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Too often guests do not read the listing material. Too often guests will not make contact to inform us of their ETA (estimated time of arrival). Too often we have to chase them down via Airbnb, email, and phone/text to secure a time. Many do not answer. Or cannot as they’ve no service. This is especially true of foreign visitors. Days in advance our guests receive a reminder email asking for ETA and to Check In at our home. Without fail.
We cannot imagine traveling to someone’s home and never making contact. If there is such a thing as Superhost…maybe it is time to make guests aspire to SuperGuest.
Easter guests …ETA please … We will arrive at 4pm - 6pm from me … are you OK? Silence…eventual 9-30 arrival. My furious Greek Orthodox husband, missed the Easter celebrations- Guests - oh - we were driving so didn’t look at the phone!
This is often the problem and it’s up to hosts to estimate which guests these will be. It often applies to guests who are coming from other countries who do not have service on long haul flights. Usually message conversations just after booking will let you know whether the guests will have service/whether they travel with phone, tablet or laptop and often what time their plane arrives.
I message guests 1 - 2 days before arrival day depending on their answers to the previous questions. In all this time I can only remember one guest who didn’t let me know their ETA and that was due to an unusual circumstance. And she arrived at the posted check in time so it was no problem.
We do. We send a detailed informational email on what to expect - who, what, why, when, where, and how, the check in, and to contact us the day of their reservation to provide an ETA. We then send detailed written directions as we are rural/remote. Nothing works with a percentage of guests.
I simply ask them what their travel plans are, remind them that check in is at 4 pm - 6 pm and let them know that I can arrange self check in for them if they plan to arrive during the evening/night/early hours.
Our best guess is that our guests are 100% tourists here in the Grand Canyon/Lake Powell area. They are coming in from arrival cities such as Phoenix and Las Vegas. They attempt an aggressive schedule. Tourist brain. Complete shut down.
I ask guests how they’re travelling and what time their flight/train/bus is scheduled to arrive. I know exactly how much time it takes to reach my house from each place so I can get a good estimate. Also, I can check flight delays etc. It’s a bit of an effort but the pay-off is worth it - hound your guests for their travel arrangements! They think they know how long it takes to get to you from the airport but they don’t - I do.
Travelling by car is trickier because people underestimate the time it takes, there’s more potential for delay, they stop off somewhere and don’t think to alert you etc etc. But if you know where they’re driving from, you can get an idea of how long it will take them.
Making the effort (it takes seconds to send a text/email) to get this detailed information from guests has worked really well for me. I try to word it so it’s friendly, eg. “So I can make sure to be here to greet you… / I appreciate it’s hard to know exact arrival time when you’re driving but… blah blah”
Of course, there will always be the occasional guest that just doesn’t get it and will turn up late/early or whatever. You can’t account for those!
But if you want an explicit arrival time? Work for it!
All our guests arrive by car (road trip) or by flying in to the local airport, then uber/cab. This makes it easy to estimate their arrival time. If they tell me the flight number I can estimate their arrival within a range of two or three minutes
That’s assuming they get a cab/uber - my budget guests usually get the bus! And sometimes they choose not to follow my (super duper) directions and get lost. But mostly it works. I’m old-school and like to establish a rapport with guests before they arrive. I’m saying that but it’s often just a one-line text with an emoji these days! But I guess that counts as rapport now.
I ask international guests to text me from the airport once they have cleared customs or picked up their luggage and hire car. They are still 2 hours away. In the same message I tell them where they can get something to eat without leaving the freeway because there is a Maccas just outside the airport but the next services are an hour away. If you give people something I find they give it back.
I always ask for a text 30 mins before arrival. I’m in Australia so with international guests I will ask where they are coming from and let them know how long it will take. We are a big country after all. We are on a trip at the moment and have driven 8.5 hours and just crossed the state border.
I’m in El Paso TX. I’ve seen your listing and I know all of that. In fact, I was going to suggest to Jaquo and Magwitch that the issues presented with visting urban areas by plane bus and Uber were very different from visiting a ranch surrounded by wide swaths of no cell coverage…but I got busy.
As I said, no offense intended with my very general comment about “fixes.” I was only suggesting that a percentage of guests can’t or won’t be changed. If your unique listing precludes you changing then it’s something you have to live with.
I haven’t looked at your listing lately. Maybe you have to go with arrivals must be between xx and sundown, seasonally adjusted. Remove the flexibility you have now and try to require them to arrive in a narrow window and see if they will arrange their vacays accordingly.
Never insulted. We look to the room full of hosts here as the wizards of Airbnb. We absolutely value the advice presented.
“…arrivals must be between xx and sundown, seasonally adjusted.” THIS is exactly what we state in rules and all other communication. Our Check In is from 2pm til sunset (no later than 7pm). We require guests to arrive during daylight hours to get settled in and oriented (No later than 7PM MST. Winter months the sun sets much earlier. We are on Arizona time, mountain standard time - MST. We DO NOT observe Daylight Savings). To avoid any time zone confusion please refer to the World Clock - Page, AZ.
We have taken note that this year our stays have increased to multiple nights but, guests are still attempting very aggressive schedules - trying to get the Instagram selfie at every spot. Horseshoe Bend, a very popular iconic spot on the Colorado River is less than 5 minutes from our ranch. They all desire to see sunset from this. Our ranch is comprised of the mesa above it. The views from our ridge are far superior. In fact, I’d suggest they are as dramatic as the Grand Canyon. But, it simply does not matter. They must be with the throng. It’s just a small percentage that does not communicate. However, it is an irritant.