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?
Personally I think that guests (or at least some of them) would appreciate home grown flowers more than shop bought ones. Unfortunately, my tiny, shady garden combined with the London weather doesn't produce enough blooms to fill many vases, although I could occasionally do you as you suggest and have a tiny arrangement of something. I also find they don't last that long though.
One year (before I started hosting and when I was first getting into gardening), I decided I was going to try to grow some flowers for cutting. I sowed trays and trays of seeds indoors (no green house so the were covering every window sill, which is not really an option now with guests staying) and religiously cared for the. I did have quite a spectacular display on the roof terrace that Summer but it looked so lovely, I couldn't bear to cut them!
However, I did manage this tiny vase from roses and some random bits from the garden and was quite pleased with myself!
@Huma0 Very pretty. Even that, that you call a "tiny vase" is way bigger than what I leave. And yes, they don't last long- by the time my guests check out, the bouquet is quite wilted or dried up. But I don't concern myself with that- the guests just seem to appreciate that it's there when they check in- what Airbnb refers to as "special touches", which sounds like something off a soppy Hallmark card.
Thank you! I didn't actually select that colour combination when picking the flowers. That was just what was blooming at the time, but looking at it now, I must have done it subconsciously as that is one of my favourite colour combinations at the moment!
@Alexandra316 Hi all.......funny you mention the BBQ, I bought a small electric BBQ end of last yr, ashamed to say I've yet to put it on the porch, my listing is also a separate apt. I already had the washer/dryer as the apt had been on a lease agreement before listing it, I don't think it's been used more the 3 - 4 times.
Hi all......This is probably going to sound crazy but...I have an old, very old ginormous world map over the daybed with post-its for people to leave an arrow where they're from. I've had people from all corners come here, some guests have told me it's interesting to see where people come from. I also have a Hummingbird feeder on the porch all summer, you can see it from pretty much anywhere, and guests are happy to change the nectar if they're staying more then 3 days. That's been a big hit, even had someone leave a message in the guest book that that was the first time they'd ever seen one. And just recently had a guest say...BTW the Hummingbird feeder is a nice touch.
The only thing I'm on the fence about is the fact that I can have small children stay. I've had an air mattress compressor broken, not a cheap one either, I feel for sure it's because the parents let their 3 yr old jump on it. They also let the children...3 and 9... "redecorate" moving my things around. I had made my mom a ceramic set of bunnies some 40 yrs ago, I had those in the bedroom. Who would think someone would let their kids play with those, yep they did, and broke an ear. Needless to say anything breakable no longer decorates the apt. I'm thinking about having the list mention age appropriate 10 years and up. Then again what are the chances anyone will even read it.
@Wende2 The map doesn't sound crazy at all- and the hummingbird feeder is cool. I don't need a feeder where I live- I have a plant that the hummingbirds love right next to the outside dining table on the covered terrace. Many of my guests have had an intake of breath when they saw one there.
I think maybe it's the out-of the ordinary little features that a guest wouldn't just find anywhere that would make a impression, even quite simple things. maybe that's why they make no comment on the nice big bouquets that hosts here have said they left- a bouquet of flowers, while a lovely touch, isn't anything really unique.
As far as the kids go, I guess that's just a decision you're going to have to weigh- if you get a lot of family bookings, it seems a shame to disallow children, on the other hand, if you're going to allow young ones, you certainly can't have anything breakable around that is precious to you.
Some parents just let their kids run wild and don't supervise them. But I raised 3 daughters and I can tell you that they never broke any more things than an adult might. However, if I was staying somewhere with them, the first thing I would do is put anything that might be attractive to them and breakable out of their reach.
When I was abut 5 years old, my mother gave me a little tea set she'd had as a child and was saving for me. She made a big production out of presenting me with it and of course I loved it. But I managed to break one piece the first day I was playing with it. She got really upset, and even at that young age, I remember thinking "Why would she give me something so fragile if she was going to get upset if I accidentally broke it?"
