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The countries I generally travel to don’t have many or any properties in the work section. I understand if you are in an in home host that there is obviously a meet and greet but I fail to see why it’s necessary in an entire home rental.
I have managed many different types of homes, including my own and I have multiple guests every night of the year. I have over 600 reviews and a 4.9* rating. I have never needed to meet a guest in person, ever! And that includes at my own family home.
We are adults who travel all over the world and have stayed in hundreds of different homes in over 80 countries. Why do we need hand holding to find our way around an apartment? It doesn’t make sense.
I guess we’ll all have to agree to disagree. Every host is unique and has their own way (and is entitled to have their own way) of running things. BTW, I do not meet my guests unless I happen to run into them while we’re both coming and going. But I respect that others may prefer to host differently, or may have had experiences that lead them to host differently.
Agree one-thousand percent. A guest is a lot less likely IMO to treat your place like a hotel after meeting the owner and making that mental association with the host, and that “oh, this is someone’s home”. I too have a quirky place and there are just certain things that folks could not figure out on their own.
Wow, this is a great post, despite the controversy. Thanks to whoever resurrected it as otherwise I would’ve never seen it.
I generally agree with @Poppy 's peeves, and I wanted to share some hopefully positive thoughts on the very few that I don’t fully agree with.
The best thing to do is give guests the option to meet or not. I’ve found that some really want to meet and get a tour. Funny enough one such group at my listing were business travelers. I wouldn’t have guessed.
Wanting a detailed house manual is contrary to what experienced hosts know about guests, making this more of an exception (the exception being that you are a very likely a higher quality of guest). Basically, many if not most guests don’t read anything you send them or set out in hardcopy for them except the WiFi password. Also, many of the items you want written down might be a lot easier for the host to show you during a tour, especially if there is a language barrier. Ideally, the details are coupled with the guest choice to meet at check-in. I.e. meet and get the tour which includes all of these details -OR- don’t meet and read the house manual. Of course, we also know that if we give all guests the choice, the bad guests will choose to not meet and then sneak in their pets and extra guests, etc. So then we need more rules to specify which guests are allowed to choose… or something that complicates things more.
I drew the line at perishables. I don’t keep any in the house and I throw away any that a guest leaves behind. This is just for sanitary reasons. The long shelf life milk I could buy in Europe isn’t really a common item in the US. I supply a powdered coffee creamer for coffee. Guests are going to have to go to the supermarket for something to use with butter, so just buy the butter while there. If they’re concerned about throwing it away, they have to remember that if I supplied it, I’d have to pass the cost on to them, and I’d still be throwing away the leftovers.
I think a much more useful model for travelers would be for the guest to request and pay for specific grocery items to be stocked in the house, but the logistics would probably be impossible in most areas. My current guests placed a prepaid pickup order with a local supermarket and drove there to pick it up right after they checked in. I think a great host service would be to tell guests to place an order for pickup on their check-in day and pay for it up-front, then the host could pick it up and have the items stocked when the guest arrives. Still, even though this would work in my area, it probably would not work for international guests.
You travel a lot, so I’m surprised this hasn’t occurred to you, but some guests will want to know if the listing has a western toilet, a squat toilet, or something else. I’ve had squat toilets in China and even northern Italy, and “something else” in rural Africa and rural India. I am certain that, if there’s a possibility of not having a western toilet, guests will want to know it.
BTW, I have never been an Airbnb guest, so that’s why I find the post so great. I have used VRBO a few times and my wife and I used Inter Chalet from the mid 90’s to the mid 2000’s. I also stayed at my own Airbnb listing and had multiple friends and relatives stay at it to get feedback before I listed it.
Thanks for replying. This is what we supply for butter;
And this is the milk:
Butter and cooking oil do not travel well, so having to buy them every few days is a nuisance and a waste. If you can’t source the little ones that I have then cut some for the guest and leave it in a small bowl.
I will concede that there are some countries where it is good to see the toilet. I have mentioned a couple of times that it was handy in Cuba as I only chose places that had a plastic seat as most have only bowls.
However, this post was written for other Airbnb hosts on this forum and was not aimed at hosts in third world countries or guests. My understanding is that the majority of hosts on this forum are from the US, the UK, Europe and Australia. Sorry to any hosts from other countries that I have missed. And yes, I do know that for the time being anyway, the UK is still part of Europe.
