Hi All Hosts,
We are relatively new to hosting for only a month in 2020, now opening up for 2021 after 🤞lockdown ends in May.
We received a booking for 1 night in our 400 sq ft Cottage for a family of 4, 2 adults, 2kids. Ok, doable. Now they want to include 2 more 14 & 15 year old nieces. Therefore, 6 guests. I explained the cottage size and the maximum is 4 guests, so no to any additional guests.
I have cancelled the reservation.
Did I make the right decision? I have a 5 star rating and am willing to pay the penalty, but I want to be sure that I have made the right decision for both my guest and myself.
Did I make the right business decision?
@M199 IMO, yes. If they needed a place for 6, they shouldn't have booked a place with a max count of 4 nor asked afterwards to exceed the guest count.
But was this an IB booking? I'm wondering why you cancelled it yourself instead of just telling the guest to cancel, or not bring extras, as she was asking for something outside your listing parameters.
@M199 I would not have canceled. I would have told them they have a confirmed reservation for four people maximum, and if this reservation doesn't meet their needs they should cancel it, as no more than four can check in. (When we get requests to exceed our maximum, we politely/regretfully explain that our water and septic systems cannot accommodate more. Nobody wants a septic issue on their vacation so we get no pushback and no violations.)
@M199 cancellations need serious thought and communication between hosts and guests. It just helps smooth the way for everyone if an agreement about the cancellation can be made. You did explain the problem with trying to over-accommodate people in your cottage.
In the end the guests needed to return to their original plan of only 4 people or cancel and find alternative more suitable accommodation for their needs. Failing that, you did the right thing and cancel. However, it is a shame to take the penalties for their cancellation. The biggest penalty in my eyes is the difficulty in becoming/maintaining Superhost status if there are no mitigating circumstances. Also, that date will be blocked from your availability. This is probably not a problem for 1 night, but has more of an impact over many nights.
You made the right decision... Dont start going back n forth with them. Let them find something that fits their needs. May I reccomend No 1 day bookings especially on weekends. Weekends are your most profitable days. I allow 1 day bookings Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday's only.
Yes, and i'm intrigued to know why are you doing one night stays in a 400sqfoot cottage? That is a lot of work, a lot of laundry and a lot of cleaning for one nights cash. of course it is totally your decision but you are creating so much extra hassle accepting one night stays.
In general, I don't mind them adding people "after the fact", if they notify me, are willing to pay any difference (where applicable), and if we have the capacity.
But I'd never, ever accept a one night booking. Our off season minimum used to be 3 nights, I've now raised it to 5, and our high season mimimum is 7 nights. That tends to weed out the price pirates and party animals.
@M199 in my opinion, yes you did.
Our cottage is also max 4. We are very strict with that and now include pets in the guest count. So if you have a dog and three people that is 4. We have definitely turned down reservations where people wanted to book for 4 adults and 2 pets, 5 people, 6 people etc.
Its all about our cleaning fees which are quite low. We simply cannot afford the clean up after extra guests. Guests generally do not understand that its not okay to try and squeeze as many people as possible into a space. Some hosts really will go out of their way to accommodate lots of people including air mattresses and sofas on listings to increase sleeping spaces. Guests who seek that should find a different accommodation and I am sure other hosts would be really happy to have them. There is a place about 15 mins from us that sleeps 8 or 9 and I always direct guests to that listing. Its good to know what your boundaries are and stick to them!