This forum is dedicated to connecting hosts with other hosts. Sign up to get the latest updates and news just for AirBnb hosts! Note that we are not affiliated with Airbnb - we are just passionate hosts!
Hoping the hive mind can help me with a review for my recently departed guests. The guy who booked had one review before which said he was nice to meet and welcome back but strangely gave him 5 overall but 3 for Cleanliness and 3 for Following the Rules. Seemed a bit mixed messages but I think I get it now. They were 4 railway coworkers on a large project who booked late as they are all on weekly contracts as and when needed. Very happy for the booking as I needed the $$$ for car repairs. Some ended up working 10am-10pm and some just hung around because they weren’t required (but got paid anyway - government job you see) drinking and smoking (outside) and watching tv. They were fine, not noisy and friendly to chat to. I reiterated no smoking inside or in open doors and they didn’t. They left early last night which was all fine. This morning I came down and the place was basically cleaned. I had a professional cleaner coming in to continue the deep clean she is doing but ended up helping with a lot of their stuff for over an hour of her time. So here is the list, these are things which guests are asked to do in the rules and arrival email but these guys didn’t:
didn’t strip the beds and leave sheets in the bath
didn’t move a large coffee table back to its place which I couldn’t do on my own
washed a weeks worth of dishes and left them in the drying rack which because of my using crutches took me 30 mins to put away
left the milk frother full of coagulated milk and when I moved it it had spilled over and under the Nespresso machine and was getting in the workings. Took us 30 mins to clean it.
left food and drink in the fridge
didn’t take out the final trash but they had been taking most of it out regularly.
one night they went out for 3 hours and left their dog alone w/o telling me. I heard him barking (he was pretty quiet the rest of the time) and after 15 minutes of texting and no reply went in and I could see he was desperate to go outside for a pee. The booker/dog owner who was working late and on his way home was very apologetic and no harm was done but they should have told me so if there was an issue I would have known to come straight down (I live upstairs and there is an interconnecting door). One of the 3 guys who went out co-owns the dog and is the bookers partner so I think he copped it when he came home with the others from some late night beach fishing.
8 (only just noticed this one) Took the gas bbq plates to the beach for a cookout and left them on the grass without cleaning or putting back.
I started out thinking I would give them 5s for everything but as each thing became apparent and needed to be dealt with the score went down to 4 then 3 and then wondering whether I should DNR them? They might come back and I would be happy to have them. I suspect the booker who was working late on the last night left it up to his mates to clean up and they did what they thought was an okay job. But the cleaner who was here to do the deep clean ended up helping me clean up their stuff so cost me an extra $50. I don’t charge for regular cleaning as I do it myself and build it into the cost.
So any thoughts on the review? I don’t want to slam them, I would have them back but I would mention the things that needed to be done next time which I can do in the private feedback alone. But I also don’t want to make them out to be perfect to the next host. Because the last reviewer gave them 3 for Rules I reiterated no smoking inside when they checked in in case that was the rule they broke and it is winter here so not pleasant outside but that’s what they sign up for. And they didn’t or I would have smelled it.
Should I leave 3s like the previous reviewer and no details but anyway? Thoughts?
Hmmm, how’s this? I’m trying to figure out how you really felt about them and the bottom line is you would have them back, right?
The group were generally good guests, friendly and complied with smoking rules, and I would have them back. They slacked off a bit a the end – in a rush? – left some trash and a dirty kitchen appliance, and forgot to strip the beds per instructions, so more work for me and my cleaner. Also there was a mix up on who was in charge of watching their dog during their stay. Not serious complaints but observations for next time.
Thanks you make some good points. None of the things individually would be a deal killer or even two of them but they build up. I am guessing some hosts want to be totally honest but don’t want to write a long list of (mostly) minor things but there are so many of them it reads like W&P and makes the host look a bit deranged TBH (speaking from personal experience not Other Hosts). So they damn with faint praise and get them right in the lower stars.
I wouldn’t be so nice in the review. They didn’t respect you and made much more work for you than was necessary. In the past I have been wishy washy with clueless guests but always regretted it. At the end of the day I don’t think you’d have them back, knowing the extra work they put you through. It should have been left spotless.
Thanks K for your usual wise words. I am still of mixed feelings. I have stuck the slipper in (as we say in Oz) once or twice in the past. I will have no problem letting him know privately what should have been done. We had already talked about the dog which he had apologised for. I know the booker was working 12 hour days and got back at 10pm so they either cleaned up then or very early this morning when they left. His partner and one of the other guys were 401ing (no probs I told them it was okay as long as they were outside which they were and my neighbours wouldn’t care as they partake themselves) and drinking and watching dvds during the day and going down the beach for a bbq or fishing at night (gotta admire them for that it is winter here and 12C (50F) and windy). No disturbance to me while they were here, apart from the curious incident of the dog in the night time.
In the past I’ve said “X and his friends were great guests while they were here and no trouble at all to host. Very friendly, no disturbance, and followed the rules. However they let themselves down in terms of cleaning the space on leaving and returning furniture where they found it”. That reminds me of my grade 8 Headmaster: “you’ve let me down, you’ve let your school down, you’ve let your parents down, but most of all you’ve let yourself down”. Eeek, I was 12 and never transgressed ever again. Well I never got caught again!
Similar to what they taught us in teaching school: Make sure to include at least one positive statement when being critical of a student. “I am disappointed that you were copying another student’s math, but you made a great effort on the reading.”
In general, the above is lousy for handling guest reviews. It won’t help the guest to feel better if you need to smack them down, and seems a bit disingenuous. If a guest has done something that merits a bad review, lay it all on the line and dispense with the pleasantries. I don’t like to sugar coat it. But in your case you could say one teeny nice thing, or don’t mention the issues you resolved such as the dog.
“Nice guests, but place could have been left a lot cleaner. Disappointed in the extra work their messes caused me. Maybe as future guests, they could pay more attention to instructions to leave the place clean upon departure.”
Or some such wording. Gives them wiggle room to promise better behavior to future hosts.
Sometimes when I’m hesitant to write a bad or negative review, I remember that I will never see this person again, and that most guests don’t hesitate to smack us for some small thing.