A few years ago my husband and I took his mom on vacation, and we rented a great place in Merida, Mexico. The house had a washer/dryer and I remembered thinking how nice it was, and that I should rethink my rule of locking the laundry room for guests. I figured maybe at the end of the week I’d do a combined load for the three of us, but probably not as we’d brought plenty of clothes. My mother-in-law was of a different mind set, and she insisted on doing a small load every day but by the third day I called her on it and said that guests like her were the reason we didn’t offer laundry - she was not even using a quick cycle or a small wash setting, just throwing in a few items, hitting the button and going. Wasting all of the electricity (which we were paying for, as is common in the area), and the water, when she could have filled a bathroom sink to rinse out her small items.
Some people see a basket of amenities and will automatically use (or take) every last thing because it’s there and it’s free. In the same way that some people see laundry facilities and figure, what the hell, it’s here, I’ll use it to my hearts content.
I guess it does balance out though, so I think I’ll experiment this year with unlocking the laundry room for guests to use.
What a long story. My fingers are almost cramping.
We have in the past, both myself when I used to be a host and now for UpHost clients.
A bit different in that regard since rather that asking for a commision, I used to and still do ask for a discount for the guests, this allows me to promote the service as an added benefit of staying in an Airbnb that is managed by UpHost which also helps our brand.
A conservative one would be 5-10% but you could get something even higher, perhaps 15%.
The approach itself is done in such a way that first we demonstrate value then we ask for the discount, and example would be:
_" Hi there, I have x number of short term rentals in the area and I’m looking for a local laundry/ restaurant/ bar that I can refer customers to, I want to make sure it’s beneficial for both of us so what I’d like to propose is that for the next 2-3 weeks I will refer as many guests as possible, the will have a coupon code ( you chose that either printed or a pdf/ image the guests can show on their phones) and you provide them with a 5% discount. _
If this works in terms of bringing more customers and receiving better reviews (yelp, google , or other services but you’d encourage your guests to do so) then I’d like to increase their discount to 10% if it is something that benefits both of us"
I would strongly recommend also knowing the business before hand, as in a restaurant you yourself enjoy already or a dry cleaner that you’ve used in the past so the quality is not up for debate.
The benefits of this approach would summarize as follows:
local discounts available to your guests (something listings in your are would rarely be able to offer)
local businesses working alongside you, which in terms of networking never hurts, we have even held events for birthday parties for large groups of guests ( 4+ their friends)
an added benefit to your listings as if your guests already enjoyed this service and left a good review for the business they’re far more likely to both leave a good review for your listing & refer their own contacts should they be travelling to your city in the future.
lastly but this is totally up to your own discretion if you think i’d be proper or not. You yourself can use the discount of this services which in turn will save you money, I have been welcomed by a number of local restaurants to have any lunches & meetings at their place, since in turn it will bring more businesses to them and I get to enjoy a great meal with a generous discount.
I provide laundry detergent because guests have to use the coin-operated machines in the building. If I were in their situation, I would be annoyed if I had to purchase my own detergent which would end up being donated to the condo because I can’t pack it.
There are a lot of scoops of powdered detergent in one of those mega-sized boxes and it easily lasts me 6 mos. I don’t get the liquid because of the weight and spill factor, and I don’t get the pods (to deter guests from pilfering them for their next rental or hotel stay…learned that through experience).
I do not provide dryer sheets (they can leave greasy-looking splotches) or bleach, for obvious reasons, and I have a cart on wheels for guests use to transport laundry to and from the laundry room.
If they are B&B guests then no, they don’t get to do laundry. When I rent out the entire cottage then yes they can use everything. I leave 2 laundry pods, and they can buy more if they need them. I agree, the stuff is crazy expensive and people WILL use all of them if you leave them!
We rent a self contained suite with a washer dryer in the suite. We put in a bottle of soap and a bottle of favric softener and we show that in our ad. Good for longer stays.
We also ask when the guest is checking out that they strip the bed and put the linens in the washer but not to start it. So that works well and we dont have to touch their sheets/towels.
I rent a whole house, so they get to use the washer/dryer. We also provide detergent and softener. We have seen little to no use of it. Though I had one guest write in our private feedback that it was fantastic having soap and softener available and it had saved the day for her. Apparently she spilled something on some clothes and felt that having everything there saved her clothes. We think we have spent an addition $2 on soap and softener over the last year. THOUGH other guests who have not used the washer/dryer told me that it was an additional draw in case they needed it.
The problem is that in my country electricity and water are very expensive. And the room prices are low. I think is abusive use washing machine almost every day, only one person with few clothes. It’s an incredible waste of water and electricity. Only because is free doesnt’ t mean you can waste and abuse.
If that’s the case then you might find that other hosts in your area either realise that they’re not making money and put their prices up or disappear altogether. If you offer amenities that they don’t then price above them. There will always be guests who are looking for what you have to offer them.
Jaquo, but that’s not the point here, I can offer the amenity/resource, what I can’t offer is the senseless overuse of the amenity (and maybe this applies to all kind of amenities).
I thought it was not necessary regulate the use of a washing machine . Now I provide precise rules. I’m going to share the results with other hosts with similar problems.
I do provide it mostly because I have a new HE washer where you are required to use HE detergent. Even though I offer the washer and dryer I rarely have anybody use it! Out of 130 guests I have hosted less than 10 have taken advantage of the washer and dryer thank God.
I rent private rooms in my home and allow guest that stay for a minimum of 2-weeks to use the laundry room. They must provide their own soap. Most guests are respectful and the majority of my guests are long term and some are repeat, so even if their stay isn’t 2-weeks for that stay, they have accumulated enough days to qualify for the use of the machines.
My wife and I have walkout apartment in our home. Our laundry room is next to apartment. We have fairly new very nice large load washer and dryer in laundry room. The washing machine can be RUINED if someone puts too much soap in it. Also our laundry room is nicely finished. We advertise guests staying more than 1 week can use laundry but they must arrange a time and receive operating instructions (so they don’t ruin the washer) from my dear spouse. We don’t want guests buying their own soap and using it in our washer. No extra charge for guests staying 3 nights or more. Surprisingly we’ve had quite a few last minute instant book 1 and 2 night guests want to use the laundry. Because these stays are usually deep discounted, we do charge a $5 fee for 1-2 day stays (just a one-time $5 fee) for use of the laundry. Agree with other hosts that all of this needs to be done with a smile and hosts should do as much as possible to accommodate guests. If it doesn’t work for you to provide laundry, just say no. But if you can help guests by providing one or two loads of laundry, guests appreciate that and will come back (we’ve had that happen!)
I had a group of 3 Canadian adults arrive at my whole flat rental with 5 fullsize cases of dirty laundry having toured Ireland in a camper van for 2 weeks. I also had a group of 4 who arrived with cases of dirty laundry having been in Paris for the first week of a 2 centre vacation.