I scrub and clean my house before guests come, however I still get low ratings for cleaniness. I am a professional cleaner and very disappointed when I get these ratings.
At the moment my house needs a bit of a maintenance of painting here and there for chips on the skirting boards etc its not a lot but would that be a reason why I get low cleaniness ratings?
It is an older style house built in the 70s and has been renovated. I still get "old" house.
Even though the lady who stayed at my house who called by house old had a bnb house that was 50's retro style. Again I am confused.
Can anyone give me some advice.
Thanks Jill Paynesville Vic
@Jill700 Some people just need something to complain about, and many just can't differentiate between "older and could use a bit of maintenance" and "not clean". It's unfortunate and I don't know that you can do anything about it.
I remember a post from a host in New Orleans- she had a turn-of-the-century home. Same thing- some guests said it was old and shabby (mostly the younger guests who favor the Ikea look), which of course upset her. Meanwhile the house was filled with impressive antique furniture (not to mention the inate architectural details of the home) and she had reviews that reflected how impressd many guests were with the whole place, calling it amazing, a historical gem, and so on. One guest wrote that he could barely sleep, he was so excited about the 40's fridge that actually still worked.
One thing I've always done, even when I wasn't hosting, was to keep small jars of leftover paint handy in all the colors I'd used, marked with what room and what part they were for (master bedroom: baseboards). When something got a chip or a ding, I could just grab a small paintbrush and the jar and do a quicky touch-up. Of course, you may not have matching paint if things were painted long ago.
@Jill700, guest expectations of Airbnb accommodation have risen in the last couple of years. I feel like all I do is clean now. One of your guests mentioned clutter. I find that the less clutter there is, the more clean and tidy the space looks. I too have an older 70s house with chipped paint, cobwebs, etc. but generally I don't get marked down for cleanliness. You might have just been unlucky with the two guests you've had. Also, even though negative reviews can be hurtful, try not to get too defensive in your public response because it might backfire on you. Best of luck with your future bookings.
@Jill700 , Welcome to Hosting.
It's not always a smooth start for some, and you have had a bumpy start.
I have looked extensively at both of your listings, including photos, amenities lists, your reviews, and your replies to your visitor reviews.
I have some ideas about a number of changes/adjustments that you can make to the presentation of your webpage so that the pictures better represent what guests can expect.
For example some basic images and amenities have been omitted, you have 2 listings but the photographs are identical, and its not clear what the different offerings are for each listing.
There are quite a few changes which I think could be beneficial, and as it's hard to raise your average star rating to overcome low score reviews, the sooner you made changes the better. It may even be worth a temporary pause on your calendar views, until you complete a few changes.
I am going to PM you and offer you my contact details, please feel free to get in touch if you would like to have a personal/phone chat.
In the meantime read lots across the different community forums, and check the advice on offer from Airbnb on their blogs and hosting tips.
Airbnb is amazing, we learn a lot from our guests, and we even get paid for being a student!
Often it's the situation in which we feel most uncomfortable that we learn the most.
Best regards Christine from Wombats at Glenbrook
Thank you Christine for your advice. I am going to snooze for a year and fix up the areas that need painting, etc. Then give it another try. Somehow two listings came up, I only wanted the one. The prices change on my calendar and I haven't done the change.
I would appreciate your contact details for further advice if possible .
Kid regards Jillian R Matthews
@Jill700 Many people definitely equate 'old' with 'dirty' but things like chipped paint are definitely going to give a room a sense of being run down and not clean, so I would strongly recommend that you do some painting. I'd also recommend that you retake your photos of the inside of the house, they are very dark, compared to the outside area which was taken in the sunlight. Also, there is no photo of the bathroom. You might consider getting a large area rug for the living room that would protect the cream carpet and add more color/depth. Lastly, I'd get rid of the white lace cover on the coffee table, it does look dated, and unless you really want to lean in to a Victorian style, I'd remove.
Out of the active season, the travelers are different. I spent a good summer with a minimal care for my place. I know this dependence-summer travelers make less complains. Out of the season is hell (if you choose to work out of the active season)! Well, the season is over and the hell is on his way-4 stars for overall, 4 stars for location, for cleanliness and for sure it will be more. 4 stars for location came with comment "not the best street". 4 for cleanliness was about a spider net, outside, on the balcony...somewhere. The guest, who rate me 4 for overall never responded why it's all about.
You can't avoid this- just get used to it.
@Jill700 you are off to a rough start. Your response to Jennifer's review is really shooting yourself in the foot. (Jennifer will likely never see it, but all prospective guests will.) In your shoes I would probably take down the listing and start over. Re. cleanliness, smelling of dogs is pretty much a killer. And no, incense is not the answer. I would ask a good friend with a good nose to explore the house and give you candid advice about what else needs attention. And I would de-clutter insofar as possible.
Yes, I am taking the listing down. I have asked friends to come and check the house out for smells and cleaniness and they could not smell the dog smell and said it was very clean.
The first lady was a very nasty nit picker. Well if the house has a smell of dog what would you use to get rid of the smell.
Thanks for your help.
Regards Jill Matthews
I can relate to this, I've started bringing in professional cleaners with each stay and still I'll get dinged for something like a tortilla chip crumb between the wall and the fridge, or the sponge had been used previously. It's hard not to feel defeated.
@Jill700 I would echo what other hosts have said. More and better photos of the interior (the outside shots of your garden and seating area are lovely, clear and bright, keep those), take a couple shots of the bedroom, where guests are going to be spending most of their time when home, from different angles so they can see what's provided there- a closet? a desk? a chair? And of course the bathroom.
It doesn't look all that cluttered to me, but maybe it's usually more cluttered day-to-day than when you arranged things for the photos? What it is, is old-fashioned decor, and guests seem to prefer clean lines, and a more modern look. But it's your home, so you should decorate and furnish as you like, just try to keep it simple and clear.
The heavy drapes, the carpet and all the upholstered furniture is going to make it difficult to get rid of the dog smell, and no you can't cover it up with incense. Investigate products like Nilodor, specifically designed to eliminate those kinds of odors. And pet odors are just a bad review waiting to happen. I have a dog and cat myself, but they mostly stay outside and I have tile floors, light curtains that can be thrown in the wash, no carpeting, and the animals are never on the couch, so there is no pet smell. I'd be turned off to stay in a place that smelled of dog or cat.
Dog smell. Yes that caught my attention!
We have three dogs. We were very badly dinged on cleanliness by our first ever booking, the clown expressed surprise that we had dogs at all, which shows he hadn't read the listing very well, if at all.
OK so now we have added an air purifier in the common area room that guests have their breakfast in.
Since the hammering we took from this gentleman we have made a big point of having dogs on the premises.
What really annoys me is that the entire ground floor of our house is tiled in R12 rated non slip anti-bacterial tiles, you could literally eat your dinner off it, and it's steam cleaned every other day, and the dogs don't go upstairs.
I think it was a "cultural" difference, although we are very inclusive, I think we had a guest who wasn't as far as dogs are concerned.
Since giving the pooches more prominence on the listing and in the photos we've found that the first question half the guests ask is "where are the puppies!"
We moved last year to a small modern-ish (70s) house in the country from a large rambling edwardian town house, and I look back on the constant maintenance involved and I really feel your pain. You can work your tripe out to keep on top of older properties but there is always something waiting to be done.