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After years of not doing this, I ended up pushing the longest stays I possibly could, because that is what’s most convenient for me. And that’s been working out for me. Some stays are now well over a month. And yes, there was one bad guest that stayed for “too long”. So there is a possible downside. but worth it for me.
I had written a very clear explanation to airbnb and shown my calculations. And said that if they got different numbers, that I requested that they show me the policies and the math for their alternate number.
Airbnb just called me, apologized for the mistake, and informed me that they will be paying me for 30 days of the reservation. I haven’t seen the money yet, but I have good faith that I will.
The person who fixed the payout for me was the same person who made the initial mistake (incorrectly giving the guest a full refund).
And there is nothing to stop me from getting new bookings for the room, as my calendar was cleared right away.
If Airbnb hadn’t messed up, I definitely would not have pushed for an entire month payout. In other words, I’m sure that this is coming out of airbnb, and not the guest, so I’m happy to accept the monies.
I’ll relax a bit more once the $ actually shows up, but from my experience, airbnb is 100% solid at paying money they say that they will pay.
I’m very grateful for the fantastic advice I was given here. Especially from HostAirbnbVRBO.
Part of what I’ve learned from this is that I don’t want to be on the other side, where I need to cancel a long airbnb reservation where that might bite me.
I wonder if the CS reps who refund guests against the cancellation policy and then Airbnb admits they shouldn’t have done that, and pays you out of their coffers, get sacked.
I also wonder if Airbnb reverses the refund to the guest, so they aren’t actually paying you out of their coffers. I know when guests are given refunds, they don’t usually get them right away. I think Airbnb says within 15 days.
I don’t accept long term bookings (more than 28 days) because that would put the guest in the ‘Tenan’ category…
But if I do get longer bookings, I require that the guest carry their own travel insurance.
Airbnb discussed offering travel insurance at one point, but there are several companies out there that offer affordable, cancel for any reason policies.
I used one for my trip to Bali last year and it was about $250. for my month long trip.
Just a thought…
That’s quite super interesting about travel insurance. Thanks!
Many people don’t become airbnb hosts, because they worry about the risk of letting random people into their homes. But I find that by doing airbnb and welcoming semi-random people into my home, that I’m more secure. It’s socially fun as well as quite financially beneficial.
This puts in in a way that’s overly simplified, but… I’m more going for not worrying about what bad thing might happen so much. And trying some potentially risky things out, and see how it feels. If I get bit, then I adjust what I’m doing to reduce the chances of getting bit in the same way next time.
I have never worried about bad things happening as far as having guests in my home. Like you, I have found it rewarding and culturally enriching.
I find it interesting and potentially valuable to read of other hosts’ difficult experiences and how they handled it, though, including whether they took an approach that made it worse or better.
Hosting an entire place, where you don’t live, though, is quite different from hosting a room or rooms, or a separate dwelling on the property where you live.
Lots of hosts say they could never abide having strangers in their home, but I feel the opposite- I would find it stressful to be an off-site host.
I don’t have a 2 week maximum because I’ve had problems with guests, or anticipate them. It’s just because I don’t want a full-time roommate and like to be free to block off dates if friends or family want to visit. I also figured if I had a guest I didn’t particularly jive with, I wouldn’t be stuck living with them too long.
I recently booked an airbnb as a guest and they do offer travel insurance now that will cover the need to cancel a booking. It’s very inexpensive and impossible to miss. I used to be more lenient with refunding cancellations, but less so as I’ve gotten busier and not at all now with the insurance option. If the guest can’t choose to spend an extra $20-$30 for the insurance then they can deal with the cancellation fees.
In some ways I consider being an airbnb host to be a game of high stakes poker. You win some, you lose some. A notable amount of money can flow in for a good while… but always know that it’s not assured.
That even though you’ve been fishing and catching lots of fish… maybe the steam will dry up a bit. Or maybe a big fish will get away.
Er, high stakes poker fishing. Don’t count your Samon when you’re sitting at the table.