I just saw a post on Twitter from someone who stayed in a shared rental and left dirty dishes and pots in the sink overnight and was angry about a poor review from the host. Then a guy commented that his wife spilled coffee on a rug and he was upset that he was marked down for cleanliness.
Obviously some guests don't have a good idea of what is expected from them when they leave a rental. They think the cleaning fee covers whatever condition they leave the rental in and I'd estimate that about 20% of my guests leave my two rentals in a condition that considerably exceeds what the ample cleaning fees cover.
The two guests above said they wouldn't be using Airbnb again, not because of the rentals themselves but the responses from the hosts afterward. It sounds like the lower reviews and ratings were deserved, but it's still bad for business and maybe could have been avoided if guests were clear on expectations, and I don't think delivering those expectations should rest solely with hosts. Not only is it difficult to get people to read the entire listing (much less a house manual), it's uncomfortable for the host to sound too demanding.
That's why I think Airbnb should have a blanket policy on cleanliness standards that all guests agree to when they sign up and before each booking and that standard should clearly explain the rental should look the same when you leave as when you entered. It should only require a general cleaning. If more guests were aware that it doesn't include washing dirty dishes or scrubbing out stains or picking up garbage or putting all the furniture back, etc. maybe the cleaning fees (or even rental fees) would go down... which would be good for business. It would also be good for hosts to all be on the same page as far as what's expected and can adjust their cleaning fees accordingly.
Does anybody else support this idea?
I agree completely!!!! On our second booking was for five days. The second day the fights started and then continued to the end of their stay. The place was a mess. The couches are covered in stains I couldn't get out.
the floors had some sort of powder all over them. Four hours with two cleaners, we were ready. Thank goodness no one booked for that night.
@Jen5 I totally support your idea as a succinct way of expressing how the host-guest relationship is supposed to work when the year is 2010 and this whole concept is still based on the lofty notions of Sharing Economy and Peer-to-Peer Capitalism. Back then, this whole thing was all about getting to know your bro whilst crashing on his couch, and it was super fun!
Seriously, though. If you want to make money on Airbnb now, on some level you'll have to accept that your customer base includes the kind of people whose Starbucks order is a paragraph long, and who take lifestyle tips from Goop literally, and whose idea of a Friend is some stranger who clicked Like on that picture they took of themselves making duck faces at the Holocaust Memorial. This is not the crowd that you can train to fulfill your cleaning standards.
What you really have to do is reconfigure the place you're listing so that it's relatively guest-proof: easy for the decent guests to leave behind on an early check-out without much effort, and easy for you as the host to manage when you got douchebags who couldn't bother. I really don't see a future in making bold demands for a profit-oriented corporation to start asking its sources of revenue to start coddling us as service providers when it doesn't suit their profit interest - if we've voluntarily chosen to go into the tourist accommodation business, and tourists have the audacity to act like tourists, it seems like we should be intellectually prepared to manage the fallout without calling Daddy.
@Andrew0 The idea of making a rental "guest-proof" might work if you're renting out a bedroom or small apartment but I have two large homes and the difference in cleaning cost between someone who leaves the house in good shape or bad could be $100. It's even more when you factor in people who do damage that Airbnb refuses to cover. Sure, that cost can be built into the cleaning price but then the good guests are essentially paying the costs of the bad guests and the bad guests might only be bad because they just don't know any better.
I've hosted here for 10 years and there has been a very noticeable uptick this past year in the number of guests leaving the house in bad shape so I wouldn't mind going back to the host-guest relationship of 2010.
@Jen5 I'm on your side here with the ideals, but when it comes to the execution you know you're on your own. So you've gotta do what works for you. Waiting for Silicon Valley to catch up to your ideals is about as effective as waiting for Mister Right to turn up on Pornhub.
your description of the customer base made me laugh 😄 lol... unfortunately, it is 100% right
But, I am afraid, the guest-proof rental should be designed like this 🙂
(picture taken from "Room escape Rijeka" Croatia)
@Emilia42 I didn't even know about this! I've bookmarked it... but what a joke. I've reported four serious incidents to Airbnb for extra visitors and nighttime noise (our city has strict laws for rentals). Two of the groups we had to kick out early for repeated violations. I reported them but Airbnb didn't ask me to provide them with any evidence for any of these incidents nor did they seem at all bothered to learn more. One of the groups we booted left a bad review and I had to fight Airbnb tooth and nail to finally get it removed.
A community near us just voted to ban short-term rentals (as many others are also doing). If Airbnb doesn't make a bigger effort to address guest conduct BEFORE it's a problem, they're going to drive themselves out of business.
@Emilia42 I've decided I'm going to print this out (along with my own specifics where applicable) and post it in my rentals. I think it sounds much better coming from Airbnb than a sign from the host saying, "Do this, don't do that." So I really thank you for directing me to this! 😊
By the same token, if there are roaches in a rental, don’t you think the host should not be allowed to rent without allowing the guest to cancel? The place I am currently 16 days into because AIRBNB wants to give the host courtesy, looked clean on the surface but I got a bad vibe right away. After dead roaches were on the porch the next morning I started to look behind curtains and under the bed where it looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in months. I am upset as since then there have been many more violations and the Host ignored me until I had to call Airbnb because all support messages went unanswered!!! By the time I finally got ahold of someone I was so upset I just wanted out! With all the lame excuses why the light fixture didn’t work, and that I am the only one
complaining insults from the host I am so upset. The shared bathrooms (2) for at least 10 people 8 of which are men is just a disgusting disgrace! These should be Men/Women bathrooms especially since men don’t usually clean anything… at least the ones in this house don’t!! No one cleans the common areas!!! At least not daily!!!
Completely agree, sometimes it's hard not to come across as a "demanding host" but things need to be in order so that our cleaning teams are swamped with duties when they arrive. I try to outline my guidelines as respectfully as possible upon accepting the booking. There are reminders in the form of a note/note book for guests to refer to before check out. I usually title it "lets help each-other get better reviews", the note includes a simple check list and a comment section for the guest to utilize before check out. It would be much nicer if Airbnb prompted a list like this to the guest 12-24 hours prior to their departure though...
A nice daydream. Air cares about maximizing shareholder value. They will not do anything that would disrupt bookings. Perhaps increase your cleaning fee?
They do not care at all about hosts. The trend got much worse once Corona hit After the IPO it is set in concrete.
It is up to each host to manage their business, vet guests, set expectations, etc. You can count on Air only as a booking engine.
As we see so very often, Air will often not support a host when a Guest throws a party, causes damage, leaves a mess, etc.
As I mentioned in my initial post, two people said that they wouldn't use Airbnb again because they had a different idea of how clean they should be than the hosts did. That's bad for business and so is hiking up cleaning fees so that the clean guests are paying for the extra cleaning required by the dirty guests.