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Local booking issue

Bit of a rant I guess.

We’re in the tropics in Australia and have been hosting since 2018 but closed because of COVID in March last year. Almost all of our business was young international travellers from Europe. We loved hosting them.

We nervously opened up again about a month ago. Not nervously because of COVID but because we feared hosting Australians on holiday would be more difficult. We felt that they would be harder to please because a lot of what we offer is already familiar to them. And they’d rather be in Bali or Fiji.

Seems like that is how it is shaping up, only worse. Now we are at the start of a 5 night stay by a local local. My wife works in a local shop a couple of days a week and this woman is a customer.

She only joined airbnb this month and her blurry profile pic is her against a snowy mountain scene. Her first message was “Look forward to relaxation in (our suburb) at your lovely property.”

She was four hours late for check-in and I had to message her that I was picking my wife up so would be out for half an hour. When we returned home she was already there. “Surprise. I thought I’d surprise you Mary. Do you want a drink. I just put a bottle of wine in your freezer.”

Who does that?

So, we’ve had to hide. Mary in the bedroom. Me in my office. And I’ve blocked both of our rooms in case she tried to extend or whatever. I would like to cancel her. Mary thinks we should try to stick it out.

She can’t find a place to rent apparently and so, it seems, we’ll be fulfilling that role. And I’m thinking when it all ends in tears we get the one star rating.

I realise this subject has come up a lot but how do you block local guests? As I said, bit of rant. Thanks for listening.

I guess I’m too forgiving but I don’t really see an issue with your guest other than arriving late and trying to be friendly. It sounds like she’s lonely and that was probably her reason for booking a home share.

I myself am introverted so I would never share my space with a guest. I do whole house rentals but you seem to have enjoyed sharing your home before with Europeon travelers that were probably much younger than your current guest. Sounds like she’s a lonely elderly lady (perhaps recently widowed) and I’m sure the lock down made her feel even more isolated.

My advice would be to have a glass of wine with her, keep her company for a bit and know that your kindness will be much appreciated by that lonely soul.

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I agree with @Ritz3 . I don’t really see the problem here. You’re in charge so it’s up to you to control the guest. I’m pretty sure too that there’s no way to prevent locals from booking but I have to say that I’ve had many and they’ve mostly been lovely.

So don’t let one bad apple spoil the whole bunch. :slight_smile:

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I 100% understand your dilemma. I had a situation like that with a guest. She stayed twice but wasn’t a local. She moved from FL to AZ, and it was related to her battling cancer. She asked if she could have her meds sent her as well as other issues I won’t bore you with. She was a nice as could be. She asked if she could buy pizza for us to share and I even invited her to have dinner with my friends and I. When she came back through, going back East, she brought flowers for me, bubbles for the dogs. She left lovely cards. She sent me a xmas card that year.

The problem wasn’t that she was older, or a cancer patient or a woman or a redhead or a Floridian. She just had that personality that grated on me. Some people are like that, bless their hearts as we say in the US South. I agree with jaquo that this is probably not a local problem as much as a person problem.

But let me answer your question. Don’t allow instant book. When someone requests to book, ask questions about where they are from and what brings them to your area. Get their first and last name and do an internet search. See if they have social media posts that you can see to get an idea of how they are. Then decline any folks that don’t seem to fit your needs.

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I’m a little confused. Will she be there only 5 days?

Is it possible because she is acquainted with your wife, she’s being so friendly? Have a glass-o-wine & socialize a little bit.

You can always place a time limit by saying at the beginning, “would you like to have a glass? I’ll need to step out at x o’clock. My good friend is expecting me to call.”

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If we keep hosting I’ll take your advice on this KKC.

We will do the best we can for the next few days. That’s how my wife wants to manage it. She describes her as a ‘troublemaker’ always complaining about other people and situations when she comes in to buy something.

When I do a search I see that her name comes up with Residential Body Corporate issues in the courts (not sure what the USA equivalent is).

Over the past 3 years we just got into a pattern that worked for our guests and us. We happily instant booked for over 250 reservations and one of those conditions was that they told us who they were and why they were coming and they did and they were honest.

The reason she said that she is staying with us is that she can’t find a place to rent. This is peak season in our tourism destination. In the house-share airbnb hosting settings we are asked as hosts if we want our interaction with guests to be none, happy to answer questions or enjoy social contact. We chose the middle one. She could be lonely. I don’t know.

Yep. I’ll get on with it.

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I’m afraid that guests come in all shapes and sizes - both literally and figuratively. It tends to be swings and roundabouts though - for every dozen or so great guests there might be one who is less-than-ideal.

But once you’ve had that less-than-ideal guest, you know that statistically, you’re going to have a run of excellent guests. :slight_smile:

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Sooo much wisdom in our group … way beyond the practicalities of airbnb hosting. Thank you team.

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We wouldn’t do house share hosting if we were expected to socialize with guests. The $50 per night fee is for the room and use of all facilities. Typically over a 5 day stay guests will be out enjoying the reef, rainforest and other local natural attractions for 4 of those days.

If they wish we’ll chat about the frog that sometimes spends the day on one of our louvres or the birdwing butterflies or sunbirds nesting outside the bedroom or climate change and the reef. But just in passing and in the knowledge that we’re not building a social relationship.

