Your Guests

Dealing with Airbnb Guests with Children

16 Oct , 2013  

Airbnb Guests with Children

As a host, you will be thinking about what kind of guest you don’t want, will this include Airbnb guests with children? Perhaps the first thing a host would be afraid of are sociopaths, but second to that fear is the fear of children. Why, because children, depending on their age, could be a potential liability. This is not just to say that children can destroy or damage your property. That is certainly true, but that is not the entire story. The safety of children will also be an issue. Is your space prepared to take in tots or playful kids? A host must also imagine the legal brouhaha that would ensue if a guest’s child gets injured or, god forbid, worse. Then, there is also the issue of  noise and dirt. Babies cry. Some toddlers are not the yet masters at the potty. Some kids wet the bed. All of these hassles are things any new bnb host should consider.

Airbnb Family Travel – Are Minors Allowed?

Airbnb users, be it guests or hosts, will need to be older than 18 years old in order to sign up and create an account. But this does not mean that the answer is no. Of course there will obviously be users who will bring their children. Therefore, it is up to each host to determine whether their space and accommodation is suitable for children. Guest will see this once they look up the Amenities section and if you allow children, they should see the following sign:

Family friendly

What If Bed and Breakfast Guests Show Up With Children?

The fact is that guests should detail the exact amount of people who they will bring along into your accommodation. This should have been discussed clearly through the messaging system while making the reservation request. They should include in the details, whether they are with children and how many of them will be staying. This means that you, as a host, should also proactively seek out this information right away because some problematic guests might not include these details or might forget to do so. If you have these detailed, you will have proof for Airbnb if your guest does not follow your agreement.

How To Know If Your Place is Kid Friendly

Airbnb Guests with Children

If you are a parent, this will be much easier. But those with no experience with children will have to imagine having one. What dangerous things in your space could possibly be detrimental to kids or tots? The most common problems would be kitchen cleaning chemicals stored within reach of kids. In any case, if you intend to allow kids in your space, you have to be extra vigilant with safety. But you will also have to think about laundry and cleaning. Kids might make a mess so be sure to include these in your cleaning clause or fee. You might also want visitors to sign a contract stating that they should be responsible for their children and for damages to your accommodation: just to cover your basis.

These are just a few things you should consider if you are a host. Should you allow guests with children? Finally, that is all up to you. Kids can be both adorable and messy so just take that into consideration. You might also want to allow kids if you are thinking of building your business and widening your possible guests. Just make sure to be prepared especially for Airbnb guests with children.

 

- Carlos Cruz

Your Guests

Solutions to Airbnb Problem Guests

9 Aug , 2013  

Airbnb Problem Guests

As a vacation rental host, you might encounter a Airbnb problem guests. If you are starting out, that might be the first thing on your mind. So what do you do? Here is a list of problem guests and what you can do about them.

Problem Guest: Nitpicky Guests Who Keep Messaging You Prior to Booking

You know the type. They have a lot of questions that feel either redundant or unnecessary. Some guests ask if they could have their friend take a look at the apartment first. There are also those who keep asking questions that are already answered in the listing. And, perhaps some of the worst, guests who seem to be flirting in their Airbnb messages. These guests feel like such a drag because they take up your precious time and energy. And the worst part is that you have to keep replying so that Airbnb gives you search juice.

What Should You Do?

Airbnb does not encourage guests meeting hosts prior to booking and for good reason so just decline. But you have no choice but to reply to their messages. If people continually ask you for things already listed in your description, perhaps there is a problem with your wording. Take time to think of that common question guests keep asking and rewrite your listing, making the answer so prominent that only an ignoramus would miss it. This way, the next time someone asks, you won’t look dismissive if you refer them back to your listing because “IT’S ALL RIGHT THERE”

Problem Guest: Guests Who Want To Pay Directly In Cash

It’s human nature to ask for discounts. It’s also human nature to try to avoid paying for Airbnb fees. There will always be one or two people who might ask to talk to you outside of Airbnb so that they can book your place and thus circumvent Airbnb’s fees.

What Should You Do?

The short answer: refuse. Just say no, unless you really want to circumvent the system too. But of course, this leads to much bigger problems. Airbnb’s ID and credit card policies are great deterrents against bad guests, or worse, criminal guests. Another thing you want to consider is if you book this way, you will not get a review, and you will not get the search rank juice that Airbnb awards to hosts who book. Therefore, in the long run, you will lose more money since you will be less visible in the listing.

Problem Guest: Guests Who Ask For The Total Cost

A huge percentage of new guests ask this question. But the fact is, you just can’t answer them.

What Should You Do?

It’s probably the best practice to keep an answer written and ready for these questions. Just tell them that only Airbnb will know once they enter the dates in the site. It will automatically calculate before the booking.

