I think extras are nice not to be mentioned to some degree. Better to have guests expectations exceeded compared to the other way around.
Yes under promise over deliver that is they key. You can’t compensate for lesser real estate by giving shower gel, slippers and a free foot massage.
J[quote=“GardenFairy, post:17, topic:28517”]
how do you make this known in the listing in order to justify the higher prices?
Let’s be realistic.
Extra amenities are nice and can round the edges within a given price range.
I understand if you are renting a room in a shared space in the suburbs of a big city 30 minutes commute to the center, you might be happy to have slippers,cookies, midnight check in, and designer body cream. That might make the difference over time in reviews compared to other properties.
Your amenities will allow you to compete with neighbors but not with prime real estate and entirely private apartments, offered for a competitive price, in the city center. Even if these places don’t give free slippers bathrobes (tampax!) and face cream.
Basically you have to under sell and over deliver wherever you are.
Couldn’t agree more! That’s when I discovered that I couldn’t charge my phone next to the bed so struggled with knowing whether it was 5am or 11am when I woke up.
Plus the travesty that the knives were too blunt to cut the lime for my G&T. Absolutely a 1* experience! I can’t believe that Airbnb didn’t de-list me on those errors! Phew I was lucky! Everyone needs to stay in their own place.
I know I am catching up on an old thread–I’ve had a busy few months and haven’t had time to post here!
I wanted to add that Karma’s advice of “undersell, overdeliver” really seems to be the ticket.
Perhaps because I started hosting in a different era (late 2015), I didn’t get many “just because” or “nobody’s perfect” 4-star reviews, but I think it’s fairly common now no matter how many thoughtful amenities you offer. I watch my local market carefully, and see a lot of new hosts with glowing reviews and 4.5 stars. Nothing negative is said in the public reviews.
I am at 85% 5-star reviews (4.8 average), so thankfully I have a cushion when I get those guests who expect a hotel experience at youth hostel rates. I get most of my 4-star reviews in summer, when my nightly rate is 2-3x what I charge in winter. In winter, I allow 1-night stays and my happy winter guests bring my average back up after the summer of 4-star reviews.
You have thought of almost everything, and adding more won’t make the difference. If you continue to be a thoughtful host and if you manage expectations, your reviews will level out in time. However, if guests suggest more amenities in the private feedback, you should still listen. I had guests recently ask for stirring sticks for coffee, so I added those. Easy enough!
This may seem like an obvious question, but what type of stationary do you write the welcome note on? My welcome chalkboard broke and I haven’t found something I like to replace it with, so I’m thinking of going with handwritten welcome notes.
I recently included an explanation of the star-rating system in my house manual. Unfortunately most don’t read it, but maybe it will help me get one less “everything was great!” 4-star rating.
I don’t mention my extras, either, but as soon as someone wrote, “I loved the wine, what a nice surprise!” in a public review I felt like I needed to always provide wine.
I do all this too, except instead of leaving a booklet with the names of nearby restaurants, I have 6-8 typed pages with the names, addresses, hours, and my comments (if I have personally been there) of restaurants.
I use note cards that say “thank you” with envelopes. I get them at the Dollar store in the greeting cards aisle. One pack has 10 cards.
I don’t provide any welcome food things and I consistently get points for extra touches. I put a lot of thought into the aesthetics of the place and into the selection of games and books. I have a really unique reading section, indoor and outdoor games, and I made sure everything is pleasing to the eye. I think guests want to feel like you have taken time to create a really cool space, I think that is what counts for them! Wine and handwritten notes help, but it isn’t really affordable for every stay. I limit those things to celebratory stays!
We have a pretty high priced unusual listing, with many thoughtful touches. This is one of my first notes I send to guests: I also include a cheap pinot grigio…, but no note or extras unless its a few Swiss chocolate bars, but they melt…
“Hi xxx and XXX:
Some guests prefer to relax and stick around up here once they arrive:) Tiny tiki retro hideaway is self catering, but we offer some breakfast materials: eggs (4), butter (mini cube), pancake mix, syrup, coffee, tea, cream, olive oil, and vinegar also pasta and sauce. Cook could supplement those things. also chilling gal. Crystal Geyser, these items are free,”
These retail purchased items could add up if they are all used or eaten consistently, but that is just not the case!
My handwriting is terrible. I have very pretty matching frames I leave out. One has my house rules and the other has a typed personalized welcome letter to each guest hand signed. When they leave, I keep the welcome letter and make notes on it as to what type of guests, preferences, etc… as well as the duration of their stay so I can remember. I leave chocolates and hand sanitizer on the counter next to the welcome letter and coffee in the frig. I also leave complimentary shampoo, conditioner, body wash and toothpaste in the bathrooms. The hand sanitizer is never left behind, but sometimes all the chocolates, all the coffee , and all the toiletries are not even touched. Happy dance. Sometimes almost everything is gone. Hit and miss.