Airbnb: “Airbnb is for little people”

images

I have the nicest man for a guest at my Airbnb right now. He exudes genuine positive energy. It radiates. I imagine his wife must be equally cool . They have three daughters. He misses them and he has only been gone for a day.

He is staying for just a couple of nights. He came down from Washington State to work. He is an American professional football player. He is tall and a solid 315 pounds. When he arrived, he was wearing a boot around one of his feet. He has a torn Achilles Heal and I wondered immediately how he would do with the stairs.

It never occurred to me there might be a weight limit on the bed frame in the room.

Marci-pic

The bedrooms make up the entire second floor of the house. The rest is downstairs, including the bathroom. You know he will have to go up and down the stairs a few times everyday to shower and stuff.

I won’t enforce the shoes off policy with him since a persons health is more important than my preference. He should continue to wear that boot. My only request is to be careful with the bathroom rugs and the squishy ones in the kitchen.

Shoes off policy is not just about keeping the floors clean, or keeping all the things you have tracked in out of the kitchen where food is being made, it is mainly about Feet, Shoes, and Feng Shui.

He checked into the house around 9:30p.m. which is close to my bed time. There was another guest arriving at 10:00pm – I wanted to wait up for this guest since it would be his 1st time to use Airbnb. Stays just go better if I can meet and greet, give a tour and let them settle in.

Once everyone was settled, I got undressed to crawl into bed naked to sleep. Sleeping naked is the best and I highly recommend it. Benefits of Sleeping Naked according to Science. Not even 10 minutes later, I heard a loud noise that could be someone falling down the stairs. I got up, opened the door and shouted out ” Everything Okay?”

It took a second to get a response. The response came from the bedroom of the football player. He sat at the edge of the bed and the frame broke. Oh no! He was okay. He felt bad. I felt bad. It required attention and a makeshift solution. This is going to be challenging since I am a minimalist. Not much lying around.

Unknown

I went down to the basement and came up with two paint cans. Crossing my fingers they would be the right height. They worked :). As we were putting the cans under the bed for support, he was able to lift the entire bed up with one arm while laying on the floor. This is when he dropped the comment that Airbnb was for little people. I laughed and realized how small everyday things must be for him. He did use a beach towel for a shower towel. I noticed it when he was walking down the stairs because I have the same towel. I made sure to check in with him in the morning to make sure those paint cans were holding up. He slept fine. He was also able to relax and hang out on the bed.

As a Superhost, I feel like I should be able to provide comfortable accommodations to any guest that shows up. Although I do not have the funds right this minute to get another bed frame. It will be the next big purchase I buy for the Airbnb.

Airbnb: Please don’t ask me about the money I make from hosting.

Unknown

I understand that people are curious creatures. Humans have a natural instinct to understand the world around them. It is fun to travel and see how other people live life. You could find yourself asking questions to help gain a better understanding of the settings around you. Friendly reminder- there is more than one way to gather information, especially when dealing with sensitive topics.

I find my financial details to be sensitive information and private. I am also willing to express my boundaries. I do not feel bad for standing by them either.

When two strangers meet, their respective boundaries are unknown. Maybe something will be said or done to reveal someone’s boundaries. When boundaries are expressed, it is important to respect them.

images

Whenever a guest arrives and proceeds to make conversation about what it must be like to be in the Airbnb business, what it must be like to be a host, what it is like to have strangers around, it seems the money question also comes up. What makes people think it is okay to ask a stranger about their financial situation? and make no mistake, you are asking about money and since I can only speak from my experience and I only know the intimate details of my situation and you are asking me- then yes, you are asking about my private business.

Do you know what it seems like. It seems like this……

Hi nice to meet you, how much money do you make?

  • Is Airbnb lucrative?
  • Are you able to cover the mortgage?
  • Do you have to have a second job?
  • How much do you get after Airbnb fees?

The answers to these questions are none of your business. When asked, I am put in the position of verbalizing my boundary, which sounds like….. Sorry, however we just met and I do not discuss my financial situation with strangers.

The gentlemen who asked me the lucrative question followed up my response with- Oh, I am not asking you about your money. We argued a little. Listen guy, yes, yes you are. Here is the definition of lucrative.

Some people feel bad after my boundary response, which puts me in the position of trying to smooth things out because they are guests in my home and I want them to feel comfortable. I have had to work really hard for this- a few times. My honest response brought an awkwardness to the situation that I felt fine about but I could tell my guest didn’t. They overstepped the bounds with their questions and now they feel bad because I responded honestly and shut down the conversation. Now I have to do the hard work to make it comfortable again.

In the future, think about what you’re asking, really think about it. If it requires divulging personal information then think twice asking a stranger about it.

The saying goes “Treat people how you want to be treated”. As much as I understand the lesson being conveyed, I think we should tweek it a bit to say- “Treat people how they would like to be treated.”

