I may have a new niche

I’ve been trundling along with my young couples, visiting parents of young adults in the neighborhood, etc in my private room with one day buffers on either side and chocolates on the bed when I remember. I’ve been feeling a little bummed, though, as only half my guests review me and I only had 4.2 stars overall. Not that I obsess about stars, but I don’t like the airbnb threatening letters.
Anyway.

About to finish 13 nights back to back, 3 of them one nighters, in our very budget friendly shared room/ porch. It was a little crazy (And i warned our guest in the private room that there would be craziness, and to let us know if it affected her stay at all because it was very experimental for us)

Every review was glowing! I am so relieved! I even got enough 5 stars to bump me up to a much safer feeling 4.3…

Our first guest straight up said everything else at our price point was bunk beds, and he loved living with a family for a week. So I feel appreciated in a way that I haven’t for a while.

Hope this feeling (And this guest profile) lasts a while.

(I think my first post here was about how to move past the 2 star review I had gotten, so it feels appropriate that I also share my Good Review bonanza)

11 Likes

@Alia_Gee. Okay. I have read this post twice, and I still can’t figure out what the niche you have found is! Can you help me out?

4.3 :slight_smile:


1 Like

sorry - the very budget shared room single occupancy listing finally got booked, and it seems like that appeals to a different group of folks - folks who would otherwise be in a bunk in a hostel. I think they’re self selecting, and it’s only been two weeks, so I hesitate to make any comment on them other than they’re grateful for the porch. Which is a relief. Is “single traveler & grateful” a niche? That is my new niche if it is. :smiley:

7 Likes

@Alia_Gee, Can I be nosy and ask how much is a very budget shared room single occupancy and have you thought of putting a tent in the back yard, posh it up a bit “BACK YARD GLAMPING”

2 Likes

You might need to include that in your title. Shared Porch - the Hostel Alternative. I think saying "“This place is great for single and grateful travelers.” would be pushing your luck. :slight_smile:

I have a suspicion that New York City’s Housing Commission would frown on renting a tent in a backyard in Brooklyn.

2 Likes

I have a tiny house fantasy, believe me. (New topic?) But Susan is right, I’m pretty sure it would get shut down by the local authorities asap. (The last time there was a big snow storm, someone made an igloo in their backyard and posted it on Airbnb. It lasted just long enough to get internet famous)

At the moment I’m charging $41/ night plus $6 cleaning fee, so I think it’s hovering just under the $50 mark after airbnb fees.

I charge 60/ night for the shared room, plus $25 cleaning fee.

I know cleaning fees can be divisive (as controversial as duvets? I wonder) but i really do like them.

… and maybe in ten years I’ll put the youngest in a tiny house and rent out his bedroom on Airbnb. He would be well defended by the bloodthirsty roses going feral in the way back. “Rose Cottage” only sounds sweet until you see the thorns on this thing.

2 Likes

$50—I’ll just pop downstairs and have a look at the porch. :smiley:

1 Like

I knooow. It wouldn’t have occurred to me, but we had some guests who wanted to extend their stay at the last minute but we had a one night booking so I made an air mattress listing just for these guests and listed it at $50 and in between listing it and them booking it, we had to turn away at least one very serious request.

It’s a little perplexing to me that folks will rave about the good value of $50/night, but the $70/night folks (with a door! And air conditioning!) (Sometimes) complain about dust.

Mainly I’m relieved, because my eldest will need to take over the spare room in the next couple of years but i didn’t want to quit Airbnb cold turkey. Having the porch listed keeps me in the game even when all the bedrooms are filled with family. :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Alia, I get what you’re saying! You have indeed found your market - budget travellers who appreciate a basic comfortable space at a reasonable price. This is my market too and, most of the time, they are the best guests ever. You’ll still get the odd skinflint who wants the Ritz when paying hostel prices, of course, but generally these type of guests are more true to the original Airbnb concept.

2 Likes

I still don’t get it :slight_smile:
So…you were renting a private room that had AC and a door in the 70 range…and now you are just renting space in an enclosed porch for 450, and getting better reviews ?

1 Like

Basically. I’m still, for now, renting both. I knew they would appeal to different sorts of traveler (the private room is for guests who want something cheaper than a hotel, the shared room for folks who want something nicer than a hostel), but i wasn’t expecting the different levels of guest happiness.

1 Like

So, when you say shared room…do you mean you have multiple guests staying in that room? Do they have a private bathroom? Do the private room guests share a bathroom?
And the differing happiness levels is an interesting observation!

1 Like

There is one bathroom that everybody uses. My family and all guests. (There’s a scary toilet in the basement the family can use in emergencies, but it’s in the land of perpetual cobwebs).

The “shared room” is our “Florida room” a cross between an enclosed porch and glorified mud room. It is shared because everyone who enters or exits the house walks through it. The guest doesn’t have a door they can close for complete privacy.

That said, we’ve got a lovely wooden room divider so they can block off their end of the room and have visual privacy.

1 Like

@Alia_Gee. Bad link– goes to a big search. Try again!

You’re right. It keeps sending me to my inbox. Argh. Will try again in the morning. Time to sleep.

Please, what’s a mud room?!

1 Like

There is a joke in the Northeast, and it is true as you head north. There are three seasons: winter, mud, and construction. For about nine months of the year there will be snow or mud outside. Mud rooms are brilliant. A small foyer, usually unheated at the entrance of the house. Here you can take off your snow boots and dirty shoes and hang your winter or rain coat before entering the home. This keeps the grit of winter on the porch. Farther North, these mud rooms are also air locks so that you do not have a blast of arctic air blasting into the home every time someone goes in or out of the house.

3 Likes

Thanks Susan! All clearer than mud now. Sounds like what we call the
porch in the UK but bigger. I like the seasonal joke…

No. It isn’t a porch since it is fully enclosed. Some mud rooms are heated, have laundry machines [on working farms, etc], snow grates to knock off the snow from your boots, and full closets or hooks for your outerwear. I have never seen such a thing in the UK, but your winters are far milder than the Northeast part of the USA.