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Hello from the Canary Islands

#1

Hi, just wanted to introduce myself! My name is Jackie and I have a shipping container home in a semi rural area about a thirty minute drive from a main tourist drag.

I finished my guest house about two months ago and listed it at the end of March. I would love some advice from more seasoned airbnbers. I was planning on adding a fold down couch/futon to replace the love seat in the living room, but am still waivering on that idea as it is a very small indoor space. If you have any other tips, especially on pricing and how to get featured more prominently on Airbnb, please tell me!

Also, is there a way to share my listing with you all for critique? It won’t let me post a link to Airbnb here.

Thank you everyone!

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#2

New members can’t post links but I will be happy to post it for you. I’ve PM’d you via this site.

#3

I’ve sent you the link KKC, thank you for offering to help.

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#4

Here it is

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#5

And opening my link, I just caught a spelling mistake!

#6

Wow! Very creative way to convert a shipping container into a studio apartment. I would charge at least $75 (USA dollars) per-night, based on how much privacy guests have and how clean and nicely landscaped your property is.

There is a hotel in California’s Napa Valley, where guests sleep in converted train carriages.

Can you list your rental property with your local tourism office, who recommend hotels and pensions to visiting tourists?

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#7

Wow, it’s amazing! Very quaint. I agree with the previous comment, you should charge more.

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#8

Beautiful place! I agree with the others - you have some great reviews under your belt - time to increase the price.

The only things I suggest are related to photos. The photos themselves are gorgeous!

  • I would reorder and possibly remove a few. Right now you have to scroll through 13 pictures to get to the interior. Bedrooms and common areas weigh heavily in a decision to book, so do your best couple outdoor photos, then walk people through the house. Return to detail photos of areas you think provide a different perspective. Pictures like #7 could probably go - #9 already told the story 7 just repeats.
  • Use the photo descriptions to give useful info about your place. Right now you just have your listing title; they’ll be more helpful if you restate info from the listing (some guests only look at the photos).
3 Likes
#9

Unfortunately the tourism office won’t be on board with that, I work somewhat parallel with them in my other job and … I have reached out to a local blogger to see if they would be interested in helping me promote.

#10

I was wondering if I should increase to 40-45 per night, but was told to wait until I had more reviews under my belt. I am still at about 50% capacity for the month and wanted to price lower than my nearby “competitors”. Airbnb’s smart pricing recommends 29€ per night which I feel is way too low. I don’t want to undervalue my place, but I do worry about bookings drying up with a price increase. It’s such a hard balance!

Thank you for the excellent tip about rearranging my photo order, since it is very much an outdoor living area, I wanted to showcase the garden! I’m off to rearrange the photo order now!

#11

I have rearranged the picture order (as best I could since the app is very slow to respond tonight) and added some descriptions. Thank you.

#12

Do you charge a cleaning fee? If not, then keep the price you already have but charge a cleaning fee. Maybe $35.

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#13

I would say your $17 cleaning fee is too low for the amount of amenities and how spotless everything is. I also think your nightly price is low but sounds like you will increase soon based on reviews.

Something no one else has mentioned is:

  1. You mention all these child amenities but with a person limit of 2 do you expect someone really to bring their kid who needs them? Or would you go along with Airbnb’s “infants don’t count” mantra?
  2. Your house rules- I would change the word discussed to approved. I can discuss having visitors with you and bring them even though you said not to, because your rules say it that way. Many may say it is implied but based on my guest experiences it is better to be explicitly clear.
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#14

@Militaryhorsegal I’m absolutely ok with infants and children coming, I just keep the occupants at two because that’s the amount of actual bed space I have. I have had one family visit with their infant and I didn’t charge any extra, but for children over 2 I would add the extra occupant fee. Do you think adding a sofa bed would make a difference? I would like to up the price and having an extra bed would help, but with it being such a small place, I would hate for guests to complain about lack of privacy later.

You’re correct with the wording about extra visitors. I meant daytime visitors, not overnight visitors, but I can now see how that might be misinterpreted. I’ll edit that now. :+1:

@Ritz3 I do have a modest cleaning fee. I do an interior deep clean between every guest which is very time consuming, but most rentals here charge 0 cleaning fee. I’ve also read online that eliminating the cleaning fee puts you higher on Airbnb’s page. I was thinking of eliminating the fee when I up the nightly price. Have you heard of having no extra cleaning fee giving you more views?

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#15

You will need to increase your max to 3 and add an additional person fee after 2 in order to do that.

Yes I think making the sofa a sofa sleeper would be good. Then you could offer a max of 4. You could add divider curtains in the doorways and tie them neatly back, if you are worried about privacy. Others would say that the bathroom would be more limiting/worrisome than privacy. Personally I think that people should expect they may have to wait to use the loo if 4 are sharing one but other hosts have had guests complain in just such situations.

How much does that interior deep clean cost? What about average time cleaning and arranging the outside (including grill) after each stay? Certainly it is more than the $16.49 Airbnb gives you for it. I personally would raise both cleaning fee (at least to $20 - that’s what I charge for a private bedroom and bathroom cleaning fee in my shared house where I live) but don’t know your market.

If you take that $17 and split it up in your minimum 3 days you would need to increase your nightly rate from $38 to $44 for your breakeven. Try it that way right now for approximately how long you have had the current prices and see what difference it makes. If you have longer bookings in the future you will make out better. If you have had longer ones already then it will be even better to know that the change worked. Then you can readjust from there next time you raise your prices. If you don’t do as well with the longer bookings then bring back your cleaning fee and leave the higher nightly rate.

2 Likes
#16

What a lovely job you have done. We visit the Canaries quite often from the UK for a winter break, and I would definitely book with you.

Just a thought to add to all the great stuff already offered. Do bear in mind that you are starting pretty much in “off season” for the Canaries, with the rest of Southern Europe opening up for the summer season, i.e. greater competition.

I would change “yard” to garden as you have in one of your posts here. This is Europe!

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#17

Amazing space and photos that do it justice. Your description is spot on outlining the features without too much gush. My only advice on pricing is keep an idea on what other people in the area are charging but don’t be tempted to the race to the bottom by being the cheapest. Take some time to say hello to your guests even if only briefly. You develop a sense for the people who prefer to be left alone and those who are up for a chat and want tips on the local area. Speaking of that a house manual reiterating the rules, some local history and colour and tips on where to eat are handy for those who don’t plan ahead. Good luck!

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#18

After 3 years I recently added a $30 cleaning fee and it hasn’t stopped bookings as far as I can tell.

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#19

Hello back at you from the island of La Gomera! Good advice above from everyone. Keep in mind that the quieter summer season starts right after Easter. May, June and September are usually very quiet here, although we get a fair amount of Spanish guests in July and August (school holidays). Your container is great. Good luck with it. :slight_smile:

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#20

I’ve heard that Madrid empties itself onto The Canaries in July/August, as it’s cooler.

Can you post your listing in La Gomera please? We’ve always wanted to visit but never seem to have enough time to travel that bit further. Tempt me!

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