Hi all! I’m new to Airbnb and this is my honeymoon stage i suppose but i’m becoming increasingly frustrated with questions about dates available (my calendar is Always updated!), parking (mentioned in my post street parking), proximity to beach (google map shows this), pet policy (in site already), etc… is this normal??? am i being fussy? i feel like when people don’t read it may be a standard message and possibly a scam so i get nervous. your thoughts would be appreciated, thx!!!
Don’t be nervous, they don’t read that’s why questions
I have been an Airbnb host for about a year and a half. I have had many wonderful experiences with guests and have become friends with several. There are frustrating things that seem to be across the board of all guests. The two that I have the hardest time with are not reading the listing and door slamming. Our listing states three times that there is only one bathroom in the entire house and it is shared between hosts and guests. We are still constantly asked if the guests will have their own bathroom. We state that guests may park in our driveway and that they may cook anything they like. We are often asked where to park and if cooking is permitted. We have instant book. We are still asked if dates are available. I don’t know if this is because people prefer to not take the time to read the listing and just ask the questions they want answered or if this is a way of having a conversation with a potential host. Anyway, we figure it’s a small price to pay for what has been mostly a nice way of earning a side income.
I have been traveling around the world since 2012, living exclusively in places on Airbnb, and more often than not, people don’t update their calendars, regarding the dog- we always have to ask, even if the description says pets are allowed, some hosts have preferences, or they may have a cat that comes and goes (this actually happened to us and our chihuahua hasn’t had good experiences with cats) and it’s important to have all this info prior to making the booking. sure, some people can’t be bothered to read all the info, but I’m sure that clarifying some points, if that means securing a booking for you isn’t such a big issue.
hi koala. i have in big bold letters on the first line of my description PLEASE READ ENTIRE PROFILE BEFORE BOOKING this helps but people still don’t read sometimes. i think new users on phone apps sometimes don’t know how to expand the descriptions. or they may just be lazy
Stephanie, I might have to do that too… And also, if they are new without a profile, I request that they read through my entire PDF of info before coming. Many do on the long plane trip to Hawaii. Sometimes though they JUST DON’T READ and you can’t do a damned thing about it. (Especially a problem for international guests) So I try to greet everyone in person just so I can show them the things I want them to be aware of.
Thank you for sharing the guests’ perspective.
I didn’t know that it was possible to not update the calendar as for us when a guest books, Airbnb blocks their days from the calendar.
Speaking for myself, I am more than happy to clarify points and give as much information as the guest needs to provide a nice experience for both host and guest. I know that the happiest guests are the ones who have made sure that our house meets their needs and I really like happy guests.
What I think you may not know is that a lot of the questions come while we are asleep or otherwise engaged. As we realize that the guest may need information in order to make a choice we wake up or interrupt our activities to answer questions. Therefore, it is a bit frustrating to be asked by a potential guest if they will have their own bathroom as our listing says that there is only one bathroom in the entire house and it is shared between guests and hosts or to have a guest ask if they will be permitted to cook since our listing says that we have a gourmet kitchen in which guests may cook whatever they like. Our listing says no pets; yet we’ve been asked at least five times if people may bring their pets.
I have an airbnb, which is going quite well, mainly because I don’t do instant book and I do not take everyone who comes down the pike. I make sure that my place is a good match for the person(s). I live alone so who I allow in my home is extremely important. I had one potential guest who I had to decline three times because she wouldn’t stop hounding me. The fact that she kept hounding me sent a clear message. Later I realized that there is a dismiss option once you have declined a person once, which doesn’t allow another try.
On another note … I stayed at an airbnb that turned out to be a dorm situation across form a university! This happened because there wasn’t total disclosure. So I came home and added a couple of details to my description, realizing how important total disclosure is.
Good info, Two Worlds! I never noticed the dismiss option. That sounds incredibly useful. I agree with you that restricting who I invite into my home is more important than maximizing income. So, i screen carefully. If I get so much as an inkling of a bad vibe, i will politely ask questions, and if the answers aren’t satisfactory, i will simply say I am unable to accommodate them on the nights they requested. So far nobody has been so bad that I need to use that dismissal option, but it is good to know it is there.
I realize we’ve gotten off topic a bit, so for the OP, yes. I get this too, and it is frustrating. Usually people who don’t bother to read and ask the obvious questions end up not booking (I think in most cases, because they are trying to backhandedly negotiate something that is stated, like ‘do we get a private bathroom’ as if I am going to say ‘uh…well, usually no…I only have one shower, but what the heck? You are super special, so i will just move out for the week so you can have your own bathroom!’’ Yeah, right.
