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Trust your fellow hosts of their bad reviews for guests!

I’ve learned my lesson! The guest who tried to alter their reservation to 15 days later despite my calendar unavailability dates left me 4 star review totally ruined my perfect 5 star records! There were signs, she had 3 previous reviews, the most recent review stated they were extremely messy and disrespectful! But other two were perfect 5 stars. So I chose to give it a try also probably because she said they are visiting her daughter in a very good college. I should have trusted my fellow hosts for their bad review. No reasonable host would turn down a good guest!
We have central AC, she set the temperature to 64 degree herself and she said in review that my apartment was too cold making her son extremely uncomfortable. It’s May and it’s almost summer here! In my direct message when they arrived I told her we have portable heaters in the closet if nights get cold and they need it. She didn’t say anything. Also I told her where to find the thermostat and how to adjust the temperature with image instructions. She replied ‘OK’ then none. They left pile of unwashed dishes in the sink, food crumbs everywhere on my wool area rugs. They didn’t even lock my front door. They never wore masks at the public areas in the building. They were loud in the public hallway. All these were requested in my house rules…
I gave them my honest review saying they didn’t follow my house rules after they said they agree to comply before booking. AND I will never host them again!
Again! Trust your fellow hosts if they said something is wrong about a guest, something is wrong!
I apologize for my English. I’m not a native English speaker. I’ll try my best to learn and improve it.

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I’m sorry that your perfect record has been pierced and that you had to deal with such disrespectful guests.

Outlier ratings of these guests will of course become diluted over time. Prospective guests will focus on the words of the previous guests’ reviews. How was that?

I assume that the words of your review warned your fellow Hosts.

You say that there were three prior reviews, two 5-star reviews and the most recent one saying that they were messy and disrespectful. I understand how a Host might think, “Well, one bad review out of three.”

But I believe – without knowing – that most Hosts want to be nice, so that there is ‘star inflation.’ I would give a strong weight to ANY negative review, of course paying close attention to what the Host actually says since their objection might not be your objection.

Someone might ask whether the reverse I true. Should a prospective guest give strong weight to a negative review of a Host? I think so, with the caveat that a guest might be leaving a retaliatory bad review because they were trying to extort a refund from the Host. A Host cannot extort the guest for more money.

What I think is most important are the words of the review. The words will give both Host and Guest a sense of whether the objections of the poster are those of the reader, and sometimes/often a sense of whether the Host or Guest is an outlier in their concerns, unreasonable, or just having different sensitivities than the reader.

Your English is very good! I would never have known you were not a native speaker. Very well done!

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Thank you so much for your kind words about my English!

I have learned so much from this forum. I hope I can contribute more to nice people here.

I agree that we should pay more attention on the review content. But extremely messy and disrespectful definitely are something needs to take into consideration seriously. I’m still lucky she didn’t do much damage to me. I’ve tried so hard to please her and it was exhausting to worry about something bad would happen during her entire stay… I’ll never host such guests anymore, it’s just not worth it.

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By the way, I used to be in Toastmasters years ago. Many people would join hoping to better their English but also to lose their accent. I gave them my opinion that their accent was charming. It always was. I think Americans love accents. So, as long as you are understood, I would not try to lose your accent. I bet it is part of your charm.

What is your native language, if I may ask?

One other thing I have experienced with very nice guests. If they don’t understand or can’t find something when I told them where something was they often did not let me know. SO, now when they ask for something, I ask them to let me know [if they found it, if it worked, etc.]. If I don’t hear back I write to 'check in and make sure they . . . [fill in the blank] and ask ‘did you’?

They didn’t rate me down when they didn’t find something, but I just felt bad that they did without. One guest later told me that they didn’t want to ‘bother’ me. But it would have been no bother.

BTW, if the thermostat becomes an issue you can get a thermostat that is locked within a certain range. So, for example, that they couldn’t set the A/C lower than say 70, or 73, whatever you make the lower limit.

One last thought. On the day of check-in I send on the platform what I call “Excerpts of Rules and Best Practices.” Then I list mostly one liners of rules and best practices. You might want to try that. It’s easy to read, all in one place and given to them on their check-in day.

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Up until recently, hosts like me who do not use Instant Book were not able to see a guest’s star ratings, only the written reviews. So non-IB hosts have never even looked at the star ratings before. And I have never had a bad guest in spite of that.

Star ratings really tell you nothing of value, as they are subjective and unexplained. IMO many hosts put far too much confidence in them. The written reviews are what count. But also be wary of written reviews with no actual information, like “Nice guests”.

Those are usually left by remote hosts or property management companies. If the guests didn’t burn the place down, they all get the generic “Nice guests” review, regardless of whether they left a sinkful of greasy dishes, or never answered messages.

There are also hosts who never leave any review for bad guests. So you could see 3 reviews, 2 of them good, one of them bad, but the guests may have had 5 Airbnb stays, 3 of which the hosts were dismayed at, but 2 declined to leave a review.

So while I certainly read a guest’s reviews, it is only one tool in a host’s vetting toolbox.

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I speak Japanese. Yes, I do have a little accent but my guests are communicating with me only by Airbnb messages. :sweat_smile: I’m much like you, I would follow up on every questions or requests if I feel like there is any possibility of misunderstanding.

The thermostat is very easy to use. It’s Sensi, you just need to press the up or down arrows to adjust the temperature. It is supposed to be able to adjust the temperature remotely but somehow it always loses internet connection randomly. Now I’m thinking of buying a better one so I don’t have to worry about guests don’t know how to use it….

