Having had a couple of “dud”’bookings/guests over the past few weeks I’m happy to report lots of wonderful charming guests in my listings at the moment:
-a fabulous Russian student here for a summer course at a University in central London, she loves the apartment as it’s her first time living outside of home!
-4 very charming French ladies here to explore London for a few days, keen to make the most of every single moment.
-A great German guy, who’s in for a long stay. The washing machine broke down and had to be repalaced and he’s taken the whole thing in his stride and with very good humour.
-The coolest guest from Beijing, staying in my private room listing! She’s up and out early every morning after breakfast making the best of every moment even though the weather has been terrible here in London!
Anyone else got any good guests?
I started beginning of April this year and I have been very lucky with my guests. I had a professional guy who was happy with his room and told me to charge more. Two carpenters who cooked me dinner one night with a glass of wine. Followed by a fantastic art student who stayed 60 days and invited me to her degree show. Very independent and considerate. A German pilot and his daughter, very interesting and pleasant, a lady vicar who was very understanding of a mistake I made with her checking in, a father and daughter from Saudi. I helped the daughter with her English. Every night she asked me if she could do something for me, wanted to help me put the shopping away, showed me things on the computer and they took me out for a meal. My last guests were a charming couple from Romania, here to see their son’s graduation. It really could not have been better.
We just started our Airbnb Hosting journey in March. So, this is relatively new for us.
Other than one party, we have had good luck with the majority of our guests.
The most recent party (29 guests) surprised us the most. We thought we were a little start-up crazy by allowing over our guest (16) limit, but we were just starting out when we accepted this booking.
We did not know what to expect driving up to the home, but were pleasantly surprised upon entering the place! The house was left cleaner than 99% of all others who have stayed in the house prior. It was definitely a breath of fresh air!!!
I have hit a rough patch too. In Japan, we are now required by law to get a lot of information from guests (more than a hotel) it seems. And many guests are reluctant.
So I have been spending time doing that rather than other things. (I host remotely- so it means a lot of emails.)
Getting guests to read the full listings is the tough part! thankfully, we have about 20% guests we dont see or who dont want to socialize but are respectful; 5% who aren't the nicest, and 70% are decent people, and 5% are above and beyond super appreciative guests!
we have a row house in south philly, offer the guest room with a twin bed and shared bathroom, so it isn't much, but we provide the essentials and some people get really excited about seeing body wash and a towel in the room, haha!
we now do our best to always have bottled water in the room when guests check in. it's such a small detail but it can go so far! we also had a ton of wedding favor koozies left over so i left one in the room this month and no one has taken it with them, yet :/ so maybe i'll label a "take away" bowl
one guest left us a mini bottle of detergent, a beer for each of us (my husband and i) and $20 cash tip (to enjoy a beer for him at the local pub)!!!!
I have a fabulous guest right now, retired man with his family they are all charming, very easygoing and appreciative of the apartment.
Most of my guests are lovely.
I don't share the space it is a full home so that makes it easier I suppose and less personal.
I've had some really fabulous guests. One of my favourites was a couple from Britain who were Civil War buffs who came to visit. Loved chatting with them!
Most of my guests are quiet and stay to themselves, which is fine with me also. They come for the privacy and quiet.
And I've had 4 guests who were outright nightmares, one of which was an airBNB hostess herself!
My first nightmare were two frat boys from Tulane University (New Orleans, Louisiana) who didn't read the listing. At the time my accommodation was for up to two people who shared a bed. They were my second guests ever so I was a rookie at knowing what questions to ask. The one who rented the suite said it would be him and his roommate. Well, my listing very clearly stated that I had ONE bed, so I assumed they were a couple.