Airbnb: Getting Harassed by a Russian Guest Part 2- Twitter

Twitter time.

13859958641165122791twitter_logo_blue-md

I only joined Twitter to talk smack to President Trump. I can’t stand him. He is harmful to our nation. He is harming our nations standing in the world. He is harmful to the lives of women, children, immigrants/brown people, and anyone who isn’t rich. I could shout at him daily. I was good about it at first and then I stopped paying attention since it’s guaranteed that he says crazy things every day and I want to spend my time doing other things.

I was informed a couple of days ago by a very kind stranger that the guest that required kicking out (Albert) had turned to Twitter to bash me and I didn’t deserve it.

Albert claimed to be a famous Russian blogger that was going to destroy me. He actually ignored my request for non communication and continued to send me messages gaining momentum in aggressive language. I feel harassed. You can only call me a Cunt on Twitter so many times before I have something to say. He has great reviews on Airbnb. That guy didn’t show up to my house to stay. I think we see his true colors on Twitter.

The research has shown the following tweets.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 9.52.56 PM

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 9.59.50 PM

and so it begins.

After getting kicked out, he went to the Inner SE which is close to a homeless shelter and dive bars.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 10.02.35 PM

He sent a message saying he was landing at 11:00p.m. My mistake in thinking he would come straight here to check in around 11:30p.m. or midnight. My check in window ends at 10:00p.m so I was already doing him a favor.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 10.07.40 PM

so he can follow instructions.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 10.09.39 PM

He didn’t read the details in the listing because it clearly states where the space is located. 5 Top Things Airbnb Guests Should Do

and there are lots of signs around for good communication, including an chalk board arrow in the hallway pointing in the direction of the guest room (which is what I wrote on the arrow sign) Airbnb Observation: I’ve decided if you do not like these signs then you do not like communication.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 10.12.19 PM

I give everyone a fresh start. Fresh sheets, dust, trash, clean mirror, and a 420 kit along with a personalized name on a chalkboard for your room. 3 Top Things Airbnb Hosts Should Do

Drunk Guests are the Worst!

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 10.15.02 PM

He doesn’t remember. I came downstairs to see what was happening, I noticed he just arrived since he still had his shoes and was drunk I felt compelled to make sure he knew where the bathroom was and where to get water. I don’t need another guest “accidentally” trying to come in my room while “looking” for the bathroom when the listing states in 2 places the bathroom is downstairs and the bedrooms make up the entire upstairs of the place.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 10.20.02 PM

Airbnb Lesson for the week: If you lie about reading the house rules, show up and violate them, then your stay with me will come to an end.

After giving a mini tour, I tried to go back upstairs to go to bed. I had to be to work early and it is hard to go back to sleep when you wake up too much. He had questions though. Where could he smoke a cigarette? Smoking is not allowed on my property. He made faces and said – I can’t go out front? No. I can’t go out back? No. I reminded him that is states in the house rules (that he agreed to) He said he didn’t see that and gets out his phone to argue about it. I am grumpy from being rudely awoken and know he wants to argue. I shut down the conversation and say we can pick it up in the morning if there are still questions.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 10.33.06 PM

This guy is killing me. Like it says in the house rules, the house is 420 friendly for guests since public consumption is illegal. I guess you lied about reading the house rules since you can’t seem to find them.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 10.36.13 PM

I don’t argue with drunk people. Once I could smell the alcohol on his breath. I stopped the conversation and said we could pick it up in the morning.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 10.38.07 PM

so the drunk guy thinks he is going to take action before I do. He sure talks a big game for someone who didn’t do a thing but complain on Twitter.

Before I went back to bed at 3:00a.m. I sent some messaging through Airbnb to document the situation. see messages here

at one point, I asked him to stop messaging and when he wouldn’t respect my request and wasn’t making sense or responding in an appropriate manner to the things being said, I knew I was going to have to have him leave.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 10.50.46 PM

I called Airbnb first thing the next morning. They tried to call Albert but he didn’t answer. I had to go in the room with my phone. A case manager was going to tell him it was time to vacate the premise. Instead of keeping all his money, I would let them change his reservation to just one night.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 10.54.53 PM

How does he think Airbnb will be on his side when they already told him he was wrong and had to leave?!?!

They already sided with me.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 10.57.21 PM

He sure tweets a lot. I told the case manager I did not wish to pursue the penalty fee. I wanted to be done with him as fast as possible so I made it easy and let it all go. Look at him trying to be all big and egotastic……

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 11.00.03 PM

Did he get that refund he was demanding? Nope!

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 11.02.52 PM

He is trying to change his story and they are holding him to the agreed upon modification.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 11.09.00 PM

He didn’t get his way and now he is whining away.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 11.11.54 PM

I have worked hard for my Superhost status and he doesn’t have the power to take that away.

