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I did an extensive update on my one BR condo. Although it has a queen bed & queen sofa-sleeper, I reduced the maximum number of guests from 4 to 2 and increased the price. It stayed booked almost continuously from January - November. This winter at the end of the rental season, I had almost NO repairs to do. I did the semi-annual deep clean & replaced a couple of light bulbs but nothing big. In prior years, there were multiple expensive repairs needed due to wear & tear (not malicious).
My two bedroom condo had a maximum occupancy of 6 (1-king bed, 1-queen, & 1 queen sleeper sofa). This year multiple repairs were needed including the sofa bed mechanism is bent and will not fully open. I’m taking a new path. I’m not going to repair it (I don’t have the money right now). I’m changing maximum occupancy to 4 and I’m increasing the rate.
My market is budget conscious beach /golf area vacationers families or couples. I’m thinking by reducing my maximum occupancy I will get more adults & fewer children.
What do you think? Will my experience of better rental revenue with less damage for the 1BR condo translate to the 2 BR condo? Or will the less heads in beds result in fewer rentals?
I think it will translate. Also buy reducing max occupancy and increasing the price you are marking it as a higher quality rental and will attract more respectful renters.
How many bathrooms do you have for each rental? This factors in the demographic you attract. Six people willing to share 1 or 2 bathrooms have a different mindset or standard than those that require 1 bathroom per couple/individual. With high occupancy to bathrooms you might attract families and college vacationers who are used to sharing. With balanced occupancy to bathrooms you naught attract more adults who value privacy and can afford higher rental cost. Let us know how it goes for you.
It sounds like you are doing the right thing. Though some sleeper sofas can be comfortable most be don’t look forward to using them and so it will attract a lower quality clientele. Guests who can spend more typically require cleaner rentals and are more respectful of their (ie your) environment. It’s a good opportunity to find the top price your market will bare.
That’s interesting KKC. There are many more variables that influence behavior. I hope I didn’t over simplify my opinion. I am drawing on experience working in hospitality, Hotels, using STR myself and talking with others who use STR and Professional STR managers. It may have nothing to do with the price but I have been advised by professional managers I interviewed about my STR that offering more occupancy than the bathrooms can comfortably accommodate will invite complaints.
It grates on me because it smacks of elitism and classism and it’s stereotyping. Hosts should charge as much as their market will bear but we don’t really need to justify it by slagging on those who don’t have as much to spend.
Some of my truly most favorite guests paid the least and seemed so blown away and grateful and some of my least favorite paid more and had nicer cars, so maybe more money. They seem to be the more entitled type and the type who ask to park in the garage because of course their things are more valuable than mine (as one example).
That sounds like some really great and also really terrible experiences. I appreciate your experiences. I guess is was trying to reflect solely on the two criteria that were mentioned in the initial post, that of reducing occupancy and raising fees. I did not mean to sound condescending to anyone and I apologize if I did. I just read an interesting study synopsis from the Stanford News Service on how the rating and reputation based system of Air BnB helps to overcome Social Bias. It is exciting to be a part of a business and community that is helping to change social boundaries. I look forward to meeting all the wonderful new people through being a host and sharing my experiences on this forum.
When I first started with my Airbnb my suite could accommodate 4 people. 1 king bed and 2 twin beds that could be set up as a king. I found that hosting 2 couples was a nightmare. They would hang out more in the suite and party late into the night. I now list my suite as 1 king and 1 twin. I get much better guests. I didn’t really adjust my rates but their is an extra fee for the third person. This winter has been slow so I dropped my rates but I’m going to try to bring my rates back up to about $20 a night more than I did last year. I’ve been getting very good quality guests. I see my Airbnb as an affordable cozy space with a kitchenette but am considering updating the bedding and furniture (hand me down furniture) .
I’m a fan of furnishing my rentals with used furniture. I’ve purchased very nice quality furniture off of Craigs List. My neighbor found some great furniture for her rental at a local consignment store.
The guest feels like the condo is “nicely furnished”. Plus since I don’t have a fortune invested in the furniture, I don’t worry as much about the potential of a careless guest.
I agree! I’ve seen some rentals with 2 bedrooms sleep up to 14 people. I don’t know how they manage that - my DH and I also ensure we have access to 2 bathrooms for the two of us! (Hotel = lobby, if needed)
I have doors not a wall between guest quarters and I. If there were a problem with the guest bathroom (toilet clog for example) I can let the guest use the bathroom across the hall and they would still have the bathroom to themselves as I have my own bathroom. It’s nice to have contingency plans.
Same here. So often you see hosts saying “raise your prices to keep out the riff-raff”. It’s not just sickeningly snobbish and judgemental, it’s simply not good advice. It’s up to every host to price their property according to what they offer compared to the competition. It needs constant attention as well - charge too much and you’ll suffer in reviews so bookings will go down so you lose in the end. At the same time, I think it’s true that there is some kind of ‘sweet point’ where if you price too low then it sends a message that you don’t value you place so why should the guest.
Like you, my worst guests are the wealthy ones who paid peak season prices but were too cheapskate to book a fancy place. Ugh, awful people. Give me the riff-raff any day!
@Jason.D.Burk Can I say thank you for the thoughtfulness in your reply about not wanting to sound condescending
Also, do you have a link to the article you mentioned? It sounds very interesting.
Yes—-I am hoping I can find that “sweet point” to maximize rentals and minimize wear & tear. I’m not oceanfront and can’t offer amenities like an on-site gym, lazy river, or restaurant so my target is budget aware vacationers.
If I did offer those kind of amenities I would expect to charge a premium price. Actually properties offering those amenities need the higher rate. Monthly Home Owner Fees for those properties are 2or 3 times what I pay.