I was the kid who always took care of her toys, because my mother taught we early that there wasn't money available for replacements. I had a Spirograph set, and lost one piece, and I kept looking for it until I moved out of the house for college. My younger cousins inherited from me complete board games and toys (except for one Barbie doll that had suffered an alopecia scalp due to my curiosity to see if her hair would grow back).
@Wende2, the map sounds very cool, and a great way for guests to feel connected to your space. Thankfully, like @Sarah977, I have plants, particularly very large Passionfruit vines that attract Hummingbirds. Regarding the acceptance of smaller children, I agree with her advice. On Airbnb you can choose to accept children are 0-2 years and 2-12 years.
@Debra300 Those age designations Airbnb came up with are loco. There's no comparing a 2 year old with an 11 year old. Here's what I think the age ranges should be:
Infant not yet mobile on their own
While there's big range of mental and emotional development between individual children, an infant who can't crawl or toddle around can't do any damage- if there's damage, it's because the parents were responsible for it, like letting a baby pee on the bed.
By the time a kid gets to be 6, they can be reasoned with, they can listen to and absorb the concept of what is and isn't allowed, and unless they are just brats who rule the roost, and who aren't well-supervised, they normally can behave pretty well.
@Sarah977 I like those ages. Still wonder if parents would even see that in the listing. Every question I get the answer is right there in the listing. A friend said the parents are probably on their phones not paying any attention, guessing that could be true. What ever happened to that does not belong to you don't touch it, or give me that. Had a family stay that booked for 2 adults, 2 children, then came early before I was ready and pretty much barged their way in. A little later I took a few things to them, there was everything under the sun all over the floor, and she was holding a baby, that was a big surprise, even more surprising the place wasn't a wreak when I went thru it.
Do you still have what's left of the tea set.?
@Wende2 Nope, I have no idea what happened to that tea set- I moved away on my own as soon as I left high school and never went back. My dad saved some stuff he thought I'd want to have, but the stuff he saved wasn't anything I wanted, although my granddaughters get a kick out of looking through my old high school yearbooks and laughing uproariously at the dorky hair styles.
@Debra300 LOL at the Barbie doll, I had them but I was a tomboy and dolls weren't my thing. I think my mom gave them to me so my friend would have them to play with as they didn't have the money to spend on those things.
My rental is on the second floor, so you can't see the Hummers in the gardens. I'm surprised myself when I look at that map. My mom's file cabinets were in the attic and I started going thru them after she passed, it had been 13 yrs at that time, when I listed on here a couple yrs ago. Seen an envelope addressed to my father and it was that map. I have no idea how old it must be. Oh, come to think of it, it was torn in a couple folded places too after kids had stayed. Think I'll move it so they can't reach it, it's over the daybed, thought it made a nice choice instead of art.
Please ask your fellow host neighbor if removing makeup is resulting in stained or discolored towels, or if she has a method to avoid that from happening. There was another thread about towels and linens, and at least one host provided a specific towel for makeup removal and I believe another host provided makeup removal pads. I've found that Shout works very well for removing stains on linens and furniture upholstery, but almost all of my facecloths are discolored.
Earlier this month, I had a guest who booked for four (space limit) and said they were bringing a toddler. I inquired about the child's age, and reminded them that the apartment wasn't suited for children under five, because there weren't any socket covers, a cabinet latch for where cleaning agents are stored, or a safety gate for the deck stairs. They never responded, and at arrival I saw the three adults as listed on the booking, but they had a one year old and another child who they didn't tell me about. The older child constantly ran in the apartment. Like @Sarah977 said, the mess that was left behind was due to the adults not cleaning up large spills and dropped food. Also, one leg on the glass coffee table was broken. I decided to stop allowing kids under 12 in that apartment, because the space is just not suited for them and their parents.
Barbie dolls were a short part of my young childhood, and had been tucked away for quite some time before I reached my pre-adolescent years. I grew up in a small town in Northern California that had a lot of agriculture: wineries, orchards, cattle, and only one bus that ran from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. As a child I would ride my bike all over town, climb fruit trees, go into ditches for polliwogs, rollerskate and play games in the street with my friends until the street lights came on.