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 I have had guests cook a lot of their meals here, and I do have everything you'd need in to make all meals and bake of they'd like. Since it's the second they do use that, I have party lights strung across the ceiling. A friend manages a house around the corner listed on here, we were just talking about stained sheets. She said she was going to see if the owner might let her put a nice sign in there asking people to remove any make up, sunscreen and bug repellent as they stain the sheets and can no longer be used for other guests. Thinking I may do that too, as I have had 2 sets ruined recently.
@Wende2 We have black colored wash cloths that say "make-up" on them that we leave for guests to use.
So far, the wash cloths have been used multiple times and no make-up on our linens.
Maybe this is better than a sign?
It probably wouldn't help with sunscreen and insect repellent (not much of a problem for me in London), but ages ago I started supplying packets of make up wipes in the guest bedrooms. I can buy them inexpensively from my local supermarket. I put a little sticker on them asking guests to use them to remove make up rather than towels and it works! Now I very rarely, if ever, get any make up on towels and pillow cases etc.
Prior to that, I got this sort of thing...
Yep, that is a wash cloth. Was actually brand new.
@Huma0 I have those in my place too, I just took them from the dresser in the bathroom and put them in a little basket so you can't miss them on the dresser. I really haven't had much ruined, but when it's a pillowcase there goes the sheet set, guess I could use a solid case from now on, I may just mix and match. Glad you aren't dealing with that mess on a washcloth anymore. I do have some other strange stains on some washcloths, small mustard yellow color dots.?? All in all, I really haven't had the guests I read and hear about, maybe a handful over my 2 yrs that I hope NEVER come back. I only hope clicking no I wouldn't host them means those people don't see me in a search.
@Wende2 I don't do "sheet sets", I've always done mix and match. My place is eclectic and colorful anyway, so it fits the decor. I might use a burgundy fitted sheet, a grey top sheet and patterned pillowcases which incorporate those colors and more, which can hide tiny stains on an otherwise good case.
While I realize many hosts would consider not using "sets" to be somehow tacky, it works for me, guests have actually commented on how much they liked the bedding, and it sure beats stressing over having one part of a set ruined and having to retire the still usable parts.
If you didn't want to go with mixing colors and patterns, you could decide on a color you wanted to use, but have varying shades of that color, like dark grey, light grey, and maybe a grey, or black and white stripe. Then it all still looks purposeful and co-ordinated, and if you see some grey sheets on sale that you like, you don't have to concern yourself over whether it's the right shade of grey.
I do this with towels- guests might get a "set" of towels which consists of 2 bath towels, a hand towel and a wash cloth, all in varying shades of green.
Not using sets also means you can buy separates if they are a good deal- a fitted sheet, or a flat, or some cases.
@Alexandra316 , cool topics, Ive certainly had my share of flops in life thats for sure (luckily far more went better than not (so far, knocks on wood))! We had one we tried when we first opened our https://airbnb.com/h/easy-access-suite-at-bearpath-lodging , its a smaller studio apartment that started with a pulout couch as its bed (which sounded good if you say it fast enough). A POC may be good as an aditional bed but I don't think the guest who is paying wants to sleep on one. It rented rarely until we put a bed in there and then it took off and has rented hundreds of times since.
Another one the word was still out on is our 3 seasons https://airbnb.com/h/tiny-home-glamper-at-bearpath-lodging Glamper. Opened last July, it booked pretty well but at a lower price than I had expected. Then came Covid, at first, nothing, now its booking well and at nearly twice what I got last year! Who would have thought that a Tiny home would be preferable over a suite? Im gonna call this one a hit!
Stay well, JR
After reading about duplicating listings with another amenity here (To justify having two listings), I duplicated one with breakfast. It was rarely if ever eaten. Most surprising was that bananas were often left behind. I could not understand how no one would want to eat a banana that’s sitting in front of you for free over the course of several days. There were never comments on quality of breakfast or selection. I switched to offering snacks.
I have also added appliances to the kitchen and no one uses them. I did it because I have gotten a few comments about the kitchen needing more items. Even though these things are not used, I. I longer get those comments
@Inna22I think that a lot of guests are more ambitious in planning than in reality. They think they're going to make those waffles when they're planning their perfect trip, but when they're hungover at 10 am on Sunday morning and trying to get showered and checked out, it seems like a less good idea. I've also found that few people cook much of anything.
It's so hard to predict what people can/will eat nowadays.
I gave up on the idea of fruit. I tried fruit bowls for a while, but most of it ended up in the bin.
I don't offer breakfast, but thought I would put some jars of cereals with the tea and coffee supplies. It's very rare that anyone touches them, so they are going to go too.
Apparently, most Airbnbs in London do not offer breakfast and I can see why...
@Huma0 Yeah, we used to do fruit a lot, but ended up having to make apple sauce all the time because so few people ever sampled them. We also used to do fresh flowers for every guest, but since 99% of people never mentioned the flowers, we became much more selective in when/if we put flowers out...I still think that fresh flowers, even if people don't mention then have a subliminal positive effect, but I was really shocked that almost no one ever mentioned this in their reviews. I would be THRILLED to stay somewhere that had fresh flowers and would absolutely mention it.
@Mark116 we do fresh flowers every time because I consider them a staple of living. I have them in my own house and change them out weekly. At our Airbnb always do fresh flowers-- nothing fancy, daisies, carnations, etc. There is a vase on the dining table and one on each dressing table as well as beside the tub with the bathing goodies (bath bomb, different bubble baths, soaking salts, etc etc.) NO ONE ever says ANYTHING about the flowers. I continue to do it because I love them. I do think it elevates the space a bit. My husband grumbles that we spend too much on flowers....
"We do fresh flowers every time because I consider them a staple of living." Love it! - agreed.
When I cannot do an entire bouquet, I have a few mini vases and I put one stem (usually a Black-Eyed Susan, Daisy, or Zinnia) in the mini vase and put in on the bathroom shelf next to the soap or by the kitchen sink next to the sponge, etc. No one ever mentions the flowers specifically but I get a ton of "loved the specials touches." I know it makes people smile and it always gives a sense of the host being present in the space and that it was done specifically for the guest (because if not, it would be dead.) Whether guests consciously realize it or not, I definitely think flowers make a difference.
I buy flowers for the house quite often, but not all the time. Certainly, I never had guests comment on them in their reviews. I think @Debra300 is right in that they just think it's part of the décor, but I'm sure it helps to create a good impression overall.
There was only one time that a guest commented in the review that my house was "full of flowers", which was true at the time. It really was FULL of flowers, but I can't take the credit for it.
I had the good fortune of hosting a guest while she was doing a one month floristry course in London. She asked at the beginning of the stay if I minded her bringing bouquets and arrangements back. Of course I didn't mind!
For the next few weeks, I got to enjoy a house full of the most beautiful flowers. She was happy also for me to give a couple of bouquets to mum and sister-in-law and made the most adorable one for my niece.
I do have another guest booked in September to do a month long floristry course (albeit at a different school). I don't want to get my hopes up, but I hoping for more of the same!