Happy New Year!
The new year is already in full flow and I hope you are all having a great start to the year. This time last year, here in the Community Center, I asked a similar question about your plans for 2018 . It was fantastic to hear all your exciting plans including renovation work, giving a fresh lick of paint to your furniture or room walls, along with personal goals. I hope you were able to achieve what you set out to, even if in a small way.
Looking ahead, what are your 2019 plans for your listing or hosting goals?
Maybe you want to rearrange your furniture, or rejuvenate the carpets or even build an extention on to your garden shed! Or perhaps you want to receive your first or even your one hundredth guest!
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Oh wow, this is amazing @Lawrene. Is the plan to have grass over the top and round doors?
Not grass - but forest floor, for sure, @Lizzie. Maybe yes on the round doors, but we also have a cool late 1800s door that would look nice. We have worked out how it can all be done, at little cost but lots of work. It is the permissions that will be the problem. So right now I am crafting my presentation to the Authority. Loads about education and tourism. :)
The 19th Century door sounds interesting @Lawrene, I hope you get planning permission so you can build your hobbit house. Will it be close to the treehouse?
Last year I replied to this post and stated my goal to soundproof my garage to convert it to a music studio. It ended up being such a hot summer that I took those funds and invested in a pricey (but well worth it!) A/C/heating system that is now a very popular amenity with my guests. I also will be able to deduct part of the cost on my taxes this year which is nice.
For 2019, I would like to upgrade my home with some shutters for privacy for myself and guests. As it is, I have curtains on most windows but some (like in the kitchen) don't have anything so it is a bit too exposed for my comfort. So that is on my 2019 home goal list and if I get a good bonus at work this year, maybe I can re-visit that home studio too! :)
Sadly, my washer decided to break yesterday so I just bought a new washer/dryer set - which is the last thing I wanted to do, but definitely necessary when running an Airbnb. And again I think part of the cost will be tax-deductible as a business expense.
I'll be, if my cousin doesn't get too busy (he's a contractor), upgrading my kitchen, and possibly my laundry, bathroom, and second entryway. I was able to pick up a range and fridge not too long ago, but I'm looking at a decently expensive job due to the nature of what needs to be done.
@Lizzie We would like to replace some windows, and have our driveway redone. Not really sexy changes, but needs to be done. I'm also planning on doing some repainting again... that goes on a lot. No colour changes, just needs to be refreshed. I'd also like to imrove landscaping in the backyard so that guests have a nicer view, but I have a brown/black thumb and very little time so I'm not sure about that. We'll see what happens. We have a landscaping plan from a designer, but I'm not sure it really makes sense.
In terms of other goals this year, I don't worry about numbers so much anymore. My 100th booking was a milestone I celebrated, but we're somewhere around 150 now and I'm starting to lose track. I would guess we will probably get to 300 this year. My primary goal is to continue to have happy, satisfied guests: the number of them is less important. We've been more successful than I ever thought was possible, so I'd just like to maintain that success.
This time last year, I posted that in 2018 I was going to go wallpaper crazy! Sadly, that hasn't happened.The wallpaper was bought, as was the paste and brushes, but none of it has gone up :)
Instead, I have been dealing with mudande stuff like leaks. Lots of leaks. Leaking radiators, leaking showers, leaking sinks, leaking rooves. You name it, if it can leak, it has. In addition, it's been my busiest year of hosting so far and, having tried and failed to find a reliable cleaner, 2018 has also been the year of cleaning, cleaning, cleaning (and endless laundry). Having converted two small storage rooms into two new bathrooms back in December 2017, a lot of the time I've been reorganising all the cr*p that was in there - and there was a lot...
So, when I look back at what I've done, unlike 2017, it's not been a lot. It's mostly beeen small tasks, e.g. painting ceilings and doors, some small carpentry work and, well I can't think of anything else!
Anyway, onwards and upwards, hopefully 2019 will be my year to go wallpaper crazy and get a whole load of other stuff done.
Tomorrow is our "moving" day.
Our house, when we purchased it 17 years ago, turned out to have really bad water karma. The roof leaked. The chimney flashing leaked. The cedar siding leaked. The foundation leaked. And yes, the bathroom fixtures leaked. The previous owners didn't understand the power of water. They thought that if they painted a bit, no one would notice the 10 gallon buckets that were needed on the third floor whenever a storm came in off the ocean.
The water issues have been fixed for years, but the aftermath still remains in one room of the house. The walls in the room were soaked reguarly. We have carefully removed all the original woodwork, pulled down all the plaster and lathe, and now there is drywall. We must finish this room. The old woodwork needs to be re-configured for the new built in desk. The walls need to be skim coated. There will be tons of dust and almost as much noise. All the large furniture that holds the instrument repair supplies like horsehair, the tools, the library cases that hold all the small bits need to move into our bedroom next door. Other projects include painting the last untouched room, the world's smallest bathroom on the first floor, re-grouting the AirBNB bathroom [yes, guests are a bit sloppy with their water], and touching up some of the baggage-banged walls.
