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Help with review -- guest checked in but left after 6 hours with no explanation

I would like help in reviewing my last guest.

The summary is: guests checked in (early) but left after 6 hours, didn’t cancel, didn’t tell me why, until I messaged the next day saying I noticed they didn’t stay and will they be returning? Only then did he message back with apologies, stating his companion had a family emergency and he had meant to send a message.

I actually don’t believe him, and I had typed out an entirely too long account of everything that had lead up to that point, but I am not sure such a long post would be welcome. Again, the summary is that, after great communication,

(quite a bit of back and forth: Can I bring my dog? (no) can I check in early? (yes) Can an unregistered guest come over? (typically no, but it was for a zoom class so I allowed it) (oh, by the way, I thought you were coming alone and I see now you are saying “we” will arrive at 11am – what is the name of your companion? Her name is XX), etc.,

we greeted cordially, then by 5:30 that night they had packed their things up and left without telling me they would not be back. He assured me there was nothing wrong with the suite or the stay. I know they had intended on making a weekend out of it; he is looking for housing in the area.

I have learned it is important to review every guest, and I would not this person host again even though he was communicative, polite, and respectful of my property. It is just one of those “bad feeling” guests. So I am not sure how to review. He is new to Airbnb this year.

Thanks for your help. I just read here recently that the 14 days review period is helpful to settle ones emotions. It’s been 5 days and I am a little more settled but don’t know what I should say to hosts and to him.

Did he ask for a refund? Did the suite looked like it was used? Do you have a min. stay? My gut is telling me this was a “quickie.” Probably a person cheating on their partner or spouse. On the other hand, maybe there truly was a family emergency. If it were I, I would not mention any of it on the review. I would simply say he was polite and respectful of the property. He hasn’t even requested a refund and he left the place in good shape.

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He did not ask for a refund and I got my payout.

The suite was used by “SuzieQ” and the non-registered guest, for their Zoom class, while “Joe” was out for the afternoon looking for housing in the area. (Bed not touched). He will be a grad student in our college town and he was getting the lay of the land and working with a realtor while she did the zoom class. I believe is is a little older than a grad student right out of undegrad.

I do have a min stay of 2 nights.

I keep thinking this also, except that is where all the weird details come in. I spoke with him in the driveway right before they left, no mention of leaving or any emergency. And his body language was weird, as if he were trying to block my view of the car. And where I had been friendly with the woman before, she had just quickly jumped in the car and shut the door. I thought they might have stolen some stuff, but… I will continue in the thread.

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Seems like a great guest to me. No mess, no damage, no rules broken, no request for refund. The rest is none of my business. You may want to wait until the last day to review if you think they did something you’re not yet aware of.

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Just typing out all these details now, in case you are bored you can read all the silly things that led to me feeling exasperated and not wanting to host this guest again.

He had messaged asking permission for him to check-in early, 11 a.m., I agreed.

He had messaged asking permission to bring his yorkie, sending an adorable photo, and (thanks to this forum) I simply said your yorkie is adorable but my pet rule is strict and we don’t allow pets.

We messaged back and forth about a few other things.

I messaged to confirmed arrival time and that is when he used the word “we” for the first time (I had assumed this whole time he was coming as a single guest; he was one of my first instant-bookings back in Aug – I have since turned off IB – and I didn’t know then to really interview him, send rules, and make sure it was a good fit, and I could have sworn I had seen (1) registered guest, but maybe not?). His messaging up until then had always used the prounoun “I”. So I clarified by saying “You mentioned “we” will be there at 11. Are you bringing another person? If so I will need the name. Just wanted to clarify that you saw my ‘no pets’ policy is strict in case by ‘we’ you meant ‘you and your dog’.”

He said my companion’s name is Suzie Q, do you need her last name? (No mention of the dog, and this post is not about the dog, but his lack of acknowledgment was among the first small red flags.) I replied “oh thank you for telling me; I will prepare the suite for two instead of one.” (I just mention this because preparing for two instead of one is an example of the fussiness that some hosts don’t mess with, but I do like to leave snacks, waters, a note with both their names, etc.)