I have reported these messages to Airbnb.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 11.14.56 PM

Actions speak louder than words. For the record: I have an Android phone not an iPhone. Get the facts straight.

I got it, he thinks that he can take advantage of my Super host status and their wouldn’t be consequences to his rude behavior.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 11.21.54 PM

I can’t take it anymore and finally I say something.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 11.26.43 PM

My favorite part is where he says Airbnb is not on my side this morning when he is at a crappy motel. He was asked to leave my residence. He did not get a full refund. He got his Airbnb privileges suspended. He has already complained about the situation. Which part do you think is confusing to him?

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 11.30.15 PM

I have a lot of gratitude out there for a particular person who gave me a heads up this Twitter bashing was happening. It should give everyone concern that someone can get your information legitimately and then take it to another platform where they intend to do you harm. Put enough information out there that strangers can identify you. I have an angel watching my back! I also am tired of being called a Cunt and the lies he is telling. He wants to sit back and act all big and bad and tell his followers a bunch of stuff that isn’t true. So I am here to give my side to the story and provide evidence along the way.

Twitter banter leads to a resolution..stay tuned for part 3 – meeting with the Russian.

Screen Shot 2018-06-12 at 11.35.18 PM

Airbnb: Getting Harassed by a Russian Guest: Part 1

I have been a host for Airbnb for 2 years and I have hosted over 350 people. People are people and patterns have revealed themselves. I have encountered all kinds of situations and behaviors – I thought I had seen it all. There is a first time for everything.  Lessons Consequences Choices Wisdom

Albert booked last-minute and sent a message saying he was landing at 11 pm. I took this to mean that he would be headed over straight from the airport and would be arriving around 11:30pm maybe midnight. My check-in window is from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. however I always let guests check-in later since I have a lock box and they can self check-in. Most people have Respect and come in as quiet as possible or at least apologize for waking people up. Not this guy.

20180612_0808551415496442.jpgAlbert, showed up at 3 a.m.- drunk and woke up the house wearing shoes while clopping up and down the stairs. I went downstairs to use the restroom and check out what was happening. I found Albert on the stairs with a deer-in-headlights look on his face. I asked if he was wearing shoes.  He said yes.

I asked why, it’s a house rule (with a penalty fee for agreeing with them and then showing up and not following them).

 

Airbnb: These are my House Rules. Do you think they are reasonable? There is also a friendly reminder sign on the front door. 20180501_195549.jpg

It appeared he had just arrived.  Clearly he hadn’t read anything nor was he aware of the details so I felt compelled to point out the bathroom and guest area in the kitchen so he could get a glass of water.  As I headed back upstairs to go to bed he had more questions. I am a bit grumpy when rudely woken up in the middle of the night. He wanted to know where he could smoke a cigarette. Well….like the listing states there is no smoking cigarettes (tobacco) on the property. He got a quizzical look on his face and said he didn’t read that. Could he not step outside?….no. Could he not go out back?…..no. He argued and debated and I was growing more grumpy. It wasn’t the time for it.

He got out his phone to pull things up. At a glance, I could not tell where this information was located on his phone nor was I going to wake up enough to sort it out. When my eyes opened enough to read it was 3:09a.m. I instructed him to turn off the lights when he was done and we could talk about it in the morning.  Airbnb: I am a host not a 24 hour concierge desk

Before I went to bed, I sent some messages through Airbnb to document the situation.  I knew that I would be calling first thing in the morning to see what my options were.  I have attached all of them for your viewing pleasure. Start from Left to Right in each row.

Someone needs to learn the difference between a House Manual and House Rules.  I even write in the manual to look at the rules for people who are slow or lack attention to detail.

I am an early riser.  I called Airbnb at 7:30a.m. to explain what was happening.  I was assigned a case manager who assisted with me in the process of changing a reservation. He called Albert several times to inform him it was time to vacate- Albert didn’t answer (shocker).  So when the case manager called me back, I said yes I was willing to knock on the door so they could speak on my phone.  Time for Albert to go.  He required me asking him when he was going to leave, he was just chillin’ in bed so I was forced to call Airbnb back to confirm it could be immediately since Albert was trying to say he had until check out time.  Why would he possibly want to stay any longer?

In the past, the guest leaves, I get to keep all the money since they violated the terms and conditions of the agreement.  This time I compromised and let him out of it by agreeing to let the reservation be altered to just one nights stay.  I also cancelled the request for the penalty fee for wearing shoes in the house.  I was willing to let him off easy just to get rid of him so I could move on to the next guest, who would be nothing short of awesome in comparison.

With Albert gone, I hung out with my other French guest, who had cooked us a delicious dinner the night before.

I had the best guest and the worst guest at the same time.  Good thing I like to focus on the positive. Back to the happy place.

Until I received a message from a kind stranger informing me that Albert was trashing me on Twitter, I mean really having a go at me. To the point where a kind stranger could identify me, reach out to me and let me know what was happening. I thought I was free and clear of his harassment.

