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Fellow hosts, some of you may have read my earlier posts - I am remote hosting with the help of an airbnb property manager. The first 2 bookings (currently also the only 2) I received were longer than usual stays. The first booking was for 9 days and the second reservation was for a whopping 45 days - smells like my place is significant underpriced.
The month of June/July is supposed to be a lull period and while I should be ecstatic at the booking, i’m actually nervy and feeling very uncomfortable, not to mention the 45 day booking actually left me out of pocket after deducting 20% management fee and a crazy 15% discount on an already low price. The 45 day reservation is for a family of 4. I’m really worried about them thrashing up my place - I know airbnb hosts should be prepared for damages, but after all the love i’ve poured into dressing up the place, just the thought of them messing up my place leaves my heart feeling very heavy. I’m particularly nervy because guests which stay longer than a few days tend to start messing around like shifting furniture and treating the place with less respect.
Any experienced hosts care to share their thoughts. Should I limit future bookings and if so, to how many days? Or maybe this airbnb business is just not suitable for me.
Who are you trying to attract? Are most holiday makers there for a fortnight? It depends on your market.
I am in a city so I get tourists, educational visitors and people for work. I could get any time booked I want but I limit to about 25 days just because I don’t want people getting too comfortable.
Ok and the ideal purpose of their trip? So your market needs to be expressed in your listing. Overall sounds like you need a listing you can be in control of. Can you sell and buy something else or are the taxes prohibitive?
Thanks for the reply Jess. I think what I need is to manage this property myself, and I’m actively exploring that option. I’ve found my manager to run this property like a factory line (he has 30 listings), which probably works well for some owners.
The ideal purpose of the trip should be just vacation or business trips. I’m honestly not sure what’s a family booking 1.5 months for - my educated guess is they are in between rentals and have found my place to be a very cheap option. If they are in between rentals (here in Australia renting requires a lot of rental references), it could mean they have been bad tenants and could not secure new accomodation after moving out of their last place. But its really just a wild guess. The more optimistic scenario is they need a place to stay while their unit is undergoing renovations!
Yep and if they’re in-between rentals they’ll have loads of stuff which adds to wear and tear. How come the manager hasn’t established the purpose of their visit!? You can set questions as part of IB or as a welcome script.
I would NEVER accept more than a 20 day stay. Certainly not give a discount on a long stay!!!
Since your “manager” has already managed to stick you with this family, I would make darn sure that you, or he, visits the place every 4-5 days “just to see how things are going” or “change the linens” or whatever, to keep an eye on things and stop bad behaviors before they possibly get out of hand.
Print out your house rules and have both parents read and sign them at check-in.
Do a walk-through inspection with the parents at check-in and remind them that you expect the place to remain undamaged and damage will be charged to them.
No but you can if you don’t feel comfortable. For example, if you are asking questions about their stay and you don’t get answers or aren’t comfortable with those answers. Or if they have bad reviews you can cancel, and it doesn’t have to be a first cancellation or a limited number.
Perhaps so but then so is your statement. This is simply not true:
I have IB and have cancelled two bookings this year (first time I’ve cancelled anyone was this year.) One was a woman who I’ve hosted before with her dog and when I sent her the dog fee request she replied back asking about it and I just said “that’s it!” She’s an odd person and while I never had any actual problem on her previous three stays she is just strange and needy. I canceled without any repercussion.
I do think the OP can take an IB booking for 45 days, think about it and decide in retrospect he doesn’t want to host families for long stays. Where he will probably run into trouble is if a pattern of discrimination appears, like he doesn’t want to host families because they are families, or because they are Chinese, or Malaysian, etc. In this case he has stated that he’s actually going to lose money hosting this group.
There is the other issue of having made a poor decision in the hiring of the current management company and all that. Many more mistakes and he can forget Airbnb and look for a long term tenant.
You have no hands-on control because you’re using an agent you don’t trust.
You’re still a new host.
I was very nervous the first year of hosting too but have since learned that most guests are great.
I know someone who just got a 60-day booking by a retired couple who have family in the nearby area and just want to spend the summer with the grandkids while having their own space. Absolutely no concern there. Most everyone would have a valid reason for longer term stays and it helps to know what it is.
I’m going to go against other people’s advice and recommend you honor the booking and get rid of the agent so you can manage your unit yourself. And if your area grants tenants’ rights for that long of a stay, then have them sign a lease.