Suggestions on guest review?

The day before departure, guest asked for late checkout or alternatively luggage storage. I don’t have luggage storage, so I extended an hour as requested.

20 minutes before the new check out time, guest asked for an additional hour to leave luggage. I offered open-door garage storage at the back of the lot, telling the guest I would be present in the main house for the hour, but would not be responsible for loss or damage. I provided contact info for a luggage storage service as another option.

15 minutes later, guest tried again, asking if they could just leave the luggage inside the unit by the door. I replied that was not possible. Guest used the garage option with thanks.

Do I even mention this in the review?

1 Like

This should be the only option you offer when a guest asks for luggage storage.

1 Like

I would give him/her a 3 for not following instructions/house rules and I don’t think I would mention the luggage situation but would mention the request for late check out since many hosts do same day turns and that would impact the time they have to clean.

2 Likes

I don’t see any reason to mention any of it in the review. The guest, while possibly annoying for asking more than once, didn’t do anything other than ask for what they wanted. It’s not as if they ignored your responses and snuck their luggage into the unit or anything weird like that. They didn’t even not-follow-instructions.

All I see is that they tried to negotiate with you by asking more than once/asking about an alternate agreement. They probably saw it as getting clarification or even “it can’t hurt to ask”. It really shouldn’t hurt for them to ask. And if they hadn’t asked but left a review saying that you didn’t provide any type of luggage storage then you’d likely be saying that you wished they had at least asked.

TBF, I can see why it may have been annoying. I tend to get annoyed with guests who ask me for something I either don’t want to provide or am unable to provide (but I think it’s a me problem not a them problem). We do afterall encourage them to reach out to us and ask things of us.

4 Likes

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a guest asking for something, even if it’s something you don’t normally provide and wouldn’t consider it annoying unless it directly contravenes stated rules.

But I do think there is something wrong with a guest asking again, when they have already been told no, which is what this guest did. The host said they couldn’t leave their luggage in the house, but could leave it in the garage.
Instead of accepting this, the guest asked again to leave it in the house. To me, that crosses the line from annoying to rude.

5 Likes

Thanks, I guessed there might be a variety of reactions.

I have had past experiences with guests who are in a bind trying, with puppy dog eyes, to make their failure to plan my problem. But I don’t have a read on these guests – maybe they were just negotiating and giving it a try, maybe circumstances changed their plans at the last minute.

They left the place in a bit of a state – things not returned to their place, towels everywhere, dirty dishes (and I noticed their past reviews were a little meh) – but my check-out list is minimal and they met requirements. I can’t ding one set of guests just because the majority of my guests go above and beyond on tidiness. My business response should be consistent regardless of the state of my annoyance-o-meter. Being a host does tell you a bit about yourself. :slightly_smiling_face:

Draft review:
“[Guest]'s communications were polite and friendly, and they followed house rules. We were happy to host them on their first visit to the area. They requested to store luggage on check out day, which we don’t provide, but we were able to help with a solution.”

That should alert other hosts. I’ll be adding “no luggage storage available” to my listing.

3 Likes

A bit off-topic, but I don’t think that just because a host’s check-out list is minimal (and I have no check-out “chores” at all) , that leaving the place “in a state” is okay. It definitely deserves a lower cleanliness rating, IMO. That you say this guest’s past reviews were “meh” sort of indicates that they show this sort of disrespect everywhere.

Everything doesn’t have to be stated in order to be expected. After all, I doubt any hosts have a rule stating “Don’t carve your initials in the coffee table”, but we’d certainly be rightly upset and charge them for damages if they did.

3 Likes

@dpfromva I struggle with how to review certain guests so I appreciate your inquiry. I’m in the same situation as you: minimal check-out asks and most guests leave the house even better than I would expect, so when someone falls short, it’s hard to know if that’s worth mentioning in the review.

For what it’s worth, I think your draft review is good and factual but I don’t know if the last sentence was really necessary for other hosts. But it was annoying of them and probably stressful for you.

I struggle with this all the time, i cuss and WTF were they thinking! and jeeez who raised these people. All as I am cleaning, then I move on.

RR

4 Likes

I had a guest smashing furniture and fighting with his father, and airbnb support asked me “Do you have a house rule saying no smashing or fighting?”
Seriously, this happens continually and after eight years of hosting my attitude has hardened.
Guests are getting worse, not better. People were mostly respectful until a few years ago.
Unfortunately even the seniors are horrific with mess and moving furniture. There is no hope for humankind.

Asking if you have a rule against smashing and fighting is insane.

I’m sorry you find you get bad guests, but that isn’t my experience. I closed my homeshare for almost 2 years during the height of Covid and kept reading about how guest behavior had gotten so bad after Covid, but I continue to get lovely guests who I can honestly rate 5*.

2 Likes

I’m really quite horrified about the idea of guests breaking up furniture and fights breaking out.

Like @muddy, I’ve never had guests who have been so disrespectful and yet I’ve been in the hospitality business for many years.

Furthermore, I’ve found no difference between guests nowadays, guests in the 1980s and all the years in between. Although this world has many problems, I do have plenty of hope for mankind.

I tend to believe that if I was repeatedly having the same problems - problems that other hosts never have - then I’d be wondering about my own hosting style and my own approach.

I hope that my comments, and @muddy’s above, will show new or potential hosts that hosting isn’t about fights and damage for the majority of us. This is a great business when run properly.

