As hosting is slowly starting to pick up again, hosts are preparing their homes for receiving guests or perhaps have already received guests. Of course, the most important thing is for everyone to stay safe and well.
Having said the above, most of us probably receive enquiries from guests from time to time via the messaging system or (if safely possible) in person.
What are the most common questions your guests ask you and how do you answer them?
It would be great to hear your tips and experiences on this.
The questions I get most often are:
Unlike @Ann72's recent experience, I have not received any inquiries asking about our cleaning process. Not a single one. On the other hand, I am surprised that some guests have said that they are so happy that the space looks like the pictures. So, I don't know if there are a lot of listings with stale pictures or worn furnishings, but the guests' comments the do make me wonder.
@Quincy There have been no questions from guests about our cleaning protocol. I wonder if perhaps the reason some hosts are getting the questions re cleaning and some are not, is down to the region they are in.
@Colleen253 I also think that it is so early in the game, so to speak. My assumption is that those who are being super cautious really aren't traveling yet. Even their movement around their home base is still limited. Those traveling across state lines for vacations/getaway have COVID in the back of their minds but are less concerned.
@Debra300 I often get a version of the first one, too - "We think your place is beautiful and we would love to stay there! What discounts do you offer?"
I always feel they're expecting special treatment because they have the discernment to notice the place is beautiful. My answers range from "I'm so sorry I can't offer any discounts in July" to "I'm so happy you found the house and so sorry it doesn't work within your budget."
I've said this before, but - do they ring up the manager of the Ritz-Carlton and tell him/her they'd like to stay there but can't afford it? 😂
@Quincy This year the most common question is about cleaning protocols, so I fill them in on what extra steps we're taking - notably paying special attention to everything anyone might touch, and never allowing one-day turnarounds. I leave a supply of masks at the house and tell them that should a repair person need to come in, they should require them to wear a mask.
I allow pets at the cabin, and almost everyone is very polite and asks if they can bring their dog or cat. I recommend getting them treated for fleas or ticks before they come and note the surrounding woods are populated by wild animals. (Not trying to scare them off, just in the interest of full disclosure so they'll be mindful about allowing dogs to run into the woods.) But did you know that every single pet is extremely well-behaved? 😂
I actually hate receiving inquiries! More times than not, it demonstrates that the guest has not read the listing or that they have but need further clarification because they are not willing to adapt to your space or be flexible with what you have to offer.
@Debra300 it's funny that you tagged me since I was just in the middle of my response to how I hate questions!
Is your occupancy limit flexible? We have 6 people and can certainly use two bathrooms.
A: We have carefully considered our occupancy limits and based our cleaning fees on those counts. Unfortunately we can't host more guests than we have indicated, but can certainly refer you to a larger accommodation in the area.
Is your house fragrance free/allergen free?
A: As we are pet friendly, we can't guarantee that our space is free of allergens. We also have a number of scented bath products our guests like to use.
Is your place pet friendly?
A: Yes, we love our furry guests as long as their human companions follow the house rules about waste disposal/clean up.
Do you have a fenced area for my dog?
A: Our cottage is partially fenced, but we do ask that human guests keep an eye on their pups during their romps in the yard. That way its easier to pick up after them and you can ensure that they do not bother the neighbor's chickens, who sometimes migrate over.