Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Unrealistic expectations

 In these days of Covid-19 lock-downs, and the extended cleaning protocol between guest stays, we heavily subsidise each guest who stays in our cottage. Hopefully this is temporary and some equilibrium will return to the self-catering market.  This year the armchair warriors leave sniping complaints on the review websites, when in previous years the same property and services has received praise. These moaning guests don't have the courtesy to raise any issue with us during their stay and the rental agency Sykes are unconcerned as long as they get their 20% + VAT + booking fee. At times they even give discounted prices, reducing our take, without asking us first.

The latest moan was the "property seems pricey." Let's be clear about this. We are lower cost than the price of a single room at the local Premier Inn, and for that you get a whole house. In fact our pricing is similar to a private room in a youth hostel. 

We allow pets to stay, the Premier Inn doesn't. We don't charge extra for pets (at the moment),and that alone saves a minimum of £105 per week in pet boarding fees. We don't charge for our labour in cleaning/maintaining the cottage (£40/week). We don't charge any notional interest on the capital tied up in the cottage (£45/week). The extra cost of Covid-19 cleaning is around £25/rental.

At current rates we've not achieved break-even over seven years. So we are going to increase prices by at least £150/ week. We've had enough of guests who expect Ritz services at Poundshop prices. If that scares away guests, we'll just move the property to private rental which would give the same or better return but a lot less work. We see no reason to continue subsidising guests.

p.s. The latest moaning guest failed to comply with Covd-19 regulations, despite them being clearly documented in the welcome pack. The cooker hood controls in the cottage were found damaged after her departure, but not reported to us. She also complained in the review that the paintwork was dirty, I don't suppose she'd have realised we had completely redecorated the interior of the cottage a couple of months previously.

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