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?
@Debra300 First off your childhood sounds like mine. I live in Maryland, we had a vaca home on the eastern shore that we stayed all summer, from the last day of school to the day before we went back. Mom had the car packed and ready and waiting at the end of the driveway for us. Crabbing is my in the water memory, truly loved that. We rode bikes to the near by country store for an ice cream sandwich, and I climbed trees as well, had a board swing my dad made for me that I'd tuck under my arm and climb the neighboring tree and take a big leap, nearly caused some heart attacks doing that.
I have in the past used Clorox 2, she said she uses that, washes with hot water and drops in a dishwasher pod. Said she knows a chef who boils water an uses one in it to soak his chef jacket. Said that's for whites, but it hasn't damaged any colors yet, and when she has the time she line drys. She said the problem is not knowing and drying the stain in. I bought...Grandma's Secret spot remover to try, says any kind of stain, so far it's worked pretty good, if I see it in time. I've had orange stains on the back of the pillow case, didn't notice til I took it from the dryer. Maybe they know it's going to stain, I'll be sure to look it all over from now on.
Yes I agree too that it's the parents not picking up after the kids when the place is a mess. Altho I had a young couple recently text they had left, and that they noticed some ants by the trash can. Let me tell you, they must have noticed them long before they left, I couldn't get over how many there were. Have had them in the past from crumbs not being picked up over a couple days. All in all, I really haven't had that many bad guests.
@Melodie-And-John0 I have make up remover pads in the dresser in the bathroom. I feel pretty sure people have seen them, but I guess it may not hurt to leave a note about it. After knowing for sure most people have opened everything. They open the drawers in the secretary, I know because they don't close that easily and I see them sticking out a bit on occasion. The girl who cleans the house around the corner for an out of town ABnB'er shared a screenshot of a note someone has in they place, asking people to remove make up, pick up after themselves and children if crumbles are on the floor as to not attract pests, which I'm am going to do too. I had people recently tell me when they left, they noticed ants by the garbage can, when I went up there, they had to have noticed them for a couple days, they were all over, as were crumbles around the dining table, and stove.
@Alexandra316 I'm in the (no) Breakfast Club on this one too. Being in the inner city, within a short walk there are literally hundreds of options for cafes, restaurants, and food markets catering to any imaginable taste. So I quickly found that this amenity wasn't adding to anyone's sense of convenience or value. Instead, a beverage on arrival - tea in the afternoon, or a cold German beer or Riesling in the evening - was far more appreciated by tired travelers.
Before the Smartphone was universal among budget tourists, I offered info maps and guidebooks to help people plan their days. But anything on paper seems hopelessly old-school now. I do still leave a pen and notepad, ever since a guest left me a note written in eyeliner on a dinner plate.
@Andrew0 Yeah, there's just too much variation on what people want in terms of food. I'm staying at an Airbnb next week that offers a very fancy continental breakfast delivered in a basket: I don't eat breakfast. I do leave drinks for people also - I offer free coffee and tea (18 varieties of tea, in fact) and I leave a couple of local beers or a bottle of wine and no one complains about that! The tea box gets quite a workout.
Better eyeliner on a plate than lipstick on a mirror! That's an absolute b#st@rd to get off. Got to love guest ingenuity.
@Alexandra316 Lipstick on a mirror sounds like serial-killer territory! This guest had some ingenuity in finding so many bizarre ways to be an absolute mess that we were more amused than annoyed. Like not only did she try to smoke out the window (non-smoking house); in the process she somehow pulled a whole curtain rod down with her and then locked herself out when running downstairs to find the missing bracket. But after she checked out, I had a lovely afternoon with the unapproved visitor she brought back from a club and left passed out semi-nude on my sofa, and some friends enjoyed the illegal drugs found in the guestroom. Review: "Party animal. And all that entails."
@Alexandra316 I always have coffee and tea (arnt those required amenities?) but weary of leaving alcohol. Often guests leave some behind because it is hard to fly with it and I just throw it out. I am worried about liability in case minors are part of next group or if they drunk and I am at fault for over serving. As far as drinks from previous groups I am also worried that they were "fixed". Even with a bottle that looks fully closed it can happen.
@Andrew0 , Love the Beir Idea, or maybe some Liebfraumilch! Can't do it in NY cause we don't have a permit to dispense or sell (ridiculous). Stay well, JR
@Andrew0 , we are in the Boondocks and some folks have mentioned that they would like a breakfast option, were not going there. It seems like an impossible idea to think I could keep a variety of foods on hand that would make someone feel like they got the meal they hoped for.
Interesting local data, only 7 out of 97 listings in my locality list as a "Bed and Breakfast", also, almost nobody staying with us is flying (although I almost had a booking last week for a Helicopter Pilot that wanted to park his bird in our back yard at night, I told him I was ready to guide him into a nice LZ if he wished ) It sounds to me like Airbnb might could use a re-branding... How about Autolodge? Ha ha, @Brian
@Melodie-And-John0 A breakfast option has more appeal in a more remote place, but as a guest I find it's just as convenient to have a private kitchen or kitchenette and bring my own supplies. Lately, I've been enjoying taking my dog out of the city for the weekend to farmstays, where the main events of the day are meals prepared from things grown onsite. When B&B means farm-fresh eggs, home-baked bread, and ripe local fruit in the morning, it's well worth a splurge for this city boy. But a "free" breakfast furnished from the supermarket is not a selling feature.
@Andrew0 , so true, but Germany is the home of the Gasthaus with the best meal in the ville and healthy hostel living is nothing new in those parts either. Its funny that growing up working on small farms has probably made me think less about how special the Farm wife's meals were, a few important parts of the day where the Farmer and laborers recharged their batteries with 4 course breakfasts and fresh pie after a giant lunch. No nap time after, back to baleing, shoveling Schnitz and other fun character building manual labor.
That was a norm day off from school for me, 50 cents an hour and lots of food and drink at no extra charge! You remind me I need to remember it with a little more reverence than I do usually cause now the only way you can get that harvest table feasting experience at 12, 22 or 50 years old is to pay extra for it at a BNB! I will say, its probably allot easier than picking rocks, fixing fence or forking out a bull pen!
Here is one we didn't add but seems like it doesn't get the use I thought it would....clawfoot tub. Personally I adore soaking in it, and the charming bathroom was one of the reasons I bought the house in the first place. But I would say about 25% of our guests care or use it. I leave all kinds of bath goodies including handmade bath bombs and they rarely get used. I am a huge proponent of long soaks but I guess I am in a shrinking minority.
@Laura2592 Do you have many solo guests renting your cottage?
I find that when traveling as a couple or group, it's awkward to occupy a bathroom for a personal soak - perhaps it prevents others from using the bathroom, or it cuts into precious vacation time to bring communal activities to a grinding halt. And unless you have a real hippie spirit or you're Bert and Ernie, a bath with one's partner loses its magic when the New Relationship Energy has faded.
I can see that bathtub getting its most usage during a particularly long stay, when it provides the pretext for a couple to take a much-needed break from each other.
@Andrew0 we get a fair number of solo travelers but mostly guests. Summer season its a lot of families. The kids seem to use the tub. I have a rubber duckie and some toys at hand.
I must enjoy a lot of time away from my partner as I soak pretty much daily 🙂 But know I am in the minority there. Its actually a "practice" for me to have time to relax and let my mind go. Culturally we don't have much of that in the US....