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Highs and Lows of a Host during 2017


#1

I host up to 5 guests during the summer on the west coast of Ireland and am considering if I want to do it again this year so am reflecting on my guests last year. All pretty nice people and appreciative guests but the lows (nothing major in the grand scheme of things) include one French guy who proceeded to tell me that Irish plumbing was not the same as French and it was done incorrectly despite having not experienced any problem, this was the same plumber who asked what the strange noise in the attic was which I sweetly responded ‘it’s the water tank filling’. Another French woman complained of dust in my original 1905 large inglenook fireplace (most people love this feature) and then the Spanish guests who stayed for a week, packed all their used dishes into the dishwasher which of course did then not wash properly and broke several glasses - sigh. It was the year of the stains and breakages, e.g. an American group of friends were just lovely women but sadly one clearly had problems and left dreadful stains (shudder) and some guests broke a very old pail which has been in the house since 1905 and did not tell me! One of the highs was the wonderful family from Paris (so glad this happened as my most not so good experiences over the years have been French guests) who were a total delight. Wonder what other hosts consider their highs and lows?


#2

There are high and lows in any business. To host people is the easiest job I ever had in my life.
As you said, most guests are very nice and don’t damage things. I don’t have especially valuable items in my 2 properties so when something is damaged the replace value is low cost.
What I consider my low is when guests are being very nice to my face and never say anything and then leave bad reviews. Again, it doesn’t happen often at all, but when it does, it leaves bad memory for long.
These reviews often contain lies. And lies are obvious. 2 girls from Holland were so super sweet and giggly and chatty. They arrived when i was finishing their bed and saw me putting clean sheets on and taking towels out of closet. They gave me 2* and said that sheets and towels were dirty.
At first I thought they mixed me up with another host but then later they described me and what we talked about and It was clear that they meant it.

The reason for it will always remain a mystery .

I had my share of mischievous guests but I can say that 99% are perfect guests.


#3

We’ve just finished our first full year and we’ve had lots of highs, mainly because of many wonderful guests. One really enjoyable experience was standing in our bedroom with our Brazilian guest, his Brazilian friend and a Pakistani friend of ours watching the Guy Fawkes firework display over Lancaster Castle, while drinking a bottle of Brazilian rose sparkling wine that our guest had bought for us! It felt like a real gathering of nations!


#8

Hi, reader! That’s a great idea. I love the idea of sharing our highlight and lowlight reels! :rofl:

I think have had equal measure highs and lows this year.
Skads of absolutely great guests that loved my place, loved me and appreciated the space.

Unfortunately, these were offset by so many bad or clueless guests that for the first time it’s making me reconsider whether I really want to do this anymore. The lowlights were pretty damn low.

  1. The university professor (or so he said, we could find no trace of him at the university he said he was from) and his wife who booked my lowest rate, seemed happy when I showed them the place, were quiet when here and absolutely keelhauled me with a slamming scathing review full of personal attacks on me and Air as a platform. Air would not remove it no matter how much I cried and begged. I closed off my listing for three weeks because I was so disheartened by the personal attack.

  2. The school teachers who bought fans without telling me and ran them full blast 24 seven. Rude, this island has the highest electricity costs in the nation. In addition, they left the BBQ unattended and let it get too hot. (Almost had a fire) they also left the cover open and it got rained on, creating a lovely sludge for me to clean later. They also were sooooooo loud. Slammed doors, etc… but the worst was how one of them took calls on her device at 6am and brought them out on the patio on speaker, yakking for an hour, and waking me and my neighbors. And a little icing on the cake was the last thing they did. A loo clog that took a while to clear. Yeah it flushed but there bubbles rising for at least two weeks after. Good times!!!

  3. The girl and her BF who promised they were mindful, quiet and spiritual. Booked the place while I was away, stupid me, never again. Neighbors had to intervene in a knockdown drag out fight where she was being abused loudly by the jerk. When I confronted her she said sorry, they were just quote, passionate people, unquote. That’s a new name for it, I told her. I complained to the platform (not Air) and they banned her for life.

  4. Guest who blocked my prime time at Christmas and New Years and canceled ten days before, was refunded fully. I’m a fly in destination and it was too late to book much of anything in her place. I lost exactly 972, which Air had paid out, then took back.

  5. Carryover from last year’s holiday booking. Complained about tropical insects so I refunded her, recleaned the room, bought new linens but that was not enough for her… she slammed me hard in a review. Fortunately I could rightly retaliate because they were terrible guests. Left trash in the carport, which was strewn by animals, in the apartment (big bowl of bacon grease anyone?) and disgusting leftover food in the fridge including fish and meat. Left wet towels over furniture, which had been sitting a few days since I was out of the country.

There are others, but they were relatively minor. Most guests were good.

Why do we do this again? Oh yeah. The cash. The cold hard cash. :moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::moneybag::grimacing::weary:


#9

Jeez but these are some awful experiences, my commiserations. I certainly hope you charge enough to be able to mentally shrug it off (if you know what I mean) otherwise I can see how furious it could make you and no one wants to feel like that on a regular basis. I find it interesting to hear others experiences as I am so small time by comparison with such a self selected short season and how anyone hosts in their own homes amazes me, I could never do that.


