I have an inspection that I'm going to coordinate between guests in a couple weeks. The guest the day of the inspection will check out at 11AM and then the inspection will take place sometime between 11AM and 5PM. The incoming guest will need to check in after 6PM. I already have approval from the inspector that my cleaning crew can be going when he's there. He just doesn't allow guests to be present (OK, I'll do whatever he says).
What's the best way to ask a guest, immediately after they book, that I'd like to require them to check in several hours later than they may have been expecting to check in? Is there a way I can tag the check in time on a particular day so it's understood when they actually book that check in on that particular day would be after 6PM? If not, I could ask them right after they book, and then I could obviously offer them some kind of cash incentive too. And if they absolutely had to check in at 3PM, we could agree that my listing will not work for them on those particular dates and we could mutually cancel.
Anyone have experience with this? Do you like my rough approach above?
Blocking the day is off the table. I just can't bare to have this asset sit idle for a single day.
I think we're finding that setting the check in time later (kinda like hard coding) on a particular day might be impossible. If that's the case, what's the best way to communicate to the incoming guest that they have to come late? And how much money should I give them for accommodating that?
Let's assume that the reservation is made for $500/night. They will be there for 2-nights. So $1K total. What would be satisfactory to request they check in at 6PM rather than 3PM for their stay?
@Richard531 Why not make a reservation for a late lunch, or high tea, or a private tour of the area, or give them some nice wine, or buy some groceries for them, or arrange something else during their visit? Would they be allowed to sit in one of the outside areas of the property while the inspector is there? Have their luggage put away and bring them some refreshments. I'm sure you can find a solution to this with a little creativity and extra good manners.
I think it’s greedy to ask someone after they booked and paid to check in later without supporting them for their inconvenience. They have paid a lot of money to you for the use of your facility. At the very least offer them some money back.
@Richard531 If you disable Instant Book - even temporarily - you can come to an agreement about the check-in time prior to confirming a booking, and the guest can withdraw their request if they don't find it agreeable.
Otherwise, it's your contractual obligation to the guest that your home be accessible to them at the check-in time that was specified when they booked.
If you're serving the budget-travel market, most customers would be amenable to a small inconvenience in exchange for a discount, so something like 25% off the first night might be sufficient to keep your guests happy. But if I were spending $500 per night, I would expect nothing less than perfection; being asked to delay my arrival because the host insisted on doing a hasty same-day changeover would set off alarm bells. And what if it turns out that the outgoing guests leave such an awful mess that it takes even longer than the expected time to clean, or an essential amenity is damaged?
p.s.: I think I've been to one of your restaurants on a visit to California, and the bacon was delicious 🙂
Thanks so much to all these thoughts. These are all such great ideas.
It might be too hard for us to offer them some of these fun amenities (GREAT IDEAS) like @Ann72 suggested because we are not local to the listing. But with this in mind, we should consider getting whomever checks in a bottle of wine to help smooth everyrthign over as well.
I also hadn’t realized that we had a contractual obligation on our hands on every Instant Book. But it makes sense that we would. I am going to bump up the requirements to instant book (used to be the simple ones that Airbnb wants) and that should filter some additional folks to need to approve before they book. Then I can ask them if they are OK with the later check in and a cash incentive.
If a guest instant books anyway, and they refuse to check in later, then I will have to postpone the inspection. It’s a simple as that. I absolutely appreciate the @Andrew0 point about expecting perfection. And we certainly aim to do that every time and won’t let this inspection get in our way if that’s what we need to do.
This is all going to come together in the next week or so, I’ll let you guys know how this ends up!
And @Andrew0 you were at the right place! Bacon! Thanks so much for your support! Lord knows we need it in this horrific place for restaurant owners now more than ever.
@Richard531 " I am going to bump up the requirements to instant book (used to be the simple ones that Airbnb wants)"
I don't think you can do that. The options that Airbnb has are the only ones that are necessary for a guest to IB. Stating more in your listing info won't prevent them from using IB if they don't meet your personal requirements, their booking would still be instantly confirmed and you'd have to cancel it.
So this situation is behind us. We were able to negotiate a late check-in with the guest. It was mostly luck though. We got a very understanding guest. And ultimately, the inspection took place over the cleaning window and the guest didn't need to really check in late anyway.
Here's how it went:
Would it be possible to graciously ask you to work with us to coordinate a possible checkout in the later afternoon if needed? We have a last minute interior inspection that we are trying to accommodate with the County of San Bernadino. We are doing everything we can to coordinate the inspection for the morning. But if the inspector gets pushed back, could we work together to adjust your arrival?
If you had to check in anytime after 3PM, we would gladly compensate you for the inconvenience.
Your comfort and experience are what matters most to us. So let us know if you have any flexibility on this. We will do whatever we have to in order to make it up to you. Once you’re checked in (and we’ll make that as early as possible) I promise, it’ll be all you from that point forward!
That works! Just keep me posted. I’d hope to have some idea before I head out there so if we can just stay in communication that is ok with me
You are a life saver. Thank you so much.
This little paradise is my wife and my pride and joy. I think you’ll get a sense of all the love and energy put into it when you arrive.
Getting this last little inspection is pretty much the final hurdle for us. Your flexibility is so much appreciated.
You reside about 2.5 hours out, correct?
If all goes well, I’ll be able to signal you mid-day when I know the exact inspection timing and you’ll be off to the races!
1000 thank yous again!
No problem! 2.5 hours is a solid estimate. My only concern is that I don’t have to arrive after sunset. So as long as I can get about an hour of daylight to settle in that would be ideal. But I’m flexible.