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New User booked in with group of 5 for 2 nights. At booking requested early check in. We were able to accommodate him at 1.PM. No extra charge, just a courtesy.
When he arrived, we asked if we could drop in in 30 minutes to get our personal laundry that was still in the drier. They agreed with no sign of objection. Husband went into the basement and took laundry from drier and back out well before the “official” 3 PM check in.
BAM. Review is 4 stars because hosts came in to “finish their laundry”.
We would never even have asked if it was not an early check in. But he did not mention that!
If that happened to me I would send the guests a follow-up email (I always have the direct email of guests) and remind them of the 2-hr. early entry they received…gratis… and that they knew I had laundry to retrieve from the dryer in but a half hour.
I would tell them how surprised and disappointed I was at their unfair critique about the laundry especially when they were the recipients of generosity.
The “new” type of guests these days bring out a different side of me.
Frustrating. In these situations I’d go with Sandy and remind them directly that you accommodated them early. Hey you never know, if you put them in line it might just save another host a headache in the future…
I do the same as Malagachica. I allow for early check-in only for my own personal selfish reasons - I don’t have to wait for the guest for the rest of the day to show up + guests automatically get this impression that I did them a favor, which makes for a good start.
However, I NEVER promise anything. I simply state that I have to prepare the apartment for them and that I’m not sure how long it will take, but IF I finish earlier, I can drop them a text and they can check-in. Then I send them a happy text saying that their apartment is clean, ready and waiting for them. The positive surprise effect does miracles.
Latest one is a Doctor Instant booking and then TELLING me to be waiting for them later than stated check in time as after they get the rental car then they have to go eat dinner. (Couldn’t check in then eat, I guess.) Told them if they were too late, I could not assure them I would be awake to let them in, and that I sleep very deeply due to medications.
They will make other arrangements if they are running late now. AND I changed the House Rules to state check in is strict, but if they are late it is a $50 charge through ABB. Plus a time limit anyhow.
IN fact, just edited that clause again. Says this: “Check in is strictly between 3pm to 9pm. Later than that up to 10:30 pm and I cannot guarantee anyone will be awake or here to check you in and if so, a $50 late fee will be assessed through Airbnb. After 10:30 pm there is NO check-in possible. (Added here and applies to reservations made after 8/6/17)”
I am with you here. I have a hard time saying NO if it costs me nothing to accommodate guests. I had only couple times guests who gave me 4* when I I did a bunch of extras for them.
Usually when I do let early check ins people mention it in their reviews.
At this point, I allow early or late check in if it makes my life easier. And it usually does. I got the worst reviews (or no review) from people I helped with extra things, though, so I don’t do extra for the review anymore.
(And i do less extra)
… but when I don’t do any extras at all, I stop finding pleasure in the experience. And the money is nice, but not enough to make it worth it to me.
I agree, but I always hope they won’t mention it in the review because then others will automatically expect the same. Last time when a host let me check-in earlier, I didn’t mention it in the review, I just mentioned that host was “extremely accommodating and gracious” and “that everything was easily arranged”. In the private feedback I thanked explicitly.
It’s not really a question of reviews for me, but more of trying (and usually failing!) to live by the Golden Rule - yes, I am sloppy old Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby herself!
I do agree that there’s no value (financial or ethical!) in accommodating guests’ wishes just because it’s convenient for them and if it seriously inconveniences you, but if they have a real problem or a genuine reason for asking something I will usually agree or try to help. (Not checking in because you want to eat first certainly DOESN’T count as a “problem”!
Take last night’s guest … polite young French girl, will pick up car from airport and arrive here at normal time, but her friend’s flight is later, so friend will get a taxi and arrive at midnight. Asks nicely if this will derange us (sorry, been speaking too much franglais) No, we won’t be deranged at all as she has a key and can let friend in. But best-laid plans … During the flight while checking her wallet she wonders where is her driving licence and realises it is … at home! So the friend is bringing it with her but now there is a whole complicated argument with the rental company as to whether they can pick up the car that night, and if they can’t there may not be another one available tomorrow … blah, blah, blah. The French girls don’t speak Spanish (or much English) and the Car Rental people only speak Spanish and some English, so I realise that the only person (muggins, as we say) who speaks both languages will have to go with French Girl 1 to the airport at midnight to sort it., (We’re only 20 minutes from the airport so not too bad.) Result: car sorted, French girls thanking me profusely and I get to bed even later than usual.
So I considered why I had done all this and realised it wasn’t because I’m a particularly virtuous person or want a glowing review (though they’d better leave at least 6 stars …) it was that I realised that if something like this had happened to my kids when they were younger and in a foreign country I’d have hoped someone would have helped them in this way.
I find it fascinating how different hosts’ views are on this - and I take it that both approaches probably have equal success!
This is often my reasoning too. And I tell people exactly what you said - if my kids were traveling I would hope that someone would do the same for them. I hear about strangers being kind and it warms my heart. I also want to be the sort of person that makes this world a better place to be.
Thanks for your story. It must have been frustrating, but now it’s behind you and you can sleep better knowing you’ve helped someone. Please let us know what she says in her review!
It’s a shame that hosting on Airbnb has led to such cynicism for some people.
I mean, this almost sounds like the guests are not paying for the service but staying free.
Thankfully not every host has had such a bad overall experience and isn’t forced by it to tar everyone with the same brush.
This sounds a bit more normal, or at least, much happier. As you’ve said in the later post @Malagachica, things go wrong, so some leeway helps.
For me it’s a combination of how earnest their request appears, how much more effort it might be to me, and other factors. Some guests appreciate and are profusely grateful, others are indifferent or worse. But I wouldn’t want the latter influence me instead of the former.
I recently checked in a guest at 1am. I didn’t have to; I allow self check-in which works perfectly fine, but he had apologized more than once in advance about the late arrival, didn’t expect me to be there, and I thought it’d be nicer to welcome him myself - I was going to be up anyways!
It was nice to see his profound gratitude when we met.
Good to hear that @CanadianHost, sadly, some host experiences seem to have made them forget this.
Believe me, I’ve had my fair share of bad experiences, too. But then I remind myself that MOST people seem to be grateful. For those that aren’t (as I tell my kids) “they have to live with themselves”. I’d rather live in my world than theirs if they cannot appreciate it when someone does something nice.
It’s not anything to me to do people favors, however I agree that it can come back to bite you. That’s happened to me. However, my impression is more that because as airbnb hosts we are usually working from home, and we don’t have a big corporate sign out front (think HOLIDAY INN, or MARRIOTT), people think they can get away with behavior that would never be acceptable for a company. An example for me is when there is a strict cancellation policy. I’ve read about guests who cancel at the last minute, which does not entitle them to a refund according to the host’s policy, and then proceed to totally trash the host with their feedback anyway. It’s sad. For late cancellations, hotels normally would not be able to refund any money, and often hotel booking websites (booking.com, travelocity.com) offer no refunds at all. So why is the lowly airbnb host any different?