How do you deal with early arrivals?

I work in Victoria & live in Kelowna and Air my apartment when I’m home in Kelowna. I don’t ever meet my guests, and have a lock box for entry. I’ve had over 75 stays and all in all really enjoy the experience. The one problem I’m having is guests that arrive early. My bookings are quite busy and often I have same day in and out guests. I’m very specific with my check in and out times, and always verify with my guests via e-mail when it’s a check in/out day. Many times my guests are arriving early while my cleaner is still there, or early enough that my cleaner hasn’t been yet. In some reviews they will mention “arrived and the cleaner was still there”. Well yes, you arrived at noon, check in is 3! Any suggestions on how I can be more clear? I don’t mind an early arrival if my cleaner has been able to get in early, but sometimes that’s just not possible.

Why don’t you have the cleaner change the code on your lock box as they leave to the code that you have given to the newly arriving guest. Make it explicit in your instructions that they will not be able to get access until after the cleaning has been done. If they arrive early, the code they have will not be valid. They will probably then contact you and you can say that check-in, as explained, is at 3pm. Please come back then.

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If you are not using instant book, then I would clarify with guest that they understand check in time is strict as you have many guests leaving the same day other guests are arriving. Ask them to confirm before accepting the booking. Guests are showing up early because they want to see if the key code works.

It’s a shame that some are leaving this is in a review. I think you are probably being clear enough. Guests just try to see if they can access the place sooner and play dumb as if they had no idea what time to check in. If you are on instant book then make it very clear immediately after the reservation is made. You can note in your house rules that under no circumstances are they to enter the property before check in time, as housekeeping needs the entire time to prepare the apartment. Then ask them to confirm they read the house rules regarding check in.

I have read of guests entering early morning when other guests haven’t even checked out yet!


I’m on site and have made it clear in a million ways in my info doc that they cannot arrive early. I offer a plethora of ideas with which they can entertain themselves until check in time. I never ever have this problem now. I think most of my guests would not dream of arriving early!

I see you have a different circumstance than me, but you can still make up a guest document and add the note about no early arrivals. Put it that into your directions, right at the top. "Check-in no earlier than at 3. Sorry, we cannot accommodate early arrivals. The door code will not unlock until 3:00, which is your earliest arrival time. May I suggest if you arrive early to Victoria you have a cup of coffee at one of our many fine cafes, peruse our world famous antique district, or (lblah de blah de blah)… " That should slow them down a little!

How dare they ding you for the maid being there when they got in four hours early. GUESTS!!! WILL THEY NEVER CEASE TO AMAZE???

I would leave a negative review for anyone who did this.

My work schedule can be unpredictable, and many guests want to check in before the official time i have set in the profile.

My first response to each guest is 3 important bullet points about the room, and then I ALWAYS ask what time they expect to arrive. If it’s earlier than the official time, then I explicitly tell them that.

Most of the time I can accommodate via lockbox, but by starting out on the right foot, when I CAN accommodate, it makes it seem like I am going out of my way and doing them a special favor. This manages their expectations such that if they cannot find or figure out the lockbox, that is on them, as I was under no obligation to begin with.

Dear BcShelly,

You manage over 75 check in without meeting your guests…very impressive! I would like to know if you ask for ID documents to your guests, and if so, how do you get ID documents, withouth been there. Thank you, Marco

You can just say: If you arrive early, cleaner will still be there to clean the appartment for you, so please DO NOT arrive early, Lol

I rarely check my guests in. Theydo it themsleves. I dont ask for IDs since they are already verified by Airbnb. In my travels as guest i was only once asked for ID

Hi Marco, no I don’t ask for physical ID.