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Any tips on how to be indifferent?


#1

I think most people book my apt because it’s cheaper than average (apt has noise issues so I charge a bit less) – I’m thinking maybe I’d get the same amount of bookings even if my reviews dropped a star or two. I’m wondering if AirBNB would be a vastly better experience for me if I were less emotionally invested in the whole process, got lower reviews, and I just collected the money.

I don’t want to expend energy being overly concerned about guests or ratings. I don’t want to spend energy resenting guests either – it’s really draining. Has anyone found this possible – to detach and remain uninvested? I don’t think is an option if you rent out rooms in your home but I’m thinking maybe people who rent apts, etc. might be able to do this – any tips or suggestions?


#2

What do you rent out - a full space, or do you live with guests? If so, how many rooms do you rent out at a time?

What do you want to do less of? Interacting with guests, not providing as quality of a place, etc.?


#3

I rent out a separate 2 br apt that is under my home – I don’t think “indifference” is even a possibility if you’re renting rooms in your home. :smiley:

I hardly interact with guests at all, besides texts to check in every other day. I just want to fret less about the whole enterprise – the apt is set up pretty nicely at this point and I can keep it that way. But after the cleaner, I comb through the apt, picking up stray hairs, little pieces of sponge from the mop, etc – I mean, who cares? If guests see these things, I’d probably not always get 5 star cleanliness ratings but the stress of trying to maintain a “5 star” experience is kinda not worth it. I think I’m over-invested in guests having a positive experience and it makes hosting more stressful and more work than it needs to be.


#4

I think you’re right! Drop some stars. Drop some stress! I keep my place clean but not spotless. Get about 50% 5* 40% 4* and 10% 3*, so it shows up as 4.5* and I doubt it affects my bookings. I’m not indifferent, I want guests to have a nice experience, but how spotless a place is is only a small part of the overall experience. If you have a cleaner, it should be stress free, let it be! You’ll find you keep getting 5* anyway. Any guest that dropped you a star for a stray hair, will be so picky they will drop you a star anyway.


#5

I think it’s good that you comb through the apt. after the cleaner leaves. Is it taking a long time? I stress about leaving hair anywhere. But I am advertised as a higher end cabin and my rate is high too. I always triple check the showers and toilet. It seems every time I go back a new hair appears…ugh! I know some people really look bad on finding hair in the bathroom. They wonder if it was really sanitized or not.

Some things I leave when I have a back to back, and don’t have extra help. For example, the blinds - the white ones in the small bathroom, no one probably notices the dust building up. But there is a wooden set in the upstairs bedroom that shows the dust so badly when the light is shining through. Sometimes all I can do is adjust them a certain way when they don’t look too bad and just pray a clean freak isn’t coming in. And then some people will say the place was immaculate, and I think to myself they must be used to some dirty rentals…ha! No, my place is really very clean.

Can you increase your price and then it will make you feel better to go in and comb through? I know some owners rent their home for a 12 week season with 12 differently weekly rentals. So they don’t really get to see the condition of the place until the season ends. By this time, items have disappeared, game pieces are missing, other items are discovered stolen, stained towels are discovered that were still presented to guests - yet their guests seem very happy.

I’m just too anal - but some day I will have to turn over the cleaning to a service or individual and just don’t know how I will cope - because I would prob. run all of them off! It’s so difficult to find cleaners who are extremely detailed.


#6

Chicago your place is gorgeous, you should definitely not be undercharging, especially as so many have even said the noise was not an issue.

By the way, have you tried being downstairs while your twins tromp about above playing doing their morning stuff? I understand you can’t just leave them alone, but perhaps any time while someone is there and the kids are just being kids, can you go downstairs and see how much you can hear? It’s possible it’s not as bad as you have said or imagine. I do know that your place is very clean, new and by now must have lots of reviews.

I charge a lot for my rooms for the area, and I think people expect that they are getting what they pay for. My room with ensuite is $170, which is more than many in my area charge for a full apartment. I have five stars on value.

