My most recent guest, 4th to stay in the home after construction finished is March, absolutely trashed the home. Below is a summary of damages. I would love everyones opinion on this, am I looking at this correctly/ fellow hosts previous experience.
No smoking is an explicitly stated rule. We have a sign on the front door stating that smoking inside will result in an automatic $500 charge. Well the guest smoked in nearly every room. Leaving ashes and roaches everywhere.
Various towels and linen damaged beyond further use. I always expect 1 or 2 towels to need replacing, but these guys destroyed 25 brand new towels. Don't even know how thats possible in three days...
As the cabin is brand new so is the furniture. In the dining area. the guest left very deep scratches on 6/7 chairs, 1/2 benches, and 1/5 saddle stools. My concern is not being able to find matching replacements. If thats the case I would except the guest to be liable for a new kitchen set. Why should future guests have to deal with mismatched furniture on account of another groups negligence.
I have already filed 2 tickets with the resolution center. 1 for the smoke damage, and one for the damaged furniture. How does it work if I cant find replacements? can I update the amount I am requesting? Should I file a third ticket for the 5 hours of extra cleaning needed?
Happy to explain further, but I am very concerned how Airbnb will handle this. I expect to be made whole, and I am worried they will not see it that way. This would only alienate me from future hosting on their site.
If anyone has had a similar experience I would love to hear from you.
Yes, it's clear that host support has declined, as well as the general quality of guests. We're now forced to decline more inquiries than accept them.
Having said that, comparing VRBO and Airbnb, in our entire history since 2012, we've had hundreds of bookings from Airbnb and until last year, about 90% have been the ideal, family oriented guest that VRBO claims they deliver. And most of the remaining 10% were large professional groups.
Since the beginning, we've had only two bookings from VRBO, both were the single worst guests we'd had up until that point. Young party animals, causing damage. And back then, there was no recourse, like Airbnb of today. So, we dropped all other platforms.
But because Airbnb has become much the same as the others, and the quality of guest continues to drop, we've signed up with VRBO again.
So, we receive maybe 1/10th the inquiries on VRBO that we receive on Airbnb.
But... This is a bit depressing... Out of 8 enquiries from VRBO, we have declined 7 of them, because they're consistently groups of 20-something party animals. It's a disaster waiting to happen.
On Airbnb, it's also depressing.. We're now forced to decline almost 1/3 of them... Because they have no history and not telling us the truth, don't read the description, are planning parties, and so-on.
What happened to the good old days when almost every guest was nice and totally honest, just coming for a relaxing holiday?
@Elaine701 You know, I think it must vary a lot depending on where one is hosting. I've read hosts saying their best guests and the higher percentage of their bookings come from VRBO, and then the opposite, like your experience. Same with Booking dot com. Some hosts say those bookings are fine, yet a friend of mine who has run a small hostel here in my town for many years said she got the absolute worst quality of guests through them and tons of no-shows. And to add insult to injury, she never got paid for any of those bookings, so dropped that platform quite quickly.
Yes, well, VRBO has never been popular over here. The smaller platforms that are now under the VRBO brand were popular, but never as popular as Airbnb. Although that varies by region. Europe seems to love Airbnb, while Britain has always been rather averse to it. I can only speculate it's because Airbnb has never been particularly "British", while Homeaway always positioned itself as "British", with close connections to ABTA and so on.
And that no doubt tilts the scales in Airbnb's direction, at least over here. Especially now that some of their previously trusted brands have now become a brand they've never heard of. But that will change, eventually.
Still, at the end of the day, it's pretty clear that the quality of guest... and support of hosts... is generally in decline on all platforms.
An observation... Out of all the Airbnb enquiries we've had since, say, the first of this year, none have qualified for IB. And qualifying for IB isn't particularly difficult.
It's just not the same as it used to be. You have to always be on guard now.
@Elaine701 Because of COVID and having a home share listing, I have actually not taken any bookings since last March, but plan to open back up in the fall (summer is always dead season here- super hot and humid). I have always gotten wonderful guests, so I will be really interested to see if I get the same deterioration in quality of guests that other hosts have been reporting since the pandemic. I sure hope not- if that's the case, I'll just quit hosting- no way will I share my home where I live with disrespectful, awful people.
Well, you're offering a very different type of accommodation than we are, and far less likely to attract a bad quality of guest. You'll probably be just fine.
I just find it a bit ironic that the reputation of VRBO (and what they claim to be, and claim Airbnb isn't), is quite the reverse (in our experience at least). And we're the spot-on profile of what VRBO claims to offer. I'm willing to give VRBO enough rope to hang itself. We'll see how it goes.
