Being an Airbnb host is quite an experience.
I have been doing it for quite a long time now hosting in my home and hosting in apartments that are single units (no one living there).
In this time I have met so many people that brightened my day, made it possible for me to look at things in a different way and ended up with some really good friends that we keep in touch regularly.
As I have accumulated a bunch of interesting #hoststories I have decided to describe them one by one. But here are some points I can draw together based on the experience and can be applied as an average to the guests. So guys, if you are doing it, considering it, here are some advice for you.
- Although you set your check in/ check out time once you agree for guests to arrive outside that time frame they think they are arriving at the hotel and leave you waiting for hours as they decide to take a detour on their way or they just went to grab a bite – of course without letting you know about the changes – KEEP TO THE SET CHECK IN/CHECK OUT or you are in for a lot of waiting. I had a couple that informed me their ride to my city arrives at 4:30 AM (day prior to their arrival) and if they could have an early check in. I said OK, can offer them the living room as my check out time is much later…they agreed…And asked me if I could pick them up at the station at 4:30 AM…..Sure…not…
- People don’t read the descriptions of the places, they tend to concentrate on the price. I live 10 min by bus from the city center and the bus station is 2 min from my place but people complain in feedback that the location is off. MAKE AS DETAILED/HONEST DESCRIPTION OF YOUR LOCATION AS POSSIBLE and still you are in for bad reviews because of this. And people get strange ideas – I live on a 3rd floor in a building with no elevator which is also in the description but I had 2 ladies that stayed with me contact Airbnb to inform them that I should consider the elevator as the bags are heavy to carry (let me just mention that upon their arrival it was the Taxi driver that brought their bags up and I carried them down at their departure).
- The more you are willing to give to your guests the less they appreciate it. I have guests coming and the first thing they say is that they need to do the laundry (many of them more than 2 loads) and they tend not to say thank you or even ask if there’s an extra charge for that. MAKE SURE NOT TO GIVE THE GUESTS TOO MANY POSSIBILITIES as even if they went to the hostel they’d have to pay extra for the laundry and no one would question it. If you offer breakfast make sure you have the detailed description of what that breakfast consists as guests might get the wrong idea they are in a diner and you offer whatever they please.
- I have come to a conclusion that Chinese people’s hygiene differs a lot from ours so hosting Chinese will definitely challenge your idea of having a tidy apartment. When using the bathroom you can expect it to be filthy afterwards, they tend not to pick up the stuff they drop or spill, you have to disinfect the apartment after they leave. It is not just my experience but my friends share the same and to be honest if possible we started to decline Chinese guests.
- Cleaning after themselves can also be a challenge as every person gets it differently. I let my guest use the kitchen to cook but I always say I will do the dishes. The thing being that even if they do them (i don’t use the washing machine) I have to re-do it anyway as there are always stains and food remains on them. I even had a guest that I left alone for 2 days in my apartment and was cooking pasta and left all dirt on tiles/walls and in his feedback he wrote that the kitchen tiles were filthy with pasta sauce (left by him) and I didn’t clean it. MAKE SURE YOU CHECK AFTER YOUR GUESTS WHEN THEY USE YOUR KITCHEN.
- Having more people using your stuff is also the chance of stuff breaking. WHEN SOMETHING GETS BROKEN GUESTS TEND TO HIDE IT. I found broken glasses, chairs, drawers, after they left and they’d just ignore to tell me. It taught me always to wait for with my feedback until I check everything.
- I keep a NO LOCK POLICY in my apartment, no keys in bathroom/loo/bedroom. If the door is closed no one will enter the room. The thing is that at the beginning there were some guests that locked themselves in the bathroom and somehow were not able to unlock it (they honestly tried once and then started to panic) and once we had to dismount the door handle to let her out…
So, BE HONEST, SET BOUNDARIES, ENJOY MEETING NEW PEOPLE.
Life is great <3