Checking in on guest's stay (TIPS!)

in
Seattle, WA
Level 10
8,291 Views

Recently, I noticed that Airbnb send a reminder the day after check-in that guest tend to leave a 5-star review if we (host) check on them. At first, I didn't really care about the reminder because I always meet and talk to my guests in person. However, with more and more case of "false review" complaints in the forum, I am trying to convince myself this might help. Many hosts who receive false review say that the guest did not say anything during their stay or when you check on them in person, they said that everything was ok and they smile. So, there is really no "proof" in the system that they were happy or unhappy. I started to check on my guests using the airbnb messaging system on the 2nd day (or at the latest the 3rd day) of their stay for a stay longer than 1-2 nights. That way, I am hoping that if there is a false review, it will be easier to claim it to airbnb and ask for assistance as the guests said that everything was ok (for example). And if everything is not ok, then I can take action and try to solve the issue right away.

On top of that, my recent guests mentioned + thank me in public or private review that I checked on them to make sure that they had a good stay and to see if there was anything they need. So, this is a positive thing to have as future guests will be able to see that I do take care of my guests. I hope that this method will improve my hosting experience to be even better.

12 Replies

Re: Checking in on guest's stay (TIPS!)

in
London, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Farah1

 

I really think it's a good thing. We nearly always set up a Whatsapp group for our guests - and we just say it's there if they need anything or it if they are out and about exploring London and have any questions. We also say just let us know if you experience any travel delays etc,

Re: Checking in on guest's stay (TIPS!)

in
Pensacola, FL
Level 10

@Gerry-And-Rashid0 did I get it correct.....you set up a WhatsApp account and message with guest? Everything I read says THAT is outside Airbnb and not cool? I want all my correspondance to be recorded thru Airbnb and no question. Just checking. Best to you

Re: Checking in on guest's stay (TIPS!)

in
SF, CA
Level 10

Personally, @Farah1 , I find these notifications annoying. I do not need an automated message telling me how to interact with my guests. As a guest, I don't want extraneous texts or emails checking if everything is ok. I want the host to have a good comfortable space that is ready for me. I feel that asking if everything is ok is unnecessary. Guests will realize this an automatic text you always send, it is not tailored for them in any way. I do ask my guests if all is good when I run into them, but that is a person to person interaction. To me, that is more meaningful by far. If you send a message asking if everything is ok, then your guest is sort of forced to send a message back. As a guest, I would find it a bit intrusive.

Re: Checking in on guest's stay (TIPS!)

in
Seattle, WA
Level 10

@Kate157 that is all about preference and do what works for you. I always greet and check on my guest in person too when I see them. When host send a message, if they do not want to reply, it is their rights. The same as people can choose not to answer/greet you back when you meet them in person. Having a draft is about efficiency for me, that does not mean that I do not care about them personally because I do not tailor them. I can tailor them as needed depending on the guests or what was the last conversation I had with them. As mentioned on my listing that I am available when needed and I am not being obnoxious and always give privacy to my guests. I think there is a difference between being annoying and taking care/checking on your guest. If I cannot even ask to see everything is ok or not (for the pleasant stay for everybody) then the guest is welcome to let me know to leave them alone, but please do not give bunch of complaints afterward as it has never been brought to my attention. This is the issue that I am trying/hoping to solve. Guests who lie and say everything is ok to you in person then leave you a bad and false review. I prefer to have it recorded in the system that everything was ok or everything was not ok, so it will be easier for me to solve the issue through airbnb later on (if any). Fortunately, my guests appreciate that I want to spend the time checking on them. Also, for off-site host, they cannot have in person interaction, and just because they can only ask through text, that's not necessarily making it not meaningful.

Re: Checking in on guest's stay (TIPS!)

in
SF, CA
Level 10

As you say, @Farah1, it is all about preference. But I try to go by what I have experienced in my travels as a guest. Yes, of course, a guest could refuse to respond or tell you to leave them alone, but that puts a guest in the position of being rude to a host they are staying with. Yes, for off-site hosts, I can see the value in ensuring everything is ok, but do we really need Airbnb reminders for this? I think hosts can decide for themselves what is best, what works best for them. If these reminders are good for you, then fine. For me, they are an annoyance, and I think Airbnb should give an option for disabling them if we wish to. I'm sure you are an amazing, hard-working host Farah, your guests are lucky to have such a good host!

