It’s easy for everyone to be like Nancy Reagan and “just say no” to early check-ins. But if you can accommodate it without too much effort or added expense why start off on a bad foot? I recently had this situation as a guest. We had to go out of town for a wedding which started at 4:00 p.m. The check-in time was 4:00 p.m. We asked the host for an hour earlier check-in so we could get settled in and dressed for the wedding. He was kind enough to grant our request. If he hadn’t, it would have been a huge inconvenience for us and him. We were out late and he would have had to check us in late at night. We really appreciated it and that went towards giving him a great review. What really pisses me off is when guests ask for an early check-in and then show up hours late. So there are two sides to every coin and I think it’s best to do it on a case by case basis rather than just a blanket “no” to everyone.
During my peak season, requests for early check-ins/late check outs have worn me out. However like @Mike_L I try to accommodate (maybe that’s why they’ve worn me out!) Like @SandyToes my ability to accommodate depends upon other reservations.
For guests wanting early arrival that I can’t accommodate, I give them info on a couple of close-by waterfront dining / bars, suggest they can buy groceries, or go to the beach (there are changing/bath facilities).
I have to be careful though–as proof, here are 2 instances of if you give an inch some people will take a mile.
Guest calls at 2:00 saying, we tried to check in but there is someone in the unit. (check in = 3:00). I call the prior guest who states, “yes we are still in the unit. We know check out was 1:00 but since the next guest isn’t supposed to check in until 3:00, we thought we’d let the kids enjoy the beach some more. We will be out by 3:00.” Oh good grief!!! I had conversations with both about the importance of respecting expected/posted check in/out times.
Guest requested early check in. I declined due to unit maintenance. Guest shows up early anyway and tells me to work around them. I let them drop off some luggage and asked them to return at the 3:00 check in time. Their private feedback was snarky about how I shouldn’t do maintenance between reservations (?!?!!?)
Personal rant: I think everyone should have to experience running a STR for at least 6 months in their life and should wait tables for at least a year. Both will teach volumes about people.
Just reading about those two guest experiences raises my hackles! Hosting does teach one about people but as to some aspects, I would have preferred to remain unenlightened.
My (original) natural trust in my fellow man (to do the right thing) dissolved along the way.
That is seriously brilliant! But only for people over…say… 35 years old and it should be mandatory for anyone over the age of 55.
I was thinking it could replace military service. But then we really don’t want to smash all the hopes and beliefs in people out of our youngsters, do we?
Jackulas has an excellent point. As soon as you say “We can’t” to something, the other party will start to help you figure out how to do what they want. (“That’s ok, we will walk the dog for you!”)
If you say “We DON’T”, then there is no problem to solve, and the most they can ask is “What would it take for you to make an exception to your policy?”. Then you can decide if there is a price that would incent you to make an exception.
I also like @jackulas’ response for being short and friendly. The more detailed the reason, the less believable!
And work retail . . .
Yes I actually do try and accommodate if possible. I will ask my cleaner if she can come on the earlier side, etc. It’s just rare that I can promise an early check in. I’m actually excited when it all works out. Usually it seems like the days when the unit is ready early is when guests are checking in late, or when they ask for a late check out my cleaner is coming right at 11.
I went back to college at age 42 for my BS-Nursing. I waited tables because of decent money, flexible hours. I learned so very much about people. Waiting tables was some of the hottest, dirtiest, & unappreciated work I’ve ever done. I agree that all ages can learn something from the experience.
I agree with @dpfromva, retail experience is good too!!! I sold shoes in my early 20s & had some good life lessons.
Now in my 50’s, I’m learning via STR rentals. Wonder what my 60’s will hold?
And it has to be a year at one of those corporate hell holes too. Six months working the day shift at Friendly’s where they refuse to hire a separate person to make all those “free kid” ice cream sundaes you will end up making for every kid meal, along with all those fancy ice creams for the adults. And you have to put together all those entree salads for the ladies. Three tables and you are already in the weeds running your ass off…all for the privilege of a few dollars tip - and the messiest tables left behind to clean up…only to put you further into the weeds.
Or Cracker Barrel. I won’t even get started on that hell hole. But no cushy mom n pop restaurants allowed.
I learned something when I waited tables for a brief period a number of years ago. I worked as a volunteer in the café kitchen of an art museum for a couple of years. It was different from my then daytime desk job and something I liked to do (prep and cook), and it was across the street from my apartment.
One day, one of the servers needed someone to take over tables for her so I said sure, I’ll do it. What an eye-opener from the kitchen work. I didn’t learn anything about people as customers but I sure learned a lot about myself…I just couldn’t do it.
I have a respect for wait-help.
The hardest work I ever did was restaurant or retail food kind of work… My first paying job ever was at Baskin Robbins. It’s back breaking to bend over scooping ice cream for eight hours. Then they would make us come in when the store was closed to clean the freezers… all caked up with dried ice cream… ickkkk. Even though we got a free dessert once a day, to this day I cannot stand to have one of their sundaes or milkshakes.
In college I got a job at the local Blimpies sandwich shop to cover the weekend where I had no meal plan. I had to do it all-- prep for the day, run the meat slicer, do the dishes, bus the tables, make sandwiches and ring up customers. I thought I was running my a88 off but they disagreed, calling me too slow and I got fired. The first time I was ever fired!!! But it was so stressful it was almost a relief to go back to eating ramen on Saturdays and Sundays!
But would you actually want them to mention this in the public review? I wouldn’t want it, because it could potentially attract more early check-ins and people getting cranky when I am unable to give them an early check-in. In general I prefer people to not mention any extras I have provided them: Better to keep those a secret, so we can surprise.
Totally agree. It’s just that the (many) guests who benefitted from my generosity didn’t even have the courtesy of thanking me or even acknowledging it in private feedback or email. (harrumpf to them!) …
I have to say that once the guest starts making requests for early check-in or -out, without a reason it makes the hairs on the back of my neck raise. Every time the guest has complained about something for a refund or left the house a wreck.
Yup me as well. Never will forget the time I let some German people stay until their overnight flight left Kona at 10 pm. Hours and hours of free time at the unit. My thanks? a ton of sand to clean up all over and a review that mentioned how I didn’t have enough cabinet space for their belongings. You are welcome! danke!!!
I have had guests innocently thinking they are being polite by continuing to ask for early check in. In reality…you are stopping me from getting the place ready for you! Every time you distract me is minutes against you, and me getting focused again…
In my case - you just had me run down the stairs to only see your text asking if early check in is available. Well…now I am getting tuckered out…so you just slowed me down…
Yup… You know what will be next. Him sitting outside in his car watching your house “waiting.” Gotta love the guests that sit out there and wait. Kinda forcing you to come out and tell them to come on in. At least I have a beach I can send them to.
What other favors will he ask? How bout can he park in your garage? Bets on a late check out request anyone?
It won’t be that…no car. I used to hate that since I used that to be able to tell if they were here or not. Now I use security camera footage and monitor if they are connected to my wifi. If he asks for late check out it’s definitely going to be a no because tomorrow’s guest, the picky nurse that I hoped wouldn’t return will be here by 4 pm at the latest.
He said he has a friend that’s coming by and they are going for dinner. So let’s see if the friend drops him off after dinner or tries to stay the night.
I wonder if him telling you that was a set up for him to ask for the friend to stay over. At least it is only one night.