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After spending ~10 hours in the car, getting to Kelly’s house with it’s large backyard was great for our dog. Kelly was also a very responsive host who left us coffee for the Keurig. That said, given its basic amenities, the house is expensive for the cost ($200 for the night including the extra guest / pet / cleaning fees).
They left 3 stars for Value with the following comment:
After the additional pet fee and fee for a second guest, the place was not worth $200 per night. maybe $150 including the pet fee.
The rest of the stars were 5. It was $15 more due to being a same day booking. $60 base, $15 for same day (was not broken out for Guest but listing indicates it could be as much as $20 more for same day) , $20 second Guest, $50 cleaning fee, $15 house trained pet fee. The Airbnb fee was $19 and Occupancy taxes and fees were $21. Ironically, I had had a fully 5 star same day booking for one person with a dog for overnight the week before and it was $187…
I am thinking of leaving the following Public Response:
Same day bookings are a little bit more, as indicated in the listing. Book earlier for the best rates.
Thoughts and/or suggestions? I normally only respond with additional positive feedback the Guests leave in their private portion because they think it is just a second paragraph of public review.
I wouldn’t reply directly to the guests claims of it being “overpriced” but use it as an opportunity to inform guests of the breakdown of charges as you did here. Something like: "For the benefit of future guests looking at our property here is how the guest charges broke down in this case. We think they are in line with similar properties in the area and quite reasonable. There are no “hidden charges” and the total price is quoted upfront.
Base price $60
Same day fee $15
Second Guest fee $20 ,
Cleaning fee $50
Pet fee $15.
Airbnb fee $19
Occupancy taxes and fees $21
I like your approach and the wording you suggested, but I think listing all the fees separately might come across as a little “nickel and diming” to some.
Perhaps grouping the fees together like this:
Base rate (incl. cleaning fee) - $110
Additional guest - $20
Pet fee - $15
Same day booking fee - $15
Airbnb service fee/taxes - $40
I think grouping them this way makes the optional items seem like much smaller add-ons. Also, I’d use “additional” rather than “second” guest - just reads better to me. And since the guest already mentioned the total, I wouldn’t repeat it in the breakdown (no need to draw more attention to that big-ish number).
How do I do what? To determine how their fees totaled $200 (and to verify it since I only saw my portion) I switched to traveling and put in a same day booking for 2 guests. That showed me what the Airbnb Service Fees and Occupancy taxes and fees were for the Guest.
And I think maybe what people are not understanding is that the “same day fee” is shown to the Guest as part of their base price. The only way they know it is more than the base rate due to being so last minute is because I state it in my listing encouraging people to book at least a few nights before check-in. Nightly I go in to my calendar and increase rates between $5-$10 for three days consecutive. I had only been doing two days last year but increased it to 3 this year. Does that make sense?
Surprisingly I barely found a single dog hair this time!
I think based on all the feedback, and the fact that I already am budget priced I won’t respond publicly, as I usually don’t. I will, however, respond privately to remind them to book earlier for a better price in the future and remind them also how generous I was about offering the late check out.
In my experience, people hate the extra fees, dispute them and will never agree to them no matter what the base price is.
I have had many clients that dispute the “extra guest” fee. One guy said - Im coming with my son, it’s not a “guest”, why do i have to pay this fee? Another person said - your apartment has 2 bedrooms for 4 people, why do I have to pay extra above 2? They insisted that I justify myself which I did not do instead I blocked their dates so they couldn’t book. But as soon as I freed up the dates they booked, paid the extra guest fee, and I didnt hear any more about it (no review either). Booking.com does this differently, instead of a supplement for extra guests they give a discount for less than full capacity. this is maybe smarter than the “extra guest” fee.
Of course for the guests you have 4 walls and 3 beds what difference does it make if 17 people come and stay in your space instead of 2?
Having said ll that I am intrigued by the amount of extra fees in this booking, and while I am sure they are all justified, I am also ¨not surprised that a guest took issue with that.
So for me the basis of the bad review was the extent and amount of extra fees, it was impossible that this guest think anything else but that he was being nickel and dimed!
My question is was there any interaction before booking or did he instant book? I usually try to downplay expectations before booking so the person is pleasanlly surprised on arrival. Having the space be “better than expected” is key in my opinion. If someone sees 50 dollars a night that sets their expectations. Then extra guest, pet, same day, etc. whatever above that is considered a rip off to them!
When I said base price I was talking about what “normal” prices are. When they put in the date for that same day booking that price showed up as $95 because it included my additional same day booking prices and the second guest fee. They never see anything that says “same day booking fee $15” I was just breaking it down for you guys to understand that I physicaly changed the price. The day before I went from $60 to to $65 and the day of went from $65 to $75. Because the guest booked for 2 it automatically added the second guest for $20.
Do you really want them back considering they do not value your property or you as a host? They shit on you in the review as far as I see it, not a good value blah blah blah. Well FU you booked it, you saw the price and agreed to it now you are attempting to damage my business with an unfair review?
I struggle with this one a bit. When I first started I would say definitely not because anything less than 5 stars was bad. However, the more I do it, the more I raise my prices, and the more I read this forum and see what all different situations there are, I am not su sure anymore. I still get bookings even with a gamut if ratings from 5 all the way to 1. The bad reviews are evident mostly that it was the choice of the Guest and not me so I worry a lot less about them now.
If I am still able to get $150 or so for one night because I allowed them to book last minute and bring their wife and very clean dog I probably would. I find I am becoming much less hostage to the reviews the more I realize the bad ones reflect more on the Guest than me (when they are honest ones at least…the dishonest ones I still continue to work on getting removed).
And if the guest thought it was so bad they probably won’t book with me again in the future anyways but at least I have responded kindly and offered a response that positively addressed their concern. Maybe it will result in a 5 next time…if they bother to follow it.