#10

Put an exterior door so they have their own entrance and then block off the door into the host’s home. Yes I get the occasional request for scissors or a bowl or a wine opener but I can always pretend I’m not home. LOL.


#11

I have a separate apartment. I could also never host on site. Even when I am here I can’t always control what guests do. As I said, most are great.


#12

Lows : Shit stains, I seem to get guests of every nationality that leaves them for me. I barely managed changing my own babies nappies and now I have to clean adult stains. I had a rude french couple and if you mention them in front of my husband I can see the veins in his neck stick out, apparently we should charge €10 a night for a double room with bathroom and breakfast and private sitting room.

High : some of the people you meet are lovely, some nut bangers, some plain ole crazy but all beautifully representative of a diverse world we live in. Had guests from about 27 countries, funniest ones was a lady in her 50’s from Japan who had 2 words of english hello and pig, she made a point of pointing to a picture of her husband and said pig. 6 months later and it still makes me smile when I think of it. The US girl who arrived after finishing her exams and spent a week in bed sick and then sent me a gift to say thank you. A german guy who went to the shops and bought everybody in the house treats even other guests.

It pays the bills and keeps a roof over your head, long may it last


#13

Lows - Two guests who managed to fly off without returning the house keys

  • Trying to wake up a young Australian at 7am to catch her flight when she was in a drugged up comatose condition. Not even an earthquake followed by an ice bath would have moved her.

  • Woken at 05.45am by a previously non-communicative Chinese guest who cheerfully fully expected to check in early, very early, very very early to an occupied room

  • Telling about a dozen Chinese guests in advance that Google Maps will take you to the wrong door, then getting the airbnb message ‘can’t find your door’ ( one even kept sending me random door pictures - it’s a nice door but not the right one I kept answering while rating said doors marks out of ten)

High -

Wonderful and charming American architect arrived who could make a statue want to listen to him.

Listening to two young gullible Russian youths discuss how they were going to explain before the impending arrival of their girlfriends how they just lost all of their holiday money during a most drunken visit to a tittie bar the previous night.

After being double booked in the middle of a high demand local holiday, ready to book a guest a rare available room on airbnb myself to solve this own goal - the double crossing dirty rat host trebled the price during my booking inquiry. On my knees, total broken - the phone chirps and airbnb regret that your guest has cancelled - jackpot ! stroke of luck!


#14

I’ve only been hosting for 10 months, and luckily in that time I’ve had no real lows - everyone has been mostly lovely.

The highs are way, way up there: I didn’t/don’t have to work as much and spend time away from my baby. (Now 1). :blush:


#15

:rofl: Would have loved to overhear that conversation :rofl:


#16

Same happened to me with a Dutch couple - must be something about Holland …!


#17

it is part of the business, I host guests in my house but their space is separated from the space we live. In this way everyone has is own privacy, but if the guest need help we are always there and we keep things under control. I have been hosting for several years and I have to say now I am able to prevent many issues because I am able to predict my guests behaviour most of the time. I am still learning of course, but I am much more relaxed and if something unpleasant happen I don’t take it personally and many times it makes me laugh.


#18

I have no lows being in the bottom of Airbnb pits. I was a popular hostess but Airbnb black listed me. I get 2 reservations a year instead of 30. They are for one night from locals who have weddings so they use me after the reception at 5 am. As Airbnb has no quality control they send their guests to the Chilean dumps and leave the rest of us high and dry.
If you look at my place you will see I don’t have a cheap apartment but Airbnb could careless about quality.


#19

Woah, more information needed. If Air blacklisted you, your guests must be from another platform? Airbnb doesn’t “send” it’s guests anywhere. It would be interesting to look at your place but there is no link in your post or on your profile.


#20

If guests ask about the strange noises coming from the attic I tell them it is a long term guest, Mrs Rochester, who likes to keep to herself. And not to worry if the fire alarms go off as she just likes to make toast in her bedroom.


#21

I had a lovely couple stay this year of whom the husband is a very successful artist. Turned out they were best friends with my favourite living artist whose works sell for $100k+ so well out of my price range. But I was able to show them an affordable etching of his I bought 20 years ago, at a joint show with the guest no less. I told them if their friend ever wanted to he could stay for free (in exchange for a small painting).


#22

I attach my house key to one of those long red ribbons with “Remove before Flight” on it. You can buy them cheaply on Ebay. Designed to remind travelers to take the key with them and not leave it in the suitcase or hotel but I have found it to work 100% with my guests so they leave the keys inside before they “flight”.


#23

I did that but built myself an external staircase and door so I can get in and out when they are here as I live upstairs. I tell them they are welcome to knock on the internal door if it is urgent but best to text first as I have headphones on when watching tv at night and I am a heavy sleeper, the downstairs fire alarms went off at 3am the other night and I slept right through it,


#24

What do you mean “blacklisted”? It means you don’t advertise with them
Anymore?


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