My airbnb is in a small down called los osos in California, halfway point between San Francisco and los Angeles. I'm currently a 1 night minimum stay, so most of my business is people driving through California and just need a place to sleep for a night. It can be exhausting having new roommates every night, for example in June last year I hosted a new couple almost every night, it was exhausting.
So I've thought of changing my listing to a 2 night minimum, but I'm afraid it will greatly affected my business and my income.
Also, I don't charge a deposit fee or cleaning fee? Should I?
The fact that I do charge an additional cleaning fee is absolutely the only reason there is any benefit to me of accepting one-nighters, over longer stays. Because I do my own cleaning also, if i were not getting any extra dollars out of turning the room over for just one night, it would be double or triple the work for me for absolutely NO added benefit. The cleaning fee has never seemed to result in less bookings for me. If I were in a position where the majority of my bookings were going to be one night, I would definitely have a cleaning fee to counteract the fatigue from that kind of turn over. The sure way though to find out if switching to a two-night minimum would reduce business would be to give it a test run and see. You may have to wait till heavy season in June to accurately test it.
Post by High Priestess on Jan 4, 2017 15:25:27 GMT
Hi Sadie, and welcome to this forum
I think you should have both a security deposit and cleaning fee. The security deposit, whatever you set it as, is not ever actually charged to the guest by Airbnb. The guest only pays if they damage something and you submit a claim for reimbursement. Otherwise, it doesn't really matter if your security deposit is $10, or $1000 -- the guest doesn't pay a dime of that. Airbnb never collects or holds that amount. And so you can explain this to guests if they ask. Airbnb does state this and explain this to guests, as well.
Cleaning fees are important as Grace describes. This is an important way of getting paid for your time. THe way I figure it, if I am not charging a cleaning fee and someone stays just one night, from that one night's standard income (I am not offering luxury accomodations and luxury prices) I am barely getting paid for my time cleaning the room and doing the laundry -- let alone getting paid anything that can go to paying my bills on my house. So the cleaning fee adds enough that I then feel I'm getting paid for my time. Another way of looking at this is -- if you are starting to resent the work you are doing to clean the place, you're not charging enough for the one night stay. And you can either change that by raising the nightly rate, or adding a cleaning fee, or changing to 2 nights minimum.
What I'd really like to see (that Airbnb doesn't currently have a way for us to do) is a way that hosts could set a different nightly rate for different length stays -- we can already do that with weekly discounts and monthly discounts, but that isn't enough options. Hosts ideally could set a nightly rate of say $80 a night for a one night stay, with $20 cleaning fee (so, effectively $100 for one night only) , and $70 a night for a 2 night stay with $20 cleaning fee (so, effectively $80 a night for 2 nights) and then $60 a night for a 3 night stay with $20 cleaning fee (so $66 a night for 3 night stay). Either that or allow hosts to change the cleaning fee based on how many nights they stayed.
Hi Sadie, I get many one nighters and I don't charge a cleaning fee, to stay competitive. I guess, I could add the laundry cost, a few Euros. What I did instead was changing check-in and -out hours and house rules. I don't mind a bit of cleaning, but I value guestfree time. Now, they have to be out between 10 am and 5 pm, if they are staying a night or five. That lets me profit from my day and it does not make difference for 1-nighters. The active tourists and business travelers don't care and I don't want the lazy bones anyway. It reduces the crazy requests for arrival in the morning and departure in the middle of the afternoon. The hours may seem harsh in comparison with the competition, but my price is rather low, so people cope with it. Now, I have 7 hours of freedom. When I started, it was often only 3 hours and I had to squeeze the cleaning in them. No cleaning fee could make up for the difference. You should get something out of turning over daily, but there is no rule that it has to be money. It must suit you.
Hi Rhonda, my check-in is 5 pm and my checkout 10 am. In my description I say that I host "people who are outside during 10 and 5, as I work from home. That's negotiable but in advance. "
My place is very small and I don't offer a private room but a Bed in a shared room, on the loft over my kitchen. When I started, I had more lazy people who sleep all the time and often wish to stay home all but 3 to 4 hours, or pop in and out whilst shopping. That was especially dangerous as the parrot sits on the kitchen window in the afternoon and people entered without knocking, opening the door wide. Or they knock every 30 minutes to be let back in. No more.
