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

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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.

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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”

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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: 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.

20180522_082856.jpgI 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: The Bright Side

Fun can happen any minute of any day – if your open to it.

Have you ever seen the Jim Carrey movie where he has to say yes to everything?

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Well that was my life on Tuesday.

What started as a regular day for me, turned out to include spontaneity, cocktails, and new music.  I got up, ate breakfast, prepared food for work and left on my bicycle for the day. There was one guest scheduled to self check in around 3:00p.m and the other room was free.  Of course, I was hoping someone was going to stay…. I just had no idea how awesome she would be and the adventure that awaited me.

 My day changed at 10:21a.m.

This fun girl sent me this message :7685ae60-b366-402c-bd07-03a6a79abb53 “Hola, Julie! Wanna go to Washed Out tonight? I was a bit bummed I missed him in Seattle last night, but there’s no point wallowing in regret when you can move your butt and run down your dreams. My dream is to dance to Eyes Be Closed. With a new bud. Tonight. If it seems suspicious that I’m a new Airbnb member, yes I did make that account 10 minutes ago. But there’s no time like the present. So if you’re down, I will hop on the 2:20 Amtrak and see you a little after 6. PS, long time bicyclist here too, is it worth the extra $10 to throw my roadie on the train to get to your neighborhood (don’t have much of a grasp on Portland’s scale) or better to walk from the train station? Anywho, hope to meet you soon. And not kidding, will totally take you to this show if you got the inclination. ”

How perfect is this message? How could I possibly refuse?  I said yes before I knew anything about it!

Then I began to research.

Turns out Washed Out was playing at The Wonder Ballroom , one of my favorite venues, which is 2 blocks from the house. No need to worry about parking or anything since we can walk.

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The set was exactly one hour long.  They were entertaining, they did a great job with their visuals ( I was impressed). I danced almost the entire time.  I didn’t realize they did the Theme Song for Portlandia!!!!! After eight seasons the show is ending and let me just tell you that the people in Portland are okay with that. portlandia_dvd_release

The band has a new fan.  I have a new friend. Goodbye Portlandia.  My new friend and I have an annual date together to see Washed Out when he comes to Portland and those times she can stay with me for free ❤

Gotta love Airbnb.

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: The Hosts feeling matter too.

imagesMost people think that  “The customer is always right”.

The Airbnb experience is a unique situation.

Individuals are not big business. Individuals are not always in a position to come up with a solution that will make the guest happy no matter the cost.

Yes, you are the guest.  Yes, you paid to be in someone’s home. Yes, I want you to be comfortable. You also agreed to abide by the house rules.  You agreed to adjust your behavior in the way that is being required of you during your stay.

If you aren’t going to follow the rules, if you aren’t going to provide communication or be responsive to the host’s communication, then you should expect a conversation that will be holding you accountable.

It is tough to deal with people who avoid conversation or don’t acknowledge what you’re saying or they blame the other guest or they don’t change their behavior after some communication. images1.png

If you don’t like confrontation or accountability, then be a great guest. Don’t break the rules. Don’t give the host a reason to find you for a “conversation”.

I do my best to be tolerant of the way people live.  Some people operate with more awareness and thoughtfulness than others.  I personally don’t say anything to my guests when they walk around loudly, close doors loudly, have loud conversations, listen to their tv loud, come home late at night or leave at 3:00 in the morning.  The only time I ever say anything to anybody is when they have broken one of the house rules. Airbnb: These are my House Rules. Do you think they are reasonable?

You would think that people would be on their best behavior considering I have home field advantage. Would you believe me if I told you how many people break the rules inspite of that ??

 

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?

Airbnb: No Good Deed Goes Unpunshined

When I moved into the house, I inherited everything that came with it. The slow filling flapper less system toilet. The creaky wood floors, the ill wired electrical system, the too tiny pipes for the water pressure, etc.

In the bathroom there is an old claw tub with one of those shower curtains that goes all the way around.  It hangs from the ceiling by the shower head and into the wall on the opposite side.  The wall isn’t solid and the screws have worn and the whole system is wobbly.  I have been hard pressed for an aesthetically pleasing fix. 20180502_064317.jpg

My guest this week mentioned he has the same claw tub at home.  He said that he has the same issue and he found a way to make it more stable.  He asked if I had a tape measure however it was late, I was ready for bed and said we could talk about it the next day.

