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I'm not the local visitor bureau!


#1

Just venting here…

Just had this woman contact me asking me how far we are from the National Park. Not a problem, I get asked questions about our area frequently, and my reviews are all about how great the information I have available for them in the room for local hikes and such.
But then she comes back with another question about transportation (she doesn’t have a car), and then another about Uber, and then about another town, and then how do you drive up there (listen, if you can use Airbnb, you can use Google map!), and more! She hasn’t even booked!

My last reply to her was a nicely crafted reply letting her know that the visitor bureau was probably better suited to answer all these questions, and that they have a free toll number. Good luck!

I really hope she doesn’t book because I can already see it being a nightmare!


#2

Nothing like a good vent when needed! I feel your pain about this woman, and your genteel response was brill. I hope she doesn’t book.


#3

Wouldn’t it be nice if they presented an avalanche of questions on the first inquiry so you could pass them off immediately?
It feels like they trickle them so it’s not until you’ve invested over an hour in corresponding with someone that HASN’T EVEN BOOKED that you hit the limit. “Okay Buddy, I’m offering lodging, not a personal travel agency!”


#4

I would not prioritise replies and they would get briefer and briefer.

My place requires a car, or a bike, no Uber and had one of those the other day.


#5

I think on the second question I’d be looking to get out of hosting her.


#6

I’m the outsider here because I have no objections at all to being asked questions. Part of the job as far as I’m concerned.


#7

I don’t mind the odd question but if it goes on over a few messages they’re usually clueless and don’t even book therefore are a waste of my time. The best guests have already triangulated the location of their course etc., the bus and the attractions they want to see before booking!


#8

Sounds like someone who could be a nightmare to hosts.
I don’t mind answering questions as long as they’re not silly questions that can be answered by reading my listing. If they keep messaging me with an over-load of questions I simply won’t bother and I decline and await guests who aren’t afraid of thinking for themselves.


#9

I have a guest who booked today for a three week stay at the end of this year. Our q & a sessions have been going on for weeks. He even requested that I upload additional photographs to our listing. That’s fine.

The bloke is in his eighties and simply wants to make sure that his money (quite a lot) will be well-spent. I have no problem with that.

Okay, there’s a possibility that he’ll be a needy guest when he’s here. But that’s okay. I have plenty of guests throughout the year who are totally self-sufficient and never bother me at all. So one needy elderly guest is going to be fine my me. Swings and roundabouts.

(Check back with me at the end of the year though!)


#10

"I will happily answer further questions regarding the area once you have booked with us.


#11

To me part of the challenge and enjoyment of going to a new place is figuring out the answers to all these questions myself. More challenging in pre WWW days when you relied on travel agents and guide books (I still have them all) but also more satisfying when you turned up and had a reasonable idea of what to expect in advance while still enjoying the adventure. Someone like your pesky inquisitor possibly isn’t suited for travel but these days that doesn’t seem to stop 90% of people who travel either.


#12

Lots of questions are a red flag. Can signal an overly needy guest. You can only imagine the questions I get about Hawaii. I make sure my listing answers as many of the possible questions as possible, but if they persist with the question asking, I say I will provide much more information after booking!

Too many beforehand is an auto decline,


#13

Yes, for 3 weeks, I probably would do a lot more too. With this girl, I just had the feeling she was using me to plan her trip and wasn’t even going to book. It was getting ridiculous. If she knows about Uber, she can certainly Google directions.


#14

And a big red flag for me is someone without transportation. This area is just not friendly for visitors without a car. I’ve had two of them now, and both times I ended up driving them places. I didn’t have to, but I felt bad that they were stuck here without a mean to see the beaches, or get to town.


#15

I created a web site about the area where we live, transport, restaurants…I give them the link. No more question.


#16

The last guests that asked a bunch of questions before they booked were awful guests. I’ve determined that this behavior is a big red flag


#17

I always hope that they do book so that all my question-answering ends up being profitable!

The questions are usually much the same anyway - how far is it to whatever place, is there parking, can I walk to the beach, where’s the nearest golf course and so on. It’s all things I know anyway so it only takes a couple of minutes to answer them.

For more complex questions about the locality, such as are there any romantic restaurants nearby, I can answer by telling them that full details of all local restaurants (or whatever they are asking about) are in the rental.


#18

I had a potential guest ask me loads of questions of nice places to visit. After 2 days he decided to stay in one if the locations i mentioned. I dont answer questions now until they are booked then ask away as many questions as you like.


#19

There’s different way that future guests ask questions. I think you can tell when they are genuinely interested in your place and respectful of you as a host, versus using you as a tour operator and treating Airbnb like a hotel. She was the latter.


#20

Oh yeah! Excellent point. You can tell the lookie loos from the serious inquiries.


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