great feedback thanks.
Never could I do any of that with the exception of providing tissues. Honestly, sometimes I feel like my way of hosting - and I’ve been doing it eight years - is foreign to most of the hosts here. I open my whole house and my studio. People use what they use. The vast majority are incredibly respectful. A lot of my personal belongings are here and nothing has ever been stolen. Why is my experience so different?
We sure have danced around this one! We did a lot of research on local listings that can take 10 - 14 guests, and there are a surprising number if you include all the pull out sofa’s etc. But that completely excludes small families or a few traveling companions. Some of our favourite guests have been mum, dad and a couple of kids.
We have 11 double beds, 2 queen beds and a futon sofa but we try to stick to 15 as a maximum comfort level of guests. Occasionally we will accept a larger group. (kids doubling up etc)
The other rentals we have seen all charge a flat rate of 400 or 500 for their space, but then they are only occupied when there are larger groups. We set the base rate plus a per person charge so that smaller groups could take advantage, and we find that many of the single days get filled up by locals wanting a quick getaway from town. So this serves everyone. Usually we are booked ahead with big enough groups to make it worthwhile.
Having said all that, we are slowly raising our rates, but it’s all been a matter of testing the waters as we go.
Really appreciate all the feedback - it’s all helpful.
If that is the case, i would sell this property and buy a smaller one.
I feel exactly the same. Some people post one problem followed by another, some of us have few problems. If we could find the secret we could bottle and sell it.
I had the same issue. I felt like they were Goldilocks looking for the perfect bed. One couple rented the house which sleeps eight. However, they slept on all the beds and used all the towels. I had to do 8 wash loads for two people.
I actually @pilot 's approach on the 1 person $125 than more per person after that but I would be locking doors on extra bedrooms to eliminate the Goldilox syndrome described here. I have a 3 bedroom 2 bath listing that sleeps 6, if its not rented for the weekend on Friday morning I open up a 1 bedroom 1 bath listing for about half the cost and lock two doors which excludes 2 bedrooms and a bathroom. It’s all spelled out in the listing so no surprises. I almost always will get a 1 bedroom reservation when I open it up.
Because it’s not something that you haven’t put into your house rules or given the guests any guidance on previous to their stay, I wouldn’t mention it.
I disagree with the comments that you should lock up rooms or leave beds unmade. If you are offering a whole house rental, then it’s just that. The whole house needs to be available to those guests, and they should be free to use any and all bedrooms. I think most people would just use the beds they need and that your recent guests were a fluke.
Maybe you should add something to your house rules that guests will be charged for cleaning time above XX number of hours, so please use linens and beds sparingly to help us keep costs down?
Something I’ve noticed here about new hosts is that they’ll tend to ignore comments from experienced hosts if they don’t quite agree. So sometimes it’s worth repeating points that other hosts have made
So I want to add that unless there’s something we don’t know about the listing, it is way too cheap.
We’ve had LOADS of conversations here over the years about pricing and most experienced hosts (not all, we never agree about everything) is that budget-priced listings are going to attract guests who are less than ideal.
It could be a 6 bears and 5 Goldilocks situation. Are you sure they didn’t sneak in some extra people? That would explain the excessive TP and towel use for one night as well.
Actually I’ve already spoken to these points but just to clarify - we are in a very remote location, and our prices are in line with the local market. We are however still nudging our price up. Most of our guests are lovely people - and we have currently nearly 60 excellent reviews which is in turn attracting great guests. This weirdness about using way more beds than are needed has happened a couple of times recently which is why the question is on the table right now. In our house guidelines we do ask people to only the the beds they actually need, but it has now happened again. This is why i wanted to get some in put on whether or not i should write to the guests about it or just move on and look for new ways to discourage it. Everyone has given great advice and we will use what is applicable and appropriate to our situation. Thanks again everyone!
Your prices are all over the board based on the pricing system you have outlined. How can the maket rate be $125 and also $450? Doesn’t make any sense. Sorry to be blunt.
Sorry - i explained in a previous answer but now there are so many words to go through! Allow me to paint a bigger picture…
Our rental is 12 miles down a bumpy winding mountain road. If we have snow or rain, people have to have 4 wheel or AWD. So first off we had to consider ease of access.
We are 1 - 2 hours from most of the things people come to this neck of the woods for - ie skiing, White Sands Nat’l Monument, kitchy mountain towns like Ruidoso. And although our accommodation is huge and unique, it also needs some upgrading and is a bit frayed around the edges. Our strong suits are that the building is very unique, the views are very beautiful, we are thoughtful and friendly hosts and we keep the place very clean and decorate it to be comfy and friendly.
When we were pricing we looked at other rentals that could take groups as large as ours. Those places are in the 300 to 500 per night range, whether you be 2 or 10, that’s the rate. If we have 10 people then we get $350 per night. We knew that was at the lower end but we were just starting out and weren’t even sure people would want to come out this far. We thought that if we set a per person rate, we would attract smaller groups and families who may not wish to pay 350 a night for just 4 or 6 people, and if a larger group booked then we would be in the same range as the other places. We have been booked every weekend and holiday for nearly a year now.