Tomorrow, we will move our clothing and other miscellaneous possessions up to the AirBNB rooms. Guess we will be living like locals!!!
My calendar is closed for two months, though of course, I am hopeful that everything will go exactly to plan and I can start to accept guests a bit sooner. Strangely, after 28 months of hosting, I am rather looking forward to this "vacation" and yet, I will miss hearing new stories every few days.
2018 was a busy year for Henry and me - as hosts and professionally - so I'm hoping this year will be a bit slow. (call me lazy~)
Plans for 2019........the two of us will be leaving for a well-deserved vacation shortly :-) Right after we get back it will be Lunar New Year holidays.... a whole week with family and friends.
We don't have any reservations for this year yet........but Henry wants to get a new bed for the guest bedroom. It's still pretty decent and with a topper we could just keep it for another year but we honestly did not think it would get this much use plus Henry hates having to vaccum under the bed LOL~!
Although our calendar is open to accept a guest for the spring semester, we are not completely sure we really want to host a long-term guest this spring. Hosting has put a dent on our ability to just "up and leave" for weekend getaways. Making the effort to ensure shared spaces are always presentable is stressful. We aren't able to entertain family and friends as much as we like. While we do love hosting and enjoy the company of our guests I think it might be time to take a step back from hosting and take it easy for a bit longer. We'll see~
Like @Alexandra316, we are constantly refreshing and doing paint touch ups. I also kept the same neutral colour throughout which makes grabbing a pot and touch up very easy.
Currently northern Australia is very quiet, tourist wise. So I have kept my calendar closed for Xmas and new year travelling to family events. Also decided to keep it closed until the end of January for family time. Like @Jessica & Henry1, finding a balance between hosting and maintaining your lifestyle, is really important? Which is why I keep my overall calendar closed, and only open it a few months at a time. It keeps me sane when work is busy, or family/ friends commitments are high.
We are not so locked in that Airbnb controls our lives. We are having family friends use the Airbnb space free of charge, and family will visit during our peak season. It is what it is, and I love my family.
I love that the grandkids can come and go, across their school holidays; make as much noise swimming and laughing and to be able to spread out and use the Airbnb space ourselves. In fact, Garry used the space yesterday, for some quiet time, also setting up his bicycle in the air conditioner watching the cricket..... to start preparing for his “just under 1000km” cycle ride Adelaide to Melbourne with his brother.... they’ll be carrying food, clothing, everything in their panniers!
The Monsoon has not yet arrived for the NT, so maintaining the garden and lawns has really been a full time job. I’ve been transplanting cuttings of tropical plants everywhere, to start filling in gaps where we have removed palm trees. Fingers crossed, the costs will be less this year with changes. We’ve updated a bed last year, and haven’t looked back. We spent a small fortune in draining and resurfacing the swimming pool just over a year ago, so shared and common space changes, will be smaller, such as maybe new umbrellas and bbq. Maintaining the air conditioners is a priority with the ongoing heat. They need regular cleaning....
So it’s mainly about maintenance and the getting of knowledge, at this time of year. Getting out the high pressure water hose and keeping the pavers & concrete algae/ moss free. Mowing lawns every 5-7 days and keeping up the watering when the rain storms aren’t rolling through....That can be a full time job through till May!
It’s also about visiting some of the local areas that are too full of visitors, during the high season. Keeping up the local knowledge of cafes etc is important. Updating brochures and guest folder information.
We are approaching our one year anniversary on Airbnb in March. We had a good 2018 and hoping for a big 2019 as far as bookings and successful hosting.
We will continue cleaning up the forest a bit around the cabin by continually cutting lower hanging branches and fallen trees. This not only adds to our firewood stack but cleans things up a bit and helps with fire mitigation. Also, outside I will try to get some wildflowers going. Getting things to grow at 9,000 feet in an arid climate is not easy, especially with land use restrictions on irrigation in Colorado, where one generally needs 35 acres or more to be able to use water outside. I sowed lots of seeds last fall and we're having a pretty snowy winter, so hoping to see some sprouts in the spring!
Now that we have quite a few stays and good reviews under our belt, I have also raised the prices this year, particularly in the high season, so we hope to see a bit more money streaming through, especially now that our cleaners have raised their prices and it looks as if we will have to start paying more for trash removal as well.
Otherwise, I will just continually look for those perfect pieces at antique and thrift shops to add to our space and get it 'just right'.