There’s many wonderful stories here on the CC about fantastic hosting experiences with great guests. With such developed rapport between the two parties, commonalities, interests and likes must inspire some great conversations.
Do you still speak to any of your old guests or hosts? Have you become friends or pen pals?
I’ve spoken to some of you about this before so I think some of your stories would be delightful to share with your fellow contributors.
@Stephanie what a great subject to discuss :) I believe that is one of the greater joys of hosting and we needed some place where we could read about the positive side of hosting. We have become very close friend with few of the families that stayed in our apartments. I have noticed that we mainly become friends with the guests in the beginning of the season, maybe because we have fewer reservation and we have the time to dedicate ourselves more to the guests. There is this family from Croatia that now come every year even if they are planing their vacation in another country just to see us for a couple of days and we actually look forward every year to their stay. There is this other elderly couple from Netherlands that we are visiting soon, they are some of the coolest people I've met. He is a chef in a very famous restaurant in Amsterdam and she owns an art gallery and they have some of the most amazing stories. My father has lived in Russia and he always welcomes the guests from there and they become friends so fast, he gets so excited when we get new booking from there it is adorable :) I love my guests and I am so excited when they want to get to know us. There are guests that don't even want to hear the house rules let alone get to know us but different people different characters, it is ok both ways. I've been really lucky to have pretty much amazing guests up until now, I hope it will stay that way.
Awweee I love that story,
My husband and I are both personal trainers , there for we really like people, but unfortunately we haven’t been lucky finding many guests who wanted to become more than just that. But like you said the few we had make up for all the others 😊
I think one of the coolest thing about hosting is the people we meet that wouldn't normally be in our day to day lives. Over the years I have made a few connections that have blossomed into true friendships. One lady was here for two weeks helping her daughter find an apartment, we became friends on FB and we meet up for coffee when she visits her daughter. Connections like that are what I think the true spirit of Airbnb is about.
In March last year I had a booking request from a local girl, Katherine! She was totally upfront and wanted to book our cottage for 3 weeks for her parents who hailed from Norwich in England.
My initial reaction was to suggest that Airbnb do not permit 3rd party bookings and she should get onto her parents and get them to join Airbnb and set up their own account to book.
Now this sounds simple but I have come across quite a few people over the past couple of years who found joining and going through the verification process quite a challenge....particularly for the more elderly amongst us.
So I mulled this request over in my mind for a while. Eventually I thought, 'what the hell' I am bringing a family together who had not seen each other for a decade....grandparents who had never seen their grandson.....I was doing exactly what Airbnb are supposed to do, bring the world together.
I accepted Katherine's request.
Tinneke and John arrived and as soon as we met them we formed an instant liking for each other.
On the second night of their 3 week stay we were having a customary late afternoon cheese and drinks when the daughter arrived and abruptly ushered her mother into the cottage, a few minutes later to be joined by John the father. Heated words were exchanged and the daughter suddenly left saying she wished to have no further contact with her parents........far out!! what do we do now?
This is why we should never accept 3rd party bookings, you just don't know what is going to happen.
Well Tinneke and John had come all this way, John was not in the best of health with his poor sight and his Diabetes and the 4 of us had a common bond, Tinneke looked after John and I looked after Ade.
Tinneke spent her days helping me in the garden and John and Ade had a mountain of health issues they were only to keen to console each other with. The problem with a long term illness is, it becomes old news! People don't want to hear about it after a while, the pool of sympathy wanes! But each of them had a brand new enthusiastic audience....each other!
Every afternnon and evening would be spent talking, eating, drinking out under the market umbrella during those lovely still Autumn nights
Over that 3 weeks we became great friends and although the tyranny of distance and our respective partners health means we will probably never see each other again, Tinneke and I are like 'brothers in Arms' and John and Ade have an enourmous compassion for each other.
Just another of the lovely experiences that Airbnb creates!
I recently accepted a 5 night booking of a couple with a dog, and it was the daughter who booked. The problem was, my place was an hour's drive each way from where they actually needed to be, and it was too much, especially with dog, so they only stayed one night. But no problem to me.
NO NO NO NO NO
We are professionals. We are in this for the long haul.
While being professionally friendly, making friends is verbotem. Making friends opens the door to manipulation and heartache.
What if I become to annoying? What if I talk too much to them? What if I become too casual?
I'm a slob and I like to walk around naked. If you're my friend (not a guest) you will understand and accept this behaviour. I also have a black humor and a loud guffow.
While I like many of my guests, I wish to give them independence and free of them the constraints of "Friendliness"
We are FB friends with a lot of our guests but with a few we have become firm friends, we call and txt one another all the time. We host so that we can meet people, we love to travel and meet different and unusual people but hosting on Airbnb people come to us, and we get paid, win win!
Balance, respect, open-mindless and awareness all factor in to the equation. We strive to make our guest experience wonderful and ours too. Occasionally guests become friends but circumstances in our market rarely permit it to happen. When a guest has a wonderful stay they depart very happy with a strong friendly vibe which we enjoy. To us that is a goal worth while and a reward in itself.
We have some guests connected on Facebook or other social media, and greeting to each other now again. And we just got first guest from old guest referral. It is good thing that host and guests can be connected in different way after the booking completed. Regards to how strong the bond is, just follow the 'fate', if God give each of us a new friend, why not to welcome it.
I had one guest send me an nice, friendly Inquiry with a question or two. We messaged back and forth a couple times and she said she needed to book an airline ticket and would get back to me. I really liked her from our chat and so when I didn't hear back from her for over a week and my calendar for the high season was starting to fill up, I messaged her again to say, Hey, no pressure, but just wondering if you still were planning to come, as bookings are starting to roll in and if someone else wants those dates, I'll have to accept. She messaged back right away, saying she definitely still wanted to come, but that she has a fear of flying, so every time she has to book a ticket, she procrastinates it. But she thanked me for booting her butt and said she'd book a ticket right away and get back to me, which she did. We exchanged a couple more messages, joking about our irrational fears (hers is of flying, mine is heights). She felt like someone I'd known for yers and when she came to stay, that just continued- we found we had a lot in common, had a similar sense of humor, and had long conversations and laughing fits over bottles of wine. She has wanted to come back, but hasn't made it yet (sick mom, old dog, life stuff) but we do keep in touch.
Another guest was from very close to where I used to live in Canada. She was a cheery guest, who was childlike in her appreciation and wonder at all the new things she was experiencing. She got really sick one day and I tended to her, checking to make sure she was still breathing, went out and bought her energy drinks, and crackers and light foods she could keep down. When I went back to Canada in the summer, I called her, she picked me up at the ferry, and took me to her house and fed me lunch and we had a nice visit. Her husband is Moroccan and she said they are going to buy a house there and that I ever want to come to Morrocco, I'd be welcome to stay.
I'd say about half my guests I end up sitting around with chatting over coffee or wine, one guy came back from town on his last day with a kilo of shrimp which we peeled together and cooked up and sat and had a shrimp feast, and some have told me about what's going on in their personal lives that caused them to need to take a break. Child custody battles, divorces, deaths.
It's one reason I like hosting solo travelers- they seem to be quite independent, know how to enjoy a home-share and are friendly and respectful. Some guests keep to themselves, and I totally respect that, but I've had a lot of fun with the ones who want to hang out.