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Refurnishing/ changing the apartment layout, yay or nay?

Hello beautiful people. :blush:
I am having a problem with two of my listings and am considering exchanging the furnitures.
My first listing (link below) is in a very tourist popular place.


It has two bunker beds accommodating 6 people. When I first started this listing, it was doing so well i was patting my own shoulder. two months later it hit rock bottom. i can hardly pay any expenses. When I invite inquiries i get from other listings to this one, no one seems to be interested.

Now the other new listing, being in a more convenient and local place transportation wise, as well as touristy but without the night life buzz.
One double bed plus a sofa bed accommodating 4 people max.

It’s going too slow and not making any benefits from it, compared to my neighbor (he’s making double) who is on the same floor and we’re sharing the same patio:

I want to move the furnitures i have in the first listing to the other and vice versa to get bigger groups in the second listing.
It seems that smaller groups are more interested in staying in the area of the first listing so they get put off by the bunkbeds?
While the second listing seems to welcome more bigger groups and with my layout I seem to only be able to welcome 2 people or small families or 3.

The problem is: I have a few bookings on the second listing. How do i explain to guests about the refurnishing? Should I cancel their reservations? I am torn because it is the only chance I have left. It’s either that or call it quits. :disappointed_relieved:

Help please?:sob:

I’ve been to Shibuya and think this is a good deal! I stayed in the shinjuku capsule myself but I was looking for super cheap for one night.

However, a couple of your guests have mentioned it’s too small for six, so even though it is Tokyo, you should probably reduce the max to four. You are asking us if you should put the large bed in this unit and change the bunk beds to the other one?

I flashed through all of the pictures – first, why so many photos, and why so many photos of food? What are you trying to advertise? Even though your competition has 66 photos, you still have more.

The first place looks like a great place for hostel-like travelers. Your second place, I would book for myself, being a mom with a teenager. Both very cool modern places. Edit, edit, edit – not everyone has the patience to look through sooooo many photographs. Do 2 pics of food and label the name of the restaurant on the photos and put them at the end. Same with the maps. Tourist attraction photos are better than maps and food, but, again, don’t post too many. Maybe one map and put in the description of the photo that you will provide maps and tourist pamphlets. So – 7-10 awesome pics of your apartment(s), 3-5 tourist attraction pics, 1-2 pics of food, 1 map – all with descriptions attached to the photo.

If I’m sitting at home, I might take the time to really read a listing and look through the photos. If I’m travelling, I don’t have as much time and I have to watch the charge on my phone. You need to wow your prospective guest within the first 7-10 pics (because, just like on-line dating, that’s where travelers spend the most of their time). Be on point with your description and make it fun – but edit! Most guests never read the entire description so put the important information up front.

I don’t know anything about the pricing in your area – you need to do that research yourself.

Best of luck!

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You do not have any clue do you?
You are one of the types that hosting is easy money, make a listing, throw it on AirBnB and people will trow their money at you…

Have a look at your neighbors listing, when you have the same type of place. With same patio. Why does his listing look so much better?

It is not about the place, it is how you sell it.

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This is one of those puzzles that the trick is to connect the right dots.

If I understand it correctly; the first listing has the benefit of being in an exceptional tourist location, more than the other. If so, one would assume that the bed arrangement is the culprit, so yes moving the more conventional bed set up there (bed + sofa) sounds like good thinking. The million $ question is, is having only 2-3 people stay there make it economically sufficient?

As for the 2nd one…its strong suit is ‘easy transportation’ and yes perhaps that may best suited for ‘larger groups’.

Question: the bunk beds suggest you put a lot of emphasis on ‘groups’, do many people in Japan do travel in groups? Isn’t easier to host (find) 2-4 people combinations instead?

All good points, Mearns. My place can handle five but is better for 4 (two queen beds and a convertible sofa). I rarely get one person. I get two people about 1/3 of the time. I rarely get five people. Most of my reservations are for 3-4 people. Of course, that might have a lot to do with how I am placed in the Air search for my city. If I go incognito and search for two people, I’m on page 14. If I search for 4 people, I’m on page 2.

When I got into real estate, I researched the hell out of everything. Our OP needs to do that, too. Research the competition and do an Exel worksheet (not kidding – the numbers will tell you what you need to know). Look at variables such as price, number of guests, location (in a city your size, you’ll need to pay attention to a lot of variables), and how full the competitions’ calendars are. And look at the nearest hotel prices. It may seem like a lot of work but it will make it clearer.

You should also google stats on sizes of traveling families. Or, you can look at the comps that have beds for six or more. Are their calendars less or more full in relation to their prices and location?

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What struck immediately about @koedeigh 1st listing is that the bed arrangement is very inclusive to a ‘larger group’ but perhaps a total turnoff to anything smaller (2-4 people), since a couple for example would never want to sleep in a bunk bed.
I wonder if it is best to be 100% inclusive to the most common size (2?) and then also be able to accommodate more people, not the other way around, by easily adding more beds - quickly.

