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Increasing pressure on hosts!


#1

Hi there, it’s been about three years since I started as a host.
I recently noticed a change in the guests standard requests.
We all try our best but I think there must be a difference between a hotel and a home.
You can’t get the same services in my opinion. I had a guest for example asking for beach towel and on the web page there is no mention about this service, but it’s like she was almost offended by me replying we don’t provide them.
Or another one, although found my house amazing, got upset because a hotel nearby started some out loud music and called us in the middle of the night asking if we could go there and tell them to stop (I live very far and this is stated on the webpage too). No matter how we tried to explain that we would discuss the matter the day.
Am I crazy when I expect a bit of indipendence by guests? Some of the issues might as well being solved by them on their own. I’m not their mum and again, mine is not a business. I only rent my holiday homes out!
You can’t expect a 24h service, as same as in a hotel. Otherwise, we start charging same prices, isn’t it?


#2

If you are very close to a beach it might be worth providing towels so they don’t use your bath towels or note in the message you send before guests arrive that they need to bring beach towels with them.

With the noisy hotel, the guest could have called them.

If you have a local council noise patrol then leave details in your guest book.


#3

Recently got a message from a guest “Please arrange to have bottled water in the apartment.” I responded with the address of the nearest grocery and the suggestion his Uber driver could stop there so the guest could stock up on all the bottled water he needed. We got along fine after that and the guest actually was a good guest, very nice about clean up etc. This was a business traveler and I think there is confusion out there regarding commercially run short stays with concierge services vs. homestay airbnbs. I do not have an airbnb business designation as I have dogs, but airbnb has of course been marketing to the business traveler segment. If these business folks are not doing their own booking (either obviously through a company account or giving an employee access to their airbnb), they are not going to be as aware of the price differential between professionnally managed short stay and my humble abode.


#4

Airbnb on the corporate level really really really needs to address this issue as it is becoming way too frequent and making the hosting experience really unpleasant and stressful. As someone who has hosted since they were a baby start up and no one even knew their name, I can state it was not always this way. It started out as this funky, hipster sort of chance-taking alternative to traditional lodging. Now it has become a place where increasingly entitled and demanding guests EXPECT a hotel and all the services of one.

I’m personally dealing with what turned out to be a ghastly guest who lambasted me for all the reasons I wasn’t a hotel. Please, please book a damned hotel if you want clean sheets every day!!! He didn’t get the concept of Airbnb, did not read a word of my listing and now I’m suffering for it.

As for the beach towels, I would have to agree. If you are in a beach or pool community, it’s a cheap thing to offer, and does save your house towels. But I certainly would not be available for telling another property to quiet down or be fetching bottled water for guests.

I honestly wish they would do something about this. I am not enjoying my hosting experience right now and my burnout is reaching unfixable levels.


#5

Thanks for your reply. I also think they should have called the hotel by themselves. I’m always available to chat and give advice but this is too much!
Good advice on the beach towels. I will make it clear on my welcome email.
Best


#6

That’s exactly how I feel! I enjoyed it so much when I started and now I feel under pressure all the time, thinking: what they will ask next? I try to accomodate the most of the requests I get as I like to be nice to my guests, but some are just crazy in my opinion, or I’m not prepared to accomodate. I just think they should read well the description on the webpage.
By the way, the guy complaining about the noise, left the house earlier leaving a chair broken (probably smashed on the floor) and my neighbour scared because of their shouting on the phone with us (offensive language and disgusting words).
Can’t wait for this season to be finished. :frowning:


#7

Dang! I hope you reported is abusive guest to Airbnb and made a claim for the chair!

Please be firm even though you are trying to accommodate. I know it’s hard. No matter what I say in my listing they either don’t read it or expect something it’s not. You just cannot control their expectations.

I’m in a really bad place right now. I feel like my confidence is smashed and I’m in my 8th year. It really does not get easier I’m afraid.


