Dears hosts, how to avoid early check-in questions? It it mentioned in our description that we don’t do early checkout, but stiil, every guest asks about it. AndI get really annoyed with human stupidity, I know it’s my problem, get yourself into therapy, but maybe there’s screws
Can’t you just tell them why you don’t allow it?
Here is my ‘quick reply’ on early check-in:
On the afternoon of your check-in date we’ll know if you can check in as early as 3 pm.
Per the listing, when available, you can lock in a check-in before 3 pm at 50% of the cost of a night of your reservation (including any additional guest fees).
OR you can wait until two days before check-in, at which time I’ll know whether we have a reservation that ends on your check-in day. [If we have a reservation ending on your check-in day we can’t provide an early check-in because the housecleaners can’t arrive before 10 am and can’t clean the house much earlier if at all before 4 pm.]
If we don’t have that reservation or need the day for maintenance I can offer you an earlier than 4 pm check-in at no charge. But I’ll need to wait until two days before your check-in to know.
Please check back with us then if you’d still like to request an early check-in or you can lock it in now at the 50% charge.
[I’ll probably hear how this is too wordy. Any suggestions to make it more succinct? I could make it a little shorter myself but I thought that this was crystal clear.]
I guess the only thing I haven’t thought through is how early a check-in I would make available when the guest is willing to pay that 50%. I’m thinking 10 am, but I don’t know how I would respond if the guest asked for 8 am. I mean ‘Why not?’
What do others here think?
Exactly. If the rental is available for the guest at that time then it’s a good way of making the guest happy by going the extra mile - which we all want to do after all.
As I wrote somewhere around here yesterday, make sure that your insurance company covers guests ‘out of hours’. Mine does but I talked to a host a long time ago who’d fallen foul of his insurance. It was a late checkout and a liability issue.
An option is to tell the incoming guests that the previous guests will still be in ‘their’ bed at that time.
“Check-in and check-out times are non-negotiable. We require the interval in order to clean and stock for both your stay and the following one. Please do not ask for exceptions, they will be denied. If our times do not work for your trip, you had best look for another listing that can accommodate your needs.”
While I understand you may want to maximize your bookings by doing same day turnovers, since you say all your guests ask, leaving one day prep time between bookings is something to possibly consider, as it makes it possible to accommodate a wider range of times.
You sound like you are making this far too complicated as a guest I would be confused. @HostAirbnbVRBO
Did the property owner ask you to put this rather complicated approach in place?
If you want to offer early check in’s then just say they can a) ask for a confirmed early check in at price A from XX time or b) take their chance that you may not have on the day bookings in which case you can offer early check in at XXX time at XXX price.
Yes, 6 paragraphs to explain check-in, check-out time options is unnecessary. You really need to try to use brief bullet point formats for info like this, rather than writing short stories.
The Host didn’t ask for a complicated approach.
I wanted an approach that made sense for us and avoided a to/fro’ between the Host and me, and much back/forth with the guest.
I did feel a little ‘ouch’ as I copy and pasted the ‘quick reply.’
How about this as an improvement:
On early check-in’s:
– You can lock in an early check-in now at 50% of the cost of one night (including add’l guest fees)
– Or contact me two days before your check-in date and if available it’s free of charge.
– Sometimes a free early check-in at 3 pm is available; we’ll know in the afternoon of your check-in date; please ask us then.
The last 2 points seem to give 2 different options for the same thing. Very confusing.
This is our message:
There are two ways to handle an early check-in. If you want to guarantee the spot, we do charge a $75 fee for early check-in. We would handle that through the Airbnb Resolution Center. Otherwise, if the cleaners are done early, we will let you know - there is no charge for this option, but there is also no guarantee.
I think you are giving guests too many options, making it unnecessarily complicated. I’d just tell them that if an earlier than 4pm (if that’s the normal check-in time) free early check-in becomes possible, you’ll let them know by XX time on check-in day.
RomeoRetreats example is simple and clear.
Put it in your pre booking message
Unfortunately early check in cannot be arranged under any circumstances
Early check-in and late check out is a common request for me. My strategy has evolved over time but this is what I do.
As soon as they book, I ask them at what time they would like to check-in and check-out? It is important to not tell them the check-in and check-out time. The question is designed to elicit an honest response from them.
If you tell them check in is at xx PM, then they just agree, but on the day of check-in, they will harass me for an early check-in.
If they say they want early check-in, then I have two scenarios:
Previous night vacant
I send them a change request with a previous night included. I tell them that if they want to guarantee an early check-in they can book the night before. Otherwise it is not guaranteed and the check-in time depends on how clean the previous guest is.
Now two things happen
- They don’t accept the extra fee (pretty much every guest). I give them an opportunity to cancel within x number of hours. Some of them do, most don’t. At this point, the requests for early check-in stop. If they still ask for early check-in later, then I reward them with a 1* review
- They accept the change request: problem solved. But this rarely happens.
Previous night is not vacant
I explain that early check-in won’t be possible. I allow them to cancel within x number of hours. Very few do, but most don’t. I share a list of things they can do before check-in like rent beach gear, check out some scenic spots, buy groceries, etc. If they still ask for early check-in later, I reward them with a 1* review.
While I’d love to keep your booking, your satisfaction is my utmost priority. Not being able to early check-in can be very inconvenient after a long day of travel. As a courtesy to you, I’d like to offer you a full refund if you cancel by xx PM Jan 15, 2023. Please select the option that says “listing does not meet your needs”.
I like what you have.
Mine is a little longer than yours because I offer that third possibility, that if the property is available I offer a free early check in. They just need to ask two days before their check-in.
As a practical matter, I will remember and reach out them two days before check-in but I don’t promise that in case something happens and I don’t contact them.
ALL: Thank you as I have shortened the explanation even if not quite as short as some would prefer. It’s an iterative process for me. We’re projecting ‘succinct’ for 2028.
If I get asked for an early checkin, if there is no guest checking out the day of their arrival, and I don’t have to change the cleaning schedule, then I will provide a couple hours earlier (so 1pm versus 3pm).
If somebody is checking out that morning then I usually say it’s not possible but if the cleaner (viz me!) can complete earlier (without changing my schedule) then I will tell them I will let them know I will text them when it’s ready.
But you are offering 2 options for early check-in, one where they ask you 2 days prior, and one where they ask you day of check-in. I don’t understand why you don’t just simplify it and say you will let them know if a free early check-in is available, otherwise to guarantee it, they need to pay half a night’s rental.
I don’t do that because I don’t want to put the burden of letting them know if a free early check-in is available on me.
For now I am managing the property as co-Host. But at some point the Host might be resuming management and I don’t want to place the burden on her to proactively contact the guest to say that an early check-in is then available even though that’s what I in fact do.
It’s an ‘under-promise and over-deliver’ approach.
Well, I did get it shorter in the post below your comment.
You inspired me!
If the host decides to manage the property herself in the future, she might make all sorts of changes to your system. Seems a bit odd that you would concern yourself with how the property gets managed if and when you are no longer involved.