Dfficulties getting started

Level 2
151 Views

Difficulties in getting started as a host.

 

1) Lack of transparency on how the fee structure actually works.  I can see a 15% fee is charged but my rate on the calendar does not relate to the fee i set in the daily charge field.  Where can i get an actual worked example?

 

2) On making esquiries I am left to resort to sending chat messages - why is there no phone number to call?

 

3) No transparency on when the listing went live.  I pressed the button and thought it was live but then get an email a day later saying it had gone live - what is the disconnect here?

 

4) This last point is not really AIRBNB thing but, from the requests I have received in the past 24 hours I'm gobsmacked at the lack of understanding of the people making the requests.

      a) I say no pets and people ask me if it's ok to bring a dog - really!!!

      b)  People ask if I can accommodate extra people above the maximum number specified...."It's ok we'll sleep on the floor"

      c)  I say no parties/events and its clear most requests are coming from large same sex groups  - for an all  lads or girls weekend away

     d)  Requests asking about the refund policy, it is not displayed when you look at the listing?

 

No a good start.

 

I spend weeks preparing a website with Lodgify then trying to connect though Airbnb  - neither company can tell me how this works in person or by email. Neither company provide proper support.

 

Simon

 

 

 

 

 

9 Replies

Re: Dfficulties getting started

in
Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Level 10

@Simon3074 

 

1. No idea what you mean. The Airbnb Guest service fee can not be set, only the fee structure can be choosen. See your account, payments/payouts, service fee.

 

2. Airbnb is an online platform, phone is for emergencies and phonnr is only displayed when neccesary.

 

3. Listings are checked first, it takes 24 hours before being live. You can check yourself if isting is in the search system via direct link: https://www.airbnb.com/s/homes?host_id=424809825&map_toggle=true

 

4. Increase the minimum stay to avoid the party-people.

The refund policy is displayed.

Guest which stupid questions can be answerred or declined (booking requests only) or alterntively asked to retract the booking request.

Re: Dfficulties getting started

Level 2

Hi Emiel, thanks for your reply.

 

I resolved the fees issue eventually by severing the link between Lodgify and Airbnb.  Neither company were able to provide any information which helped.  Lodgify took days to reply to emails and Airbnb just blamed Lodgify saying the linking was locking out my ability to change rates on Airbnb.  Lodgify confirmed a few days later i was never connected  even after I fowarded their email saying "Congratulations you are now linked to Airbnb".  Absolute bonkers, both companies can't be right.

 

As for your comment on phones only being for emergencies, I cant disagree more.  A simple phone call can resolve issues that can take a stream of emails/chat windows days to resolve.  Airbnb now have $20k in their bank account through this 1 listing.  They would have had more if id been able to talk to a human.

 

 

 

Re: Dfficulties getting started

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

Why don't you use the Airbnb Help website it has Q&As around the basics of managing your Listing ? @Simon3074 

 

Or use the search function on this community.

 

I think I've only had to call Airbnb about five times in six years of hosting when there were urgent issues relating to a guests stay . 

Re: Dfficulties getting started

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Simon3074 

 

1) You can opt for the host-only fee of 15% or the split fee structure where the  host pays 3% and the guest pays whatever service fee Airbnb charges them (anywhere from 12-20%).

New listings have a 20% discount added by default. You have to turn this off if you don't want to offer it. Then your nightly rate should be correct on the calendar.

 

2) Yes, there are phone numbers to call. Listed on the first  page of this Help section in a large pinned post "Contact Airbnb.

But you will get much better and correct answeers from other hosts here on thhe forum than from Airbnb reps. They are mostly poorly trained, don't know Airbnb policies as well as hosts do, and often give out bad advice or erroneneous information.

 

3) Don't know, but it takes at least 24 hours for a listing to appear in search after submitting.

 

4) Guests don't read thoroughly. Airbnb buries our house rules section at the bottom of the  page. Some guests think they're special and feel entitled to whatever suits them- to get a discount, to bring a dog, to bring 6 people over your limit. 

You do not need to either pre-approve nor decline Inquiries. Just messaging back within 24 hours fulfills your obligation. "Hi XX, as written in my listing's house rules, we do not accept pets (extra guests, children, tour buses in our driveway, whatever). Best to look for a listing that suits your needs."