#8

Very sad :frowning:
The other problem, apart from a personal disappointment for all the efforts put into it, is the pressure Airbnb put on us…
I explain this: the person who asked for the beach towel gave me 1 star, my first bad ever and my rate went down to 4.4 as I only have 13 reviews. I soon received an email from airbnb saying that if I fall under 4.0 they will suspend my account. I find this a bit too much, it’s like being at school and sent to the naughty corner.
I’m thinking not to advertise anymore on airbnb as my homes are also on homeaway. Are they not acting weird? The world is not perfect, you can’t only allow perfection on your website. And we are talking about a 4.4 rate, not1 or 2…


#9

Airbnb’s ridiculous threats to suspend accounts of hosts who have ratings under 4.0 could have negative consequences. If guests learn this, the unkind among them will use this to get the host to provide extra amenities.


#10

Naughty corner, :rofl: We don’t even use those in classrooms anymore. It’s called the time out center or the break room. Sometimes the really disruptive kids get sent to sit outside the classroom until they get their composure back. :weary: But I digress. :grimacing:

A couple of years ago, I had my account go under review at a 4.5. I got calls from reps younger than my kids and probably still in middle school when I first opened, giving me suggestions about how I can “improve.” Mind you, I rent a full service apartment by the sea for under $100 a night with a BBQ, patio and beach gear and everything, plus a $2,500 nest bed in Kona Hawaii, and it’s still not good enough for some guests.:poop::poop: But I digress again. :grimacing:

I’m not enjoying hosting right now, and do apologize if my downward mood gets anyone depressed!


#11

This is a very astute point.

I can think of how ebay sellers often come begging you if you’ve left them a bad review, to the point of simply letting you have an item for no charge rather than have a negative review. Sad.


#12

I’m fortunate in that my (shared home) guests seem to remain within the standard frame of 95% great and minimal bad ones. But having co-hosted for someone with an entire property, I can see how demanding some people can be, it’s unbelievable sometimes.

I thought that Air had stepped back from their harrassment of hosts who receive less than 5 stars. I can only repeat what I said on this thread:


#13

If I’m honest, I’m more concerned about whether you might be becoming depressed, particularly after this last ghastly guest; he’s clearly upset you dreadfully and damaged your usually buoyant resilience. I noticed earlier that you feel that your burnout may be becoming “unfixable”, but it is fixable, trust me. Feelings like this are a symptom of burnout, or depression, as is feeling that the situation is hopeless, that you’re useless or a burden on others. I would say/ask more but not in an open forum, and dumbo me hasn’t got the PM thingy yet. You’ve said you’re going to, at the very least, take a break from hosting. Will you do so very soon? I think some urgency is now needed to get you away from the triggers, and to regain your equilibrium.
Big hug.


#14

But at bargain Airbnb prices :confused:
I’m considering changing my listing name to
"Worse than a crappy hotel stay at your own risk"


#15

Would it help to write a paragraph in the listing description explicitly stating that this is not a hotel, something along the lines of:

"Please note that you are renting a room/house in a residential neighbourhood not a hotel room. By staying with us you will experience a home away from home. We offer a more authentic experience than renting a hotel room however please note that we offer no room service, concierge or reception. Extra cleaning can be provided at rate of €*** per cleaning. "


#16

Air sends that message (or something akin to it) to every guest who books. Don’t think it makes any difference :worried:


#17

Been there and done that.


#18

I have this in my House Rules - this is not a hotel, treat this like your home.


#19

Great suggestion. I just added it to my listing.


#20

Do you say who your space is best for in your listing? You might want to add a line about independent travelers if that’s the type of guest your prefer. I also send a message to every guest when they request our space asking them why they chose us over the many other available options, so I can make sure they’re not expecting anything we don’t offer.

You might not believe it, but your Airbnb IS a business. You are exchanging money for services. It’s true, you don’t offer the same services, nor do you charge the same rate, as a traditional hospitality service (such as a hotel).

I’ve found that being explicit about what is NOT included in the listing has helped me avoid requests from overly needy guests. If you’re feeling too much pressure, though, maybe it’s a good time to block off a few days on your calendar and reflect on your hosting routine. A little time off can do wonders for your mental health.


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