Hosting Burnout

Hosting burnout seems to be a recurring theme right now for many of us, myself included. Maybe we’ll all feel a little better if we grouse about it with each other, knowing we’re not alone! And who knows, maybe some good ideas will be exchanged in terms of how to deal!

I honestly don’t know how some hosts do this year round. Thank goodness our season is starting to wind down. Please, don’t get me wrong. I understand this is a job, like many others, and there is a reason why it’s called “work”. I am grateful for the opportunity and the income. And I still enjoy many of my guests and enjoy putting smiles on theirs faces. But I think the unique aspect of having strangers in your space can make this “work” especially trying after awhile, especially when you factor in the less than stellar guests.

We’ve had people in our house constantly for 3+ months and I’m starting to lose my mind. LOL! Despite the fact I basically invited them here, I am harboring this desire to have an Amityville Horror type thing, where a scary voice in the middle of the night tells them all to “GET OUT!”

The things that are starting to wear on me:

  • The laundry. OMG, the sheer amount of LAUNDRY!
  • The stains! I really don’t care what people do in private, but I wish I could spy on them just to see what it is they do to create all these stains! In weird places! That won’t come out!
  • The constant cleaning.
  • The lack of communication in terms of arrival time.
  • The lack of privacy in my own home.
  • Getting up at the crack of dawn and tiptoeing around to set breakfast out.
  • People’s lack of ability to figure out the simplest things in terms of lights, TV’s, blinds and so on.
  • Guest’s total disregard in terms of energy conservation.
  • Guest’s using my trash bins to clean 3 week’s worth of trash out of their cars. Seriously, for some reason this happens a lot!
  • Overall strange behavior. As an example, the guests who left yesterday took all the snacks I provide (2 bags of Veggie Fries and 2 Fiber One Brownies) and threw them, unopened, into the trash.
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we feel your pain!

I’ve only clocked up 4 months, and about to start again. I also had my own shop for 16 years, and can confirm: a lot of the public are infuriating.

(And I suspect Airbnb hosts are made up of some of the public, so we’re annoying too)

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Our guests have been almost uniformly lovely (apart from their inability to read) , not stained anything and arrived when they said they would , and I STILL feel your pain and am counting the days until the end of the season! In fact I nearly strangled the husband when he told me, thinking I’d be pleased, that he’s accepted a booking for a week at the beginning of October that had been cancelled by another guest.

There’s a big difference between having guests in your house and being a host at a distance, though they also have their unique difficulties. @KKC has some wise suggestions, as all of your feelings basically boil down to a) lack of privacy and b) lack of control in somewhere where we at least feel we should have some measure of this when the outside world is so uncontrollable.

Look at each one of your feelings of frustration separately and do that Serenity Prayer thing, you know, deciding what you can change (occasional cleaning help? Set table night before and guests help themselves to breakfast? Lockbox for self check-in?) You will know if any of these are feasible. Guests odd behaviour you can’t always change so you might have to accept certain things and just laugh at their odd behaviour sometimes.

Remember that you don’t have to accept every single booking request and as karma says, just block out some days because you feel like a break - it doesn’t make you a Bad Host! If you could carry out her last suggestion about a separate entrance it would make a lot of difference, but you may not be able to do that.

And chin up … we all understand how you feel on here!

p.s. wine helps! And so does the odd whine …

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Hello @Chloe

I think you are right we all feel burnout to some extent but for those of us who share our home some of the issues can have more of an impact as there is no getting away.

Having done this for a couple of years now here are my suggestions.

I block out a day in-between bookings and have a minimum two night stay. This really does help by giving you some space and privacy in-between bookings to have friends round, not have to get up so early etc.

Laundry - I only let one room so laundry is not so bad I just do a couple of loads while I am cleaning and have three spare sets of linen and two of towels.

Stains - not sure why I don’t seem to get people staining my linens. I have a supply of whitener and various stain removers on hand and ask guests to let me know if they need fresh linen during their stay because of stains and that I understand things happen and would rather know straight away so I can tackle before the stains set.

Arrivals - As soon as I have a confirmed booking I ask for an arrival time within my check in and chase until I get it - the vast majority turn up within half an hour of their estimated arrival. My check in is 6 - 11 p.m. When they arrive I confirm the checkout time with them and again the day before they leave.

