Former Community Manager

Liv_0-1603120087380.png

 

Hi everyone,

 

I’m aware that many of you are occasionally Airbnb guests when taking some time off or travelling for work, and I’m guessing it must be quite interesting to experience hosting from another perspective. 

 

When travelling as a guest, you might have been able to have different insights and ideas that you later applied to your own listing perhaps. As they say, we learn best by example.

 

So I was wondering: have you ever seen other hosts making mistakes that you now try to avoid? Have you been surprised by a different way of doing things, or by a great idea that you hadn’t thought of?

 

Thanks,

Liv

84 Replies

Re: What have you learnt about hosting from being a guest?

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

@Helen427 It's not that these hosts are living busy lives or lag in their response time. It's that they see no value in thanking a customer for their purchase or starting a conversation. They get the confirmation and think it's done, there is nothing left for them to do or think about until the day of check-in. I don't like this but many people operate this way. 

Re: What have you learnt about hosting from being a guest?

Former Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Former Community Manager

Yes, @Helen427 I will agree with @Emilia42 again. It makes it feel very transactional and takes all the human aspect out of it. I would expect a bit more of social interaction when I'm about to stay in someone's house.

Re: What have you learnt about hosting from being a guest?

in
Espoo, Finland
Level 5

In my opinion host communication is a cultural thing. In some countries like for example Finland communication is at a minimum. There is no small talk and if they have nothing to say they don't. Polite questions such as "How are you today or Is all ok" are non existing.

My communication with booked guests include:

1. Thank you message for booking during Corona times include House manual, since I do not enter the place after having disinfected it. Message also incl. extras incl. prices. I also tell the guest that I will be in contact with them a day before arrival concerning check-in times

 

2. Day before arrival message about check-in time.

3. First morning checking if all fine in the place.

4. Message for check out procedure during the evening before check out.

 

As a guest I appreciate some drinking water bottle (if one cannot drink it from the tap).

I do treat my guests to some veggies from my green house in the summer. If I have some left over cake or other meals I do offer also and it is always appreciated from guests. Does not cost anything,-)

Re: What have you learnt about hosting from being a guest?

in
Lloret de Mar, Spain
Level 10

.@Emilia42
If I hadn't received a letter from the host within an hour, well, about two hours, I would have thought about cancelling my reservation. It pisses off when the host does not answer, and even more so a few days before arrival. 😆 

Re: What have you learnt about hosting from being a guest?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

One or two hours delay in answering would piss you off and make you want to cancel? Wow. 

 

FYI, I often get alerts at 3AM that I have a guest message, or an inquiry or request. Am I going to get up and answer it at 3AM? No frickin' way. I have gotten them at that time even if the guest is in my same time zone and sent me the message at 9PM. Not only am I asleep, but my guest would be, too.

 

Or maybe I'm out running around shopping all day. I don't use the app and don't want to. I'll answer the guest message when I get home to my laptop, which may be 5 hours after they sent it. If people are that impatient and expect instant communication, I don't really want them as guests.

 

But I certainly agree that it's rude of a host not to bother to establish communication with a guest soon after they book.

@Anna9170

Re: What have you learnt about hosting from being a guest?

in
Lloret de Mar, Spain
Level 10

@Sarah977  I think we mean different things. When I send a booking request, I will not wait for an instant response. Especially at night)). But if I make an instant booking, then yes, I think that the host must respond within an hour or two. Because when a host turns on "instant booking" in the settings, he must be in touch within a short time. 

Re: What have you learnt about hosting from being a guest?

in
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia
Level 10

@Anna9170,

Do you mean that you expect a quick response when you've made a reservation during normal waking hours for the host's location?  I have IB turned, and have received reservations during the overnight hours in my time zone, but are either the morning or later evening hours for the guest.  There is no way that I am going to respond to a reservation at 3 a.m. my time.  It will have to wait until I wake up later in the morning.

Re: What have you learnt about hosting from being a guest?

in
Espoo, Finland
Level 5

Also in the middle of the night???????

Re: What have you learnt about hosting from being a guest?

in
Lloret de Mar, Spain
Level 10

.