When he and Suzie Q arrived, I greeted them outdoors like normal and asked their general plans of coming and going – he was planning on looking for housing in the area while she was going to settle into the suite and participate in an undergrad class on Zoom. He went on his way into town, and soon he messaged asking permission to have a (local) guest come by to do the Zoom class with Suzie Q. He mentioned not seeing the “no unregistered guests” rule in my listing (I was brand new when he booked, the rule was not there yet), but that he saw in my rules binder “no unregistered guests”. I said I would prefer they find an alternative place, but that I understand it was for a class. I agreed to the third guest if he gave me her name and the time she would arrive to view the class in our suite, and the time she would leave. I also explained (as I am finding many guests simply don’t understand) this is our home, and I require knowing the names of all people coming on and off my property. He said no problem, her name is Jill-e-bean, she will arrive in an hour, their class is 2.5 hours.

Nothing bad happened with the guest student. I greeted her outdoors, and both SuzieQ and Jill-e-bean were friendly and cordial and grateful for my allowing her to come. They must have participated in their zoom class as planned; Jill-e-bean left after 2.5 hours, as they said she would.

About 5:30 I see on the driveway camera that Joe and SuzieQ are headed to the car with all the stuff they arrived with: coats, luggage, four-packs of drinks, backpacks, bags. One tote bag looked particularly cumbersome for SuzieQ and I wondered if they had indeed brought that little dog. I went out there to directly ask if they had brought their dog (again, gaining courage from this forum, heart racing, ready to say, “you can’t stay here if your dog is with you”). I started by asking how his house hunting went, we chatted, and this is when it felt very weird. He didn’t say anything wrong, but his body language was off, as if he was trying to block my view of the car. SuzieQ didn’t speak, she just got in the car and shut the door. I said, Joe, did you bring your dog? He said, “we did not.” I said, “okay, well, have a good evening.”

I was very distracted by the possibility that they were trying to sneak in the dog, and it didn’t really register that they had carried EVERYTHING they came in with, back out to their car. They were not back at 10:30 when I went to bed – I woke up in the morning wondering what time they must have got in that night because I had not heard them. (their entrance is right below our bedroom window so we always here comings and goings at night).

Next morning, viewing the overnight outdoor footage, it became clear that they never came back. I didn’t check their suite right away because you never know – would they arrive right at that moment wondering what I am doing in there? And I still didn’t know what was going on. Also I am a human and a mom so I did actually wonder if they could have been in a car accident or something. So I messaged him: “Good morning. Usually at this time I contact my guests and ask if their first night was comfortable and if they need anything else, but it is clear you did not stay. We have been communicating very clearly up until now, so this abrupt apparent departure without explanation is confusing to me. Please let me know if you have checked out for the weekend or what is going on. I hope you’re okay.”

Within a half hour, he responded, apologizing, “SuzieQ had a family emergency so we had to quickly leave. Everything is okay now. I meant to send you a message. There was nothing wrong with the stay or the room.”

One last detail. They had checked out perfectly, a hand towel in the laundry basket, and their used glassware was washed. Bed was clearly not used. (I leave a bottle of wine for couples over 21 and a note saying the water bottles and wine are free of charge). The wine bottle was gone, the glasses washed and drying on the edge of the sink, the foil from the wine in the trash. This wine detail has me thinking SuzieQ and Jill-e-bean shared a bottle of wine in the middle of the afternoon while Joe was out house hunting.

It doesn’t matter why they left I guess, but when we spoke in the driveway, he said nothing about a family emergency, and it was clear in retrospect they were leaving at that time. After SO MUCH back and forth on messaging, I was really just bewildered that they had just…split! And not considered telling me? I felt very frazzled. Less so now I guess, but it is hard not to have invested a little emotion into guests and their stays.

He’s booking accommodation, not applying for a job.

Guest booked, checked in, you got paid and guest left.

On the basis that nothing has been stolen, its job done.

I’ve got no idea why you are over thinking this to the extent that you appear to be doing, they sound like perfect guests.

All the pre arrival stuff is just what you have to do sometimes.

If they left the place clean I’d give 5* and a decent review.

JF

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Okay, point taken. But I would not host again.

Please send them my way. Perfect for my place. This isn’t shade, every host is different.

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Over thinking X1000.

Review: “New-to-AirBnb Guest didn’t stay the night (no explanation until a day later), but didn’t mess things up either. He had lots of questions prior to booking, which actually reading the listing details would have answered. Perhaps more suited to an hotel stay.”

