The sixth sense

Emiel1
Level 10
Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

The sixth sense

An experienced host will develop a "sixth sense" to trace guests which are probably going to make trouble.

 

I am happy to share my "acceptance" rules:

 

- The guest has no reviews and no ID verified

Ask the guest to verify ID

Ask the guest if he/she is using Airbnb first time

No satisfying answer? -->  decline

 

- The guest sends an extremely friendly ("raving") introduction message:

Be alerted, something is going on behind the scene.

 

- The guest sends a one line introduction: "i will be there at 15 PM"

He/she is a student or very young. Ask for more information

 

- The guest clearly did not read your listing at all :

Ask the guest to read the listing and houserules.

If no good match, ask guest to retract the booking request.

 

 

- For "long term stays" (28 nights and longer) :

Do not accept guests without verified ID, preferable also with good reviews.

 

- For booking requests from local people: Ask for reason of stay.

Be aware of scamming

 

There is much more to say (feel free to add in this thread) , but never ignore your "gut feeling" or "sixth sense" when accepting a guest !

 

21 Replies 21
Ann72
Level 10
NY, NY

@Emiel1  I have a new one that doesn't appear before the booking, but tells me they did something wrong during the stay.  They give me a 5-star review, then use private feedback to point out a series of extremely minor issues.  I or my housekeeper find out they broke something and tried to hide it.  Their guilt leads to a 5-star review, but then they use private feedback to blame me for their transgressions.

Richard531
Level 10
California, United States

@Emiel1  This is a great thread!  And you nailed it: you can usually tell when someone's going to be trouble.  And once in a while, you'll be wrong!  But 95% of the time, you just know!  Listen to that 6th sense!  And love the other comments that other posters made.  Spot on for those too.  

 

My question about problem guests/communicators (and thus problem people): Do these people know they're terrible?  I mean, they have to get in situations like this all the time right?  Haven't they been told to buzz off countless times?  Don't they know that nobody can stand them?  Or do they have money from a prior source and pay people to hang out with them?  Haven't enough people told them how awful they are by now?  Wouldn't they have improved by now by being just a little less awful?  

 

It boggles the mind for me, really.  

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Richard531 

 

No, unfortunately not. Mostly, they do not know. If they had that self awareness, they might stop being awful, but some people will just blame everyone else.

 

When I reviewed my most awful guests of all time, I mentioned that even the other guests had complained about them and that was the first time that had ever happened at my listing. The response was a tirade, starting off with calling me a liar. Well, you know, those guests have no way of knowing if I was lying about that or not, other than that they should have had the self awareness to know that their actions (which were extreme) frightened the life out one of the poor girls staying with me.

 

This girl described them as the most negative people she had ever met, yet they seemed to think she was their best friend and would be delighted to spend every morning listening to their constant (and pretty outrageous) complaints. The other girl who was staying described them as 'completely vile', which is pretty strong, considering I never heard her say a bad word about anyone else during the 2.5 months she stayed with me!

 

The thing is, these types NEVER question themselves, and that is why they are so awful in the first place.

 

Sudsrung0
Level 10
Rawai, Thailand

@Richard531 

You know from day one this trouble, I leave it to my husband he puts a stop to it, 

Laurelle3
Level 10
Huskisson, Australia

@Sue51 my answer is No! No!No! Always listen to your gut feeling.

Sue51
Level 2
Driffield, United Kingdom

I had this happen for the 1st time last night. Why!! Waste my time. There time. Wanted to pay cash but not till later as hadn't been paid ect ect wanted 3 months. Didn't feel right. Only 1st name. Really left me feeling anxious as my space is my home. 

Pedro1613
Level 3
England, United Kingdom

I've had to deal with all those scenarios before, but I had never come across the 2nd scenario till a few weeks ago.

 

"The guest sends an extremely friendly ("raving") introduction message"

 

I got a booking request message from a young lady from the US a few weeks ago. She sounded very positive enthusiastic about booking my place. She said she had read all the information and that she was confident my place was perfect for her. She even said she had been in the area before and had fallen in love with it.

 

I accepted her booking request. Poor me! From day 1 it started to become apparent that she had booked a place that was unsuitable of her. At the end of day 2 she was already breaking house rules. On day 3, I decided to tell her that it really didn’t work that she had booked a place that didn’t meet her needs. I asked her to ask Airbnb to help her find a more suitable place. She was very angry. She called Airbnb to report “an issue” and ask to leave. She wrote me a spiteful review trashing my my character and place. and accusing me of evicting her. She was angry because she didn’t get to change my house rules to meet her needs. A horrible experience that could have been avoided if the guest had not acted in bad faith when booking the place.