Time to remember the Twitter password.

Part 2 coming next……

 

 

 

 

 

Airbnb: I am a host not a 24 hour concierge desk

Unknown

I am a host that offers two private rooms in my three bedroom home. I live on property, upstairs in close proximity to the shared rooms. I have several jobs and enjoy the flexibility hosting has to offer so I can fit it all in. The beauty about being a host is that you get to set up your business however works for you. My check in window is 3:00p.m. to 10:00p.m. People frequently ask if it is okay to arrive later than 10:00p.m. It is always okay to arrive later since I have Self Check In. I make sure to leave a key in the lockbox and the porch light on. I let them know that I will be asleep and that they have everything they need to have a smooth check in.

I understand that late night flights are common. By the time they get luggage and make their way to the house, it will be after the check in window.

Recently, I had this scenario come up. Guest asks if they can check in between 11:30p.m.- Midnight. I say “Checking in late is not a problem. You will need to Self Check In though as I will be sleeping at that time 🙂 It’s easy, I will leave a key in the lockbox and the porch light on.”

To which they reply – “Hi Julie. We just read all the house rules and are totally cool with how you operate in the house. Thanks for the clarity. We will be sure to abide by them. Look forward to meeting you too!”

Fast forward to the night they are scheduled to arrive.

pretty-girl-in-shirt-sleeping-on-white-pillow-in-bed-at-home_1398-3933

At 10:35p.m. I sent a message that said – “I hope you made it okay. I’m headed to bed. I left the light on in the room since it will be late and dark when you arrive. The weather was a little warm today. So I left some blanket options for you in case you get cold. There’s a fan and a space heater, please make yourself comfortable. See you in the morning. Sleep well!” and then upon rereading, I sent another short message – “I’m tired and that message could have sounded better. Good night”

Unknown

I woke up the next morning to a message they sent at midnight! At Midnight!

“Hi Julie we have arrived at the house. What is the code to key box?

This message ruffles my feathers on so many levels. They were very nice people. Young. Educated. Still. Who waits till the last-minute to ask for information they have had since they booked? Standing on the doorstep is not the time to get what you need. Airbnb Lessons are Really Life Lessons What makes them even remotely think I would be available to answer this question or that I would be up to help?? I mentioned more than once that I would be sleeping. I literally sent a message saying Good Night.

Needless to say, I did not respond. I also found them in the morning using my personal kitchen items. It was clear they didn’t read the details of the listing. 5 Top Things Airbnb Guests Should Do

Airbnb 101– READ the details, ALL the details of the listing. This will ensure that all parties involved have a nice experience. Airbnb: The Hosts feeling matter too. It will also ensure that you don’t cross boundaries you are unaware of.

I have a life. I have a day job. Guests don’t get to come and go 24 hours a day and I am certainly not doing the same job twice. Airbnb Lesson for the week: When asking for already provided information – expect to be pointed in that direction.

Have some responsibility for yourself. Prepare yourself. Your quality of life will improve because of the time and attention you put towards it. You will be happy you did.

You’re Welcome ❤

Airbnb: Superhosts don’t always make Superguests

Lately, I have had some tough experiences with guests therefore I have set new parameters of who qualifies to instant book. Instant book means anyone at anytime can book the room, if it’s available, without communicating with me first. The new parameters include; if you are new to Airbnb and do not have any reviews, you have to inquire first about being able to stay or if you have negative reviews on your profile, you also have to ask first if you can stay. I take the time now to review those guests with greater scrutiny and I actually look at the reviews that have been left by previous hosts. I will no longer be accepting guests that have established a pattern of less than ideal behavior. It is not worth the time or stress.

You can imagine my delight when a reservation came in from a Superhost.

203880

Even though it was only for one night, I was looking forward to having a rock star guest that would know how it goes therefore he would do all the right things to make it a great stay.

My hopes and dreams could not have been farther from the reality that was to come with his stay.

His communication was terrible from the beginning. He didn’t answer the questions asked upon booking. He didn’t answer the question asked specifically in the message I sent. I had to repeat the question until I got the answer. Eventually he said he would arrive at the official check in time of 3:00p.m.

Instead, he showed up at my doorstep an hour early because he needed to charge his phone.

red-flag-std_1

This could have been done easily at a coffee shop. I never got any communication that he would be early or that he was on his way. Just. Boom. On the doorstep. While he is on the doorstep, I get another message that there is no key in the lockbox ( You better believe there is no key available before check in time!) This is by design. It is in response to people who don’t read, people who aren’t aware of the details, people who are willing to break the rules Airbnb: These are my House Rules. Do you think they are reasonable?, people whose actions don’t match their words. I have hosted over 350 people, patterns have emerged. People require managing at all times. If there was a key, was he just going to go in? What makes him think this is okay in any way?! He was already putting me in a position by just showing up.