In the morning on my way out the door, I reiterated that I would like to hear about this solution he has enacted before bed that day since he would only be around for another night.  Turns out, I did not see him.  I was in bed before he came home.

The following day I came home from work and was reading a book on the couch in the living room when he arrived.  He had come home earlier than the previous nights. He surprised me with bringing the things to MacGyver the shower.  What a nice gesture! Not many guests go out of their way to do something nice therefore  my heart-strings were being tugged on big time.

How much do I owe you? $15 he says. Hmmm- I don’t have that right now. I wanted to hear about how you fixed it.  I am not sure I would do the same thing. Even if I liked his idea, I wasn’t prepared to fix it before taking care of my tax bill to the IRS AND I was only willing to pay $3-5 to fix it.

He purchased unnecessary parts.  He didn’t measure the length from the curtain rod to the ceiling and bought 4 pieces of chain that were too long, a package of hooks and four metal rings.  I already had a hook for the ceiling and an extra ring for the curtain rod.  The only thing I would have needed is a proper fitting chain.  I am pretty sure that would have cost no more than $320180502_064242.jpg

So now here I am between a rock and a hard place because a guest was kind enough to take action and do a nice deed. It would have been nice if I was in a position to give him the full amount however I would be doing a disservice to myself by doing so.  I wasn’t going to hand over $15 that I didn’t have when all I really wanted to do was honor him in hearing his solution. I ended up telling him I didn’t have the money and I didn’t like how the solution “looked” so I would use one ring and one chain.  He understood and gifted it to me.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Would you have reimbursed him the $15?

 

 

 

 

 

Airbnb: The Downside to Hosting

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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: Repeat Guests are the Best !!!!!!!

I consider it one of the utmost compliments when people choose to return to my place considering all the options out there.

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Whether or not the trip was the best (for me) the first time around. It will be great the second. Guests are already familiar with the vibe of the house and the way things flow.  They require less managing 🙂

We have gotten past that initial meeting and “stranger” level of conversation. We will get to learn a little more about each other (depending on the length of the stay and schedules aligning.)

Chances are subsequent visits will include food. I’ve been known to make Banana Bread, Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, Lemon Pound cake, Smoothies, Strawberry Aqua Fresca, French Toast, Breakfast Tacos and/ or extra of whatever I am making.

I have had 7 repeat guests. 4 of them stayed twice and 3 of them have stayed multiple times. 1 guest has stayed five times with me. I love it !!!!!!!

One of the repeat guests moved here (yeah- we’re friends now and hang out from time to time). I met another repeat guest out for drinks when she was in town visiting friends, I have received fresh duck eggs from an organic farm. One girl even told me about a work opportunity… My current job! Another former guest tries to get me to go out with him constantly however I am not interested. That part is tricky….. I make sure all guests feel welcomed and liked when they are in my home. It just puts me in an awkward position, when they invite me out and I don’t want to go.

I am no stranger to awkward positions and if that’s all I encounter to get guests to come back.  Bring it on!

I look forward to seeing you again. It’s a small world.  They need to change that saying – six degress of seperation to four.

 

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.

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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.

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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 ……..

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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.

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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: These are my House Rules. Do you think they are reasonable?

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I have instant book which means anyone can book the room without prior communication with me (the host).  I am willing to accept anyone at any time as long as they pass the Airbnb requirements.  In order to feel comfortable doing that,  I need guests to do certain things while in my home. That’s how the custom house rules were born.  Since there are fees attached, I require each guest to acknowledge that they have read the house rules.  When a reservation comes in, I let them know I am happy to host, I ask what time will they be checking in and I quote ” When you have a moment, please confirm you have read the house rules since they are really important to me and there are penalty fees attached to breaking them. Thank you”

 

Airbnb’s Rules you must pick an answer to:
No smoking
Not suitable for pets
No parties or events
Not safe or suitable for children (0-12 years) – Weed is legal in Portland and smoked in the house A LOT
Check-in time is 3PM – 10PM
Check out by 9AM

Custom Rules created by me- I put my reasoning in Italics, these words are not included in the listing.

