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What special "extras" do you include for your guests? What works and doesn't work?

I’ve been hosting pretty much nonstop since I signed up for Airbnb in April. I earned super host status within my first 3 months (not sure how much credit that holds with would be travelers). While the majority of my reviews are 5 star, I’m wondering what little extras I can add to set me apart from the other rentals in my area. What is worth it and what is not? So far I include:
-pool towels, sunscreen and aloe
-bottled water in the fridge
-basic cooking necessities (flour, sugar, olive oil, salt, etc)
-dishwashing liquid, dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, stain remover and dryer sheets, paper towels, paper plates and plastic cups (mainly because I don’t want glass around my pool)
-cable/satellite tv in the guest room
-upscale/boutique brand soaps, shampoos, face and body products
-free reign to eat whatever they find in the fridge
-flexible check in as long as no one is leaving the same day as someone is arriving. Usually people end up checking in around my set time of 3pm or later, but I do get several requests to check in early (recently as early as 9am). I’ve seen some people add an early check in fee or a late check out fee. What are your thoughts on this?
-I recently added a $20 cleaning fee for my guestroom/guest bath rentals. Previously I’d only charged a cleaning fee when my whole home was rented. I was torn about whether or not to add a cleaning fee to the single room rent, but I found myself doing a lot of laundry and cleaning when I have guests only staying one night. How do you guys feel about cleaning fees for room rentals?

Are there other things you add to your space to enhance guest experience? Am I missing anything?

I started in May, got superhost in July. I have 2 private room and guests have their own sitting room and own bathroom in my house
, good towels and soft tissue paper.
-Since May, I have redone the rooms and sit in them and think, if I was a traveller want would I want. I have not updated the pictures and guests often say its a beautiful room bla bla
-I put a welcome tray, tea/coffee.water and snacks in their room
I put together a little emergency box of supplies in each room, sowing kit, toothpaste, hairbrush, note pad, plasters, face wipes, a fancy box with discount store items
fill them up at breakfast

I get a lot of compliments on my shower. It’s a new walk in shower but I added a handheld shower head. It has 5 spray settings with an extra long hose. I also added a shut off valve to the pipe so the pressure can be adjusted. The attachment is not a water saver so the shower has great water pressure if the valve is open all the way. I have the same set up in my shower and loved the water pressure so added it to the airbnb room. The attachment also makes the shower higher up so tall people can get under it. I also added a shower bench.

What didn’t seem to help me is offering breakfast items.

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There are soooo many threads on this subject. I’d advise you to read through a lot of the pros and cons where we have discussed nearly everything that you list here. There’s a lot on your list that could backfire. I just wouldn’t do it.

Cleaning fee is a must. OK…just go back over some of the posts where we’ve have discussed nearly all of your points over and over ad nauseum. Sorry but I just don’t feel like typing it all out again! :smile:

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I market my listings as a luxury experience. Most of my guests are traveling for either business or to visit family (this is not a tourist location) so they want to feel they are at home. There are two separate room listings, each with a private bathroom, and a large living area with a kitchenette.

The rooms are large and have nice windows so this allowed me to go nuts decorating. I did spend quite a bit on furniture and bedding. I advertise high thread count sheets (from 800-1200 tc), egyptian cotton towels, and I put out white spa robes (1 womans and 1 mans) which I have seen used.

Little things in the rooms: bedside clocks that also have USB chargers, a tray on the desk for a man to put his wallet and keys in, box of tissues, a nightlight in the room and the bathroom, coasters everywhere, makeup mirror, hair dryer, toiletries from high-end hotels (ironically I travel frequently and stay in hotels). For emergencies I have extra toothbrushes, toothpaste, makeup remover pads, razors, sewing kit, hair cap and similar necessities. There is an iron/board in the closet, as well as an umbrella, extra pillows and extra towels.

In the kitchenette I have a wide selection of Kcups (I buy in bulk when they go on sale at the local grocery store) and tea items, as well as a mini-fridge stocked with juice, yogurt, water, milk and other things I find on sale at the store. There is a large basket of snacks.

The item that gets the most comments is the nightlight. Since I travel so much myself, I hate that feeling in the middle of the night where you wake up disoriented and can’t figure out what direction the bathroom is.

Can you suggest topics to search under? I tried to look before I posted this new thread, but didn’t see any.

It’s not organized too well as sometimes threads tend to drift.

Wow, that’s a lot! Right or wrong, I include extras based on the number of nights the guests are staying. For example:

  1. One-night: nothing but my smiling face.
  2. Two-nights: a mini-package of organic Costa Rican coffee plus creamers and sugar
  3. Three-nights: all of the above plus bottled water.
  4. Longer than three nights: all of the above plus a welcome snack of local specialties.

