I need some opinions or other hosts' experiencies about the correct way of approching early arrivals. The guests fly accross the ocean, I cannot ask them to come later, on the other hand they made no mention to any extra pay for 5-hour earlier arrival.
Dear Wendy, my guests cannot hang out in my living room, eat in my dining room, have a snack in my kitchen, because all these places are miles away from the listing they rented.
I'm not greedy either (and would 10 or 20 dollars do), but I value my time very highly and consider that it has to be compensated in some way, although the money can’t do this entirely.
Those who travel a lot, or not that much, should take care of these aspects by themselves and not let the others to manage their problems. I am not a young person, my concern is my family, not the irresponsible travelers. I look at this situation not as the matter of money, but the respect.
It's rather patronising and dismissive to call other hosts greedy.
Just because you didn't 'come into this to make money' (presumably you donate your profits to charity then 🙂 doesn't mean other hosts don't rely on the income or shouldn't be recompensed for making their acommodation available earlier, if guests want to available themselves of the resource.
It's a business after all. Just because you didn't see it as such, doesn't make it any less so.
@Al19 I understand your dilema. You have a check in clearly stated of after 2 p.m. Your guests are arriving in the morning and want to check in five hours earlier.
What I do is agree with guests on their check in before confirming a booking. Then if they don't want to wait then can book somewhere that offers an earlier check in.
If they decide to book knowing you have an afternoon check in, then it's up to them to decide how they spend their time before the check in. Some options for you.
If they want an earlier check in and you want to accommodate, you can send them a special offer for an additional fee. If this isn't feasible then offer them details of left luggage near you and local cafe/s/restaurants/attractions they can use.
Thank you, Helen. From now on I will focus on the arrival time, it seemed so obvious to me that this should be the guests's concern in the first place, not mine.
And as to this guest, finally he answered my messages, we agreed on the charge amount with no controversy and solved it via Resolution Center.
When you state on a forum for other hosts
'I'm not a penny pincher.
'I'm not greedy.
'I didn't come into this to make money'.
And the post is talking about whether to charge for early check in, I believe both the implication and inference is that other hosts, who don't behave as you do are 😞
Have a look at your post again. You may not have meant it, but that's the way it came across unfortunately.
Anyway the OP has got the information she is looking for.
Interesting post and at first I thought your post and responses to other hosts suggestions quite stiff and abrasive - but then I looked at your listing and read your recent feedback. All your reviews praise you as a helpful, considerate host with a great apartment so congratulations on that. So maybe it is just your writing style that comes across as a little abrupt. Anyway.....
How about this for your early check-in guests. Assuming that the apartment is ready that morning (and that you didn't have a previous guest checking out that morning making it impossible to clean/ get ready for an early check-in) - why not put in your listing description that early check-in may be possible, for a small additional fee to cover preparation costs, and to discuss with you prior to arrival to confirm. By charging a small fee, (more as a token gesture as opposed to trying to make a profit) it ensures that no guest takes it for granted that they can check in earlier..... and by spelling it out in your listing description, and house rules, it cannot be ignored by a guest who may just think they can turn up early without talking to you first.
And if you did want to try this approach (probably too late for this guest unless you can get them on the telephone to discuss) you can charge the additional early check-in fee through the Resolution Center quickly after agreement which avoids the additional % add-ons for Airbnb fees and taxes.
@Al19 - If you want to be compensated for early arrivals, you need to declare it in your listing profile. Even if you want to charge for an early bag drop off - if you declare it in advance, you can charge for it. The concern, it seems, is that it is not possible to allow for an early check in. So just tell people no. Hotels have no problem telling you that the rooms aren't ready until after 3pm, why should you be different? You need time to coordinate cleaning and such, just like any other business. If a guest "just must" get in early, they should book for the night previous. You may get less bookings but, then again, you may not.
