When to charge for a long-term stay

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Arks's picture
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I realize many of you have no experience with this, but you may still have thoughts to share.

My policy is to charge the first night's fee to make the reservation, and balance due upon arrival.

I have folks arriving from Chicago Saturday night (weather permitting) for 28 nights!

They paid the usual 1st night's deposit through ResKey and have a balance due of nearly $3,000. Would you change this full balance at time of arrival, or break it up like $1,000 on arrival and $1,000 at the end of each week or something?

I also think 1 night's rate as a deposit to mark 28 nights off the calendar sounds like a pretty low deposit, but this is rare enough that it's probably won't happen often. (But it's sure wonderful...if they actually get here!)

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Arks's picture
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For what it's worth, a little update. It's a couple in their 80's who take a winter vacation each year and this year they found our town and my place on the Internet, and here they are! They have no connection at all to this place. Never even been in the state before, but they are enjoying being out of the Chicago winter.

I've  been by to chat with them a couple of times. They're doing their own cleaning and laundry and just settled in like it's home. Today they asked for some more soap "pods" for the clothes washer and the dishwasher, but otherwise haven't asked for a thing.

Being old folks, they did have a TV problem after a few days that I finally figured out. They had pushed the button on the remote that switches input from cable to antenna. There is no antenna so they were getting a blank screen.

One day their whole mission for the day was to find Walmart. Another day their goal was to find the Catholic church. I gave them directions but it ended up taking 3 days to find it (it's 5 blocks from the guesthouse). So, we're watching out for them but otherwise letting them do their own thing, and it seems to be going great!

Thank you again, Internet!

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Snow birds! 

I told a couple who lived up there about your place. They were in Central Illinois. Not 80's, 70's.

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gillumhouse's picture
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Chicago!!! NO WONDER they wanted your place!!! And weather is just ONE of the reasons to want to be out of there. It is a great place to visit (if you hit the right week in June thru August) but NOT a place to be otherwise.

Arks's picture
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I've been waiting for the call cancelling, or a no-show, but they just checked in! Twenty eight nights! I ran the card for the balance and it was good. All is well...so far. What a nice January I'm having!

gillumhouse's picture
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Woohoo! I have 3 nights next week and call it a wonderful January. I think I can now count on the 2-night rez as an annual - the accountant who does the taxes for a local company. After getting moved to my B & B instead of their motel a couple years ago, he wants my place so they give him my place. HE does their taxes!

Madeleine's picture
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Arks wrote:

I've been waiting for the call cancelling, or a no-show, but they just checked in! Twenty eight nights! I ran the card for the balance and it was good. All is well...so far. What a nice January I'm having!

Excellent!

So far my January is all expenditure, but we plan for this.

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Arks wrote:

I've been waiting for the call cancelling, or a no-show, but they just checked in! Twenty eight nights! I ran the card for the balance and it was good. All is well...so far. What a nice January I'm having!

yes

Here is my January, actually it is right now as I type this, which is pretty fun. People are in and out of here like clockwork today, spray tanned and gorgeous...I just hope these ladies all bring their husbands next time and stay overnight! 

After wanting to "use a room" I said the room would need to be rented, so she lined this up for more than one boudoir shoot in a day! I may be getting some images I can use, here or there...er maybe.

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Thanks to all! I'll charge full balance on arrival and will feel great about it. If they do leave early, I can handle a partial refund.

But maybe they'll say longer cheeky

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06/24/2008

Arks wrote:

Thanks to all! I'll charge full balance on arrival and will feel great about it. If they do leave early, I can handle a partial refund.

But maybe they'll say longer cheeky

If what I hear is true, they may NEVER leave!!  Well until the barrel runs dry!

gillumhouse's picture
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It is true!!!

Silverspoon's picture
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10/16/2011

For long term stays we take 50% as deposit and the balance upon arrival.  That pretty much takes the worry out of booking a long term stay during our busy season.  With a 30 day cancellation period virtually no one cancels at the last minute, leaving us high and dry.  And by collecting the balance upon arrival there are very very few who leave early.

Here is what we have learned over the years: the people who make an extended stay reservation know how much it costs.  It is the frugal innkeeper, scratching for every dime who feels bad about presenting the final big bill.  People have money...they chose your place for their vacation because it's a good value.  

 

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gillumhouse's picture
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I responded as a room. You have a guesthouse - Take it ALL on arrival!!

gillumhouse's picture
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Dupe

 

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06/24/2008

They already agreed to your terms, let it be! 

Now that it has happened and you now know it could happen again, create your long term policy thinking about your needs.  You now have had time to think of 'what if'  write it to be what YOU are comfortable with. 

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They know how much it is and they know they will have to pay it. So charge when they arrive. Get it and be done with it. If they leave earlier then you can deal with the issue.

OnTheShore's picture
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08/28/2011

We charge 25% of the rent as a deposit to confirm the reservation, the balance due upon arrival. We have one guest who comes every year for 6 weeks or more.

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

On arrival. If they decide to decamp early or something else comes up requiring you get paid more, you've at least got this. Think about it like an apt rental, you don't usually pay by the week.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

I've changed my deposit policy to a 50% deposit or full payment for a 1 night stay. A policy like this would cover yourself for any online reservations. 

With the reservation you already have, I would contact them for a 50% and charge the balance on arrival. At that point, they've committed!

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Just like for a larger booking, I would take 50% down.

gillumhouse's picture
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With my long-terms I charged each week and since it was a weekly rate, I put it on the books as the full week being charged in 3 equal amounts on the first 3 days of the week and the rest of the week was 0 - so if the job ended on Wednesday I had mine and no refunds.

IF you break it up into per week, make it $1000 on arrival and $1000 at the beginning of the next week, not the end. Helps stop "early departure disease".

I also charged tax every week even though after 30 days tax was not required, I told them I was not fighting with the Governor or the tax office. No one complained.

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