This forum is dedicated to connecting hosts with other hosts. Sign up to get the latest updates and news just for AirBnb hosts! Note that we are not affiliated with Airbnb - we are just passionate hosts!
Remember too that people read what they want to read. And sometimes I’ve seen listings that can be quite confusing. Even if you’re in the US and your guests are coming from the US there are something like 40 million people living in the US who speak primarily Spanish. Then there are loads of other languages.
As I’m in South Florida, it seems to me that most people speak Spanish or Creole.
But some people simply need to have things confirmed if they think they are unclear in the listing. I’ve also found sometimes that people with disabilities (visible or not) usually have a lot more questions, which is understandable.
Jeff, do remember that this is, as you rightly said, a forum. The way this works is that members here respond to questions and give their own opinions. Remember too that anyone who responds to a question only has a limited amount of information to go on - the information given to us by the OP.
In this instance. @Susanna07 says right away that she is new to hosting - as I believe you are also. Experienced hosts give their opinion as they are fully entitled to do. The OP, and anyone else reading this, can then make a decision based on the variety of answers.
Your way isn’t the correct one. My way isn’t the correct one. @Susanna07 will decide for herself taking many factors into account. And these factors are ones that you, and I and the other members who have responded, do not know.
Every host is different, every rental is different, every guest is different. As you travel further along the hosting road you will discover this.
Thank you all for your insights! I’ve been too much in my head and getting it out feels great! When I travel, I’m a super easy guest who figures everything out, this just surprised me especially since I feel like these guys should sit tight and hope I don’t realize my pricing mistake. I also appreciate all the references!
On one hand, we are still learning with STR - 7 months in with about 20 stays. But, we are very experienced landlords, with nearly 12 years and multiple units. If it quacks, it is probably a duck. If a guest or tenant feels like trouble, they probably are.
My main advice to @Susanna07 is she needs to trust her gut about this guest.
I would always side with the host, and not be flippant.
@Susanna07. Not all communication is “just communication”. If you see red flags waving, do whatever you think is best to protect your interests and ensure your peace of mind.
You have much better instincts than me or many other hosts in that case. I’ve been doing this since the early 1980s and have never yet developed this facility. And yet I have never cancelled a reservation and only once or twice had guests who were less than ideal.
So as I said above, you’re not right and I’m not right. Readers can make up their own minds.
I never said that we are experts. We are not remotely new to the rental / landlord game, which seemed to be your implication.
I fully agree that @Susanna07 should make up her own mind.
Again, my point is she should trust her instincts. And, none of us should be so bold as to assert that she has nothing to worry about and “it’s all just communication”. None of us are in her shoes. She is the one dealing with the guest.
All of us have been dealing with people our entire lives. We do not need to be super experienced STR hosts to have instincts about a situation.
People are still people. Airbnb guests are not somehow magically any different just because we have made a slight change to the business model of one of our units. We are still renting to them, with more service / amenities than to a traditional tenant, and for a shorter time. It is still a business and we do not lose sight of that fact.
For instance, we just had guests for a 4 night stay. We gave them a special check-in service (shrimp platter, popcorn, cheese plate, wine and cocktails). It was a special occasion and the situation warranted it. We figured out today that they had broken one of the wine glasses (we do a quick inventory before/after), so it must be in the garbage they took out. No problem. We don’t care and it’s part of the business. They will get a great review. We never had any concerns about them before, during or after.
We have had two guests that we had doubts about before they came. One was an inquiry and we sent them a polite decline - their response to this was pretty nasty and so confirmed our concerns. The one that we were concerned about but accepted turned out to be a piece of work. Lesson learned.
We recognize that other hosts do not have the same situation as we do. For us, the basic premise of STR is really only a slight twist from our LTR model. There is more laundry and cleaning but otherwise is very similar. We live here. We check-in every guest and have friendly personal interaction with all of them. This is not some remote STR stay to total strangers that we never meet.
@Jefferson I agree. In 3 years of hosting, I’ve been lucky to get really nice guests- not a bad one in the bunch, no occasion where I had to involve Airbnb, no cancellers or refund demanders. But I have property managed for others, as well as had long term tenants in my own home in Canada as well as boarding students in that home, and I’ve experienced it all.
Human nature is human nature- I can spot red flags a mile off, can recognize those who are sweet to your face but total opportunists, etc.
I can still be wrong, as I was with one guest who I was a bit leery of accepting and turned out to be wonderful, but that leeriness had nothing to do with his communications, but with the fact that he had no reviews, his profile said he was a student, and a couple other things.
Early listings are sort of an introductory hosting course for new hosts. I would not bluntly tell them to read, but use the more polite approach noted in other responses. I do state “please read our description thoroughly to insure that our listing mets all your needs”. It has helped a little. My pet peeve is the potential guest who asks me about distances to various places rather than using an easy online program like MapQuest. I list all the more common distance questions in the listing, but they don’t look at them.
Gut feelings can be based on valid data; they can also be based on cognitive bias (bad for Airbnb). Even after 5+years/800 stays I don’t feel I have enough consistent data on which to base hosting decisions. I know 90% of my problems have been with older male (over 50) guests. However I know that’s only 3 people. I’ve host hundreds of older male guests so I have no real basis on which to be wary of older male guests.
A brand new host or listing just getting their first reviews, or a host struggling to stay at 4.8 or above has a different calculation to make than I do. I trust $$ more than I trust my “gut” though.
Off topic…I’ve been looking for a way to find out how many completed reservations I have had. I can’t find it anywhere, other than going through the reservations and manually counting. (I’m trying to figure out what percentage of people are leaving reviews, for my own knowledge.)
I had to count them but I did it by going to reservations, then completed. There are forty per page except the last page so I had 40x17 plus the last page with 31. I also have some direct bookings but I’m not sure how many, I had a bunch from two dentists most of last fall that aren’t on Airbnb records at all. So my guess is at least 800 stays.
I can also guess based on how many reviews I have. I’ve always gotten 80+% to review. Airbnb used to measure that for us, now they don’t but when I calculate it myself it’s always over 80%. So I currently have 588 reviews; if I add 21% it’s 711 (the number of stays I’ve had. )
I may be doing it the hard way. I don’t know of another cumulative measure and I don’t keep my own spreadsheet of all my stays. That’s what a top notch pro would do, but I’m not one.