If guests are super cool, they’ll usually get home-baked or cooked snacks I drop by. If they aren’t, I adhere to the “freebees” above. :slight_smile:

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I’ve also had the suggestion of a night light in the hallway to the bathroom. I think that’s a great idea. My furniture throughout the house is high end, but I don’t splurge like that on sheets and towels. I get too many stains and I’m constantly replacing them.

Since I live in my house, I tend to always have the things on hand that I need to clean and do laundry. I do note that I try to have sunscreen on hand and keep it stocked, but it isn’t guaranteed.

I’m also thinking about requiring 2 night minimum stay to save me time. I may lose some guests, but it might be worth it to not doing laundry almost everyday.

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I started with minimum one night. Now at two nights – so worth it during the high occupancy rate months. However, I may switch back to one night during the slow season. It all depends on what is going on in my life :slight_smile:

I have a JC Penny credit card. They send dozens of emails every week with sales, coupons, and rewards. I bought most of the bedding on clearance + coupon + reward = 60-75% off and free shipping over $50. Their online store sells more high-end items than the brick and mortar. Through a combination of good luck, good timing and the right combination of coupons I got the 1200 tc sheets which normally sell for $700 for… $35. That’s 95% off. They are extremely sturdy and I found from experience that bleach will get bloodstains out. My only regret is that I didn’t buy more sets.

The towels unfortunately can be stained by benzoyl peroxide. The guest was nice enough to pay for the damaged set in cash, so I just replaced them. Now I put out a couple cheap white face towels for makeup removal. If the remaining towels get damaged I will replace with white as suggested.

This is the first house I have ever owned, and after years spent in rentals with white walls, beige carpet and mismatched furniture, I really just wanted to decorate with lots of color and pattern and have a few nice, new things. Doing these rooms has been fun and honestly most of the choices are a little expensive because that’s what I liked the best. It’s also fun to think up cool things that I think guests will like - and sometimes I am surprised at what they like and what doesn’t seem important.

I am so jealous though of all the posters on this board who create a new listing and immediately book up solid. Even with the fancy stuff and rock-bottom prices, my area is just a sucky location and bookings have been beyond dead all summer. I’ve been watching other listings in the area and no one has new reviews.

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Prior to furnishing my Airbnb, I had never shopped at JCPenney. At the time I was shopping for furniture, they were dumping their Conrad and other modern furniture lines that did not work for their average customer. I got four modern tables at 85% off with free delivery. When I was in the store, I checked out their linens. I buy their waffle-pattern quick dry 100% cotton towels. They are supper fluffy and I’ve only lost a couple of white washcloths to eye make-up (I now have salon washcloths with a sign to use for make-up and other staining products). Plus, they are the most amazing glass cleaning cloths, ever. Perfect for the shower door/divider. If you have the credit card and pay attention to the coupons, like Artemis attests, way better prices than Target. Highly recommend.

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Where is your Airbnb?

I’m lucky that San Diego is a popular tourist destination and so far there aren’t any laws restricting hosting in private homes. We’re also a big Uber city. Any time I travel, I now look for Airbnb locations before I book any hotel. I’m surprised how many larger cities lack Airbnb rooms or houses. For example, I went home to St. Paul this summer but wanted to stay downtown instead of in the suburbs with my parents. There were hardly any Airbnb locations! On the other hand, Minneapolis has tons. I think business will pick up in slower markets as people become aware of Airbnb. I hope your place gets noticed! It sounds wonderful.

Yes, San Diego is famously beautiful and they also advertise as a tourist destination. It’s one of the places I’d like to visit. I live in a suburb of Houston, TX. No one comes here unless they have to - there is NO scenery. The land is completely flat and natively populated by scrub brush. There is not a lake or a stream nearby or any fun outdoor activities like hiking. It was built on a swamp so it’s humid like crazy and when they say “everything is bigger in Texas” you didn’t realize they were talking about the bugs. It is a great place to live and work (as long as you don’t care about going outside) because housing is cheap and up until the recent oil slump there were lots of good paying jobs. My husband and I are always talking about living someplace scenic, but then we look at the cost of living and realize that beauty comes with a price.

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I just bought waffle pattern towels at JC Penny and they’re great – they are soft and still feel a bit fluffy but they dry much more quickly whether in my dryer or in the apt between guests’ showers. My thick plush towels weren’t drying completely for the guests between showers and I think they used many more towels as a result.

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Are you in Costa Rica?

OMG the amount of towels guests use is crazy…maybe I’ll try the waffle weave.

@KKC, yes we are!

I do think that if towels are even slightly damp the next morning, guests are going to reach for a new one. We are using them ourselves now too – they never smell at all since they dry much more quickly than our regular plush towels. I just hope they wear well and don’t start to feel thin and cheap within several months.

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