advice please for feedback for an "ok" guest

in
Australia
Level 10
724 Views

Hi everyone,

Would appreciate your advice re this.

Have only been hosting for about 5 months and not a huge number of guests so not that experienced but made superhost so must be doing things reasonably well.

this guest was not terrible, but not amazing either.

He IB'd and this was his message  'Just a weekend away with my partner to explore the area and markets. around mid morning we will arrive. We only need the one bedroom."

My check in time is 2 pm. I immediatley messagd him through airbnb and pointed this out. Said he was welcome to do a bag drop mid morning. Said I would be there and would do my best to have home ready by midmorning, but couldnt' guarantee.    No reply

 

2 days before checkin I messaged again through airbnb stating again the same thing about early check in,stated I would be there and giving directions plus keypad code. No reply

 

I live about 2 hours drive from my listing and do my own cleanign and making beds etc. (My decision and so I realise not the guests problem). However, in this instance I got up at 4 am, drove up and worked like the absolute clappers trying to ensure house was fairly ready by 10.30 am.

At 10.35 am he rang and said he would be arriving at about 3 pm. I asked him to ring 15 mins before he arrived which he did.

When he did arrive the first thing he asked was "where can I hang this wet T shirt?"

I showed him and his partner how to use the keypad. He had no idea what the code was but insisted he had read the emails from me.   He was not rude, seemed pleasant enough, but asked lots of questions, nearly all of which were covered in my listing.

I left and drove home.

He rang the next day to say he had found a corn cob in the microwave. ( absolutely totally my fault and a direct result of trying to get ready too quickly)

I apologised profusely.  He asked me to come and remove it as he didn't "want to touch it. he was scared, as he was an asthmatic"  At this point it became obvious that he had not read my listing or my messages. He had no idea I lived 2 hours away. etc etc. At this point I politely let him know how much he had inconvenienced me  on the day of check in.  I arranged for someone to come and remove the said offending corn, , scrupulously clean the microwave and leave a bottle of wine in the fridge as an apology. I messaged him through every stage of this but he had left his phone in the car and didn't reply until 3 hours later. The next day I offered him a late checkout ( which I would have done anyway - nothing to do with the corn cob)

he did message me to let me know he was leaving. Said he'd loved the stay and he hoped I'd let him stay again.

The house wasn't in an awful state - not TOO bad, but fridge full of food, - half a bunch of celery for example -  bins not emptied, had used SIX beach towels and left them in 6 different places throughout the house, stovetop was pretty grubby, dishes washed ( not very well) and left in draining board.

My distinct impression is he thinks - I've paid a cleaning fee, you clean up after me.

I dont' explicitly talk about empyting bins or washing dishes in my rules (but then again he hadn't read anything anway, He ignored the rule about washing off sand with the outside shower for example and used the downstairs inside bath)

he has good reviews and has left good reviews previously.

he has already left me a review which my gut tells me will either be great or awful.

How do people think I should handle a review for him? 2 months ago I wouldn't have said anything, but i'm, beginning to think peopel like this should be gently pulled up. I don't want to say much. I dont' think he merits a thumb down. Should I make it basic and non commital  comment and then in private message let him know his communication could be better? 

shoud I say nothing because I made the cleaning oversight with the microwave? Would really appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.   Many thanks

18 Replies

Re: advice please for feedback for an "ok" guest

Level 10

@Rowena29 as a host I appreciate honest reviews from other hosts. Your guest sounds like someone I wouldn't be happy to host myself. Perhaps rating them down on communication, house rules and cleanliness and leaving a review along the lines of "guest was difficult to communicate with to organise check in, ignored house rules and left the house messier than expected." And it's up to you if you rate him thumbs down for recommending him for future hosts. If you do he can't instant book with people that have the requirment that he is recommended by other hosts (like me and I appreciate it when that red flag appears from other hosts).

Re: advice please for feedback for an "ok" guest

in
Cape Town, South Africa
Level 2

I think you're always going to get difficult guests who don't read house rules and who don't communicate well.

 

I would be subtle with my review of your guest - making it clear that he was difficult!

 

The main issue I see with you and your listing going forweard is the distance and time from your property. 2hours is a long way away - so I do forsee many issues (even little ones) that can result as a consequence of you being so far away. A suggestion would be to have someone closer who can respond/manage the property on your behalf.

 

Re: advice please for feedback for an "ok" guest

in
Australia
Level 10

Thanks @Mikaela0.  I do have some contacts close by who can respond when problems arise - such as the microwave incident. I may untlimately move to a cleaner etc close by. However a cleaner and laundry person would more than double the cost of my current cleaning fees which are modest.  Currently I prefer to manage myself while I get used to the airbnb experience. I also feel (most) guests are more likely to respect your space when they meet you in person. on the few occasions I have stayed in an airbnb myself, the ones managed by the hosts were far superior to those run by managers or an offsite host.  Anway, in this particular instance, I don't think having a manager would have helped  - there was still a 6 hour delay between stated arrival time and actual arrival time, with no prior communication. . This would have been highly inconvenient whether i lived 2 hours away or 2 mins away. I suspect that this particular guest had no real concept of staying in someone elses home and treating it like his own, he treated it , more like a serviced apartment. He was pleasant enough and seemed to think that he was being perfectly reasonable. 

