New host here. Wondering if TV’s in the rental are a must have? If so have you just put in a smart TV to use with the free WIFI? How has that worked for you?
Is it a must-have? My instinct is that you will ultimately spend more time and energy and money dealing with people who don’t read the listing and are upset about not having a TV. You can get decent flat-screen with Roku for $130 thesedays and I believe it is worth it to save you trouble down the line.
We have Smart TVs with integrated Roku in our rentals. No issues at all.
I didn’t start out with one but have one now as it’s practically a must have for many people. There’s a reason why all hotels have one. The only exception would be a specialty type rental like treehouse, yurt, beach cottage where people are trying to get away.
I have DirectTV because I have it for myself and it’s nominal cost to add it to the Airbnb room. Lots of hosts have smart TVs or Roku type devices.
Thank you for your response. What does the Roku run you a month?
Thank you. Very helpful response.
The Roku doesn’t cost anything, it’s part of the TV. Guests can log into their own Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc. We do however provide a Sling TV package that works through Roku (there are other options like this), I think it’s about $40/month but it’s shared with all 3 units so the cost is small for us. I don’t know if guests even use it at all. Most of our guests don’t watch TV but it’s there for the ones who want it.
These are the ones we have:
They were easy to set up with wifi and have been reliable.
I also have Roku TVs in my listing. One large one in the living room and a medium sized one in the king bedroom. The medium size is actually a non-smart flatscreen TV with a Roku Express plugged in.
They have hundreds of free channels to choose from, and my guests can use their own Amazon/Hulu/Netflix accounts.
I’ve only had one set of guests that could not figure it out (they wanted to watch football) but I was able to help them out without going over there.
I do have to check the TVs after each stay and log out of my guests’ accounts (Netflix, etc.), they almost never do it themselves despite a reminder on the instruction card I leave out with the remotes.
We’ve been hosting about 2.5 years. In that time, I would say we had four or five guests who really wanted to watch TV. Most people never mention it. We don’t have a TV in our guestrooms. It hasn’t seemed to be any sort of an issue. We wouldn’t add TVs at this point.
I have a relatively small smart TV in my rental, in the den. We have loaded all of our streaming services onto it—Netflix, Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+—because that’s what we use at home, so we can be generous. We also have some free apps like PBS and PBS kids installed on the smart TV that people can watch.
Most rentals I stay in don’t have cable, and most people I know don’t have it either, anymore. It’s cheaper to have a smattering of streaming services that meet your needs than to pay for hundreds of channels you don’t watch as part of a cable package.
My WiFi, which I would have anyway, costs $50/month. Netflix is $13 and the Hulu/Disney/ESPN package is also $13 a month for all three. That’s way lower than an internet/cable package would be, and it has a little something for everyone.
To be fair though, I also do not have cable in my own home. I do have an AppleTV at home, which gives me more versatility because I can rent movies, but I don’t offer that in the rental because I fear people will abuse it.
It may depend on your listing. My listing is 4 bedroom whole-home for up to 8 guests. I have a 65" TV with built-in Roku in the living room, a 42" TV with external Roku Ultra in the master bedroom, and a 40" TV with no smart functionality plus a DVD player in another bedroom. All of the TVs can receive terrestrial (over-the-air) signals and both TVs with Roku are always logged-in to my Netflix and Hulu accounts. I would estimate about 90% of guests use the TV in the living room, about 50% use the TV in the master bedroom, and only 10% use the TV without the smart TV functionality.
It’s only necessary if a guest complains that it’s missing.
There’s no way of knowing if a guest bypasses a listing because it doesn’t have TV. My decision to put one in my guest room was based primarily on their low cost and wanting to have every competitive advantage. Some of the self proclaimed experts say that more amenities result in higher search ranking.
I have just one TV and it’s in the living room. It’s a smart TV but I also have basic Dish package. I think a TV is a must just in case it’s a rainy day and folks want to stay in, relax and watch a movie. Especially for families with kids.
Roku, smart TV’s, Netflix?
No chance. We got 32" LCD’s in both apartments and they get what we can receive, mostly local Spanish channels, broadcasting in… wait for it… Spanish!
They don’t like it, they can always go out and use someones elses electricity!
Signed, Mr Grumpy from Andalucia.
As always it matters greatly what kind of listing one has. Based on the movement of the TV remote or me hearing the guest TV, 80% of my guests use the TV. When I was in NYC for 6 nights I didn’t turn on the TV at either place I stayed.
Don’t get me wrong, many of our guests use the TV; but I do wonder how much of what is broadcast they actually understand
TV yes. We have a minimal limited cable setup (10 channels?) which we get to use the cable company as our ISP. Guests have access to Netflix.
The Spanish language channels over here have a lot of gratuitous programming containing women in tight shorts/skirts and low-cut tops, so if the programming is like that in Spain…
While I do have the two TVs at my listing, and the majority of my guests seem to use them, I almost never watch TV myself.
Some people just like the noise. I’ve got one travel buddy that just walks in and turns the TV on. It stays on until she goes to sleep, sometimes after. And when she wakes the TV goes on again. It’s one of the unappealing things about sharing a room with her at an accomodation. But our house in Boston didn’t have TVs in every room and everyone lived with the single big screen downstairs.