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We’ve a number of guests from overseas this month and it’s always nice to have a big fluffy robe to relax in, but as we’re keeping our prices very competitive, this would need to be a chargeable extra.
Is it worth offering things like towelling robes, food packs, champagne & chocolate for special occasions etc. ? If so, what do you offer and how much do you charge? Has it been popular?
We’re renting it. We have priced our house very competitively - we offer a private house for up to 5 with fabulous views for a similar rate to some rooms in shared houses (around £50 per night plus cleaning fee). It’s working for us like this and we’ve had really good reviews, I don’t want to increase the price just yet until we’re better established.
Providing robes would cost more so we’d hire these out as extras alongside a number of other items, I’m just wondering if anyone else has done the same.
My robes cost $15 AUD - bought them on special. Guests like them, they wash well.
I wouldn’t rent a robe - are you using a line service?
I think the renting would cost more than buying of a robe!
And no guest of would like to see a laundry list of extras …starting to feel like a fast food outlet - would you like a robe with that!
IMHO you’re 'way underselling your rental, and 'way overpricing a robe. As @Debthecat says, even in OZ robes are dirt cheap to buy. Why undersell your rental and then try to mark up every little thing else? That sounds a bit tacky – like those people on EBay who sell a $10 item for $5 and then $75 to ship a 50 gram packet.
How much are you providing a packet of crisps for? $12.95?
As a guest I sure wouldn’t rent a robe for any reason; I might use one if it was there. But then I’m a Yank from Florida and not really into robes.
Have a look at Absolutely Home Textiles’ website. They are remarkably good value, supply hoteliers, residential and nursing homes and the likes of us. I can’t recall what I paid for bathrobes but I wouldn’t think of charging for them. Like Helsi, they go in the wash with the towels. They are a nice extra but rarely get used.
Our area is not one in high demand .Not surprisingly the expensive ‘room only’ options have very few bookings, we’re bringing in a decent amount per month because of the level of bookings. We’re still at the point of trying to gauge the optimum point of price versus bookings, and even though we’ve priced our property very competitively, it’s still a higher price than Sykes Cottages and other agents have suggested.
We don’t want to be busy fools, but nor do we want an empty calendar and a listing disappearing off the pages and at the moment it’s bringing in more than we anticipated per month so we’re happy. It’s definitely a case of ‘work in progress’ though and we’re watching, tinkering and adapting as we go along to find the sweet spot.
I’d assumed the room wasn’t booked because their calendar was showing as available. I’ve been checking out our closest competition just to get a feel for how it’s working around our town. It’d be lovely to get higher prices without affecting bookings and we’ve tinkered with some prices in summer and have a supplement at weekends. It’s very much a ‘suck it and see’ approach at the moment for us though due to a real lack of history in this for us. We’re also using Smartbnb to keep track and get a feel for it all…
The new apartments we’ll hopefully be Airbnbing by the end of the year are likely to have much more scope on pricing due to their location and demand. Needless to say though there’s significantly more competition so I’m not expecting a walk in the park. Hopefully we’ll have much more idea about it all by then too!
Regarding your fear you wouldn’t rent at a higher price point: You are renting a house for max. 5 persons, but on average how large are the groups you rent to?
Take into account that groups of 4 or 5 will prefer a private setup, and will have difficulty finding a place that can accommodate them. Therefor they will be prepared to pay more. If you want to stick to low prices, only stick to them for 1 or 2 persons. If you have more than 1 bedroom, consider making two listings with linked calendars: First listing with all the bedrooms for 3/4/5 people (e.a. £ 70,00 / £ 80,00 / £ 90,00). Second listing with just one bedroom unlocked for 1/2 people (e.a. £ 50,00 / £ 60,00).
Also consider this: If you are now renting the place for 12 days at £ 50,00, you only need to rent 8 days at £ 75,00 to have the same income. Your costs will actually be less, so you will make even more. Just to say that with a higher price, your reservation can take some kind of hit, without affecting your pocket.
On the robes, are there still people using those things? I wouldn’t charge for them. And I wouldn’t offer them for the price point you’re at.
It’s been a fairly even split to be honest. 2 people bookings are around 60% of our bookings, then mainly 3 people with the occasional group (usually on a weekend). I’ve just checked and we did bring in an additional charge for each guest after 2 so it’s not all as bad as it seems . We just don’t want to miss out on the 2 people bookings as it’s not really the kind of location that attracts groups. I do like the idea of blocking off a bedroom though.
It’s a case of finding that sweet spot. If we increased our prices by 50%, I’m pretty certain we’d see a reduction in bookings much more than 50% (having looked at the calendars of other properties). We’ll edge them up in small bite size chunks to see what works / what stagnates. What I’m not entirely sure of as yet are the booking patterns, I’m used to a travel industry where people book well in advance, this doesn’t seem to be the case so much here.
£50 per night will buy you at least 3 decent robes, Matalan is where I got mine. So 2 night and you have 6. In my personal experience, guests don’t like extra payments, even for extra people when it is obvious and clearly stated. On a side note, I have my cottage with Sykes and after some teething problems they have been great for bookings
I’ve spotted someone close by offering to provide ‘specials’ for celebrations with a lovely enticing photo - it’s encouraged me to give it a go.
A photo of a bed with crisp white bedlinen, strewn with rose petals and champagne and chocolates may well have been of interest to our Valentine’s guests (suggested by the sex toys they left behind) and as a guest I’d be quite delighted to arrive somewhere and think my partner had gone to trouble to arrange it all in advance
Worth popping up as an option and then see how it goes.
Thanks for that Kerensa. We’re getting good bookings through Airbnb but don’t want to put all of our eggs in one basket so have been looking at alternatives. I can’t decide between BDC, TripAdvisor or Sykes but I suspect the latter is more holiday-focused and may perhaps lead to longer bookings?
I don’t really have that kind of listing. I could see a charge for something like a romance pkg where you supply bubbly, chocoates and flowers (with a side of rose petals they can sprinkle in a line towards the bed, LOL). I had a guest message me and ask if I had microwave popcorn she would buy some from me. I don’t have any and don’t really want it popped in the guest room due to the smell. But a snack package might be enticing in some listings for a charge. If I was somewhere and could buy a bottle of wine or some beer from the host instead of going out for a drive I might do that, especially if the store was far or sales were limited on Sunday like they used to be in part of the US. I would not pay for a robe. That is the kind of thing I’d expect to be offered as included in the price. Add $2 a night to your rate and provide robes.
i went on you tube to learn how to present bath robes, a bit sad i know but they look good. i had to put on my house rules, robes are for use while in my property.
I had a European guest who tried to take anything not nailed to the floor, she left with brand new slippers/robes. She wanted to come back last month, my arse she was going to fleece me again.
I actually did! I was very subtle though, and just mentioned our cleaner had found a black toiletries back under the bed and would they like her to post it to them. I made no mention of the contents though we did have a private giggle. The guest even commented on his review that we kindly returned the items he left behind!