Hi everyone! Its been months since I posted because we were in off-season and only had a handful of guests from November - May. We recently started getting all the requests again and are hopeful that this upcoming season will be as busy as the last one.
The husband and I had some long discussions over the winter about the future of the Airbnb business and our farm, etc. We work very hard and find it impossible to take vacations because of all the responsibilities we have. We decided it was time to put in a nice inground, saltwater pool on the farm so that we can enjoy a nice place to relax without having to go on vacation. I keep thinking back to those hot summer days where we work outside constantly and then are forced to go inside to sit in the AC and I cringed at going through this for another summer.
The pool install is finally complete, and they are coming to do all the planting/sod/landscaping next week and after that we plan on welcoming guests to use the pool as part of the reservation. We already checked with our insurer and he is OK with it. Initially we were going to ask guests who want to use the pool to pay a separate fee to us, outside of Airbnb to use the pool but it felt uncomfortable. We decided instead to increase our nightly price for weeknights to $150 and weekends to $175 (up $25 per nights from last year).
I myself would pay that price to stay in out guesthouse with access to a saltwater pool so I figured we will hopefully find people who agree with that price. If they don't we will keep our pricing high, have less guests, and be able to enjoy the pool without sharing it with guests on days we have no bookings.
What do you all think about this? Do you think the price increase is justified? Would you not allow guests to use the pool at all and keep it to yourselves?
We are going to set strict pool rules. Time will be limited to probably 10 am to 6 pm. We are early birds and don't mind using the pool in the mornings and evenings when the guests aren't using it, but also don't mind sharing it with "some" guests during the day but will avoid guests who we do not like, you know the ones I am talking about!
Last year we also provided fresh bread and honey from our beehives for guests. We will not be doing this anymore because its time consuming and we feel like it gives people more to complain about. (we often got people saying rye or whole wheat bread would be better, or saying they didn't eat it because we didn't provide butter), lol.
We will also be rejecting all requests that ask for special treatment, or special check in/out times. It says right in our house rules that this cannot be accommodated, and we still receive frequent requests from people asking as if they didn't even read the rules. This morning I woke up to a request to check out 4 hours late, I denied it, and then they said never mind the request they would still like to stay here and I denied it again because they would likely just stay late regardless.
We also added in a $100 security deposit because we thought it would help deter people from leaving the house dirty, dishes in the sink, laundry on the floor (all against our house rules), even though we likely wouldn't be able to claim that from Airbnb. Most people were wonderful but we did have a handful of awful guests last year and we don't want to go through that again.
We are looking forward to everything coming up, hope we make more money than last year and have an easier time cutting out the BS. To guests who stay for more than 2 days we will give them a bottle of local wine from our neighboring vineyard. People seem to enjoy it. We are in good spirits, it was such a whirlwind last year and we are hoping all the hard work on the pool, and expense will pay off.
By the way, the pool is heated so you better believe we have been swimming, even when its 50 degrees outside! haha.