I see lots of conversation topics that could be listed as "Guests don't read"
We have too often had guests who just don't read:
*The room has a shared bathroom with one other person (our housemate), it's stated several times in the description and listed that way. We get dinged on ratings sometimes because the bathroom is shared.
*The room is 'courtyard level' (meaning one side is half underground, the other side fully above ground). It's described that way specifically, twice. We get dinged on ratings sometimes (one recent one from a superhost, you'd expect they'd read!)
*The room is a private room, listed and priced that way, not an entire space. People (including above superhost) dinged us for that even though it's listed that way, and has 30 professional photos and a description that way. Frankly, for a private room, it has it's own kitchenette, hangout area w/ TV, etc. Might as well be an entire house but for the entrance.. but we price it as a single private room.
*People ding us occasionally on street noise even though we describe it as an urban street TWICE in the description and in the listing as something to consider. We provide a white-noise machine and earplugs for those more sensitive. Still, people ding us for street noise (really, if you want an amazing urban location, don't expect woodland silence).
How do you get your guests to read the descriptions and listing so they aren't 'surprised'?
We have a 4.9 rating on that space (4.5 our our house when we are on vacation because we had a nightmare guest who left us 2 star ratings), for a total of 4.8. That's not bad, but we'd like to keep it above that?
Yup, some guests don't read. I just had a lady from Germany who did not want to check-out on time. Check-out time is clear in my listing, I inboxed her and verbally told her to check out before noon. She ended up leaving a review full of lies in German. Who cares? CS doesn't.
It sounds as if you have an odd space/situation, so you should be prepared to deal with what comes with having an out-of-the-ordinary space .
The one suggestion I could make is, if you have time, to establish in your initial correspondence with each guest, that the guest is clear about all the things that you have been dinged on in the past like urban noise, etc.
"Please confirm tha you understand that it is a shared bath."
"That the room is half above and half below ground level."
"And that a significant amout of urban noise occurs in this urban environment."
So on and so forth.
Best of luck.
Thumbs up if you like a post.
I do something similar to @John
I ask guests to confirm they have understood certain aspects of the listing before I accept their booking (or right after if they IB). It doesn't always work, but I think it helps a lot of the time. If their reply indicates that they are saying they've read the listing when they haven't, I will ask again. Maybe they find it annoying, but it would be more annoying if they turned up expecting something totally different.
I also drop in the words, "As I mentioned on the listing...", "As you will have read on the listing..." etc. when showing them around. I don't do this with every single thing I show them obviously, but with the things that might be an issue if the guest hasn't bothered to read the listing, e.g. "As you know from the listing, your room is at the top of the house so there are quite a few stairs." When I see the raised eyebrows, then I know they did not read anything, but they can hardly complain about it when they already confirmed to me in writing that they had read everything!
Oddly, I recently had a four star review from guests who HAD read and understood everything, but judging by their private feedback, thought they should rat the place from the perspective of a guest who hadn't read anything, e.g. 4 stars for accuracy because: "Listing is very detailed and accurate... We knew about X, Y, Z so it was not a problem for us. May be a problem for others. Important that guests read the listing." Weird logic if you ask me. Why should I be downrated on accuracy because some future guests might not read my very accurate description?!!
I know, so weird. I was really taken aback by this review because it didn't make sense. Judging by the way the guests had phrased their private feedback, it was clear that they thought they were writing that for general consumption on Expedia. It was full of phrases such as, "It's important that guests should read the listing." Why on earth would they write that if they were aware it was only me that was going to see it?!
@Trey Wow, I just looked at your listing and it's very clear right at the top about what's offered. I'm not sure what the answer is. I rent 3 bedrooms in my Mission District flat, and I have 2 bathrooms that are shared by all three guest rooms. So far, no guest has ever complained or been confused about the shared bathrooms, and my listing is far less explicit about the bathroom situation than yours. I've also never had a guest complain about noise, although we are in the heart of the noisy Mission. Your listing seems crystal clear to me.
Thank you! I thought we were very clear, it helps to have someone else read.
We get mostly 5 star reviews, but every 10-20 reviews we get one that's 3 or 4 stars and it's always about something that we put in the description as clearly as we can.
That's very frustrating. The whole rating system is unfair. As an Airbnb guest, when I go to review a host I'm shown by Airbnb that a "4 star" rating = good, but for hosts a 4 = fail.
They won't. People are inherently dumb. That's why I prefer not to rent to newbies. It's too much work and I run the risk of them leaving me a bad rwview because they don't know how Airbnb works and don't take the time to figure it out. I just had rez request from a newbie who asked "so how does Airbnb work?"
@Andrea I've had good luck with newbies and I accept them all, but I walk them through the experience and when they leave I gently ask for a review and tell them hosts are very reliant on guest reviews and "we live and die by your reviews", and that personal touch has so far meant only 5 star reviews from newbies.
Hey @Trey - I see that you have already added it to the house rules, that's great because guests required to confimr they have read the rules before booking. But I know some guests still don't.
Something I do is, while having a pre-booking converstation, or aftger getting an instant booking, I reshare the house-rules on chat saying, "hey, re-sharing the house rules in case you have skipped reading them prior to booking, let me know if you have any questions."
This usually helps to set the right expectations. Hope it helps.
People do seem to look at photos. You could maybe add photos of the areas people have complained about with captions that clearly state the "issue" ... e.g. "clean bathroom, shared with our house-mate"
I repeat key points in the description several times - and include a short comment with photos. I also reiterate and have guests confirm when we exchange messages, many times I will copy+paste. Then I go thru them again during the check in tour and provide a house rules & manual folder in the guest room which they HAVE to flip thru to get the wifi pw.
I do everything I can reasonably do to make sure there is no room for "I didn't know~" type excuses.
I always send before accepting....or even when accepting
I do hope you understand you will be sharing the house with us. You have your own bedroom but bathroom is shared.
Once we got a girl wvo booked our place....later she realized we do not live in bruges....but 50 km further.