New York, NY Level 10
As we all know, the nature of travel is often unpredictable. Last-minute family emergencies, work obligations, or personal matters can result in sudden changes to our well-laid plans.
Given the inevitability of these unexpected situations, I am certain that many of us have had to adapt and respond swiftly, ensuring that these changes lead to positive outcomes for both guests and hosts. I would love to hear what strategies you've developed for managing last-minute changes? How do you turn these challenging situations into opportunities?
I invite you all to share your resourcefulness and perspective on this topic. Perhaps you've crafted a contingency plan, or maybe you prefer to evaluate each unique situation as it arises? This is a great opportunity to learn from one another and enhance our collective hosting experiences.
I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say!
Hello @Tanveer12 It's great to have you here. By reading the comments on this thread, you can get a good idea of how you could handle future last-minute changes. Have you considered starting to draft a plan or a list of possible situations you could face in the future?
@Paula Hi Paula, yes there are many many occaissons when things don,t go quite the way you expect in hosting ,as in life, and flexibility combined with skilled hosting can make all the difference. There is no substitute for experiencel and there is no 'course' or short cut to 'learning on the job.Its super important to know 'who your customer is. Are they families on holiday , students , visiting workers , tourists or couples looking for a romantic couple of days, or people visiting for a special event. The truth is the customer can be very different from our expectations and this can upset the new host and cause them to not be able to cope . We are often confronted early on in our hosting careers, with a time when we need to 'stand our ground' and firmly iterate ' house rules ' without upsetting the guest or ourselves. This is a skill that must be learned and the ability to mix 'sugar and salt' in our hosting messages will eventually come a little easier. Having a designated place to put shoes for instance is a lot easier than constantly telling guests that they need to remove their shoes on entering. Having lots of cleaning supplies suitable to different guests can make sure that they can and will follow their normal cleaning routine. A guest once told me that 'different people like different sponges', another guest brought a selection of sponges and left them for other guests as a gift.
Sometimes an extra guest will arrive, and it is just a matter of sending a message to the guest to update their guest numbers, ask them to accept a variation ,if you have an extra guest fee. It is always better not to ignore this but it can be unexpected for new hosts and the idea of being a 'gracious host" can conflict with being in charge . Everyone has their own hosting style and it is often this that guests will rely on . Guests want to know that you are available if the electricity goes out ,or something they expected is missing, or they need a phone number for a hospital ,or a service station or they are running late or early. It is not so much that they need help as they need to not have to 'worry ' on their holiday. You are as the host often 'running on empty' especially after a few fractious guests but skill and experience and that good old back up ,the co host , can often get you through.
I cannot emphasis how important it is to get to know the dashboard completely and to stay up to date on any changes.Have a co host because the day that you cannot organize the cleaning, or a guest books last minute and you have another appointment,or your phone stops working ,or any number of things , then they are there for you. So communicate always with the guest , do not take a "hands off" approach because turning up with coffees and the newspapers when the guests are waiting for the power to go back on can go a long way to getting you five stars . Guests remember if there is milk in the fridge and hot chocolate or soups available when they arrive late at night. Be there even if you are not and let your guests feel their needs are being taken care of . Dont be stingy with toilet paper or tea and coffee. As I say everyone has their own hosting style and only experience will help you develop yours. Good luck to everyone trying to be a Good host .... H
Hi. Paula, thanks for the invitation.
I have started airbnb host 2 months ago, so far I have not experience any last minutes changes of booking.
Hello @Wong59! Welcome to our community. I wish you the best in your hosting journey. By taking a look at what @Fred13 or @Helen744 have shared here, you will gain valuable insights and ideas to prepare yourself for future situations.
We would love to hear about your experience in the coming months, especially regarding any last-minute changes you face. How do you plan on adapting to such situations, and do you have any strategies in mind to handle them effectively?
