I just want to share an observation. I have an airbnb rental and I have made it as nice and luxurious as I possibly know how to. Besides tea and coffee I dont have food or the like for guests, but I have all the best furniture, appliances and linen that money can bye!
Now I have just done a week trip in the Balkans and Austria. I stayed at a new place every night. Quite interesting.
All places were fine, sure they were. But some had gone for what I’ll call a minimum solution - only furnishing with the minimum that they could get away with … and some for what I’ll call am maximum experience - like the one I offer.
The most amazing experience was a place in Bosnia. Now considering Bosnian economy, the place was rather expensive - but man did they ever go all out! The apartment had every furnishing you could think of and the fridge was not just filled - it was stuffed! All organic all local and with a big sign saying enjoy! Wine, beer, local snaps, juice, cured meet, cheeses, fruit, bread, cereals … EVERY thing!
Interesting to see how others do things
We enjoy traveling as AirBnb guests too in various cities and countries around the world – Spain, Iceland,Croatia, Czechoslovakia, Scotland, England, and numerous places in the US. That’s why we became Air Hosts – because we wanted to offer the best of what we’ve seen, and then some.
Hosts who are only in this for the money, who never travel as AirGuests, especially internationally, are really missing a tremendous experience.
The problem many Americans have when they travel, especially overseas, is that they expect everything to be exactly the same as it is back home in East Podunk, and then become ‘bad guests’ when the whinge about local conditions.
It certainly is! That’s one reason why someone asking here for advice get rigid, “this is the way you must do it” answers that contradict one another. If a place is expensive it should have high quality things. If one has a low priced rental then the outfitting will probably reflect that.
Interesting! There must be a lot of food waste at that place. A related question; Do you think Airbnb hosts make the best guests? At least the successful hosts. My observation so far has been yes.
I always give other hosts 5 stars whenever I’m a guest. Some of them don’t really deserve it but the great hosts get a lot more praise in the written part.
Last season we had more Americans than usual and the complaints were astonishing. My favorite, “ The building was old’, it was built in 1850s, lol. Mind you our flat is refurbished. Another one we always get is about the shutters making the flat dark, very common in Spain to keep the flat cool during the day and safety, best part is you can open them to let the light in!! No clue why people lack common sense
Why would you do this? How does this help the reliability of the platform?
Thanks. I think I just needed someone to tell me to stop doing that.
LOL. I’m telling you to stop if you have a good reason. But a pet peeve is guests and hosts not leaving honest reviews every. single. stay.
The online rating system is unreliable especially with Uber and Airbnb. This article highlights it;
“looking at San Francisco, a 2015 study of 600,000 listings by Boston University found that 95% of Airbnbs got 4.5 stars or above, suggesting that people rate it more like Uber: Unless the listing was dishonest or something goes very wrong, Airbnb reviewers give full or almost-full star ratings. “Virtually none have less than a 3.5 star rating,” reads the study, which contrasts this with Yelp and TripAdvisor’s hotel reviews, which average a far more normalized 3.8 and 3.9 stars, respectively.”
And it doesn’t help that Air says anything lower than 4.5 is bad. Same with grade inflation. If everyone and everything is special, no one and nothing is special. It’s time for a reset.
This forum often gets all over comments about various ethnic, cultural, or religious stereotypes yet it is acceptable to tag Americans?
If I were to visit you would get comments on how charming it is to be able to stay in a building from the 1850s, KenH you had me smiling until your last paragraph.
Do you realize just how big, ethnically and culturally diverse a country of our size is?
Can we PLEASE avoid statements that cast every _______ as a _______!
Or should I just wear a t-shirt that says “I am an American but I won’t act like one!”
I’m American living abroad and I’m typically introduced as don’t worry she’s not a ‘typical American’.
I also get asked to make a roast Turkey A LOT.
What works best for this host is to promise nothing and then deliver the unexpected. I even ask my guests NOT to talk about specifics, or everybody will expect them. I offer them as a gesture of goodwill, not a gimme. This way, in theory, I don’t get the gimme guest quite as often! works for me.
It does seem so unfair, yes. For what it’s worth, some of my absolute favourite guests ever have been American (I’m in the UK).
It’s because USA is the most powerful and influential country in the world so we all love and fear you in equal measure. It’s much easier - and acceptable - to poke a sharp stick at a great big bear than it is to stamp on a small frog. That’s just how it works, unfair as it is.
You’re so right about the diversity of USA, hosting someone from NYC can be nothing like hosting someone from, say, Florida. Same as when Americans discuss Europe as if it’s one homogeneous entity, that seems bizarre to us Europeans when we are distinct countries with different languages, cultures etc.
Essentially, all depends on the individual person. Do they seem good or bad? Selfish or kind? Arrogant or open-minded? Shy or extrovert? So many other options! I think if one is open to people, it doesn’t matter where they come from or what language they speak, we all “read” in the same way.
Wait, you don’t offer food, but both you the guy who stuffed your fridge presents a maximum experience for you? I don’t get it.
And btw, I believe that the place was nice otherwise as well, but the stuffed fridge seems to be your highlight. It always saddens me to see how many guests, even if they’re hosts, fall for such stuff. I primarily grade things that were offered in the description, extra “bribes” such as food and drinks cannot really compensate for lack of cleanliness or promised amenities. In most cases, hosts who stuff fridges are beginners fishing for some good reviews. Or they are still green and aren’t aware of the hidden costs of renting, and feel embarrased for charging for the place. I can barely imagine a price per night that could make the Bosnian guy in the positive after buying all these stuff. They are not cheap.
What I am trying to say is this:
I offer what i call a maximum experience to my guests or you may call it a first class experience if you like. I do this by giving them the best in all things I can think of, such as design furniture, top class linen and china and of course service and cleanliness. The man in Bosnia had what I assume would be seem as the best of the best, in his culture in his style of furniture and so on. On top of that he had the filled fridge. I dont see that as a bribe but as going above and beyond in his way. I dont think he lost money doing it - as we payed a lot for the place and as food is cheap in Bosnia. I think it was his way of justifying the high price and of giving us the best he had to offer.
The other places I visited were as I said a lot more bare bones kind of thing…
I agree it should not be one size fits all but should vary by your target market. I am not luxurious, but I have nice things to eat and drink in my suite for late flights and busy business guests. I get enough positive comments (mostly private) that I believe it is reflected in the ratings. Although I should probably do a controlled experiment and remove everything but the salt & pepper shakers for 6 months to see if it makes a difference.
I do the same as you in terms of high end appointments and furniture. I also provide an expansive spread representing local foods and beverages. Austin is a 'foodie" city and I want my guests to have a peaceful retreat and enjoy some of the vibe while in their suite. I get unfailingly high marks. I travel quite a bit for business so I set up the suite the way I would like to have it for myself. The BnB business is not all about the money to me so I fight the “instant book” pressure and all of my guests have been delightful.
you know I think I have to some to Austin some day, and when I do, I’ll look your place up! Sounds like my kind of place