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.
@Lisa723 My neighbor tried to shoot it out with a slingshot but it's shatterproof plastic and he had no success. I asked around a bit to see if anyone I knew had a gun, but as I don't have gun nut friends, no one did. As the Mexican police are often quite corrupt and get paid poorly, I was thinking to ask one of them if they wanted a bit of midnight target practice in exchange for a "tip" 🙂
@Sarah977 I'm finding your last two sentences flippant and insensitive.
I'm not scared of the dark: I'm scared of the opportunity that dark represents to bad people who want to do bad things.
You know nothing about the community my property is in. There is no local law enforcement. State troopers would be responding to a call for help, and that would be probably a minimum of 25-30 minutes depending on where they are in the county.
If I were in a gated community in Beverly Hills, with neighbors close by, and where a call to 911 would have someone there in minutes, I might feel differently about keeping lights on on my property.
I think I exercise a level of caution appropriate to my living situation, but I definitely do not live a life controlled by fear.
There's no place I'd rather be than on the top of a mountain gazing at the night sky, with no other light source for miles around. There's a time and a place, and that's an appropriate time and place. Western Pennsylvania- single female living alone- is not.
@Kia272 Yes, sorry, it did sound flippant, but I was actually referring to bright lights that glare in windows or light the place up like a ballfield for a nightgame. . You said your light is quite soft and I can understand why it is beneficial to you and your guests. I have some solar lights around and up the outside staircase so guests and I don't trip in the dark.
@Sarah977 thank you. I know that in the city I would feel exactly the same way: annoyed by bright street lights or neighbors' security lights shining in my window, but I know that my ability to feel that annoyance is coming from an underlying sense of security, in that I'm in a more populated area, and that there are people and help close-by.
It's funny how one's perspective changes as surroundings change, probably more so with females. Cheers
I think a big part of this entire issue could be resolved if the Airbnb rating system were realistic. These ratings should be like the annual reviews you receive at work. If you are an average employee you generally receive a 3; you go above and beyond you are a 4; and stellar performance gives you a 5. Similarly, you receive a 2 or a 1 you know that you are potentially on the chopping block.
Consider if at work if you received a 4 on your review. As opposed to that meaning 'Hey, you are a very good valued employee and here are some things you can do to become an even better employee (with potentially financial incentives)", imagine if that actually meant "You are on the verge of being fired because you didn't receive a rating of 5". And we all know that all employees can't be a 5 - the employee review system would become meaningless.
If the Airbnb review system were realistic, then we wouldn't be worried about whether to give a guest a 5 or a 4 or a 3. They would receive an appropriate rating. And as hosts we would be excited to be receiving 4 and 5's recognizing our hard work as opposed to being distraught over receiving a 4.
With the current rating system there is no place for us to go except for down. We can never start at average and work to become better and move into the 4+ rating level where our hard work is recognized. Very few of us would ever stay at job where if we did not receive a 5 consistently on our annual reviews we would be threatened with being fired.
And, yes, I know that Airbnb has made a conscious decision to ignore our input on reviews. 🙂
Here is a picture of the type of auto-timers we use on the walkways in our island. Why, because we are on solar power and the guests constantly were leaving them on all night long, because in this case they simply constantly forgot to turn them off.
It never crossed my mind to wonder about their respect or decency; I just went to our local 'Home Depot' and bought 2 of them for $14.99 each. End of 'issue'. Everyone once again happy.