I am a new host and my listing is for a large private house with a pool and spa. I was (past tense) using Smart Pricing and to my dismay, I got a booking for 5 nights on a prime weekend (graduation & weddings) in June for a group of 4 adults and two infants. (My rules are that over 4 overnight guests are charged $25 each additional).
Smart Pricing set the booking at $130 per night and that is far below what I think is fair market value for that weekend, although a 5-day booking is kind of nice.
The guest (seems like a middle aged adult, coming with her parents and two grandbabies) said she is coming for a graduation and a wedding “I have a lot of family in that area that will drop by to visit and probably have some meals together”.
I sent her a message reminding her of the house rules that anyone visiting after 11pm is considered an overnight guest. She misinterpreted and thought I was saying that she cannot have more than four guests over at a time, and this is an issue for her. She said that if I am concerned, can I please refund her money and she will book elsewhere.
I do not state how many visitors a guest can have over. While my house is an excellent place for entertaining and there is plenty of room, I do have a no events/ parties policy. I do not want her to have a party here.
a.) Tell her that she can not have more more than 12 visitors at a time and then update my house rules (overnight is a maximum of 8)
b.) go ahead and ask her to cancel (then I can adjust pricing to a more reasonable amount too)
c.) something else
If you can get her to cancel, do so ASAP. You have to be careful to not appear too eager and/or unkind in any way. You can’t change the rules retroactively but you can enforce the ones you had in place. So be kind but firm in insisting on your rules. You may even be able to have a penalty free cancellation based on being uncomfortable with the guest not following the rules. Also, as you learned, turn off Smart Pricing ASAP. Then read, read, read all you can of this forum. We’ve been advising against SP forever.
Please do come back and update us.
Unrelated to your question, I have a question for you:
Are you at all concerned about allowing infants/children with a pool/spa available? Does your insurance require some sort of special rider or waiver for their safety?
Remove the smart pricing.
Remember wear and tear, its your property and you can limit the amount of guests permitted on the property. I have 2 rooms listed on airbnb, and people often don’t respect our homes. I have had to deal with chucks out of the walls, broken blinds, destroyed sheets, cracked tiles and chips from the wooden floor. I have to retouch the walls almost monthly with paint. One couple in their 50’s managed to take 3 lumps out of the floor, I clean the floor before them so I knew it was them. Just be mindful that guests and their guests can add to your maintenance bill.
I would suggest you cancel
If you had set your minimum at over that price then surely it was the fault of the Airbnb system. Did you contact them?
Yes this is somewhat of a concern. However, guests must agree to the house rules which have a waiver about the pool/spa. My insurance also covers use of the pool. I’m new at this, so we’ll see how it goes this summer.
I had my minimum price set low. I was just surprised that AirBnb chose my lowest rate for the higher season/ weekend. I turned off Smart Pricing, as it doesn’t seem very smart to me.
I canceled the booking because the guests intended use would violate the house rules. I’ve updated my pricing and will make sure to be firm about the visitors.
Yay. Welcome to the forum. It looks like you’ve been here awhile, I don’t recall your previous posts, if any.
have her cancel and then raise the prices
Are you aware of the cancellation penalties?
Yes, apparently I won’t be penalized for canceling because it was an Instant Book.
Thanks for letting us know.
Re the pool, with apologies as I know you didn’t ask this! A local rental villa to us had a near-fatal drowning accident with a child last year, which has confirmed my decision not to accept children. I know that no amount of insurance or non-acceptance of liability would compensate me if this happened on a property belonging to me.
It doesn’t make too much difference to us as we have mostly couples, but a friend of mine who has a villa now has guests who are bringing children sign a statement saying that the children are competent swimmers. I think this is quite a good idea for all hosts who have a pool, particularly if, like ours, it isn’t fenced.
That is a great idea. I’m honestly just not sure about what to do. I grew up going in the pool in this house. It’s a great amenity. Besides that, I would feel absolutely horrible if a child drowned in the pool—regardless of my liability financially. I feel like I have all the appropriate things in place regarding legal liability, and a safety lock on the door to the patio. I also want families with children to enjoy my place. That is my target guest. I haven’t had the AirBnB open during pool season yet. I guess I’ll see how it goes—but I like the idea of only allowing guests with competent swimmers too. Hmmm…
This is a booking that I would not honor and would immediately cancel. Not only is the guest disrespecting your posted house rules of Max 8 people, but is also “informing” you that they will have additional people over for dinner. Sounds like an absolute nightmare and very entitled. Good call to not have them stay.
We once had a family sneak in five extra people into a two bedroom apartment. They broke two pieces of furniture, brought ants to our house from all the garbage, removed bin liners and then put dirty diapers into bare bins, did NOT pay for the extra guests when sent the alteration, and then left us a negative review. My point is: people who feel entitled to take liberties with your property, likely will.
Good call to cancel them.