So.....I had an IB booking by a guest with 15- 5 star reviews. I knew immediately upon booking that he had not read my property details thoroughly, because I have the following message in there:
**Potential guest- please introduce yourself briefly in your booking message and let me know who will be joining you on your reservation.
Please also confirm that you have reviewed all property details, and acknowledge house rules.
I look forward to hosting you and simply want to make sure that the cabin suits your needs.
IB bookings are required to write a message. His was one short sentence not related to the above. I wrote him back shortly after the booking and asked him nicely if he had reviewed everything. His response was that he had kind of skimmed over it- was there something he needed to know? What followed was a lot of back and forth messaging in which I basically spoon-fed all the property details to him. I'm very upfront in the listing about potential noise, how close the neighbors are, etc. LOTS of back and forth ensued. Mind you, this was well within the 48 hour cancellation window, so he had the opportunity to cancel if something didn't sit right.
My concern was that in HIS reviews of other hosts, it seemed that he always has something critical to say. Given his lack of attention to my listing, I had the feeling I was going to suffer the same fate.
He was pleasant during our messaging, but the whole situation made me nervous. He continued to ask questions until the day before arrival, about things clearly detailed in the listing. Whatever.
I was not on the property during his stay. He was there with his wife. I checked in and he said, "everything is nice- thanks". On checkout day he messaged and thanked me for a wonderful stay. He also asked about turning off a heater. I responded and told him what to do and said thanks. (The instructions are in the house binder, FYI.)
I came back to find the heater not totally off, the outside lights turned completely off (they are labeled "please keep on") and a couple of windows left open. (also in the binder to close windows and lock doors.)
How do I review this guy? Honestly, his lack of attention to the details that are abundantly clear in the listing was pretty annoying. His lack of attention to the very simple check-out instructions was annoying as well.
I obviously haven't gotten to read his review but I'm sure he's found fault with something. I just want to let other hosts know that he's kind of a PIA, and that some sort of criticism (fair or unfair) is likely to follow his stay.
@Kia272 Its not minor if it affects your sense of well being. We put so much into hosting, when it does not come back it diminishes your will to offer suck kindness again. I think it is right that we should hold them to the standards that are needed to make it worth it.
@Kia272 we have had a few of those. For me, it comes down to would I want to host again? If I could tolerate it, then I would probably mark 4 or 3 on house rules and say "X was responsive/friendly (whatever) and left the place in good condition. There were a few check out procedures not followed but overall a good guest that we would host again. "
If it was someone I did not ever want to book with me again, I would mark under 3 in all categories and say "We had a lot of back and forth at the time of booking to ensure that X understood the house rules. At check out house rules were not followed leading to our property being left unsecured. This guest would be a great fit for an on-site host who could revisit procedures with him in person. We thank him for staying with us."
Give it some time before you respond. You can have other reviews push down that potentially negative one. And it might not be negative. Our so so guests often leave very noncommittal reviews publicly.
Thanks @Laura2592 . This is a very good perspective to approach this from. I hadn't really pondered if I would host him again. Probably not.
I might go with something like "We did not meet in person, but X was pleasant in his messaging, and he and his wife left the property in good, clean condition. There was a lot of back and forth pre-arrival, because X did not review the property details carefully. Overall they were good guests."
I think that sends just enough of a caution signal to future hosts without getting too detailed.
I will rate stars appropriately.
I can't believe I'm spending this much mental energy on this, lol.
@Kia272yes the thought process on reviews can suck you in with some of these guests. When you are remote (as we are too) it can be particularly easy to stew over because you have not actually gotten a chance to read body language or interact. Many times I have worked myself up over a difficult guest and eventually had to make a house call with my husband to resolve some issue. On face-to-face meeting, my annoyance often dissipates as I get a full picture of what is actually happening and the individual seems reasonable, just confused. I personally don't like a lot of back and forth before booking or at the time of booking and tend to see it as a red flag, but much of the time it turns out fine.
If you are okay with having this guy back, what you have posted seems like a great review. And rate stars accordingly so at least IB hosts have some idea what they are getting.
