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.
Well, @Quincy , last night, at two hour intervals, the same potential guest (who had chosen a September date for the contact) asked whether any August dates were available. I said "no" each time in increasingly shorter messages. So that was my number one question of the last 24 hours. 🙂
But, no, no one has asked about cleaning or pandemic protocols. Questions this week are whether their friends can come and bring tents (that's a no), what beaches are within walking distance (depends on how many days you wish to walk...), and the one that came in just now asked whether they can give my phone number to their friends who want to stay but don't want to go through Airbnb (no).
I'm not getting any good questions. I'm certainly getting good guests, though. One asked 10 or so questions that are answered on the site, but the stay was fine I think. No review yet.
Oh, I did get one good question. It was "Are there any bears?" Sadly, no.
I would love someone to ask, "Can we bring you anything from the city?"
A host can dream 😉
Loved the part where you said "Depends on how many days you want to walk" 😆.
Are you expecting new guests anytime soon again? Also, here's to hoping that someone will bring you something nice from the city 🥂 @Lawrene0!
Hi, @Quincy . Yes, it is a long walk to the beach from our flatland farms and woods... The guest who asked that question told me this afternoon that she would like to live down here. Looks like she has decided that beaches aren't all they are cracked up to be!
I've been hosting since reopening on June 20, the week after our province lifted the STR ban. Except for the odd orphaned Tuesday, we are booked solid. I've got prep days set, of course, but nearly everything that can be booked is booked right into winter, with inquiries about whether we have waiting lists.
These are all Ontarians -- no interprovincial bookings, and certainly no Americans. We're death against the poor things at the moment in Canada.
This was the prediction, right? That staycations would be the thing, and people would want the unique/remote listings. In our case, people with cabin fever want to get away to an even smaller cabin...
As to something nice from the city, it was just a question I would want to get. A dream. I can't even think of anything. But the first guest who asks it will get some sort of prize. 😉
..most frequent question: how far are you from main station/airport
A: thank you for your request, I'm happy to copy paste you a part of my listing description ... or ... I'm 10 minutes from main station, 24 from the airport, both with direct connections. this and other useful info you'll find in the description of my listing.
I'm totally aware that these are not nice answers .. but, I don't need this kind of guests .. and I hope that they realize that they are not that 'smart'
Exactly my take. My answers are short and direct . . as if to say . . "if you have to waste my time, I really don't care to host you." I know it's harsh but I really don't want to attract that sort of guest. Especially, when their message usually comes with no greeting or introduction about themselves or the purpose of their visit."
Since my guesthouse has been closed for so long that I forgot about the questions that I get for it:
There are also the "obviously I didn't read a **bleep** thing" questions: Do you have AC? Do you have wifi? Do you have cable? Answer: Yes.
@Lawrene0 .. honestly, I had have several guests which asked me if they could bring something from their city (of course after confirmed booking) .. but - probably stupid swiss mentality - I don't like to bother them .. My answer is always: no 😕
.. and I really like your answer about near beaches .. depends how many days you like to walk :DDD
Because my place is a 20 minute walk from town and the beach, and almost all my guests arrive by bus, so have no transportation while here other than their legs, one question I get asked is "Is the walk to town safe?" I feel this is a legitimate question, seeing as how it comes from single females and never mind answering it, in fact I don't mind answering Inquiries at all, unless they ask a bunch of stuff that's addressed in my listing info, which I don't get too often.
I've been asked a few times if guests are allowed to cook here, even though I list kitchen in my amenities, as well as stating in the text that guests have full use of the shared kitchen. This might be due to guests having booked places before where kitchen was listed but not really clarified, and guests arrived to find they were only allowed to make light meals, like sandwiches or heating up take-out. Or there were limited hours of the day when guests were allowed access to the kitchen. I know i had one guests who cooked a lot, who told me she had a host who gave her a bad review for using the kitchen so much. But the host had listed kitchen and not stated any limits on its use.
And several of my guests have asked if they can bring me anything small and light that I can't get in Mexico. I find that so sweet and thoughtful. Sometimes I come up with something (Mr. Clean magic erasers!), sometimes I don't.
Because I have't hosted since early March due to COVID, no questions re cleaning protocols.
Q. I notice you say smoking isn't allowed. Can I stay as long as I don't smoke indoors?
A. My rules state no smoking/smokers, so it's a no I'm afraid.
These days 2/3's of the prospective guests ask for a weekly or monthly discount since they didn't realise a discount has already been applied to what Airbnb quotes. Nothing wrong with that I suppose since they could always ask...and we could always say no.
However recently a guest wrote "...I'm wondering if you would accept $XXXX?" (the amount is about 50% of our already discounted rate)
After our polite but firm reply stating it wouldn't even cover utilities and the basic costs of operating our place, he wrote back "Have a think about $YYYY - with travel severely compromised I think it's a decent deal"
The second offer is ~Au$1000 (US$700) more than the first quote but still nowhere close to our already COVID discounted rate. We don't appreciate his lowballing and trying to take advantage of hosts--our hunch says someone who does that is going to be a painful guest--and didn't bother replying.
We'd rather take our chances.