Year 2 Thoughts & Changes

Hi everyone! Its been months since I posted because we were in off-season and only had a handful of guests from November - May. We recently started getting all the requests again and are hopeful that this upcoming season will be as busy as the last one.

The husband and I had some long discussions over the winter about the future of the Airbnb business and our farm, etc. We work very hard and find it impossible to take vacations because of all the responsibilities we have. We decided it was time to put in a nice inground, saltwater pool on the farm so that we can enjoy a nice place to relax without having to go on vacation. I keep thinking back to those hot summer days where we work outside constantly and then are forced to go inside to sit in the AC and I cringed at going through this for another summer.

The pool install is finally complete, and they are coming to do all the planting/sod/landscaping next week and after that we plan on welcoming guests to use the pool as part of the reservation. We already checked with our insurer and he is OK with it. Initially we were going to ask guests who want to use the pool to pay a separate fee to us, outside of Airbnb to use the pool but it felt uncomfortable. We decided instead to increase our nightly price for weeknights to $150 and weekends to $175 (up $25 per nights from last year).

I myself would pay that price to stay in out guesthouse with access to a saltwater pool so I figured we will hopefully find people who agree with that price. If they don’t we will keep our pricing high, have less guests, and be able to enjoy the pool without sharing it with guests on days we have no bookings.

What do you all think about this? Do you think the price increase is justified? Would you not allow guests to use the pool at all and keep it to yourselves?

We are going to set strict pool rules. Time will be limited to probably 10 am to 6 pm. We are early birds and don’t mind using the pool in the mornings and evenings when the guests aren’t using it, but also don’t mind sharing it with “some” guests during the day but will avoid guests who we do not like, you know the ones I am talking about!

Last year we also provided fresh bread and honey from our beehives for guests. We will not be doing this anymore because its time consuming and we feel like it gives people more to complain about. (we often got people saying rye or whole wheat bread would be better, or saying they didn’t eat it because we didn’t provide butter), lol.

We will also be rejecting all requests that ask for special treatment, or special check in/out times. It says right in our house rules that this cannot be accommodated, and we still receive frequent requests from people asking as if they didn’t even read the rules. This morning I woke up to a request to check out 4 hours late, I denied it, and then they said never mind the request they would still like to stay here and I denied it again because they would likely just stay late regardless.

We also added in a $100 security deposit because we thought it would help deter people from leaving the house dirty, dishes in the sink, laundry on the floor (all against our house rules), even though we likely wouldn’t be able to claim that from Airbnb. Most people were wonderful but we did have a handful of awful guests last year and we don’t want to go through that again.

We are looking forward to everything coming up, hope we make more money than last year and have an easier time cutting out the BS. To guests who stay for more than 2 days we will give them a bottle of local wine from our neighboring vineyard. People seem to enjoy it. We are in good spirits, it was such a whirlwind last year and we are hoping all the hard work on the pool, and expense will pay off.

By the way, the pool is heated so you better believe we have been swimming, even when its 50 degrees outside! haha.


That all sounds great! Starting year two for me too, and I am also planning to cut back on my concessions to guests and be more firm in my policies. I can already tell my hosting style has gotten a lot more relaxed, and I’ve been able to get my prices up.

I also have a pool, and I would recommend good signage on your pool rules, a sign saying there’s no lifeguard on duty, no glass, pool hours, etc. I know I can charge more in the summer due to the appeal of the pool. We’re considering adding a hot tub for our benefit but then offering that year round and making more too!

Stop right now…lol! Increase the nightly rate by the $25 you want especially if you had a lot of bookings last year. Often times it can take the 3rd year for people to truly settle on the “sweet spot” in their pricing. Especially if you’re in an area that has several high and low peak times.

If it were me, I would only want to invite people who I really like into the pool. I would not include it as an advertised amenity unless I knew that I was earning more for that amenity. For example, I was going to install a hot tub and this was the plan for years. The hot tub was even purchased used from a friend long ago. But I know my market well enough now that I won’t have enough guests willing to pay more for it. Maybe some would separately pay a fee - honeymoon couple, etc. But I know I can’t just increase my rate by $25 across the board year round to include a hot tub, when not everyone wants it - and I am already priced at the top of my market.