Hosting a local who is likely to be around the house all day every day not interested in any of the above is disruptive and contrary to the spirit of what we offer.

UPDATE: As I’m writing this she wants me to help her secure her email as she fears her previous neighbour is ‘hacking her email and phone’.

Off topic but here is our Freddy who turns up most days of the week after a night out partying and feasting.

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It sounds like your guest is what we call an “attention whore.”

I would say be polite and grit your teeth for the stay, but when you review, just click the button that you wouldn’t host this guest again.

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If you have IB and message the guest once they book you can find out if they’re local local and then call Air and cancel “not comfortable with the guest” without getting dinged. Get your wife to do it - women feeling “uncomfortable” get a lot of leeway from Air CS. I’ve had locals try to book here for parties, “weekend getaways,” and “I can’t find a place to rent, I’m getting divorced…”

I politely say this isn’t a fit and if it’s IB I ask them to cancel and ask Air to refund their fees, which happens within the 12-24 hrs of booking anyway.

My guests from Italy a while back. 80s couple, he’s an American expat and she’s an Italian nurse.
Drunk by 10am. Health issues for her (I was terrified she’d fall out of the tub or I’d need to call an ambulance). Always wanting to cook for me, asking me to join them for drinks, joined me at my very separate dining table every single time, never took ‘No’ for an answer and hounded me when I wouldn’t do the last night in cash, which I’d pointed out up-front that I wouldn’t do. I couldn’t wait for them to leave. She was lovely, he wanted to discuss politics, religion, and was a bully. Yeah, I know. Cash. And if I’d liked him I may have considered it. I wanted them gone.

Rate her back with 1* across the board. Would not host again toggle button. It’s a 2-way street. She’s local, she’s pushy, anyone who knows her knows this.

Good luck!

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Camel’s nose under the tent. Nope, if they don’t like her, don’t “feed” her. It’s like the former neighbor who thought racoons were cute so set out cat food for them, causing a major influx of racoons and damage and a colony of feral cats moved in. Well, the cats were OK because we have tons of mice and rats (living on canals as we do), so that worked.

Nope, With racoons you just get large beasties leaving large purple poops all over and trying to rip through the pool screens to get at your cat. Just as an analogy.

“Sorry, can’t help you with your email. I have to work now, bye.”

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HOA or homeowners association.

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We are coping. Hosting paying guests in your own home where you share the bathroom, kitchen and all other areas except your own bedroom is a tricky balancing act. We have had to come up with tailored strategies for this guest.

We respect her and are trying to make her feel as welcome and comfortable as possible while she transitions through this part of her life. She is a talker and I mean 30+ minutes without an opportunity to gracefully move away. There will be a clinical name for this condition I would imagine.

We ring each other after a few minutes if we become cornered. If my wife isn’t here and I suspect that I’m going to become engaged I set my phone alarm in my pocket. It’s a long 5 days.

We have had less extreme versions of this in the past. On one occasion an older couple who were here for a week parked themselves on our patio every day with their drinks in cooler and their radio playing their favourite music and saying something to us every time we walked past. International visitors don’t do this when travelling. This is why I say that it is a domestic traveller trait; in this case Australians.

We have changed our listing summary (the 500 word bit) to the following. We’d be interested in any comments on the 80/20 ‘rule’.

Our house is a 5 to 10 min walk to the beach, bars, shops and restaurants.

Your bedroom has a queen bed, bar fridge, laptop desk, table & chairs and super quiet air conditioning.

We see our home as a base for visitors to explore our region. Stays that seem to work best are those that approximate the 80/20 rule :slight_smile:

80% of the time you’re out and about enjoying the reef and rainforest and other activities and 20% of the time enjoying life around home base or thereabouts.

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I remember somebody posting here that said they put in the listing description basically that they preferred guests that were gone most of the time.

I’m a home share host myself, but I haven’t been hosting since March 2020 due to shared guest/host spaces, so I haven’t had the local guests booking phenomenon to deal with.

Like you, my guests have primarily been international travelers here to enjoy this beach town and the things it offers. They are usually out and about, some I barely see, some hang out at home more, but none have ever been needy of my attention. Even my national guests, coming from other parts of the country, are here for the same reasons and behave similarly.

Unlike you, I am single, so I actually enjoy hanging out with guests, chatting over coffee or a bottle of wine in the evening. I’ve met some really cool people through hosting.

But during the day, I am normally doing my thing and guests are doing theirs.

This guest you have sounds like she probably drives lots of people crazy- she has no sense of boundaries nor any sense of how her behavior affects others. Guests can actually have conditions we don’t twig to. For instance, she may be ADHD. My granddaughter with that condition behaves similarly. Grin and bear it is about all you can do.

I think your 80/20 wording is fine-it sets expectations clearly. Once international travelling makes a comeback, you may be able to remove it.

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If it was just me and the house I would be like you. My wife is more into quiet reading on the patio and early nights and she isn’t overly fond of hosting. The thing is that we need the $$$ to keep paying the bills. She’s getting hammered by the woman so that’s not helping our peace of mind.

Freddy just earnt me a ‘Nice Reply’ badge - gaming the system.

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We love pictures of animals here.

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