What do you think of regular guests?

With the usual caveats that this is a diverse forum of hosts with different rentals, experience and types of guest I was wondering what sort of regular guests people have? My place is just the lower floor of my house I’ve converted into an apartment (same as my handle if you want to look).

I have 4 guests who now book directly 3 or 4 times a year for 3-5 nights at a time, usually mid week. So that is about 15% of my total income.

They all booked initially on ABB and they know if they book directly midweek (Sunday to Thursday) they will get a great rate because they pay cash. No fees + it helps me out. Two of them are always trying to outbook each other months in advance because one is a school teacher and one is uni lecturer and I don’t charge extra for school holidays (I used to do this and just got frazzled families)

Some of them have recommended their friends as well. Some I leave alone or catch up once with for dinner and a drink (I usually let them cook, one is a great Indian cook and well, so am I, but she is Indian) and one is a successful artist whose best friend is, totally unexpectedly, my favourite artist Rick Amor. When they visited last time they turned up with a bunch of his exhibition books signed by their friend! To me those are priceless. I have one of his etchings I bought in 1994, unfortunately can’t afford the oil paintings which go for $100k+. The current repeating couple are on their third week long visit and I only saw them on check in.

If I was a more hard nosed business person I would probably work out in most cases I could wait and get better paid bookings through Air but there is something gratifying seeing them booked months in advance, having that locked in, and knowing I can be relaxed when they are here (partly because they can’t leave reviews!)

This topic has come up occasionally as part of other posts and many hosts are like “I don’t expect to get repeat bookings and don’t care” but there must be some hosts who do. I had a guest stay who had a hotel in Switzerland and 50% of his bookings were repeat annual customers.

Any thoughts?

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I get some repeat bookings and I like them.

First, better the devil I know… Second they know the routine here and what to expect. They aren’t going to be surprised by anything because they didn’t read the listing. I had one coming for business my first year who could be trusted here with the dogs after I left for work and we are still in touch though she changed jobs. I had one who came for 8 two night stays last summer. After the third booking we went to cash (well, via PayPal and she didn’t know what she was doing but after that it went well. Third, regulars are the only ones I trust to be here while I am traveling myself. Last year’s regular had two stays while I was on my vacation and my house sitter who is also listed as my co-host cleaned the room between bookings.

I don’t give a discount because if they pay cash the savings on the fees is enough “discount.”

All that said

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As a fly in destination, I get very few repeat visitors. However, in two weeks, two librarians who stayed with me a couple of years ago elected to return! I was fairly shocked! I wish they had booked direct though! No way to bring that up when they requested to book. They paid a mighty big fee to Airbnb which I could have saved them… too late now. Why wouldn’t they contact me directly???

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I’m no longer keen on repeat guests for a number of reasons. I’ve done it a few times with people coming 2-3 nights every week to work or study.
Firstly, I earned less overall during those months because they blocked dates for more lucrative bookings (I made a long boring post about this a while back but can’t find it now).
Secondly, they are far more likely to be in every evening cooking and using facilities.
Thirdly, they can get a bit too cosy and stop caring about things.

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My repeat guests are the reason I’m still doing this. Otherwise, the bloom is off the rose.


So far we have had 3 repeat customers. The first 1 was from Stayz(home away) we were emailing access instructions and confirmation details. After their stay they emailed back to ask if they could book the same week for 2019, she asked if she should rebook through the stayz website. I advised her if she books direct and pays to my bank account we could waive the fees. She agreed.
Another guest from booking .com stayed over Easter weekend and wanted to rebook for 5 nights over Easter next year. Because he booked on BDC, and my prices are higher, I only charged $80 extra for 1 extra night (original booking was for 4 nights) but we actually will receive a good few hundred more because they were happy to pay direct to our bank account.
And on ABB we have our first repeat customer arriving at the end of this month. She booked last November and stayed then and sent and then rebooked instantly on ABB. I think people using ABB think that it’s still cheaper than other options so they must be happy to pay the fee?

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I get quite a lot of repeat guests and I have mixed feelings about them. There is certainly the ‘better the devil you know’ factor which is good. If I never got a repeat guest again, I probably would care but they are fine - it just doesn’t matter one way or another.

What’s super-embarrassing is when I don’t recognise them! I have repeat guests at the moment but I truly can’t remember hosting them before. They treated me like a long-lost friend and I can’t remember them. Shame on me.


We now have three “regulars” and I like them because all the rest are first-time airbnb guests. The first-time guests take more time because we have to explain everything – our place AND Airbnb. “I couldn’t text you for some reason???” is a favorite because they want to text outside of the platform. So for us, it’s a break of sorts to get a repeater. Let’s hope, though, that they don’t cross over to “repeat offender” by taking liberties now that they are more comfortable. I could have a different view if that comes to pass.

I had some repeats from Singaporeans who I didn’t recognise until they told me because the first booking was under the son’s name who didn’t come the second time. “Remember us!?”. “Errm, of course, what are your names again?”

Yes, I suspect for some people an extra $30 per night is nothing so they don’t care if there is a discount or not they are still only paying half what they would for a commercial serviced apartment overlooking the water. Bless 'em, but I wish they’d just leave me a big tip!

Yes I can imagine if you share the space it could go either way. You might enjoy having them back as they are a known quantity. Or they could be annoying because of their annoying habits and you’ve already heard all their stories. Fortunately mine are in a separate space.

I had a couple stay for a week who I am now getting to house sit when I go away for 10 days in August. I could ask a friend but I’m not sure they would do as good a job.

Have you ever had turn down a repeat guest because you were over them staying again? And if so, how did you word it?

My rentals are in a resort area. I have 5-6 bookings a summer from repeat customers. I love them. They know what to expect & what to do. They usually call me directly so they book off the Airbnb platform. Win/Win for all.

I assume a negative review could avoid this posibility.

I noticed a couple of years ago when I was staying at a hotel in La Jolla that they had an electric sign behind reception welcoming all the returning guests by name. Messages like: “Welcome Back Addams Family!!! Great To See U All Again!!!” I thought it was a great idea.

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@JamJerrupSunset excellent question - the easiest for me is to say we want to use the property on those dates - or I have to schedule maintenance. I’ve only had one repeat guest that drove me crazy. Dumb as a stump. She came for a few summers in a row to visit an elderly family member in the area. Then the family member finally passed away and I haven’t heard from her since.

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I like repeat guests as I know for sure they liked their stay. I only had repeat guest’s 4 times. Once it was corporate people who left me for another host and 1 week later came back complaining on the other house and how everything there was broken. And stayed another 3 months. And it was just one day stays for other guests.

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