Problem Guest: Guests Who Seemed Satisfied But Leaves A Bad Review

There are a few guests who seem to be totally fine with your room and your service. They do not communicate with you that much. Then after they go, you get surprised to find a negative line in their review: “not enough towels”.

What Should You Do?

It’s not like you want to skimp on the towels. You’re just not psychic. But some people are just too shy to ask. Or they just figure that it should be up to the host to be proactive and offer stuff since asking for something might be beyond what they paid for. Well, it’s sometimes hard to tell if you have a guest that’s like this so when in doubt, why not ask them “Do you need anything else? More towels maybe?”

Problem Guest: Guests Who Have No Boundaries

In any living condition, whether you are sharing a place with a roommate or an Airbnb guest, there will always be cases where boundaries are not respected. This happens in so many ways. There might be some guests who feel like you are their personal friend or tour guide, obligated to do them favors even though you don’t have the time. There can also be a lot of cultural differences. I heard this one horror story of a female host who had a guest ask her to wash his clothes and generally be a slave because that’s what women are expected to do in his country. That may be an extreme case, but you get the picture.

What Should You Do?

Stand firm. First of all, are you truly mentally prepared to be an Airbnb host? Of course this is not just about making money. You probably have already thought about it, but things you imagine can be vastly different from reality once you are actually there. Being an Airbnb guest means you have to be able to say no, kindly and firmly, to requests. What you also have to do is set clear markers or labels to divide the space guests are allowed to and the space reserved for yourself. This is important for hosts of shared rooms. And you might write a clear bathroom schedule in the bathroom door, especially if you need the bathroom before you rush to work everyday.

Problem Guest: Criminals

It does not happen a lot. And with the new safety features Airbnb is putting in place, it’s become more uncommon. But it has happened. Horror stories of hosts exist in the news. Some find their place trashed by addicts or used as a brothel by guests who happen to be prostitutes.

What Should You Do?

Every sharing system like Airbnb will always be subject to this small risk. In fact, all hotel businesses have to deal with it too. There is really only one thing you can do. Be vigilant with your safety. Secure all your items of value. And most important of all, choose guests wisely. Take the time to look through all the reviews of your potential guests. Take it a step further and check their facebook page if possible. If you are serious with this enterprise, you might want to consider adding a security deposit to your listing or add another insurance plan (outside the one Airbnb provides) so that you have all your bases covered.

Bad things happen. But Airbnb requires guests to provide verified IDs and phone numbers as well as their credit cards. These things keep the transaction, generally safe. But it does not hurt to be extra careful. Problem guests are not many, but they exists. Some nag, complain, are dirty, or have bad habits in general. Once they’ve booked and showed up in your door, just be prepared. They will leave eventually anyway. It’s all part of the experience. Then, give them a bad review.

by Carlos Cruz

Your Guests

Making Connections – An Airbnb Video

9 Aug , 2013  

Airbnb Video

The issue of legality has been a big question for Airbnb in New York. Many building have different codes and there are also laws that seemed to have been in the way of Airbnb. But really, the biggest question that Airbnb in New York faced is:

How is Airbnb affecting the apartment neighborhood?

Is giving strangers from around the world, access to what used to be more private residential buildings, making people feel unsafe? What is the real effect of Airbnb? And in answer, the video seems to suggest that it is:

Making Connections

New York is one of the top places for Airbnb. There has been a some resistance here and there, but the Big Apple has proven to be an incredibly rewarding City for both Airbnb hosts and guests alike. This is probably why Airbnb made this beautiful video in appreciation and praise of the connections being made between New Yorkers and the rest of the world.

This inspirational video explains what Airbnb is really all about. It’s not just a snazzy space for snazzy people or for super star hosts. It’s not just all about going out and having fun. These are part of the experience, but Airbnb, for its most loyal members, is much more than that.

 

The video explains how Airbnb is the highest ideal of a community where making connections is top order. The very people that make up the community fuels the movement that makes every Airbnb experience change the way travel is thought of.

Airbnb has thousands of available accommodations in New York and this means that there are thousands of people connecting in a meaningful way every day because of the website. New York, a city known as one that never sleeps and is full of diversity is perhaps one of the best locations for such magic to take place.

It’s not just Airbnb guests that experience the genuine joy and learning from being exposed to new people, the hosts also take part in this wonderful experience since they will be receiving people from different cultures all over the world.

According to the Airbnb video:

Airbnb is more than just a website. It is an opportunity to connect to people to places to neighborhoods in a whole new way. It’s exploration. It’s being your own personal tour guide. It’s a friendly face after a 12 hour flight. It’s creating moments of interaction in a very busy world. Its’ creating a unique experience that cannot be replicated. It’s new friendships from people all over the globe. It’s your own business. It’s another option that didn’t exist before.