Sure, Sandy - it was interesting writing it as it gave me time to reflect back over the summer and how interesting it was. I never anticipated having such a flood of first time airbnbers … I finally just stopped thinking about it.
You should be able to find the (unreviewed guest or host) on facebook or just google him/her and get an idea.
I joined airbnb in 2012 and never used it until 2015. I joined to search for some rooms but didn’t find one that worked for us.
My first guest that booked with me had no photo, no profile write up, not reviews or ID checked. Upon request he added a photo, etc. He was a young French kid traveling with two girls. I thought I was crazy for booking him.
But he was an exceptional guest - when one of the girls had a little accident he came and told me right away so I could get the linens in the wash - what a gentleman - was kind and thoughtful with his friends - stripped the beds and took out the trash before leaving. Left with metro smart cards by mistake and put them in the mail to me with a little note of thanks.
I know, I got very lucky.
Had another guest - in her photo she looked creepy!! And conversation wasn’t all that easy - but she and her family were gems and when we travel to Philly in February we’ll stop and have coffee with them.
Again, very lucky.
A group of 4 young Swedish guys with no reviews or experience. I expected them to come home loud and rowdy. They were incredibly polite. They left me a nice tip and were totally a pleasure to have. They even left a google watch in the sheets - unfortunately they wanted that back. ; )
Another group - guy who booked the room was one of my first experienced, well-reviewed guests and a good communicator. Then he showed up early unannounced (I work several jobs, have three kids, time is important to me, we are not often home in the evening so he got lucky). When his friends arrived around midnight (expected and normal because of traffic from NYC, no problem) they were loud and disruptive and obviously made no attempt to use ‘inside voices’. (I never ever hear guests from their quarters). Then they left beer bottles and trash all around. They were VERY VERY loud at breakfast. My family couldn’t hear itself think. (And nothing is as loud as a foreign language-loud!!!).
My first arrival was an airbnb host from France with lots of reviews and an experienced guest. He kept communicating with me all day and dragging me along until the absolute last minute before actually booking. It was very stressful. I didn’t know until 7 or so that evening that they were actually coming in - and because they planned poorly they arrived after the buses stopped. I was happy to pick them up at metro anyway, especially as they had a baby, but had to scramble to find a baby seat - without even knowing if they were actually going to come. (I’d handle that differently now)
So…I just don’t know what to think… A huge percentage of my guests have been new users. And have been great. I wish there was an easier way to know.
But at the end of the day, sharing you home with strangers is RISKY. That’s why people haven’t done it in the past. Open your door to someone walking down the street? Are they clean? Dirty? Well dressed? Speak English well? Talk haltingly with an accent? None of those things are going to tell you what will happen after they walk into your home.
I know my day will come when we’ll have much worse guests than students being raucous and loud and leaving trash around.
Until then, my family is having a blast meeting all these new people, and now we have connections with people all over Europe, Asia, and Australia.