 

So, from now on, I will be more careful when getting booking requests from over-enthusiastic guests.

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Pedro1613 

 

Hi from a host that is not so far from you!

 

Did you manage to have this guest's review removed? I can't see anything but glowing reviews on your profile and you have perfect 5.0* ratings on your listings.

Betty338
Level 1
Las Vegas, NV

No Airbnb would not take that bad review down. They took my 5 star away put me an suspension and lower me to one stone terrible

Denise1369
Level 2
Odessa, NY

I would call them and voice your concern to a representative. 

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Betty338 

 

I am not sure if who you are replying to, but if it was me, I was referring to @Pedro1613 's guest's review.

Pedro1613
Level 3
England, United Kingdom

Hi Huma

 

Wow! You have a beautiful house!

 

Yes, her review violated Airbnb's Review Policy.

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Pedro1613 

 

Thank you!

 

Sorry you had that experience, but I'm glad you were able to get rid of the guest and to get her review removed. 

 

RE guests who come across as over enthusiastic in their messages, I do not think that's a red flag in itself, but that they should be screened like any other guests, i.e. asked the same questions about whether they have read the full listing and agree to the house rules, understand this, that or the other. 

 

I have an Easter egg question in my house rules and ALL guests must answer it in order for me to accept their booking. It does not matter how friendly or nice their initial message is. I also always reiterate certain key points, which for me are the cats and smoking policy then, depending on the room, stairs or noise from the road. 

 

That doesn't mean that you never get any rule breakers/guests for whom the listing is a bad fit, but it at least reduces them. I am starting to feel like I need to do something MORE to stop these folks slipping through the net, but I'm not sure what more I can do. I already ask a lot of questions... 

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom


@Emiel1 wrote:

 

 

- The guest sends an extremely friendly ("raving") introduction message:

Be alerted, something is going on behind the scene.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Agree with your post except for this one. I've hosted lots of guests who sent a very friendly intro message raving about my listing. In my experience, those guests are usually lovely. Sure, if the message starts off with that and then goes into a list of red flags, one should be on alert, but I don't see that alone as a red flag at all, especially if the raving is very specific to my listing and why they want to stay there.

 

Are you basing that on bad experiences with particular guests? If so, do tell more.

Andrew0
Level 10
Berlin, Germany

@Huma0   Usually, it's very much the opposite of a red flag for me if the guest sounds particularly enthusiastic in their intro. That's the kind of guest I like best.

 

The one time I had a bad gut feeling about it was when a request opened with "Your place looks SOOO CLEAN!" Not that my home isn't clean, but I found it strange that this was the aspect that someone planning a stay in my rowdy, filthy neighborhood would be most excited about. Sure enough, the guests turned out to be very much the "better suited to a hotel" types.

 

 

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Andrew0 

 

Yes, I very much prefer enthusiasm to the opposite. Guests whose introductions are purely focused on "I want, I will need, do you have?", without any nice words about the listing are the ones that usually turn out to be the better suited to hotel types. Worst still, are the guests who do not throw in a single, simple compliment while I am showing them around. I don't except them to gush or anything, but if they don't make any comments at all about something they like, it's usually as sign that they're going to be high maintenance and unappreciative and most likely, very entitled. That's just been my experience so far. 

 

As for the cleanliness, yep, if a guest is very focused on that in their first message, that's usually a bad sign. I understand that different people have different standards and that standards at airbnbs can vary, but if the guest seems overly concerned about it, it's a bit of a red flag. I mean, when someone asks you "Is your place clean, because that's very important to me?" and I have had this, what do they expect you to respond? "No, my listing is filthy." I just tell them to read the reviews.

 

In contrast, I had a guest a few months ago who commented while I was showing her around, "You don't like to cook, do you?" Seemed an odd comment to me considering how well equipped my kitchen is. I told her I was actually really into cooking. A day or two later, she asked, "Does anyone actually cook in this house?!" When I questioned why she was asking, because people do indeed cook a lot, she answered, "Oh, because your stove is so clean." Alarm bells started ringing. 

Sudsrung0
Level 10
Rawai, Thailand

Ive got one plonker right now, First he wants me to adjust my minimum stay to one night, He wants to book 26th December that would just block Xmas and New Year, 

He says we have a 48 hours Free cancellation can we make that longer, 

He is becoming a nuisance, 

I get the feeling he is already living on the island and maybe wanting to use my place for a party,  

Denise1369
Level 2
Odessa, NY

Just say" Looks like my Airbnb is not a fit for your needs"  You do not have to okay him.

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Sudsrung0 

 

That's an easy one.

 

Definite decline.

Sudsrung0
Level 10
Rawai, Thailand

@Huma0 Done

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