Our listing on the boutique platform I mentioned in another thread is going online soon, so we'll see how that goes.
But again, I'm under no illusions. Right now, I'm unfortunately still dependent on Airbnb to a large extent. And as long as I can reasonably filter out the riff raff, it's still working. Plenty of interest out there, but increasingly from dubious-looking guests. On all platforms.
It's a nuisance to have to vet each one so carefully, and I hate to turn down bookings. We've never had to do that before, and especially on Airbnb, we've always had great guests (the very ones VRBO claims they deliver, but Airbnb doesn't).
But maybe as the pandemic starts to settle down, things will improve. Maybe the good ones are just waiting in the wings, to see what happens before taking the risk.
We shall see.
Well, it shouldn't be that way.
In one way, we've been lucky because the hotels have been shut, and even when not, few tourists fancy a crowded resort hotel right now, and look for alternatives. And I reckon those who can't possibly imagine taking a holiday outside of a crowded resort are prepared to wait. But they wouldn't book our place anyway, so it doesn't affect us so much.
So, as bad as it's been for the resorts, the only upside in all of this is that as a somewhat secluded and private offering away from the crowds, but not far from the attractions, we've managed to stay relatively well booked, albeit with some really bad guests.
Most guests are (still) really fab. But it only takes one trashing to cost as much as the next several decent ones. Not to mention the stress of cleaning it all up before the next guest arrives.
Anyway, I've learned my lesson now. I'm now declining more enquiries than accepting - but it's not because I don't want the business. It's that so many of the guests appear "problematic" (often, very obviously).
I just don't want to take that risk anymore. There's so little recourse available if they trash the place, or simply don't read the description and then are unhappy because its not a private beachfront palace, amazingly offered at half the price of those that are 🤨
It's worth mentioning that about 20% of recent guests have been referrals from friends or returning guests, booking privately. People we know and trust. That's been helpful.
Quality over quantity. Its the best strategy we've found in these weird times.
@Andrew0 That's exactly what I think is going on. Coupled with the proliferation of online blogs and youtube videos with guests advising other guests to always ask for discounts, how to lie about the place and get a free stay, what to say to the host to misrepresent your intention to party, etc.
@Sarah977 Your listing is so unique, that combined with only allowing one guest, I would suspect you won't see a drop in quality. We've finally started getting some international reservations in the last few weeks, so hopefully that will coincide with an end to the bad covid staycation phase of airbnb.
@Mark116 I hope that proves to be the case. However, my neighbor directly across the road has 2 units she Airbnbs and has had several guests since the pandemic that have been quite different than the guests she used to get. Complaints about this and that, leaving early and demanding refunds, one guy who stayed for 3 weeks and left it so filthy she literally had to vomit halfway through cleaning.
Her listing is similar to mine as far as the location, but her units are separate from her house, no shared spaces, and they house 2 guests, so she usually gets couples, and sometimes solos.
So we'll see. Fingers crossed 🙂
@Jonathan1360 You've had less than 10 guests and if you think that a remote cabin with a pool, pool table, home theater and hot tub is NOT going to attract a party crowd, you're in for a very steep learning curve, especially as you have no cameras or apparently no way to monitor what is going on in your beautiful cabins.
I very much doubt that Airbnb will pay for a new dining set because of some scratches, or that they will pay $500 because of smoking. You've already filed claims for the furniture and the smoke damage. Yes you should also file a claim for extra cleaning for smoke remediation.
I'm not clear on exactly what you're asking the forum here since you already have made the claims with Airbnb, presumably following their rules of putting the ticket in before anyone else stays in the cabin and attaching whatever receipts for costs/replacement you have.
But you should know that the Airbnb 'damage deposit' is basically no protection, as it is only paid IF the guest agrees to pay it. If they say no, I won't pay, then that is the end of that.
@Jonathan1360 Just because you have not had any bad experiences up to now, does not mean that your listing doesn't scream "party house". It is exactly what partiers look for- high guest max, entertainment rooms, hot tub, off-site host.
Now, you could go along for another 2 years, only getting respectful family groups, but that doesn't negate the fact that it is indeed exactly the type of listing that attracts partiers and that hosts have to be vigilant about vetting guests well and having systems in place that would alert you to bad behavior.
I have only ever had lovely guests in my private room home-share, but that doesn't mean I'm arrogantly convinced that I couldn't get a terrible guest some day. There are hosts who've been doing strs for many years, with no issues, and suddenly get a group that trashes their house. Being made aware is just a heads-up- it isn't something to get huffy about.
All - for reference, ABB did stand by the guarantee and paid me for the smoke and furniture damage. Although it was weeks and weeks of chasing.....