It's easy to implement : they get a key but the door has 2 locks. If they are still abed after 9:30, I make sure that they are no longer asleep and then ask sweetly, if they wish a quick breakfast or will leave without. At 10 or shortly afterwards, I send them out and tell them the door will be locked till 5. If they need something before that hour, they have to text / call me. Nobody does it. Principally, it's ridiculous as normal people visiting Paris will not spend 20 minutes in the metro to return, eat some sandwich, take a nap, spend another 20 minutes to go for another sight. Easier to eat in a restaurant, on a bistro terrasse or in one of many public parks.
The decision increased my quality of life considerably, did not change a thing for my business guests and stop-overs, brought me more short tourist stays and I still get some active. 5 days tourists. I allow check-in till midnight, a bit later if necessary, and that is an advantage. People can take a late train or flight, which is often cheaper or allows them a full work day at home.
Like you, I also share a small space with the guests. I have my private room and they have theirs, though we all share one bathroom. I have a note in my listing that says this listing is only suited for tourists or visiting family members who will be out by noon each day for the majority of the day, and that if one needs a room for sleeping in, working in or resting in during daytime hours this would not be the listing for them. (of course I make exceptions for local grandparents who will need to return for an afternoon nap.) Still it has always been quite stressful to not have one minute's notice before guests suddenly walk in during the evening. So I have recently considered adding a request that guests text or message me fifteen minutes prior to on their way back home, so that I can know to expect someone entering the house, and more importantly can have fifteen minutes to be done with my bath and have the bathroom free for their use. It's not doable to expect any of us to stick to a bathroom use schedule and all guests need bathroom access immediately upon returning home. My guests get their key to the building and the bottom lock to the apartment, and like you, I also have two locks and could keep the top one (which they do not get a key to) locked from the inside while they are out WHEN i am at home, then unlock it once I get a text, OR once I am done using the bathroom, kitchen etc and ready for bed. This would not impose on the guests for anything other than to remember to message me on their way home. They already know they are required to have a working cell with sim card or whatever. If they forget to message me then they would just know they have to wait fifteen minutes to use the bathroom if I'm in it. Do you think this would be an acceptable request?
For me, just like you, I have added many quality of life policies over time to make living this way more tolerable for me. Thanks!
sadie34 Most definitely charge a cleaning fee. There are numerous reasons for this.
There are 2 cost components to hosting: "Per-Day" expenses (the rental of the space/furnishings/wear & tear/water/heat) and one-time "Per Stay" costs (setting the keyless entry codes, cleaning & laundry). It makes sense to charge separately for each of them. This also gives you a price if someone wants a mid-stay clean/turnover, for example.
If someone is staying 1 day, the costs of the per stay expenses remains the same, so the guest should pay this.
It also encourages longer stays as the one-time costs are amortized across all the days of the stay. And it makes it worthwhile to offer the guest the convenience of a 1-night stay.
Hotels turn the room over daily whether or not a guest is staying for one night or 20, so it makes sense for them to include the cleaning costs into the daily rate. For Hosts, unless you're offering the same daily "stuff" for 1 or 7 nights, then the guest is effectively paying for cleaning every day but only getting the value of the cleaning once.
My average stay is 3 nights. I get a lot of 1 night bookings and they all include the cleaning fee. Generally, they'll book if it's worth the price plus cleaning and otherwise they'll stay somewhere else.
I suggest you add a cleaning fee that reasonably covers your cleaning costs (by reasonably, find out what a cleaning service would charge to do exactly what you do--you may need them sometime--and set that as your cleaning fee), and lower your nightly rate slightly.
I also dissuade people from offering weekly discounts. If you want to offer something for a longer stay, provide a mid-stay/weekly cleaning--that benefits the guest because they get fresh clean linens and a tidy room, and it benefits the host because the room doesn't get so messy it takes twice as long to clean when the guest leaves.