Critique my listing - Scott in Vail, CO

in
Atlanta, GA
Level 2
2,703 Views

2958 S Frontage Rd W B4 MLS-7.jpg

 

Listing:  https://abnb.me/fdQddYH8Kpb

 

First, thank you for taking the time to review and provide feedback to a new host.  We recently purchased this condo for our family use (1-2 months a year) and while we are not there we plan to have it available on AirBnB.  

 

The condo was previously listed as an AirBnB and received strong reviews so I hope to live up to the hosting standard set by the previous owner.  As it was just purchased we have plenty of work we plan to do to make the property more enjoyable for our family and our guests but asking for feedback as it is represented now - both in the current accommodation and how I have the listing presented to guests.  

 

Of note, the areas where are improving:

-Kitchen - new matching appliances including a chimney hood in place of the microwave, new countertops and tile backsplash.

-Downstairs bathroom - new shower tile

-Stairs - replacing stairs with spiral staircase to allow for more space in the living room with a goal to fit a dining area for at least 4.

-Living Rom furnishings - will replace carpet, get a new sleeper sofa and chair.

-Bedrooms - Possibly get new beds with headboards to offer a more inviting feel.

 

The condo is in a resort town so visitation is seasonal with summer and winter being high months and the months in between with a lower demand for occupancy.  

 

I'll add that I am also using Pricelabs to adjust pricing in line with the seasonal aspects of the market.

 

I welcome all feedback on the listing and sincerely appreciate your time.

Scott

26 Replies

Re: Critique my listing - Scott in Vail, CO

in
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Scott1598    Think it looks great and your suggested improvements should work well.  Not sure about the spiral staircase though as they are not particularly ‘child or pet’ friendly (from bitter experience). It will depend on what type of guests you are trying to attract.  Perhaps an extending table might be an option?  The only other thing I would suggest would be to perhaps replace shower curtains with toughened glass screens.  They are much easier to clean and tend to make a bathroom look more spacious .

Re: Critique my listing - Scott in Vail, CO

in
Hay Valley, Australia
Level 10

@Kate867  the current staircase isn't child friendly either.  We could make the assumption that people coming here are either skiing, or hiking so shouldn't find a spiral staircase too taxing. 

 

Re: Critique my listing - Scott in Vail, CO

Online Community Manager in
Galashiels, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

Hi @Scott1598 

Welcome to the Community Center!  I just wanted to drop by and say hello, and to compliment you on a gorgeous listing!

Jenny


Can’t find what you’re searching for?
Click start a conversation to ask the Airbnb Community! 

Re: Critique my listing - Scott in Vail, CO

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

That's one funky listing, @Scott1598, and you must be pleased as punch with it. Like @Kate867 I'm very much of an anti-spiral-staircase sort of chap. Having fallen down one (and felt each and every *hard* step as I did) I can't think of anything worse. 

I think you're making a good call on the headboard situation; who wants to put their head on a wall? But as the beds look decent(?) maybe consider a wall-attached headboard instead to reduce expenditure? We've used one and I think it works.

Something I'd do now is get a snow-free photo of the balcony. It's looking pretty slippy and there will be someone who wants to make a big deal of it. 

Your listing will undoubtedly fly off the shelf; it's looking great already and your improvements will give it some boost.

Re: Critique my listing - Scott in Vail, CO

in
Atlanta, GA
Level 2

Sincerely appreciate the feedback @Kate867  and @Gordon0 !  I should have mentioned why we are considering a spiral staircase.  At the top of the current stairway we are concerned about head height upon entry to the loft.  We are limited by the distance between the two, huge, structural beams that run the width of the condo.  The lower beam is what holds the stairs up but the top beam has only about a 5" (1.524 meter) entry point.  We anticipate many bumped heads and do have a sign at the top of the stairs but imagine that will not fully remediate the head-butting.  The current stairs also take up a large portion of the small footprint in the living room where we would hope to allow for more seating or a small dining table.  

 

The plan is to move the spiral staircase behind the current beams so as you enter into the loft you are already on the other side of the beams and on the interior of the loft where the ceilings are high.  Welcome any other thoughts if you all have had to reconfigure stairs.

 

@Kate867  - excellent idea on the glass screens over the tub and we have started to price them out. 

 

@Gordon0 - love the suggestion of some newer summer pictures and totally agree.  Also, appreciate the tip on the wall-mounted headboards which we will add for more warmth and comfort.

 

My wife just put in an order of new "little" things like new rugs, towels, mugs, etc to help add a more inviting feel while not cluttering the small space.

 

Thanks again and sincerely appreciate the time and advice you are offering.

Scott

Re: Critique my listing - Scott in Vail, CO

in
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Scott1598   I understand the ‘head bumping’ thing.  Our cottage is 450 years old and has many low beams but a couple of particularly bad doorways.  I put up a couple of strategically placed ‘Duck or Grouse’ signs and on one particular doorway actually padded the beam using wadding, velvet cloth and upholstery tacks.

Re: Critique my listing - Scott in Vail, CO

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

Did the previous Airbnb incarnation have issues with head banging (of the non-dance flavour), @Scott1598? I fear the spirals will simply move the problem (if there is one) somewhere else. I think sometimes (I'm guilty of this) we try to make changes because we think it's 'right' in our heads. I assume you've chatted with an architect and had a nose round your neighbour's places?

Re: Critique my listing - Scott in Vail, CO

Level 2

Looks beautiful!