Well, they weren't. So they did rock paper scissors to decide who slept in the recliner. I thought, "Problem solved". Ha. Nope. They did what frat Boys do when they're not happy. They smoked cigars in my non-smoking suite, turned the AirCon down as low as it would go during the heat wave (85 degrees at midnight with sky high humidity), opened all the doors, turned on all the lights... and left. And gave me 1* across the board which AirBNB would not remove. My AirCon froze up trying to keep up. I had bugs and flies throughout the house. But I was able to charge a considerable decontamination fee for the smoking against their security deposit.
My next nightmares were Snobs from South Carolina (US). Their check in was supposed to be Friday PM, but they rolled in at 1 am Saturday in their BMW X5 SUV, made all kinds of racket coming in. I had spent a lot of time chatting with them prior to their arrival. It was Mom, Dad and teenage daughter arriving. They were coming for the weekend to participate in a protest in Washington DC so I gave them all kinds of hints for navigating traffic and metro to get there. They seemed so nice and appreciative of all my help. They left at 7 am to go downtown and came back in around 8 pm Sat night. They left around 8 am Sunday morning. When I came into the suite around 10 am, I was flabbergasted. For people who spent a total of 17 hours in my suite, with ostensibly at least 13 of them sleeping, the mess they generated was astounding. There was food debris everywhere. Ground into carpets, food left on furniture, open, half-full red wine bottles on the floor where they could easily be kicked over to stain the rugs, food debris in the bed, and 3 bags of trash. They had obviously emptied the trash out of their car into my suite. There were at least 25 soda cups from fast food restaurants and gas stations. The trash cans were overflowing, they used every single glass and dish and piece of flatware. They threw food and trash in the sink and overflowed it onto the counter. They spilled coffee on the counter which ran into the drawers and cabinets and onto the floor and they made ZERO attempt to clean it up. These entitled snobs were clearly used to having Domestics follow them around and clean up after them because they didn't make any attempt to be neat. They treated my suite like a dive motel. Very disrespectful. They said in response to my very negative review that I should expect this because I charge a $12 cleaning fee.
My next nightmare was an AirBNB Hostess herself. She was my first (and only so far). I figured being a host herself, I would have no issues with her. Boy, was I wrong! She books for the weekend (Fri-Sun) as they have a wedding to attend a mile down the road from me. She says her mother has a >>Service Dog<< (not an emotional support animal) and goes out of her way to tell me I must allow the dog in my Pet Free accommodation per AirBNB rules.
They are due to arrive Friday around 4 pm. At 9 pm Thursday, she cancels her reservation. Of course, since it's less than 24 hours out, she still owes for the first night. She asks me to refund that also because of "extenuating circumstances". She said her 80 year old mother was "deathly ill with the flu". I told her if I was able to rebook at least one night that weekend, I would refund her for that day. Three hours later, she rebooks for the second night, but says she will be arriving around 7 am Saturday morning "since she's already paid for it with her forfeited night". I meet her and her mom the next day. You know 80 year old Mom who was "deathly ill" from the flu 24 hours prior? Yeah, she was healthy and hale and not even a sniffle or cough. When I told mom I was glad she was feeling better, she gave me a strange look and says she's feeling great! Clearly daughter didn't fill Mom in on the ruse because Mom then told me about her "service dog". The deaf and nearly blind cockapoo that their friend had given them when she went into a nursing home 2 weeks earlier. She was pleased because at least he seemed house broken. They even bought him a fake "service dog" vest that he wore as he wandered off while not on a leash. Daughter spent more time chasing that dog than anything else, except smoking. My entire property is smoke free. And she was smoking right outside my bedroom window, smoking while chasing the dog, smoking sitting in her car.... and when she was informed that my entire property was smoke free, she tells me I should have made that clearer because apparently mentioning it 3 times in my listing, posting "No smoking" signs, putting it in my House Rules and my Welcome Manual wasn't clear enough.
