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Thinking of re-opening - What's new and changed for Airbnb?,

Hi Everyone,

After 4 years I blocked my Airbnb last April due to COVID. I will be fully vaccinated soon and am thinking of opening up my separate 2nd floor suite again.

I haven’t been paying attention to what’s been happening in the Airbnb world and was wondering of you can fill me in on things that have changed. New rules? Pricing Structures, Kids/Infants, Pets, etc. Basically, all the dumb a$$ changes and policies that Airbnb has introduced that I should be aware off.

Also, how bad has customer service become? Are the guest needier?

Whatever you think I should know. I’m based in the United States.

Miss you guys,
Lynn

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I’m glad that you’re fully vaccinated and will reopen your doors to Airbnb guests. Airbnb has a new enhanced cleaning procedure and yuu also need to provide cleaning products for your guest.

If you go to your host dasboard and click on performance you will see the new tab “cleaning.”

They also provide a check list. In addition, there is an open book test to take and once completed you get the “enhanced cleaning” stamp on your listing.

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I used to supply full bottles of shampoo, body wash, etc. Do I know have to individual size portions?

@Lynick4442, as an experienced host, you probably already know to do this, but I’ll mention it anyway. Before you reopen, be sure to thoroughly reread the Airbnb TOS.

When and if we ever reopen, I certainly plan to do that. And I’ll go through every word of my listing (and every setting and every choice Airbnb’s interface now provides). I’ll definitely read up on cancellation policies. And I would suggest you read everything you can find on the forum about customer service. It has become less and less reliable—even downright chimerical.

It sounds like a whole new world to me that will require a lot of due diligence before opening.

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The good think is that even before I didn’t hold a lot of faith using customer service. I try to make sure that they are guests that I want to host and have good reviews. I used to allow 3 people but I’m going to make it only 2 people in king bed and remove the other bed. I’m also not going to do not allow 1 night stays.

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I used to use shampoo, conditioner and body wash in dispensers but now in the times of COVID, I provide new full size bottles that I purchased at the dollar store. I do weekly rentals so it’s not too expensive.

I hate that kind of environmental waste myself, and don’t think it necessary to provide individual size bottles. The outside of a shampoo bottle, or a pump dispenser can be sterilized, and isn’t a COVID transmission risk.

In my private room/private bath listing, I’ve always had a basket of toiletries that previous guests left behind. If it’s dregs, I toss it or use it myself, but some guests leave almost full containers of products they don’t want to shlep home with them. So that basket has a revolving array of stuff in it- sunscreen, shampoo shaving gel, whatever.

I point it out to guests when they arrive, tell them to help themselves to whatever they need, and tell them that I always sterilize the outside of the containers. I have done this for years, nothing to do with COVID, and many guests have availed themselves of those things.

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I had to look that one up.

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I’ve been open a few times over the last year, mostly between mid July and early January. I had 24 bookings and a couple of repeat guest direct bookings in that time. So, by my standards very slow. But I haven’t noticed anything particularly different. I definitely didn’t notice any problems with guests, if anything they were better than average. Because I didn’t have any problems I didn’t need to consult Airbnb CS.

What do you do with the left over in these full size bottles after one week stays? Seems the dispensers would have been the better choice to me you less I’m not understanding.

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I bring the leftovers home and I use them. I stopped using the dispenser because of COVID, I do prefer the dispenser.

As noted by others, note the changes in cleaning standards and cancellation policies. Just wipe the bulk bottles off with sanitizer. You might mention in your description that full sized toiletries are available so no one expects individual bottles. They can pack their own if this bothers them. My understanding is that Airbnb is very strict about service dogs. I have a homeshare and have made Airbnb aware of a family member’s dog allergy so I have an exemption for this from Airbnb. I doubt if you can do that with a separate rental. Just enforce the Airbnb rule that the animal cannot be left alone. I don’t allow kids under 12 and any under 16 cannot be left alone in my rental so I don’t know a lot about the kid policies. Do check your local and state rules about short term rentals and COVID restrictions that may be different now. I am reopening this summer and have added language that we love to meet and spend time with our guests, but will no longer be doing much of that with COVID in play. I also stress that complying with COVID travel restrictions is their responsibility. My husband and I will also be vaccinated by then. The advice to reread every word in every section of your listing is wise. You will be surprised what you have forgotten.

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Did Airbnb changed the pricing structure so that we are now paying all of the commission fee instead of sharing it with the guests?

Just sterilize the outside of the dispenser. No one is going to contract COVID or any other disease from the product inside it, even if the previous guest was infected. Viruses and bacteria don’t survive in the medium of shampoo, soap, etc.

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