He was lucky I was home preparing the room. I still had a bathroom to clean when he started knocking on the door. If the other guests weren’t home, I would have ignored him to teach him a lesson but I didn’t want there to be drama. I just kept thinking that Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.

As I opened the door, he introduced himself and asked if he needed to remove his shoes. Another Big Red Flag- I have every guest confirm they have read the house rules. It clearly states in the rules that there are no shoes in the house. There is even a reminder sign on the front door and a $20 penalty fee attached to breaking this rule.

20180501_195549.jpg

Clearly he isn’t paying attention nor is he familiar with the details. This is not starting off well…..

I invited him in, gave him the tour and the house key, as well as let him officially check in early.

He acknowledged that he often changes plans without communicating and it frustrates his wife. After a conversation, he seemed to be more aware of the error of his ways. I can only hope that he will be motivated to change his behavior in the future.

When guests only stay for a night, it forces me to ask early on what their check out plan for the morning is. Airbnb: Respect the Check Out Time! This feels slightly awkward for me. It seems like I am saying, Hi- nice to meet you, here’s the room, here’s the bathroom and what time will you be leaving? I am sure it will get easier the more I do it. I’ve just been at it for years and it still makes me feel awkward.

He didn’t know his plan (of course). So I requested to be informed before I went to bed. That sounded vague. It is important to be specific when communicating. In conversation, ambiguity leads to interpretation which will lead to not getting what you were hoping for. I corrected my request to include a 9:00p.m. deadline. After a pause, he mentioned his flight was earlier in the morning so he would be checking out around 7:00a.m. or 8:00a.m.

I went to bed planning for that. I woke up to a message that said his flight was at 5:00a.m. so he would be leaving at 3:30a.m. and since I was awake by 5:00a.m., I decided to get a head start preparing the room for the next guest. This would allow me to get to work on the earlier side of the day. Imagine my surprise when I went into the room to clean it around 5:05a.m. and he was still in the bed.

He missed his flight. “Sorry for messing up your day ” he says. At this point, I am just ready for him to go. He mentions he would be leaving around 8:00a.m. and he did.

It is a sad day when a Superhost isn’t capable of being the best guest. If there was anyone to empathize with the host’s position. Airbnb: The Hosts feeling matter too. I find Hypocrisy a very unattractive quality to deal with. Get it together people.

Airbnb: Why pick a place thats details don’t fit the best into your travel plans?

People fascinate me.  I am a cultural anthropologist at heart.  I should have majored in Sociology instead of International Studies.

Some of the details for the two Airbnb rooms in my house are:

My Check In time is 3:00p.m.- 10:00p.m.

My Check Out time is 9:00 a.m. Airbnb: Respect the Check Out Time!

Full Kitchen use is not available neither is access to the washer/dryer.

There is a penalty fee of $50 each time you do not lock the front door when leaving the residence.  Airbnb: These are my House Rules. Do you think they are reasonable?

I live in the Inner NE part of Portland Oregon.  It is 1-2 miles to the west side of town where Downtown is located however you have to cross a river with one of the thirteen bridges so it can appear further to people who aren’t familiar with town.  A mile is a mile though right? Airbnb: Location the category that isn’t fair to hosts for guests to grade.

If these details do not fit the best into your travel plans then please do not pick my place while harboring negative feelings.  Instead, find a place that works for you.  There are a plethora of options out there.

images

30% of guests ask to check in after 10:00 p.m. Checking in later is usually a non issue.  I most likely will be sleeping however I can leave a key in the lockbox and the porch light on.  The house has lots of signs around for good communication purposes.  They help strangers ( I mean guests ) navigate the space.

70% of guests ask if they can check in early. I normally only let repeat guests do so. I have been known to make a few exceptions however it is rare.

50% of guests ask if they can check out later. During the week it is not an option for me since I need to turn around the room for the next guest and get to work.  If  it is a Saturday, then I will give you an extra hour or two if I like you and you have been a nice guest.  If it is Sunday then guests get lucky and can have until 12p.m. due to my weekly volunteer gig.

Please don’t mistake me.  I understand that the answer to an unasked question is always no however it seems that people just don’t read the details of the listing before they pick 5 Top Things Airbnb Guests Should Do and then they try to work around the established boundaries.  I can tell by their language when they harbor negative feelings about it. It happens frequently enough I am writing about it.

Perfect Example coming atcha.

Review left by guest -“Location was great! The room was nice. The check in after 3pm and check out before 9am was kind of a bummer.” “I had to plan my flight around the check in and out which was a bummer and couldn’t spend an extra day in the city” Is this person serious?  This screams lack of personal accountability!!!  It triggers me ( I will work on that). I can’t get over the fact that he blames the check in and check out times on his ability to make travel plans.  

Airbnb: The Downside to Hosting

images

People Lie.