**THERE ARE PENALTY FEES FOR NOT FOLLOWING THESE RULES
$50 each time you do not lock the front/back door properly
$20 for wearing shoes in the house
$10 for every time you leave lights on your not actively using
$5 to replace lost house key

– Turn off Lights, Fan/Heater and Lock the Front Door Every Time You Leave Please (even if we are home so we may continue about our day)
-Turn off all lights you are currently not using, it’s a waste of precious resources. If you don’t turn them off then you can pay for the cost of that.  You are not at a hotel and I am not a big business.
-No guests without prior permission
– Keep toilet seat down, put down after use (my personal pet peeve) & ( it’s bad feng shui)
– Please pull shower curtain back after use, it gets moldy faster when it can’t dry not to mention my $100 shower curtain statement piece is aesthetically pleasing to look at
– No shoes in the house. Your shoes have stepped on everything gross on the ground, I don’t want it tracked into the house, especially in the kitchen where I am constantly making things to eat. My floors are very clean!
– Smoking Cigarettes in the Backyard Only- Careful of the slippery backyard stairs and there is an Ashtray for your use (ASK if you need it)
– 420 friendly house- for you too since smoking in public is illegal
– Bike storage is in the backyard not in the house, there is a covered area on the back porch and a lock on the gate

5 Top Things Airbnb Guests Should Do

The “Hotel Mindset” won’t serve you well when using Airbnb.

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Airbnb is not a hotel.  You are staying in someone’s home and unless you have rented out the entire place then there will be other people to take into consideration.  Each place works differently and most boundaries have been expressed through the details of the listing and House Rules.

Which type of Airbnb is right for you? Shared Room or Private Room or Entire Place.
5 Top Things Airbnb Guests Should Do  
Airbnb: Respect the Check Out Time!
Staying at an Airbnb? Don’t Make the Bed When Checking Out.

When you stay at a three star or better hotel; It’s going to cost more, the door probably automatically locks when you leave the room, you can wear your shoes inside if ya like, you do not have to clean up after yourself, no one cares if you leave the lights on all night while you’re out having fun (well, Mother Nature cares), you can bring people back to the room without informing anyone, you can ask for a late check out, there is unlimited hot water, Valet Parking, an ice machine,  a concierge desk  to answer all the questions your little heart desires, and if you make any mistakes- you can just get charged for them.

Let us consider some differences and similarities.

                                                                                 Hotel               vs.              Airbnb 

Check In Time-                                                 anytime after 3                  Check Listing

Checking In Early-                                           not likely                            possible

Checking Out Late-                                          if room not booked        depends on Host

  • Most hotels don’t let you check out later than a late check out, and if they do, it’s because your paying for another entire day.
    Checking out late is only possible in my listings on the weekends.

Lock the door-                                                   auto lock                           YOU lock the door

Wear Shoes Inside-                                          wear them                        Host preference

Leave Lights On (waste of energy)             no one to notice                Costs $ to the host

Autonomous Guests                                          Allowed                           Prior permission

Don’t Make Bed                                             not necessary                       not necessary

Unlimited Hot Water for Showers                    yes                                          no

Guaranteed Parking                                           Valet                           maybe, most likely

Concierge                                                               yes                             host time permitting

Fees for Amenities                               everything costs extra                 included

No Smoking                                                    $250 fine                                maybe/ outside

Smoking Marijuana                                          no                                         where legal

Pool/Hot Tub                                                most likely                             if you’re lucky

Bar                                                                  yes, cost $                              friendly host ?

Continental Breakfast                                included                                   don’t expect it

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

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Time is money.

There is only so much time in a day.

and yet, if we want to get philosophical then time doesn’t even exist since the time is always now.

Repeating myself is not an efficient use of my time.

I have taken the time to provide a lot of information in my listings.

Provided Information includes; Check In time, Check Out time, Amenities provided, Spaces Guests are allowed to access, House Rules, Self Check In instructions including photos, How many guests the space can hold, Bed Type, If the bathroom is shared, Host interaction with guests, Other things to note, Description of the space, Directions from the airport using public transportation, Parking information, Cancellation policy, pictures of the entire space including room, Internet Network name and Internet password.

I am perplexed with the notion that guests do not prioritize knowing the details of someone’s home you are about to enter. I understand traveling can be stressful.  There are a lot of moving parts which means there is a lot of information to keep up with.  It doesn’t change the fact that the experience you signed up for is different than checking into a hotel.  More is required from you. If you would like to ensure a positive experience for yourself, then familiarize yourself with the rules of the game. 5 Top Things Airbnb Guests Should Do

Please and Thank you.

