Hey all, just wondering if you've made any changes or additions to your listing that you thought were going to be a great idea that ended up not working out the way you thought they would. Maybe you can stop other hosts from wasting their money on things that sound good in theory but don't get much play in reality.
To set the scene, I host a separate apartment that's part of my primary residence. No spaces are shared. I host about 300 nights a year; my average stay length is 2.6 days.
Earlier this season, I had a few enquiries from people who wanted a barbeque, but I didn't have one. Because I got multiple questions about it, I decided to add one. I picked up a very gently used good quality propane barbeque. It's been out all summer, and only one group has used it. One of the groups who asked for one stayed on the weekend: they weren't the ones to use it.
The other one was about two years ago. Some of my direct competition had laundry available for guest use. I thought that adding a washer dryer might encourage longer stays or business travelers to book. I was worried about overuse, and asked in here at the time about how to prevent that. In two years, it's probably been used by 5 groups of guests.
Has anyone else had a brainwave that ended up being a bit of a dud?
We do a big improvement project yearly. Last year we added a deck. Its super cute and looks out into the woods. Our space also has a nice front porch and a patio with fire pit. I am not sure anyone uses the deck except for us. We only ever got one comment that we should screen it because "I don't like being out in nature and having exposure to flying things." Our cottage is called Firefly Cottage so not sure where that guest had a misunderstanding, but yes, there is abundant nature around. And yes, we treat for mosquitos and provide bug repellent in summer. But I don't think anyone uses our deck. They use the other outdoor areas.
We started drawing up plans to build an outdoor shower but stalled over this whole COVID extravaganza and are now rethinking it. Do we want naked guests in the yard? Will it attract more people at a higher price? Or will we just get concerns about being in nature with flying things? Not sure. We have a suggestion box and there are ZERO themes emerging. Other than planting things along the fence with the neighbors for increased privacy (done, but it takes a minute for plants to grow...) the ideas range from "get a hot tub" to "re-landscape to create a children's play zone with playground and gazebo." So I think the next thing will be better countertops. Not sure the guests will care, but I will!
@Laura2592 I'm not about to put anything here that a kid can get hurt on. Honestly after the brats that have stayed this summer, I'm even having second thoughts if I want any kids under 10 here. New counter tops sound great. BTW, didn't you have a conversation months ago about a refund to you, forget now what it was actually about, just wondering how that went. I remember because I looked at your place, I'm on Maryland's eastern shore, so I was curious. Love the name, beats....Mosquito Haven.
@Wende2 haha yes-- we love staying on the eastern shore but I totally get the mosquito reference! Its one of the reasons I hesitate on the outdoor shower. We have a monthly treatment for mosquitos but I worry adding any kind of water will just make things terrible. When we bought the house we could barely stay outside because of the bloodsuckers. Its MUCH better now but I am fearful of upsetting the balance we have struck.
Yes I did post about not getting paid and it FINALLY happened. I think it took three months of calling and constant nagging. Not work the $230 odd bucks I was owed but it was the principle of the thing. Now whenever a guest has the slightest whiff of payment problems, or if a reservation is summarily canceled by Airbnb, we don't allow any rebookings by that person. I just never want to go through the begging, cajoling, threatening, elevating and reasoning with no less than 9 different CSR "case managers" to get my money. But that is seriously what it took.
@Laura2592 Glad you finally got your money. I had the opposite situation, had a guest cancel, she's a photographer and the weather wasn't going to be good on the night booked. She cancelled the next day, they said she'd get the $6.50 cleaning fee refunded and nothing else, if anything she should have gotten 50% back, beside the fact I don't charge a fee for cleaning, certainly would have another 0 behind that $6.50 if I did. Ridiculous.!
I heard last yr our county bought Dragonfly nymphes and distributed them in the ditches around here, not sure that's true, but I can tell you, last yr and again this yr they're like swarms of bees in the yard. I never see or feel a mosquito, I have a small koi pond and think maybe some grew up right here too.
@Ann783I'm actually staying at an Airbnb next week that has this amenity, and I do plan to use it. I will be careful with my ashes! I think I would be nervous about people inadvertently starting a fire when they dump them. People don't realize how long they can stay hot.
I have different flops for different locations:
A couple of years ago I purchased a multi-user Netflix account. Almost all guests would log into Netflix with their own accounts. So, I canceled the streaming service, and now just inform guests that the app is available on the TV.
Bought an ice-maker for the refrigerator. This just must be the American in me, but I consume a lot of ice while in St. Lucia, but our guests rarely used it. What is more popular is that guests will freeze bottles of water, and drink it as it melts.
We thought we would attract families with small children, but the high-chair, play-n-pack playpen, toddler size table and chairs, and kiddie pool have never been used as the children who've stayed with us are usually adolescents or teenagers.
We bought a small Weber propane bar-b-que grill, and no one has asked to use it. We've been using it, because it's easier to tote around than our full-size propane grill, and probably will remove it as an offered amenity.
Placed a teak three-piece bistro set on the deck, but no one has ever used it. Any amount of time spent on the deck is usually just to take pictures of the garden or selfies, then go to the car or inside the apartment.
Most of our stays are for two days, and those guests don't use the washer and dryer, but guests who stay between four and nine night tend to do laundry. However, I don't think that the washer and dryer would be missed if they were removed.
Installed an in-cabinet dishwasher, and it's rarely used. Most guests don't cook, and usually only have a handful of dishes that they wash by hand.
We provided waffle makers, blenders, food processors, and mixers. All of them were just collecting dust until we removed them.
Gold panning equipment. Lots of gold around me here, but I don't think anyone has used it. Pool noodle floaties for taking to the lake. Has been used once or twice. In a rare heatwave it is wonderful to just float. Most of my other oddities have been more appreciated .
@Debra300Hi.....I just posted that I'm thinking twice about having kids under 10 here. They have been the worst this summer. Some weeks ago I had guests with a 3 and 9 yr old, I swear the parents let them jump on the air mattress, I keep under the daybed. When the next guest came an would need it, I pulled it out to have it ready, the compressor was broken and wouldn't inflate, I had just enough time to run out and get a new one, which isn't as nice as the broken. Just ordered a pop up trundle, figure when I have 4 adults, someone will appreciate that pop up over an air mattress.
I hear ya. I allow small children in only one of my spaces, and it's on the garden level. It's not only small kids that do irritating things. I had teenagers take out the trundle mattress and were using it to lounge on the living room floor. When they left the sheets were dirty and stained.
It looks like there is some consensus that bar-b-ques, washer and dryers, nice to have kitchen appliances, and decks really aren't getting used as frequently as hosts may have envisioned when they planned to offer these items.