I really love imo’s attitude. I wish I could get there myself. I am trying, but it is taking therapy for me, as I have perfectionist (in the harsh self judgmental way) tendencies, and find people’s judgement difficult to manage. Unfortunately the Airbnb system is set up to make us feel constantly judged to keep us on our toes and giving giving giving, so that they keep making money as we try harder and give more and more (for less and less). But with time I hope to become less sensitive and not care so much about others that don’t have the capacity to care about me :wink: all the best Chicago. Boost that price. I’ll eat my hat if you won’t be happier, at least about the better earnings!


#7

Wait…so I missed something. Are there young twins above making noise and Chicago you are trying to keep them quiet? I thought it was just outside noise. But you can fix a lot of noise with purchasing sound machines for each bedroom. I have to sleep with some kind of sound machine most of the time…even when it is too quiet. I just prefer the drowning out constant sound.


#8

Don’t quote me on if they’re twins. I just know she has young children that wake up at 7am for breakfast, and make normal noise, children’s tv shows, running about and playing.


#9

OK…thanks Sandy. Now that changes things if he was also talking about catering to guests by keeping the children quiet. I am such a light sleeper. But I know I am not the norm.


#10

Some people don’t like sound machines and just prefer complete silence…but I really prefer sound machines. I wish I knew if the majority of the population is bothered by a sound machine. What about you personally? Would a sound machine bother you - I kind of want to know with my guests


#11

Oh BTW - when I speak of white noise machines…I am referring to pure white noise machines like a box fan running. I am not even speaking of frogs in the background. Because that is exactly the noise my guests are trying to escape from! - lol


#12

Lol Cabin. I love the sounds of the wild. Even loud ones! I mean I’m not sure if I have heard these particular frogs, oh! Hang on. Once, during I think spring (it was a very specific time period round we went for a hike. Well the sound was all around the area, a fairly high pitched noise, but as we neared a water area, it got to I kid you not, almost deafening levels. The loudest frogs I had ever heard in my life. And they were just in this one area. Now that would be difficult if it was anything like that, being on a fairly high pitch which is not on the relaxing end of the scale.

As far as white noise, I have no trouble with it at all. Can even be great. We have window AC, and I am surprised once we know longer need them and have the windows open how loud everything seems. It really blocks out so much, yet you become oblivious to the sound. They are particularly great for sleeping, as the even noise is great for restful sleep.

Fans are well loved by many for their sound, and lots of people use them for sleep. I wonder what others think. I definitely prefer something like that to stuffing expandable foam in my ears, as I find it doesn’t work that great, and can be uncomfortable.


#13

I can’t use ear plugs, etc. I just have issues with mentally waiting for a sound to not be blocked out. Then it starts my brain stirring. Yes, AC window units are the perfect white noise machine - love it. Not sure if all hotels have that fan setting to drown out other guests but yes a constant loud sound is great. I could sleep in a giant factory with a plush bed…lol!


#14

Yes! Me too! Lol on the factory image.


#15

Better yet. I could sleep on top of a giant sewing pin cushion in a factory. They can’t produce a bed for me that is firm enough. But I once sat on the top of an ottoman and the top was like a giant pin cushion for sewing. My body melted. Now I know why asians cannot sleep on American beds and just sleep on the floor instead. I love sleeping on my mom’s massage table when I visit her. They don’t make mattresses that firm.


#16

Totally agree on the firm mattress Cabin. My lower back hurts like crazy on anything other than a very firm mattress. I didn’t realize this until we built our own latex mattresses (I thought I would like soft, because I also have joint pain), and I kept sending back layers until my side consisted of the almost the firmest latex you can get, with no cushioning layer on top. Usually the layer I have on top is used as a base layer with 5 inches of cushioning getting softer, eventually with 2 inches of ultra soft latex. I hated the soft as sinking in hurt my back. Since I’ve had it firm (36ild 5 inches, with 40 ild below that), I have been in heaven. Because it’s rubber, it still has enough give so that my joints are comfy, but I don’t sink into it so that my body gets pulled on in sleep.

That said, the lumpier futons in Japan with little give and hard mattresses in India were hard on my joints (fine for my back though).


