Hustle to make Early Check-in Happen; Guest Shows up @ 5PM

When a guest asks for an early check-in, we try to make it happen pretty much every time. We will do our best to coordinate with our crews, and even move one crew to another listing first (where we don’t have an early request) to bring it together. Lot’s of communicating. We have even gone so far as to pay a premium to our crews (and NOT pass the cost on) so they double-up and blow through the place in an hour and do laundry offsite to make super early arrivals happen for certain VIPs. It’s more work and we never ask for compensation.

More recently, we’re seeing a possible trend where guests might be asking for early check-in “just because that’s what they do.”

That is: they ask for an early check in, we move things around, and we make it happen. Then, we proudly inform the guest (let’s say at 1:30), “Your home awaits, head on over!” The guest ignores that message. Finally, 4 hours later, we see them on the cameras actually arriving for the first time.

Talk about wanting to pull your hair out! Am I on an unlucky streak or is this becoming a thing?

@JohnnyLounge21 I’ve had it happen a few times. I don’t think it is happening more often. It just happens. The most recent was as you described, a real bend over backward type of thing. I did keep telling myself, though, “this is your choice, this is you choosing to do this”. I think, in my case, the guest really thought she was going to get her whole crew to cooperate. The worst part was the lack of apology or acknowledgement, and the entitled attitude. Nonetheless, it is still a choice that I made. What I am trying to say is that I (all hosts) can avoid this hair pulling frustration by standardizing our responses and turning down requests outside established parameters. Or we can risk going bald, go with our hospitality bent, and “go the extra mile” when we are able/inclined. Sometimes we might reap a small external reward. Not often.


Really? Multiple posts advocate having multiple sets of linens. One in Laundry. Next for guest use. Another just in case.
I don’t I understand


I thought you said you’ve been hosting for a while? You just described every early check-in ever.

And you weren’t even there, breathless and sweaty, lint rolling that (seemingly) last hair with shaky arms and low blood sugar while your eyes darting out the window every 10 seconds, were you?

Perhaps your “crew” would like to weigh in since they have an actual story to tell?


I’ve allowed early check in but only by one hour. I tell them the cleaning crew will be there and they will try to have everithing done before their arrival. PS We’re the cleaning crew : )


Yup, we’ve had that happen a few times too. Probably people unsure of their timing (or decide to make a stop) and are later than their original plans. Next time I’ll either say it’s not available early because of the cleaner’s schedule if it involves a lot of extra scrambling or say something along the lines of: we’ve moved things around to hustle and make this happen for you. If for whatever reason you no longer need an early check-in, please let us know ASAP so we can adjust accordingly.


Like everyone else who has posted, yes, it’s happened to me. Not that I bend over backwards of course, that wouldn’t be very good for business. But if the guests have left early and I can have the rental ready, I text the incoming guests to let them know that they can come.

But it’s no big deal if they’ve stopped to sightsee or stopped for afternoon tea or whatever.


I’ve had this happen often. Before the pandemic, I used to charge for early check ins because of this.

Now I just don’t allow early check-ins because I need the time to run a HEPA machine and air out the place before I go in and clean. I let them know that If I get the STR ready early I’ll send them a message. I almost always send the message but they never seem to need the early check in nor do most guests even bother to let me know they won’t be coming early.

I now accommodate requests only if it fit my schedule. I never allow late checkouts any more.

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Me neither….early checkin and late check outs just work out being a pain in the butt. I feel most of the time not appreciated either.

When a guest asks for a early check in my standard response is, I will text you when the cabin is prepared for you. I never promise anything. I never text more than an hour ahead of check in regardless of when the place is ready.

There is no upside for me to allow early check in.

I don’t say no because every 4 star review I have ever had was the result of a no.

Guests and children, they need firm boundaries IMO



@momovich I kept wanting to highlight quotes of what you said and all the sudden it hit me, “This person is not only an experienced host but he/she has to be a professional therapist or something!” EVERYTHING you said is spot on.

We actually have 3 sets for each bed at all listings. So def multiple sets! However, the linens will have to be washed at some point. So for that particular iteration of the cleaning, they’ll need to be washed offsite so there’s not a double pile of soiled linens left for the next turn. Does that make sense?

Actually, it’s our experience that when most folks ask for an early check in, they arrive right around the moment we tell them they can arrive early. Like, they’re waiting a few miles away and then jet right over. And, when possible, we welcome them early personally.

The part that’s changed is that 1) a higher percentage of guests are asking for early check-in and 2) less end up actually arriving early. That was the crux of my question.

Agreed. Full stop.

Yep! This is our exact motivation to even entertain the concept at all. “Guests and children.” Sad, but true. But we still want to do our best to delight the guests (children). Fine line. . .

Sounds like so far, it’s not necessarily an increased “trend” where a lot of people seem to just be asking for early check in whether they use it or not. . .

My wife insists its a trend tied to an increasing entitlement pattern. She opines, “The guests want to have options. So they ask for an early check-in to widen the window of when they might arrive. They don’t care that we (and our crews) put in the work for them to make it happen, or not happen. And they’ll show up whenever they decide to show up either way.” If this is true, a guest that would have this attitude really grinds my gears.

I’m trying to stay optimistic. And I’m glad that maybe the trend I think I’m seeing isn’t necessarily a trend after all with you guys (yet).