I don’t know anything about saltwater pools, but if this is like a regular underground pool - do you really want little Johnny pooping his diaper or peeing in the pool?

I loved your beehive honey and fresh bread idea. Why not skip the bottle of local wine altogether and just throw in one of the mini half sticks of butter to the honey and bread? Yes, it can be a bit weird for some to just eat honey on bread - butter goes with honey and bread the same way I need cream cheese on a Bagel…lol. Sorry…now I am giving unsolicited advice…

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Why not an additional optional fee for guests for the pool?

Haha! Unsolicited advice is great and the reason I posted was to get that advice! Fortunately we don’t allow children on the property so we aren’t worried about kids in the pool, but that’s not to say that we do have some of “those” worries with elderly people. I also worry that if we only invite certain guests, they will mention the pool in their reviews and then every future guest would see it and expect pool access. I think we will try to give it a season with sharing and see how it works out, and if it doesn’t we will remove access for next year.

We will have plenty of signs for sure. No glass, no meals, no smoking, no diving, no horseplay, shower first, no being drunk, and with the pool hours on it. We want people to have a good time but to be respectful and responsible.

Oh, and for the bread. It just turned into a chore and was a lot more work. We really want to save time, especially now that we have a pool and will be adding in the work of maintaining it.

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We originally thought we would charge an extra fee but feel awkward about it. How do we accept payment for it? If I were staying on someone else’s property I would feel weird paying separately to use a pool.

You can do on the paltform air bnb for the extra.

It’s often that hotels are charging extra for the spa or other things.

Really… Where in Airbnb can we add in optional fees? I am thinking that might work better for us rather than upping the nightly price.

You can send an alteration to the guests after they booked (send or request for money)

You can put in your listing the extra and if clients wants it you can charge on the platform.

edit: we have this for breakfast and bikes that are optional and considering in the future to add an optional spa part.

edit2;: we started last year with honey bees and if we start to get enough honey, I am thinking to offer a special pot to each client like this kind and they will be able to buy larger if they like it:

I don’t know if you should include it in your price or just have people pay for it, but having fresh bread, goats cheese and honey for breakfast every morning would most certainly make my day, everyday :yum: !

Ooooohhh, now you got me hungry and craving for those things :smirk:. (I got an emergency surgery 2 weeks ago, and I’m not allowed near dairy products or fats for 2 - 3 months :sob:. All this while dreaming of good cheeses all day long. Life is hard :sweat_smile:.)


Too bad, I was hoping we could do it with all bookings as an add on. I don’t feel comfortable doing alterations to use the pool. I really wish they would allow us to offer add on services.

Raising bees is so great isn’t it!? We offer it for sale to guests along with our goat milk soap.

The bread is delicious but not every guest appreciated it and it was very time consuming.

How much do you ask for the honey (quantity and price) ?

I agree for the time consuming for bread. I was offering home made typical sweet things to every guest but I am keeping to foreign guests and I make larger quantity that is frozen (and put the correct amount from frizer before they arrive)


Your pool sounds like a great addition and is sure to bring you lots of enjoyment. I hope you post a pic of it some time down the road when it’s all landscaped and finished.

When we traveled through New England for a couple of summers and stayed in Bnbs, I loved those that sold little jars of honey (with a piece of honeycomb in it!), or hot pepper jelly or berry preserves that were grown on the property and were made by the owners. One made the cutest mini-soap bars with chips of colored soap. There were tags or labels on the products that had the logo (usually a drawing) of the BnB. I would buy whatever was sold not only for personal use but also to take home as hostess gifts.

Food for thought. If you have an abundance of honey, think of putting up jars with your own logo. [Addendum: Dang, I see you already do that!]

I have lots of other ideas to increase your workload. :smile:


I say raise the price for everyone. You said you want to make things simpiler. Make it clear you’ll be using the pool morning and evening. No matter what you do you are going to get some obnoxious guests who abuse your hospitality, but I do think it gets better each year as you learn what works and what doesn’t.