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I love guests that pay in full and leave early! I’d give them a good review.
Guests often don’t ID a second guest, especially if they are used to hotel bookings.
I wasn’t there, but the monitoring of and speculation about these guests seems a little overboard.
You asked about their plans, you went to met the guest in person that they had asked (and gotten) your permission to bring (which indicates they read the rules), and you went to question them again when you saw them getting into their car on your camera.
I see no reason not to take their word as to why they left, or why it matters. However, have you considered that one reason they left might be that they felt they were being watched or that the host was a bit intrusive?
It’s your Airbnb, of course you can run it however you wish.

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For whatever reason, they changed their original plans. Your place was left in great shape. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

We would not give a negative review “over a funny feeling”. Have a glass of wine and don’t worry.

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The Yorkie, that’s probably why he blocked your view of the car and she was hiding. They brought their dog!

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I too would give them 5 stars. I would be delighted to find everything nice and clean. Easy payout!

Who cares. He does not owe you an explanation.

He stayed (a few hours) he paid and he is gone.

NEXT!

Review, X checked in and I barely knew he was there.

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I think you might be over-thinking the situation.

I had a stay last month (as guests) where we almost didn’t go after being notified that the outdoor pool was closed for the season. I decided to still go last minute but we checked-in a day late and we left a night early (due to totally mundane personal circumstances) and we actually had a fantastic time and I left a great review. I think the host might have thought I was angling for a refund (I was fine eating the entire cost of the trip and would have never asked for a refund) or that something else was wrong. Everything was great but I could see how from the perspective of the host, we seemed like we were a potential problem or were acting weird.

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Pretty much a waste of brain cells to bother trying to figure out why a guest might do this or that, unless their behavior somehow caused you grief.

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Seriously, I do wonder why some folks get involved in the STR business.

'Nuff said by me está noche :wink:

Enjoy the music.

JF

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Ken H wrote - Review: “New-to-AirBnb Guest didn’t stay the night (no explanation until a day later), but didn’t mess things up either. He had lots of questions prior to booking, which actually reading the listing details would have answered. Perhaps more suited to an hotel stay.”

I like this. If it were me I’d leave off ‘better suited to a hotel’, because it really depends on the host. The important thing is to let other hosts know what they’re getting. I would mention how clean they left it, and knock off a couple of stars for communication.

Sometimes I’ve read replies here that have said that the host just isn’t suited to the hospitality industry and thought ‘that’s not a very helpful response’. But it’s the only one I can think of in this situation.

When hosts start using words like emotion, frazzled, bad feelings, body language, etc. then I wonder how they would deal with the weirdos or strange situations that we all get from time to time. This is why I say that not everyone is suited to this business.

The host got paid, the guests left the place in great condition … then the host writes a book about the guests on a public forum. Now that’s weird.

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To me it sounds like a case of a new host and a new guest still trying to figure out how things work.

It’s possible the guest thought they were getting a suite with a bit more privacy. They left early when they finished their home search for the weekend because they felt they chose a place that wasn’t the quiet retreat they were hoping for.

The new host was a bit over eager. After meeting them when they first got there they felt it was important to be there every time they entered or left. Every in personal interaction, by the host’s description, was a bit nosy, and didn’t sound hospitable.

If you’d like some advice from a mildly successful host and frequent guest:

Think really hard what would be the perfect type of guest you would prefer. Now write your listing to attract that client. The confusion you see on this board is this couple is the perfect type of guest many of us would prefer. If you wrote your listing with the help of these boards it is not a surprise you attracted our perfect guest.

Reread your listing. Make sure every rule you expect your guests to follow is in there. Make sure it is very obvious this is a suite inside your home. Add some cute verbiage to make it clear you will be checking up on them every time they enter or leave. (Unless you can find it within yourself not to trot out every time you see them on the door or driveway camera.)

Decide what rules you will graciously bend, and then make sure you bend them graciously. You do not gain any goodwill by grudgingly allowing their local friends to stop by after reminding them it is your house. If you are in a college town, visiting parents might be great clientele. But if they can’t bring their kids back to their suite you will not have happy guests.

In my experience almost all guests are great. The number that mess up property or my scheduling are vanishingly rare. There is no need to go into this business mistrusting every guest from the get go.

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