Hosting for the first time in canada

in
Brampton, Canada
Level 1
373 Views

Hi everyone! We just bought our first cottage in the muskoka area, and it is the first time for us hosting. We want some tips on how to get more people, and how can we promote our cottage? Thank you!

6 Replies

Re: Hosting for the first time in canada

in
Florence, OR
Level 10

Reading lots and lots of posts here in the Hosting forum is a good way to start, and then perhaps ask more pointed and specific questions from there. Best of luck in your hosting endeavors.

Re: Hosting for the first time in canada

in
Toronto, Canada
Level 10

Hey guys!

 

Welcome to the hosting world.  I don't rent out a cottage so I can't give you specifics, but in general I'd suggest:

-Checking out similar listings in your area, and pricing yourself accordingly (Bear in mind that too low = shady guests, at least in my experience.  Be competitive but not desperate.)
-Offer family-friendly amenities, if possible - especially for a cottage, I suspect most of your bookings will either comprise of family vacations or romantic getaways (maybe even girls/guys weekends!) so try to offer things like:

  1. Playpen
  2. High chair
  3. Child-friendly dishes/cutlery
  4. Toys/books

And for romantic weekends or group getaways, consider:

  1. Extra blankets
  2. Welcome bottle of wine
  3. Local guidebook to tourist attractions (not just an online version, something people can leaf through)
  4. Hand-written welcome note if possible

-Consider running a promotion on your first X number of guests, just to get some bookings and some reviews under your belt

-Cross-post your listing on other short term rental sites to drive more traffic to your listing

-Post your listing to local Facebook groups (mom groups are the BEST for spreading these types of listings), Facebook Marketplace, Kijiji, etc.

 

Last but certainly not least, make sure you have tons of good photos.  Cottages don't come cheap, and potential guests want to see as much as possible to help make their decision.  Make sure there's no clutter, it's warm and inviting, it's accurate (some people misrepresent their space in the photos...this might get you more bookings, but this won't bode well for you in your reviews.  Better for people to be pleasantly surprised than the other way around!) and it's up-to-date.

 

Answer inquiries with as little delay as possible so guests feel you're going to have their back if they reserve and something were to come up.  All the best in your hosting journey!

😊

Re: Hosting for the first time in canada

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Loredana166  You started hosting at a difficult time- people aren't travelling much because of the pandemic. So keep that in mind- you may not get a lot of business until things are safe again.

I would suggest you work on your photo gallery- there are way too many outdoor shots and many are redundant. More is not necessarily better. Also they are jumbled as far as having an indoor shot, then an outdoor one, then an indoor one. Try to order them like a walk-through- all the indoor shots together, then the outdoor shots. Outside of house, entry, living room, kitchen bedrooms, bathrooms, then the yard features.

Re: Hosting for the first time in canada

in
Brampton, Canada
Level 1

Thank you for your input!, fortunate, we are very busy since we started hosting our cottage. i will do the changes with the pictures for sure.!

Re: Hosting for the first time in canada

in
Sofia, Bulgaria
Level 10

You have so much to read ! Now you just can't imagine how much.

Don't be scared, just take this point seriously. There is a lot of  knowledge and experience, shared in this forum, about every single point, every single step of this business, hobby or whatever it is, called  "Short Term Rental".

Re: Hosting for the first time in canada

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Loredana166 be realistic in your expectations and at least to begin get off instant booking as to get a good idea of who is staying with you and for what reasons. But definitely, read up as much as possible- would make the transition into host very easy. Good luck 

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