first of all it is very annoying that there is no option to set certain dates to be available for only guests with positive reviews.
my listing descriptions says that I do not accept bookings for NYE from guests without positive reviews.
I keep getting inquiries and requests from total newbies that I have to keep declining. one even had the nerve to ask for a disount for NYE!
So today on the UK site, again, I had to decline a request from someone who tried to book. Just registered a few days ago, not introducing themselves etc...
when I declined I was forced to choose between 4 options why I decline a guests. I did not want the dates to be blocked so I chose 'I am not comfortable with this guests' as the option of 'I am waiting for a better request' or 'not suitable for the guest' is no longer an option.
So next step I had to do was 'why are you uncomfortable' - I wrote: because they did not read the description saying we do not accept guests without positive reviews for NYE. so far ok...
BUT the next step I was forced to complete to decline said ' we will tell XY that you are uncomfortable with this booking!!!!
Then I had a chance to message them why.
I think this is really unfair on the hosts and should not be told to guests if we decline because we feel uncomfortable. this could expose hosts to bullying from declined guests.
Also I would had been happy to decline to say the booking is not suitable them instead of saying uncomfortable, but I did not have the option.
What does any of you think? I am starting to consider airbnb hosting is too much trouble.
@Robin Hey you have done wonders with that listing since we last spoke! Those photos are now much better, how is the soap making going?
You have the right idea Robin, do not be intimidated and if you don't feel comfortable with a guest just say why. It's not a Hilton or a Four Seasons, it's your property and your risk, and you did the right thing, you said exactly why you felt uncomfortable.
On another point Robin, I would like to get your opinion on this, I am finding that more and more guests are now feeling intimidated by the review process to the point where they will make mention of it in private feedback.
If a guest gives a 5 star in any one of the 6 subcategories they get to rate a host on, they automatically move on the the next category. If they give less than a 5 star, a box will appear asking and prompting an answer as to what the 'problem' was, and how this category could be improved.
For this reason some guests do not now want to get involved with the review process! Their reaction is...'The stay was ok, I don't want to get into some sort of a judgemental thing about it and make a comment that might come back to bite me in the bum'!
I am making representations to have the guest review process simplified and take the judgemental aspect out of the equation.
It is enough to know the guest thought it was less than perfect.....not why! We need guests to be honest and give us reviews, not frighten them away!
Good to see you are doing ok Robin....keep it up.
@Robin Thank you VERY much! Your opinion means a lot to me. You were one of the first, and most serious minded member to offer helpful suggestions when I started out. I still have a lot of work to do on the house overall. The guests seem pleased. After a string of cancellations I tightened up my policy to "strict." That also seemed to weed out the Captian Underpants. I kicked on Instant Book to try during the low season. I think it is working as I've had a guest roughly every 10 days. That is fine with me as I have a lot of stuff going on.
--- "If they give less than a 5 star, a box will appear asking and prompting an answer as to what the 'problem' was, and how this category could be improved. " ---
My guests have not mentioned this so far. In my opinion, *as long as the explaination field is not mandatory* I would like it to stay. That way a guest can tell me the reason behind the lower value. I will qualify that a little more saying as long as the explaination field is not posted for the public.
The soap is going fair. I have not had much time for it lately, due to other responsibilities. I'd love to get your thoughts on drawing in a different type of guest. In a different thread, of course. Most of my guests are traveling through, one night stays. I really enjoy meeting them but the constant turnover is exhausting. Also, I want to hear how things are going with you. :)
@Robin......I said to @Fred a while ago I miss the CC forum Robin, I miss the chance to 'chat'. Where I am now everyone has a problem, most are angry and want you to validate what is not validatable....and when you can't they give you a 'red face'!
I truly want to help Robin but, if it wasn't for the money, I wouldn't be there.
But I have learned a massive amount about the way the platform runs. That 'hotline to God' has taught me heaps and there is very little I don't feel confident about the Airbnb platform answering now.
My hosting is gowing from strength to strength, we only had 5 vacant nights in November and almost all my bookings are review generated...good reviews are money in the bank!
I am now also hosting the host 'get togethers' in this state of ours and I have been asked by the Airbnb public relations officer for Australia to take part in a media campaign. I have upcoming in a couple of weeks a two part feature spread in this states major newspaper, for Airbnb, focusing on Airbnb as a neighbourly influence and how Airbnb hosts can best work with their local government authorities.
This Airbnb train has been wonderful to me, there is not a guest I have had who I would not gladly like to see walk up my driveway and into my life again. You know I used to subscribe to that old saying, 'No man is an Island'....but I was wrong, everyone is an Island! Everyone has a story to tell, and you just don't realise how many beautiful people there are out there in the world until you host
I am interested now in just how far I can push this Airbnb bubble!
One more vino and l think l will turn it in for the night. I have deliberately given myself a night away from 'Directly' tonight to just luxuriate in seeing these faces like yours and just sticking my oar in once again. I hope you don't mind.
I don't mind a bit! I miss "seeing" you. I thought maybe it was just bad timing on my part.
I am very excited for you getting so involved. Amazing! I am also proud of your progress. I see advertisements for Air in more and more places. I also see them sponsoring the animated movie "Coco."
Many years ago I worked for a government agency that regulates building contractors. I was the first line "customer service" you might say. Anyone calling in for a licsense got me first. So did anyone who got shut down for not having one. Oh my! The language, the anger - they called my office the boiler room.
You hang in there and private message anytime.
i was a guest as well as a host and from my experiance as a guest, when writing a review to the host i felt AIRBNB
actualy encouraged me to find faults in the listing and to tell the host what is wrong because i am "helping" the host to improve. What a bunch of BS. Airbnb is forgeting their build their success on a hosts hard work and dedication and now they are getting the short end of the stick.