 

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

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  1. Decide which type of option is best for you: Shared Room or Private Room or the Entire Place. Which type of Airbnb is right for you? Shared Room or Private Room or Entire Place.
  2. Make yourself aware of Check In times, Check Out times, Amenities provided and House Rules. Look to see if Self Check In is an option- this will make life easier.  Lots of details are included with each listing however certain aspects affect you more than others. Airbnb: Respect the Check Out Time!
  3.  Verify the Location works for you: Ask the host how far their place is from the places you want to go, in case the area shown to you on Airbnb isn’t specific enough for your needs.   Location helps maximize your time exploring. Airbnb: Location the category that isn’t fair to hosts for guests to grade.
  4. Make sure the number of people staying in the room matches the number of people in the reservation.  What could be a minor oversight on your part has the potential to be misconstrued on the hosts part.
  5. Book the room: either there will be an instant book option or you will have to reach out to the host.  Be sure to included any requested information.
  6. Communicate with your host to figure out how you will get in: Self Check In is the easiest and allows for self-sufficiency otherwise there could be someone there to greet you.Airbnb Lesson for the week: If you don’t know- ask.
  7. Enjoy your adventure! The “Hotel Mindset” won’t serve you well when using Airbnb.
  8. Airbnb Lesson for the week: When asking for already provided information – expect to be pointed in that direction.

Continue reading “1st time to Airbnb- Here is your to do checklist.”

Airbnb Lesson for the week: Never communicate outside of Airbnb

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People have different ways they prefer to communicate and I can appreciate that.

Personally my preferred mode changes with how well we know each other: If we do know each other then I like to Skype or talk on the phone, next would be texting and then emailing. If we don’t know each other then it I prefer email or text.

Maybe it’s just me but I have found it can be challenging to relay emotion through the written word whether you know the person you are communicating with or not. Especially if  you don’t want to add a superfluous amount of emojis.

When you are using the services provided by Airbnb whether it be as a host or a guest, it is recommended by Airbnb to never communicate outside of their program. It states it right on their website.  I’ve included a snap shot of it for the picture in this post 🙂

As a host, documenting all the communication that happens between you and the guest is imperative.  If you find yourself in the position of needing support from Airbnb, it only helps your cause to have followed their guidelines.

Conversations that happen between two people are considered hearsay by law. If you can’t prove it then you don’t have a leg to stand on.

Yes, of course there is going to be interactions between you and your guests that don’t get documented because they happen in person.  You can’t record every word ever said.  You just have to hope that nothing goes awry or it will be hard to have that verbal communication included.

Frequently guests include their emails and phone numbers during their initial communications as a way to get ahold of them “if I have any questions”.  They also  include the emails and phone numbers of their guests.

I always respond with ” I prefer to speak through Airbnb since it is a liability issue for me”

Most people are understanding! As you can imagine not everyone gets it.

Listen up world.  Listen up future Airbnb guests. Once the texting lines of communication happen, people tend to stay in that lane. Regardless, I won’t be calling you, texting you, emailing you or communicating with you in any other way besides through Airbnb. Not with the person who made the reservation and not with the other guests.  It makes no difference to me if they are your partner, spouse, best friend or a family member.


I recently had a guest who cancelled last-minute because I refused to let him text me the day of his arrival time.

After we said our hello’s, I asked for his check in time and confirmation the house rules have been read. He replied with a time frame and confirmation of the rules.  Then he said that he would be driving down and could give me an ETA while on the road.  He provided a phone number (which was blocked by Airbnb). There is usually a number attached to the profile anyways.  If that isn’t the correct one then people need to be responsible and update their profile.

As you know by now,  I replied with my ” I prefer to speak through Airbnb since it is a liability issue for me” to which he responded Okay but I won’t be able to contact you through Airbnb please expect a phone call. I asked what the reason was he couldn’t use Airbnb to which he replied he would be driving and only had his cell phone. What’s the problem with calling you?  ( He DOESN’T get it)

My message: “Like I said before speaking outside of Airbnb creates a liability issue for me. I prefer to only use Airbnb. You can download the app for your phone and we can continue to speak through Airbnb. Thank you for understanding. ” I also included the photo that is in this blog to show the exact language on the Airbnb website.

His Message: “The host is unwilling to allow me to contact her by phone to arrange entry on the date of my reservation, and I will not have internet access. This is ridiculous and I expect a full refund.” Full refund for cancelling the day before because you don’t want to follow the rules?! I don’t think so.

He did cancel his reservation and proceeded to keep sending me vent session messages.

