Winning over the skeptical guest

I just had a one night third party booking. As I do in these cases I asked for the name and number of the person staying so I can communicate with them. This morning the guest asked about creamer and I replied that it was in the mini fridge and I said that I hoped she had a restful night. Her reply:

Skeptical. Huh. I couldn’t quit thinking about what she meant by that so I just asked and she said when her friend told her it was “just an Airbnb room” and not a whole house she “wasn’t sure.” She reiterated that she loved it and it was “perfect.”

The lessons I take from this are 1) there are still people who don’t know what Airbnb is all about or don’t know that sometimes it’s a room in house. 2) You can have a successful stay and get a rave review by providing the best possible experience. 3) If you want to know something of the guest, ask the guest. Speculating here doesn’t do much good.


Agreed- I can never understand hosts who seem afraid to speak to their guests and simply ask them to clarify something they wrote or said.

“Why would the guest have unscrewed the lightbulb in the fridge?” Well, why not ask them?

I would take “skeptical” in this instance not to mean so much that she doesn’t understand that it’s just a room in the host’s home, but that maybe she thought it would feel weird to be staying in a stranger’s home, that maybe she was afraid she’d constantly be having to relate to the host or something.

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Let me include the screenshot since apparently I wasn’t clear

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No, I read it- that when her friend said it was just a room, not an entire house, she “wasn’t sure”. Wasn’t sure about what? It could have a lot of different connotations, is what I was thinking. Like “I’m not sure if I’ll feel comfortable in that situation.”

That she always heard about entire houses could mean that’s the only listings anyone she knows has ever booked before. Not necessarily that she wasn’t aware that home-shares existed.

But of course your take could be totally right. Ask her.:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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You did indeed win over the skeptical guest which is a service to the whole community, so thank you! And, personally, I think that this kind of thing is the fun part of taking of taking on new users.


@KKC Well done all around. It’s very impactful to share exactly what was said in interactions with the guests. It was a tad balsy to ask the question about her “skepticsism.” But the way you did it was humble and inviting. You only further solidified that 5-star review (without even needing it).

Here’s the exciting news: There are MILLIONS of travelers that don’t know what Airbnb even is. And there are MILLIONS more that are kinda from the side of the fence that your guest is/was (shared room? Couchsurfing? Am I, like, on an air bed?). This represents a gargantuan amount of pent up demand.

Winning over these guests will benefit incumbent listings in a crazy way for years/decades to come. We are barely starting our trek up the mountain of how awesome being an STR owner/operator can be.

Agreed @JJD This is one of the reasons we almost always (unless they ask for a discount) happily host new users to the platform. It helps everyone. Now, when they reach back out and tell us how mediocre “the second place we stayed after yours” was. . . Well, we got no help for that :rofl:

When I was a new guest I was a little skeptical about the concept. My first vacation involved 4 different homes, each unique and all fine for my needs. Once I had a some newbies who rented with me for their second stay. They told me that the first host stopped them in the garage, gave a very long list of rules and then said “and if you don’t like it, you can get the hell out”. They stayed because they didn’t know the area. I’m glad they took a chance on their second stay with me!

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I never allow third party booking.

Both Airbnb and my insurance would not cover me if something happened.

What I do is I reach out the guest (It’s usually for a parent or friend, etc) and ask them to cancel the booking within 48 hours and to make sure they get the airbnb fees too. I let them know as soon as the dates are released I will block them for 2 days.

Once the new person has an account, I tell them to let me know and I release the dates. I then tell them to send in a booking request and reference the original person. I then accept.

It’s very rare that I lose a guest in cases like this and if I do I wonder if it was a good thing

For me it’s never worth risking my home (asset) for a booking.


I don’t have insurance for my STR for reasons I’ve previously stated and won’t bore you with again as my situation doesn’t apply to most people. Everyone should have STR insurance. I never count on Airbnb covering me if something happens.

As for 3rd party bookings I’ve never had a problem. If my rental were different I might not do it but my risk is very low.

What you do is way too much work for one night and $57. I opened my calendar for this week on Monday and got a booking that day for this Wed night stay. I don’t have time or interest for all that futzing around. If it were hundreds of dollars and many days or weeks in the future I’d consider options.

This is no different or more risky than booking direct for me.


Re-reading this thread I just have to :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

The need to speculate in the face of the unknown is so, so powerful.


Totally get that but since this is my only asset and I will need to sell it when I retire so I can’t take the risk. I’m enjoying doing Airbnb more now since I re-opened and don’t book back-to-back. I also work from my home and am on a computer most of the time so it’s easy for me to reply.


Oh! I figured the $57 was a Typo from the Guest and it was $257 a night? Or is it really $57 plus a cleaning fee?

I don’t agree with this at all.

But let’s not debate it!

Our previous home, we were superhosts. Many newbies to Air and VRBO. We’re glad to have given them a great experience. Some have actually texted us afterwards t let us know we set the bar high for them. That was a great feeling to know we served our purpose well as hosts.
We never opt for the “Host vs Guest” mentality. We purpose to have a great experience for all of us. Though the future may say different, we just take precautions are who we allow to stay in our home since we reside in the same. We never do the auto booking feature and we check regularly to make sure it doesn’t somehow get changed on us.


Having a listing that doesn’t fit into the typical AirBNB property (whole house or guest room) also creates additional obstacles / challenges.

I too have had guests w/ prior bad experiences (AirBNB PTSD) or were new to AirBNB, who were skeptical of what they had signed up for, but fortunately were pleasantly surprised upon arrival.

Kudo’s to @KKC for continuing to lead by example, with her strong communication & marketing skills, as well as showcasing a guest suite (within a home) that still affords a high degree of privacy at a bargain price!

PS. I think the $57 pricing also brings on skepticism because I’d guess that the guest was surprised by the quality of the accommodations and service for the low price.

Perhaps time to raise prices again. :wink:


and then your fellow Texans will blame Joe Biden for the rate increase and inflation. :cowboy_hat_face: :wink:


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