This is my fourth summer doing airBnb and I feel I don't enjoy it anymore. Am I the only one feeling guests have changed? They seem to expect hotel prestations and do not respect my privacy, spend hours in the kitchen and go to the outdoor space which is off limit. I offer 40 sq m (room, tv room, own shower, working space) but still spend time in my kitchen...
I'm not sure whether it is the guests changing or AirBnB changing. Today most profiles have very little information in them and most anyone can join and start trying to rent. In the past potential renters and landlords needed to say enough about themselves that that was already useful information for a host to decide on a match.....that was a genuinely 'sharing community' attitude. Its the biggest reason that we were able to rent so many great places and why with 300 experiences as a host, I've had no problems. Airbnb is changing that business model, drip by drip, so we are now made to either accept much greater risk or work much harder to avoid the wrong guest.
You're in the doldrums. Maybe it's time to through the baby out with the bath water.
OR take this as an opportunity to change.
You have a great place. You can choose to offer only that which you want to offer.
Locks are great. Notes that say "No kitchen usage" are great. Throwing the kitchen circuit breaker when you leave is great. Shutting off the gas line is great. Say "On sorry, the repairman comes after you leave.
Your house, your rules.
Don't burden yourself with "being nice" . Just draw a line - that can be nice too.
I will start reminding guests about the restricted access to kitchen and outdoor before they actually confirm, that will help. I also notice that the more time people used my kitchen and invaded my space, the more negative reviews I got. So what is the incentive here about being nice? Regarding locks: not possible. As many flats in my area, there is no door to the kicthen (to make light better flow). The key to the outdoor is the same as the key to the entrance and I don't feel like changing lock nor to need 2 keys just for this purpose. I will also decrease my price for lonely travellers and maybe restrict my listing to them. I had a super nice lonely guest from Hungary - the only one who actually was happy talking to me.
@Olivia363 oh dear, this sounds awful for you and I totally relate to the feeling of not looking forward to coming home because of some guests. I agree with what others have said about changing your listing and reiterating your rules in your initial messages. While guests are asked to read and agree to house rules when booking, I find none of them actually read them and so you’re better off saying a few words on arrival and maybe remind them during their stay.
Have you thought about adding a paragraph to your listing saying something like Airbnb is a community of hosts and travellers..explain what that means and say in nice terms that it’s not a hotel, you make every effort to ensure guests have a comfortable and great stay at the fraction of the cost of a hotel and privacy should be respected, the outdoor space does not belong to you and therefore you can’t permit guests to use it and will get complaints from neighbours and possibly the building’s owners? (This might not be true but the guest doesn’t need to know it.)
You could even put tea and coffee making facilities in their rooms like a hotel, then they would have no reason to come to the kitchen?
I’ve only been hosting for one year so I can’t comment on how guests have changed, and I only host solo travellers. I find more often than not guests were thinking of it as a shared house rather than a guest house/hotel, so I adjusted my listings accordingly and now don’t accept longer bookings unless we’ve had a discussion about what my Airbnb actually is and the standards I expect from longer-term guests.
So ultimately I would just adjust your listings to attract the kind of guests you want. If you enjoy hosting then don’t let it put you off!
@Olivia363, yes, definitely. I have noticed a big change in the Airbnb culture since I started hosting nearly 3 years ago. Back then, it was more about the cultural exchange, meeting locals and staying in people's homes. It was an alternative to hotels for people who wanted more of a local experience. Now the original spirit is no longer there and it seem that many people think Airbnb is the same as hotels, especially younger people, who didn't live through the pre-Airbnb era, and older people, who are not great at using web-based platforms and can have ridiculously high standards (I find the middle ground to be best). I can only repeat what others have said - make sure everything is clearly stated on your listing, confirm with guests that they have read the rules and go over everything with them when they arrive. But I think we need to stand strong in keeping Airbnb what it was and not feel pressured to offer a hotel-style experience. That would be a real shame.
