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Impact of moving into lower floor of "whole house" rental

We have been renting our “whole house” in the Hollywood Hills on AirBnb since the start of September. We have 8 of 9 “5 star” reviews a composite rating of 4.9, and an occupancy rate of 50% overall. We want to move into the lower floor, leaving the majority of the house, yard, garage, spa, kitchen to the rental. Question: how dramatic of an impact might that have on reservations and rental rate? Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge!

Depends on your market. Are you going from just a room to a whole house? That should increase your attractiveness to families or larger groups but also some of those groups want a completely private stand alone home, not one with the residents in the building on another floor.

Also in LA they have new limits on Airbnb (if you are under their jurisdiction) that might impact your occupancy rate more than anything.

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Best way for you to find out is to do your own market research looking at prices for comparable whole listing in your area. And something like Airdna for occupancy. @saintmartin

We are an international forum so unlikely to hAve specialist knowledge of your neighbourhood.

I rent the top floor of my house. We share a common entrance but then we each have separate doors. My STR only has a kitchenette and I’m booked nearly 100 percent but of course it depends on the market and why people book in your area. I’m just 7 miles north of Boston and near both the airport and public transportation. I do price my STR lower because of not having the full kitchen. On the positive side, if you make it know that you live below, you will get less bad actors because they know your are living below. ON the negative, I occasionally have to deal with loud stomping guests that wake me up at night. I have put in special padding under the carpet but I do get an occasional heavy walker.

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Did you live off the premises before, so you are moving into the house but on the bottom floor? If so you will lose the folks that are looking for a private retreat. If you lower the rent to a sweet spot for “host on premises” in your area you may increase occupancy.

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Thank you all for your input. Looks like no one is saying not to do it. Moving in would allow us to keep a closer eye on the place and sell our other house in a lesser area. But it only works if there are enough people interested in “owner on premises” rentals. Sounds like it is worth a try. Thanks again for your time and attention. Cheers - Anthony

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Hasn’t hurt us, in fact the opposite according to some reviews. On hand for recommendations, advice etc.

JF

I did similar: initially, guests had bedroom and bathroom only, like a hotel, but then I created another listing which would give them the whole house. Bookings have continued for the ‘rooms only’, but I have had only the one booking for the whole house version.
I believe this is down to location. It’s city centre in a youthful party town, more restaurants per square inch than anywhere else in Britain. Visitors aren’t interested in my big dining table and kitchen, as they want to be OUT all the time.
I’ll probably delete the whole house listing.

Barns, your visitor’s are interested in the lower price tag - foremost and above all.

When your first whole house rental rolls around you will discover it is quite a pain. So much more cleaning, completely emptying the fridge and scrubbing it down (do you have a second fridge in the cellar?), getting yourself ready for a mini staycation, storing any valuables far away …

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In this case the price may have more to do with it. I assume the whole house price is much more than at least each individual room price and maybe even total of all room prices.

And it is dissimilar from OP in that with owner on site they still get their own Private place, with no shared interior spaces.

I suspect it’s nothing to do with price at all, as both ‘products’ were priced fairly, but no-one wanted the whole house .
If it IS to do with price, it suggests that any listing more expensive than my ‘rooms only’ will hardly ever get booked, which obviously isn’t the case.
It’s a weekend party town, no-one needs a kitchen :slight_smile:

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One other issue is the question of taking over hosting from our current co-host. She does a great job and we don’t want to lose our string of 5 star reviews. What would you say is the challenge of running it yourself - as a capable couple. Linda could do the housecleaning and I the yard, reservations etc. Good idea, or are we getting in over our heads - not being experienced hoteliers? Again, thanks a lot for your time. Anthony

So long as the listing is under your account, not the co-host’s, you’ll keep all your current reviews.

My partner and I live downstairs and guests have a private space upstairs. The guests like privacy of their own space and we don’t have to share a kitchen. I don’t know what impact it would’ve had on pricing or occupancy, since we’ve only had this set up, but happy with the income. (The link to my listing is in my profile if you’d like to see how we set it up.

Make a cleaning/inspection checklist and check each others’ work. Cleaning is the biggest part of the job and makes or breaks the guests’ first impression. The work isn’t particularly hard, but requires consistency.

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But you can tell from reading the reviews of some listings that some hosts don’t know how to do it. I always wonder how a host gets 4.7 on cleaning when that is one area where they really do have control. We’ve had hosts admit here on the forum that they don’t clean the bathroom after each guest, they think stained mattress pads are fine (as long as they have sheets on them) and that all the clutter in their listing pictures is acceptable.

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Our setup is that we live on the middle (ground) floor and we have one studio apartment above us and a one-bedroom below, both with kitchens. Both the guest apartments have their own separate entrances, the studio has a balcony and the garden apartment its own patio, though these are visible and not screened off from the main garden and pool which is shared by us all. Nearly 100% of our guests are couples with the odd singleton.

We have considered moving during the Summer to the garden apartment and letting the whole house above, just as you are suggesting, which would give a 3-bedroom, 2 bathroom house. Most of the reason we haven’t done it (apart from the mammoth decluttering which would have to take place!) is that I tend to think that a family holiday, with children running around the garden and pool is a bit different from couples, who tend to be out a lot of the time, and that guests like this might find the presence of a live-in host more intrusive, as might groups of friends or (shudder!) partying teenagers …

As against this, our three daughters, all with children, say they would be perfectly fine with this sort of setup … but it would depend on what the host was like! So my only advice would be to be careful of your listing and be sure that in your description you come across as friendly and approachable - no long list of rules and prohibitions!

My understanding is that many of the older homes get lower marks on cleanliness simply because guests equate “old” with “dirty”.
We got a 4 on cleanliness once when a stray dog defecated near the pool one night and the staff didn’t have it cleaned up before the guests got up at 8 am. The staff doesn’t show up until 9 AM…:roll_eyes:

I have argued that for years. I got a 4 once because ants came in.

I’ve also seen hosts argue here for things that are definitely not best practice while at the same time bemoaning their ratings.

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