Anyone else getting a rise in request from locals requesting so their visiting family can stay? It could be because we are moving into summer (the tourist season here), but I am getting a few of these a week. I tell them it is against AirBnB’s rules and they’ll have to stay here too. Everyone disappears after that (probably to instant book somewhere else), except one woman who agreed she’d stay here with her father. I doubt she really will because she lives in the neighborhood, but we’ll see!
I am also getting inquirys for my max 4 day room from folks asking me to host their next of kin for 1 or two months.
If it is from an ‘old’, it’s the wife looking to accommodate her husband for a few days (who can;t be bothered to set up an account or even talk), or from a Mom looking to find space for their college grad intern (who apparently also cannot be bothered with TOS).
The very first inquiry I ever got on ABB was a local person. Back then I was renting just the whole house (queen bed and bathroom upstairs, twin bed and bathro downstairs) Family was coming in from all parts of the world for a wedding. She wanted 2 of her nieces and her aunt who has mobility issues to stay here. I explained that her aunt would need to be the one actually making the reservation, and that the downstairs shower was not a walk in and would possibly present an issue for her aunt. Like an idiot, I jumped through all kinds of hoops for her—measuring the height of the bed, letting her come over to look at the place.
She wanted to know if I could provide a shower bench! Not only that, but since I’m a nurse, would I be willing to come over and help her aunt shower? Um NO!! She was perturbed at my unwillingness. I recommended local hotels, aide agencies and private aides to assist her aunt (I’m a home health nurse so I have all that info). So I chalked it up to live and learn.
I quickly got some bookings and excellent ratings, so I raised my prices. One day, the woman showed up at my house UNANNOUNCED and UNINVITED, saying her aunt signed up on ABB and was going to book my home but the price was now much higher than when they originally looked, and would I drop the price since they were going to have to buy a shower bench and hire an aide to help the aunt shower?
OH MY GOsH… Just SO many issues with that scenario! I’m normally a very kind, calm, helpful person but I told the woman to leave my home immediately, to NEVER show up again, and I would never consider renting to anyone related to her.
Wow! That’s really, um, wow. I just don’t understand where some people get their nerve. Help her shower?
I’m a nurse, so she just figured I’d be able to assist. Admittedly, older disabled naked bodies are no big deal to me, but yeah, this woman was the most obnoxious person I’ve ever met!
How did they know you were a nurse?
Had my nametag on when she came to look at the place as I had just got home from work.
As far as local bookings, we have had a number of people from the M.E. who are not allowed to drink publicly or around family, so they will book for a night, each have a single can of beer, watch a television show and leave.
Oh yeah…she was going to rent my house for her elderly disabled aunt, and two nieces (this aunt was not the mother of the nieces) and yeah…she offered me 20 whole dollars to come over and help her aunt into and out of shower. I reminded her that I’m an RN, not an aide. (Not that I won’t and don’t perform personal care on patients, of course I do, but ya know…I do when on the clock!) She was so just so snooty. The home she has locally is one of her 4 vacation homes (she told me repeatedly). At one point I told her to just buy another place here for such events and relative overflow
What??? That is crazeeeeeee!!! Of course you have learned your lesson and you will never ever allow someone to see the place before booking again. Right?!! The nerve, and then to take you to task because you had the audacity to raise your prices.
I must say some of the stories I read here on this forum are just the humdingers to beat them all.
I also get lots of requests like that, mostly expats living her who are visited by their families. (I am in Dubai.)
When I explain that the guest booking also has to stay, some of them get cheeky or try to “convice” me (like “it’s no big deal” ,“they’re nice people”, “why don’t you trust me” etc), but most of them never write back any more.
We just accepted a booking for 3 Cubans entrepreneurs who are pitching their Start Up here in Silicon Valley this week. One of their advisors booked our place bc the Cubans could not set up their own account or had a credit card or something of that sort. He sent a very long detailed email about the 3 entrepreneurs, with their full names, etc. I felt comfortable with the arrangement, so we accepted.
This has happened before with movie/music stars that have had assistants, management companies book for them, we have never had an issue
The problem I have with 3rd-party bookings is that they don’t have access to the “house manual.” I keep a printout on site, but it’s a bit out of date. And if I can’t communicate directly with the guest (via airbnb), I usually cannot get them the access code for the key locker. I no longer accept 3rd-party bookings, even though the guests have always been OK.
I’ve also had more inquiries from people who live locally booking for relatives coming to visit. At first I was completely freaked out, as the very few bad experiences that I’ve had with guests has been when I went against my gut and allowed someone local to book. I tell the locals that we’d be very happy to welcome their relatives but they must book themselves in order for us to ensure that the person booking is the one that we can communicate with directly. The last inquiry asked if they could come over and “inspect” the house and I told him that would not be possible. He could look at the pictures taken by the official photographer, he could see my 1000+ reviews and he could take a leap of faith. In other words - GFY. Guess what, in one hour I had the relative from Chile booking directly and everything was great. So my husband and I are now thinking that maybe this is a niche that we can tap into (locals booking for visiting family), and in each case I’ll be firm like a school mistress, and they can book or not. At some point we also have to take a leap of faith exposing ourselves to our neighborhood and hoping that it means that they start to see us as a business like any other.
The flip side is that exposure means crazy loons with disabled aunties will come locking at the door. Maybe I’ll quote a double rate if they knock on the door
I also frequently put a status update on my FB account, my personal one. I say something like this “Hey Realtor Friends, don’t forget my place is available for rent if you have clients coming in from out of town, or in between closings! I am much more reasonably priced than a hotel, and your clients will think you are just the bomb for being so clever!” Admittedly, it’s NEVER once gotten me a booking. However, this weekends guests are coming up from Connecticut to meet with their realtor for the first time as they start the house hunting process.
What’s the m.e ?
Post mustbbe 20 characters
Really? All that just for a beer? I guess it’s better for you that they’re not party animals.
Isn’t it against airbnb TOS / invaildates your air insurance if you host a person that didn’t actually book??
Just a side note on elderly, some assisted living centers have rooms they will rent that includes care. Like if you want to leave grandma and take a trip knowing she’ll be safe. It is too bad you were taken advantage of like that.
@Charlie, I didn’t rent to them, but it was just not a great start to my ABB experience