I really enjoyed reading this @summerfun! You asked for everybody’s experiences so here are mine:
I took this point, as some others did, as a humourous take on how hosts are “taken hostage” by the ridiculous Airbnb review system. And it did make my chuckle!
But I’ve never regarded airbnb as my employer. In fact, I view them as the opposite: they are a service provider and take a percentage of my profit for that. I try to have as little to do with them as possible because they are completely useless when anything goes wrong. But 3% is not much to pay for all the business I get through them. I don’t need them to hold my hand over bad guests. I host in my home and am perfectly capable of throwing people out if necessary.
Absolutely agree with this general principle! When I first started, I did the same - bending over backwards to every stupid whim of the guest. You’re totally right that it is viewed as a weakness. Now I simply do the basics and I do just fine for reviews.
But the whole pokerface host attitude is bizarre, to me. WTF? Why would you do that?? A smile and a warm welcome costs nothing and, crucially, can mitigate a lot of shortcomings in your home/rental place. Recently there was a thread discussing the logic about guests giving 5* for every category but only leaving 4* in the all-important overall experience category. A poster (@southendbootboy) commented on an experience as a guest where everything was perfect but the host was so unfriendly that a star was docked.
Most of my reviews comment on how welcome they felt and how they appreciated feeling at home blah blah blah. None of them mention the shabby state of my bathroom or the mess in the entrance etc. It takes me 20 minutes max to greet and settle guests in with my winning smile and lovable personality (yeah…sarcasm alert!!). I consider that time well spent and it’s certainly worked for me.
- Hosting is fun
Sometimes it is. I can’t really comment on this any more because I’m at over 1000 guests now so it’s a bit like a sausage factory. I do get the occasional ones where we click and have some great conversations.