We have been with Airbnb for a solid 4 years and have just entered the beginning of our 5th year. We have hosted over 450 reservations and maintain a strong 4.9 star rating. It is RARE that our home is not booked. Our home is near Red Rocks Amphitheater and thus brings mostly a concert-going crowd.
Throughout most of our time hosting people, we have had outstanding, respectful guests. However, this year, things seem to have shifted to a younger crowd that lacks respect for rules and integrity. We usually have 2 'bad' groups of guests per year and consider it a wash because of all of the great people that we encounter.
But this year, we have just finished round 5 of 'bad guests' and have grown weary of hosting people as Airbnb does NOT value their hosts.
The title of Superhost is nothing more than a word to make a host feel valued and as if they have some special clout with Airbnb...at least this has been our experience. Round 3 of bad guests brought one of the most manipulative persons that I have ever encountered. I had ALL of my documentation in black and white, on the website, security camera shots to prove they had extra, unapproved guests, but Airbnb found in their favor???? Cost us $500. We had a similar situation last year that cost us $2000.
There is no dialogue with the 'Case Managers', they give their side, you give your side, they say they've made up their mind to not find in your favor and they cut off the conversation. Incredibly RUDE.
One would think that being a Superhost (definition: Superhosts are experienced hosts who provide a shining example for other hosts, and extraordinary experiences for their guests" would already 'prove' that we as hosts are dedicated to the best experience for our guests and would offer some benefit of the doubt to Airbnb. I have been told by Airbnb that they consider each reservation an individual situation and don’t consider the overall host rating. So why then offer a title of Superhost?
It is a difficult decision whether or not to remain with Airbnb as we do make a considerable income with them. However the bad is beginning to outweigh the good. I feel certain that Airbnb has a legal loophole to escape EVERY situation. Thus the $1,000,000 “we got your back” logo in my mind is as valid as the term Superhost.
For now, we are pursuing renting to medical professionals who travel. While it may not bring as much income, we won’t have as much headache either. I know that losing our business does not affect Airbnb but if they keep up with their poor customer service, in time, they too will suffer.
Thanks for listening and Hosts be mindful:
1. Airbnb is usually going to side with a guest
2. The front-line customer services reps that first answer the phone are USUALLY quite inexperienced and don’t know how to handle situations. If you really want someone out of your home, tell them that the neighbors are complaining or use the word party. That usually works.
3. The Case Managers seem to have more knowledge, but not much. They can be quite unreasonable and rude.
4. Airbnb likes to work in black and white and has difficulty operating when ‘gray’ situations arise.
5. If you have security cameras, you must disclose them.
6. If you already have bookings but have just installed security cameras, you need to go back to those reservations (prior than the night before check in) and disclose that you have installed cameras and request that they confirm that they acknowledge their presence. Otherwise, if the guest complains about the cameras, you will lose money on that reservation.
7. We have stopped allowing ANY other guests in our home except for those booking. Guests must also confirm the guest count before checking in. I can’t think of any other way to avoid unapproved and unwanted guests in our home.
8. Isn’t babysitting adult’s fun????
@Ron-And-Stacie0 Because of the company's attitude in placating guests at hosts' expense, their poor customer service, their refusal to enforce damage claims, their irrational and punishing review system and the fact that Airbnb guests appear to be getting more entitled and rude and savvy as to how to scam refunds and tank a host's listing, renting out entire places, unless the host lives right next door, appears to be increasingly non-viable and I would never have an entire home listing on this platform.
Home-share hosts, or those who rent out a granny suite or cottage on the property where they themselves live seem not to have the problems that whole house listings do. Of course we can get the odd guest who is unfriendly, disrespectful, dirty or messy, and even the very occasional one who is threatening or outright abusive, but generally if a host is good at being firm about house rules and basic respect and vets their guests well, there are few problems.
An entire house listing which sleeps many guests with an off-site host, is ripe for partiers, sneak in extra guest-ers, expensive damages, and complicated resolution disputes which rarely result in a satisfactory outcome for the host.