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This is why I rarely accommodate early check in. Unlike your retreats, my home is outside of Tampa, FL so guests have plenty of options of things to do until they check in at 4. I also don’t allow luggage drop off if they’re renting a car. They can put it in the trunk/boot and lock the car.

Recently I was asked for an early check in / late check out that basically was 2 additional days for free. I asked for her times, referred her to costs for said times, and asked if she’d like to add 2 days to her visit, just like a hotel would. Ghosted. Fine by me, on to the next.

I can see if it’s an LA/Hollywood bold face name who wants the early check in - that’s the VIP type you want to accommodate even if they don’t arrive at 1:30 and LA Traffic sucks. Yes, many of them are entitled, but they pass along when they go somewhere with excellent customer service.

And yes, it’s becoming a thing.

Me one king bed in home share - 3 sets of linens (including blankets and duvets and throws) and bed protectors and shower curtains. Strip everything, clean, make it up again and THEN do the laundry (or start a load while cleaning). Boom. Room is ready and I still have spare linens.

I was thinking the same thing. And those costs for early check in should be compensated. I charge $30 for late check in past midnight unless a plane is delayed, $30 if guest asks about late check out until 2 prior to their stay, and another night past 2pm. I also inform guests that I will be tidying up while they’re getting ready to leave before 2pm as they’re usually just wanting to hang at the pool.

I’ve only done this a few times and the guests have realized there is a lot to see before getting to my place, so they’re usually late!

I think many guests who aren’t familiar with AirBnB don’t understand that we actually have lives outside of cleaning their rooms. We’re specifically not a hotel experience and all that entails on the staff side.

I bent over backwards for 3 sets of guests who took advantage of every boundary they knew they were pushing and got 3* and 4* reviews. Never again.

Interestingly, the more I politely draw the line, the more people appreciate it.


Yes—I had one guest who was blowing up my phone calling & texting for minor things. I texted something like, “May I call you about these things after work at 5:00?” Her response, “Oh you work? Why?”


Honestly, so many guests don’t seem to realize that not all hosts are raking in the bucks on their rentals and are actually ordinary people with normal lives, jobs, kids, who don’t work 24 /7 attending to guests. Like the ones who text at 3 am, as if you run a night shift of employees.

A friend who is a construction contractor said one client was emailing him multiple times a day, every time a new thought popped into their head. "Actually, I think we’d like the bedroom window to be a bit larger. Can you do that? ". “Oh, ignore the last email, we’ve decided to stick with the original window size”.

Finally he had to say, “Look, do you want me to spend my time answering 6 emails a day, or do you want your house built on schedule?”


Clearly you married well.

Seriously though, you are putting yourself through a lot of extra work and expense and get nothing in return.

Your wife gets it, listen to her.



There was a big ole nasty thread on a “Book from Owners” Facebook group this past summer. A woman was ranting about the oceanfront 2br condo she rented in a resort (multiple pools, lazy river, multiple restaurants & bars, workout rooms on premises) being over priced.

She felt, the owners didn’t deserve to make that much money and overcharge people.
Others jumped on the thread.

They had no clue the costs associated with having & maintaining the rental plus the work involved and didn’t want to know.


I allow early checkins if it’s convenient for me viz. the apartment has nobody checking that day or if I can arrange cleaning the day before without too much hassle.

I rarely allow late checkout because it means I have to alter my cleaning schedule to accommodate that. And on the times I have provided late checkouts or early checkins it’s never acknowledged in comments or ratings.

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Much appreciated. I’m trying to be better. It’s getting there slowly.

We have had a couple guests (different bookings entirely) cut from a similar cloth:

It was interesting because both of them kinda “name-dropped” where they were from in our interactions (Malibu, Santa Barbara) as if that was relevant to . . . anything.

Once those facts were unnecessarily established, they carried on and on about how expensive it was to stay at our listing as I patiently thanked them for choosing us. Meanwhile, I’m getting them every last answer to every last idiotic question they had. Most of which were already addressed in our 26 page hyper-detailed welcome guide. The whole bit was utterly exhausting.

You chose to stay at this “expensive” listing, but then complain about the expense while you’re there. Concurrently, you tell me how rich and sophisticated you think you are. Ugh. . . :man_facepalming:

Being a host is hard. It can be very lucrative, but it’s hard. And if it weren’t so hard, a lot more people would be doing it.

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Guests. Don’t. Read.

26 page welcome guide? I’d use it for kindling. Seriously, your places are gorgeous yet minimalistic. Unless your stereo system is like a rock star’s recording studio, nobody will read 26 pages.

Oh, now that I don’t miss from California. So many fakers name dropping casual sightings that I just keep my mouth shut in those conversations. Ugh.

Well, except if she leaves the shower curtain hanging over the towel bar…



@casailinglady Thanks so much for the kind words about the listings! LOL on the shower curtain!

Here’s our welcome guide for one of the desert spots (our 2nd listing we did). The guide has everything! And it’s really useful! The guests get this link when their booking is confirmed. There’s also a laminated spiral bound guide in each listing with this same look/feel.

Obviously the guides are location specific for destinations/amenities for each listing. Maybe tell me what you think! Guests (that look at them) seem to love them.