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Lots of Views, few Reservations: Bathroom separate from Yurt - is that the problem?

hosting

#1

We have a lovely yurt just outside of Montpelier, VT. It has had nearly 300 views since we listed it a month ago, but only 2 reservations. AirBnB suggests we lower the price to $39, which is practically giving it away.

People have access to our brand new bathroom with generous shower (less than a minute walk away); there is potable water at the yurt and it is heated. It’s private, offers opportunities to have a campfire, out of site of our house. We’ve had a few guests, but that’s it.

Maybe all AIrBnB folks require bathrooms but I see other yurts in VT w/ outhouses/portalets and no access to a bathroom and they are booking. I’ve reached out to a few of those hosts and they say ‘no running water is a non-issue’.

Any tips on how to turn our listing into a business? We’ve sunk a ton of $ and time into this. We already had the yurt, but getting it ready for guests is another story. We need it to be successful!

Thanks in advance! I wish we could ask those who viewed what’s holding them back. Hard to reduce price even more (at $55/night now w smart pricing ON).

Sharon


#2

can you give us a link to your listing? we may be able to give some advice…


#3

Here’s the link


#4

ok, being blunt - the inside yurt does not look welcoming - it looks cold and you need to soften it up with more textiles and something on the walls, the table with a cloth
I don’t know what a cold water station is, but neither could i see what it is.
The bathroom looks like it is miles away from the yurt and I am a 3 in the morning bathroom user. is there some sort of lighting to get you there at night?
The bathroom photo is out of focus and I want to see the shower/ sink area.
Your hammock looks very sad and uncomfortable and the area looks like it could be muddy.
Your grass looks like it desperately needs to be mown and tidied up and the 2 chairs look as sad as the hammock. Is there a table with the chairs?
The outside of the yurt looks bare and needs brightening up
You need staging and better photos.


#5

Only time for a quick look but I agree with @Debthecat the furnishings and decoration needs brightening up.

And why use a photo of scenery as your opening shot. Your Yurt should be the focus. I would also want a photo of the shower.

I agree about the point of having a path/lighting to the bathroom.

I would also have a photo of the camp fire in action with people sitting around enjoying themselves.


#6

I stayed in a similar situation on a trip to california a couple of years ago. We were in a yurt and had to walk into the home to use the bathroom. We were there for just one night. The bathroom being a walk isn’t the problem, it takes someone who is willing to “camp” but there are folks who will reserve. I think the inside looks fine, maybe some photos that are a little warmer/homier – blankets on the sofas, close up of the coffee station. The first photo is the killer – the outside looks unkempt…cut the grass and show the clear path to the house. I agree the inside yurt photo should be the first shot – it’s what is distinctive and the fireplace is a huge plus.


#7

Nicely written, if a bit wordy. Your description of the bathroom is pretty well buried in the text. It may or may not be why you aren’t getting booked. It’s not about “all Airbnb folks require bathrooms” – that’s just plain silly!. The wording does bother me a bit:

“A short walk (of less than one minute) across the lawn brings you to the brand-new bathroom in the house, which is yours to use 24/7. (we might use it from time to time as well, but we also have a second bathroom). The bathroom is in the walkout basement of the house, and has a large tiled shower with sliding glass door, toilet, and large sink. Access to the bathroom in the house is 24/7 using a keycode on the walk-out basement door.”

First, understand that when I’m not at my partner’s house with the listing, I live aboard a sailboat at a marina, where bathroom/shower access is 150 yards from my boat, by keycode. So I am fully aware of the issue of separated bathrooms. But most folks aren’t accustomed to this…

“A short walk…” Why even describe this, except to brag on “your brand-new bathroom”?

“yours to use 24/7” And you mention 24/7 twice in the description.
Dang I hope the bathroom is 24/7 – especially when I’ve got Montezuma’s Revenge at 3 AM!!!

“(we might use it…)” Then it’s not mine 24/7 like you said twice? I have to wait until you’re done? Is this a shared bath or not? Make up your mind!

“Access… is 24/7 using a keycode…” Dang this Montezuma’s Revenge! What the heck is that keycode!!!" Code locking access to the bathroom!? As an Airbnb guest I’m not happy with that. Put the lock INSIDE the house so guests can’t access the rest of your home. But I sure don’t want to have to try and remember some bloody keycode at 3 AM when I gotta go!!

I don’t understand why you need all this verbiage about the bathroom, in the first place…

The inside doesn’t look “cold” to me, but it does look “sterile”. I stayed in yurts in Mongolia a few years back, and the interior walls are covered with colorful rugs, hangings, etc. Yours is only set up for summer – there’s no interior wall. I also agree with the others about your photos not being all they could be. It looks a bit too much like “camping” an not enough like “glamping”.