Re: What have you learnt about hosting from being a guest?

in
Lloret de Mar, Spain
Level 10

Yeah, this is the reason why I only book hotels, preferably with a 24-hour reception))

Re: What have you learnt about hosting from being a guest?

in
Chicago, IL
Level 10
  1. in person greeting (pre covid) is sometimes the difference between negative and positive review. We stayed at a place with roaches but the host was so incredibly nice that my husband forbade me to give him a negative review
  2. ants are annoying. I get them at my places too and get irritated when guests complain. Encountered them twice when travelling. Somehow they bothered me much more as a guest than as a host :).
  3. even the best of us do not read (I am talking about myself). I need to be patient when guests are asking what seems to be silly questions. I could not turn the heat in an apartment we rented in the UK, messaged the host. It turned out the sign on how to do it was literally in front of my face in big letters. The guy could not be more nice about it. Made it sound like he waited all day for me to need something from him.
  4. what is perfectly normal in one country makes zero sense for someone from another. There is plenty of space in my house book to keep adding details and I should. 
  5. every airbnb should have a dining room table that fits the number of guests allowed on the reservation
  6. stains on sheets are gross. You know you washed the sheets but to a guest it is a someone else's stain
  7. doors are the most complicated object. Someone should compile a guide on the various ways a door can be closed or opened. A host should never think their door is easy, particularly to a jet legged guest who did not read 

A few more things I have not mentioned yet:

  1. even if your guest said they read your instructions, they did not
  2. guests do not read, hosts should not assume they did

Re: What have you learnt about hosting from being a guest?

Former Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Former Community Manager

Hey @Inna22

 

I do see the point you brought up about reading instructions come up a lot in the CC. That's a really nice way to look at it, it's true that we never know what the other person is going through. It's definitely always best to be kind (although I can imagine it can sometimes be hard when you've already taken the time to detail everything) 😊

 

Also, I'm curious about the issues with doors that you mentioned. Have you had any specific troubles with doors as a guest?

 

 

______________________________________________________________
Can't find what you're looking for? Click here to start a conversation!

Re: What have you learnt about hosting from being a guest?

in
Chicago, IL
Level 10

@Liv in some countries doors are really thick and you need to turn a key literally 10 times. In the US it is usually half a run, if that. Sometimes you need to hold an upper knob while turning a lower knob. Sometimes you need put a key code on a panel and pull while it buzzes, sometimes only after it stopped buzzing. I can go on and on. Something that seemed natural to us might need a detailed description to someone else. I once had to facetime with a guest who just could not figure out how my keypad works. I have hosted 500 guests with no issues. It just did not make sense to this guest.

Re: What have you learnt about hosting from being a guest?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

It's a possibility that hosts may not be very good at providing clear instructions, either. What might seem adequate explanation to a host, because they already know how something works, may not be articulated in a way that it would be clear to a guest. 

 

It might be a good idea, when a host writes up instructions for something, to give it a test run by asking some friends or relatives to give feedback on whether they find it clear.

 

From some of the host posts I've tried to read here on the forum, which go on for half a page with run-on sentences, all in one long paragraph with no breaks, and little punctuation, if that's what their written communication with guests is like, I'm not surprised that guests wouldn't "get it".

 

@Inna22

Re: What have you learnt about hosting from being a guest?

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

@Sarah977 @Inna22 I have one of those super confusing doors at the entrance to one of my apartments. You have to lift the door handle up before the key is able to turn (it's called a multiple point lock.) I have written instructions on how to use the door taped next to the doorknob. So they don't even have to consult the Airbnb messages if they don't think of it.

 

But what makes it even more confusing is that there is also a keypad at the top of the door which acts as a deadbolt. I don't want guests using this because I cannot change the code in between guests. So I put black electrical tape over it so you cannot see the numbers and I have a sign right next to it that says "Do not use this." Still, probably 1 in 10 guests will call me because they cannot figure out the door and they messed with the deadbolt and locked themselves out. I got frustrated once and asked . . . "what code were you trying to use on the keypad? I didn't give you one. And didn't you see the sign that said do not use?" They respond with "I know, but I just thought . . . (trails off to nothing)" So I have on order a new $600 door which will hopefully be installed this fall.

Join the conversation