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Upped the Game a Little

I sold my large property in MN in September of 2021 and closed out that AIrbnb business, we own a small Airbnb cottage in AL and needed reinvest from our sale so purchased a condo in Gulf Shores, AL, both of our current properties host just 4 people each and we are working in a much small scale. (our previous cabin hosted up to 13 guests). with the smaller properties in an area that the competition is enormous we started to up our hosting game. some of the additions that we have made; Fresh flowers in kitchen at check in (we pick our own when in season, and buy a small $6 bunch when not) I noticed when out and about how often people forget their cheater glasses (my husband always forgets) we put a small bin on the shelf with 3 pairs (1.00, 1.5 and 2.00 strength) we ask guest to return when done, we have added a snack basket for check in, popcorn, bottled water, rice crispy bars, and some candies and single serve chips. we put in a small basket with tooth brush, tooth paste, advil packs, razors, single size sun screeen packets, we have a little sign that asks guest to take only what they need and leave the rest for future guests. and we have added a letter board that says welcome and list the guests names, including any dogs they bring along.

these little touches have been a huge hit, I have hosted 3 other hosts since starting these new guest amenities, reviews have been great and private notes have been complimentary. all 3 fellow hosts have noted those touches and 2 of them said that they are going to use some of them in their properties. the basket with essentials costs roughly $5 to fill the entire basket, I have only 2 guests use items, but 7 guests have mentioned the basket and that it is nice to see the items available.

wanted to share this incase anyone else is looking for ideas on guest amenities! I’m not sure if i will keep the flowers during our busy season, as i have to think ahead, pick or buy them and sometimes i just don’t have time if I have to clean both properties in the same day. the little word board is by far the biggest hit, guest mention it almost every stay, and love to be welcomed by first name! Just thought I would share! :grinning:

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I have done several of these things for over a decade and all have been well received. Just one person in over ten years wiped out the amenities basket. I still don’t understand why hotels provide hair products and soap and rarely toothpaste. That’s what I miss the most when I forget it.

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I too provide many of the things mentioned above. I used to provide fresh flowers but now I buy a flowering plant (lasts about a month) and helps to cut down on the costs, (If you have a Trader Joes, their flowering plants are cheap and healthy.)

I too find that very few guest use the items but almost always mention it in the review. And yes, ever so often you have a guest that eats every snack.

I also have a hot beverage cart with a coffee maker and an electric tea kettle. I provide all different types of tea, cocoa, coffees along with sweeteners and creamer.

All of the stuff I provide are shelf-stable and have a very long expiration date so there’s very little spoilage.

I’m a budget STR so my guests tend to be cost conscience and always seem to appreciate the little touches.

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I buy toothpaste from the Dollar store and just recently one guest asked for it and was beyond thrilled that it was a slightly larger size and they could take it with them. “You think of everything!” is the best ever compliment I can get.

I like the idea of a sign with their names. I can get a nice board and hang it on the guest room door (shared listing) to personalize it.

The small touches - black makeup towels, amenities bag, chocolate and filtered water on the counter - really make guests feel welcome, even in a budget accommodation.

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At most hotels, you just have to go to the front desk for toothpaste and/or a toothbrush. I’ve done that many times and it’s always been complimentary.

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Yep. Razors and other goodies too.

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Understood, but I’m usually dressed for bed when I realize it. Even a little foil packet would be appreciated.

Then just ask for a toothbrush and toothpaste when you check in.

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I guess I’m not saying this understandably. I don’t know that I’ve forgotten toothpaste until I am getting ready to use it at night. 95% of the time I have it with me.

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@Christine_Shirtcliff I understood. My point was to just ask for it when you get there and then you have it whether you need it or not, just like you would if it were in the room.

I have a basket in the bathroom w/ single use razors, earplugs, make up removers, & all of those goodies your dentist sends you home with. The small toothpaste is what I’ve found gets used the most. Last time I stayed at a hotel (years ago), the front desk had small tubes of toothpaste w/ a strange single use toothbrush. My thought was that they’re saving $ by not putting them in the rooms, you just had to ask. :woman_shrugging:

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Never did understand that concept. I get undressed for bed. Why do people wear clothes under the covers to sleep?

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I try to provide everything a guest could reasonably want and everything they might forget. I find the items that most often get used (and taken home with the guest presumably) are razors, toothbrushes and toothpaste.

I think some of those guests don’t forget their toothbrush—I think they see the new individually wrapped toothbrush and think “I could use a new brush” and so they help themselves.

I used to provide good razors but they are expensive and got taken a lot, so now I provide cheap dollar store razors and they don’t disappear as often.

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You just ring the desk and they will bring it up to your room for you. If you don’t want them to see you in your jammies, you can just ask that they leave it outside your door.

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I’ve only left cheap disposable razors, they get taken or used infrequently. Two things I’ve noticed about expensive or name brand things. I’ve used two kinds of toothbrushes. The ones that are 25 cents each from the dollar store and ones that are 75 cents each (eco bamboo ones in individual boxes). I’ve also used starbucks keurig pods vs kirkland (costco) brand. In both cases the more expensive ones get used or taken much more often.

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We’ ve just started ‘upping’ our amenities though we have some misgivings about whether this is worthwhile as we’re rated 4.95 and guests have said it was ‘well-stocked’ when I don’t believe it was, at least for kitchen (which is very large, well equipped and a feature of the home that we tout).

For the bathroom we’ve always had hand soap, shampoo, conditioner. Now we’ve added CeraVe facial foaming cleanser, floss tips, Q-tips in a dispenser designed so you can take some without touching the swabs of others, mouthwash in a dispenser with little cups, makeup remover, organic cotton pads (we also had cotton balls) and curated highly rated Olaplex #4 Bond shampoo and conditioner (Moroccan oil), also Avon sun screen, insect repellant (though we don’t have many mosquitoes: have large citronella plants and spray and are diligent in removing any standing water). [We have toothpaste, tooth brushes, shaving cream, razor available if requested but that’s never happened.]

