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Building on the post about “Unreasonable Guest Expectations”

In the past 2 years as Airbnb has gained in popularity, I’ve noticed a change in Airbnb clientele. Reading the rental description is a challenge for some guests. They want to look at pictures & reviews only.

Two things:

  1. Have you noticed guests paying less and less and less attention to the listing description?

  2. Do you think the correspondence described below will help? Or no one cares?

When I receive an inquiry that makes it clear they didn’t look at the description (e.g. how far to beach? 1st sentence of description says, “…1 mile to beach and public accesses with parking every block”. ), I send a version of the following response.

“ Thank you for your interest in my condo. The closest beach access is 1 mile away. This information is in the condo summary description.

Every listing on Airbnb is different. To be sure you book one that meets your needs, learn about the listing by reading all of the information posted.

You are spending your hard earned money on a stay. I’m sure the host of whichever booking you like, would want you to be informed and happy. “

I don’t send this to every one; I send it only to guests who clearly didn’t read even the basics.

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I send a variation on this …

Thank you for your interest in the private room in my home. Please read the full description and House Rules for all information on the listing. Please use an online map app to figure out travel times from our small town to the areas you’re looking at.

Once you’ve answered the booking questions and confirm you’ve read the HR of no smoking, no guests not on the reservation, and are OK with the cat, I will accept your booking.

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I’ve had a spate of folks who don’t read listings, and tonight I had a booking from a fella whose profile photo showed him holding a small boy in his arms.

So I wrote: “Since your profile picture has a picture of you with a child, and since many guests don’t read booking profiles, I want to make sure that you know that my place is NOT suitable for children since you have only 48 hours from the time of booking to cancel without penalty.”

He then changed his profile picture to a photo of him and his girlfriend and wrote “Thank you for the concern. The photo is of my brother from several years ago. I am 22, my partner is 23, and we do not have children.”

That’s fine, and I’m sure they’ll have a great stay. But why would anyone post a picture of his brother and his nephew as a profile photo?

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People do the oddest things.

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