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Was guest asking for too much under these circumstances?

Soooo…
We had this home handed to us for a short term rental up in Loganville Atlanta. Home owners are friends of ours. We ran it for 3 months successfully before their sale. Their plan was always to sell but they weren’t sure when they would. The AirBnB was a stop gap.

We had sublisted the rooms in this home and also had the whole home as a listing. As is the case we had a 3 months future booking limit.

In December, home owners let us know they would be selling off home in January.

We delisted the home, proceeded to contact all guests who had booked beyond actual sale date and let them know the home had been put up for sale. We actually handled a booking in January that was 2 weeks before sale date by the way.

Now we had delisted the main listing and its sublistings as well. When doing our clean up, we missed a January booking for one of the private rooms in the home. We eventually caught it 2 weeks before her trip. I proceeded to message this guest and let her know what the situation was. We told her AirBnB were aware and sadly the home was up for sale. We proceeded to offer her a 3 night stay in a 2 bedroom apartment of ours if she would like that option at no extra cost. Note: She booked the private room for 4 nights. So it would be some sort of trade off. 3 nights in a bigger place where u own the whole apartment worth 3 times what u paid. Or 4 nights in the already sold listing private room.
She got upset and said “So what do you expect me to do about the extra night. You have to find a place for me. "
My response was simple: " I apologize for inconveniences, AirBnB support will reach you shortly”.
I proceedee to relay everything to AirBnB support and they said when property gets sold, that’s never a cancelation penalty. Plus I had delisted property more than a month prior. Told me they would cancel and ask guest to book another place. She had 2 weeks to handle. While I empathise with her, I was taken aback at her reaction. It was basically a good offer seeing as I really did not have to make it.

Anyways, what are your thoughts?? :grin::grin:

I presume the apartment wasn’t available for the same 4 nights she had booked. To you, it seems like you’re doing the guest a big favor, but from the guest perspective, she might be getting something she doesn’t need and won’t use, and possibly in a less-convenient location. And for the last night, she will have to find another place to stay and pay for it, which might be above her planned budget. So, she wasn’t being totally unreasonable.

Of course, you weren’t obligated to offer her anything at all, but you did what you could and when she rejected your offer, you let Airbnb handle it. Seems like you did the right thing.

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You screwed up. Not the guest’s fault. The fact that you had delisted earlier is irrelevant- she already had made a booking before it was delisted and you failed to note it. You should have offered her the alternative for the 4 nights. I’d be pissed too if I were her.

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While it sucks for the guest, as far as Airbnb is concerned the host had no obligations. Seems like they treat it as an EC.

Well , there’s a lot of things Airbnb does that I don’t agree with. Cancelling a guest 2 weeks before their arrival, when it seems that they made the booking well ahead, is pretty rude and then expecting them to pay more for the 4 nights they’d booked just because you’re offering to house them elsewhere just rubs salt into the wound.
It would be different if the situation were unavoidable-that’s the definition of an extenuating circumstance, by most people’s understanding. But the host just failed to note this reservation.

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I am with Muddy and your guest here. Guest booked 4 nights; you offer 3 …quite a valid question from the guest and the first question that comes to mind: what shall I do with the 4th night?
It would have been better to find a comparable room in the the original neighborhood and price point and refer that one.

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I’m in the “you messed up” camp and didn’t fix the entire issue.

Perhaps I should also state that the 3 day period we offered her were literally our only available openings that matched her dates. We were just trying to help.
Now for those saying we screwed up. That’s all well and good. If we had communicated with ALL guests 2 weeks before their bookings, would this 2 week communication still have been an issue or seen as a screw up?
We tried remedying a situation, guest wasn’t having it. We moved on. Act of God. It’s a home sale which wasn’t exactly scheduled.

Kindly read my response below.
There was literally nothing to fix to be honest. Not being insensitive just speaking strictly from an AirBnB host policy perspective. Also, I have had situations where this has been waaaaay out of my favor. Eg: a guest snuck in her pet dog when we clearly had a no pet policy, we were billed $100 extra by cleaning company cuz of fur everywhere, AirBnB threw $45 at us and pretty much asked us to suck it up. Case closed. This one was in my favor and boy was I glad. Small wins.

I’m sure people will have different views on this, but I would not have a listing available to book for any dates that there was a possibility it might not be available due to a sale, if that makes sense. I would feel personally responsible for any guest who had made plans ahead of time counting on their stay at my listing.

Obviously you do not feel the same way, but that’s how I see it. I don’t think it is fair to guests to have a home listed for sale and listed on Airbnb.

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I wrote a little response below. It also covers this.
Our offer was the only other apartment we had. It was booked across board. Those 3 nights open coincided with 3 of her 4. I was just being human.

No it was not available. If it were I’d have given her 4 nights no questions asked. That’s how I operate.

Exactly!
This was an extenuating circumstance. I explained this to the guest. Also told them these 3 nights were all that we had available in our portfolio.
Had guest said: Will u do me a little refund to cover one more night elsewhere, honestly I would have considered it becuz I travel too. I know what it does to u to have ur plans smashed with just 2 weeks to fix up. But she said “Find me another place” or something to that tune. At that point, I decided well… I’ll just let AirBnB support handle.

I have a question though?
How come no one is talking about the fact that delisting property does not automatically send notifications to booked guests? This should actually be incorporated in AirBnB’s system. Makes no sense that U can take away a property and its bookings persist.

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I guess it depends on what de-listing actually does. If it completely removes the listing from the system so that it can no longer be re-listed, then I would agree, but if that’s not the case, then there is no reason to assume existing reservations can’t complete and accumulate more reviews, etc. Was the listing no longer visible to guests with confirmed reservations after de-listing it?

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They could no longer see the home. But their messages got to me all the same. A guest confirmed this. She said she couldn’t find my homr anymore.

Fair? I am not sure what you mean by that. It’s a business. Should the owner lose thousands of dollars every month on some off chance that it sells sooner than later?

As to “fair”. I certainly don’t like the notion of being used as travel insurance, screwed over for damages, not compensated for bookings lost during repairs, EC policy, etc.

Airbnb is a big multi-billion dollar business. Millions of that every month is “holding payouts longer than needed for cash flow to their benefit” and “various policies that exploit hosts”.

They can afford to re-book a guest here and there - it is part of their business model.

If they go public, it will get worse as they chase quarterly profits to shareholders.

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Not saying “you did the wrong thing”. Just a thought that you could have called airbnb and made the whole big thing their problem from the beginning. :smile:

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We are going to disagree on this one.

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I agree with you 10000000%
Why should I lose 3 months’ revenue because there was the off chance the house would sell in that time frame.
Note: this home grossed over $8,000 in said period. I think I made the right decision tbh.

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