Any ideas? I do my own cleaning and I am finding that during my busy season when I have back-to-back bookings I sometimes have to cancel my personal plans or leave class early to get the place cleaned. Yes, I know it’s the cost of doing business but sometimes, guests do check out early and it would be helpful to know.
- Is there any nice way to ask guests if they have to check out early due to flights, long road trip, etc?
a) I explain that there are no worries if I they are leaving early it helps to schedule cleaners.
b) I’ve tried asking with my regular questions when guests book but I usually get the response that they will let me know but they never do and then I feel like I’m nagging them.
c) I’ve tried asking when I send the info for check in and often don’t get an answer or the guests get annoyed and think I’m rushing them out. Guests have actually dings me in my rating or written it in the review.
d) I would say that one in 5 bookings the guests check out really early and it would be so helpful. Today and Monday I have to modify my plans and class attendance to get the place cleaned.
e) I can’t block off these dates because I need to make the money while I’m busy.
I guess what I’m looking for is the right time to ask the question and how to word it so that I don’t offend the guests or make them feel like I’m rushing them out.
On the day before checkout, at 9 am, we leave our check-out message that in part says:
– Check-out is by 10 am tomorrow, at which time we’ll enter the unit. I’m sorry that we can’t offer you a late check-out as we have another guest arriving. Please let us know if you plan to leave before 10 so we can enter earlier to begin cleaning.
Most of the time if someone is planning to leave early they respond to this message to let us know.
If they’re planning to leave at around 10 they usually don’t respond.
In my check out message, sent on the evening before the final morning, I mention the time as does @HostAirbnbVRBO (but in less formal language )
However, usually I’ve mentioned it to the guests during their stay during casual conversation. For example, if they don’t have a car I ask what time their flight home is. There are plenty of ways to broach the subject for example “Goodness it’s Thursday already - only two more days to go. I hope that you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn to get your flight?”
This also gives me the opportunity to mention places they can go for lunch or for final sightseeing if their flight is an evening one.
Maybe you can just change your checkout time for future bookings. . If it’s 12 noon change it to 11 AM.
It’s already 10 am so I really can’t move it any earlier.
What’s your check in time? Maybe you can push that back an hour. We have checkout at 11AM and checkin at 3 PM so it gives us 4 hours to clean.
Ask the day before what their plans are, after the reminder about hard checkout time. The latter I don’t usually do and have had very few who forgot the checkout time. Remember, you are lucky to be this occupied! And of course you can change settings or block days for it to be less hectic on your side.
I often tell them a late checkout is possible, if they have time… and that’s when I find out about their checkout day plans.
I would find it very odd for a host to ask me, before I had even arrived, if I was leaving early. Definitely would feel unwelcoming, and how would I know exactly, unless I had an early flight to catch.
It’s like inviting someone over for dinner and at the same time, or when they walk in the door, asking, “When are you leaving?”
I would just ask them to let me know their projected check-out time the afternoon before check-out.
And while I realize you are trying to maximize your profits, leaving one night between bookings would do away with this issue altogether.
The night before checkout I remind them of checkout time and leaving the key in the lockbox. I add, please let me know when you’ve checked out. Most people let me know.
I don’t do back to backs, too stressful.
Put it in your check in message or initial booking message. Make it part of your standard procedure. A host managed Airbnb can have its quirks. I don’t see any problem asking guests when they expect to check out or when they expect to check in. If they want to know why, just tell them it’s so you can plan your day more efficiently since you manage it all on your own. If they take offense, oh well.
She said she’s done that. And even gotten bad reviews over it.
Nothing wrong with a host asking a guest to let her know if they’re checking out early, it just seems like the time to convey that request is when you send a check-out message, not when they first book.
I think for some listings, the timing of certain messages is more critical. For example, our 1bd 1ba, sleeps max of 2 cabin gets primarily 2-night stays (our minimum) with a few 3-niters and the occasional 5- or 7- niter. We’ve debated about when to send the check-out message. Most hosts here, from my reading, send this message the day before check-out with the specific hour variable. We decided on the morning of, at 8am, for a Noon check-out; we thought about how we’d feel waking up after only our first night to a message talking about how the host hopes we had a great stay, while reminding us that check out is tomorrow at Noon.
I’d rather have a control to set the automatic sending of that message to morning of for 2 or 3 night stays and maybe dinnertime the day before for stays of 4 or more nights.