Re: Checking in on guest's stay (TIPS!)

in
Seattle, WA
Level 10

@Kate157 having the option for the notification to be on/off will be a win-win! 🙂

Re: Checking in on guest's stay (TIPS!)

in
Prescott, AZ
Level 10

@Kate157 @Farah1@Ken28 , interesting point you are raising, Kate, and I partly agree with you, like when I travel on Airbnb, I just want to enjoy my stay and not have to (unnecessarily) communicate with the host, especially  when I have never met them and it is obviously a canned , routine type interaction.

BUT: it all depends how it is done - if it comes across as "too much" or as intrusive, or as a canned request, then sure, it is almost more negative than positive.

But if hosts do it in a casual, friendly, open and personable manner, like a waitress walking by your table in a restaurant and asking if all is okay, short and sweet, then it will be seen as an act of caring and  as a friendly invitation to mention something that perhaps needs attention. So I do like Farah  , briefly check in with my guest the morning after - and  all my guests are happy to reply . It is not phony, they sense that, and all I get is continuous 5 star reviews.... 

@Ken28, I thought you had given up on hosting. Isn't that what you  had announced a few weeks ago.

What made you change your mind?

Re: Checking in on guest's stay (TIPS!)

in
Newburgh, IN
Level 10

@Annette33 I've given up on airbnb, not hosting in general.  

Re: Checking in on guest's stay (TIPS!)

in
Newburgh, IN
Level 10

@Farah1,

 

While I follow your logic (Ask guests often or positive verification that their experience is acceptable), I wouldn't count on it saving you from any problems regarding bad reviews.

 

I text my guests regularly (once a week, for long term). I send them roughly the same message every time - "How are things going? Let me know if there's anything I can do to make your stay more comfortable!". They always respond with "Okay, thanks" or "Everything's fine". And then I'm to assume that things are well, right?

 

Then they leave the crappy reviews.

 

I think, "That's okay, I've got this" and I call up Airbnb and show them evidence that the reviews are clearly false/dishonest/decietful/malicious, and ask them to review the message history and listing for clarification.

 

The guest's positive "Okay, thanks" or "Everything's fine" has never been enough to convince Airbnb of anything yet. I've reported two recent vengeful reviews, both of which I had those 'positive confirmations' regularly throughout their stays. Frankly, Airbnb doesn't care how your listing looks or if the reviews are honest. They're just happy to mark your case as closed, note your feedback, and go back to leeching money from your next booking through their 18% service fees.

 

I commend you for bringing topic to light and suggesting a method that could help alleviate a problem. I do believe that's it's a good policy, regardless, to check in with guests regularly and get written responses when possible. But I have tried and failed twice already to justify removal of dishonest or malicious reviews with these messages, and it's gotten me nowhere, except now Airbnb has threatened to suspend my account. In their exact words:

 

"If there are continued negative guest experiences from this situation, your guest may be entitled to a full refund, an adjustment added to your payouts and your account may be suspended &/or terminated."

 

Airbnb simply doesn't care anymore. They'll let the negative reivews pile up, especially when they know that they can just suspend your account and hide all the evidence.

 

 

Re: Checking in on guest's stay (TIPS!)

in
Bogotá, Colombia
Level 2

I Have being a host for 9 years, Airbnb doesn’t care if you have a bad review and there is written prove the review is unfair, Airbnb could care less and always will go agains the host. 

Is checking on the guest a good idea? 

‘Yes it is, it is important to check on the guest at least the second day after arrival and if it is a long stay again in the middle of the reservation, may be the toilet got clocked, they saw an insect, or you just forgot to provide that extra towel they asked for, when you checked on your guest they feel like they have somebody looking after them. 

Re: Checking in on guest's stay (TIPS!)

in
Denver, CO
Level 10

It's true (on guests saying everything is great and then dinging a star). The feedback system is set up to be passive-aggressive. I don't like the reminders because we have a home share situation so I greet the guests and give them a tour and usually see them at least once per day. The opt out would be nice.

Re: Checking in on guest's stay (TIPS!)

in
Kirkland, WA
Level 8

I have recently started to follow up with my guests the day after check-in to see if everything is in order to keep them comfortable, and while I haven’t noticed an increase in 5-star reviews, I do feel like they are more open to asking questions, or reporting issues, once they know I am really available to answer, and not just saying I am. I live 200 miles from the house, so I always reinforce that they can contact our local housekeepers for supply or maintenance issues too.

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