Hey Legends! Congrats on making it to year two!!! As someone going into year eight on Air, let me offer some unsolicited advice!! :laughing:

I think you should not advertise the pool and only offer it to “good” or favorite guests. Think about it, this is your sanctuary, something you have worked really hard to reward yourselves with… and to have guests tromping in it when you and your husband were, say, just about to go out and enjoy it yourselves would be a headache and a hassle! I would just tell those guests whom you do share it with not to mention it in a review and they won’t. They like being part of a secret club.

As for everything else, I TOTALLY hear you!!! In fact, bravo!!! :clap:!!!
As you have discovered, doing the extras is more work than it is worth, and to have guests not only NOT appreciate it, but CRITICIZE??? Forget it!!! I have had is too, but to a much lesser extent. Just don’t do the honey thing anymore (except for ME if I come to stay! :laughing::laughing:) New guests won’t even notice.

You have to do what serves your bottom line and your sanity. Sometimes this takes a year or so to get.

Be super firm on the late check out. So firm that they wouldn’t even DREAM of asking! I put it in my checkout rules and in my initial house notes.

Guests ask for it because they have received it at hotels and they figure it is worth a try. We are not hotels!

Regardless, your price point is perfect at $175 without the pool!! In fact, raise it to $185 and you will still get bookings. Without the pool and without the honey!!!


As a guest I would feel weird paying a separate fee for pool use but would be willing to pay a higher rate per night. In the summer I only rent apartments with a pool, I use it as a search filter, and they are usually priced higher than average.

6PM seems a bit early though, could you do 7PM ?


Thank you for the advice! We are very excited to have the pool now and want to enjoy it as much as possible. We know that we will end up with guests that come just to lay out by the pool and that is disappointing considering all the other amazing things there are to do on our 52 acres, but we feel like if we try to leave it out to select guests only it will guarantee us negative reviews. If I were going to stay somewhere and found out there was a pool that was off limits, I would be upset and likely wouldn’t go back.

If this turns out to be an absolute nightmare, we would consider putting in a second, very small pool for the guest house in the future. I have the equipment to do this myself and now that I got to watch how its done by my own installers I think I can pull it off.

Some people may think $175 is too high but we take pride in our property and think that everything it offers makes it worth it.

We decided on 6 pm as a cut off time for the pool because we usually end up going to bed early. We like to be inside by 7:30 and think 6 would give us enough time to cover the pool, clean it, etc. Pushing it to 7 might not be the end of the world but I would think people would want to get out and go start their evenings when the sun starts going down, wouldn’t they?

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“If I were going to stay somewhere and found out there was a pool that was off limits, I would be upset and likely wouldn’t go back.”

Now you have me so curious…but why?? Why would you be offended and never return because the owners’ have a pool on their property that is just for them, and it isn’t advertised? I am not following this. Is it because your pool’s location looks like it is completely part of the guest’s space? Or is located closer to you and your partner’s house?

The one potential issue that I see with this setup, is once a guest is technically “paying” for the amenity then it will open the door to complain that pool hours should be more flexible. Even if they read the rules and confirmed them, they may resent that they could never use it because they didn’t return home until 6 p.m. and that is the ideal time for them to use it.

Congratulations Legends for starting your second year and since I am starting my fourth it is interesting to see what challenges and opportunities present themselves as we move forward with hosting.

In my golf community, I’ve broken more hearts and lost bookings because the supposedly Community Pool is NOT a community pool. It belongs to the golf club, and the owners of the home don’t belong to the club.

In order to not lose a 2 week booking, I “borrowed” a key to the pool for my guests, who were under strict instructions of what to say and do if the teenaged bored attendant paid attention to their arrival.

I’d offer the pool as part of your listing. It will attract many more renters, I’m sure.

Oh, and at my last home, I made homemade soaps and canned jellies and jams and cowboy candy. Hardly anyone bought them. Sigh…