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What Amenties/thoughtful touches am I missing?

hosting

#1

I’m new to this game (2 weeks in) and have had a total of 4 guests. Not one empty night. I’ve had 3 reviews. I have a 4.7 average rating. 2 rated 5 star. 1 rated 4. We’ve discussed her on a previous post. So here are my questions:

  1. I have a 2 out of 3 for quick response. What is the expected response time? I don’t have anymore than 15 min between an inquiry and a response. What timeframe should I be expected to respond?

  2. Thoughtful touches. 2 out of 3. I leave a variety of snacks, bottles of water, keurig with a selection of coffee and teas with a selection of sweeteners, and cream. With the option of ceramic mugs or to go cups with lids and sleeves. A plate of fresh baked cookies are there upon arrival and a bottle of wine chilling in the fridge. What am I missing in this area?

  3. Amenities. This is a private space with its own entrance and bathroom but also attached to the house, advertised for 2 people. There is a mini fridge/freezer, microwave, keurig, Bluetooth alarm clock with built in usb charging ports, 6 bath towels, hand towels and 6 washcloths for the shower and an additional 6 meant for washing off of makeup and skincare products are in the bathroom. Shampoo, conditioner, body wash, hand soap and lotion are provided. The tv is smart tv enabled with and Apple TV that has Netflix, Hulu, directv now with all basic cable channels, hallmark movie channel, Fox nation, cnn, and an iTunes library all preloaded with movies and all apps logged on. Outlets also have usb outlets on them. An cushioned armchair to sit in if they don’t want to be in the bed. 4 additional blankets no counting the one on the bed. What amenities am I missing?

TIA!


#2

I don’t think you are missing anything in any category. You are getting the entitled guests who look for new hosts to stay with. They expect to pay 60% of what local hotels are going for but expect 110% of their standards and amenities.

It will get better over time. If I were a host just starting out I’d have a limit of 1-2 or 3 days so that I can get as many reviews as possible. That is, instead of 4 reviews I’d have aimed for double that. Too late for you but for anyone reading…


#3

BTW, depending on your market and price range you might replace the wine in the fridge with a couple of chocolates or snack bars. It doesn’t seem like it’s a worthwhile investment. And don’t include them in your listing. Underpromise and overdeliver.


#4

I always leave a hand written note to welcome them and thank them for their stay along with my home number just in case they need to contact me. It’s a nice personal touch. I also leave a booklet with names of nearby restaurants and things to do in the area in addition to take out menus.


#5

What you supply for guests very much depends on your price point and what level of hospitality you’re trying to provide. I provide much of the items mentioned and more but we have expensive listings. However, the building itself is not in great shape (thanks to the HOA) so we over-compensate a bit to make sure we have happy guests.

Plus we make sure that every penny is accounted for and that the profit margins are still good. (By the way, I don’t bake or make anything - I supply all foodstuff in their original packaging thanks to local laws. Plus I don’t want to be accused of making a guest sick).

Items we provide in addition to the OP’s list include bathrobes, disposable slippers, beach chairs, sun umbrella, striped beach towels, cooler,sunscreen, bug repellent, full toiletry kits including items such as lip salve, pillow spray, shower cap, loofah, comb etc, sewing kit, iron and board, hairdryer and attachments, large selection of books, magazines (local and national), various chargers & extension leads, converters to use European electrics, headed notepaper plus postcards and envelopes, notepad, ‘in case you forgot’ items including toothbrushes, deodorants, razors, tampons… board games, playing cards, menus from local restaurants, first aid kit, magnifying makeup mirror … lots more and I’m getting tired of typing but you get the idea :slight_smile:

But there’s no way that I think that other hosts should provide all these things. An apartment very nearby which is the same size charges about 60% of our nightly fee but they supply very little in the way of ‘extras’ so it’s a matter of ‘you get what you pay for’. Some guests like to be pampered with lots of goodies - others prefer a cheaper option with no frills. Both are the right approach.


#6

As a professional statistician I don’t think 3 data points is much to go on or get worried about. Maybe wait until you’ve had at least 10 before trying to spot patterns for improvement. Unless something very obvious comes up.


#7

Could be the guest thought that 4/5 was a really great rating. Some people think 5/5 means luxury palace 5 star resort when they paid 50 euros a night?

I don’t know if it’s in accordance with rules but can you contact the guest asking what was wrong, say you value their opinion you tried to provide for every need, and ask why they took a star off, without informing you something is missing?

I don’t think its a specific thing like a shower cap or shaving products but rather a general feeling of disappointment compared to their expectations. Maybe your photos are too good! Maybe they didn’t sleep well, is there noise, are the beds comfortable, etc?


#8

@Hayleyvw, the others have great advice about the stars, and I will just add that I don’t worry for a minute about the “thoughtful touches” or any other of the “compliments”. Right now I cannot see that they count for anything, and they are 100% subjective. Until about 2 weeks ago, I thought I was getting no “compliments” at all (and I was okay with that - seemed about right). Then I needed to check the phone app for something, and noticed them all there! Good grief - I was getting compliments for thoughtful touches when I provide the most basic of listings. Nothing at all like your wonderful extras. Also I saw the complaints a guest had left - that there were no towels, no soap, and no sheets. I provide unlimited towels, three kinds of soap, and nice air-dried sheets. The guest in question had brought a sleeping bag and, I guess, his own soap and towel, so ticked the box to say he didn’t get those things. It all comes down to what the guest notices or appreciates or understands, and some don’t notice or appreciate or understand anything and some are over-the-top grateful for everything. So do what you can to be a good host, do listen to guests so their experience is good, but don’t let the nonsensical review system stress you out.


#9

You have supplied plenty of items, I have stayed in a lot of Airbnbs where hardly anything was supplied so I don’t think that is the issue. Guests are very picky. I have been rated down on check in twice recently and I don’t believe the issues were my fault. The first one complained that she was “away from her phone for the day”, therefore it was my fault that she didn’t receive the check in code I sent first thing in the morning. The second one said she didn’t receive her code as she hadn’t downloaded the app (I had asked her to as the code is available in the app check in instructions). I also pointed out I had sent the code that morning in the message below the one she sent me saying she didn’t have the code.

Were these guests correct? They both left me 3* for check in because they didn’t read the info I sent them. I thought I deserved 5* as when they both contacted me saying they didn’t have the code I gave them the code (again) immediately. I though I supplied exceptional service to be instantly available. The reason I am telling you this is to use it as an example of the high standards that guests hold us to.

We have a light box and welcome the guests with their names on it and we get many positive comments about the personal message and it is such a cheap, easy thing to do.

The only other thing I could suggest is to educate them to understand what the star rating means. I have this in an A5 frame, so it’s not in your face but it is there.

Please take a moment to review the star rating system.


#10

To be honest- I think the things you listed are standard items and not necessarily “thoughtful touches.” I don’t cook breakfast etc but I do leave a cookie jar with homemade goodies and fresh muffins for breakfast. I have also left extras like homemade fudge for my Christmas guests, sparkling cider for my new years guests, and a bowl of candy on Halloween. I have done flowers a few times but decided it was not cost effective enough.


#11

You are fine, and what you provide sounds over the top! The only other thing I have done is stayed in the room/apartment to see exactly how it works and what’s missing. Keep on going, you’ll get there.


#12

Funny, I thought her touches were lovely, especially the extra towels. I don’t bother with sweets because there’s the low carb bunch. But I welcome them with a note on the back of my business card, and always have a spray of fresh flowers. Each to his own.


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