Re: advice please for feedback for an "ok" guest

in
South Korea
Level 10

@Rowena29 

Personally I think reviews should be honest and factual....... but also hosts need to be able to really say what they FEEL. The guest doesn't sound like the type I'd consider "an okay guest". Based on what you posted, if I were in your shoes I'd probably word the review to be something like this. 

 

Communication with this guest was difficult and the questions which were asked during check in made it pretty clear that he did not read our listing description, house rules or any of the information about check in I had sent prior to arrival. The guests were pleasant and friendly, but left the place messier compared to other guests I hosted previously. Based on my experience, I would be hesitant to host these guests again. 

 

Hope this helps~

Re: advice please for feedback for an "ok" guest

in
Australia
Level 10

Hi @Jessica0&Henry, thank you, that helps a lot. It's always great to get someone else's wording. I will have a think and will probably write something along those lines.  Many thanks

Re: advice please for feedback for an "ok" guest

in
Jersey City, NJ
Level 10

@Rowena29 I think you made a mistake to break your back to get the place ready by morning, outside of your check-in window.  You should have simply messaged the guest or called airbnb to reach out to him to confirm his acknowledgement of the 2pm check in time.  It's also helpful to tell guests in the first message that they should read the whole listing, rules, etc. and if the timing is an issue, as it is for you, you should mention this first thing.  

 

I would probably say something along the lines of this guest was pleasant, although somewhat difficult to communicate with regarding check-in and reading the house rules, which caused some difficulties.  Depending on how much messier than normal you feel this guest left things, you could leave it out of the public review and make mention of it in a private reply.  

Re: advice please for feedback for an "ok" guest

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Rowena29  sorry I know your question is about the review, but I agree with @Mark116. If your check in time is 2pm, stick to that unless it is convenient for you to do earlier, i.e. you can easily get the place ready on time and it doesn't disrupt other plans. The check in time is clearly stated on the listing and the guest has agreed to the conditions of that listing. 

 

That being said, like your guest, many don't read anything. I ask for an arrival time straight off and it goes something like this, "Please let me know your expected time of arrival, bearing in mind that check in is from 3-9pm and I can't do any earlier." If they don't respond, I will chase and, if it gets to the day of check in and the guest hasn't responded, I'll get on the phone and get Airbnb to chase them.

 

If you expect guests to do certain things like empty bins and wash dishes, specify this in your house rules. Again, not all guests read these, so anything that is really important to you should be mentioned in your house tour. For example, I show the guests the dishwasher and also where the dish soap/sponges are if they prefer to wash things by hand. This very clearly tells them they are expected to do their own dishes without having to spell it out. Very few don't get this! Getting them to do them properly is another matter. I would actually prefer them to put stuff in the dishwasher as so many people think they have washed something properly even if it is still covered in oil and food.

Re: advice please for feedback for an "ok" guest

in
Australia
Level 10

Hi@ Huma,

thanks so much for responding, I have already responded to @Mark0 and covered some of the things you and he agree on - so I won't restate it all again.   I dont' explicitly state in my rules that I want bins emptied, fridge emptied etc, but one of the reasons I make the trip to give an orientation is to show guests these things, I showed them were the dishwasher tablets were, were the extra bin liners were, where the extra tea towels were, along with things like spare blankets, extra pillows etc. They weren't apallingly messy - although the stove top was covered in sauce splatter which I really think they should have cleaned. If it wasn't for the checkin time debacle I probably wouldn't have worried toooo much.. I suppose that what perpelced me most was the overwhelming feeling I had by the end of the stay that I was there to be a maid and conceirge, and THAT'S  why I was interested in how others thought I should handle = I really think he needs to be pulled up, gently but firmly. I think he is the type of person to adjust. Bit suprised his partner wasn't more responsible.  The most important thing I have learned from all this is to contact CS very promptly if I am at all unsure or worried. Their willingness to make contact with the guest to sort things out is a service I should be making more use of if I am at all concerned. ( epsecially now that the automated welcome message has been even futher curtailed).

thank you again for taking the time to respond. It does help your perspective to hear what others think.

