I’ve had an increase in guests asking for afternoon checkouts lately, perhaps because I’m in the off-season and my rate is low. My checkout time is at 11 am. I rent a mother-in-law apartment in the basement of my home.
I am comfortable saying, “No, I need the entire time to prepare the room for the next guest.” However, two separate guests have recently come back and begged, telling me how inconvenienced they would be by leaving at 11 am. I suggested one guest book the following night, and he said, “can I just stay for free?”
Since I am in a customer service business, I have come back and offered a compromise of a noon checkout, and the guests seem happy. These two incidents were so recent, I haven’t seen their reviews yet to see if I kept these guests happy. Don’t worry, their requests for an afternoon checkout will be mentioned in my reviews.
Mostly I’m writing this just to vent at the audacity of guests asking to stay several extra hours for free.
However, I am also curious if anyone has implemented a late check-out fee in a hosting situation like mine: on-site host, clean the apartment myself. I don’t have a cleaner coming promptly at 11 like many larger-scale hosts do, but my time is still valuable and I don’t like having to rearrange my day and stress about getting the cleaning done on time. I’m not one to charge for every little convenience I offer, but I am starting to get fed up with my time not being valued by guests.
Apologies for starting a new thread on an old topic–I did a search and couldn’t find anything from this year (I’m unclear which is preferred here–starting a new topic or reviving an old one).
I charge £7.50 per hour for late checkout IF its available
I can only tell you what I do. My check out time is 11 with check in at 4 but I don’t need the five hours, I need four. So the night before check out I message the guests with the ‘thank you’ etc. and remind them that check out is at 11. Then I say that because the next people are coming in slightly later than usual I can extend this until noon. I also tell them to let me know if I can help their check out run smoothly (no one ever has taken me up on this - I presume they don’t really know what I mean because I don’t really!)
So I have given them a ‘free’ hour. They rarely then ask for longer.
If they do, I blame the insurance company and say that as their stay ends ‘officially’ at check out time, I can’t help. I have, on occasion, gone into the apartment (‘oh sorry, You shouldn’t be here, you know’) and started stripping the bed and cleaning. That works too
I charge $50. If guests ask same day IF I can, I waive it. But if they get snippy with me I tell them “listen, I’m waiving the fee, unless you want to pay you’ll follow my instructions.”
In fact I have a guest right now who asked for early check in this morning. I told him I don’t know because I don’t know when my house keeper is coming. He’s loitering in my area waiting for me to tell him He can go in. Guess who’s not getting a message until check in time!
Yeah, bugging me about it means you are much less likely to get the VIP treatment.
I sometimes do something like this as it “costs” me nothing and “buys” me goodwill. Or so I imagine.
This is the key thing here. Don’t make it about nickel and diming or personal, or how inconvenient it is to the guest. That’s the guest’s problem. Just say no.
I don’t have a fee but if a guest said, I really need late check out, blah de blah because I am incompent when it comes to running my life I would offer it if I could for a fee. For me it’s easy because I almost never have a free night. Last one I had was Nov 12 and my next one is Dec 8 so I don’t even have to lie.
I think you’re right in imagining.
We’ve all had it drilled into us that ‘you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression’ but as a host, it’s important to realise that last impressions count a lot too. It’s those final hours that many guests are thinking about when they write their review and a little goodwill at check out time can go a long way
I’ve yet to find better advice than “treat others the way you want to be treated” and “don’t do things only expecting something in return.” I left Christianity but it didn’t leave me.
YWe usually can give people an extra hour for free if they ask. Our regular cleaner also does some other work for us so we can usually keep him busy if we can’t get him to come a little later. Strangely we rarely (knock on wood) get requests for late checkout. Early check in is another story!!!
My checkout is 10 am. I have it in my house rules that there is a $25 fee for a 12 pm checkout due to the rush cleaning fee. (Not really true.)
I also have a sign in the suite reminding guests of the check out time but that if they need a little extra time to contact me the day before and if I can, I give them an extra hour for free. They still sometimes grumble about how it’s too early. (Goodwill).
It’s the same with check in- if you want guaranteed early checkin at 1 pm, it costs $25. If you don’t want to pay but still want an early check in I tell them that I will contact them when the suite is ready. I often send the suite is ready message around 2pm and most of the time they guests end up showing up in the evening without a word.
So, no matter how accommodating you are, they guests don’t really seem to appreciate.
Mostly though, the time between 10 am and 4 pm is when I get my house back and I like having no one in it so I can be as loud as I want, etc.