In the kitchen we’ve added shelf-stable condiments: Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar (best by 2/27)
Napa Valley Organic White Wine Vinegar by Stonewall Kitchen
Spectrum Organic Red Wine Vinegar, 16.9 oz.
Butternut Mountain Farm 100% Pure Vermont Syrup, 8 oz. (best by 11/25)
Cholula Original Hot Sauce (best by 4/23)
San-J Tamari w/28% less sodium (best by 12/23)
Sriracha Hot Chili sauce, Huy Fong Foods (best by 12/23)
Worcestershire Sauce, Lea & Perrins Original
BOU Bouillon cubes: Chicken (12/23), Vegetable, Beef (9/23), Roasted Garlic (12/23)

And we’ve added spices [we mark purchase date at bottom with a Sharpie and plan to refresh two years afterwards, maybe earlier]: Thyme Leaf Fancy Grade Frontier Co-op
Vietnamese 5% Oil Cinnamon Frontier Co-op
Bay Leaves Morton & Bassett
Red Chili Pepper Crushed Frontier Co-op
Cayenne Pepper, 75,000+ Scoville Heat Units Frontier Co-op
Garlic Granules 1/8 tsp = 1 clove Frontier Co-op
Onion Powder, 1 tsp = 1/3 cup chopped, Frontier Co-op
Oregano Leaf, Organic, Extra Fancy Grade, Frontier Co-op
Nutmeg Ground from the East Indies, Frontier Co-op
Organic Rosemary, 365
Cardamon Seed-Ground, Frontier Co-op
Cumin Seed-Ground Frontier Co-op
Smoked Paprika, Oak-Wood Smoked, Frontier Co-op
Colman’s Dry Mustard, 2 oz.
Chef Prudhomme Vegetable Magic (best by 8/24)
Chef Prudhomme Blackened Steak Magic (best by 6/24)
Chef Prudhomme Poultry Magic (best by 7/24)
Chef Prudhomme Seafood Magic (best by (6/24)
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, 3#
Himalalania [Naterra] Pink Himalayan fine salt
Morton’s Iodized Salt
Sea salt grinder
Black pepper grinder (3)
365 Organic Olive Oil Spray (best by 6/23)
Goya Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 8.5 oz (best by 6/23)
Avocado Oil spray
Eden’s Toasted Sesame Oil, 5 oz (best by 1/24)

We’ve also added teas: From Republic of Tea (all tea bags):
Organic Milk Thistle Super Herb (Organic milk thistle, organic orange peel, org grapefruit, 2/24)
Organic Mint Fields (Organic spearmint, organic peppermint and organic lemon balm, 12/23)
Milk Oolong (Milk oolong tea leaves from Fujian province, China, 11/23)
Honey Ginseng Green Tea (Green tea with Panax ginseng, 1/24)
Beautifying Botanicals daily Beauty Herbal Tea (herbal blend, 2/24)
Downton Abbey Estate Blend (Earl Grey Black, bergamot orange oil, vanilla, 1/24)
Natural Hibiscus (Hibiscus (flower), sweet blackberry (leaf), stevia (leaf), 2/24)
Get Lost ® Stackable Teas: Get Lean ®, Get Burning ®, Get Lost ® [Google it]
British Breakfast (Fine black tea from Assam, Sri Lanka, Darjeeling and Africa, 3/24)
Get Lean, Get Burning, Get Lost (2/24)
Nespresso Original Capsules, variety, caffeinated and non-caffeinated, 11/22

We also provide: Ziploc type: sandwich bags, snack bags, 2 gallon bags
Rolled parchment paper
Unbleached parchment paper squares 9” x 9” [do not use without food (for example, pre-heating) on it as it will burn/catch fire]
Aluminum foil
Freeze-tite plastic wrap

Snacks: Individually packaged jerky, popcorn.

We have a paper handout on the kitchen counter with this list [I’ve cut and pasted] so that when the guests go shopping they can see what we have so that they don’t duplicate purchases.

Our thought here was to buy things (e.g., soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, etc.) that a guest might want to use but really wouldn’t want to buy a whole bottle and then leave or carry home.

So, we’ll see how the comments change or whether it increases re-bookings.

So what do you think? Are we missing something? Do you think that even if guests don’t leave comments on this or re-book more often, tell more people about our listing that we might well justify by ‘pride of hospitality’? I don’t know how costly this will be to maintain; but we’ll see.

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What is your purpose in listing off every single item you provide here, along with the brand names?
Are we supposed to be impressed?

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As I stated I cut and pasted from the document I leave with the guests, so it was simplest for me to cut and paste.

I also thought that this might be useful information to the community as I did some research to select these brands. For example, I LOVE Chef Prudhomme spices; maybe someone will want to try it. Or volunteer a specific spice they love.

I don’t know if guests might have their own preferences on spices, not just what type, say cinnamon, but whether it is Vietnamese cinnamon, and whether it is organic, and the specific brand. If they do, the information is there. I thought the same with the community. Perhaps some here will think I should be considering a different brand when I restock.

My status on this site is such that I can make only three replies, so if I don’t reply to each post, that’s why.

Bond: “Do you expect me to talk?”
Goldfinger: “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.”

No, I do not expect you to be impressed.
[Or die.]

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I would be really turned off as a guest if a host left me a document like that. As I said, as if they were trying to impress me. And guests aren’t interested in endless wordy stuff like that.

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I’m not suggesting you stock this in your rentals but Penzey’s spices are great (although expensive). I buy a bunch every few years and put some out in test tubes and freeze the rest for refills.

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