Regards

Re: advice please for feedback for an "ok" guest

in
Australia
Level 10

Thanks@Mark 

you are absolutely right I should have had airbnb CS contact him when i reiceved no acknowledgment  he had read my emails.  I can't imagine now why this didnt' occur to me.  I think it was because, as he  was reasonably experienced guest of over 5 years, it didn't occur to me he wouldn't read the emails, I just thought he wasn't responding.  I do quickly recap relevant house rules to all guests immediately after booking.No use if they're not reading them though!  .It wans't until he actually arrived, said he'd got lost and had no idea about the keycode that I began to suspect. When he told me the next day he thought I lived close by I knew for sure he not read either my messags or paid much attention to my listing either.  I realise  also did not need to break my neck, but at the moment ( I may change as i get more hardened) my aqttitude is, that if I CAN be accomodating, i will be.  I have had to tell some guests that i cna't be flexible due to other committments, and I don't feel guilty about this. However, several years ago,  I had a London aribnb spontaneoulsy  offer me an early check in to coincide with my flight arrival which I enormously appreciated. My hosting is influecned by the positive and negative expeirences I've had as a guest.  I didn't reaaaallly mind getting up early to be accomocating, but I DID mind being mucked  around  to the tune of 5 hours on the acutal day of check in.  In hindsight I should have known from his blase "I will be arriving midmorning" that there was trouble brewing.  (My very next guest also wanted an early check in as she was travelling with pets. The world of difference in how she approached it though. She has been a wonderful guest and I'm really glad I  put myself out a little to accomodate her.) The mess he left was not earth shattering and doesn't warrant a thumbs down IMO.  It just stuck in my craw given the princess behaviour over the microwave and the carry on about how fastidious he was. And leaving the fridge full of half consumed food was also a bit much.  I honestly think he truly believes my role was conceirge/receptionist/maid. .Hence my reaching out for advice about how to handle him. I would host him again I think, becasue I do believe he would adjust with feedback and direction. Not a rude man, just ignorant and unthinking.  thanks for yoru advice, I really appreciate it, it's good to get some prespective from others

regards

Re: advice please for feedback for an "ok" guest

in
Austin, TX
Level 10

Another hopeless wish that abb would give us a “meh” button. 

 

@Rowena29 Sometimes when I have nothing nice to say then my review says “2 night IB for 2 guests”

and then do what you will with the stars. If you DONT want these guests back then mark some category 3 or lower. If you DO want them to have the ability to come back then give 4 or higher

Re: advice please for feedback for an "ok" guest

in
Adelaide, Australia
Level 10

Hi Kelly. Just read your comment  if you don't want IB guests to rebook you,  you can rate them as 3 or lower - how does that work?  And how does it impact on the guests future booking with other hosts?

My current guest leaves tomorrow and while I have no complaint about him other than he is a smoker (outside at all times but still a smoker which is not allowed in house rules) I am not really comfortable with him in my home.  He is trying to find permanent accommodation and will need further Airbnb stays until then (he is a university student).  I don't want to make if difficult for him to stay elsewhere as I have no reason to warrant that, I just don't want him to stay here again for personal reasons....

Does rating him 3 stars or less stop him from booking me instantly or all hosts?  Is it in the rules somewhere and I've missed it?  I actually sent feedback to support asking if they can add a 'block IB' option on guests who want to return but if it happens it wont be in the next 14 days I have to review this guest.

Re: advice please for feedback for an "ok" guest

in
Lithia Springs, GA
Level 10

Since you want to be fair to the rest of the hosting community and review him appropriately... I'd say something like... he didn't read the listing or the rules and asked many questions that could have been addressed had he read the listing and the rules. He was a very needy guest. And if you dont want to host him again, give him a thumbs DOWN! 

 

Now that I have almost 300 five star reviews, I am all about being honest in my guest reviews. Even if they give me a bad review, I have enough good ones to out-weigh it. Hosts need to make airbnb a better place by weeding out these "ok" guests. 

 

I've busted my butt many times to accomdate the guest who wants to check in early... but then they always seem to check in LATE! Really?! I just busted my arse to get this place ready for you early and you're checking in hours after normal time? UGH!

Re: advice please for feedback for an "ok" guest

in
Australia
Level 10

Thanks @Donald0 for taking the time to respond. I will think about my wording,  carefully but I will definitely say something meaty in the review that will hopefully make him adjust his beahviour for the future. I dont' think he is beyond hope, just ignorant and uneducated re how to behave appropriately. He was also a bit "odd"  I wont' thiumbs down him  - he wasn't appalling adn I do honeslty think he will adjust if it's spelt out very clearly to him. perhpas I'm wrong.  Thanks so much for your perspecitve. For a while there I was wondering if it was ME being the princess, not him. 

Regards   

Re: advice please for feedback for an "ok" guest

in
Australia
Level 10

Hi @Mark;@Donald;@Huma; @Jessica144 

I am begin a little needy.

Below is what I had planned to say re my OK guest

Can you see anything glaring or inappropriate?

I plan to give 4 stars for communication and 4 for cleanliness and 5 for house rules and a thumbs up.

(BTW he is indigenous so I want to  be super cautious so I cna't be accused of bias)

What I am trying to say when I use the term "how the listing operates" is that it's not a hotel with a reception and maid.

Many thanks in advance

Rowena....

 

"Richard was a warm and friendly guest. Initially communication was uncertain and caused some difficulties especially regarding arrival time and how the listing operated. However from the day of checkin onwards Richard was very considerate with communication. The few house rules were reasonably well observed and the house was  left adequately clean. Now that Richard understands that private homes do not generally offer front desk reception or cleaning services similar to a hotel stay,  I  feel confident recommending him to other hosts and welcoming him back to my home."

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