Well, I know how I’d feel if a host woke me up at 8am with a message reminding me of check-out time 4 hours later. About the same as I feel about Airbnb reminder messages that a guest is coming in 4 days, sent at 3am.
I can’t imagine it takes anyone more than an hour and a half to have breakfast and pack up and tidy up. 10am would be plenty early enough. Or if I had a 2 night booking, the evening before would be fine for your check-out message, IMO.
I appreciate this perspective, but several times we’ve had guests pack up and leave at 7:30 am, skipping all of our checkout instructions which they got while on the freeway.
What I was trying to say is that I think the evening before check-out is better for the check-out message than early day-of. Because when I’m on vacation, being able to sleep in is one of the enjoyments. I don’t want phone calls or messages at 8am unless it’s an emergency situation.
I’ve read this a few times from you and maybe others here.
Our thinking, right or wrong, has been that on vacation maybe your day starts maybe as late at 10 am or so. [If earlier the timing of a 9 am message is not offensively early.] So we thought that if you message at 9 am you’re probably awake and your plans for the day have not fully begun. And also that 9 am is not ungodly early that someone would be offended.
But also at 9 am, and with the message the guest could be in a position to have a plan in mind for the next day or be ready to formulate one or communicate it/discuss it with the guest’s household (I know you’re in a different situation, with just one guest).
Whereas a message in the middle of the day is an interruption, as might be a message in the evening. Plus, if the guests are in the ‘middle of things’ during the day and early evening they’re unlikely to reply unless it’s urgent.
As an aside, I would think that many/most guests are as proficient or more than I when it comes to managing their phone, so that they could manage their notifications.
In fact, when we do a face-to-face orientation we say that if something occurs to them at 3 am that they should feel free to send us a message and we’ll respond to it the next day. [If it’s urgent – say you can’t find the wine opener (that’s my example) – we say it’s OK to ring our door, and not a big deal for us to address it then. But I show them where the wine opener is, and where it’s listed in the House Manual, with its location! ]
That truly is an emergency - although just in case, I travel with one.
What checkout instructions do you have that are so intricate that you can’t give them on the previous evening? If you’re afraid that guests won’t do them or will forget them or get them wrong then you need to look at your checkout instructions. Nothing is so important that you need to send it at 8:00 am. A note on the kitchen counter is more than enough.
Contacting someone/anyone at 8 am isn’t even appropriate within business hours. Your guests are on vacation. Think about it. You can do better.
And I’m an early, like before daylight early, riser. It’s just rude to send messages so early.
It’s better than 8 am for sure but only one.single.hour.better. It’s early enough that, as a guest, it lets me know that it’s the best time for you the host without any regard to me the guest. It’s just not a good look.
I send all and any messages to guests between noon and 1pm (their local time). It’s a natural break in the day whether you’re working or exploring. People generally sit down to eat so it’s a good time to check messages and is a fairly universally inoffensive time of the day to contact someone you do not personally know - it’s the most common time to be not too early or too late. Interrupting lunch is okay but interrupting breakfast or dinner isn’t. Airbnb aside, don’t forget essential manners/etiquette.
I don’t recommend needing a reply. Send messages that don’t require a reply. Guests are not there to work for you so let them off the hook. When I send my how’s-it-going message I also include, “No need to interrupt your day getting back to me if all is well”.
FWIW, I have never ever even once sent a “check-out message”. After about 315 guests, only one has left dirty dishes, only three have checked out “late” and always only by 10-20 minutes that I doubt would’ve been recaptured by sending a message first thing in the morning and only 6 haven’t left a review. So I can’t see that’s necessary.
I haven’t either. And I don’t leave any checkout instructions in the rentals. I’ve never had terrible messes or anything needing ‘extra cleaning’. (Everything is thoroughly cleaned at every turnover anyway).
People empty the trash or they don’t. They either do the dishes or they don’t. Some guests leave the rentals in great condition. Occasionally, some don’t.
Swings and roundabouts.
No kidding. I have upholstery clients who’ll call or text me at 7:30am and I think "Seriously? Have you never heard of business hours? Just because you get up at 6am and are in full swing by 7 doesn’t mean everyone else is. "
Another reason the aft/evening before is best for check-out messages is that while it doesn’t happen often, hosts have had guests who were confused about their check-out day and were lounging around making plans for the day when the host sent them a check-out msg. in the morning. Not only were the guests thrown for a loop, it took them way longer to pack up, tidy up and leave than it normally would.