It is quite ridiculous, but already the last 3 guests that I had were complaining about irreasonable things. All complained that the house is not as bright as it looks on the pictures. They all checked in at night or on a very cloudy day, and the photos were taken with natural light. One complained that the floor is outdated, one that the wine glass in the closet is not well polished, and the other is that the house has bad smell from the neighbors which lighted an incense stick (she also threatened she will go to hospital and charge me... from feeling sick from the smell! seriously?!).
Yes, my listing is not for everyone, it is on a high floor with no elevator, but I definitely do not hide it and even mention in the attention note before booking in case they missed it. The place is pleasant, well designed, with thoughtful touches, and relatively not expansive (it's Switzerland, everything is expansive). I have the feeling people did not read the description properly and expecting a 5-star hotel for their budget. I have been part of the Airbnb community for many years and using the platform as part of my belief in the shared economy. I feel that my guests completely fail to understand this concept of being hosted in someone's home and choosing Airbnb just for being slightly cheaper than a hotel.
What should I do to prevent the wrong guests from booking my place?
Thank you in advance for your answers.
I also noticed guests leave better reviews during the summer months. The sun affects the mood :) Your place looks great, I love your beds (wooden frame but without wooden sideboards) where did you get them?
you could make one night time photo with all your lights turned on (and off :D ) just to show those jerks how does it look like without the sun in case they can't imagine :P . You could also print your entire listing on the paper so they can reread it in case they haven't done the homework before booking.
you could also put a sign or write in your house rules that it is forbidden to light any candles/incense sticks etc .. due to the fire hazard and smell.
I completely agree with @Branka-and-Silvia0 on the influece that weather has on the reviews. In southern Spain it rains 3-5 days each month during the winter. But there is a chance that those 3 rainy days come togheter, so the guest staying will not receive what he was expecting (sunny and warm winter), and this will affect the review a lot. They won't say the weather is the real reason they did not enjoy the holidays as much, but will find something else to blame. Best regards.
This is great advice, I have night time photos on my whole house listing. And yes, roll on summer, I am very weary from my off season guests, talk about hard work! I think airbnb has created this race to the bottom mentality, which has made it difficult to attract quality guests recently. I would close down if I could afford to over the winter, but need some income. I find it hard to maintain my cheery persona, and wonder who the nice host in my reviews is sometimes as it is taking alot of grinning and bearing! I just keep counting to ten, repeatedly, and hope things improve soon.
@Rosemarie9 thank you, this is exactly how I feel!
I am just about to lose my superhost just because a guest decided to give a 3 star, even though the average of her rating per section is 4.3. Why? Just because, no real reason. Probably had a bad mood.
We are frustrated as well with a guest that left an overall 3 star review (even when he gave 4 and 5 stars to the rest!)...it makes no sense, but some people are never happy / satisfied!
Another thing to look at is your pricing. If you have changed it recently or the economy has changed so that you are receiving a different type of guest (more picky) perhaps you need to raise or lower your price slightly to get away from them.
Then again, just like all of us, occassionally we just get a string of less respectful guests and then everything sorts back out again for a little while.
By the way, the home is beautiful!
@Tim-and-Holly0 Thank you, I will make a comparison to the other listings around. It is definitely in the lower range of the pricing, but it is indeed not good to be the cheapest place around... Attracting the wrong people.
From what I know, the price cannot get lower for me, but people still rate the value for money many time as 4/5 and not 5/5. I am also quite certain that it is related to the fact that Switzerland is in top 5 of most expansive countries in the world, so tourists are always complaining about the price, doesn't matter that relatively it is cheap.
Listing description is always a problem Abi, guests perceive things by what they see. This is why 'Plus' is turning out to be a disaster! In Plus professional photos the listing always appears twice the size it is in reality....the normal 'bric-a-brack' that resides in the property is removed to get those 'photoshoot' front page glossies and when the guest arrives, the property looks nothing like the listing photos....the guest feels dudded and want a refund!
I had a guest once who complained the bed did not look like it did in the listing photos. It was the same bed, same pillows, same features, same length.....it simply had a different quilt cover to the one depicted in the listing photos....and the guest complained!
Your photos do show an extremely well lit property, if somebody found a dirty glass, that is a host lapse! I always put all the listing drinking glasses through the dishwasher between guests to make sure there is not so much as a fingerprint on them....they will sparkle!
I had a genuine Turkish triple knotted silk rug which I had to remove from the listing cottage because one guest marked me down saying that the rug looked ...'old and shabby'! That rug was probably worth more than the late model car they arrived in, but I now have a regulation Ikea cheapy for the guests comfort!
You are going to get these guests Abi, but every one of them teaches you to be a better host! Take notice of them, some will be just plain dopey, but what ever they say, they say it for a reason, try to find a solution and you will be the better for it!
@Robin4 thank you for the answer. I think there is a reason Airbnb users not called "costumes" but "guests". They are expected to behave as so, and so I also mention in my listing and the note before booking.
It might be easier to change a rug in business, but if it is really a home that is being in use like my case, it is becoming more complicated. And also, with all of the respect to individuals taste, it is not acceptable to complain about certain things like the rug color, floor type or smell from the neighbor.
I have been an Airbnb guest just as much as I have been a host and as much as I like designed and chic places, I have never found it correct to complain about such a thing.
Regarding the cleaning of the glass: we don't have a dishwasher, it had only water stains from not polishing with a towel, and it will be unreasonable to clean the entire closet. If I would see this as a guest I would drink from it as it is, or maybe give it a quick wash.
It really feels that for some guest nothing will be satisfying.
I once had a guest who looked rather disgruntled when I showed her her room, which is odd as the usual reaction I get to this room is "wow!"
I asked her if something was wrong and she replied that it was not the room she booked. She then insisted that she had booked the "pink" room, even though I explained to her that I don't have a pink room! I asked her to show me the listing of the room she booked and, how and behold, it was the SAME room. I then pointed out every piece of furniture in the room and she finally conceded that yes, it was in fact the room she had booked. The only difference was that, in the photo, there was a lilac (not even pink) bedspread on the bed instead of the gold one there is now...
People will never fail to amaze me.
@Huma0 this room indeed looks WOW from the photos!
About this guest reaction I can also say wow, but another kind of wow...
You guys make me feel better that I am not the only one getting the bad guests...
@Abi4thanks for your kind words! Your listing looks lovely too.
No, you are not alone. See this thread where the guest complained that the host swapped the pink flowers for yellow ones:
@Abi4 Your listing is utterly stunning.
I’ve just added it to favourites because Lucerne is my wife’s absolutely favourite place on the planet. One day we will return there. Mount Pilatus... the cable car... climbing to the peak and watching the sunset...twice! First it sets on the layer of cloud, then on the land and lake below... cow bells echoing across the hill tops... so quiet... it was the most moving experience of our lives.
You are truly blessed to live there.
@Ben551 I will happy to host you:) You are in good shape to climb it twice! I made the 1400m up only once, but every second weekend takes the car halfway up to enjoy the view... And it is always different:) Indeed one of the most beautiful places in the world. Switzerland is just amazing.