I'm pretty new to hosting. I have guests currently, who are something like my 10th booking.
Previously, every guest I've had has been immaculately clean.
My current guests are a group of four 20-something guys. It's their first Airbnb experience and they haven't been any problem at all, though each morning when I get up, after they've gotten up and left, I end up cleaning up after them in the kitchen. They leave the coffee maker with coffee grounds and half-full carafe, and a cupboard in dissarray. Took me about ten or fifteen minutes to clean up and put everything back. Not a big deal.
In my house rules, I say nothing about cleaning up after oneself. I do say that the kitchen is available for use and feel free to use the coffee maker. So far, I've never had to say anything to anyone. Everyone up to this point has simply cleaned up after themselves.
I may be being petty, but after having such a string of perfectly clean guests, I'm a little surprised these guys leave even a little mess. Unfortunately with my work schedule, I'm unlikely to see these guests before they leave. I get home late after they're in bed, and wake up after they've left for the day.
I should note that I have not seen the two rooms they are renting, so I don't know if the rooms will be a mess after they leave. That said, I expect to clean the bedrooms after a guest leaves. I don't expect to be a daily housekeeper while I have guests.
So my question to more experiences hosts... should I note the untidy kitchen use in my future review, or should I not worry about such minor things like this?
I generally give the guest a chance to correct the problem before I review them on relatively small things. If the guest fails to correct their behavior, then I mention it in the review. "After speaking to the guest, it was disappointing they continued to leave small messes in the common areas."
20-somethings (especially men - sorry guys!) are notoriously oblivious when it comes to things like cleaning up after themselves. I know when my husband and I were dating, I felt like I was CONSTANTLY cleaning up after him.
Oblivious is a good word to describe this group.
As I said, it's their first Airbnb experience, so I'm a little more understanding, but almost from the start, this has been kind of an odd experience.
The day before they arrived, I messaged the guest with his code to my keyless entry and let them know that I may not be home when they arrived, just to let themselves in. He replied to my message by asking what the address was.
I responded with the address, plus a note that he should have received that information both in an email and in his message box through Airbnb.
Then when they arrived, the guest messaged me asking me how to get in. Luckily I was home, so I just went and opened the door. I asked him if he'd gotten my message with his door code and he said he didn't.
And then he moved his vehicle into my driveway, but parked in front of my garage where I have a no parking sign. The rest of the driveway is for my guests parking. I did ask him to park in the adjacent spot, and that hasn't been an issue since.
The group seems like good guys, and they go to bed early and wake up early, but I'm wondering how they get along in the world without someone holding their hand.
I agree with @Cynthia & Chris, @Jamie. Sound advice. Also, I would say going forward to mention in your house rules that "of course, use of the kitchen requires that you clean up after yourself." I was like you - lucky that I had a whole string of guests who cleaned up after themselves like grownups, and I didn't think I needed to mention it anywhere. Then I had that one, and then another... And so now cleaning up is in the house rules, and also posted. It works quite well.
Don't resist... It will be easier on you to write it in your rules and then there should be no excuse... only a gentle reminder needed.
My resistance is simply that I don't want to be one of those people with lists of rules and signs all over. I like things uncluttered.
I'm also a pretty easy-going guy, so I don't mind if people make themselves at home here... In fact, I've had guests in the past who didn't clean up the kitchen after they used it, and it didn't bother me. What bothered me in this case was the numerous numerous disrespectful things this group did.
I'll evaluate as time goes on whether to make a longer list of house rules.
@Huma yeah, I looooove that first one. Been trying to figure out how to hire him for spring cleaning LOL!
(I only skipped through the second one, so didn't get the whole thing in its slow entirety)
And as for the old Palmolive commercial - well, we've now uncovered the answer to the big question as to what is really in Fort Knox!
Common sense is not common. Setting expectations from the beginning is key. Set some house rules that will gently guide guests to do what you want them to do. Be kind, open and honest with them while they are still your guests, so they have a chance to improve. Waiting until after they're gone and leaving a poor review will hurt their chances to book again. Since it is their first Airbnb experience, teach them what they need to know. What "clean and tidy" means to one person, can mean something else to another.
Jim & Marcia are absolutely correct. Be upfront with your guests. Remind them to review your "entire" listing when relying to them when they book. Second and this is something I didn't want to do at first but found it works very well, it is also a very valuable backup should issues arrise; put everything down in writing in your listing. Ours ended up a bit verbos but it has saved us multiple times with Airbnb Service backing us up on what we offer and who we will open our home too. Don't know who said it but it is true, "if it isn't written down, it didn't happen"!
One day into a one week stay our guests left the "shared bathroom" a mess with toiletries everywhere. I simply reminded them it was a "shared bathroom" and the rest of the week went flawlessly.
@Jamie One thing about inviting the public into our homes as guest, we get the PUBLIC! I know when I started to host my private room, I had in mind that the guest would be similar to my friends and family. Not so much. Being specific about your expectations is only fair, not only to your guests, but also to you. You cannot complain if you have not informed. By the way, international guests can be even more challenging because you are dealing with different cultural norms. Now, all that being said, you need to have a way of confirming the guest has read and understood your rules. Certainly have a hard copy available upon checking in.
Well, they left.
The rooms were fine, except I noticed that they tossed their snowboards on the bed while they were out, and left a mark on one of my comforters. I was able to get most of it out, but it's still visible.
I put two sets of towels out for each guest. One set I put in the bathroom hanging on a towel rod, and I put an extra set in the closet, for a total of four sets of towels in each room. After they left and I was checking out the rooms, I noticed that nobody had used the spare sets of towels. They were untouched. But when I gathered up the dirty towels in the bathrooms, I had quite a few extra. I figured out that they had gone into my linen closet and got their own. Not that big of a deal, but kind of odd when I have extra towels already put out for them, and nobody ever asked me if there were extra towels.
