shortbread cookies
4 oz caster sugar
8 oz butter
12 oz plain flour
Mix butter and sugar
When a dough roll into a long sausage
Cut 28 circles and put on a baking tray
Gently push down to make a round biscuit
Run the fork tines over the biscuit
Place in 140 degrees oven for 15-20 minutes or until just starting to turn a slight color
Sprinkle caster sugar over hot biscuits
Place on cooling tray
I always provide bagels or muffins at check in along with coffee, snacks in the cupboard and water and a couple of cans of soda in the fridge. Guests seem to appreciate these touches, especially when arriving from a long flight and on an empty stomach. :)
Until recently, I kept a hospitality basket in the kitchen. It's not a welcome gift - simply something to fill in the gap between not being a true BnB, and to give people something to snack on since my cabin is 15 minutes to the nearest eatery. Recently I switched to a very large glass jar with a screw on lid. It is easier to manage and I can be assured it isn't drawing ants. All items are pre-packaged and include instant oatmeal, breakfast bars, crackers, water enhancer flavorings, and tea. I provide coffee with cream and sugar separately as well as a filtered water pitcher in the refrigerator. I've had some guests never touch them, but most have commented on how nice it was to have some snacks.
New to Airbnb, I was leaving boxes of chocolates, as it was also Christmas. However I think that it is not necessary. All of our guests have been more impressed by the cleanliness of the house and the facilities. We do supply a selection of teas, coffees, sugar also. Seems to be enough.
Well strangely enough Jan the cheapest item I offer is my trump card, (sorry, maybe that is not an appropriate word to use)....it is the one thing that all the guests mention in their review. It's my cheese plate.....every guest gets one.
Every guest gets a cheese plate in the fridge and there is an abundant supply of crackers and nuts to go with it......
If you had to buy what is on that cheese plate it would cost in the region of $25 AU, more than a 1/4 of my listing nightly amount.
But I have struck a deal with 2 of my local supermarkets and when cheeses get within a week of their best before/use by date, they either go in the dumpster or, I get them for 30c or less per cheese. It costs me less than a dollar to turn on a $30 cheese plate and guests just rave over it!
Coca Cola, every guest gets a can but I have never bought a can let alone a carton since I have been hosting. When a storeman in the warehouse drops a carton of soft drink cans (which does happen weekly), they immediately chuck that carton in the dumpster.....they have been instructed by management to! The corner of the carton will be crushed, maybe a can or two and no customer is going to pay for that carton because, they think the contents of each can will explode when opened. What they don't realise, within a week the contents have returned to their original state! I never have to purchase a carton of Coke.....but every guest gets a can free!
It is really easy to set up a relationship with your local supermarket and you will be amazed at what they throw out. I am simply instructed to not mention where the articles have come from, and I make sure the businesses concerned know that I send all my guests to them! It's a win/win all-round!
If I hadn't searched out the relevant deals for things I offer with my listing, I would have to put my nightly price up by at least 40% to still come out with the same net figure! Give it a try!
I live and operate in a tourist area and always leave a small tray with a small bouquet of fresh flowers from my garden , cost 0. In season I leave a small bottle of fresh squeezed orange juice from the trees in my garden and a simple fresh fruit platter. It’s really appreciated and makes my guests feel cared for. It takes a little extra time but I enjoy doing it.
Kia ora Jennifer
I provide a kitchen in my studio in the garden with full cooking facilities. I also provide toast bread, condiments (butter, marmalade, NZ honey and vegemite), milk (of their preference), tea, coffee and hot chocolate. I also provide home baked cookies for guests staying more than two nights, and at Christmas home baked fruit mince pies and star shaped shortbread. I keep a meticulously clean studio which sits in a beautiful garden.
But it is still impossible to please some guests!
I have just lost my Superhost status by .1 and I am devastated. I received a two star rating! Problem was that guest wrote his feedback in German and with no translation available I was unable to respond. This is unfair. On another occasion, about a year ago, I received negative feedback from German guests to whom I had obliged by giving access to the studio at 7am in the morning! They wrote that it was stuffy. Good grief the studio has 7, yes 7 opening windows!
Jennifer, keep doing what you are doing, there will always be negative guests out there, not sure what they are after but move on and think about all the guest who are very happy with the great service and value that you offer. Kia kaha Noeline
Noeline, sorry to hear about your experience. I feel with you. Guests can be ever so critical and mean, but hang in there. I’m sure you’ll be a super host again in no time.