People use your stuff without asking. Airbnb: What is the reason guests use host’s personal things without asking?

People are loud. Loud talkers. Loud TV watchers. Loud walkers.

People keep erratic schedules. Which type of Airbnb is right for you? Shared Room or Private Room or Entire Place.

People are dishonest and try to sneak in other people.  Airbnb Hell: The Worst Guest I’ve Had To Date.

People have left my property unsecured aka: not locking the front door when leaving the house, giving anyone the ability to walk in at anytime while I am at work and can’t do anything about it. Airbnb Lesson for the week: If you lie about reading the house rules, show up and violate them, then your stay with me will come to an end.

People have burned holes in duvet covers- I even found poop once on one ( they flipped it over so it was a surprise when I pulled the covers back).Unknown

People do not read the listing and then access areas not available to them forcing me to lock them up and label everything. Then some people complain about the labels. Airbnb Observation: I’ve decided if you do not like these signs then you do not like communication.

People don’t read the labels and throw the trash in the recyling. People recycle things that aren’t recyclable.

People create more work for me by not acting with mindfulness and awareness.

People are unwilling to help themselves.

People say they read the rules and then show up and don’t abide by them.  Then when it’s time to be accountable they cancel the reservation and decline the request for payment. Airbnb: These are my House Rules. Do you think they are reasonable?

People show up with more people than in their reservation. 5 Top Things Airbnb Guests Should Do

People plan poorly. They don’t have time to clean up after themselves. They pack at 3:00 a.m. right before their flight. They wake up 10 minutes before check out time and barely have enough time to brush their teeth.

People don’t respect the check out time and require being rushed out. Airbnb: Respect the Check Out Time!

People think they can pay their way out of things. The “Hotel Mindset” won’t serve you well when using Airbnb.

People are allowed to leave a review even if they cancel their reservation. Let’s take a side bet on how many of those are going to be positive. Airbnb: Guests who cancel their reservation can still leave a review. How is that reasonable?

I still host because the good outweighs the bad and I can do anything for 24 hours. Just keep swimming, I tell myself as I wait for the jerks to leave and the sweet respectful guests to arrive.

 

 

 

 

Airbnb Lesson for the week: If you lie about reading the house rules, show up and violate them, then your stay with me will come to an end.

images
Another One Bites the Dust

Just in case you haven’t noticed by now, when I want to share a lesson based on real life experiences and people, I name the guests  “John” for the sake of anonymity.

So, I had a guest named “John” this week that was to stay for 2 nights. He used Instant book to make his reservation on 3.25.18 to arrive 4.23.18 When you get a new reservation, you get a message from the guest saying whatever they decide to say. I have 3 specific questions that I hope will be included in their message.  Some people see them and include the answers, most people don’t.

Johns message didn’t contain any information except that he was traveling alone for two days. I responded within a couple of minutes, asking for the information I needed – check in time and confirmation the house rules have been read. I sent three messages asking. Airbnb: These are my House Rules. Do you think they are reasonable?

I didn’t get a response until 9:30p.m. the day before his trip. He didn’t answer any of the questions in my emails and argued language used instead of providing information. He clearly didn’t read the details of the listing and did not know about the check in time. 5 Top Things Airbnb Guests Should Do

We finally make arrangements for him to Self Check In since I will be at work when he arrives.  I ask all guests to send a message letting me know they have made it in okay. 3 Top Things Airbnb Hosts Should Do

He made it.

and now the chaos will begin………..

Thank goodness my other guests were home.  They had been staying with me for the last five nights with no problems.  I had prepared them for the new guest coming since there were so many red flags.

When I arrived home in the evening, I found my biggest pet peeve happening in the bathroom.

Screenshot_20180425-155707.jpg
The sign says – Please put all the toilet seats down. Thank you! It’s my biggest pet peeve

Then I went upstairs to check in with the other guests who mentioned he was stomping all over the place. Loud when home, went into his room, watched TV at a loud volume for a while and then took off.  When he left the house, he slammed the door so many times, they wondered what was going on down there.  When it became apparent he left, they went downstairs to find the front door not shut or locked.

I immediately sent him a message letting him know that I can’t express enough how unsettling it is to be at work where I can’t do anything about the fact that my property has been left unsecured giving anyone the ability to walk in. I mentioned I sent a request for money and he needed to take care of the penalty fee right away or stay somewhere else.  I also mentioned the above bathroom situation .

I was met with ……..

39168204-lies-red-stamp-text-on-white.jpg

Before he came home to talk about it, he sent a message saying – I could not unlock the door, can you check it for me? No, clearly it works since you let yourself in with it. 

He came home wearing shoes and only took them off when I prompted it. This is breaking house rules and probably the reason the stomping around was so loud earlier but I can’t prove it to fine him. 

He asked me to show him where the rules were. Then you lied when you said you read them in the confirmation message I pushed for. 

