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Best way to do "add-ons" to a stay

Hey everyone,

Need some thoughts here. We have an Airbnb that has been quite successful in and of itself; but we’re trying to figure out the next challenge. We have a separate workshop space, about 1,000 sq foot, that we’re converting to an entertainment space. It will have an arcade, game area, and gym on the bottom floor. We will have some good equipment like the peloton bike, in wall resistance trainer, etc. On the second floor will be a movie theater with concession stand.

We’re building this for our own family, but we don’t really see a reason not to allow guests to use it as well, especially the gym portion. Here’s some of the questions we’re struggling with:

  1. Does Airbnb have a means to charge a “a la carte” for add-ons like use of a gym?
  2. Does it make sense to charge a small upcharge to use that space? If so, what’s reasonable?

Our thinking is that guests who wouldn’t use it wouldn’t want it automatically included, but guests would want to use it would likely be Ok with a reasonable upcharge.

All thoughts and ideas are appreciated!

My first thought is - what does your insurance say about the gym?

They don’t care as long as you pay them. :slight_smile: We will also have a waiver, age requirements, etc.

I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t charge for use of those areas separately for an additional fee. It’s no different from some hosts charging for use of laundry facilities, or a parking pass. And it’s going to take a lot more cleaning time to sterilize the gym and everything in the entertainment area if guests use those.

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Good point! How do guests do that today, just “Request money”? Also, would you just list the rate in the listing and ask that they contact you if they wish to add that? I’m not familiar with how add-ons like that work? Lastly, any thoughts on a reasonable price?

My thought was the same as the one expressed by @Debthecat. Insurance.

So, even though you have insurance, do you also have a separate umbrella policy? I’d be concerned about the value of the equipment, but I think I’d be more concerned about liability for injury or death. I’m not an attorney, so I don’t know if a waiver would cover that.

I would consult an attorney.

If you do instant book, then you would have to request money. If you do booking requests, you can submit an special offer with fees included. Don’t try to charge fees off platform, though. If a guest reports it, it can get you banned.

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One tricky thing will be your photo gallery. If you include photos of the gym and entertainment room, you’d have to caption them so it’s very evident that they are add-ons for a fee. Maybe even put something like “Extra fees apply for use of…” right on the photo itself, so the type of guests who just look at the pretty pictures and the price, without bothering to read much, won’t have false expectations.

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I’d add the extra services to the list description letting them know that is extra-charge. Also in the welcome message after reservation. I don’t see the point to sell it through Airbnb and pay a commission for it.
Let your guests to know about it and let them pay directly to you.
Be careful with adding pictures, people will think that it will be included and you may have some issues (and bad reviews)

I’d be willing to pay extra for gym access but it depends on how much I’m already paying for the space. The cheaper the nightly rate, the more I’d expect to pay for use of the gym. So if I’m already paying over $250/night for a 2 bedroom space, I’d only want to pay another $5-10/night for gym use (not sure that’s worth it for you). For my kids, I’d def pay another $15/night for access to something that felt like a kids club or movie theater for them. As others have noted, the pics are going to be a huge issue with people saying “not as advertised”. .

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Really good point I hadn’t considered. I’ll have to look at that carefully. Thank for the heads up.

Thanks for the great feedback. We were thinking something like $10/day or $20 for the stay (we only allow up to 7 day stays). Our nightly is only $45-55 a day on average.

Your nightly rate is so low (is it a room in shared space?) that I would consider just including these extras and upping your rate to $75/night. Some people def put gym in as a search amenity which often pulls up higher cost complexes or high-rise buildings so your listing would be unique if it’s a stand-alone space. A peloton would be an even bigger draw but I don’t think the site enables keyword searches yet. You could try the higher “all inclusive” rate for a few months and see how it impacts your bookings.

We do not have a shared space. It’s a dedicated location with dedicated entrance, amenities, etc. Part of the issue is that we have two other Airbnb locations in our town and they both charge close to $25-40 a night each. It really screws us over.

Is your space self check in or do you meet and greet guests? Perhaps you can inform them of the extra space available at check in, give them a tour, have them sign waivers and charge them right then and there.

If you don’t request money through the resolution center, this will eventually get you banned on Airbnb. It’s the same on VRBO, too.

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If you have more amenities than the other listings in town, of course you can charge (and get) more for a night’s stay.

As far as advertising the extras, you might be able to say “inquire about additional amenities” or some such. And whether they inquire bout them or not – with every Inquiry, you respond with a list of additional amenities.

There’s a place a couple blocks away from us, same basic sort of detached space, that charges $50 per night during High Season, no pool access. We charge $95 a night but you get a gourmet breakfast worth at least $30 per day, plus pool access. We are almost always more booked than they are…

If we do that our bookings slow down a LOT.

Don’t compete on price. Raise your rates and compete on being worth more.

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Wow, I didn’t know that. Thank you.

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