2 Likes

You manage 5 properties and have 176 reviews – you must know your market much better than we ever would!

Now you’re going to make me look back at my past reservations and do a bar chart. Again, who knows how my place in Air’s listing affects my bookings? I know it is a factor but how much? I’ll be back with some statistics.

Thank you for your reply. I was thinking about putting the large bed in shibuya and change the bunkbeds to the other listings as it seems from my research that the Asakusa area was more popular with bigger groups. I will follow your advice and change the number of guests to 4 instead of 6. For some reason I assumed that since the max is 6, I would be able to guest anything between 3~5 but it doesn’t seem to work that way? I’m confused. I have been hosting for a while and never had a problem since this one. Competition is getting fierce, within the same building my competitions’ calendar is full with similar prices than mine, only difference is bunkbeds?
Thanks again for your time. Really appreciate it:blush:

Thank you so much for this amazing reply. I am taking your advice and getting rid of food pics and keeping the best pics of the apartments.
This is why i was also thinkign about changing the layout as the area where my listing with the double bed /sofa bed is seems quite popular with bigger groups(cheaper area) while the one with bunkbeds sees more smaller groups. Within the same building, my competition offers similar prices as me, full calendar but no bunkbeds (usual layout would be a doublebed+sofabed/floor mattress).
Thank again for the precious intel :blush:

Dearest Chris, a quite sharp answer but i’ll take it. I have been in the business for quite a while but i am still one of the hosts that loves to help the guests by going over and beyond and feel honored to become their facebook friends to stay in touch. My neighbor’s listing might have a similar layout, we share the same patio and because he moved in before i did, we decided to let him use the patio as his main photo which is amazingly welcoming, so yes you are right about how he is selling it. I am still in charge of helping with his inquiries because he doesn’t speak a word of English. It might be a competition but we like to help each other. The whole point of my inquiry was to see if changing the layout would work better and if yes, would the guests that booked under a different layout complain if they arrive and find that the apartment didn’t look like the one they booked. I obviously was thinking about letting them know in case I decided to go through with it, and again I was wondering what would be a good explanation and if there was no way to explain it, just cancel and lose my superhost status.
Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

Thank you for the reply dearest. When i first opened this listing, i did tons of research and it seemed like there was a lack in apartments offering single beds to larger groups of friends/families. Which explains its popularity when i first started it. but then two months later, things started going bad and inquiries are just not coming anymore. I am trying one last thing which is to lower the number of guests from 6->4 and move one of the lower beds to the other listing to accommodate a larger group 4->5. If nothing changes, i might have to get change the payout and that would be my last chance before i call it quits.
My other question was about how to xplain to guests about the layout change.
Thanks again :blush:

I looked at my last 26 bookings. My place is a two-bedroom with queen beds and I also have a fold out sofa for one in the living room, so I can sleep 5. Of my last 25 bookings, I had 1-1 person, 9 two-persons, 7 three persons, 8 four persons, and 1 five persons. It also depends where you land in Airbnb’s pages, depending on how many people in your group (go incognito via google chrome and plug in the different numbers of guests). Anyway, you might want to do some research on the stats for the number of people in a group who book accommodations in your city. I wouldn’t, personally, try to compete with hostels. I don’t want that kind of guest. I am aiming for the 2-4 group size, and that’s what I’m getting. Best of luck to you!

One thing I would caution you about (and something you have already thought of no doubt) is that the guest who booked the queen in the second apartment is entitled to have the bed they booked, or maybe you could offer a discount or refund if you change it out…but I wouldn’t cancel due to changing beds.

I agree with Sandy above who said that just on the face of it, the bunk beds didn’t look too cozy but they might appeal to the right group.

Are you charging more for each guest or is it one rate for 1-6 persons? If it the same rate you have nothing to lose by changing it to four and making the furnishings more comfortable.

I think a lot of westerners coming to Shibuya would like a cozy room after a few days “scrambling” across the world famous street crossings! :smile:

The whole point of my reply is that you have no clue about what you are doing.
You are complaining, that your neighbor is doing better. You seem to know why he is doing better, but you still think that swapping around furniture will get you more inquiry’s.

It is simple, unless you start selling that patio, you will never get more hits than your neighbor, whatever you try.
Your listing is just one of many in your area, they all look the same, and swapping around furniture will not help.

makes sense. too bad my neighbor asked me not to use the patio to advertise my place.
Thank sagain

Well that is a bummer, I assumed you would have use of the patio also, one way or the other. Hmmm, that little issue needs to be re-addressed. Good luck.

Why did you agree to that? Perhaps you can have a talk with your neighbor and say that for economic reasons, you now realize that you have to feature the patio in you listing, too.

I just looked at your pics again – pretty good editing but seems to be some duplicates. I would change the sushi fish pic to one of the pics with sweets – just more appealing to the eye.

Love, love, love the panda toilet seat!

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