Whole house rental - lock unused bedrooms?

Hi all,
We have a whole house rental 1500 square feet, 3 bedrooms, one of which is a lounge/bar office that an air bed can be used. Two bedrooms have real beds (not air beds). We currently keep all rooms open. We recently had two guests who booked. They were a married couple. They slept in separate bedrooms. They each use their own bathroom. We ended up doing double the cleaning and washing of linens than expected. How do others manage this? Rent by room only and lock other bedroom ( we would keep the lounge/office room open)? My husband says lock second bathroom too, but it is nice when I travel with someone to have acces to at least a second bathroom for toilet access or putting on makeup while the other is using the other bathroom. I plan to keep it open. I am interested in knowing if it would be best to rent by room versus number of people? There are pros and cons to both sides as we still have to clean an entire house, but maybe eliminate one bedroom ( which equals 2 hours of washing/ drying/ironing and 5-10 minutes of additional vacuuming & dusting). I understand booking for two does not mean one room, like when my sister and I travel, we want separate rooms. Only one for my husband and I, but this is not always the case obviously for all couples. Maybe our guests intended to be in one room and had a fight, or maybe that’s just how they exist for whatever reason (personal, snoring, etc). We charge $89/night for whole house, $20 for each additional guest after 2, and $35 cleaning fee. I know, everyone says we should increase the cleaning fee, but i see it as a deterrent, esp to short stay guests. Plus I worry if I charge a higher fee, it will be left messier (“if I’m paying that much for cleaning, someone else can deal with it”). All guests have been super tidy, even the six young men who stayed. We do not live in a tourist area, so it is slow with bookings. No bookings in December at all. I appreciate your thoughts.

If your listing states two beds, then you have to offer two beds. Doesn’t matter if it is a couple or not. Not all couples choose to sleep in the same room for, as you say, a variety of reasons. Your listing rate and cleaning fee should assume that you are cleaning both bathrooms and both bedrooms.

AirBNB’s software has no way to charge by the bed [which I would personally love.] It is one of its weaknesses.


Have 2 listings

One whole house

One single room in whole house.


I have the same situation…will both listings work off same calendar?

@Barns. Yes. When you add a second listing you are given the option to “link” your calendars.


Ah! As easy as that! Relieved, thankyou

@barns, But, now all your reviews are divided which can make it more difficult for prospective guests to determine if you are the right place for them to stay.

Doesn’t sound so bad really, review - schmiview


If you rented the whole house they were entitled to use the whole house.
I’d be pretty peeved as a guest if I rented a whole house and some of the bedrooms were locked.

Your price for a whole house seems low.


Yes, price is low, and air keeps asking me to lower it! I listed it originally for $125.00 night then dropped to $95.00, now down to $89.00 night. They want me to rent the whole house For 59.00, cheaper than a local hotel room. Maybe it’s odd psychology, but if I see a neat nice clean place offered at a cheap price, I raise my brows and wonder what’s wrong with it.

So does one charge differently for cleaning one room and the rest of the house (minus other bedroom if renting a room in a house only)? Maybe I should increase cleaning fee for whole house rental vs renting a room in the house…

Where are you?

I don’t think you are charging enough to make your enterprise worth it.
You are going to start attracting the wrong kinds of guests with that sort of price.

If it’s your low season you could start to divide up the rooms into separate listings but then you can no longer state it is a whole house.

I would set it at a rate that is fair to you. Add a cleaning fee to help a little.

Needless to say you must completely ignore Air’s suggestions.


Our Air rental is in NC, about 20 miles from Duke and UNC.

Don’t consider this so personally. It is a computer algorithm, designed to maximize AirBNB’s profit– NOT yours. It has no idea how your property compares to the flop house down the street. It can’t compare your location and amenities to another “comp” four blocks over.

They are NOT asking you. They are trying to control the market. So stop paying attention and considering any of their suggestions as being emotional.


That seems quite far from the universities to attract the student guests.

Since it appears to be low season there, I would set your price to 125 for low and 160 high. See what happens. Raise cleaning fee to 85. I would not rent your house for under 100.

I used to be so worried about raising prices. That raising prices would scare off guests. To my shock, raising them attracted even more guests!!! It was just the oddest thing!


All great advice, all respondents! Thank you! Smtucker, Air sends those “6 people looked at your house for xxx dates but booked at a place 20-30.00 cheaper. Consider lowering your rate to attract more bookings” or something like that!!!

I believe that if it looks too good to be true it is too good to be true. I think this is why raising prices to the norm for the area attracts more and better quality guests. If I saw a place that was priced well below the norm I would assume that something was wrong with it.


Yes. I get those as well, but note the information that is missing. They don’t say “6 people looked at your house for xxx dates but booked at three bedrooms in your subdivision for 20-30.00 cheaper.” They have you lumped in with a sofa in the living room, a private room in a dump, a private room in a really nice house, and whole house listings.

And, in that area, your target market is not students… it is visiting researchers and lecturers, artists who are exhibiting or performing with one of the many music groups, prospective students and their families, and folks like me returning to visit an Alma Mater. However, 20 miles is a bit far. I would never select a place that far away if I was visiting UNC or Duke.


As my dad used to say, tell them to pound sand! :rofl::rofl:
Or as I often say, — oh right, in your dreams!
What’s next?!!! Consider lowering your price to $1 per night and get lots of bookings! :laughing:

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In the world of marketing, this is called premium pricing. Of course you will pay more for that Tesla than you would for the Ford. If the Tesla were under $20k, you’d wonder what was wrong with it!

I test drove a Tesla last month and it was incredible. Wish Hawaii had more charging stations.

I get the same message all the time from Air - their program has no concept of where my property is located and the comparables. I had a potential guest tell me she thought something was “wrong” with my property, she asked her adult kids why it was so low.

Totally with kona on this.

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