would you refuse a reservation request for someone who is planning not to bring a car?
Our cottage is not in an easy Uber zone and not walkable to much at all as the closest businesses are on a highway (not too far but no sidewalks.) We have had a few folks who want to reserve without a car. I say in my listing that a car is needed to explore the area. Several of these requests have been writers who want to hole up and work on a project but others have been families. Some of them have been for dates in the winter when the weather is bad and we might not be able to readily get to them in an emergency.
Would you just forgo the potential headache and refuse the booking request? Or would you take your chances?
Your first message to them should reiterate that a car is necessary. After that, it's up to them. Everyone on Airbnb is an adult.
@Laura2592 We have the opposite problem, people who want to drive here and then freak out over the parking rules and urban parking in general. Due to airbnb's draconian punishment for declining anyone, we usually will try to paint the picture of parking and driving in hopes of discouraging them, which sometime works and sometimes doesn't, but we almost always accept the request, even though sometimes we live to regret that 4 star 'parking was crazy' review.
So, I would lean heavy in your message about the need for a car unless they don't intend to leave the cottage at all and hope for the best.
@Mark116 we are going to Seattle in a few days and staying in a congested spot where the host highly recommended uber/lyft vice a car rental. So we are taking that advice. When I lived in New Orleans at the edge of the French Quarter we begged visitors not to rent cars as it is a wonderfully walkable place. So many didn't listen and parking woes ruined their time. Sometimes common sense does not prevail.
I live in a village and while it is possible to use public transport it is certainly far from ideal. I recently had a guest who informed me she was coming without a car so I pointed out the difficulties but ultimately it was her decision. She ended up hiring a car. I think all you can do is leave it up to the guest as long as you have given them the facts.
@Laura2592 I don't quite understand the concept of having a listing which is fairly remote, yet turning down requests from guests who are looking for exactly that. I understand that it needs to be really clear to guests that there aren't any stores, cafes, restaurants, etc, just around the corner, but for many people that's the attraction of booking a remote listing.
My place is a 20 minute walk into town- I've only ever had 2 guests who had rented car, all the rest walked back and forth daily, or even twice a day. Many of my reviews mention how nice it was to be away from the hustle and bustle.
I do get the concern about being able to get to the place during the winter if there were an emergency, not sure what you could do about that, except make sure they are clear about the fact that they could get snowed in and that if say, the water heater went on the blink, you might not necessarily be able to deal with getting it repaired right away.
@Sarah977 because I can see the review-- "We got bored. There is nothing I could easily get to when I ran out of food. Uber service is spotty and there are no delivery places nearby. Host couldn't address our issues due to weather. "
Our place isn't that remote-- there are neighbors. Its just in a food desert/rural area about a half hour from a small city in any direction, and 15 minutes from hiking trails, parks, waterfalls and a decent sized town. People come to explore the area. Though I think my house is pretty awesome (I am biased, admittedly) I do also understand that it might not hold the attention of someone who has not lovingly picked out every paint color as I have. The overwhelming majority appreciate its charm but look for other things to daytrip to.
@Laura2592 By remote, i didn't mean that it's all by its lonesome- I have neighbors as well.
It's important to market towards the types of guests who won't be bored. In my listing, I say that it's a good spot for those who want a quiet holiday, those who want to work on their art, writing, be out in nature, do their yoga practice, or just have time to relax and read those books they've been meaning to get around to. And so far, for 3 years, those are the kinds of guests I've gotten.
You could actually offer, for a fee, that guests could send you a shopping list and you could have the place stocked with food for them. A friend of mine goes to a family reunion every few years and her group looks for places where the host is willing to do this. The place might not be remote, but they don't want to have to go out grocery shopping the first day.
@Sarah977 I think the issue is that guests aren't really looking for 'that' and so they will complain, because after not taking the warnings about a remote location seriously, they will be unhappy that they can't walk to XX, that Uber is slow and expensive, and so they are displeased because it was remote.
@Mark116 Well, guests can complain about all kinds of things and they do. They'll book a place that's in the heart of a busy city and then complain that there was traffic noise, or in your case, about the availability of parking. They'll book a place that clearly says and even has photos of the host's pets, and then arrive and be surprised and upset that there's a dog. There are things about pretty much all listings which might lead to complaints if the guests didn't bother to read and understand what they were booking or ignored the host's warnings about what to expect.
@Laura2592 Your listing is adorable and memorable. I have posted responses to several of your discussion threads. I think you are such a careful host that you might be a bit too anxious :D You have almost all 5 star reviews in the subcategories. Search of your reviews regarding location results in ALL positive comments!
Now if you really have a seasonal concern about guests being snowed in, perhaps there is a seasonal booking requirement that would mitigate that concern such as increasing a minimum stay. If someone is staying someplace for a week, I doubt they would be there without a car.
Meanwhile, how can you enjoy your great success as a host...?
@Linda108 thank you for your kind words! We are newer hosts and run into some issues that we now try to anticipate as much as possible. Every host makes mistakes and tries to learn as they go ahead. And what better place to get advice from seasoned people than this forum! I appreciate your replying to my threads.
As for the time period, a week is what several of the prospective guests have asked about. Most recently 5 days in January, Out max stay is 7 days and min is 2.