 

Some wordsmithing: How about:  Your living room connects to an open, fully-equipped kitchen. The main floor has one bedroom with vaulted ceilings, more windows and a full bathroom. Your second floor has a private bedroom, vaulted ceilings and a large bath with jacuzzi tub and skylight. Your front deck has seating [for how many?] and you have a private parking spot if you bring a car.

 

Safety issues: 1) Are those interior stair rails conforming to code? They wouldn't pass code in MA. Looks dangerous for children. 2) Who sweeps/shovels the outside steps and deck for snow?  Do you provide a shovel?  Ice melt?

 

Re: Critique my listing - Scott in Vail, CO

in
Atlanta, GA
Level 2

@Tania646 ,

Thank you sooo much for responding with all of the thoughts.  I will respond to each.

 

For the wordsmithing is your point that I'm too wordy and I should be more direct in my description of the space?  If so, my wife reviewed recently and had similar feedback so is helping me make it more direct (she's Russian and from Chicago so really good at being direct!).  I was reading that it's preferred to describe the feeling and experience of a space so may have been too wordy in my description.  I will certainly add the number of seating for outside (it's 2).

 

Safety issues:  2) The HOA shovels snow and a shovel is provided.  1)The stairs are not to code and one of our main concerns when we bought the condo.  I would say that the stairs are better than many other condos in the area that use a ships ladder or similar to get up to the loft.  That said, we are investing in some renovation with stairs being at the top of the list.  We are likely to put in a spiral staircase that conforms to code.  We are also concerned about the railing and all up the stairs and across the entire loft we will put in more robust railing to limit small people from fitting between the gaps.  We have been in Airbnb's with a 2 year old so want our guests to be safe.  In the meantime I have the following wording in my description:

 

Tons of rustic mountain charm comes with some quirks that were fine when they were built. While we have made some updates please make note when accessing the loft. The stairs are comfortable but steep by current standards.
The incredible structural beams that run through the space also limit head height at the top of the stairs and when descending so please watch your head. Once you are in the loft the vaulted ceilings bring plenty of height.

 

 

Re: Critique my listing - Scott in Vail, CO

Level 2

I'm surprised that it looks like there is sit down space to eat just for two people.  Am I missing something?

Have you thought about building in the $175 cleaning fee into your nightly rate?  You could do this IF you had a good idea on what the typical duration of stay is.

Re: Critique my listing - Scott in Vail, CO

in
Atlanta, GA
Level 2

@Tania646 

Thanks again!  Yes, the stairs and eating are my biggest hurdle right now.  The living space is small and the current stairs take up a considerable portion of the living room space so there is not room for any sort of table for at least four.  We do have two barstools (soon to be three) at the kitchen countertop but getting a table for four is important for us to provide for our guests but also for our family to use when we stay since meals are an important part of our daily routine.  

 

So, I hope to get the stairs moved (more interior to the unit) that would open up room in the living room so we can get at least a small table and slide 2 stools under it and allow guests to pull it out and use the other two stools at the countertop to have four chairs.  Welcome all other ideas on how to allow for dining for 4 to 6 that take up minimal space when not in use and not too much of a hassle to set up if guests want to use it for meals.

 

Regarding the cleaning fee - great suggestion and would love to learn more.  I could certainly build the $175 cleaning fee into the nightly rate.  I fully appreciate that a guest staying two nights (my minimum) may think $175 is high ($150-$200 is average for a two bedroom in Vail for cleaning) and I would agree.  If I build, say $50 additional into my nightly rate and remove the cleaning fee I'm concerned at the time of searching for a place it would show my nightly rate higher than others who do not embed cleaning into their nightly rate and would remove me from their consideration before they are able to compare total cost.  I'll look more into this but welcome any additional thoughts.


Thanks again!

Re: Critique my listing - Scott in Vail, CO

Level 2

Well, a higher nightly rate is a concern because Airbnb shows it in a bigger font.

 

But if the prospective guest looks at the total cost, which is right underneath, and compare total costs you are not disadvantaged.

 

You might need to wait to see what your average stay is.  For example if most of your stays are four nights, and a few five nights and two nights, you can do the math of whether you breakeven on the cleaning fee by assuming for night stays.  You make a little more on longer stays, lose a little on short stays.

 

The benefit, some say, is that people take a little better care of the property because some people say to themselves. "Why should I do anything?  Look at the cleaning fee I'm paying."

 

Guests might not understand that the service fee goes to Airbnb. So they might think: "Wow!  This Host is charging me a service fee, a cleaning fee, a fee for extra guests. I'm getting killed on fees."

Re: Critique my listing - Scott in Vail, CO

Level 2

There's also an open area with no rails at all?? That's a problem.

 

I assume you'll get a commercial insurance policy like one from Proper.

Re: Critique my listing - Scott in Vail, CO

in
Atlanta, GA
Level 2

@Tania646 

Thanks again (again!),

I am concerned with the rails - more with the horizontal space between them allowing for little kids to slip through - which I am addressing immediately.  We are getting all new railing put in once we get new stairs in.  I don't see where you see an open area for the rails other than where the stairs come up.  If looking up from the stairs the railing does attach to the wood wall which does not slide.  So the left side slides to open or close the entry/exit from the stairs but the right side does not slide, is permanently fixed, and the railing is well secured into that fixed wall.

 

We do have a solid insurance policy (my wife is in the insurance industry) but hope to avoid using it so want to have the stairs and railing set in a way that are safe and secure.

Thanks sooo much!

Join the conversation