3 Likes

[quote=“jaquo, post:12, topic:61010”] I
tend to believe that if I was repeatedly having the same problems - problems that other hosts never have - then I’d be wondering about my own hosting style and my own approach.
[/quote]

I hate to blame the victim, but I’ve always thought much the same. I read hosts saying thing like how they’ve only ever had to make about 3 damage claims a year, as if that’s just normal, or that they continue to get partiers, or guests sneaking in others, etc. when many hosts have never had such things happen nor ever had to file a damage claim in years of hosting.

I suppose there are some areas where hosts tend to get more bad guests, but in most cases I feel it has to do with the nature of the listing, the vetting of guests, whether the host lives nearby and pays attention to what is going on, or at least has a co-host who does, and how they advertise the listing.

I see so many whole house listings that don’t target any specific demographic, just try to appeal to anyone and everyone, and their ad just reads like a real estate listing, extolling all the virtues and none of the warts. And many that think reiterating how the guests will have “total privacy” is a good idea, when I imagine that is exactly the sort of wording that guests with nefarious intent look for.

2 Likes

For me the issue here is guest needs/wants vs host needs/wants and how these are negotiated. Whoever wrote that ‘the guest is renting a room not the host’s time’ needs a medal IMO. Your guest has tried to re-negotiate again after being advised of options and given an extension of check out time.
I am trying to discourage these flaky arrangements in my in home hosting, admittedly without much success so far. In spite of how clear I am they just push the envelope. eg a few days ago a guest was offered a bag drop on condition that host was notified the day previously.
Time for bag drop was agreed and I sent the guest the train schedule with the arrival times shown at my station. Guest would have easily been able to see from the schedule what time she was arriving after getting on the train. Lo and behold the guest turned up before the time, came to the house but I did not know that as I was occupied with other tasks and its a large property. She sent a message to say that she was here. I didnt read the message till later. How hard is it these days to plan and turn up or leave at an agreed time?

Only once we had a guest book and showed up 15 minutes after the booking confirmation. I guess it ‘just happens’ - it’s not the usual experience and the vast majority of guests have the common sense and courtesy to inform us a day before or on the day of arrival by what time they expect to check-in.

We do ask the guest to inform us a day prior to arrival in our automated messages, so they ‘should’ have the awareness that it’s something they ‘should’ do. If we don’t hear back from them a couple hours before check-in time starts I will reach out to them to inquire. In very rare instances the guests claim to not have had a signal on their phones in order to keep us up to date and they are apologetic about it.

On a side note, we also experience the opposite (rarely as well) where guests tell us weeks in advance what time they will be there, keep us posted from the day before arrival and even confirm the time multiple times on check-in day (getting on the plane/train, stuck in traffic, walking from the station etc.).

I ask my guests about 5 days- week before their check-in ( I don’t take last minute bookings and most of my guests book several weeks in advance) for their ETA, when asking how they are arriving (bus, car, etc), so I can send them info on where to catch the bus, if relevant.

They’ve all been good about giving their ETA, letting me know if their flight gets delayed, etc.

I personally would not have a problem with the questions the guest asked. It is not a personal relationship. You are running a business and it is an inconvenience where guests ask questions but it is part of business. The guest probably saw the repeated requests as different questions.
On the issue of the condition the guests left the property. If you gave the guests a free extra hour it is not unreasonable to expect they would have time to leave the property in at least average condition of tidy rather than worse, so they should be rate accurately on the level of mess without relating it to the extra hour, even if you mention it elsewhere.
On the issue of luggage storage this is where you determine your individual business model, despite Airbnb trying to dictate everything. Ours is our family holiday house we have owned for 50 years. It is 350 km from where we live. Our extended family is 10 when we are all there together and we let for up to 9 guests, but try and price in the off-season so it is competitive for 4 to 6 guests and reasonable value for 2 persons who are prepared to pay a bit extra because they do not want to stay in a motel. Our business model is not to pretend we are a hotel or serviced apartment but it let in the traditional holiday houser model. We do not provide linen. There is no commercial laundry service any more. If we did provide linen we would have to supply for all 8 beds and that would price us out of the market for less than 8 guests in the off-season. We engage a local cleaner and pay someone to act as caretaker but keep their duties to the essential because labour cost is high. Spring cleaning and minor maintenance we do ourselves on our regular stays. We have higher occupancy and revenue than we need because there is a big demand from people we are happy to bring their own linen to save money, because linen service is a very expensive variable cost.
One of the drawbacks we find with short term rental when travelling our selves is luggage storage. If your flight is late in the day or evening and the checkout from the flat is 10 or 11 am what do you do with your luggage all day. Often we choose to stay in a hotel as they all provide luggage storage.
All our guests come by car and a high proportion of our guests after they checkout stay in the area to go skiing the rest of the day or compete in events like mountain biking or cycling. It can be an inconvenience to them to have all their luggage with them all day. Being a holiday house on our own block of land we saw that one area we could offer something different was luggage storage. Last year when we had to replace some pathing and gates we saw the opportunity to provide a after checkout self-storage facility. We bought a building site steel storage box that could hold 4 to 6 suitcases. There is a separate gate on the other side of the house to the entrance and driveway. Guests can bring their own padlock and use this self-storage facility until 7 pm on checkout. It is only been in place for a few months so we have yet to see how popular it is.