As others have said, it just comes with the territory. Just be professional and polite, provide a short answer to the question and say something like ‘Remember there is additional useful information in the listing that you can review to decide if this might be a good fit for you. have a great day!’
Where is this Dismiss option you speak of?
I agree Jackulas. I have also learned to ask questions and hit that decline button at an inkling of anything that makes me wonder if they are trying to push for something, manipulate me, or otherwise be a PITA. I also agree that those that ask questions that are clearly listed are often the ones that are trying to get a discount. It has also been true for me that they often don’t end up booking! When I get these kinds of inquiries, I politely answer the questions, and then say that they might be better served by another airbnb if they are concerned about anything.
In fact, I even go further. When I have a guest that after booking with us begins to ask if we have this or do that, and I sense they are going to be a hassle, I will say to them that I have a feeling that they may be happier at another airbnb that provides what they are looking for, and we have many to choose from in the area, and I would be more than happy to provide a full refund for them to find somewhere that suits their needs better. No one has ever taken me up on it, but they have stopped the demands!
I really find the guests that don’t bother to read my listing and ask questions that are written clearly to be the worst guests in general (not always) They also haven’t read my house rules. I do think it is totally lazy to not even bother reading the basics about the place you’d like to stay in and have no qualms about bothering another person instead. They tend to be the more demanding guests, and less self sufficient. If you want to open a dialog, there are many ways to do so, without asking silly questions. Typically mine go ‘we love your home, and we are hoping to visit…’. Or something else polite.
Of course as mentioned above, some new people may just miss things, so it’s always good to give the benefit of the doubt too!
So right! In fact, it baffles me about the laziness part. To me it is less work to read a listing rather than to bother to contact a host, write out the lame questions, wait for a response, ask more dumb questions, etc. It’s a head scratcher. But, yes…again…people asking really, really dumb questions are a huge red flag. Although i do give them the benefit of the doubt, I am skeptical from the get go…and more often than not, it goes down hill from there, and the booking does not happen either because a) I decline, or b) I never hear back after answering the questions.
The first line in my description is "please read my entire listing BEFORE you book!!! And then I say in capped letters; DO NOT EMAIL ME WITH REQUESTS FOR LONG TERM STAYS!!THE MAXIMUM STAY IS 28 days. I am so f-----g tired of these cheapskates taking up my time and asking for bids etc…and still coming back saying they cant afford it. ENOUGH!!! NO LONG TERM STAYS! Im not wasting my precious time and also all these inquiries for long term and it doesnt result in a booking may affect my search placement. I only want inquiries that will lead to bookings. OH!!! THEY STILL EMAIL FOR LONG TERM STAYS ANYWAY!!!THEY DONT READ THE LISTING.
My friend who does Airbnb also rents out a room in her house with a pool where she lives with her son, husband and a dog.
THere was an inquiry once from a couple who asked following questions: how much privacy we are going to have in a pool? where does the dog stays during the day?
Well, i live here, my friend said, and my dog is allowed to run everywhere in a house and what do you mean by having privacy in my pool? Imagine that!!
If they ask for a discount or try to haggle late check out, DECLINE
The nerve! Are they just supposed to vacate their house?
It is one of the options with decline and accept. However, I believe it doesn’t come up until you decline a person and then they try to book again. I didn’t use it because I wasn’t sure what it meant, but now I realize that it is to stop a potential guest from continually attempting to book when you don’t care to have them in your house.
That’s what my friend said, I think they want us to dissapear so for 350$ a week they can have a house with a pool in total privacy.
She also said that she can’t approve anyone because of crazy questions like that and she only had 4 days rented In a whole month, though people enquire often because she has a pool
Hahahaha! I have done that too, but I find then I sound like a cranky host and no one will book here. Imagine if everywhere you went to purchase something, a person said, AND BTW MAKE SURE YOU READ THE WARRANTY BEFORE U BUY THIS ITEM". I know I sure as hell don’t. Most of us just want to be on our merry way. I just lost a booking from an older woman from Texas who, when I asked if she’d read my entire listing, replied, “Too Complicated. I’ll pass.” I waver between keeping my price high and enduring guest obtuseness and keeping my price low and being dismissive of people who can’t figure it out. This should be a separate “Customer Service” Charge - hahaha.
I don’t think you lost a booking. Sounds like you got rid of a real PITA. She would probably have been the type to nit pick about everything because it was all in your listing but she couldn’t have been bothered.
I truly find it odd that people don’t read entire listings. It’s one thing to know what to expect when you book a room at the Motel 6 or Ramada Inn. But I would not just book a room at anyone’s house without knowing all of the details.