In fairness this was near the time when there had been a shooting of some kind where the bullet came from Mexico. But still El Paso is one of the safest large cities. Certainly safer than whatever city most of my guests are from. And the guest who asked about drinking water did so because I said there was drinking water in their mini fridge. People are just here for a night usually. If I had tourists I’d probably get a lot more of that racist nonsense.
My rental is a historic home in a diverse neighborhood. How can I stop attracting racist and classist guests who are looking for new construction?!
I like your signs-and it does speak to the fact that people look at photos but don’t read-- but that really only tells the traveler about you-not the neighborhood.
Since I’m not a tourist stop my neighborhood is less relevant than for many listings. But if I did feature my neighborhood it wouldn’t help me. It’s not scenic, historic, interesting, diverse…lol.
From what I understand, your neighborhood is “convenient” and probably all your guests need to know
Yes! That’s why my “title line” is the very utilitarian “this feature and that feature at x location on the freeway.”
Mexicans usually don’t identify as white. They usually say hispanic which is a term that generally means mixed race with Spanish ethnicity and language included. If you’re anything else, usually you identify as Latino. You can be white latino, black latino, asian latino etc. Some Mexicans look white but their ethnicity comes from a mix of the native people of Mexico and the Spanish so they generally don’t identify as white.
You’re not giving us a lot to go off of here. It would help if we knew what type of listing it was, where its located, the price you’re charging, pictures etc. It doesn’t say if you’re renting just rooms or the whole house but it sounds like the whole house from the name and if couples are doing honeymoon’s there and you get groups. Depending on if this is your home or not and if you bought this property for the purpose of renting on Airbnb, its going to change my response a little.
Basically you’re going to get that yuck reaction from people but they aren’t living there and their kids aren’t going to school there. So they’ll be willing to put up with it a little more, especially if they’re just looking for a place to stay for business travel.
You’re right that the problem is the guests and not the house or neighborhood. Most people just haven’t grown up in 100 year old houses or had that experience. They’re used to new construction exactly like you said. You can try to put disclosures in the pictures, listing and the “additional details” section but some people don’t understand what ‘original windows’ or ‘gravity fed furnace’ etc means. They think that old = dirty and knock you on cleanliness.
You need to be doing what you can do to mitigate the risks for your guests and make sure that the property has good security. This is what makes the difference between a good host and bad host because you have 100% control over the security on your property even if you can’t control the neighborhood. Good locks, especially multi-point locks or a steel security gate, cameras, motion activated lights around the entire property, security screens on ground level windows or at least devices that prevent the windows from opening more than 4". Gates or fences. Garage parking.
I live in a very safe countryside town and I constantly have safety concerns from guests especially ones from America and ones who aren’t used to traveling. There’s a webcam login for them to watch their car when they park on the street even. I was considering buying a cheap old house in the ghetto to rent out last year and I got as far as closing on it before I found an undisclosed deal breaker. So I’m familiar with the process leading up to that kind of an Airbnb. There’s tons of other investors with the same ideas and its not necessarily a bad thing if done correctly. It can restore the neighborhood by bringing back people. I would definitely step up the security measures a little bit but I wouldn’t ever be surprised when I got these reactions from guests. I don’t think its racist for them to want to be safe.
An idea, maybe… When confirming their booking, reiterate that you’re in an old house in a socioeconomically diverse neighborhood. Many people don’t read descriptions before booking. Also, we have a theory that by not offering a TV, we attract travelers and not tourons.
Totally agree! I read reviews just to see what morons are commenting about the rust around the sink etc.
I find it funny to see how many Americans are concerned about safety when they travel to another country. There was a study done last year (I think it was last year) rating the most dangerous countries in the world. The United States was the 35th most dangerous country.
I recently was talking to an American who was going to the UK and was asking about the safety there - the Uk is only 118 on the list.
I guess RHK is ignoring the question I asked but its actually a big difference to me if you buy an investment property with the intention of doing STR vs starting Airbnb at your one and only home in a bad neighborhood. We’ve all been doing Airbnb long enough to know that anyone from out of town, even domestic travelers, don’t know the neighborhoods and won’t pay more to stay in a nice neighborhood but they will pay more to stay in a nice house. Thats exactly why investors flock to these bad neighborhoods with cheap old houses. You get a great house for 20% less or better, but in a bad neighborhood. Normally, you wouldn’t want a house there as an investor but Airbnb mitigates those risks for you. So not only are you taking in the same rent you could get in a good neighborhood; you’re getting it with lower taxes and you got the property at a discount.
Keeping all of that in mind, you can see the power that enough cash for 20% down + Airbnb gives you. Either for good or bad. Thats why it changes my answer because if this is your second home, in my eyes, you have a different responsibility to your guests and to the neighborhood than you do as a homesteader. Thats why many cities with the potential for these situations are regulating and passing legislation.
So if RHK started doing Airbnb at their one and only home and just didn’t realize how guests would react, I can undertand that. If this was bought as a second home (or fifth or one of dozens) its really going to change my answer though.
the year after I was hospitalized, I decided to go back to England, visit Scotland, and Paris (I called it the semi-solo-mini-grand-tour) and I did it alone. At the time, the Senegalis were protesting in Paris and many of my friends were frantic (it was 2012 and I was staying in Airbnbs, too).
I took off with my suitcases and had a blast. I’ve had more trouble with crime in the suburbs than when living in big cities and traveling alone.
But then again, my soon-to-be-former in-laws (Kiwis) were also worried. So there you go…
“How brave you are to go alone. It’s not safe.” ugh.
The study might as well say that the weather in the USA is nice. The US covers quite a bit of territory so weather is all over the map. And the US has a lot of people, some are ‘bad guys’ and some are great people.
I suppose the stats skews things. I live in the US… and until I began running the a/c 24/7, l left two sliding doors open at night with never a problem. Once had a cat pee on the screen, thats about it.
I hate (actually I love it) to get all math-y and will definitely try and do math better than Airbnb does it but there are 195 countries so that puts the US in the top 17% most dangerous countries.
True of everywhere but it seems a very significant percentage of our bad guys are commiting crimes or we have more of them, but either way, it’s enough that travelers should be aware.
Yes, stats can be used to skew things but so can denial.
I live in the lowest crime state and have only cats to worry about. lol
Well, that doesn’t sound very safe at all. They watch you when you sleep
That’s why my town is so safe…so few native born 'Mericans. Lol
For a moment, I thought you were going to say there were no cats there.
I’m curious what it was?