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Old poster, returning to host


#43

Could you add to your welcome message something like “Thanks for booking my place. I want to make sure you noticed that we have an obnoxious parrot. If it was my mother in law we would have put it in a home by now but no, we tolerate yelling, shitting everywhere, tearing up all our woodwork and throwing food because…well, because it’s not our mother in law. I understand if you want to cancel.”


#44

Hah! I’ve gotten all of these things under control except the yelling. We have a few pet birds because we used to volunteer with a rescue. They used to do as they pleased, but I trained them so no more roaming the house and chewing/pooping as they go. They’re thankfully pretty quiet except for some whistling and chirruping (reasonable). Even my husband’s parrot is a fat little feathered angel until he comes home, then she screams so he’ll dote upon her. I could tell you about how that parrot sent us to marriage counseling and animal behaviorists, but that would probably be a post for a different type of message board than this one.


#45

Sounds like a Cockatoo but I’m no parrot expert.

To be serious a second, very few people have any experience with parrots so oversharing into with prospective guests may help. Under-promise and over-deliver.


#46

You’d think! I can’t stand cockatoos and I’m a bird lover. The parrot is a small amazon with a huge voice. I do say in my listing three different places that the potential for noise includes a squawking parrot (though thankfully never at night), but I may revise my welcome-message to emphasize this as well. Especially since I use Instant book!

I just refreshed my dashboard, and my percentage of 5-star reviews dropped from 84% to 81%. I know Superhost doesn’t really mean anything, but it is kind of stressful being this close to the fine line.


#47

I have bad news (or good news if you just don’t like being close to the line):

The standard for Superhost increased. It’s now over 4.8 star average.


#48

Ah, the 80% 5-star review standard is gone? I guess that means we aren’t hurt equally if we get a 1-star or a 4-star review in terms of Superhost. I had been under the impression you now needed both a 4.8 average and 80% 5-star reviews, but they must have just swapped one for the other.

When I filter out my reviews, I have:
52 5-star
10 4-star
2 3-star

Today dropped me from a 4.9 to a 4.8 average. I am right on the line.

Congrats on a 5-star average! That is really amazing.


#49

You may remember me telling the story of renters directly next door who had a parrot. This thing was LOUD (measured at 90 decibels) and would wolf whistle almost non stop during its waking hours and in response to hearing me do something next door such as converse with guests, yes, wolf whistle, as in the type women hear when walking by a construction site. I tried everything to work with the neighbors to do something about it and they just ignored me.

I never saw the little monster thinking it was something huge, when one day I noticed it was an Amazon. So yes, I can vouch… they are LOUD.

No guest ever complained but they had every right to. Fortunately the people moved out but not after I had to report them to the HOA which then fined the owner. I did cartwheels Down the street when I heard they were moving.


#50

Parrots are terrible pets! They are wild animals who squawk at their buddies across the forest or across your home. The rescues I volunteer with are overflowing with unwanted parrots and turn people away every day wanting to place their birds. Fortunately I trained my rescued birds to be quiet and well-behaved when out of the cage, but I need a trainer for my husband because the Amazon screams at him for attention when he’s home. I would like to re-home the bird but he’s reluctant to give up his precious little perch potato.


#51

I would have almost been okay with regular bird sounds but someone taught this thing to wolf whistle!


#52

My neighbors across and down two houses no longer have their parrot or parrots. I also haven’t seen or heard their dog in a long time. I’m not optimistic about what happened to any of these animals but I’m quite thankful they are gone.


#53

At best those birds went to a new home, but even then birds are rehomed every five years or less. They might live in 10+ homes during their 50-year lifespan. That is part of my hesitation about rehoming some of my birds (and unfortunately the rescue community is judgmental if you give a bird up because you had a baby).

My other birds to make “bird sounds” throughout the day, such as whistling and chirruping and mimicking electronic beeps, but thankfully don’t scream. They’re rather pleasant company if they don’t escape their cage and go on a chewing spree. I have to vacuum and then run the Roomba everyday though!


#54

I had friends in Indiana that I used to spend significant time with each year. At peak they had 17 parrots: African greys, several varieties of Macaw and Cockatoos, Amazons, a conure and an Eclectus. . Most were “rescues” that they got from people re-homing them. Even though they considered themselves to be “rescuing” them more than one died in their care due to them making one mistake or another. Anyway, I learned a lot about parrots and even went to care for them once so my friends could go on a vacation. I would never have a pet parrot.


#55

I would love a pet parrot! I would consider re-homing Mr Joan if he objected. But the cats, no.


#56

Things have been going well this summer!

I only had two bookings for July despite most of the other hosts in July being all booked up, so I got some advice from Seattle hosts on our local Facebook group. I replaced some of the old furniture and got some new decorative items and took new photos. The new pictures made a huge difference. Ironically they replaced the ones taken by the AirBnB photographer back when Air offered such a service.

I learned that the conversion rate (percentage who view your listing after viewing) is a big determinant in your rankings so I improved mine from .07% to 2.1%. I’m hoping this will set me up to get fall bookings when tourism slows down; my search rankings have improved greatly when I search for listings in Incognito.

