Need advice on guests treating check in like a hotel.

in
Toronto, Canada
Level 1
1,076 Views

Hello all, 

 

I need some advice, insight and information on guests checking in. 

 

I started off with my listing set at 4pm check in. I wasn't aware that almost every guests would assume that you can check in ANYTIME after 4pm (like a hotel). After speaking with Airbnb they advised me there is a time frame I can add. I then changed check in time to 4-6pm. I am still experiencing guests being very vague and basically telling me that they will show up between those hours. The issue for me is that I don't live on the premises. I always reach out to my guests a few days before they arrive with a welcome letter and ask/get an idea of what time would work best for the guests. My intentions are to accommodate my guests to the best of my ability as my schedule is actually pretty flexible. I just need to find a super nice way to ask guests to give me an exact time. 

 

Also, is it just apart of hosting for a guests to expect you to calculate/guess what time they will arrive? For example, I've reached out to guests saying welcome and ask if they will be arriving right at 4pm and they go onto say: Well, I arrive at the airport at this time so once we get our bags and find a taxi or take the transit I'll contact you. 

 

I come from being an Airbnb guest first and I have and would never be so vague, and expect the host to just check me in at a time that I choose. 

 

Is there something I should put in my discription? 

 

It is also very common on listing around me that hosts will charge for late check in. For those of you that do list this do you charge every hour after your check in time? Or a flate rate. Are most guests understandable of this? 

 

 

Id appreciate any feed back! 

9 Replies

Re: Need advice on guests treating check in like a hotel.

in
Beaufort, SC
Level 10

I would consider investing in a code box. I bought one for about $80 US. It is worth it. I still plan to greet and meet guests, but it takes away the stress in case I can not.

Re: Need advice on guests treating check in like a hotel.

in
Seattle, WA
Level 2

I agree with Deborah, invest in electronic keyless entry. When I first started hosting I was very frustrated because I would rearrange my work schedule to let guest in or check out. Its easier to provide them a code the day before they arrive to enter the house if I'm not there.  I did spend about $200 on my system, but I can login to the system any time and cancel access to anyone. They system also allows for the door to automaticaly lock within a 30 seconds, as some guest aren't always great at locking up, this way even if they forget the door will automatically lock. The only time I make it a point to be present when guest arrive is if they are long term guest, as I like to run down the rules and show them where to find things and what areas are off limits. 

Re: Need advice on guests treating check in like a hotel.

in
Newton, MA
Level 2

I agree with Deborah.  Invest in a lock box or find a place to leave a key.  I leave a key for my guests so that they can check in any time whether or not I am home.

 

Personally, as someone who is also an airbnb guest, I would not stay at a place without a flexible check in policy.  What if my plane is late or traffic is heavy?  I notice in parts of Europe it is common practice to charge guests for late check in. I guess that doesn't bother some people , but I won't book at this places and I doubt I'm alone in that.

Re: Need advice on guests treating check in like a hotel.

in
Tokyo, Japan
Level 6

In Tokyo, we also set up the check in time. 

But most of guests can not follow it, so we hire the part time worker, such as students to meet them up and gave the key.

It will be extra cost but it is worthy.

We also charge for the late check in.

In Tokyo, it is not easy to find the place because the address indication is not clear.

Besides, the neighbor would complain if the guests were wondering around looking for the place.

Some of area, airbnb is not allowed because the neighbors around said NO to airbnb even the law is alright in Japan.

Re: Need advice on guests treating check in like a hotel.

in
Daylesford, Australia
Level 10

I simply say ''check in any time after 2pm, just let me know when you plan to arrive and I will meet you at the house.''

Ergo, if they don't let me know, I will not be there. They all let me know.

Most guests arrive within 10 minutes of their predicted time, but it is not hard to find me, you just have to calculate your drive. Most are also nice in letting me know if there's a change in time in case they are delayed.

Re: Need advice on guests treating check in like a hotel.

in
Portland, OR
Level 10

Yes, here guests seem to be all over the place as far as check in time. Today my guests were going to be here at 4:30 but messaged that they got off their plane at about 2:00 so I told them I could meet them at 3:15. They found a Walmart and decided to shop (Who comes to Portland for Walmart?) and they went back to the first option of 4:30 just for them to arrive promptly at 3:45 (?)

 

And its usually the folks that do this kind of thing that then have the nerve to give me a lower star rating for check ins...

But yes, I do have a keypad entry for backup in case they don't show up at a time that I can be there. Otherwise, I have yet to determine the fool-proof solution for some guests' poor communication.

Re: Need advice on guests treating check in like a hotel.

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

Personally I would not book a place that has a fee for confirming a check in time outside of a specific window. 

 

Having said that, it's one of the things that travellers really find difficult to estimate if they are coming to a new city. We tend to have a feel for how long it will take them on public transport from a certain airport, but then we know the route and the short cuts and we don't have to double check we are on the right train/platform, etc.

 

So we try to get it to a sensible 2 hour window, which allows for any delay in baggage, etc...and we say if you are running late please let us know. They do...

Re: Need advice on guests treating check in like a hotel.

in
Moriches, NY
Level 10

@Jordan-And-Paige0 you have an extremely strict check in policy. You have already limited it between 4 and 6, on top of that you expect an even more exact arrival time. I would say thats virtually impossible for guests to predict that. How about they text you an hour before they arrive to say they are on their way??

And in my opinion I would forego a late fee - yikes!

I treat check in like a hotel. I tell my guests they can check in anytime after 3pm (text me when youre on your way) and check out is 11am.

Re: Need advice on guests treating check in like a hotel.

in
Annecy-le-Vieux, France
Level 1

Hello. I always ask guests to confirm approximate time when they can a few days before and then to reconfirm on the day a couple of hours before arrival. I have not yet had a bad experience yet and everyone has followed these steps. I find its good to initiate good communication from the start. If someone says they are not sure you just explain that the 16h-20h is a guideline but that you need to know to plan your own day. I think sometimes you just need to be honest and ensure expectations are met before arrival. 

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