My example was a guest who IB'd. Then announces she's arriving at 9am. Our property clearly states that check in starts at 2pm. So I tell her, we can't accomodate this, that there will likely be another guest here. I explain if she must check in at 9am, she needs to book for the night before. She then tells me she doesn't think it's "fair" to pay for the previous night when all she wants to do is get ready for her 10:30 meeting. Huh, it's not fair? She cancelled, Airbnb took their fees, and she had to book elsewhere. I guess she didn't think of the "fairness" issue from anyone else's perspective but hers... it would be unfair to us as hosts to give up an entire night's rental for her. It would be unfair to any guest we have in the property to suddenly share a bathroom, or worse, have to leave early to accommodate her.
You have a check in time, stick to it. If you want a bag drop off option, since it sounds like you don't want to hold bags, find a place locally where your guests can leave their things.
Dear all, thank you for your advice. Although not of them fit, at least they worked for me to learn that I won’t break some common practice, a kind of non-written rule because there is none.
Fortunately for my early arriving guest, the previous night is not booked yet and I decided to block it in my calendar and negotiate an acceptable charge for the early arrival, about 25% of the daily cost.
I do have a place where my guests could leave their luggage in case of need, right in the ground floor of the same building, but after an 11-hour flight (do not forget the 3-hour waiting at the airport), 2 hours to get out of the airport, 40 minutes drive… I doubt they will appreciate my suggestion to visit some interesting place. Although it might seem different, I am always on the guest’s side, but - unlike Wendy - for me this is not a service to the Humanity, but a business, and both sides' interests have to be respected.
Ones again, thank you all!
After my first year of being the accommodating host and letting early arrivals check in during morning hours (and late check outs) I was nearing burn out.
I realized I had to make a change. So it was check in from 2pm on. Wouldn't you know it, nearly half still tell me they arrive sometime in the morning.
My place is an apartment and has no place for guests to hang out and eat snacks and wait for 2pm to roll around.
What bothers me is that early guests, even those just dropping off bags and possibly using my bathroom (I really, really don't like that) aren't on time, and I end up waiting and cooling my heels (wasting my time).
I tried the host tip of extra little hourly fee, but got slammed with a lower star rating for that, even though the guests didn't want to spend the money.
I got tired of the negociations.
I got tired of the wheedling.
So I tried another host's tip, and now I say "I'm so sorry, I only get back home from other work shortly before 2pm, but the train station has luggage lockers if that helps you." And I am surprised at how naturally they accept that.
I have to say though, that I include in my listing that earlier check in is occasionally possible for an extra hour;y fee, but must be arranged in advance. If the guest asks me referring to this, I'll do it. If they only say (as my booking today) they're arriving at X in the morning, I'll use my spiel mentioned above.
Obviously your hosting area, arrival method etc. determines what's possible.
I pretty much use the same method for check out.
Thank you, Andrea. I have read your comments before, on the other topics, and they are always very sensible and useful. But my additional difficulty is the country itself: the train station has NO luggage lockers, there are NO public toilets, etc. Thus, I cannot help to worry about the irresponsible travelers as well. However, this is just the comment at the moment, because “my case” is already solved. Nevertheless, I will check the arrival time from now on.
I am so glad your guest finally responded to you - and I agree with your small charge for an early check-in - and using the resolution center is the way to go - easy, quick and no extra %fees from Airbnb.
I am very interested in your country and how you are finding Airbnb and the international travellers.... I was wondering if you would answer another post of mine about favorite recipes or treats for guests - I would love to have something for the book from Cuba and I think it would be great to have you in it.... The title is 'Airbnb Hosts Fav Recipes Collection??'
After hosting over 200 guests, and allowing folks to arrive early whenever possible, here's what I experienced:
1. many want an early checkin but leave you waiting and don't check in until later anyway
2. not one guest that I have accomodated with an early checkin thanked me or mentioned it in their review.
3. Guests asking for early checkin that get denied, easily make other arrangements -- leaving later, having lunch, etc.
4. Guests taking a flight that arrives in the middle of the night or early am often choose that flight because it saves them money so paying for an additional night is just the price of a cheap flight.