Switching from Airbnb to B&B

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06/14/2018

Hi All --

I will likely have several questions as we continue to consider changing from our current format (as an Airbnb) to a B&B at the start of 2019.

The reasons for this are many -- while it won't be the most convenient thing to need to drive 25 minutes over the mountain every morning, it solves a lot of small problems.

- We are also a venue, with a newly remodeled barn. With a vacation rental and full occupancy, it's gotten increasingly difficult to show the property to prospective couples, and I know having to wait for a showing for up to a month is costing us some good money. As a b&b, we feel as long as we aren't showing occupied rooms (obv) we can show common areas and the grounds. Most guests are out exploring nearby attractions during the day anyway, so we don't feel it would cause any conflict there.

- We have a limit on children (we honestly don't want children on the property as it seems parents often don't monitor them), but have been lied to in the past by a guest who booked as 7 adults... when the reality was 2 moms who drank the whole 3 days and 5 unmonitored kids who were hyped on sugar (I found the biggest bag of Easter candy I've ever seen in the kitchen cabinet). I don't need to complete the picture of the mess left behind... but if we are clearly present, then pulling a 'fast one' like this will no longer happen.

- We would be there, daily, in case of any problem. We are on a well, and on a mountain, and a highly wooded area. Storms make debris. Gardens need tending. The well filter sometimes needs changing early.

- This can potentially make more money, or less... but Airbnbs in our area are charging crazy low prices. We are considered "high" at 245/night (before cleaning and taxes) for a 4bed/3ba house on 28 acres that sleeps 9 folks. There is only one other nearby that is more, and it was designed by Southern Living... and 265/night. I feel we could charge $140 for the rooms that share a bath and $180 for the room with a private bath, and be fine financially. (For weddings, couples book the whole Cottage as well)

IF YOU HAVE READ ALL OF THIS, here are our questions --

1) Our Cottage is 4 bedrooms, and 3 baths. Only one bedroom has a private bath. Two rooms upstairs share a bath, and one room downstairs has a full bath down a private hall, but it is also openly accessible to anyone in what would be common areas, which would be a little awkward. It would not be impossible to add a private bath for that downstairs bedroom.

- Should we add a downstairs bath for that room?

- Should we instead offer the private room as one rental, the two upstairs rooms be grouped together, and the downstairs room as an add-on? (too confusing?)

OR

- Simply change our airbnb to say we include breakfast, and folks are still renting the entire house, but we have the B&B vibe going.

 

Thanks for any advice. I know that was a bit of a novel to read... We have a lot of questions as we weigh this out, so I thought it best to paint as much of the picture as possible.

Cris

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

I now have 1 private ensuite and 1 shared bathroom (2 rooms share). For my first 10 years we were 3 with shared.

I have had 3 non-related couples many times. Whenever the shared rooms are booked, I make certain they are aware there MAY be another room sharing the bathroom. I even had awedding night booked in the 3rd room knowing the other room was already booked. (That one was beautiful at breakfast as both the ladies were from China!)

I also offer the option of the private bath rate for the first booking in the shared rooms (less $5 because down the hall) if they want a private bathroom. That has sold a few times. I have very nice robes in each closet. Yes, you will get more requests for private bathroom, but do niot kid yourself, there ARE people who will not care if it saves them $10 or $20.

Mort's suggestion is a good one since you have events. Having a full bath available for the event is great - you never know WHO will need a shower with an event. 

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06/14/2018

Great advice -- I think the added bath would do wonders for making everything feel a little more like a B&B. We will be adding two 1/2 baths in the barn later this year (we have to wait for the dirt to settle, then do the perk test blahblahblah).

Super to know not everyone cares if they are sharing a bath with a stranger. I thought it might be a deal-breaker.

Thanks so much.

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

If you can add a bathroom and leave the other for events, that's the best compromise. Then, that 'hall bathroom' is now available for the other shared rooms.

Here's an idea from a place in VT that apparently is the hot spot to stay in Burlington - all guests have to use bathrooms outside their rooms so they get to pick which bathroom they want when they check in. Then that's their assigned bathroom for that stay.

If you had 4 bathrooms for 4 rooms, you could let those guests choose which one they want.

Being on site does cut down on the rannygazoo. I can't imagine what would go on if we weren't here.

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06/14/2018

I laughed at "rannygazoo" -- yes, we have discovered a few messes, a few small parties, and a considerable number of unmonitored children. Not the best idea with bears, the occasional mountain lion, two kinds of venomous snakes and lots of steep slopes (when the kids go against the rules and climb the rock face).

I like the idea of guests choosing which bath they would like. That's pretty nice.

Thanks!

TheBeachHouse's picture
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06/24/2013

I would never book a shared bath.   But I know there are many who would.

We book our two rooms with one bath as a suite - bedroom and sitting room.  The sitting room converts to a bedroom so you can sleep up to 4 - but it's all one booking.   Not strangers.

Is it necessary to open the downthehall bath to others?    Is this for events?   If it is simply the common area for your B&B guests - they can use their own bathrooms and you can keep the downthehall bath private for that one room.

 

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06/14/2018

I had considered finding a way to add a door in the hall, and close off the two rooms that have access to the shared bath. It may be a little too much finnegling. Though, it may work fine for parents in one room, and kids in another. Or at least, two couples who know each other.

It isn't at all necessary for the downstairs bath to be open to others. My concern was, if some guests just didn't care that it was the bathroom used by the downstairs guest... and inconsiderately using that bathroom rather than the one that goes with their room out of convenience.

The additional thing that would be nice about adding a bath, (and this is hard without drawing a sketch) is that the "new bath" space is currently the laundry room -- adjacent and easily private to that downstairs bedroom (which used to be a porch once upon a time). Thus, the existing bath could have the tub removed and the washer/dryer could be set in its place, with bifolds closing it off -- making it a fairly public 1/2 bath, and I would have an easy place for laundry without feeling awkward.

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

I have both private and shared. The private are the most popular with new guests, the shared with the return guests. But for us, it's also a price determiner. Americans are the most demanding of private bath.

As for the down the hall bath, that's easy to solve. Switch to an electronic latch lock and a manual deadbolt. So no one else can access the bathroom without the code. Schlage B571, Yale D292 or Falcon D271 deadbolt for example. Lever latch lock like YRL-210.

We also group 2 rooms together as a suite and rent together. Parents with children of couples like that. They still have 2 rooms inside with individual locks, but one lock for the 2 rooms as well. 

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06/14/2018

I hadn't considered an electronic lock! That's a good idea. Thanks for all the various makes/models, too.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Our down the hall bath has a lock with a key.  The key hangs on a piece of driftwood in the bedroom.  So they know they are the only ones with access to the bathroom.

That is a new addition.  We had issues with people using the hall bathroom when it wasn't assigned to them.  

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

TheBeachHouse wrote:

Our down the hall bath has a lock with a key.  The key hangs on a piece of driftwood in the bedroom.  So they know they are the only ones with access to the bathroom.

That is a new addition.  We had issues with people using the hall bathroom when it wasn't assigned to them.  

Here, too. We now have an exterior lock in the door with a skeleton key.

Generic's picture
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Anyone else imagining .... or just me? 

 

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

Generic wrote:

Anyone else imagining .... or just me? 

 

Oh, I wish it looked like that!

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