Hey all, I’m coming over from the airbnb community because I need a bit of input.
I’m starting to burn out! We are Superhosts with a basement suite (we live upstairs) and have been hosting for 2 years. At first it was fun, but we’ve been burned a few times by guests as well as airbnb…now it’s not fun anymore. We are considering other vacation rental companies or just quitting hosting altogether.
Two recent groups of guests have us concerned. We had a last minute booking for one person, one night. We pre-screened the person and everything seemed fine. He tried to sneak in another male and two prostitutes. I was livid. I reported them to air & kicked them out but airbnb refunded their money!!! I posted a question about this on the air community forum but airbnb took my post down…
Second occasion (within days of the previous bad guest) was a last minute booking for 3 friends for the long weekend. They had a huge party, did drugs on the property and brought an unregistered overnight guest. Again, I reported them to air and kicked them out. Again they were refunded for the unused night!! They left a huge mess but I was just happy to have them gone.
I complained to airbnb stating that if these people were at a hotel & broke the rules as they were breaking my rules, they would be kicked out immediately without a refund. Their response was basically ‘we are not a hotel’. I am flabergasted at this & wish Airbnb would support their hosts a bit better. On both occasions I felt extremely uneasy - in my own home nonetheless because we have small children in the home.
Besides not accepting any more last minute bookings, is there anything else I can do?
Hit snooze, take a break, and possibly raise your prices when you are ready to try again?
I like your idea of no more last minute bookings. Also, if you have instant book, you may wish to stop using it
I am sad for you that you had awful guests who received refunds! That must be frustrating.
Try to avoid being stressed about the whole thing. Can you develop systems for yourself so that your hosting life is easier? Sit down with a glass of wine and have a good think about it.
Remember that it’s only a job. Don’t be worried about the false milestones and ratings that Airbnb put in our way - things like star ratings and superhost status. They are all manufactured goals and they’re not important to your business. Remember too that Airbnb is just an advertising platform and that you can’t expect them to run your business. You run your business they way you want to.
Promote your listing yourself so that you get booked well in advance - then you’ll not have any availability for last minute guests. But if you do have a couple of spare days put your prices up. There are some people who think that prices should go down for last minute guests … no, as availability decreases and there are fewer places to stay, put your prices up.
Be sure to charge a nightly fee that’s good for you so that you’re making enough money to put up with a few hassles.
BUT remember that this forum is here for you. A lot of people come here just to vent. Many are asking for opinions on what to do. But whatever the reason, we are a bunch of hosts who want to help each other. Glad that you found us
Either take a break for awhile or no same day bookings and allow your self a day or two per month to re-charge.
No same day. No Instant Book.
@KenH I agree with no same day. There is nothing good coming from a person looking for a last minute booking. However, I’ve been using instant book for about a year and can’t believe I waited two years to turn it on. I’m an in-home host and have had absolutely no problems. I love it.
I agree but it’s one of those things. Some hosts (like me and you) love it, others hate it. I guess there’s no right or wrong but it’s always worked splendidly for me.
Raising my rates right now
I agree. It seems like criminals or up-to-no-gooders don’t plan in advance. No more! But other than that I’m not sure what else I can do
I don’t mind IB either. The guests who have been terrible haven’t used IB (because they have no reviews or they are booking same day)…
Rarely do I except anyone with no reviews unless I’ve had a long reciprocal conversation with them. And if someone has no reviews and is also not verified and has also not sent me a very informative message and has nothing in their profile… Forget it. Instead of ditching the hosting, be a lot pickier. My worst guests were guests that Airbnb personally sent to me. And now every time I turn down a request And Airbnb asks me why, I tell them “because ever since you personally sent me those wretched guests, I am a lot pickier. “ As far as them not backing you up… I must be lucky because they have been on my side anytime I’ve had a problem. Actually I have to say there were a couple of times with instant book when they did not take my side. I hated instant book and would never do it again.
I’ve used IB for 3 years and had no problems. It clearly depends on where you are and the sort of bad guests who might be attracted to your area looking for hosts with IB. But I would always recommend trying it to hosts with a bit of experience under your belt.
Maybe also make it clear you live right upstairs (so handy if they need anything!). I sometimes think that knowing I am right above is what puts people off sneakily using my place for parties. I mention that there is to be no loud music ever so they know I can hear them.
good for you. we are new this year. owing to the fact that i spent a couple of years on and off researching and reading here before we listed, i think i have turned down more inquiries than i have accepted. a couple were blatant scams, i told them to contact the platform admins to take that company check from the boss lol.
one tried to undercut my pricing off platform. screenshot, report, block.
i unabashedly set my prices way higher than both the price tips, and the superhosts 2 miles away. i watch their calendars and i have witnessed that good guests don’t decide based on price. they aren’t any more booked than i am.
i hosted 2 people in a whole house that sleeps 8. they could have paid less for their whole trip than they paid me for 1 of their 3 nights, at a cabin 1 mile away. i was so suspicious of that one, i had several drive by reports done on the # of vehicles at the place. to my pleasant surprise, it was in fact just a couple staying there.
charge what you feel it’s worth and don’t undervalue your time. time spent answering emails, time messing with the app, time filtering out scammers. time getting transferred 15 times by Air CS… put a price on that, because that has value.
i am fine with my house sitting vacant 50% to 75% of the time. if they don’t want to pay me what it’s worth to me to screw with it, i would rather it sit vacant. doesn’t bother me in the least, there are advantages to running at a net loss on paper anyway
charge what you are worth. be more content with your sense of self worth than the income. price it accordingly.
that is how i approach it.
I love IB. It has made my job so much easier. And it seems to me the guests are better overall in that they’re mostly more experienced AirBnB’ers so they know the drill and actually read your listing. The intro messages are way better than before. “Hi! I’ve read and agree to your rules, I just need one bed, I understand there’s no cooking and I can’t wait to meet your pugs.”. This is basically every IB intro now!!
I agree with the other comments and would like to add that if you don’t allow 1 night stays that would help.
Another couple of things you can put in your listing close to the top and this will sure help to get rid of bad actors
- The host and their family live above the basement rental.
- There are exterior cameras (and get them if you don’t)
I also put in my rules, that their photo must be a face must be in profile (after booking), full legal name must be on profile. Then I require that full names, age and home address for each person staying (and I only allow 3). Any guests must be pre-approved and can only visit until 9 pm.
I also don’t throw folks out that are breaking my rules, I make the stop. If they bring too many people they have to leave. If the guest choose to leave that’s on them not you.
Thats why I only allow 2 people,more than that u start to have problems.im thinking about only allowing 1 person! Much easier to clean.i agree last minute bookings can sometimes be dangerous
@LoneStar Keep in mind you can’t tell how booked they are. Blocks or bookings look the same to you.
@candycanehost Please get cameras and post about them prominently to help discourage bad actors. It also provides evidence to Airbnb of things like parties.
I haven’t had problems with 98% of my last minute bookings. I will admit that a couple of last minute bookings looked problematic and so I canceled (I’m on IB with no restrictions). But it I didn’t take last minute bookings I’d leave a lot of money on the table.
Re censorship: that why forums like this exist. Not only are we just as knowledgeable as Airbnb community forums but criticizing Airbnb and venting are allowed here. That’s not to say there is no censorship, this is a moderated forum. LOL.
and how do wide open, unblocked spaces appear to me? that is what i see, not blocked days