They want something you obviously don't have!

I have a bedsit type arrangement as an Airbnb. (It’s actually a converted double garage and works quite well as an STR space). Despite having a series ofprofessional photos showing the set-up, I had a query yesterday asking if I had a different space/room where they could watch TV.
I replied, with a “No, just what you can see”, and gave the measurements of the unit, then gently suggested they look for a whole house to rent.
People are funny…
Oh, then after that, multiple questions: How far from the bus stop? How far from the paddle boat rental? etc etc.
Alarm bells ringing.


I’ve never had a guest ask for something I don’t provide (private room/private bath homeshare) but I did have a guest send a list of questions, numbered 1-20, I kid you not. Some were just bizarre, like " For business and entrepreneur hubs, what would you suggest?" This is a little touristy beach town- I don’t know where she thought she was coming. I did accept her booking, and she wasn’t a bad guest, but she was definitely entitled. she had booked another place in town for her first 3 nights, moving to mine after. I offered to pick her up with her luggage, which she was happy to accept, but never even thanked me for doing that.
She was out at a workshop course during the days, and didn’t use my kitchen to cook, which guests are welcome to do, so I didn’t see much of her, but otherwise she was pleasant, although a bit full of herself.

She’s the only guest who ever gave me a 4* rating- for location, thankfully not Overall or anything else. And that despite one of her 20 questions being how far it was to where she was taking her course, which I told her accurately- that it was about a 20 minute walk.

I kind of had a feeling as soon as I saw her profile photo and read her profile info. She looked really corporate- suit, pearls, etc. and said she was a “CEO whisperer”. My place is in the countryside- I normally get artistic or sporty types, really down to earth people.

Ha. I was thinking that next time I book a hotel room in Rome, I’ll ask for a room with a view of the Eiffel Tower.


Location rating is vague and can be frustrating. We’re near a small town which is over an hour’s drive from the main tourist town. We were given 4 stars once because our town isn’t closer to that large town. Then the guest asked to buy our home. Go figure!


Anybody who asks questions that are already answered in the listing is usually a pain to deal with… they think of you as their secretary. There are exceptions but I don’t take chances since there are so many better guests on Airbnb readily available.


Location really shouldn’t even be a rating. What are they supposed to be rating exactly? If the host hasn’t made it clear in the listing info what the area is like, or misrepresents the location, like saying it’s close to the beach, when it’s a 20 minute drive, or fails to mention that the apartment is above a bar that is noisy until 2AM, that would fall under accuracy. And like you say, a lot of guests rate location based on where they would have preferred the place was, which of course is ridiculous. If you want a place closer to town, then book a place closer to town.

And it’s the only category that the host couldn’t improve on. All the other ratings, the host could look at how to improve on if they kept getting less than 5*, but you can’t move your house.


I have just this minute had yet another upcoming guest asking about parking their car. Fair enough, you might say, but the TITLE of my listing says “easy parking” and the text says there is plenty of parking on the street outside or they can borrow my car port… I get a lot of one night stays of people heading to the airport to return their hired car, so I know it’s a deal-breaker.
Then there are the ones who, when you ask what time they expect to arrive (check-in clearly stated as after 14.00) say “around 11”.
I won’t go on because there are lots of threads on here about guests who don’t read listings - but I have to say they invariably turn out to be really nice people! I’ve never had one who wasn’t.


I don’t really mind answering guest questions, and most of the questions are, in fact, reasonable. Like some single female guests will ask if it’s safe to walk the 20 minutes from town after dark. But they could look a lot of things up on Google that they ask hosts.

As far as guests not reading, the title of my listing includes “For Solo Travelers” and below that says “1 guest, single bed” but I’ve gotten messages asking “So is it really only for 1 person?” Or someone sending a request saying “My girlfriend and I are coming…”, then 10 minutes later they withdraw the request, saying, “Oh, I just noticed it’s only for 1 guest”.

I think there’s a lot of guests who just look at the photos and price and basically don’t read anything. They act like they’re booking a great deal airline ticket that they have to grab before someone else does.


One way to look at questions is to see them as an opportunity to show the guest how wonderful, attentive and helpful you are.

Very few guests (including me when I’m a guest) read every word of the listing and every review.

It’s a bit like those lengthy TOS that we have to ‘read’ and tick when using so many online service. Life’s too short. :slight_smile:


Definitely. Also taking the time to volunteer helpful info the guest. One of my guests had asked whether I’d advise him renting a car at the airport, or if it was pretty easy to get around on public transport. I told him that buses are plentiful, but if he did want to rent a car, the airport wasn’t the best choice. I sent him the contact info for an independent car rental place in the next town, that everyone I know says is great, who will pick you up at the airport, although they aren’t based there. he ended up not renting a car, but thanked me profusely for going above and beyond.

I’ve had so many guests thank me heartily for providing them with detailed info, when I send them info on where to catch the bus from the airport to my town, and things that I just consider information that would make travel easier if I was the one travelling, that I can only assume the majority of hosts just send their standard booking and check-in messages, without any personal touch.

Also, as a homeshare host, asking and answering guest questions pre-arrival allows me to get a sense of the guest, and establish a bit of rapport, which is a good way to start out when you’ll be sharing space with guests.

I had one guest early in my hosting career who had sent an inquiry asking a few questions, which I answered, she said she was going to book a flight and would get back to me with exact dates, then I didn’t hear back. I actually really wanted her as a guest- she had a few great reviews and from her initial message she sounded like a good fit for my listing. So I wrote her again a week later, saying no pressure, but was she still planning to come, as I was starting to get bookings rolling in for the season. She wrote back right away, saying she has a fear of flying, although she flies a lot, and always procrastinates booking a flight, but yes, she def still wanted to come and thanked me for lighting a fire under her butt. An hour later she booked for 2 weeks, and turned out to be one of my favorite guests, who I still keep in occasional touch with.

I wouldn’t normally get back in touch with guests who just sent an inquiry, and then disappeared, asking if they still wanted to book, but this gal had sounded pretty serious about getting back to me after she booked a flight, and my intuition was right.


I didn’t have to read any further than this to “heart” your post. It’s what hospitality is all about.


I definitely agree. According to his Airbnb profile, I had a first time traveler guest who rated me the lost across the categories since I ever started my Airbnb business. I was shocked as nearly all of my guests rated my property 5 stars. Even those who rated their overall experience as 5 stars have rated the location lower. I’m not charging them like a downtown luxury hotel or a beach side resort lodge, why do they not compare what they pay with their rating of the location? I believe that the hosts job, when it comes to the location, should be to give the correct address, and true descriptions of the area.

Hey fellow hosts- after 2 years of hosting, my husband and I have discovered Airbnb encourage/make us list detail after detail after detail about the minutiae of every amenity, and I swear TO GOD! NO ONE READS ANY OF IT!
They plike the area because it’s near the family they’re visiting, close to the airport our pics are great plus our reviews are pretty gushing.
We’re 5 star super hosts and we answer every annoying obvious question they ask because it’s our job.


I found it so absurdly hilarious when they introduced a place for us to list the brand names of appliances we have.
“Oh look, honey, they have a Westinghouse fridge and a Samsung dishwasher- that nails it- we just have to book there.”


That’s not for the average guest. That’s for the people who say “thank god they have Wolf and Miele.”