The first one: “Nope, you fail as a host, please cancel my reservation. I have no time to deal with someone who is unable or unwilling to use a simple telephone. I run three rental properties myself, I know all about customer service and this is ridiculous. I need to be able to contact you to arrange entry into the house. Cancel my reservation.” Hosts are penalized for canceling reservations. There are fees for cancelling that can range from $50-$100 so nope I won’t be the one to cancel a reservation. If a guest wants to cancel – they can initiate it. What does running 3 properties have to do with the rules for hosts set by Airbnb??

The second one: “I have used Airbnb many times and this have never been an issue. There is absolutely no reason why I should not be able to contact you via phone on the day of my arrival. This is completely unprofessional, please refund my entire amount. I was simply trying to arrange contact with you so that I can be sure to find and get into the room that I had reserved. I can’t believe this would be an issue, it is ridiculous.”  It makes no difference to me if he has spoken with other hosts over the phone and it hasn’t been a problem for him in the past.
Every place works different. Every host has a right to set up their situation that works for them. Just because other people have chosen to disregard the language on the Airbnb site doesn’t mean I have to.

He made a request for the full refund.  I declined.


The next day I received a message from an Airbnb case manager. I have a strict cancellation policy.  You get 50% back.  The guest wanted back part of that 50% and she was hoping I would reconsider. She claimed the guest said he was uncomfortable with my language so she was going to mediate this!

I am so happy that all our communication was documented!!! I explained my position which included my response to his second message along with this –

He mentioned he would only have his cell phone and wouldn’t be able to contact me any other way. Does his cell phone have the Navigation feature on it, like 99% of people do? Then he has access to the internet. He can download the app or access the internet and go the long way to get to the Airbnb website.

I have Self Check In. We could have made arrangements for him to utilize this option. This way he has access to the space when arriving with no need to communicate via cell phone, unless he is going to say he wouldn’t be able to access this information from his phone. Then I would counter with that he could prepare himself with the available information while he had access to Airbnb.

I plan to be home to greet guests when I can. I work during the week which makes it challenging however he was arriving on Saturday- the weekend, which meant I could plan for his arrival time. I told him in one of those earlier messages his time frame would be fine.

It is frustrating for guests not to take responsibility for themselves when they have been given the information necessary to be self sufficient or to be flexible and respectful of the hosts preferred communication method (which has been set by Airbnb).

I do my best to be flexible with guests. The one area I will not flexible with is the area that can create a liability issue for me.


I won. He did not get a refund and he was reminded of the communication rules set forth by Airbnb.

Thank you Airbnb.

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: Respect the Check Out Time!

Clock set at 9a.m.

I am not sure when 9:00a.m meant anything other than 9:00a.m.
To me- 9:00a.m is not the same as 9:05a.m. or 9:12a.m. or 9:30a.m.

Checking out means- you have all your belongs ready to go, you are ready to go, you are walking out the door and turning in your key no later then the time listed.

  • Hosts have lives outside of Airbnb.

Boundries have been established with the details in the listing. As a host,  I schedule my life around those times. If I have an important appointment to make, I make it for after 9:00a.m. since that’s when guests are supposed to be checked out.  A 9:30a.m. appointment is common for me.

During the week, I have to get to work.
There are times where being late is not an option which is one of the reasons guest can be rushed out.

You are not at a hotel. There isn’t a late check out fee to pay.  Guests being late affects hosts. It is not okay for guests to think their needs are more important than their hosts.  Plan accordingly.  The “Hotel Mindset” won’t serve you well when using Airbnb.

Every place works different since every person is different- with different lives that they are working the Airbnb hosting into.

  • People are used to “the customer is always right”

Big businesses have the ability to go out of their way for their customers to be happy no matter the cost because they are profitable business’s that employ people to work there to satisfy their customer’s needs.

I am an individual and You are in my home.

If the Check In times or Check Out times, Location, Amenities provided, House Rules do not work for you.  That’s okay.  Pick a different place.

Airbnb Lesson for the week: If you don’t know- ask.

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Scenario:  Host wakes up to find an unsecured bicycle on the front porch.  In that moment there are 2 guests staying at the house.  The host asks the first guest she sees if they know who’s it is – she lucks out – it’s his. Host immediately brings bike inside and proceeds to inquire….

Host:  Why it is not being kept in the backyard?

Guest:  Oh, I didn’t know

Host: Well like it states in the listing bike storage is out back.

Guest: I didn’t know how to get back there.

