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A Rant on guests who want more, get more and leave a 4 star rating!

I have had a few guests lately who:
Want an early check in and late check out. I have tried to accommodate these as much as possible going out of my way to make it work. One lady who was soooo insistent about wanting to arrive early and after hiring additional help to make it happen arrived 4 hours after check in! Saying Oh, we decided to go site seeing before our arrival. This one was just clueless!

A local couple who wanted to have their two year old son’s birthday party with about 15-20 extra people outside. I agreed without a party fee. (I must have been in a good mood then) They end up having the party with Mickey Mouse stuff EVERYWHERE on my large private deck. And then left me 4 stars…

A guests who asked for an early check in which she got and a late check out. I had responded to her the latest check out would be at 12:00 if approved. Normal check out is 11:00. At 11:15 I texted her that check out was at 11:00. She said that there was miscommunication and that the she assumed that they could check out at 12:00. I responded that Oh yeah I can understand how that may have been misconstrued…4 Star and inaccuracy about check out time. They left at 11:30.

All of my other guests who don’t ask for this and that and the other, leave me 5 stars and great reviews. Why is it that the ones who want and get more do not appreciate it ??

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People who ask for and expect special treatment, bending of your rules, etc, are by nature entitled and self-centered people, that’s why. They don’t appreciate anyone going out of their way to accommodate their requests because they think they deserve whatever they ask for.

I’d suggest you stop trying to make exceptions for guests who “want more”.

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COVID-19 has changed the hosting game. In my area there are a large number of hosts/rentals and a small number of guests plus many of the guest are new to Airbnb.

The mix has pushed hosts to accommodate more for guests who are clueless at incredibly cheap prices.

Some guests have always tried to customize their stays by asking for something special.

If you can & want to accommodate then do it. If you can’t accommodate special requests say “no”.

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same happened to me several times last season. Now, I usually make it super difficult (to have special conditions, usually late check-out). I always say that is not possible, “depending on the next guests I have , I will try, …”
Is better to stick to your rules. People who always try to have more for the same price, are not good customers. They are never happy

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I used to do a lot of surveys in my business to repeat target groups. Regardless of the topic, there were some groups that were predictably negative or positive. Some people see a 5 as a perfect score so anything can bring you down to a 4. It can be as simple as the mood someone was in when they filled out the review. Relax about an occasional 4.

I have stopped allowing late check outs at all. Sorry no, the housekeeper juggles childcare and between that and having to wait 3 hours to enter (cv19) there is no wiggle room. Same with early check in, we will change the door code and open the gates just before check in time…

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What part of NO do you not understand? Your listing should specifically state
NO EARLY CHECK-IN
NO LATE CHECK-OUT
NO PARTIES
NO OUTSIDE VISITORS

-Then you need to not cave-in when someone says “can we…”

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It seems as though a lot of hosts are no longer allowing early check in or late check out, myself included. I added this language to my listing:

“This Airbnb is committed to following the Enhanced Cleaning Protocol as outlined by Airbnb as a host requirement. Due to the extra time and effort required of the enhanced cleaning we are no longer able to accommodate guests wanting an early check-in or late check-out. Your health and safety will always be a priority to us.”

Now suddenly, you are doing them a favor by not allowing it! :rofl:

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Still don’t see what the issue is.

If we can do an early/late check in or out, we do it. If we can’t, we tell the guest we can’t and offer to store their luggage.

All this shouty “NO EARLY CHECK INS” reminds me of the B&B culture in the UK forty years ago, which @jaquo will prob chip in about :smile:

We’re in the HOSPITALITY industry folks, not the “I am a host and I make the rules” industry.

If you don’t have the ability to ensure concessions like this aren’t abused, then maybe the hospitality sector isn’t for you…

JF

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That was my policy, too. In a couple of cases, the guest knew way in advance that they would need an early check-in or late check-out and in those instances, I told them if it was just a couple hours, I’d make it happen, but if it was more, then I couldn’t make any promises and told them if it was critical, they could book an extra day at a discounted rate.

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My check-in window has always been super long- 11AM to 11PM. I’ve always left one day prep time and I work from home, so it’s no issue for me, although I do want guests to give me a ETA and all of them have.

As one can imagine, pretty much every guest’s ETA falls within that time period, but once I had a guest who was arriving in town by bus at 9AM. But when she told me that, she also said “I know that’s too early for check-in, so I’ll just find a cafe to hang out in until 11”. That was respectful, so of course I told her that she could check-in at 9 rather than shlep around with her bags, having just gotten off a 12 hour bus trip and no doubt preferring a shower to twiddling her thumbs in a cafe for 2 hours.