@Kath9 @Olivia363 I'm with you Kath, except I find younger people to be the most easily pleased with my ramshackle old place. (One said "Its like Hogwarts! - Praise indeed!) I'm lucky to still get some cultural exchange, live like a local people who VALUE the private home experience. Just said goodbye today to a lovely German motorcyclist/mountain walker, spirit of the original. Also received worst review for a year from couple who joined & booked an hour or so before arriving, zero communication "Hi" - nothing else, then had audacity to give me 3* for communication! Joined & booked SO quickly, no time to research what Airbnb is about.
I've added to my listing description "An Airbnb in the spirit of the original. - Not a "traditional B&B."
@Kath9 , I like your thing about us needing to keep Airbnb as it was, not a hotel-style experience. @Olivia363 , I think we must be really clear in our listing descriptions about what we do & do not offer, & clear about any negatives, so people know what they are getting , so have no nasty surprises, & can't complain.
... meant to say @Olivia363 , @Laylee0 is absolutely right about the shared outside space, I think it's fine to say it's not for guests cos other residents use it, so you need to consider your neighbours privacy. I too have a shared courtyard & I have no guest seating to stop guests annoying my neighbours.
@Helen350, it's such a pleasure these days when you do have guests who 'get' Airbnb. I do still get them but they are sadly becoming rarer. Most of my young guests are from countries neighbouring mine that are relatively 'new' to travelling (i.e. they don't have a long-term culture of travelling like Australians or Europeans). So, they really are clueless about what accommodation was and is and should be and how much it costs. Anyway, I really like what you've added to your listing and might steal that if I may.. 🙂
I reminded the guests that nearby my location, there is a hostel charging exactly double as much as my room for a shared 4-bed bedroom, without private shower, without sheets/towels and of course without coffee etc. I really think people have completely lost the concept here...
We have definitely noticed the change in guests over the last four years.
Agree with the other comments. As Airbnb has become well known and mainstream, people booking view it the same as booking a hotel etc through any normal travel site and therefore now expect hotel standards (but at a much cheaper cost).
Many reviews are now written as if they had booked a hotel.Some of the guests do not even seem to understand the concept of self catering apartments which existed long before Airbnb
Yes - I think one of the problem is that AirBnb went from private to private&professional listings and markets professional listings in the front page - whereas Booking went from hotel to private&hotel listings. All this is confusing for guests. There should be a clear demarcation between private homes and business-run listings so as not to raise unreasonable expectations.
I will stop AirBnb. I am into a bad experience right now. A 55+ couple from France. Yesterday they arrived later than ETA (which was fine for me, this normally happens that people give optimitisc ETA) and were furious because I had not given the doorcode nor the location of my flat nor my surname nor my phone number.
Of course all this information is listed and available for confirmed guests, but they had not bothered to have a look and were putting my words in doubt.
Now this morning the woman complained she does not feel welcome, "there is not even coffee". First of all, and this is also written in my listing if they had taken the time to read it, there is coffee and tea, complimentary, put well into evidence. I even put a picture of the mugs/tea/coffee on my listing. She sounded like she was expecting breakfast. So obviously they had 0 clue about the whole AirBnb concept. Because they did not read anything they also did not follow my no-shoe rule (it s considered as very dirty to get in a home with shoes in Sweden). She was talking to find another place. I really really hope they do. I am at work now and really hope to have my place for myself tonight. No more AirBnb!
And to complete about my message above they are harrassing me with AirBnb messages to cancel their current and next reservation (they were supposed to come back in 10 days) AND to refund them the 2 coming nights they had booked. Of course I reached AirBnb CS but this time they are not responding yet... I am really so stressed. This kind of situations never happened in the 3 previous summers so definitely there is a big change in mentality.I think these people have no clue at all about the price of the sq m in central Stockholm (my area is one of the nicest) nor of the AirBnb concept. Help!