I also believe in staying at your own listing. One of my house keepers stayed in one of my places the other night as a treat because it got to 8.30pm and there wasn’t a booking. The next day she told me she was off to buy a new plug for the spa as the one we had leaked and she had to keep topping it up. We have never had a guest tell us this.
I had a relative be the first guest in one and she wrote a long list of things that we had missed. Like there was no number at the front door and only plastic champagne glasses. It was very helpful.
I also stayed at one of mine and discovered I couldn’t charge my phone next to the bed because the power point was in the middle of the bedhead. I woke up not knowing whether it was 5am or 11am. I went out and bought power boards the same day.
That stay I also discovered that we had to add “knife sharpening” to our check list as the knife being too blunt to cut a lime for a G & T is a travesty!
I was talking this over with my wife when we realized that your peeves are based on renting small places for 1 or 2 people for 1-3 days. I have a 4-bedroom house for up to 8 people for 2-14 days, and the difference factors into some of the peeves.
I’m sticking with no butter for the size of groups I serve because the nuisance and waste is no longer a valid argument. I do provide cooking oil, though, since it’s not perishable.
On the milk, it doesn’t look like any guest has actually used powdered coffee creamer even though every single guest has used the coffee maker, so I’m guessing my guests don’t like it. I know for certain that my guests really appreciate the coffee (and tea) even if they don’t cook or buy groceries at all, so improving a guest’s coffee experience can only improve their overall experience. I’m going to try to find some non-perishable milk and test it out. I’m actually leaning toward this being a case where even if non-perishable is a no-go, I will ask guests if they want some milk for coffee and provide the perishable kind for those that do.
Yep, first think I noticed when I stayed in mine. Ordered 5 USB chargers with 2 A/C outlets (for laptops and specialty chargers) and put them on every nightstand so guests don’t even have to look for a place to charge. I also put a multi-connector (micro USB + USB-C + Lightning) cable in each charger so guests don’t even need to get out the cables or chargers to charge their phones.
That would be a peeve of mine to. Every host should add it to their cleaning checklist. I have 15 knives and can touch them up on a sharpening steel in under 3 minutes.
Yes you are right, my travelling style is a one bedroom apartment and we don’t stay for long. If you are staying for weeks then there is obviously no big deal about buying a tub of butter. My holiday this year I am planning to stay in one place for a longer time and use it as a base. So that will probably make a difference as to where I book. It’s bad enough not having a bedside table or the double bed with one side against the wall for a couple of nights but I wouldn’t book a place that was missing those things for a long stay. And my expectations of condiments and consumables would be much lower as obviously I would be doing a larger grocery shop.
In relation to the milk it’s not as nice as normal milk but it allows you to have a cuppa when you get up. Then you can chose whether to buy some proper milk or not bother as you are moving on anyway.
I provide the Mini-Moo creamers. They don’t need to be refrigerated and last for awhile. I provide 1/4 sticks of butter that Land O Lakes makes (I just realized they also make the Mini Moos). If the guests haven’t used them for several stays in a row I just replace and use them all myself.
Knives are one of my hobbies, so I’m somewhat of a cutlery expert (OK, I admit it, I’m a total knife snob), and I’ll say: don’t count on it. Knife steels are made for touching up only. So, if the knife is only mildly dull, and the guest knows how to use a steel, then he/she can sharpen it to an acceptable edge. However, if nobody bothers to use the steel on a knife until it’s really dull, then a knife steel won’t help.
We live in our home and rent it out. We do leave condiments and spices in the fridge that have been opened. Our nearest grocery store is 35 minutes away and I think our guests appreciate having it there.
I remember staying at a place in Costa Rica. It was quite a high end rental and had nothing, not even salt and pepper. The thought of buying all those staples for a 3 night stay was a little annoying.
My high end rental in Costa Rica did have condiments and such in the fridge and none of the 8 us thought it was tacky. It seems to me they did a good job of finding the balance between seeming like a family owned vacation home and and a strictly VR place. There were books and games and a few things in the fridge and cabinets. But there were none of their clothes or personal items anywhere.
I received a message from a guest recently asking why there was food in the fridge. There was a bottle of tomato sauce, another bottle of mustard, butter, milk, and complimentary chocolates and wine. You just can’t please everyone!