@Ma Your perception is right, Airbnb are encouraging guests to find fault with the accommodation or the host. It is regretable but we have to accept it.
Where the situation breaks down and becomes quite ridiculous, a guest wants a listing in the middle of town close to a specific venue but does not want to pay the required amount for premium placed properties so, he books a property on the outskirts of town that more suits his budget and then proceeds to give the host a 3 star for location because......the property wasn't where he wanted it!
I am involved with host get togethers in my area which gives me access to many other hosts and our feeling here is that the review system is becoming intimidating for guests and a greater percentage of them now would rather not get involved. It is no skin off their nose if they ignore the review prompts, but it will start hurting hosts if their review stats take a tumble!
I have put it in as a feedback item and I would suggest other do the same. The feedback link is monitored!
you could have offer to allow the photoshoot for limited time for a much higher fee
while you are present to make sure no damage is don. Set the price higher enough
it will be worth it to you.
I also wonder, now that Instant Book hosts can see guest star ratings, do the guests now see how we rate them in stars? I don't mind working within the system, but I'm getting very tired of Airbnb changing the system without informing us.
I have instant book if the guest has decent past reviews, not for any newly created profiles. I'm becoming more uncomfortable with guests booking without any reviews of their own, but rather supposedly part of a group experience. The reviews presented are attached to another person's profile. Add to that the lack of a facial profile picture and I don't know what to expect.
I have been hosting a bit over three years and 99% of people have been fantastic. But I find I'm more likely to want to hit decline recently because I'm not getting enough information. This dings me on my ratings, which is unfortunate.
I believe the large property management companies now on the site do not take the same care in who is renting from them and as a result we are having to work harder on our side to book guests that will be happy with a slightly more involved host. It may be that our house sleeps ten and so attracts more people wanting to party, but I believe it is a different kind of person now using Airbnb.
Have you considered to remove ( every single) value from there?
It reduces stress.
After creating one house's terms.
" After check out, one professional will check the apartment.
Damage will be required to replace. Be Caution.
except that doesnt work.
you cannot remove every item from your apartment, as guests need to be able to use a sofa, washing machine, bed, bedding etc...
there is nothing really valuable there, but still, furniture and fittings are neccessary.
Airbnb does not offer the same insurance in the county I host as in other countries and based on people's experiences of host guarantee paying out on damage, I rather not face it. I have been very lucky so far. The only damage I had where guests refuse to acknowledge was ink stains on my red sofa. so I had to sort out replacement covers myself.
But as I said before and people seem to not believe me, this is not a business for me, the whole airbnb ethos used to be ebout renting some spare capacity out occasionally. The upkeep of my place even if empty are over $100+ per month (management fees + internet, TV etc). I dont want to rent it out long term as we use it as a holiday home when visiting family and also for house swaps. renting it out occasionally helps pay that for the whole year.
So I dont have a professional person to check right after every guests. I do have someone go and clean within the 2 week review period, but often not within the 48 hours damage reporting so I like to vet potential guests in advance.
Maybe airbnb could have a professional and occasional section with different rules imposed - although instabook is similar except we non instabookers are penalised for not wanting to become one.
you can check the box "dates are not available" and then gp to your calender
and check the dates as available.
Fyi, if you decline many times your listing will be pushed to the butom of the SEO not a good thing.
If i was you i will be asking alot of questions, ask for a picture and when the guest will arrive i will keep a copy of the guest ID.
When a guest know the host have their ID they act mor responsibly.
Also, write detaild house rules and have your guests sign it upon their arrivle, if you will have more then one guest at a given time have each one give you a copy of their ID and each one will sign the house rules. Good luck
@Veronika Contact Airbnb, the guest should not have been able to book if you checked "must have positive reviews", there might be a glitch. Check your listing to make sure the box is still checked. I call Airbnb when I cancel an Instant Book (I have only done it once) because it said on my listing "penalties apply for cancellation", despite the 3 allowed cancellations I thought IB hosts had. I did not even get the "why" part, just the "penalty warning".
I dont think I can tick positive reviews only as I refuse to do Instant book. Also I have accepted bookings from newbies too as we all have to start somewhere, just not for specific times where parties are more likely.
I do however mention this on my listing that I wont accept bookings for those periods without positive reviews, so anyone who does book clearly havent read the listing and the house rules properly. So my trust in them adhering to those is already weak.
I have since acepted a booking from a group of university students who did a nice introductory email with a photo of all of them, had a positive review of 'would host them again' and we discussed all the arrangements.
I know if I decline too many times is bad for my listing, but sometimes I dont have a choice. Let's see how it goes for this booking.
I hardly ever meet my guests as I am in a different country so some of those other vetting options are not possible for me.
@Veronika I see, I thought you were referring to Instant Book, my mistake. I also take people with no reviews and all have been great, in fact the only two major disasters I have had were from guest with 5 star, stellar reviews - go figure.
Many people do not bother to read the description or rules, a frustration for many a host. I always respond to reservations by repeating things in my description that are important, and ask them to cancel if they have chosen blind. If they don't cancel their reservation request or IB I call Airbnb and ask them to do it - because, why should I be penalized by being made to decline because people don't read.
If it's just a inquiry I respond and that is enough to stop the clock ticking and then I ignore messages telling me to decline or pre-approve because there is no penalty for not declining inquiries once you have responded with a message, but if you do decline an inquiry it could be a negative mark against you (there is a lot of confusion about this and other hosts think differently, but this is what I do and I have not received any penalties that I am aware of). Note: double check the clock has stopped ticking once you have responded to an inquiry by re-caching the page, sometimes it has to be done twice to stop the clock.