#8

I wouldn’t lower the price. Give it some time. I imagine the busy season is just beginning in Vermont. The weather has been cool this Spring. Once schools are out and people are vacationing I bet you’ll get busy. Many people book short notice. One suggestion I have would have is not having a 2 night minimum stay at least until you’re more established.


#9

Thank you! I just did as you suggested. I appreciate your insight!


#10

Thank you so much, Ken, for your very thorough suggestions. Funny and to the point! We had some last minute edits without editing our edits, and you are spot on: way too wordy! Our first guests didn’t have an issue with the bathroom distance so we should be aok just need better pics and start getting some reviews. I’ll update!


#11

Thank you so much for your feedback. It’s funny - we were waiting forever for things to green up and to us, with the plum blossoms and FINALLY green in VT we were psyched with the view but you are right - people need to see the sweetness first (and the lawn did need it’s first mow!)

I’ll take some more pics this week and improve.


#12

Bluntness works! Thanks! People who have stayed here think it’s warm and cozy, so interesting to see how it looks to people who haven’t been here in person. We’ll improve the shots and see what happens!

Thank you.


#13

A yurt makes me think of fabric, layers, handmade and warmth. Photo with heater lit and flickering? Big floor cushions? Look at the yurts that are getting bookings…what makes them attractive?


#14

warmer and softer


#15

I don’t think the separate bathroom is the problem by itself. I saw a Plus listing that was a tepee with bathroom in the house. Tons of “glamping” places have the bathrooms separate and many are outdoors. And apparently many men delight in any excuse to pee outdoors (based on another thread posted here on the forum) so maybe you could advertise that as a bonus. I’ve just booked a place in Ft. Davis TX with bathrooms down the way and cold water only in the “room” so even old folks like me are willing to book that kind of accomodation at the right price.

My listing has had 994 views in the last 30 days and maybe 20 reservations. Who knows why people look but not book. I look at listings all the time that I have no intention of booking because I’m nosy. All your friends you told about the listing looked at it and by posting it here you added more views. Don’t worrry about it.

Unlike others here I’m not so sure there is anything wrong with the pics per se. I’ve seen places with god-awful pictures and hundreds of 5 star reviews. The main thing you need is a sunny day. Once you get one take new pics outside.

That said, some pic suggestions:

Build a fire one night and then take some pics at night. Someone in the hammock on a sunny afternoon will make it look more inviting.

Don’t reduce the price. You have a short season and will need to make the most of it. Once you get some reviews it will help.


#16

Yes that is lovely! I’m having a tough time deciding if it’s worth it to invest more time/money into it; it was our living room / bedroom for 3 years while we added on to our one room cabin so we are biased that it’s cozy as is. It is hard to spend more on it, and textiles, etc. do cost money.

There are also yurts in VT getting $150/night that I have led backpacking retreats to that have bunk beds and NOTHING to make it cozy. And other yurts here in VT that at least from the pics don’t look too much diff than ours so I am trying to ride the line between doing enough and spending too much $/time on it and never seeing the returns.

We like people and are excited to host; we also tried to sell the yurt and the offers were pitiful.

Did the yurts you stayed at have trouble with temp fluctuation? It is like a tent…


#17

Thank you - you sound so kind and understanding about where we live, what our issues are, etc. We should have some good opportunities this week for pics so will update. I really appreciate your insight and that the bathroom isn’t the issue. Putting in a composting toilet but in addition to purchase price and building a wall would put us out another $1500 or so and we have to believe that there are people like us who don’t mind a very short walk! State parks fill to capacity with bathrooms not nearly as nice and private as ours…

I wish you the best and love your karma name. As a yogi, I’m putting positive energy into this!

Namaste!


#18

No real need to spend a lot of money …my 4 entire properties are furnished with thrift shop, garage sale, ebay, local auction and gumtree / facebook buys. When I find something better, I sell the old thing and replace it.
My latest listing in Australia - nothing in the furniture cost more than $200 - NOTHING!


#19

Woman after my own heart.

Walked past a discarded wooden futon frame with a warm dark color the other week, made it into a headboard and footboard for the bed in one of my rooms.


#20

Just not sure there’s much there to make me stop and go wow, I’ll book. I’d be put off by the outdoor wash station and the one minute walk to the bathroom. A minute sounds like a long time.

Agree with the others. Make sure that bathroom business is up front and center. Disclosed is better… Can you not use their bathroom while you have it rented??

To me the price seems high. Try lowering it a couple of bucks and see what happens. 48 or 49. Try to resist comparing yourself to the $150 a night yurts. I have a full apartment in Hawaii with our own private snorkeling beach and I only charge 150 on peak days, like for Christmas and New Years!


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