Airbnb: I don’t recommend hosting anyone other than the person in the profile.

It is becoming more common that I get requests to host a relative/ friend of the Airbnb member ( the person in the profile). Even though I have been doing it, I have remained hesitant the entire time. There are guaranteed challenges that come along with it.

  • Communication– it automatically becomes third-party communication because it forces the communication to be outside of the Airbnb platform which is not recommend. This opens up the host to some liability. I personally like to screen shot outside communication and then put those pictures into the Airbnb messaging system. 20180405_162305.jpg

Bad Communication

Don’t communicate outside of Airbnb

  • Details included in the listing– hosts take the time to provide a wealth of information in the listing. Not having access to this information takes away the guests ability to be self-reliant. Guests are going to have more questions and are more likely to step over boundaries they aren’t aware of. Time is valuable and I don’t like wasting mine by explaining information that has already been provided. When asking for already provided information expect to be pointed in that direction.
  • House Rules- just like the details not being read, guests tend not to remember all the rules. How are they supposed to remind themselves if they don’t have access to the details of the listing. I provide a laminated welcome sheet that has the rules posted on it. If only guests would take the time to read it. My feathers get ruffled easily when guests don’t follow the rules they have agreed to. My House Rules- do you think they are reasonable?
  • The Review- The guests that are hosted are the ones that should leave the review. If they relay their experience to the profile person and then the profile person leaves the review it feels like we are playing the old school telephone game. I don’t think it’s fair nor as accurate as it could be. Airbnb: Location the category that isn’t fair to hosts for guests to grade.

I recently hosted someone’s parents.

Overall it went as well as any other guests stay. Their visit included the aforementioned issues which reinforces the reason not to host people who don’t have their own profile.

In addition to the recent experience, I learned something today that will result in me declining requests to host people who don’t have their own profiles. Straight from the Airbnb website……

Can I book on behalf of a friend or family member?

Transparency and trust are vital to the Airbnb experience. People rely on information in Airbnb profiles, reviews, and other verifications when deciding whether to host or stay with someone.

We require Airbnb reservations booked for personal travel to be booked by the person who’s going to stay at the listing.

Instead of making a reservation for someone else, consider referring them to Airbnb.

The longer I host, the more I learn about the law.

I find value in knowing the way short-term rentals work, informing guests of how things work, and without hesitation enforcing the rules. I’ve noticed people don’t like being held accountable and if you stay with me….plan to be.

Knowledge = Power

Ultimately- Everyone is responsible for themselves.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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: Dear International Travelers

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We are all apart of the global community.

Before you travel, it is in your best interest to prepare yourself to the best of your ability.  You can hypothesize about future challenges and already have an action plan to conquer them. #success

I would like to remind you that since you might not have easy access to the internet when you are in the United States, that it is a good idea to write down the information you need, before you show up to the front door of your Airbnb and can’t access the internet to get the required information. Personal Accountability is important.  You are in control of how smooth the check in will go by utilizing the information already provided.  Information = Knowledge = Power.  Airbnb Lesson for the week: When asking for already provided information – expect to be pointed in that direction.

Hopefully you have established a Check In plan with your host. What details do you need to carry out this plan?  If you will be Self Checking in, be sure to write down the instructions, the code to the lockbox or whatever details you need to have a smooth check in. 5 Top Things Airbnb Guests Should Do

You will also want to write down the Wifi name and password. I can only assume that you will have access to the internet when traveling internationally. If you don’t, then extra information will be necessary to write down before you travel. Prepare yourself with the Host’s information so you can have access upon arrival.

Remember to pack an electrical outlet adapter.  If you stay at my Airbnb, I will provide one for you (in case you forgot) 🙂

As it states on the Airbnb website, it is not recommended to communicate through any other method but their platform.  This seems to challenge many travelers, especially if you do not have access to the internet or the Airbnb app. Regardless, it has been my observation that people prefer to text. Airbnb Lesson for the week: Never communicate outside of Airbnb20180405_162305.jpg

Sidenote- texting is just a different platform to send a message.  A message is a message.  You have to pick a recipient, then type a message, and hit send.  What difference does it make if those steps are done in Airbnb vs Text Messaging ?

