My husband and I have been renting out an apartment attached to our home for 2.5 years now. At times, it’s amazing and I love it! Other times (like now) I’m totally over it.
We live in Salt Lake City and our busy season is obviously winter. I love our winter guests - week long stays with guests who are gone all day to go skiing. In summer however, SLC serves as more as a passing through point for the rural west and national park scene.
We had some issues last year with a series of one night only bookings. That was exhausting and quite frankly not worth it. We changed our night minimum to two nights and that helped SO MUCH and gave us a renewed energy for hosting.
This summer we’ve encountered a new problem - because salt lake is one of the bigger cities in a 200 mile radius, we get a weird weekend crowd here to party. These guests are not accurate in their requests and I have no way to verify before it’s too late (example - lady from Idaho requested a 2 guest booking saying that she and a friend were attending a concert. The guests were loud, drinking, etc and definitely way more than 2 of them)
does anyone have any tips on how to prevent things like this? Other tips to prevent burnout? Has anyone tried a longer night minimum and what has your experience been?
Hi Hilary, I host solo with the help of my son & I feel your pain, I just took a 5 week break, it’s peak season but it was “OH SO” worth it!
I’ve been at this over 5 years now, 700 plus stays.
Luckily my suite is also part of my home so being on site does helps with difficult guests but it doesn’t mitigate all challenging guests.
I must say that I feel the culture of the ABB crowd is changing, 2 years ago I started to notice a shift in the attitude & quality of some guests; lack of consideration, petty thieving & complaints.
I have now raised my price which seems to have helped. I have a 2 night minimum on weekends & avoid back to back one night stays by blocking off the day after, if you are not getting enough bookings & you have a spring in your step, you can always open up your calendar.
I have built a good reputation with locals whom many stay frequently and make hosting easy.
It’s a fine balance trying to keep your sanity intact with the day to day workload and maintaining a positive presentation to all guests.
Take some “kind” time for yourself I’m all about the mini breaks, not too far away but just enough that I can reset & rejuvenate!
I know my hosting template is different to yours as I only host rooms with a max occupancy of two but as soon as bookings come in I send an acknwledgement message via AirBNB messages starting with “Thanks you for your booking for x people on xxxxx to stay xxx nights”
This is specifically intended to politely weed out folk who may have accidentally booked for one person when there are two of them.
However with larger premises is might also have the effect of making it clear how many people a host is expecting to arrive. If someone has booked for 2 people but are intending to bring 6 they may stop and think “Hmm the host has specifically seen that I have booked for two, better be up front about the numbers in case”
I have been hosting for 1year+ and is not burnt out yet. But sometimes I do feel more and more frustrated with interesting characters that come along, especially those have big sense of entitlements way up in their behind. I do take regular breaks from it all, and ask someone to manage when I am gone. It helps to relieve the tension.
My minimum stay is 2nights, but most of my guests stay longer than that. I have a few inquiries for a single night stay, but I usually turn them down. I have not tried longer minimum stays yet, but very tempted to.
As for party crowd, did you put a warning in your property description that you prohibit party of any kind, excessive noise, smoking, drug use, etc? I put that in writing, in capital letters.
Do you put extra guest charge on Airbnb? It may serve as a deterrent
Do you have ‘instant booking’? I don’t, as I’d like to vet my guests as they vet me and my property. It’s not fool proof, but if there is just 1 previous host who commented on partying, drug, loud noise, smoking, issues with cleanliness, unruly behaviors, I won’t think twice about rejecting their booking requests.
If the guests break any of your house rules, you can report them to Airbnb immediately (e.g. call Airbnb as the party is happening) or even ask them to leave. Be prepared to provide documentations: pics, videos, etc.
Good luck and be well!
Robin’s advice is excellent and I can only second it.
I’ve been hosting about the same time as yourself, with my busy season during the summer months, like now. That said, the Brexit crisis we are enduring in the UK has affected my cross Channel bookings really badly this year; for my first two seasons they were my bread & butter, but travellers from Europe are simply few and far between with such uncertainty.
Like Robin, I host in my own home, with a fairly formalised B&B set up in a typically English country cottage. To an extent this allows me to manage challenging guests, as does my background as a psych nurse for a goodly while; same skill set!
Again, like Robin, I raised my rates quite significantly at the beginning of this season, together with implementing a two night minimum stay, and what a difference! Whilst I have fewer bookings, the type of people choosing to stay with us has changed positively for the better, with many young couples coming down from London for mini breaks, and I have earned as much in May/June/July as in 2017/18. I can now manage the changeovers myself, and the rest of the house (just…) and garden with time for myself.
I had the same issue so now I only have longer stays (min. 4 nights). Plus the first line of the property description now says "No parties, no visitors, no pets, must be 25+ to rent). I also put in the manual that neighbors will alert me if there is a party and that I will cancel their reservation and there is no guarantee that Airbnb will be able to relocate them.
It seems like now I get more families although I did not sign up for the family connection nor is my home suited for young children.
At this point, I rather have the longer bookings since there has been less issues.
Thank you robin. We’ve had a couple days off now and it’s been great.
Thts a great idea! I think I’ll try to confirm stuff like that and maybe it will weed out some of the problem
I do have the rules prominently displayed. We’ve haven’t had any major problems (except for very early on) and once I found out about the rule breaking this time, it was too late.
Minimum stay is a great idea. I already have one and I’m considering making it one day longer.
I’m hoping that raising rates will do the trick. At this point we’ve built a pretty good reputation with good reviews and have some unique offerings that other local homes do not so hopefully it doesn’t hurt too badly to keep it high
I like the idea of letting guests know the neighbors will be eyes and ears!