Hi I am a new host. I am not gonna lie, I am a little butthurt by my last review. The last person cancelled. She praised herself at being a superhost in an ENTIRE HOME rental. She has never stayed or done a private room
She came down with her husband from the south.
Hotel prices nearby are going for 250 a night as I live in San Diego(Hotel Circle)
Now I am listing my 2 bedrooms(Together) ranging from 45-65 a night depending on occupants. She originally sent a message stating they had an infant. I told them this place wasnt suitable. the rooms are 10x10 and the there is a queen and a double. She was coming with 5 occupants. I was even nice enough to reduce the price to 2 occupants as 3 others cancelled.
She was stating the room wasn't very private as it was 2 doors down from the master. My home is built in 1960, it is not like homes in the south, that I grew up in, but they are alot pricier.
She made a review stating she had problems checking in, but she came at 9 pm when she strated she would come between 7-8. She waited outside for maybe 5 minutes but once she messaged me then I opened the door within 1 minute. This is all timestamped via messages and ring doorbell.
The lady appears to be very frugal as she booked a flight into LAX and did a 2 hour drive down to San Diego. Which is fine, I just dont know what she was expecting from a place that was 50 a night in San Diego. I also dont think she liked the fact that the living room and kitchen were off limits. Kitchen is ok for water, storage, and reheating. This was stated in the Ad.
Now she made a comment about the checkin not being clear. She had a keycode but she stated she didnt know where the entrance was. There was small 2 foot high dog gate in the front door and she said she wasnt sure if that was the entrance? There are only 2 doors to the front of our house. Garage and front door.
Overall she cancelled so no financial loss, but then this opened up another can of worms for us and concerns over unhappy guests wanting to have a hotel style treatment. So I am going to start sending out premade messages in regards to what to expect from a private room(For those who havent stayed in a private room for AirBNB).
We are new hosts and I just felt that I needed to vent. The other thing is while the other guests have been very pleasant and happy about the cheap costs. Many of them use this place just to sleep during their vacation. The money isnt necessary, this is just a hobby for us.
Would be up to intake input as well. Thanks Everyone
Lady and her husband are frugal and asked if I would accomadte them on blocked dates with an infant(Which I dont allow)
6 hours prior to checkin 3 guests had cancelled flights so I reduced their booking to 2 people to be nice
Came at 9pm. She stated earlier, she would checkin at 7-8pm
left a review stating that my check in instructions arent clear. They waited 5 minutes max outside even though they had a passcode
Unhappy that private room was 2 doors down from master bedroom. She stated it wasnt very private.
Cancelled booking. I still got money
New host so needing to vent and input from others.
I think you are right that it’s a case of sticker shock. I’m sure lodgings are MUCH cheaper in Arkansas. But that’s why you do your research before traveling.
Bringing an infant into a shared house situation is just a bad idea in general.
My guess is that she wasn’t happy wherever she ended up staying, and the whole trip got off to a bad start with flights being cancelled. Her vacation sounds badly planned from the get-go. (Driving two hours from the airport with an infant???)
The only thing I suggest is to be careful with responding to private feedback in public. Her public review wasn’t bad.
Your idea about confirming with guests that they understand what a private room is sounds good. People simply don’t read.
I responded to the review not realizing the minor details were private. I only thought the brief paragraph was.
Thank you for your insight
@Marcy30 A few thoughts here...
1. The guest asked for dates that weren't available, and a number of people greater than your occupancy rate. This is a classic profile of the kind of guest that is guaranteed to give you an unsatisfactory review. A good guest will use the search function properly to find a listing that fits their needs and budget, whereas an inconsiderate guest will ask for things that aren't on offer. Managing expectations is fine, but with this guest you already knew that your listing wasn't suitable for their needs; the best thing to do in that situation is decline it.
2. It's nice to be able to offer a low-cost accom for budget travelers, but if you undervalue your listing so will your guests. Your best reviews will come from guests who choose your home for qualities other than just being the cheapest place they could find.
3. Even though this guest should have chosen a more appropriate type of property, it's still worth taking the feedback on board. For example, your ad could be much clearer about the kitchen and living room. If the living room is 100% off limits, it's best to be explicit about that and not feature any photos of it. And if kitchen use is permitted only for "water, storage, and reheating," your listing should say that instead of "no heavy cooking." And while self-check-in option may come in handy at some times, when you're in a shared home with dogs and off-limits areas it is much better to greet your guests upon arrival and show them everything.
4. Finally, if it is still possible I would recommend removing the Host Response that you posted to this guest's review. Remember, the audience for this response is your prospective guests, who can't see the star ratings the guest left you. It's very confusing to see this long drawn-out rebuttal to what appears to be a mostly-positive review; the public response should be as concise as possible and only address the content of the guest's public comments. In this case, it's undoubtedly better not to leave one at all.
Thank you Andrew. The listing is shared between me and my wife Marcy
The price I give is the general price of the other Airbnb around me that are about the same quality.
I will revamp the whole listing and touch base with upcoming guests to confirm what they are getting into.
I actually wanted to greet her when she came in but she didn't come in at the appropriate time. I generally try to say hi to the guests
I am also messaging Airbnb to remove the response as I thought her review comments were public
As a "hobby", being a host still requires a professional hosting style. Unfortunately you also "vented" in your response to the guest review. Rookie mistake. I know the San Diego area can be pricey, especially during the summer, so your price could be higher and you could take more time getting to know the guests' expectations. I also have a private room and take the time to confirm the situation within a message to the guest to ensure expectations will be met.
Your reviews are positive which is good but listing does not stand out in terms of marketing except for the price. Your pictures are not inviting and you do not have clear captions as to what the potential guest is seeing. There is room for improvement. I find the quality of guest experience increases my pleasure as a host. Check out other private room listings in your area to compare both price and quality. Low pricing is a very short term strategy. I also started with low cost but once I had the good reviews, I began to increase my price.
The thing is, that Abigail didn't leave a bad review. It must all have been in the private comments section. She said that it is affordable and fine. That is all we can see. However, your extremely long response makes it a bad review. Think very carefully about responding to reviews, as it changes the game entirely. If something happens, leave it alone for a couple of days until you have cooled off before even thinking about responding to a public comment.
Never respond publically to a private comment. Never comment publically on low stars. People reading the review cannot see the private comments or number of stars so you will just shoot yourself in the foot. Don't say anything defensive, instead just reply pleasantly to indicate how nice and cooperative a host you are.
Welcome to Airbnb!
All hosts here have gone through this learning period and feel your pain.
You have had 10 past reservations. Time to step up your game, get hardened professionally and reduce future problems.
1. Call or Text Airbnb to remove your long-winded review. You come off deranged! Probably not your intent.
2. Research your competition. Charge in the middle range. Do not undercut pricing - it invites problems.
3. Improve your pictures/marketing. They are dark and uninviting. You are probably the only house in San Diego photo'ed with dark clouds behind your house!
Don't despair. You have a great location - Close to the beach, shopping, Hilltop and the stadium!
It's a money maker.
Little improvements and time will improve your clientele. You'll also get used to not taking things personally.