 

Cancellation policies are visible to guests when they enter dates. As I said, many guests ask questions instead of taking the time to read.

 

It's a big learning curve. Ask whatever you want to know here, your fellow hosts try to be helpful. Don't get discouraged.

 

Re: Dfficulties getting started

Level 2

Thanks so much for this reply Sarah, it really helped.  I'd like to ask a follow up question regarding responding to reservation requests.  

 

Airbnb say i should accept/reject reservation requests within 24 hours to ensure my 'response rate' is good.  However,  in practice i'm finding that i'm asking a question of clarification from the potential guest (usually about the make-up of their group), and they dont get back to me within the 24hrs alloted.  I therefore get pinged for 'not responding'.  Perhaps i should reject after 23hrs if the guest doesnt get back to me?  Whats the typical Airbnb etiquet?  

Re: Dfficulties getting started

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Simon3074  You should never let an Inquiry or Request expire. 23 hours should be enough time for a guest to respond to questions, although if your guests are from  a much different time zone, it's a bit more challenging, so make sure to respond to their request with your questions asap.

 

You kind of have to impress on guests the need for a timely response. They don't know the host has to make a decision to accept or decline within 24 hours.

 

So ask your questions, and say something like "I will need a response to these questions by 3 pm EST in order to process your request." If they still don't answer, and the 24 hours is almost up, you will have to decline.

 

Guests who fail to respond within a few hours, unless it's the middle of the night where they are, are generally a red flag, but some guests fail to turn on their notifications, so may not be aware that they have a message waiting. 

Before a booking is confirmed, you don't have access to their phone number, so you can't phone or text them. So all you can do is decline if the answers to your questions are crucial to your acceptance.

 

Letting an inquiry or request expire is counted against your response rate, which is used in the assessments for Superhost, if you care about that. Declining affects your Acceptance rate, which isn't so crucial, and doesn't factor into Superhost, although Airbnb likes to send threatening messages if you decline "too" much, whatever that is. 

But hosts have reported having pretty low Acceptance rates, and Airbnb hasn't suspended their listings or anything.

Re: Dfficulties getting started

in
Arkansas, United States
Level 10

@Simon3074 

 

If it’s a reservation request (as opposed to an inquiry) and they fail to respond to a question within 24 hours it puts the host in a bad position.

 

 If the guest is just ignoring the host it’s a big red flag but it’s possible that the guest didn’t get the message because they haven’t enabled notifications from Airbnb.

 

 I will not approve bookings from guests who refuse to respond to messages.

Re: Dfficulties getting started

Level 2

Thanks so much again.  I am much clearer now on how to respond and also encourage a quick response back. I'll not allow the reservation requests to expire and decline them instead.  

 

I must sdmit that I have taken it as a bit of a red flag when someone doesnt come back quicky (or at all).

 

Btw, all potential guests are currently local due to Covid-19 (NSW, Australia) so no time difference issues. 

Re: Dfficulties getting started

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Simon3074  Yes, it's definitely a red flag if guests don't respond. I'm not a stickler for super fast responses, as I've never been a slave to dropping everything and responding within minutes to a request or inquiry. Nor am I about to answer a request message that comes at 2am when I'm asleep. If they can't wait for response until a reasonable hour, I don't want them as guests. That said, I normally respond within the hour or much less during normal waking hours.

 

But if I got no response to a message sent 8 hours before, I would send another reminding them that I required their response and then would decline if I still didn't get an answer. I've actually never had that situation- my guests have been appropriately responsive.

 

Here's something else to know about requests- if a guest makes a booking request (as opposed to an Inquiry) which involves you bending your rules for them ("I know it says maximum 4 guests, but there are 7 of us and we can bring air mattresses"), you definitely don't want those guests, so rather than having to decline, you can ask them to withdraw the request. 

 

Again, you want to make it sound like it's to the guest's advantage to do so, because they don't care what is good for you, so something like "Hi XX, No, I cannot have more than a 4 person occupancy- it is against fire regulations and the terms of my insurance. I  would urge you to withdraw this request asap so it doesn't still show as pending, then you'll be free to look for a place that can accommodate the size of your group."

 

If they withdraw it before the 24 hours runs out, you won't have to click on decline.

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