When to set up a sofa bed

Hi hosts !
We have a reasonably new property on Airbnb that has three bedrooms each with a queen bed and a sun room with a sofa bed (so can sleep up to 8). We state clearly in our listing that the sofa bed will only be set up if requested (or for bookings of 7 or 8) but we’ve had a few guests with parties of 4 or 5 now rock up now annoyed that there is not 4 beds available as Airbnb says we have 4 beds

We charge extra for over 6 guests but I am reluctant to add a charge for under 6 guests if they do need the bed as I’m worried it will sound “cheap”. So other than confirming with every single booking over 3 people how many beds they’ll need does anyone have any suggestions ?

Your own solution of asking sounds fine in terms of number of beds, as opposed to number of bodies, but I don’t think it sounds cheap to charge for an extra bed. You will have extra laundry costs after all. You may have to put something pertinent in your house rules to cover this.

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In addition to asking them how many beds are needed, as you already mentioned, I would also mention it again when you send them their welcome message after check in. I would say"sofa bed not made since there are only six guests. "

I just keep the linens for the sofa in the closet in a zipper bag that is clearly marked “Sofa Linens” guests can use them as they please, I can tell if they are used as they are not folded.

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If you offer 4 beds, then any guest can use 4 beds even it is only 1 guest.

Will the majority will do that? No, but if you offer 4 beds and only 3 are available, then you are listing an amenity that is not available and you might just find that a guest will claim a refund and Airbnb will be glad to give to them.

I would not list your sofa bed and depending on your space, just stick to 6.

We have a (good looking, but cheap manufacture) sofa bed in one of the rooms, first thing the kids that stayed with their parents in that room was …jump on it.

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We left the sheets in the closet at all times. Let the guests set up the bed. Of course then ours was broken within a year. Not replacing it either!

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We have one room that we can set up with two single beds, or one queen (the two put together). In my first message I always ask what setup the guest prefers. I do it even if the guest has said in their first message that they are traveling together with a “friend”.

About charging for extra guests: Instinctively I would say, charge extra for every extra guest after one. Two usually have more budget than one. Most businesses will try to charge extra once they sense their clients have a bigger budget. That is one of the reasons that supermarkets (same chain) charge more in a fancy neighborhood and less in a poor neighborhood. Also each extra guest costs you more (wear and tear, electricity, water, etc. …).

Apart from that, it’s a sofa bed so people might also want to use it as a sofa. Therefor I would provide the linens, but not set it up. That way maybe they will also prefer to just sleep in one bed instead of going through the hassle to set it up.