They had also gone into my supply cabinet and took some extras, namely toothpaste. In one bathroom, there were two used tubes of toothpaste. Why open two? Grr. Same with the travel-sized shampoo. Two half-used bottles in the shower.
And they checked out 45 minutes late.
So... I'm not sure what to leave in their review. How does it appear when you click on the box that says you wouldn't recommend them to other hosts?
I'm going to give it a day or two before I leave a review, and of all my guests, I'm not sure these guys will leave me a review. They seemed pretty confused and unfamiliar with the Airbnb website/app. At one point, one of the guys told me that I had a really nice place and I should put some pictures of it in my listing. I told him I had seven or eight pictures, but he insisted that I had only one photo. As well as the aformentioned message from the guest asking the address and asking what the door code is when that information had already been sent to him.
I know it's not a horror story like some I've read on here, but a frustrating experience and so far my only negative in my short time hosting.
You have several choices, tell the truth without feelings! Second, remember that Airbnb is a mutual admiration society, you get good marks and more guests, guests get good marks and move on, your ratings are far more important. Third, you can choose to not provide one, after 14 days your guests' visit didn't happen and you can go from there. Or basically give them good marks and provide a statement that says you were not happy but it all worked out. We had a guest from another country with an unruly teenager. We gave lots of latitude since it was their first trip out of their country. The youngster got into everything, our desk, drawers, kitchen, tried to hurt our puppy, etc. We gracefully provided a review that reflected our frustration without effecting the overall review. If you complain about others you will be less likely to attract new guests. Tell your guests when they arrive area's that are off limits, remind them over and over their comfort is important and to ask you for anything they need. I have that on the wall in their room, I tell them coming into the house, I ask them every day. Text it to them if you are absent.
You could say, "having guests in our home is a new experience and we are moving down the learning curve. There was some communication gaps I'll be working on them and appreciate our guests for working things out with us. That said, you both write reviews that cannot be seen until both are completed. But you get to do a rebuttal and can tailer that depending on what they say. It is frustating at times but you signed up for it, learn to deal with issues up front and you will be much happier.
Rule of Thumb;
Never put things within a guests reach; like toothpaste, towels, mouthwash etc.
Most areas have what is know as THE DOLLAR STORE.
An initial purhase of those tiny samples of all the items that any guest MIGHT chance need.
Small is better than Large to be tossed after they leave; or they take those small treasures as souveniers
of you Hosting.
What do you usually do with Family members?
Aren'e they usually included in keeping the house picked up and clean?
When u list your Home; be more specific about "Everyone picks up after themselves...."
I did; and that issue never needs to be YOUR chore.....or you just let them know; any extra work for you,
is extra fees for them to pay.....
@Jamie, I don't think any of the things you mentioned are such a big deal. I have had guests do almost all of these things at some point. Your guests just sound particularly irksome because they've done several annoying things, but they've not behaved that badly in the scheme of things, so I wouldn't give them a negative review, but would maybe mention a few things in private feedback to them.
Re towels, toiletries etc. it is annoying to have to hide your stuff away, especially when you have provided them with this stuff already, but maybe that's what you have to do. I used to have a big basket of towels in the bathroom, but those have now been put away in a cupboard because it got annoying when guests just helped themselves every day and left them in a wet heap on the bathroom floor.
I do point out the free teas/coffee/sugar etc. when guests check in, but politely ask them not to help themselves to other people's food, toiletries or towels and that they should ask if there is anything else they need. So far, it has worked with the food and towels, but not toiletries. I have always provided travel sized toiletries for the guests, but many helped themselves to ours instead. Now, I also have full sized bottles labelled for guests in the showers if they want to use them. If I notice that they are using mine instead, mine get immediately put away. They should get the point at this stage!
@Jamie I think the main idea of your words. This stay was not a disaster, but it was much less tidy and clean than what you have seen during your 10 trips.
Rating and reviews have been a problem for me too sometimes, especially in the beginning, when I faced for the first time something disappointing.
I now think that reviews and ratings have to do with a comparison system that all hosts obtain but it is not the same to all of us. To me, when there are guests who come on time and keep me updated constantly if needed, who make me feel great with their positive energy, who take the trash out, wash all the dishes and respect everything, I would not feel well to give them exactly the same rates and reviews with the kind of guests you described.
So, I think no review or rating can be totally objective, it always depends on some degree of comparison and personal criteria. Unless you copy-paste exactly the same review to anyone!
However, I try not to waste my very low ratings for light cases. I may rate with 4 or 3 stars but very rarely with 2 or 1.
Also, I make sure that my review will be written in a way that shows professionalism and politeness. I mean, I refer to certain actions and issues and not generally to the guests as persons.
I will give some examples of how I write a difficult review:
"Ann and her friends were polite guests and our communication was good before check-in. However, the kitchen was not left in the best possible condition. The dishes and the kitchen devices were not washed, despite our house rules."
This one is the review for my worst Airbnb experience so far:
"I would never recommend those guests! It was my worst experience until now. 1) The guests smoke inside the house, which means that they broke one of my House Rules! I needed one whole day to remove the smoke smell. It was the only time that a guest broke that rule after 116 hosted trips. 2) The place was left in an extremely bad condition. All the dishes and pots were used and left unwashed with parched fats and burned food on them. The surfaces of the kitchen and the kitchen devices were left very dirty. 3) They asked us to let them stay a little more (until 14:00 - 14:30) and we said that it was ok, but they finally left at 16:00."
But this last one was a REALLY bad experience for me.
Anyway, I wish you to never have a worse experience than what you describe! And you already know, that the majority of the guests are great and make us feel wonderful with what we do.