But my best one yet was my last guest of 2018. A guy booked my suite for himself, his wife (or girlfriend) and his father. He said he was in town to visit his father. Ok, so why are you booking him to stay in my suite? It should be noted that my 3rd person accommodation is an air mattress. I couldn't imagine booking an air mattress for my father. Turns out, Dad is severely handicapped and requires a walker to get around. But Dad still insists on driving. Dad managed to wreck his truck into a tree in my driveway and get stuck. Son uses my "Olde Derby Place" sign for traction to try to get him out and ruins my sign. He finally messages me and says they're stuck. I come home and hook up my big 4WD Ford Truck to his little compact Chevy truck. I tell him, "Don't hit the gas. Just steer. I will pull you out." What does he do? he hits the gas and digs ruts in my yard. >:( I don't say anything about it other than "Things happen. It's ok." But, it gets better. The next day, I meet them coming out of the suite. I ask how everything is and they say, "Wonderful!" So I go in my part of the house (my AirBNB accommodation is a mother-in-law suite with a separate entrance, but attached to my home) and I smell... something. I go upstairs to my bedroom located above the suite and the smell is of burning plastic. The room is smoky and the fire alarm is chirping. I rush down and catch them as they're getting ready to head out for the day and ask what's burning? "Oh Dad knocked a candle onto the stove. It just make a lot of smoke but it's fine. No damage whatsoever." You think maybe you should have let me know this?? It turns out, they greatly understated what happened. They had a full blown kitchen fire and didn't tell me. I found the charred range hood and cabinet doors when they left. And several burned towels that they'd used to smother the fire. Oh, and they disconnected the fire alarm.
Needless to say, I was very happy I have a $1,000 security deposit because the damage used up almost all of it. They declined to pay for the towels or the sign, though. I was happy to at least cover the major damage to my kitchen.
So, I guess out of 60 guests (some didn't leave reviews) having 4 nightmares is only 7.3% bad to 92.7% good. But those 4 bad ones are quite unforgettable.
Long time ago....2001-2002, I spent almost 1 year at Fredericksburg. Breezewood apartments, near Courthouse rd. This small city is a magnificent example of how to exhibit cultural and historical heritage.
I am glad you had so many nice guests lately and so did I.
I would like to share my experience with two kind of guests - hosts as guests and guests with infants.
Having hosts as guests is either the best experience - the cherry of the tart, with the best reviews left - or they turn out to be the fussiest guests, telling you nothing is wrong when on the spot, but wanting some extra service as a free night stay or more attention... and leaving you the worst reviews.
Well, with guests with infants I did not have problems besides that many times parents are telling a child is an infant - as not to pay for them. And the problem remains - is 2 years and a half an infant or a child?
I wish you a happy hosting this summer!
Hello from sunny Spain!
I have been hosting for 2 years with mostly good experiences. However, its been a challenging season, with a guest booking under false pretences, then abandoning 5 teenagers to trash the place, another making demands which made me want to tell them they're more suited to the "stay at home" holiday, to people who got too pally and expected me to post their postcards for them and generally run around, but were happy to leave the place grimy and the fridge full of cooked food - all of which have left me a bit disheartened. It feels as if my new career is running a laundrette, you should see my courtyard :-)
So.. I was happy to read this thread - thank you @Paul1255 and all the other hosts on here who reminded me that I have also had some fabulous guests, who I would've been happy to have as friends and who were interesting, kind, fun, thoughtful, and considerate.
I have a four-day break now, and will use that time to revert to a positive, cheerful mindset before the next family arrives..
Happy summer hosting!
One of of my favourite hosting moments involved a tap on the shoulder on a packed station platform, on the way home from a sell out gig in Manchester.
Our guests, who had coincidentally travelled from New Zealand for the same gig, had miraculously picked us out in the crowd. If that seems like a relatively easy trick, keep in mind that they hadn’t even met us at check in - their only clues were some photos in the flat and a phone conversation about the best way to get to and from the venue.
Apparently they recognised the old man by his hat, heard me calling his name and couldn’t die wondering if they guessed correctly so made themselves known.
A lovely guest, host, gig and beer fuelled circle of positive energy - brilliant.