Ultimately, I realize traveling can be stressful.  Hopefully this blog has reminded you the importance of preparing yourself with as much information that is available to you and asking for any information you will need that is not provided .

Safe travels to you!

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained.

 

Airbnb Lessons are Really Life Lessons

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There have been guests that show up to the house who have never seen a lockbox or they  don’t know how to use it. They don’t communicate their plans or when their plans change.  They haven’t read the listing and all the details provided so they aren’t able to navigate the experience with as much ease had they been prepared. They say they have read the house rules, show up and don’t act like it. People say they will do things all the time they don’t do.

Isn’t this how life works?!?!

This is when you learn that actions speak louder than words.  You learn that knowing is different from doing. You learn when someone is showing you who they are that you should believe them. Unknown

Whenever a guest is having a challenge and I point out the part they missed, like reading the listing or following directions . Their response has been – “It’s my 1st time to use Airbnb”

5 Top Things Airbnb Guests Should Do

1st time to Airbnb- Here is your to do checklist.

Airbnb Lesson for the week: When asking for already provided information – expect to be pointed in that direction.

Can someone please explain to me how not using Airbnb before has anything to do with whether or not you read? What does being new to Airbnb have to do with following instructions? or being a good communicator?

I would genuinely like to know ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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: Private Room does not guarantee a lock on the door.

A private room means you get a door. Maybe the door locks, maybe it doesn’t. Do not be surprised if it does not.  The privacy part comes from the door.

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This seems to be lost in translation with  people.

If you want to have a lock for privacy then you should look into getting the entire place instead of a private room in a shared situation.  Which type of Airbnb is right for you? Shared Room or Private Room or Entire Place.

A host should not be penalized in the review with lower stars because you didn’t know that a private room doesn’t guarantee a lock on the door and you preferred one. Airbnb: Location the category that isn’t fair to hosts for guests to grade.

If you would like to ensure your things are secure then make sure you lock the residence.  Your room will be inaccessible if thieves can’t get into the property.

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I personally will never have the Airbnb rooms in my home have locks.  6bd63441-a0cc-4eb0-83b8-ecea9d631def

  • I don’t offer candles in the room anymore since I have found them left burning in the room when guests have left for their adventures.
  • I have found space heaters left on with no guests around and I will go in and turn them off since they can cause a house fire easily.
  • I have had to force my way into a room to prevent a guest from sneaking in other people in the middle of the night. Airbnb Hell: The Worst Guest I’ve Had To Date.

 

Since I have two rooms in my home, whenever a house rule has been broken, each guest likes to blame it on the other.  I have only had one person own up to their behavior.

I would have a space that locks for guests if and only if it was a separate space that only they occupied so that if anything happened they would be forced to take accountability.  I would also have a security deposit.

So the takeaway from this information is that if you want a door that locks, think about getting the entire place.  If you find yourself needing a private room because cost is a factor, then ask the host before you book if the door to the room locks.  I mean if you care so much then take the time to get the information you need to ensure you are comfortable instead of showing up, being disappointed/concerned and then leaving a bad review.

Stay safe out there!  and Lock the front door!  🙂

 

 

Airbnb Observation: I’ve decided if you do not like these signs then you do not like communication.

I have noticed that people either love or hate the signs around the house.

There have been many negative references to them in the reviews guests leave after they stay. There have also been some positive ones.

I think the people who have strong negative reactions to them are the people who are challenged to act accordingly.

The people who have said something positive about them have said they found them helpful. They found it easier to navigate an unfamiliar space.

These signs are up for good communication purposes. They have developed over time. Some are meant to be helpful, some are informative and some are in response to people not doing the things they agree to do by staying in one of my Airbnb rooms (House Rules reminders). Airbnb: These are my House Rules. Do you think they are reasonable?

I think they allow guests to be independent. No Micro Managing necessary.

I also receive the unintended benefit of seeing what kind of people I am dealing with in my home. Their response to the signs shows me who they are. Most people have proven respectful.

During the week it can be challenging to greet guests. Things go better when I can greet, give a tour of the house and point out specific areas missed from guests not reading the listing 5 Top Things Airbnb Guests Should Do

When I am not able to be there, I tell them to keep a look out for all the signs 🙂

How do you feel about things being labeled? Did you have a positive or negative reaction to reading the signs? Can you appreciate the hosts perspective?