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Seasoned veteran host tips


#1

What are your tips that make hosting just a little bit easier or enjoyable?

Mine are:

  1. have 3 set of linens per bed to always have a backup in case theres a stain that just won’t come out
  2. use a messaging service like aviva iq to send check in details instead of manually doing it
  3. save messages for common questions like early check in, directions, etc
  4. buy in large sizes (toilet paper, shampoo and conditioner, treats for bed) to save on money and have a large supply
  5. use automatic pricing tools. I’ve made thousands more than if i just kept a constant price as well as got last minute bookings for unfilled nights
  6. recently i’ve been folding towels into swans and leaving them on the guest beds. It’s very easy to do but adds another touch of luxury to a guest’s experience

So what do you do?


#2

I’ve hosted close to 400 people over the last 3.7 years and I use similar strategies with a couple of differences.

I use smartbnb.io to help manage my listing. I don’t use any pricing tools but I manually change my prices from time to time or night to night depending on the situation. I have good guests and good reviews but many of the strategies I use wouldn’t work for someone with a different kind of listing. For example I take same day last minute bookings (up until as late as 10 pm…I change this periodically).


#3

We just have one spare room in our house that we let out on a B&B basis, but the need for having three sets of linen hit us like a ton of brinks after we spent a fortune in a coin-operated laundrette between our second- and third-ever guests!
Also having saved messages for directions, local pubs and eating places saves a lot of time.
We set up our booking system to allow us to have two free days between guests and we don’t like having last-minute bookings, so we don’t use pricing tools! We’re more than happy with the number of bookings we get.
Our “host tip” - smile, be friendly and listen!


#4

@Ben_Hooper - I agree with all but #5. I’ve never used the automatic pricing from ABB. For us, it seems too low and they don’t know when special events in the area cause high demand. I adjust our pricing manually. It’s a bit more work but I feel I can maximize our price better than they can.


#5

I don’t either, i use beyondpricing which has a more accurate market price than smart pricing on airbnb


#6

How do you know you’ve made thousands more using automated pricing, have you compared it year against year for the same dates/same number of bookings?


#7

i haven’t done a calculation, but it is very obvious when a booking is made that has a higher than average price. for instance, a guest paid $1000 for a 5 day stay, which if i didn’t use the pricing service would have been $500. also, with the event pricing, a guest paid $1500 for a 4 day stay for a comic con esque convention, instead of a $300 booking normally


#8

Thanks Ben.

I change my prices manually because I understand my market and keep an eye of what my competition charges, so using your example I increase my prices for big events or during peak periods so I am not sure I would make thousands more using an automated service, but glad that it works for you. And can understand its useful for those with multiple properties.


#9

I use beyondpricing, too. I love it.


#10

@CatskillsGrrl Oh well, guess my lake house doesn’t qualify for beyondpricing…I did the “preview” and got a message that they aren’t in our location yet. Maybe soon! We are only two hours from Atlanta…


#11

I am surprised they aren’t in your area!


#12

Is this the company that does pricing based on events? The owners of that stayed with me before they launched it. They actually left early and left a meh review, then contacted me later to be part of their beta! I participated in their surveys until I thought to look them up, and saw the meh review! The nerve!


#13

I’m not sure about easier or more enjoyable, but here are a few simple suggestions. Mostly they are more attitude things.

  1. Get feedback from the guests. (This one is a bit meta.) I don’t think it makes sense, nor is it practical, to jump on every suggestion. But if you get repeated suggestions about the same thing, maybe consider acting on it.

  2. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t stress when guests forget to pay for extras. Don’t lose sleep about them turning things off. Try not to get stressed when they do wacky things. Try to stay positive.

  3. Treat the guests as clients/customers, because that’s what they are. Try to keep them happy within reason.


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