Another guest’s plane had engine trouble and had to turn around, and she couldn’t get here until the following day, at 8AM. I accommodated that one, too.

As long as it wouldn’t be hugely inconvenient for me, and the guest wasn’t demanding about it, I don’t mind being flexible. I just think how I’d like to be treated if I ended up in circumstances beyond my control.

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This, I think, is the correct approach.

There will always be guests who “demand” a check in/out outside the stated times, and it’s how you deal with it that can often be the difference between a good or a bad review.

As long as you tell them why they can’t check in/out at those times, in my experience most guests end up being OK about it. I suppose you’ll get the odd entitled one, who’ll take the hump, but maybe we’ve just been fortunate over the years that, for us, those folks are few and far between.

JF

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Ironically I can be more flexible now as I no longer have back to back one night bookings. I’m typically blocking 2 nights so there is a minimum of 52 hours between bookings. Because most people check out before 11 am or after 3 pm it can easily be 60 hours between guests. Given that I raised my price for couples and added a cleaning fee, people that stay are paying more than ever it’s easy to be flexible.

No one likes a demanding guest but by preemptively being generous you can maintain the feeling of control you need and seem like a great, generous host. I had recent guests who had over 10 good reviews and they live in a small town about 3 hours from here. I’ve had more than one repeat guest from that area as they tend to come here for flights, special medical care, shopping and so on. So I preemptively told this couple the room was ready and feel free to go ahead and check in when they got to town. Given their speedy arrival it seems that they were already in town and came right over when they got my message. They gave a good review, left a nice note and said they expect to stay with me again.

Like John says, it’s not that hard to control your listing. If you can offer early check in, okay and if you can’t say “sorry, no.” If I had to depend on a housekeeper like RR, I couldn’t be flexible.

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I started to look at it from the point of view of the guest, and their expectations. Renting an Airbnb for $100-$200 gives them a nice venue, and clean up. Reviews? Who cares? They just create another profile.

The limit is now 16 or so. What do you call that? I call it a party.

What slays me is that hosts are held to cleanliness, price and other standards that hotels and motels cannot possibly compete with. A certain segment is always going to disregard and disrespect this.

Trying to be all things to all people has its limits.

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I have to admit that part of my reluctance to be flexible is I do not want my guests here any longer than agreed on. My office is on the property and I cannot wait to close the gates when they leave. I am in the hospitality business, and I am a good host and always helpful. From 3pm to 10am
I do not want to resent my guests for staying over, therefore I do not allow it.
Also I am not going to ask the housekeeper to change the schedule to accommodate late check outs. It is always the morning of that a guest will ask, the last guest who asked for and received a late checkout gave me four stars so that kinda spoiled it for the rest too.

RR

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Thanks for sharing your experiences @Kerri. I don’t mean to sound harsh but it does appear that the incidents you highlighted are displaying your weaknesses as a host:

  • agreeing to one hour early check-in is fine on a case-by-case basis but hiring extra help (and paying for that yourself) is going too far. Show SOME flexibility and in my view one hour is a good token gesture.

  • you ALLOWED 15 to 20 extra guests to come on the property DURING A PANDEMIC? Wow, that is pretty insane. I would NEVER agree to something like this, even before COVID. Imagine 20 people going in and out of the house to use the bathroom, the kitchen, take a look at your AirBnB? This is nuts and you know it. In exceptional circumstances you can allow a couple of guests during the day but they would need to clear that with you first. NOT TWENTY!!!

  • And the last example about the 12noon check out does sound like a miscommunication from you unfortunately.

So, the lessons learned from all this is to straighten up your house rules and your communication. Again, I don’t mean to sound harsh. It’s just a learning experience for us all.

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I have fond memories of the horribly mismatched area rugs and curtains in Plymouth, the fantastic full breakfast in Bridge of Earn (Mr. Harris, you must get up! Your oats are getting cold, and I have no use for cold oats!"), and having to share a bed in a house on the Lands’ End coastal footpath, unheated in a stone house in early April, and my brother kept stealing the blanket.

But it was always incredibly bad decor that I remember. I think British B&Bs in the 70s and 80s all bought their incredibly mismatched flooring, bedding, and curtains at jumble sales.

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That genuinely sounds awful. Especially the cold oats.

This is what we do. 202020

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@KKC, @JohnnyAir, @Brian_R170, @RiverRock, @Annet3176, @lauren_g Recent guests (young couple from South America) took the initiative to book two extra nights so that they could arrive early and check out late - classy people!

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