He never once was apologetic and tried to switch the conversation to why there wasn’t a lock on the bedroom door. Nothing to do with the issue at hand. 

He had only used Airbnb 4 times and this was his 2nd review.  I wish I would have seen it before his trip.  I would not have let him come.

Screenshot_20180423-195445.jpg
I did not see this review before he came or I would have cancelled his reservation.

Since he wasn’t giving me anything to work with, made no reference to adjusting his behavior. He didn’t acknowledge the bathroom situation nor did he seem to care. I took the key back, informed him he couldn’t stay and called Airbnb in front of him to document the situation.  He gathered his things and made his way out.

 

 

 

 

Airbnb: Guests who cancel their reservation can still leave a review. How is that reasonable?

kisspng-lady-justice-stock-photography-royalty-free-statue-goddess-of-justice-5a68bfb7075180.95738498151681426303
Life isn’t fair

Airbnb Policy

“As of 01 June 2017, to comply with local laws, we now allow reviews for trips cancelled on or after the day of check in. ”

If a guest is cancelling their trip after they checked in then chances are it isn’t going well. One time I had a guest make a reservation for 1 person and then in his messaging kept saying we. We means more than one person so when I reached out for clarification and to mention the reservation needed updating to reflect the actual situation, he wrote back saying he couldn’t afford it. He cancelled. (and for the first time ever I gave someone a 100% refund.) Lately though, I have had people check in, then break the house rules and when the penalty fines have been imposed they just cancel and leave. What kind of review do you think is coming my way from them? Guest messes up, doesn’t want to deal with the consequences. Do you think anyone will ever say they were the problem? (that’s a rhetorical question since we all know the answer is NO)

After a guest has finished their trip or cancelled after checking in, they get 14 days to leave a review.
They have the ability to give 1 to 5 stars in categories like:

5-star

  • Accuracy
  • Check In process
  • Cleanliness
  • Communication
  • Location
  • Value

How is it possible for someone to judge you on these things when they didn’t actually stay in the residence? Airbnb: Location the category that isn’t fair to hosts for guests to grade.

I have a strict cancellation policy. Straight from the Airbnb website….

Cancellation Policy: Strict. Cancel up to 30 days before your trip and get a full refund. Cancel within 30 days of the trip and get a 50% refund of the total nightly rate, as well as a full refund of fees.

Forced policy upon hosts by Airbnb -“We’re adding a 48-hour grace period to the Strict policy to encourage bookings
Starting May 1, guests will receive a full refund if they cancel within 48 hours of booking a reservation with a Strict cancellation policy—as long as their check-in date is at least 14 days away. This gives guests the confidence to book, but still guarantees you’ll have at least 2 weeks to get another booking in the rare event that they cancel.”

If your listing falls below a 4.6 star rating then Airbnb will send you messages threatening to deactivate your listing. They threaten you by saying they will not showing your listing in people’s searches.

If they continue to implement rules like these, they are going to lose good hosts. Only Entire Place’s will be the option since sharing space has become easy for guests to manipulate to their advantage.

Airbnb: What is the reason guests use host’s personal things without asking?

I have been hosting Airbnb for almost two years now.  Having dealt with 300+ people I have learned that when you don’t want guests to use your personal things then you have to remove them as an option.  Seriously, they can’t be accessible.  Guests can’t always be trusted to ask if they need something additional than what’s provided.  More than 50% of people do not read the details provided in the listing.  It is surprising that I haven’t had more issues because of the lack of reading.  Equally frustrating are the people who rather ask for forgiveness than permission.  Little do they know, I would be more than happy to share (if asked).

The bathroom and the kitchen are the places were guests seem to get into my stuff the most.

Bathroom: I have a dedicated shelf for guests with a chalkboard sign I write their name on.  There is a shower caddy in the shower area with communal soap and shampoo’s various guests have left behind. It states in the listing which amenities are provided and I provide q-tips, cotton balls, hairdryer, soap, toilet paper, and towels.  I used to keep a personal shower caddy in the bathroom that was hidden. The shower I have is the kind that has the curtains that go all the way around it. Well, mine go almost all the way around.  There is a 5 inch gap that is perfect for the communal shower caddy to be visible.  You had to pull one of the shower curtains back to reveal my personal caddy.  I use expensive products since it’s just me I’m providing for. Even though my caddy was hidden, products were still getting used. It became such an issue that I removed all my items, including the caddy and switched to a college dorm room shower bucket. Now I bring down the bucket when I use the bathroom. Whether its to wash my face, brush my teeth or take a shower.  I’m in my 40’s feeling like I’m in my 20’s. Thanks peeps!