I am grateful the advises you gave here. They are very helpful.

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So honest review really is essential and necessary. It helps other hosts to avoid bad guests.

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I frequently ask American females about men with (foreign) accents - are they more attractive because they have an accent? Almost every one says yes.

This was taken to the extreme in “A Fish Called Wanda” with Jamie Lee Curtis getting excited by Kevin Kline’s bad Italian and John Cleese’s Russian.

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A friend whose elderly mother was very hoity-toity and generally disapproved of her hippyish lifestyle, used to invite friends she knew who had British accents over for a dinner party when her mother came to visit. Her mom perceived anyone with a British accent as posh and highly educated, and seemed to suddenly be blind to anything else about them, even messy uncombed hair or the occasional swear word, telling her daughter that they were so interesting and delightful after the dinner party was over and everyone had gone home. :rofl:

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Yes, but it isn’t necessary to list every transgression and gritty detail to get the point across to other hosts, if a host is reticent to leave a “bad” review.

Instead of saying the guests left a disgusting mess behind them, with piles of dirty dishes, a filthy bathroom, garbage strewn around, and a stovetop swimming in grease, “We were dismayed with the state of the home after the guests checked out and extensive, well above average, cleaning time was required” is factual without necessarily feeling like you are personally attacking the guest.

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Just as an FYI, if I were. doing the review, I think I would have written : Didn’t follow House rules, failed to wear masks in public areas of building and were loud in hallways, disturbing neighbors; left unwashed dishes in sink; uncommunicative. Would not host again.

That communicates to Hosts and prospective guests the importance of House rules, and especially about following rules in public areas (the noise and the masks), the importance of washing the dishes and being communicative. I wouldn’t mention the crumbs because as @muddy says you have to vacuum anyway,

Now, though you need to respond to their review. Without seeing it, I might say.

I’m sorry that you found the apartment too cold. As I wrote you on the platform as soon as you arrived there were portable heaters in the closet. I wish you had said something to me about being cold because after you checked out I saw that you had set the thermostat to 64 with the A/C. No wonder you were cold! Please check with your Host while you’re still there when you have any problem.

Let’s see what others come up with for your response.

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If I read that review, I would think that it said as much about the host as it did about the guest. Why didn’t the host stop the noisy behaviour as it was annoying the neighbours? Why didn’t the host insist to them that they wear masks?

There might be valid reasons, although I can’t think what they could be, but I would wonder why the host wasn’t keeping control.

And now that you know me, you know for certain that it’s balderdash. :rofl:

That being said, if they only used the occasional swear word, they weren’t English. :rofl:

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I only found out when I played the recorded videos from the security cameras that our building management put on the hallway.

You have to remember, they were trying to be on their best behavior- they were well aware of my friend’s reason for the “British dinner party”. Everyone thought it was hilarious.

Her mom was especially taken with my ex-boyfriend, who had long ringlets (which I begged him to cut off the whole time we were together- he didn’t have beautiful hair- it was thin and scraggly), and was normally totally irreverent in attitude and word. He was actually Canadian, as were his parents, but grew up in London from the age of 5 -17, so while he normally only had a few British pronunciations and colloquialisms, but not a British accent, he had no trouble slathering it on as if he had been born there and regularly lunched with the Queen.

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Thank you for the wording. It’s much better than what I wrote.

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I’m just going by what I read from the OP. But I can easily imagine reasons. For example, the Host could have heard about the noise from the neighbors after the guest checked out. Same with the masks. I am guessing that this is in a condo or apartment building and the Host likely can’t have cameras in the public shared spaces with the neighbors. How would the Host know what the Guest did in those spaces?

OR suppose this happened after Day 1, Host found out about it [from complaining neighbors] and Guest stopped doing it? Since the Op says these were part of rules, isn’t it worth a mention that the Host needed to step in, that the Guest violated the Rules?

Supposing that one of these scenarios were the facts, what should the Host say so that you would not think less of the Host?

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I was more suggesting something sort of general if a host is the type to shy away from leaving a bad review, choosing not to warn other hosts at all. There’s nothing wrong with saying exactly what the guests did, as long as the list isn’t endless, as that can make the host seem nitpicky. If there really was an endless list of bad behavior, I’d try to condense it to “failed to follow house rules, cleanliness issues” etc, to keep the review from being so long that no one would bother to plow through it.

I myself wouldn’t have an issue with saying a guest left the kitchen a mess, and garbage everywhere, but some hosts hate to have to say anything not “nice”.

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We have security cameras on the public areas but we need to put requests to view them. It usually takes one or two days to get approval.

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I understand. Plus, is the Host supposed to watch 24 hours of security footage to see if their guests work masks or made noise? Or even an hour without someone pointing them to a time?

I read elsewhere on this forum somewhere. that security camera footage is notoriously tedious to go through. The poster there was saying to get a ‘game camera’ [don’t know what that is] because it is much easier to fast forward and find what you want.

If a guest disturbs a neighbor that should per se not be a mark against the Host. We can imagine circumstances where it is – for example, the guest has 20 people showing up where maximum occupancy is six. But we can imagine circumstances where it isn’t, as here, where a guest violates clearly stated House rules in public shared spaces with neighbors, where the Host is unable to post cameras and can retrieve video footage only 1-2 days after the fact.

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So you’re saying that the host wasn’t on the premises or didn’t have an on-the-spot co-host? That sounds more like a landlord than a host.

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