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Are guests getting more picky and leaving worse ratings since last year?

RANT ~ Her review cons: Cons: limited guests allowed. Very limited parking, large vehicles would have a hard time parking here. Downstairs game room very cold and no gas for the heater. Internet didn’t work downstairs so you couldn’t use the “theatre” area. No by stereos for music. Oven hadn’t been cleaned so we had to postpone dinner to clean it. Many doors and cupboards locked “for host only”. Host keeps their food in the fridge with notes which I hadn’t encountered before. Little things broken around the house (oven knob, blinds, dryer door left open for mold issues, ect). Home did not appear to be professionally cleaned or serviced, but was clean enough for sure.
THEY DO NOT READ THE LISTING INFORMATION! It addresses all her issues beyond the oven and minor broken things. And, I noticed the day before they checked in that the remote for the BOSE sound bar was missing, ordered one, but it arrived after. There is heat, she didn’t turn it on, nor the oil radiator downstairs. And who cleans the oven after each use, seriously? She is seeking perfection. I’ve focused in the 3 years I’ve rented on new interior lighting package, new paint job interior/exterior, new roof, new furniture, and a new floor going in this February. Our HOA narrowly defeated banning STR’s so I will not capitulate on how many guest I allow. I had a little small voice telling me to not rent to her, I paid the price. She is not the first one to ding me in the last year, 2 others have. Thinking the listing needs to be changed a bit to demand more communication to ensure they understand and agree. My reply to her was quite lengthly, addressing each one of her cons. Thank you for coming to my TEDxTalk /end

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Sometimes negative reviews can be useful in helping future guests self-select for your listing. If people expect perfection, your spot might not be the right place for them. That is totally fine… there are lots of different kinds of places and lots of different kinds of guests.

I would say listen to the what they say, learn what you can about guests’ expectations, and decide which things you’re willing to change. And then market to your target.

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I like what you said about the negative side of things. My only hope is that new guests actually read the reviews and replies. I’m finding that guests are not a communicative that they were prior to pandemic. Thanks for the reply!

What was your public response? Short, to the point like: I wish you had mentioned the heat issue during your stay. We gladly would’ve assisted you with turning it on. We clean the home after each rental. If you had notified us of your concerns during your stay, we would’ve been able to address those and make sure they do not happen again.

Don’t worry about the stupid stuff: doors locked, number of guests, oven—those speak for themselves.

FYI-One of my guests had a meltdown over an oven covered in cheese(?). She sent me pictures of a clean oven with about a 1/2 inch of cheese hanging off an oven rack. My response I’m sorry, please use a paper towel & pull it off if you decide to use the oven (which is what a normal person would do). When I checked on the unit after her stay, it was still hanging. Oh well.

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My response was long, addressing each one of her con’s, referring back to the listing info, the oil radiator in clear view in basement, the thermostat (seriously turn on the heat), ect. She was non communicative from the moment they checked-in, even after I reached out to her. Oh well, lesson learned, trust my instinct and not accept the booking.

We do. Well, not after each use, but each guest.

If the oven is dirty, it gets cleaned.

If it’s a whole house listing then its something I’ve only ever came across once, and ultimately left a less than glowing review.

I know you’re here for a “RANT”, but TBH, just because you list all the broken shit in your listing, it doesn’t really matter as we all know folks often don’t read.

Chances are that much of the “broken or not functioning” stuff was the tipping point between a decent review and a stinker.

Just my opinion…

JF

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This is what I came to say exactly. It’s always cleaned after every guest for the next guest.

The last place I stayed in had a burnt cob of corn in the oven that was all but charcoal so I guess that some guests will just work around that kind of thing, but, as a host, I wouldn’t count on it. And, as a guest, I’d assume that you weren’t expecting 5-stars.

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Seriously? I do in my own home - the microwave also. I also clean the ovens in each apartment after every stay, so this means about twice a week in each rental when guests check out.

I honestly don’t think that’s a problem. Airbnb hosts (me ands the ones I know anyway) aim for perfection or as near as possible. That’s how to get great reviews, excellent repeat guests and splendid referrals.

It’s a shame when a host gets a review saying that the rental was less than perfect but if the place is less than perfect, it will happen. The host who gets a bad review should simply move on.

It’s only a review. Forget about it.

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I think there has been a rampant level of “COVID depression” that might make some people negative. However, Airbnb guests really don’t read descriptions thoroughly most of the time. I have had more of an issue with people not bothering with reviews. I think they are getting inundated with review requests from retail and service companies.

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I’d say it’s a bit of an exaggeration to portray the guest as expecting perfection. An unclean oven, broken blinds, broken oven knob, missing remote for sound system, and the host’s food in the fridge in an entire house listing, seems like quite a few things added up.

Of course, complaints about max guests, parking, not bothering to ask how to turn on the heater, the locked cupboards, are clueless complaints.

Sorry you had an irritating guest, but next time clean the oven and fix all the little broken things that add up psychologically in a guest’s perception.

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Guests are getting more aware of how to be passive aggressive.

In general my guests summer 2021 were great, maybe my best ever. Unfortunately I caught 2 bring extra guests to my condo titled “…condo for 2”. Maximum occupancy is mention 4x in the listing description & before accepting the booking the guest must reply they understand the 6 item need to know about this condo message.

I spoke with each. Explained the condo was priced for 2. Did not cancel the reservation. I have them a choice, to find a a different place with refund or pay a $25 per night per guest up charge. the written reviews were very nice (I will plan on staying again). but 3 & 4 stars.

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I hope you all realize that ‘cleaning’ the oven is a 24 hour process with windows open. The burners are cleaned each time. I think there is a misunderstanding here.

I think this is a geographic issue, as well. Cleaning an oven on the cleaning mode takes 24 hours with window open to clear the smell. And, nearing 100 guest reviews, she is the only one to complain about food marked hosts only in the refrigerator. This is my home I vacate. Some people seem to think that sharing food with their guest is ok, I do not. I’m not a restaurant.

There is a difference between cleaning an oven and having a clean oven.

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No one is referring to using some self-cleaning oven feature. You just clean out the oven with whatever- a scrubbie and a rag and some baking soda.

That isn’t what anyone is referring to. If you are renting out an entire place, guests don’t expect to find someone else’s food in there. You take it with you, or put another fridge in the garage or somewhere guests don’t have access to.

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I guess I’m upset with myself because my inner voice said don’t accept and I did.

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And to add, I do think perfection as an expectation is an issue. Nothing is ever perfect, and as a guest, host, human to expect perfection is unreasonable, in my opinion.

An unclean oven, … I am at a loss for words for people who expect an oven to have a pristine glass front and interior sides with no markings. Have you all cooked in an oven?? What am I to do, replace said oven every year because no matter what I do to clean I can’t remove marks? Good grief.

Yes, I use my oven a lot. I don’t know where you come by the idea that it’s so difficult to clean. No matter what you do you can’t remove the “marks”? How do you try to clean it?

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My home oven is not very clean. My STR oven is always clean(ed) before a guest checks in.

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