Kitchen: I have a dedicated shelf for guests that has a laminated sign above it “Guest Shelf- Help yourself” The shelf contains 2 large plates, 2 small plates, 2 bowls, 4 mason jars, 3 coffee/tea mugs, French press, Stump town already ground breakfast coffee, sugar, a big glass jar with a variety of teas, and a honey bear. Guests are welcome to use the paper towels that are out and silverware which is found in the middle drawer. Fridge space is available for leftovers. There is a toaster oven to heat food up.  Pretty much everything else is mine and not up for grabs. I have come home to find pans/kitchen utencils that were used from breakfast being made. I have come downstairs to find people using my dedicated tea mug that lives in a wooden box along with my personal tea selection and honey above the stove. Not in the same room as the guest shelf.  Guests have even gone into my shelves labeled private property and gotten Tupperware for their left overs.

When I am home to greet new guests, I give them a tour of the entire place.  We start with their room and then go downstairs to the bathroom.  We move over to the kitchen where the guest shelf is and I point to it and say. “If you’re at home and would like to have some water, maybe coffee or tea in the morning, please feel free to help yourself to anything on this shelf without asking” Which is why I am surprised to find them using my personal kitchen items.

Where is the disconnect in communication?  Are people just not remembering what they heard?  What are the reasons guests use hosts personal items without asking?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Airbnb Hell: The Worst Guest I’ve Had To Date.

Police Car

If I were to write every detail and every word said, I could write a short novel so let’s just say there was a lack of respect and disregard for communication from the beginning.  This guest was to stay for 7 nights and it was his second night at the house.  Let’s call him “John” .  John was sneaking in another guest at 2:30 a.m.  I happen to be awake since I had just used the restroom a few minutes earlier.  I was hunkering down in the basement for a month. I rented my room to a short-term roommate since I had been unemployed for too long and it was time to get creative.  It is amazing how you can tell how many people are coming in the door and up the stairs by the rhythm of the steps and noise feet make on hardwood floors.

I have developed spidy senses since starting to run an Airbnb.  You know, the kind you get when you have children.  I made my way up the basement stairs into the living room before they could make it upstairs to the bedroom entirely.  I asked John if he had another person with him.  He said yes.  There is an additional fee per night for an additional person. Having people over that are not part of the reservation requires prior permission.  When you have a home, you are responsible for everyone under the roof.  There are liability issues at play not to mention it looks shady.

After hearing confirmation there was another person, I walked away.  I began to feel upset, disrespected, taken advantage of – all the negative feelings welled up.  I immediately went upstairs, knocked on the door and told them the guest couldn’t stay. They were both very drunk and didn’t seem to think I was being serious. The girl John brought back to the house began to walk towards me to introduce herself and shake my hand.  I mentioned again that she wasn’t welcome to stay.

Girl with slurred speech:  How will I get home?

John: Can’t we just talk about this? I mean I am sure we can come to an agreement.

Me:  We are past talking about this. She can Uber or take a taxi.

Girl: Who is going to pay for that?

Me: John is going to pay for it and you have 5 minutes to figure it out.  (Meanwhile, I called the taxi)

I could tell by the level of intoxication that it wasn’t going to go well. It is very challenging to speak logically to drunk people. Drunk people tend to repeat themselves over and over. It’s exhausting.

When the taxi arrived, I went upstairs to inform them it was time for the girl to go. I knocked on the door before proceeding to open it only to be met with John using his body to block the door so I couldn’t get in. This kid is 6 2′ , tall and skinny but still bigger than me! I had to push the hardest I could several times to make my way past him. There was no movement towards the unauthorized guest leaving.  After more round and round conversation, I saw the house key on the dresser, I put it in my pocket, went downstairs to call  the police’s non emergency number  and Airbnb for assistance/direction.

The police asked for a description of her so I went back into the room only to find her hiding under the covers of the bed 85% passed out. I pulled back the covers and relayed details:  brown hair shoulder length, caucasian , female about 25 years old, wearing jeans and an orange t-shirt. As I sat on the phone describing her, John was in the background saying over and over “Can’t we just talk about this? ” For the 1,000th time- No Dude. What don’t you understand here?  Which part is confusing?

Next phone call to Airbnb took about 15 minutes to get to someone who could actually help when the police arrived.  I hung up with Airbnb to talk to the police who ended up saying there wasn’t much they could do. They can’t show up and put people on the street just because it’s asked. John had a right to be there.  Reluctantly and towards the end of the conversation they mentioned they could ask them to leave as a courtesy. Yes, Please! Thank you! The presence of the police brought the reality of the situation down upon John and the girl.  They gathered their things and were escorted out.

In the morning I called Airbnb, I was assigned a case manager who had already noted that John sent an email to them saying “She kicked us out”. This guy was in for a surprise.  I learned that there is a special department at Airbnb for these situations.  They want you stay on the phone with them when the police arrive so they can give you the language that allow the police to take more action.

In the end – he was violating the terms of the agreement which gives me the right to not have him stay and keep his money. Which I did along with a break for the next five days.

 

Crazy- Right?!