I started as an Airbnb user, almost 8 years before I started hosting. This has helped me understand what it's like to be a guest before a host. I empathize with guests. I am very new (only 8 months since I started hosting) and have been able to manage a great hosting experience for guests, thus far. I am very flexible and always open to listening to the needs of my guest. So far, this has worked for me.
Hey @Gaby285, I completely agree with you that starting as an Airbnb user before becoming a host offers valuable perspective and experience. It's great to hear that you empathize with guests. Being flexible and attentive to their needs is crucial for a positive hosting experience.
I'm curious, as a guest, have you ever come across a host who handled unexpected changes exceptionally well? We would love to hear about any memorable experiences you've had during your trips!
Thank you for the invite to the community. As to how do I deal with last minute changes, it’s simple, “no” is not in my vocabulary. I’m new at hosting, 2 years young, but have over 3 decades of hospitality. If you’re booking with me and you have a issue I’ll be glad to assist. You might even rebook at a later date. More people are getting onboard so you need to do things that make you stand out from the crowd.
We do hosting with a very can-do, nothing-is-a-problem mentality. No drama. It has served us well. We really have to: guests are traveling to a foreign country, flights get changed or cancelled, weather is a factor (boat ride in 4ft waves is no joke), timing is an issue (get here after 3 flights before sunset at 6pm when it gets dark in Belize or then have to go on a boat ride at dark night to an island in the middle of nowhere you need to find). So whatever reality comes up, we must address it and overcome it, all with a air of confidence. Then there are the guests...
Some 'forgot' to tell us how many were coming, the fact one has an ailment (no hospital around), some require special foods (no Safeway in these parts, not even close), the expectant that thinks is coming to the Taj Mahal, the ones that want go to town every day and use an island 6 miles from the mainland as a backdrop, the extra guests (usually golfing buddies) who have no clue what being 'off grid' really means, the eager beavers that want to pack a month of wild adventure into a mere 4-day stay, the know-it-all who thinks it is our first rodeo, the seriously 'chemically dependent' (rolls eyes), and so on.
None of it fazes us, after 700 groups/8 years we seen most before, but one thing we do which I know is our true and required nature - we lead, without fear, especially of reviews. It is our place and we know what we are doing and spare no effort to make sure we do our part and the guests have a great time and the rest takes care of itself. We rely on no one when it comes to 'our' guests and never have had the need to get Airbnb involved in anything, what are they going to do a thousand miles away.
Someday this hosting chapter will be in our past and perhaps then be time to write the book 'Remembrances of Guests Past', until then it is full speed ahead.
Your story @Fred13 is an inspiration 😍. It's absolutely wonderful how you have embraced this journey with such positivity and resilience. I took a look at your listing, and it's striking to see how your vision is beautifully reflected in it.
Your experience serves as a reminder that this journey is not just about the destination, but also about how we handle the twists and turns along the way. Thank you for sharing it with our Community.
Life is like surfing, sailing, hiking where there are no trails. It is a welcome challenge, and life is also with people. Success in life is about resilience, resourcefulness, flexibility. It is also totally fun, it is an adventure !
I might substitute "being in business" for "life" here.
Definitely evaluate each unique situation as it arises. Cherish the uniqueness, the unexpected, the adventure.
@Kitty-and-Creek0 your message truly resonates with me! I wholeheartedly agree - life is indeed an adventure, and it's these unexpected twists and turns that make it all the more interesting.
Speaking of unique situations, do you remember the first time you had to handle an unexpected twist or turn in your hosting experience? There are certain experiences that stay etched in our memory 😊
Hi Paula, I'm happy to say post the first two months of hosting, we've not had any last minute changes. I'm sure that will change, so will be eager to hear other hosts suggestions.
Hello @Gregory568 Welcome to our Community Center 🙂
Two months without any last-minute changes is definitely an excellent beginning! I'm sure you'll come across some interesting situations in this thread that will help you prepare for your first one. Have you already started jotting down some notes to craft a plan, just in case?