I’ve only had one 4-star review since the pair of critical reviews I posted about in May, and these guests didn’t say anything negative in the written review. Guests have mentioned the noise overhead but clarified it was as advertised and I provide earplugs and still left 5-star reviews. I like this kind of review since some guests won’t read my listing but will read reviews when booking.

I’ve had three groups of guests in a row who seemed newer to AirBnB and were unresponsive to my efforts to engage them and manage their expectations. None of them have reviewed me yet (knock on wood) but my intuition tells me they had unrealistic expectations.

The guest who left today seemed especially unhappy. She didn’t seem to understand the basics of AirBnB like where to find my address in the app or how to read the house manual in the app (or the physical copy in the apartment). This is the guest that asked for drinking glasses, which isn’t a red flag in itself but just gave me a feeling she was particular since she didn’t want to drink out of the mugs and stainless steel cups. She probably didn’t like that my family drinks out of reused mason jars! This guest broke the bed frame and didn’t say anything, so I think she’ll either not review me because she’s afraid I’ll be mad, or slam me for the bed breaking on her. I was able to repair the bed frame myself so it wasn’t a big deal. Anyhow, I am not going to review her unless she reviews me because I don’t want to prompt her to review me. I’ve tried waiting to the last hour to review guests a few times and screwed up the timing.


#57

And, she just reviewed me! My dilemma: do I review now so I can see what she wrote? Or wait a week until I have a few more recent positive reviews? I hate the suspense of the lingering unknown review.

At least my last review raved about the comfortable bed!


#58

You review now if you think she is traveling and booking more Airbnbs so you can warn fellow hosts. If she is headed home now, wait for more reviews to come in.


#59

I decided to hold off until the last day of the review window. I got a second review from a recent guest who was non-responsive to my messages, which makes me worry that she was unhappy. This review will go live on Monday, when it has been two weeks. I’ve hosted three happy groups since and promptly reviewed them, but none have reciprocated yet. I was counting on getting some recent positive reviews so the two most recent reviews on my listing wouldn’t be negative when the two-week window is up.


#60

Whilst taking into account that people may be, or are travelling, I’ve noticed in the past few weeks that guests are leaving fewer reviews. This seems to correlate to the 100+++ pages a guest is supposed to complete to review hosts. I’ve also had a few recently where the guest leaves a public review but no private feedback. Is the private feedback where the acres of +++ pages come into play?


#61

It could be guests are leaving few reviews, especially after all of the questions they’re supposed to answer. I hope I don’t drop below the 50% review rate because I am a super host.

Fortunately I got a 5-star glowing review from the guest who left today. Out of the last 4 happy guests, only 1 left a review, despite me leaving them prompt reviews. Before them, the previous 3 guests seemed unhappy, unresponsive, or clueless as to how AirBnB worked. 2 of them left me reviews without prompting from me.

The clueless lady who didn’t review me was the one who asked if I had exercise equipment!


#62

After three happy guests didn’t review me, I finally got a glowing review to top off my listing! So I went back and reviewed my two iffy guests who’d already left me reviews.

Both left 4-star reviews.

Guest #1 left positive public feedback, including that the place was affordable. However, she dinged me on value and wrote private feedback that it was too expensive. She paid $180 a night for a 1-BR apartment that sleeps four on one of the biggest weekends of the year. Most other places that slept four were going for $400 a night that weekend. She also left me a 4-star cleanliness review but wrote “very clean” as the private feedback. Perhaps she meant “not very clean”? She clicked “overall cleanliness” as something to improve on that new “compliments” feature that shows up on the app.

Guest #2 left neutral but slightly inaccurate public feedback. She wrote, “For the money a very convenient space. The bed is only a double and short.” Privately, she wrote, “Thank you. You were very honest in your description of the premise and I believe it is a very good for the money. However, you must do something about the bed. It is not very comfortable and very short. I’m 5’9 and my feet hung off the bed. If you could upgrade the bed and be as honest as you were then I would have given you a five.”

I don’t usually write public responses, but I’m considering neutrally noting the dimensions of the bed in my reply. I only have once so far. A guest in June left a positive review and one of her compliments was that I was 1/4 of a mile from a famous park. I offered a friendly reply pointing out a shortcut to this part that makes it only 2 blocks away.

I’m considering replying to the bed review with something like, “The bed is a standard double/full, which is 135 cm wide and 190 cm long.”

It says twice on my listing that the bed is a double!

I need to buy a bed for my guest personal guest room, so I was thinking of getting a queen for the AirBnB and moving the AirBnB double to my personal guest room. This might seem silly, but I worry with a queen I’ll have a hard-time telling the sheets apart from the double sheets that go on the sofa bed. I like that everything is interchangeable right now.

I’m definitely not planning on going out and buying a new bed because of one guest; I’d been thinking of upgrading the bed as I’ve made my listing nicer than what I initially offered when I opened 3 years ago. However, I wonder if a bigger bed would attract fussier guests. I think some picky people self-select away from my listing because they don’t want to sleep in a double bed.


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