I'm sorry that what was once a pleasurable hosting experience for you has become problematic. I'm sure you're hosting just as well as you always did, but the clientele and the company attitude has changed, making Airbnb an iffy proposition for many entire house listings.
@Ron-And-Stacie0 I have very similar experience even though I have just hosted for a little over one year. I am not as lucky as you are. In the entire year, I had two bookings which guests lied and had party in the house even though I told them when I approved their booking and re-instated no party rule prior to check-in.
I also had more than 5 bookings in which guests brought more than that were registered in the booking.
It is a shame that airbnb isn't more considerate of hosts. Their lack of appropriate response can put home OWNERS in the awkward position of wanting and sometimes needing to protect their home while trying to be respectful of guests..all the while being aware that guests can simply leave a bad review and start to drop your ratings no matter how hard you work to be a good host. Seems unbalanced.
@Alice595 I contacted Airbnb again as you advised, but they said I should have contacted them in 14 days after guest checked out... I sent all the communication evidences indicating how I properly followed their advises at the VERY Beginning, the case managers just stopped responding.....
I delisted one, thinking taking off the other house, but still many bookings to finish.
What must be especially galling for entire house hosts is that Airbnb promotes these as being what most guests are looking for, and also gives search priority to Instant Book listings, which of course lessen a host's ability to pre-vet guests. I should think it would be crucial for those with entire house listings to have as many tools at their disposal for vetting guests as possible, and while you can require ID verifications, some good reviews, and a profile photo in order to IB, actual communication with guests before their booking is approved can help so much to get a sense if this is someone who is scamming, or otherwise someone you don't feel comfortable accepting.
We tried instant book once....that was our first bad experience and turned it off immediately. I do my best to communicate our expectations, rules, etc by sending a litany of information when I accept the reservation and again the night before people check in. in other words, I do my upmost best to build rapport before folks check in, and can often tell what the stay is going to be like by the communication or lack thereof that comes from the guest. The "before" experience often guides me on how closely I need to be watching our home which is just around the corner from our house.
I believe you nailed it when you said that the guests are becoming more entitled, rude and savvy. Just because someone rents our home does not give them carte blanche to do whatever they want.
I am certain that we are done with Airbnb but just need to find a way to replace the income.
I just want to add that the "bad' guest number 3" that I am referencing was a first time user against our 4 years of Superhost and 4.9 star rating. This is why I am so discouraged with airbnb. It just makes me feel like what's the point of giving my all to this business if my business partner (airbnb) doesn't have my back?
first timers, particularly we europeans, don't grasp that anything less than 5 stars means "sub standard" we have realised..
I think sue means that there are cultural differences, for example I would look on a 4 star as "above average", a 4 star rating would not put me off at all if I were unfamiliar with the platform.
I am sues co-hos and other halft by the way.
exam,ple: As in 4 star hotel.
We have experienced this with our own guests, first timers and european (in particular british) guests appear to be hesitanmt to give five stars, just in case the next one is even better, where our Amrican (and Russian) guetshave given five stars for "just as advertised"
@Sue896 Exactly! My little area had free parking as one of the last areas in Copenhagen until last year and I had many 50+ couples chosing my place because of that. Parking in the old city center is extremely expensive so they chose my place. If you are a Copenhagener my place is considered very central though it is not the old city center but bus is driving 24/7 every 3-10 minutes just around the corner from my home. All of those couples gave me 3-4 stars for location. And also the rest of the categories were a mixture of 3-4-5. They had absolutely no clue about the airbnb system - so actually it is really good for me that free parking 24/7 is no longer available.
Younger guests, in our experience so far, seem to have all given us five stars for everything, and they seem to genuinely mean it, they also seem to read the listings and find out about the location before booking. I don't think we could be clearer about our location in description and photos out of the guest room window and even an overhead view and street view of the neighbourhood, older people don't seem to read the info and we get the feeling some are looking for things to gripe about.
High expectations for backpacker prices, whilst the younger guests just enjoy life and make the most of their stay. I like the new generation.
edited to add: and I am one of those older people :(