#17

thanks imo, cabin and sandy for your replies. I love firm mattresses too and I opt for the floor over a soft bed. Cabin – with the sound machine, it totally depends on the kind of noise. I don’t mind the sound of traffic but birds chirping in the morning keeps me awake so I would definitely try to drown that out with a sound machine or fan or anything I had access to in the cabin.

Ok, so my apt is so loud that I would personally never be able to stay in it. My son’s running across the floor is pounding and if either kid cries in the front part of our house (10 months and 2.5 yrs) it goes right down through the ceiling. I don’t mind urban street noise but the sound of babies and children has always driven me crazy – it’s only gotten a little better since I had a couple of my own, lol! I think the guests have been pleased with the apt because

  1. they leave early in the morning and largely miss the noise altogether.
  2. it’s around 20% cheaper than similar options and newly renovated
  3. many are grandparents and seem to find kid noises endearing (whatever… lol )

However, from reading reviews of other listings in my neighborhood, it seems like noise is a pretty consistent issue with many of the basement apts, it’s just that I’m very upfront about it in my listing and I seem to feel much more apologetic and I consider it major issue. Sandy, the more I charge, the more I stress out about the noise! I think it’s largely a personality thing but I would love to shift my attitude as I feel like I might not last hosting like this. I want to be like IMO!


#18

Lol, you and me both Chicago. It’s possible that charging more might make you even more worried. The thought that comes with that is ‘are these guests happy with the apt? I wonder if they feel like they got what they paid for? Omg, what if they’re disappointed? Are they going to write a bad review or give me really bad marks for value?’. The problem is not what we can do to our apartments and listings, it’s what we can do to develop the hide of an elephant, the emotional strength of an ox, and the devil may care attitude of a cheetah. Well, um yeah, got a bit carried away with the animal thing, but, you know what I mean. The thing is all about how to feel calm and not perturbed while dealing with all kinds of people.

I feel that for you as well as for myself, that a good part of the battle is within, because when I saw your listing, your guests raved about their stays and about how amazing you were, just as they do for me, but nonetheless, I always feel on the edge of disaster, or that the next person that is acting less pleased than I am used to will be the ones to implode everything. I think the reason our reviews are so glowing and ratings so high is because of what you said, we are so invested in making sure everything goes well so that we get perfect ratings for fear that no one will stay here if one or two people have just more of an average stay. This is of course not true as many hear can attest to, and most of all, it’s very draining.

In regards to the noise, it’s crazy, because your guests sounded very happy. I would struggle with the stompy little feet and playing/crying early in the morning I think, or maybe it would just get me out of bed earlier for a change! I think you did very well because you were so clear, and the noise is not night time noise. We live above the floor of our guests, and we creep around on our tiptoes when we have guests so that they don’t have to hear us. Mainly one room is the one that our main living area is over that we have to be careful. We try to upgrade guests to a better room if they book it and we’re not full, not for their benefit, but so that we don’t have to tiptoe around! I make my husband get out on my side of the bed later at night and everything, because his side is over their room lol! We’re super paranoid and could siously take a chill pill.

I’m really counting on the therapy I’m doing, called schema therapy, in which I am essentially being re-parented to help give me the things I needed (or at least needed to hear, and even help set right some of the things I shouldn’t have) to help my over-sensitivity and perfectionism. I hope and believe that improvement in other areas will follow.


#19

Have you ever tried a sleep number bed cabin? I LOVE mine. Can’t sleep on anything else comfortably anymore.


#20

Children need to play outside and make noise, anyone who can’t cope with the noise of children playing should just not book your place. My latest guests just wanted to be with my 3 year old all the time, they loved him! Grandparent types your #3. My profile pic is of me with my son, its very clear its a child friendly place and so people that don’t like kids won’t book - seems like you have that base covered in your listing too. Just enjoy the extra money and don’t worry! I think its great that you keep your prices low, why be greedy? Relax and enjoy hosting and feel good you’ve given someone a place to stay for a good value price, stray hairs - who cares!? Everyone’s a winner!


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