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I think it is a bad idea to have embroidery on the towels. It will encourage stealing as souvenirs instead of preventing it unless you do checks on their luggage.
Some of the other villas here have had even spoons and pillow cases stolen..as "souvenirs". I have no idea how a spoon can be a souvenir but whatever.
For me 1 out of 3 guests steals the whole jar of thyme honey and 1 out of 5 the bottle of olive oil and homemade marmalade. Some do ask when they are leaving -having already taken it in their bags btw, and then there's no way to refuse them and make them take it out. Otherwise a horrible review will be guaranteed.
I have noticed that a certain nationality (not from east asia) takes also all the tea even if it's a full can, the tin of the espresso. coffees and everything you leave for them in the kitchen except the sugar and therefore after having it happen repeatedly and no matter the price cheap or more expensive high season, when I have guests from that country I put out the minimal quantities if not at all.
I don't want to be racistic but facts are facts!! Blame your compatriots who act like hungry wolves.
I have guests buy me a necklace as gift,a russian orthodox religious picture, summer flowers in a clay pot, teas and vodkas from their countries,postcards and lots of wines but they are ppl who usually have stayed a week+. Because I live next door I get close to my guests and sometimes I even offer them a free homemade dinner so it's their show of their appreciation but it's very rewarding to see that you are appreciated.
This is the reason I quit the genius program. The quality of the guests, their behaviour attitude and reviews went downhill when the price dropped.
The only discount that has given excellent results is for guests staying 5+ days.
Unfortunately BDC still seems to be more focused on hotels and not holiday appartments so there's no option to offer a bigger discount for 10+ or 14+ days.
This has happened to me many many times with BDC. Like 70% of the time it happens.They don't care to put the right number of guests.
What seems to work is to send them an email about 3-4 days before and say "I want to confirm your time of arrival and the number of guests so we can prepare the beds". If they are international guests then use google translate and write it in their language because otherwise it's very likely they won't pay attention to it. Also don't send the email too soon or they won't care.
If you want to avoid this situation from happening then have a different pricing for different number of beds. If more come than booked then when they arrive ask for the extra money right there before they check in. And if they raise any objections tell the to check with booking.com because your listing explains it clearly.
My advice is to allow the visits if they don't plan to have a party or stay the night.
This can even lead you to more future bookings. The friends of your guests is possible they will become your future clients. At least this has happened to me. They saw my villa and compared it to the hotel they had booked with almost double price and then booked me the next year.
As for my guests rules I don't know about that. No matter what I write and in which language they don't read them. They only pay attention to what I explain to them myself.
I am surprised they didnt even steal the plates and the forks while they were at it. Amazing
Unfortunately as Katerinka said when something is free people take advantage of it with no consideration.
Thank you so much for the advice. I have found some steam presses of 80 and 100 cms that are almost like the proffesional length and quite cheap (about 300 euros) -all chinese manufacture ofcourse but what isn't these days. With the cost of the professional laundry here this is the cost of about 3 weeks I spend on them!
It never occured to me not to have ironed sheets. Do the wrinkle free sheets look almost like ironed sheets? Most of my guests are upper middle class western europeans and my prices aren't very low so I worry if there will be problems if I left them unironed.
Maybe I should start a laundry business lol.
I rent a villa in a very touristic area in Greece with very high competition from other similar properties in the area.
What I have noticed from experience or from my guests comments that has given me an advantage over the competition is first of all professional photos and having hired a decorator and choosing the most special artistic photo for the profile.
If you see my property in booking.com listings among all other similar properties in the area, it will stick out. It's not the usual photo of a swimming pool or sun terrace or stone house that are like a dime a dozen.
Secondly offering for at least 3 months before, a big discount to guests who stay for at least 5 days (not in the high season of August). Most owners near here only offer at last minute or at most a month before these offers.
Thirdly not allowing anymore last minute or local area bookings without credit card has saved me a lot of trouble with no shows.
With the booking.com programms I have noticed that leaving the Genius program has improved the quality of my guests and joining the PPP I can't overstate how much it has helped even after elevating the price to compensate for the 20% commision.
If you are a small businness owner my advice is to have a photo as your main to stick out among the crowd. Even if it's a simple beautiful photo of let's say a pink hat in the sun lol. Guests have been browsing all the listings with all similar appearances and grow apathetic at some point, you want them to click on your property even out of curiosity. Grab the attention. :)
Does anyone here uses a steam press for ironing their sheets?
I have been using a professional laundry service but the cost is so much for a small business and I wonder if it's worth investing in one and do it myself.