@Branka-and-Silvia0 I know, I know....but I keep saying that relative to the many things that "bad" guests can do, this was by far not the worst. it was definitely annoying and frustrating, but it could have been a whole lot worse. I'm trying to help other hosts, but also keep the AirBnB karma in a good place. It's a balancing act. I'll let my conscience by my guide, and I'll post my review in the final hour. You are totally right-in the real world.
@Kia272 What would bother me most about this guest isn't his lack of attention at check-out, but his initial communication with you. Where he said he had skimmed the listing info and was there anything special he needed to know. A guest with that attitude is one I'd never want.
It shows a lack of respect for the time you took to write up your listing description, and a continued lack of respect to expect you to then tell him all the things that are there for him to read if he weren't so lazy.
"It could have been worse" could be said of any bad guest who stopped short of burning your house down.
I don't think there's any bad karma associated with telling the truth in a straightforward, balanced way in a review.
But your rental, your guest, your call. If nothing else, I would at least send him private feedback regarding the need to read the information a host supplies and to show some respect by complying with a host's check out instructions.
@Kia272 In my opinion these are such minor issues I would not ruin his star rating or even mention it. I don't see what he did wrong? They are guests in a home they are not familiar with and did their best. Hosts seem to get so upset when guests give them 4 stars for minor things but hosts have no problem marking a guest down stars for such simple things that caused no harm to the property or anything else.
I think as hosts we need to stay calm, be reasonable and be kind.
@Angelica-Y-Jorge0 So you think that a guest who fails to bother themselves to read the listing information, then expects the host to spend her time telling him all the things that were there for him to read in the first place, and ignores the few simple things the host requests that guests do before leaving, should be deserving of the same 5* rating as a respectful guest who reads the information and does what the host requested before leaving?
Do you also think that teachers should give all their students straight A marks, whether they complete their work or not, or answer the test questions correctly or not?
@Sarah977 ** Most guests don't read the rules we are in the hospitality industry. We need to be welcoming and reasonable. He did nothing wrong no damage, no parties, left a heater on and turned off some lights. So dock him stars.
Too much in my opinion but everyone hosts in their own way.
**[Personal remarks removed in line with - Community Center Guidelines]
@Angelica-Y-Jorge0 Well, your experience is quite different than mine. The guests who book with me always read all the info I provide and behave respectfully. And I can assure you I am welcoming and reasonable.
I consider reasonable to be a guest reading and complying.
And you didn't answer my question as to why a guest who doesn't do these things would be deserving of the same ratings and review as a very respectful hassle-free guest.
@Sarah977 I believe I did, we are in the hospitality business. Sometimes a guest needs extra help vs someone who naturally reads every rule. Our society is full of contracts, long lists of rules and explanations. People become desensitized. Some people have different personalities, mental disorders or diagnosed health conditions where it makes reading rule sets/ contracts more difficult than others. As long as it is minor why take the chance that you may be discriminatory against someone.
Yes, I agree with you our experiences are very different. I have seen you host a room in your personal home with one guest at a time. I agree it is your personal space and your comfort needs to be maintained. I host an entire space where I'm not on the property with the guest unless needed. My guest brings many people. I know and expect that all 8 people will not read the house rules. I have designed the space with as few rules as I could and made it as guest-friendly as I possibly could. If they do not follow the rules and there is no harm or damage I forgive them. I think this mindset makes me more understanding, more forgiving and a better host.
I am with your way of thinking @Angelica-Y-Jorge0 ; a lot of my best guests oftentimes are a bit of 'space cadets', so nowadays I ask them to do less and make sure anything of any importance gets checked by one of us as they leave; it only takes a minute. If anything is that important, we do not leave it up to anyone else anyway.
hosting on a location where you are always present on check-out (as I understood, you bring them back to land with your boat) is different than hosting where you are not present. I am always worried if my guests closed the door and windows on their way out, did they left all keys, did they turn off all appliances... bc I will go there hours past their check-out.
And, if your price is 35 or 50€ per night and your guests leave the heating on 30 C with windows open it pisses you off more than if you rent for 500€ per night 🙂
Of course, I am sure, hosting on an island has other challenges... I can't even imagine the logistics