Having said all that, we are in agreement with all the sage advice - we do need to raise our rates. Part of our challenge has been how to fit into the airbnb structure for pricing. We don’t want go with a flat rate of 450 a night (or whatever the magic number is) and eliminate those smaller bookings cause we fill a lot of gaps with those smaller groups, traveling couples etc… Often we get a same day request for someone driving through the area and if we have no guests we always take them. So that leaves us with setting a base rate and adding a per person charge.
Does this make more sense? Again - we are considering all the great feedback we have received - thank you one and all.
I’m going to come back to this one more time since you are practically my neighbor. (I’m hosting in El Paso, if you ever come to town and need a place to stay, PM me here) Your question was, do you mention it in private feedback. (We have a habit of critiquing everything about your listing and leaving your question unanswered, sorry.)
I would mention in private feedbck or even ask them via the message thread about it. I think the key is to ask out of curiousity, not out of indignation. Something like “we are new at this and were curious about the towel and bed usage. We want to make sure we leave enough towels for guests. We were only going to make 6 beds but we see you used them all, is there a reason?” It’s all in the tone. If you ask or comment like you are mad then don’t expect a good response. If you ask solicitiously and comment graciously maybe you can both tip them off that not all hosts will be keen on their overuse and learn for future reference.
I think it’s excessive but on the other hand, maybe not. If you have 6 women who get up in the morning and shower and then to to White Sands for the day or go horseback riding, skiiing, hiking, etc., I can see them showering again when they get back. If they have long hair they are probably using two towels each. As for sleeping in all the beds, I don’t know. I think the idea that they brought in extra unpaid guests is a good explanation.
My advice to you would be to market your place towards larger groups by pricing at a level attractive to toward the max occupancy you are comfortable with. You could play around with extra guest fee’s at the margin here. Let’s say max occupancy is 15. Charge $25 more after 12, this gives you some greater target market for groups between 12-15 without getting some random 1 person booking messing up everything.
As your dates approach you can do discounting to a level you are comfortable with to get the last minute guests you are seeking.
3rd) I’m not sure this is possible, but it is an advantage if you can slice and dice your listing. Is there anyway to offer 3 listings? a 4 bedroom listing and a 2 bedroom listing? Maybe this is not possible, but if it is, would allow you to market to people looking for a 6 bed, 4, bed, or 2 bed. Your home would need to be set-up in a way this would make sense as far as locking off an area for the two groups.
My 2 cents.
Locking up the extra linens and supplies is sage advice. We had the same issue with a whole house rental with guests using all the linens. Some textiles even being dragged outside, etc.
Some listings with multiple bedrooms put the towels folded on each bed, which may be another way to go and bag the extra linens if you don’t have a utility closet that can have a lock added.
This definitely can be both region and listing specific. When we did a whole house listing in a popular touristy beach area, our guest demographic (and guest problems) were completely different to now, hosting in a different city, and no longer hosting remotely.
…but we still have lots of problems… just different problems from before. lol
Great ideas thank you. My husband and i will discuss it and see what feels manageable.
Splitting up the space to have 2 separate rentals is something else we have talked about but would require some construction - not in budget yet.
Again - really appreciate your thoughts and the effort taken to convey them.
Just as an aside on the idea of ‘adding listings to differentiate group sizes’
I have been doing this for years …as in individual rooms, then one for groups combining 2 or 3 rooms.
When you do it, link your calendars so that you avoid double bookings. If you need help on that, pm me.
Thank you – and I extend the same courtesy – if you ever want to get out of town for a night in nature, please email me!
I like your way of approaching it – kind of the path I was on but I wasn’t sure if I should bring it up or not…
The towel thing is a bit weird – in this last group there was a mother, 2 teenage girls and 3 younger boys. They arrived late afternoon and left in the morning. They didn’t leave the property – not even to go hiking! I can see 2 each for the girls – that’s six… only another eight to figure!!! Lol! But I really liked the comment of one host – “Don’t leave anything out you are not comfortable with them using”. That pretty much sums it up for me – make peace with it or change the system… kind of applies to life huh?!
We have decided to purchase some mid sized towels and put out what we feel they should need, and they can ask for more if they want. And we will get more info about the sleeping requirements up front, and then prepare the rooms accordingly, and lock the others. Again, they can ask if they need a change for some reason. Most of our rentals are only for one or two nites anyway.
Its unlikely there were unpaid guests – as I mentioned we are pretty remote and we hear if a car comes in. I think the boys tried each bed and then decided on the one they wanted to sleep in – maybe they could have used a bit more supervision, but the whole family had a blast and the mother was very pleased with their stay and plans to return. That is kind of the point of doing this! We want people to enjoy themselves and have a restful time away…
So it’s all good – I was just curious about how other people deal with it – maybe I gave too much info cause I sure did get a lot of feedback not related to my question! So I really appreciate you writing.