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.
I suspect that kine of guest would also be the type to complain to Airbnb after completing the stay, and ask for a total or substantial refund for (imaginary) issues and infringements that you were never notified of during their stay. Unfortunately, Airbnb too frequently grants these requests without consulting with hosts, and they essentially end up funding someone's stay.
How far is it to xyz, is it a 20 minute walk?
Polite, friendly request, other Instant book & is a Host themselves.
No issues, just wish our air dates would go down to a reasonable price again so people can afford to travel in a reasonable time across NZ from one island to another & that our borders would reopen with previously pre existing laws enforced so we would get our travellers back into New Zealand - a common local complaint & serious issue.
The question we are still getting is
'we won't be able to travel with out quarantining. Can we cancel and get our money back please given that you have a strict cancellation policy'
Answer: Yes from us BUT you won't get the service fees back from Airbnb until/unless they extend the Extenuating Circumstances to your mid September travel date. Please keep in touch and we will do what we can to help as we would like the dates available for others to book as soon as possible.
Only one reservation left to sort out now but its so frustrating that the dates are blocked, we know we will get no money and the chance of a rebooking goes down as each day passes.
@Mike-And-Jane0 why do you do that? Get them off your calendar. The ball is in the guest's court. Yes, you will give a full refund and they can take the service fees up with Airbnb. I have about a dozen of cancelations from guests who booked this summer and then canceled two weeks later. No mention of the service fee. That is between them and Airbnb.
@Emilia42 Three reasons why we help guests
1) It's the right thing to help guests who have less experience of the platform than we do
2) By helping we will clear our calendar quicker hence giving a chance for people to re-book
3) Hopefully, post lockdowns and quarantines they may even rebook with us.
We manage and take the bookings for a lot of holiday homes. We don't get many questions about the properties. What we do get though with AirBnB guests is a small number of very similar complaints - a bit of dust, a cobweb, etc etc - and how the guest had to spend an entire day cleaning. We know this is just not true. This only happens with AirBnB guests.
When they do it, they always come across as "disappointed" - not angry etc. And they are all so similar. I'm convinced it's an attempted scam to try and get some money back.
We had one a few days ago - the cleaners did the clean, took photos for our website - AirBnB guest said it was dusty, dirty, mouldy, smelly, cobwebs etc and had to spend a day cleaning. We have the photos to prove it was clean - sparkling clean. We actually saw the guest out and about so we know she wasn't cleaning.
We are a professional lettings agency. We are not "someone with a spare room". This is not a hobby or a part time bit of cash on the side. It is a proper, genuine business. My business parter and I each have over 20 years experience in lettings - residential, commercial, holiday homes etc. We know what we're doing and we do it well.
We also have our own contract cleaning company and our own commercial laundry. We have all the proper, professional cleaning equipment including carpet and upholstery cleaners, pressure washers, commercial vacuum cleaners etc.
We train our team properly. We have a cleaning manual for staff and specific guides and checklists for each property. On every clean, every cupboard, drawer, curtain and blind must be opened to check and clean. Absolutely everything is done properly. A manager will inspect every single clean. Photos are taken.
The vast majority of guests are impressed. A very small number, always from AirBnB, are disappointed. Fortunately, AirBnB normally provide only about 10%-12% of our bookings so it's not a major issue.
In other words @Trevor243, the 'dust actors' are coming from Airbnb, interesting. Over the years I have had a very few that acted with a 'home inspectors' air upon arrival - I immediately tell the boat captain not to leave yet and that they "They may not be staying" - end of theater.
@Fred13Running an agency with numerous properties is an eye-opener. We see the same things as any other host with a single property, but we see a lot more of it - the good, the bad and the ugly. And that means certain things are much more noticable, like the "dust actors" all coming from AirBnB ......
Sometimes we get the guest who "doesn't like to make a fuss, but ...." and spews out a string of nonsense complaints. And yes, they are nonsense. We're well versed in the "We're sorry you're disappointed ..... if you'd like to find alternative accommodation, we will refund the remainder of your holiday". None of them ever do ....
That might make us sound harsh or heartless - we're certainly not. We bend over backwards for our guests and help them enjoy their holiday, but we won't be treated like idiots .....
I thought your observation was very interesting. Come to think of it my direct & VRBO guests have been an absolute pleasure, while quite a few Airbnb guests oftentimes arrive with a certain 'air' as if their review is of paramount importance to our long-term welfare. We also make sure to do our part and provide a first rate lodging & value with a nothing-is-a-problem attitude, but after that we invest no further emotion into the exchange.
@Trevor243 A friend who hosts a private suite in her home had a guest complain about "dust" in the review. My friend is a nurse- she knows how to clean, and is fastidious in her Airbnb cleaning. She didn't have another guest since that guest had left, a couple days previous, so she went searching in the room for where this woman could possibly have found dust. She finally located a tiny corner of the bookcase headboard, way in the back, a triangle about half a centimeter in size, where the cleaning rag didn't get all the way in, that had a small bit of dust.
Lots of people ask for recommendations on where to eat and drink in my area: that's by far my #1 question. Always happy to help in that regard.
I had someone send me an inquiry earlier this week that just said "What's your address?" Their profile was blank, with no reviews or verifications. I emailed back, explaining that Airbnb blocks addresses, but my location is exact on the map and if they search the name of my property using a search engine, the exact location will come up. Their follow up message was, "Every other host has at least told me what street they're on." My property name is The Flat on King. So glad she didn't request to book so I didn't have to waste a decline on her.
Like @Emilia42 , not one guest has asked me about my cleaning practices or what I'm doing to keep them safe.
Still absolutely no questions about cleaning protocols or any other COVID-19 safety related issues. None at all.
I mentioned in other threads that since the calendar was unblocked, all the guests enquiring were asking for discounts. Well, that seems to have stopped (for the time being anyway).
What I am being asked for more frequently now is for a tour before booking (either virtual or in person). I get it. I host long-term guests and the ones asking for this are contemplating staying for months. However, apart from a couple of requests when I was first starting out and didn't have many reviews, my long-term guests have never asked for this. It seems to be a recent thing.
I don't want to do viewings at my home and have strangers coming and going, especially now, but also in general. It's one of the reasons I switched from regular lodgers to Airbnb.
I don't mind doing virtual tours though but, given that we are not allowed to exchange contact details with guests prior to booking, how does one go about setting that up?
@QuincyIt would be great if there was some sort of tool on Airbnb where you could do a virtual viewing/tour. I am not sure if this is something that's already been suggested in the past?
Thanks @Trevor243. I do have a lot of photos (with captions, which are reviews from previous guests) on the listings, but what it seems people want is a live tour so they can make sure it's real.
I don't know about VRBO/HomeAway as, as far as I am aware, those only cater for whole units, not rooms in shared properties. A video option on Airbnb would be good though. Not sure why they haven't introduced this yet...
Hi there @Huma0, I think more people suggested in the past that Airbnb should develop some sort of virtual tour feature. Personally, I think the idea of such feature could be very helpful!
I know it may sound a bit generic, but if many people submit feedback here https://www.airbnb.co.uk/help/feedback asking for such a feature, it will gain hopefully gain visibility.