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Do too many amenities lead to demanding guests?

We are so glad to be up to 8 Airbnb reviews, though we have had a few other reservations from VRBO and Flipkey. Guests have been amazing for the most part.

We offer keurig coffee cups, paper towels, toilet paper, goats milk soap (we make it here), and the basics like salt and pepper, etc. We also bake a loaf of bread for each guest when they arrive and have it waiting, warm for them with some of the honey we harvest from our bee hives. (they LOVE this, and its not at all inconvenient to offer it).

We offer a charcoal grill that we clearly state in our listing we do not provide charcoal for and if the guest wants to grill then they have to pick up the charcoal themselves.

Most guests have been easy, follow the rules, leave us alone, however we had a guest who was an absolute pain in the a$$. They asked for charcoal and I told them to go buy some, then I realized I had a little left over at my own grill so I gave it to them. No “thank you”.

They acted like they needed their hands held to do everything from food shopping to “where do I go”. They also used 4 rolls of paper towels in 4 days.

We got a good review so I am happy, but it was a guest I would absolutely not have back. They were just “uncomfortable” to be around and to talk to and when they left I was like SWEET RELIEF. Can’t really put it in other words, but the morning they left we had a whole family from Europe arrive and they are SOOOO kind and authentic. These are the kind of people we like! haha.

I am wondering if offering all these amenities just lead to too high of expectations. I am considering removing the grill because there is no way I am paying for charcoal and I don’t want people to expect it. What about paper towels. How many rolls do you provide? What do you all think?

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I leave one roll of paper towels per stay. (The apartment sleeps two and most guests are couples). I leave two rolls of toilet paper. And I tell guests to contact me if there’s anything they need. They’ve never asked for more of the paper stuff.

There are snacks provided for arrival and their first breakfast. Toiletries are supplied in the bathroom. Some guests use absolutely everything, others use nothing so it balances out in the end. The only thing I can remember a guest asking for as regards supplies are extra trash bags (which is a good thing!)

We have a gas grill and sometimes people ask if they can use it. I say that they can, but they’ll need to buy the gas canister thingy. But I don’t think anyone has ever used it.

A roll of paper towels should be sufficient to get them started.

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We rent a br in our home with pvt bath. I put one extra roll of tp, a bottle of body wash and a shampoo and conditioner. I think if a guest sees too many extra things they tend to be wasteful. I do bake scones for the guests breakfast. We don’t have a grill but I wouldn’t want to have guests use it if we did. Guests can be clueless about proper use, imho

They were probably using the paper towels to dry their hands, which is a pet peeve of mine! I don’t provide paper towels for that reason. My unit doesn’t have a kitchen so I don’t see what they’d need them for anyhow. I provide wet wipes for spills and that seems good enough. Though some guests this weekend found my own paper towels in my cleaning supplies and put them in the toilet…

Back to demanding guests. I know from reading this forum that bottom of the barrel prices attract high maintanence guests who expect a tour guide and driver and butler out of their host along with their $40 a night room. I have wondered if luxury units bring high maintenance guests too who expect such services with the expensive price tag.

I would suspect that middle of the road units attract the least high maintenance guests, but you’ll still get some. At Kona’s advice when I first started hosting, I described my ideal guests, which are independent travelers and backpackers looking for something a little nicer than a hostel, who like pets and gardens and don’t mind the quirks of the home. I usually can weed out the high maintenance people when they ask common sense questions (how much is the room?) but I’ve got some right now who are knocking on my door a few times a day. Can we come upstairs and use your kitchen? Can we borrow a fan? Do you have cutlery we can use? (I rent an apartment in my basement.) These guests booked for two and showed up with three, and I plan on modifying their reservation since I charge more for three, so it will be interesting to see how they react.

After some careful consideration we decided to up our prices to $125 on week nights, and $150 on weekends, with $25 more per person after 2 people. We also upped our holiday pricing for holidays and holiday weekends to $250 per night. We figured we would rather the house be empty for holidays so we can have our families around and have privacy, than to allow guests to stay for a ridiculously low price.

The guest I wrote about above for the week for a STEAL as he booked it when we first started with Airbnb and our price was so low. They were way too demanding. I don’t know really about the paper towels. Perhaps I will cut it down to 1 roll and ask them to buy their own if they plan on doing a lot of cooking.

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I was going to suggest raising your price a little and providing the items for your peace of mind. There is no way to control what your guests do, only your reaction to it. If the paper towel issue is one of waste, which I understand and agree with, then only provide one roll. If it’s an issue of money raise your price a dollar a day and provide a roll of paper towels per day. I don’t get very many high maintenance guests and am mid-price range for my town. I tend to think higher prices lead to worse guests but it seems that most people on this forum disagree with me.

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I am under the impression, price and types of guests comes in distinct wide price ‘brackets’ not small increments or differences. Example, in an island the $95-$195 types are ‘campers’, the $295-$495 are ‘middle class’ types wanting solid comforts, the $595+ are the ‘rich’ expecting catering to and tend to be demanding pains, a group I definitely want no part of. Overtime I have raised my prices to cover the small stuff. within my bracket (‘middle class’).

Are you sure these guests used a roll of paper towels each day? Or did they take some rolls with them?

How many people was it?