Host:  You could have brought it through the kitchen as she motions for the door that leads out back.  Or you could have asked for the code to the lock for the back gate.

***Guest makes no mention before or during his stay he has a bike***

Can you imagine it if it had been stolen?

I can see the 1 star review now- This house is in a bad location, don’t stay here unless you want your things to go missing.  Host didn’t provide a place for me to securely put my bike and I was looking forward to riding my bike around Portland.  It is the #1 city to ride your bike in America.

All of it could have been prevented if the details of the listing were read as well as communicating with the host.

#1 Lesson- if you don’t know….ask!
#1a Lesson- Read the details of the listing and communicate with your host.

Airbnb: Location the category that isn’t fair to hosts for guests to grade.

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Guests who aren’t familiar with the city aren’t the best judges to rate the location of their Airbnb. It is not the host’s fault when guests pick poorly. I mean, seriously, how are guests whom have never been to a city supposed to know if your spot is good or not?

When a guests picks their Airbnb and it turns out not to be as close as they thought for where they needed to go, they should realize they needed to do more research. Airbnb gives a radius of where your spot will be located.  It is a pretty small circle. Chances are good that you can find a business on the map, grab the address and use it as a reference point for mapping.  Guests can always ask their hosts how close the Airbnb is to “x” location if they need to know specifics.

I live in the Inner NE part of Portland. It is close to many restaurants, music venues, the convention center and public transportation. Technically I am located 2 miles from downtown.  Downtown Portland is on the west side of the Willamette River.  You have to use one of the many bridges to cross over the river.  For some reason this makes people feel it is super far.

One guest got his convention centers wrong therefore he had to commute a bit farther than he thought.  He could have picked a closer spot – I agree.  This does not mean that my spot is in a bad location.

My Advice: Do More Research! Research Research Research – it only makes your travels nicer.

Staying at an Airbnb? Don’t Make the Bed When Checking Out.

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I see your heart.  I appreciate the intention. You want to be nice, helpful, courteous.  Don’t Make the Bed on your way out.

Let me shift your perspective by explaining….

Every guest gets clean sheets and pillow cases for the bed they sleep in.  I wash the blankets and duvet covers as necessary.  I like a fresh bed and I think most people do too.  What you think is a nice deed actually creates more work for you and for me. When you make the bed, I just have to tear it apart when you depart to put on freshies for the next guest.

The polite thing to do is….

 Remove the sheets and pillow cases. Put in a pile along with any towels used.

or feel free to do nothing….

That’s right, just walk away. Like you do at the hotel.  One of the “hotel mindset” behaviors that can be carried over to Airbnb.

The “Hotel Mindset” won’t serve you well when using Airbnb.

Thanks for considering this point of view.

 

5 Top Things Airbnb Guests Should Do

5 Top Things Airbnb Guests Should Do

  1.  Read the Listing:   Every place works different so it is important to be aware of Check In times, Check Out times, Amenities, Places you can access, and House Rules. These specific details affect you the most.  No one likes to be rushed out.  It is not fun for hosts to do the rushing. You can pack better if you know there will be towels, linens, soap, and a hair dryer at your spot.Airbnb: Respect the Check Out Time!
  2. Communicate your action plan & any changes to that plan:  Hosts like to know when strangers (I mean guests) will be arriving to their home, especially in a shared situation.  If you require flexibility in your plans, look for hosts who have Self Check In. As long as you plan to arrive after the Official Check In time, it should not be an issue.  Communication can save both parties potential negative feelings. Airbnb Lesson for the Week: Bad Communication will get you nowhere.
  3. Show up with the # of people in your reservation:  Transparency is important.  Hosts like to know who is in their home, it is a liability issue.  I have had guests sneak in other people, these situations tend not to end well.  What could be an innocent oversight on a guests part can be easily misinterpreted from a hosts point of view. It does not look good.
  4. Don’t Assume:  that you understand why things flow the way they do in someone’s home.  I have posted signs around the house for friendly reminders and good communication purposes.  It is quite frustrating for people not to realize systems develop for a reason. Those signs were in response to too many guests not behaving in previously agreed ways.
  5. RESPECT the House Rules: Technically you agree to be bound by these rules when you book a reservation whether you are aware of them are not.  Some hosts have penalty fees for breaking the rules.  I have found many people say they have read the rules. They say they agree with them. They understand them.  Then they show up and do not follow them.  Actions speak louder than words people.

Airbnb: These are my House Rules. Do you think they are reasonable?

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.