Lack of privacy - I handle this by blocking out days in-between bookings

Breakfast - you don’t have to offer breakfast - so why not remove this from your listing or have a self-serve that you set up at the table and milk and juice in the fridge they can use.

Figuring out the simple things - I go through this on my tour and have a house guide covering everything from locking doors to the oven and wifi.

We have strict rules here over rubbish and recycling - I emphasis to guests that everything that can has to be recycled and we only are able to have a rubbish collection every two weeks for two bags so can’t take any of their extra rubbish

Strange behaviour - have a good supply of beer, wine or the alcohol of your choice on hand and lots of chocolate.

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I know I’m burnt out because the rude inquiries have me responding in kind and there’s no excuse for that. Also, the money on the table does not seem to affect me anymore.

Two days ago, several inquiries came in minutes apart. Here they are verbatim, including punctuation:

“Anymore pics pls have few condos in mind but want to see your pics.”
(Potential booking: $1400+)

The second inquiry read:

“We are a nonsmoking couple celebrating my retirement. We are interested in booking your lovely apartment.”
(Potential booking: $640.)

Third inquiry read:

“HOW MUCH TOTAL (out of the door price?)?”
(Potential booking: $2188.)

Which did I accept? …Inquiry No. 2. I didn’t have the mental energy to deal with the others when they start off their communication like that and (sadly) the potential lucrative earnings didn’t sway me.

It’s been 7 yrs. and I need a serious break.

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We have a sun room and we have made it the breakfast room, got a big dresser, a fridge, kettle and toaster. I lay the table and never get up for guests anymore, they are told to help themselves to whatever they want. It means on Saturday/Sunday, its relax until we want. Some of the guest especially the Germans leave their dishes in the sink or wash you.

I have blocked off school breaks and Christmas and a few weekends here and there, you just need a break. We had a booking not show on Saturday for 3 and we spent Sunday in our PJ’s chilling out, pure Bliss.

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I would have gone for No 2 as well

What does an ‘out of the door’ price mean?

I have already blocked some time out in November which is normally quiet here anyway - Seville here I come…

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I’ve been asked this question many times. The guest is asking for the total price they would pay. When I’m asked this question, I respond that hosts don’t have access to the amount of the Airbnb fee so I don’t know the total price.

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I didn’t know what it meant as well but figured he wanted to know the total rental amount and was expecting a discount. The dates were for the end of this month.

I wasn’t prepared for such a rude inquiry and am embarrassed to say I responded rudely with this message:

$2188 = TOTAL PRICE (out the door)

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Lolz, I last used the phrase OTD when sitting at the desk with a Toyota dealer car salesman.

Has no place when you are renting someone’s personal home.

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I can’t quote, but if I could I would be quoting the part of leaving a day in between reservations with a two night minimum.

Once I decided to do this, my goal was to maximize my income and efforts. I can’t imagine leaving 1/3 of my nights open with no one in those rooms. I have invested in the sheets, towels, furniture, and pay to have the whole house cleaned bi-weekly.

@Chloe’s busy season is actually pretty short. I think it is just as likely that she sees the end is near and, as often happens, let her energy slump and discovered that she can’t wait for that moment to arrive.

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Regarding burnout, friends…I am currently the Queen of Burnout. I don’t have guests inside the house, but have a separate studio apartment on my property. It’s a good deal in a beautiful part of the world. This is my eighth year and no matter HOW MUCH I try to control all aspects of the situation, I still get idiots, jerks and a$$holes renting my house.

But back to the OP…

Chloe…I totally hear you on all the points. And I thought I was the only one who secretly whispered the Amityville voice. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

So Chloe… I know you probably have thought of all of these already but just because sometimes we are so close to the situation and have been doing it so long that it escapes our notice… a few suggestions.

"The things that are starting to wear on me:

The laundry. OMG, the sheer amount of LAUNDRY! (We all have this… even me with a single room for a couple only)

The stains! I really don’t care what people do in private, but I wish I could spy on them just to see what it is they do to create all these stains! In weird places! That won’t come out! (There’s an INCREDIBLE product I found called "LA Miracle, it gets everything out… even salad dressing or baby batter!)

The constant cleaning. YES.
'
The lack of communication in terms of arrival time. (INSIST on this in your house rules, I put it in my directions.)