It sounds like your guest was intentionally pushing boundaries.

With paper towels and toilet papers don’t be very dangerous, they will use as much as you give them. The same with towels. They will be used all of it even if you pu there 20 for each person
I think you still can provide grill but tell them at check in that charcoal is on them

Wow, your place sounds like heaven. Fresh home baked bread, honey from your bees and best of all lots of animals to pet. I’m sorry you had the demoralizing experience of having guests who don’t appreciate the wonders you offer.

As we live with our guests, it’s quite different in terms of how much paper goods. We have our supply to which we point them. When they ask for paper towels, I point out the dish towels unless they are wiping up grease. Regarding the charcoal; would it be too much of a hassle for you to keep some on hand and offer the guests that they may purchase it from you? You could sell it by the bag, then you’d get to use the leftovers.

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Very good advice! I don’t know why they used so many paper towels but it was just strange going from absolutely zero issues with every other guest we have had to this guest just being a non stop pain. We do give guests 20 towels, but none of them have ever used more than a few while staying but I am sure it will happen soon enough.

The soap and honey gift we give has been good for us. We have gotten a few sales out of it by guests who would like to order more before they leave so its pretty good!

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I leave 3 spare rolls of TP in my bathroom in a cute basket, and I usually have a huge pile of towels in guest bathroom. Surprisingly, my guests go very easy on these items. It’s amazing since they are frequently obnoxious about so many other issues. I also notice most of my guests are very neat as far as their towels are concerned. They either leave them on hook in bathroom, or folded on rim of tub. Which is what it says in my information. That must be the one most popularly sentence! Only a few times have guests left towels in places inappropriate.

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In our experience across hundreds of guests, there’s enormous variation in which amenities are prized by different guests. Some use lots of towels, others prioritize fast wifi or door locks, many families want to be able to cook and so on. As a host, it’s really hard to know in advance what’s going to be important to any specific guest. So, it seems to me, one option is you specialize and try to clearly convey in your online marketing which type of guests would be a good fit and the select for those guests when booking queries come in. Another option, which is what we’ve done, is to try and be a reasonably good choice for a wide range of guests. Which strategy is best will depend on the host and the house. For us, trying to offer a lot of amenities has worked well but definitely demands a lot of ongoing investments.

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I don’t offer paper towels and say so. If guests want them, they are free to buy them. Some people aren’t happy with anything. As for the grille, I have a gas one. It’s easy to use and the propane tanks lasts forever. I wouldn’t offer charcoal as it takes a while for the coals to be ready, then there’s the mess and finally the worry of starting a fire. Charcoal grilling has to be supervised well. Do the gas or take away the grilling.

I would definitely keep the goat milk soap and honey, since they tie in with the whole theme of your listing. Do you mention it in the listing?

Maybe don’t, and let it be a surprise. I have a theory that people appreciate things they weren’t expecting more.

We don’t have the bread and honey in the listing, but many of our reviews mention it. People have been so happy with it and many have freaked out over the bread and honey! haha.

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Well as we all know, guests come with different levels of “neediness.” I’ve been hosting for 3 years (independent vacation rental, not in my own house) and when I first started I had a tendency to accept any reservation request I received.
I’ve become more selective over time and I have a special sensitivity to overly needy guests. Whether it’s towels, consumables, extra people, etc. I’ve found the more needy people are the worse they are in terms of being guests.
I supply what I consider a reasonable amount of linens, paper towels, toilet paper, etc. as I do not believe guests should have to worry about those things… and again that’s within reason.
At this point I will typically decline a reservation that starts with special requests along those lines. You have to find your balance between hosting and maintaining your property and your sanity.

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Just a heads up - if you do not provide toilet paper for the whole stay, you will find out the hard way that guests will begin wiping with paper towels once the TP runs out. So unless one of your good friends is a plumber, you might want to consider carefully the suggestions of only leaving one or two rolls :smiley:

I sleep 2 and leave one roll per day they’ll be here, plus a couple of spares. Not once in two years has a set of guests gone through the whole lot, and only a handful have bought their own. They’ve never packed up all the TP and taken it with them, either (I leave it all unpackaged on a shelf), or the shampoo/soap/dish detergent/laundry powder - my welcome note explains the items are all provided for their use, but to please leave the containers for the next guest, and it seems to work :slight_smile:

Sure, if they’re booking two weeks they might need more than one roll of paper towels, but long-stay guests are fine with buying things, it’s the 2-3 nighters which understandably shouldn’t need to shop for every item they’ll never use up. TP is special though because: plumbing. It costs all of twenty cents per guest per night to leave them with enough TP. If I couldn’t absorb that from my profits I’d add it to the nightly charge.

As for your barbecue, it sounds like a lovely thing to offer guests, but what I’ve learned is if that nobody uses something you offer and it’s an even slight inconvenience to you… remove it. You don’t need the maintenance or hassle of worrying about it (I’m about to remove the tv from mine, can you tell that I’m tired of guests who change the menu into Swedish or can’t locate the red “on” button?). I haven’t had it mentioned or pictured in my listing for six months, to see whether it seems to be a critical item they look for, and it doesn’t seem to have affected bookings, proving that guests don’t require it so they won’t miss what isn’t there.

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