I don’t charge a fee. I try to accommodate the guest if I can. If there are no guests checking in later that day, it makes no difference to me, and only increases the perceived value. Same approach for early checkin.
I advised my last guest that she was welcome to check out at her leisure, and while they left early, it provided some good will that was reflected in her review.
Occasionally I’ll let someone stay a bit longer, but frankly by my 11 Am checkout I’m ready to get on with things. As I tell people who ask "I’m sorry, I have a life outside of Airbnb. I do my best to make your stay as pleasant and comfortable as I can. BUT. I have other guests arriving this afternoon and I have to clean and reset everything so they can have the same positive experience you did.
I also have an 11am check-out (it says “promptly at 11am” in my procedures list) and have had people requesting not just an hour…but almost the entire day. If someone wants a noon check-out it frankly doesn’t matter to me but I do start to charge after that, I’m even doing that for early check-ins as well. So far I’ve had 2 people take me up on the late check-out fee ($10 per hour after noon) and 1 person booked the night prior to allow for a 9am check-in. It was a total win-win for me on all accounts.
Don’t charge for early/late check in/out. If we can do it, i.e. no guests prior or laterly then we do it.
I would never, ever, say to a guest “I’m sorry, I have a life outside of Airbnb…”, that to me is so wrong. You get involved with STR’s then you are in the hospitality industry and you suck up all the shit that comes with it (don’t mean literally!). That doesn’t mean to say you allow guests to walk all over you, but when it comes down to it you are in a service industry and if you can come and go a bit, why not?
You have the option of saying yes your may check out late or not. Normally if they are wanting an extra hour no problem but longer you get a "I’m sorry I can not extend a late check out " please make sure you leave the home no later than XX. Some times depending on the circumstance I will extend a late check out but very rarely. Same with early check in. In fact yesterday had a repeat guest who normally wants an early check in of 1 pm…normally not a big deal but he wanted a 11 a.m check in. I just said sorry no can do. You are in charge of your ABB…if you want to charge extra just make sure it is noted in your listing but understand if you say you charge XX you will not have an option of refusing.
Thank you all for the thoughtful remarks. I am fine offering a 1-hour late check-out as a goodwill gesture. I don’t want to nickel and dime guests, and it typically only takes me 1.5-3 hours to clean the suite and I allow 4 hours. So far the guests seem happy with my “counter offer” of 1 hour late when they ask to check out 3-5 hours after checkout time.
However, I do like having that extra hour of “cushion” just in case. 24/25 guests leave my apartment clean, but occasionally someone does make an excessive mess and it happens to be on a day when the arriving guests are ALSO begging for an early check-in.
I’m a shared space host, too.
In my day before check out email, i remind them of check out times and say that sometimes we can be flexible if given 24 hours’ notice.
Also, unless there is a good reason on my end, and as long as they ask nicely, I’ve been letting guests leave their luggage in the living room and keep one key after official check out. I don’t think of it as late check out, because i’m still getting access to the space to clean on my schedule.
If you think you can get the cleaning done, give your guests the opportunity to stay for up to two extra hours. Anything longer and guests should pay for the extra time. You can also give them the option of leaving their belongings at your place while you are preparing your property for your next guest.
I had always allowed early check in, late check out as I work full time off property and leave a day cushion to clean anyway, and I assumed that would make for a really nice guest experience.
Well, the last time someone asked to drop off luggage early when their flight landed, I took a deep breath and wrote “I can’t provide luggage storage, but I can arrange the schedule to offer you early check-in and full access to the suite at your planned arrival time for $[about 25% of my daily rate].”
The guest was thrilled to pay the extra bit and get early access, as if I had done them a grand favor. So, no more free early check in or late check out!
I live on site and I offer guests a (free) late checkout if no one is coming (after 2pm) that afternoon. Most don’t take it up or say they are grateful they don’t have to get out exactly by 11am. Most are Fri-Sun weekend guests so they’re glad to have a lazy morning getting up late, having breakfast and slowly getting ready to leave. I get good reviews as a generous host and have only once about 180 guests ago had a problem with someone taking advantage of me.
Good morning I hope you enjoyed your stay, just to remind you check out is 11:00 and housekeeping is scheduled. Late check out (1:00) is available for a $45 fee
If you would like a late check out please let me know asap so I can reschedule housekeeping.
I send this at 9:00 on day of checkout.
Not sure why it would be different for a live in host or a off site host? It matters not if onsite or offsite. (to me)