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Quality of guests has deteriorated since Covid

Our property is in Los Angeles. We used to get very high quality guests but since May we have been getting guests who trash the unit, smoke in the unit, steal linen, tell us they are one guest then bring in 5-8, all kinds of problems we never had before Covid. Has anyone else experienced this? We are going to quit after the next few bookings. It’s just not worth the extra cleaning fees. At least with long term we can screen them. Just curious if this is because we’re in a large city and getting guests who are making reckless decisions to travel during a pandemic and if rural properties are getting high quality guests who can work from home.

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Hello @mapuche

Sorry to hear about your experience.

What measurements have you put in place to vet your guests before accepting the booking?

Do you only accept guests with photo ID?
Do you have CCTV?

If your guests book for one but your listing can accommodate four or five do you query with the guest as to why they are booking a place larger than they need?

If you use IB set it so you only accept guests with previous reviews.

What did you do when you had these problem guests. Did you ask Airbnb to cancel the booking of the guest who booked for one but brought more for example? Did you send a request for the cost of the missing linens to the guests who stole them?

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I host cabins in the mountains and my guests are great, many do work from the cabin when they are up.

I do not vet guests, I have no requirements set on AirBnb all they need is a pulse and a valid credit card.

RR

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My guests so far have been different but not problems. Historically my guests were mostly Budget conscious middle-age couples Or small families. Also they usually drive to destination with rare guest flying in.

This year 80% of my guests have been 20-somethings couples with a surprising number flying.

They’ve required more guidance and hand-holding but it’s been overall good.

As I chatted with a guest who was running late for check-in due to stormy weather, I said, “please travel carefully-better you be late than “the late J”. oh dear I sound like your mother”. He laughed told me he had already gotten the drive carefully speech and promised he would. Lovely couple. Polite. Great guests. I’ve been fortunate this year

Btw. Ring doorbell best thing ever to deter extra guests.

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Last year was my first year hosting but my guests this year have been mostly great. I have raised my prices and upped my minimum number of nights (usually to 4 or 5 with a couple of 3s thrown in there to fill gaps).
I think it might have to do with the extra communication I’ve done. Maine has a quarantine-or-test requirement for most states so once they make it through that gauntlet I’ve ended up with some good people. I have had a lot who inquired but did not book and several who booked but then cancelled because they did not want to (or could not) get tested. Between all that I’ve had extensive back-and-forth conversations with all of my guests. So far this season I have had all my guests review me and all give 5 stars.

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My few guests have been fine, and the same. I am getting more odd and scam requests but it’s my job to manage my listing, so I do it. I live here and it’s a small listing so multiple people can’t fit and they’d have to go in their door in the front past the cameras and one of my windows. I had a family request for 5 people, 4 dogs which was laughably insane in a 20x11 room. But I just said no.

I don’t think you have to stop hosting you just have to start managing the rental differently and proactively. There is lots of great advice here on the forum. Welcome!

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Guest type has changed dramatically, as I’m blocked on platforms through September (and may continue blocking).
To my surprise I’ve gotten an odd trickle of guests booked through different avenues – prior guests who were smart enough to note the direct book info in the room, a contractor of mine who is moving and between houses, and a traveling lefty pundit who needs 3 days a week for a month, the connection being one of my friends follows them on Twitter, saw they were looking for housing, and texted me.
The prior guests were parents of the groom coming for the wedding, and they hosted a brunch for the couple and their future in-laws in my backyard. It was a happy thing to provide them a safe space when restaurants weren’t available.
I am fortunate that STR is not a major source of income. I am enjoying this serendipitous word-of-mouth hosting and might just continue down this path.

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I have had great guests. I upped my nightly fee and stopped charging a separate cleaning fee. I also eliminated one night stays. Summer is usually my slowest time of year, because we are not kid friendly. This summer has been booked every weekend and it looks like that’s the trend into fall.

I’m finding that people aren’t balking at the higher rates and there is stiff competition for available rentals. For a mid-July weekend stay I had two people messaging w/ questions and a third person booked - all w/i 30 minutes. I’ve had a number of guests add a day after they arrive and for those booking two night stays, I’ve been sending an offer for a third night at a deeply discounted rate.

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I’ve only read about there being an increase in younger (20-something) local renters booking whole-place listings for parties in big cities. It’s due to bars and restaurants being closed and general restrictions on gatherings.

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jealous…

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I have no doubt that there are hosts welcoming them with open arms.

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We haven’t had those restrictions in more than a month in my area. Most of my guests are younger but, as has been my experience with the youngest guests, they are awesome. All have asked for things to do that are outside. More than one couple has actually used the picnic blanket that we provide in the unit!

So far, we are having great guests who seem to be approaching their travel as responsibly as possible. All have had a reason to visit: family, thinking of moving here, on their way elsewhere for work, etc. No decline in quality for us. Our rates are higher and the cleaning fee is higher than usual for us and we are booking up nicely. Not sure how long it will last though with how dynamic Covid is - actually got a cancellation yesterday.

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Because of COVID, all my guests have been local and maybe some few hours drive away. These local guests usually invite their local families/friends and break the max guests house rules. I do not prefer local guests but at least my calendar is not empty. I’m longing for out-of-town guests to arrive like they used to.

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You are either very lucky or Some of us are not!

Don’t let him fool you :wink: He’s had some guest issues. I don’t think anyone on here hasn’t.

Alternately, I vet all of my guests (I am outright sleuthy about it) as I live in my building and am a bit picky about the heads in my beds and I am always booked as much as I want to be. Everyone is different and everyone’s situation is different and you have to do what works for you.

I have done the same. I’ve hosted more quests than past years and they have all been respectful and good, except for my last guest…

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That stinks. My guests were always a mixed bag. I’d have the best guests ever, then I’d have lying cheats who will try to sneak in additional people and kids, and abuse whatever they could. You never know what to expect. I’d imagine you’re just getting your share of crappy guests. It’s about 50/50 if you’re lucky, probably more like 70% crap, 30 good.

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You keep making these sorts of statements as if they are some universal truth, when what they are is your own personal experience, and perhaps even a result of your attitude and how you personally run your business.

I’ve had 95% wonderful guests.

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I have had many more guests who have zero reviews. Most have been fine but I have had a couple of partiers. One young woman tried to tell me she was there with her parents, but the beer bong and excessive alcohol bottles in the trash gave her away. (Plus, she didn’t follow any of the check out instructions and left a mess). Almost all guests are traveling within my state (CA). I am also finding that I need to do lots more upfront communication about house rules and such. It is worth the effort.

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I’ve had an increase in business and no issues with the caliber of guests, nor problems with them. Summer in Phoenix is far from ideal but there are many who are looking for a relaxing escape despite the heat. Most are avoiding hotels, several have been “Work from Home’ nomads escaping NYC. I’ve raised my prices and they still keep booking.

If possible:

  • raise your prices
  • vet your guests.
  • add house rules with monetary damages. *

*whether you can collect is less of the issue, but rather the potential deterrence of those who might be looking to break rules, might push them to look elsewhere.

Phoenix is the 5th largest city in the US (Los Angeles being #2) so it is less of the metro aspect and probably more about being able to have some space to relax / escape without having to interact with other people. My listing is geared towards couples and has a private pool. My competition has always been resort hotels nearby but my airbnb now seems preferable over those hotels (because of their public mask wearing requirements)

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