New AirbnB guests

in
Dublin, Ireland
Level 2
737 Views

I've only been hosting for four months but am having a bit of an issue with guests who are new to AirbnB.

They don't read the listing, they think they can arrive whenever they want and they don't seem to understand how AirbnB works.

My sister is a superhost and she won't accept guests who are new to Airbnb as she has had numerous problems with them.

As I'm new and trying to establish my listing I don't want to turn away these bookings and I also believe everyone has to start somewhere but I'm starting to come round to her way of thinking.

Just this week I've had people turning up three hours early, wanting to know what time breakfast is served (I don't serve breakfast), another wanting to arrive three hours early and demanded that unless I let him he would cancel, and another again, telling me (not asking if its ok) what time she's arriving (again before check in time).

I also had a guest a couple of weeks ago arrive at 11pm at night without any apology whatsover.

The check in time seems to be irrelevant as far as I can see!  As its my home I can't do the lockbox and I like to be there to meet people.

I usually email guests a couple of days before they arrive to confirm that I will be there at the check in time but it seems that only the guests that have used Airbnb before actually respect this.

Anyone else have experience of this?

Thanks

Sharon

19 Replies

Re: New AirbnB guests

in
Bispham, United Kingdom
Level 8

@Sharon764  I no longer provide breakfast (it's mentioned in my listing a few times) and to be sure guests are aware of this I message them a day or two before arrival reminding them. Also, I remind them that I will be home from 4pm (check-in time) to greet them and ask them to let me know an approximate time of arrival. It's working out well for me.

Re: New AirbnB guests

in
Dublin, Ireland
Level 2

Thanks Moira

I email them too in advance but they just seem to ignore the check in time!

Might have to word it better to get the message across.

Thanks for your reply

Re: New AirbnB guests

in
Ohrid, Macedonia (FYROM)
Level 10

@Sharon764 dont ask them, tell them when they can check in. Many of them don't know hor airbnb works, I have had guests in my home ask me where the reception is. If you are flexible with time give them a time frame of a few hours but let them know you won't be home after that. 

Re: New AirbnB guests

in
Dublin, Ireland
Level 2

Thanks Ana

Yes, I've also had a guest ask me if I was a hotel!

Thanks for your suggestion.

Sharon

Re: New AirbnB guests

in
Belgrade, Serbia
Level 2

I always kindly remind them to read the rules and the description of the listing before coming and to let me know if there are any questions. Also, when they come I remind them of the house rules. 

Re: New AirbnB guests

in
Concord, CA
Level 10

@Sharon764 Yes, this is what I do for new Airbnb guests as suggested by @Milica34 . A new Airbnb booking request needs a host to be approved before it is confirmed even whenInstant Booking is turned on. That is the time to ask the guest to read and agree all house rules, checkin, and checkout times. If they relies with Yes, I will go ahead to approve it. Otherwise, I don't approve.

Re: New AirbnB guests

in
Dublin, Ireland
Level 2

Thanks Milica

I haven't asked anyone to read the rules before but that is probably where I'm going wrong.

Thank you!

Sharon

Re: New AirbnB guests

in
Hurstpierpoint, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Sharon764 Hi Sharon, new users of AIRBNB are our lifeblood as hosts, without them our platform and community would not survive for long. You are perfectly right when you say that new users are often a problem but I ask myself all the time whose fault is it really, the user or AIRBNB. I remember when I first started to use BNB as a guest how difficult it was to get my head round the rules and regulations! Anyway may I suggest that when a guest books you set up your script to include a number of questions like "what time do you think you will arrive" etc, and now for the trick, always ask your guest a question which they will feel benefits them by replying too, we ask"would you prefer white or brown bread in your welcome pack". I know this sounds stupid but you might be surprised what a positive guest outcome it might cause. BE HAPPY!!!

Regards Shaun.

Re: New AirbnB guests

in
Peterborough, Canada
Level 10

@Shaun69 

Quite clever to include a question that benefits the guest. It increases the likelihood of a response hugely, I'm sure. Good psychology there!

Re: New AirbnB guests

in
Dublin, Ireland
Level 2

Thanks Shaun

Yes, I need to be more specific in my responses.

Thanks for your advice!

Sharon

Re: New AirbnB guests

in
Eureka, CA
Level 10

@Sharon764Excellent idea! I am having issues with non responsive guests as well. That is a top shelf idea, ask them something that they will benefit by answering. Definitly going in my Saved Messages! Thank You!

 

Re: New AirbnB guests

in
Peterborough, Canada
Level 10

@Sharon764 

That's an unfortunate run of guests! Little wonder you're feeling bruised.

 

All I can suggest, as those above already have, it to re-iterate checkin times prior to arrival day. Maybe something in your "thanks for booking" message, such as "Per my listing, checkin time begins at XXpm. What time after then do you expect to arrive?" Take it from there, depending on the response. If no response, another message telling them what window of time they will be able to check in (ie: "As I've not heard from you regarding your arrival time, this message is to make sure you're aware that you will be able to check in  from XX to XX pm. Your response is necessary if you need to make alternate arrangements."), that way you're been up front and you have the bonus of having it documented in the message thread if things go sideways.

 

Every market seems to have different expectations. If breakfast is something that guests ask about often or seem to expect (I would personally use 2 or more enquiries as "often") I'd make sure to have it written in my listing description.

 

Hope things go more smoothly for you!

Re: New AirbnB guests

in
Dublin, Ireland
Level 2

Thank you Jennifer

Yes, I can see from all the responses that I need to be more direct.  I do ask the question and even when they say what time they'll arrive many don't so hence my frustration.

My problem is that I can't sit around all day/evening waiting for them but I also don't want to get off to a bad start so its a bit difficult.

Anyway hopefully it will go better from now on!

Thanks again

Sharon

Re: New AirbnB guests

in
KCMO, MO
Level 10

A couple of tips.

!. be explicit when you respond to their booking and remind them of the rule. Ask for the names of each person in their group and their planned check-in time. Then you can reiterate the rules.

 

2. Remind them that everyone in the group has to know the house rules before arriving.

then pray.

 

I've had:

 

1. a new guest who gave the code to the lockbox to a family member who checked in at 11:45 am (check-in is 3pm). Luckily we weren't there cleaning and the apartment was ready but I found out by checking the security footage.

2. We have  "first time" guests now who did not read the rules and asked if I had a cleaning service  - they will be there 7 weeks. Seemed shocked that after getting a month discount bringing the rate of $125/day down to $77 day that I would not have daily service. I AM NOT A HOTEL (and I realized what an idiot I was for making the month stay discount whatever Airbnb recommended. Will not do that again ever.

Don't discount new Airbnb users. Many of mine have been amazing. I have had 18-year olds act better than an experienced middle aged superhost (the first left the apartment immaculate, the superhost left it a mess).

And some families are so grateful to have the space. So I say one or two out of 80 have been people I wouldn't want back.

Also raise your prices if you can and that will cut back on "low hanging fruit" looking for bargains.

Just vett. You are not required to take every booking. Make sure they tell you why they are coming to the area and when.  It will get better with time.

Just be firm.

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