The lack of privacy in my own home. (My hat goes off to all of you who host in your home, I just could not do it. Agree with taking care of yourself by booking extra time between guests. )

Getting up at the crack of dawn and tiptoeing around to set breakfast out. (Have you thought about eliminating breakfast altogether? You will still get bookings. What about phasing it out? Try it, you will feel better. )

People’s lack of ability to figure out the simplest things in terms of lights, TV’s, blinds and so on. (I hear you)

Guest’s total disregard in terms of energy conservation. (Signs, FIRM house rules and telling them during orientation may help. )

Guest’s using my trash bins to clean 3 week’s worth of trash out of their cars. Seriously, for some reason this happens a lot! (Completely unacceptable. If it happens more than three times, make it a rule. Perhaps put a sign on your rubbish bin. No guest car trash. Thank you.)

Overall strange behavior. As an example, the guests who left yesterday took all the snacks I provide (2 bags of Veggie Fries and 2 Fiber One Brownies) and threw them, unopened, into the trash. (Don’t leave snacks at all, as others have suggested. They don’t appreciate it and it’s just one more thing off your bottom line.The new people booking won’t even notice you don’t offer snacks! )

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Hi @smtucker

It of course depends on your needs as a host. I am in the fortunate position that I am not dependant on Airbnb income and I don’t want to let my listing all the time. For me personal time is just as important.

I would say around half of my bookings are for five to 14 nights so this isn’t such an issue for me and doesn’t result in losing a third or any potential income.

I want to make a statement and I hope no one takes offense. But sometimes, I feel like a street ho. I am selling out my peace of mind for a few bucks. When I start feeling this way, I know I have to take a break. I know I have to ask myself, what can I do to make some replacement income? I try a little harder to get more professional jobs. I take a few more subbing jobs, even though they can be a headache too (but are over in 7 hours when you clock out, management appreciates you and no one reviews your performance.) it doesn’t take much. Only one or two of the above can replace my typical four nights stay.

I highly recommend blocking the calendar and simply taking care of yourself for a change. Stop worrying and obsessing if vacuum lines on the rug aren’t perfectly parallel or if there is a wrinkle in the sheets and quilt. Spend that time on yourself. Take yourself out to dinner, go on a shopping spree at Macy’s. Do whatever you like to do that makes YOU feel better.

Take a self imposed break before you crack up completely.

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@konacoconutz add me I want to find out what happened as well.

We also don’t have guests in our house and our busiest times are school holidays and as I’m a teacher I feel like I spend my holidays cleaning and making beds. We are having constant bookings most of the time now but I go off to work and it’s hubby’s job. He reckons it’s easier than building.

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@Chloe and @SandyToes and @konacoconutz … I feel your pain. I really do. Sandy, I would have done the same thing regarding the inquiries. The other days left on the table by the $640 guest will likely be booked regardless. And the ones who stay longer do the most damage, so all the more reason to reject Mr. ALL CAPS.

I still can’t get over the ‘cheerful giver’ line in the stool thread. It is possible to be a gracious host and still set boundaries and when even that doesn’t work … you must take a break. It is necessary.

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“Cheerful giver!!!” :rofl::rofl:

Is that crap right out of some hipster marketing department or what!?!!

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Did you mean to post this on the private thread? :rofl:

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Nope! It was for this Hosting Burnout topic. I must confess, as someone who hosts from a distance I don’t get the same burnout. In celebration and gratitude of a successful summer high season, I just gave my cleaner a bonus in recognition of the fact that she actually puts more work into every guest than I do. Oh, sure there are many cheery emails and excessive exclamation point use, but compared to her cleaning and laundry, I get off easy.

What I miss is the uninterrupted use of my home on a weekend with no thought whatsoever to who is coming next and what has to be scheduled in my twice a month, two day window. My break will come soon, though. Autumn is another busy season for the Catskills, but there is a short time between the leaves and before the snow that’s all for me.

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Yup! One more reservation arrives tomorrow… I DO NOT KNOW WHEN! (No reply to questions of ETA.) Two week stay and then I am closed down for remodeling, relaxing, renewal and resentment, not all in the same order! I have not understood a third of my guests, hated a few, liked the rest and am damned glad to see time out right around the corner.

2-3 months, then I will be ready to start up again, with some changes, some of them learned from these forums.

Great way to make extra bucks, but my sanity is leaking away!

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