12 Surprising Things AirBnB Guests Love And Hate

Surprising Things AirBnB Guests Love And Hate-min

Today we’re diving into some surprising things AirBnB guests either totally love or hate. We’re not talking about the discernible basics like having a strong WiFi or a functioning heating system. If you are hosting an AirBnB there should already be a standard of comfort that includes basics like heat, clean linens and stable WiFi. Those things will definitely matter to guests. What we’re talking about here is the stuff guests give extra points for. AirBnB guests have a very wide range of preferences but there are some general things I noticed and this piece goes into the deeper aspects of hosting.


{ This is another installment of my AirBnB seriesFor the full introduction of my AirBnB story click here! }
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AirBnB Guests Love:

Separate Entrances

For reasons beyond me, guests LOVE separate entrances. What’s so good about a separate door to come in? A seasoned host is more than used to people coming in and out. We live on a separate floor and the only entrance is on the first floor which means we don’t and can’t track guests movements. Since we don’t track guests, we’re forced to build up trust over time. At the end of the day, AirBnB is really a trust game and so far trust is definitely winning.

TFG’s family lives in a townhouse which I think is the second to perfect option for an AirBnB. Those converted MIL suite/basements is probably the biggest money-maker though! If you have a sizable backyard and some funds, build a tiny house for AirBnB and watch the $ roll in.

Oooh, I think I just answered my own question! A lot of guests love separate entrances because of the privacy.

 

local menus and PAMPHLETS

molcajete
Molcajete! :9

Go hunting for take-out menus or go as far as dropping your guests a message to leave useful tourist information stuff behind.

My genius piggy brain told me to go menu hunting all over my neighborhood. I collected a bunch of take-out menus (for myself initially) from nearby and then I figured it would be a nice gesture for hungry, geographically confused guests to have them instead. That got the ball rolling. My guests saw the menus and contributed their own menus, activity pamphlets and tour maps from their own Seattle adventures. I now have 3 copies of “The History of Seattle” tour guide-book, in ChineseMy guests think I left all those useful things but it was mostly just the guests before them. Other people’s work for my credit, boo-yeah! 😁

 

Driveway Parking

This is a big deal if you live in a large metropolitan city. A private parking spot is worth it’s weight in gold…OK not really but its a neat amenity to have! AirBnB guests love driveway parking and they are willing to pay a higher price for it which means more green in the pocket.

driveway3-min

We live car free for the fringe benefit of essentially renting out our garage and driveway instead of housing a depreciating hunk of metal that runs on old dinosaurs bones. Roughly 15% of our guests leave rave reviews specifying having driveway parking out of all the other amenities (like ambiance, cleanliness, linen quality, mattress quality etc.) About 95% of those who raved about our driveway amenity leaves us a 5-star review.

Labeled Things

Guests LOVE labels on things. It’s just a considerate gesture to tack on a dot sticker or a laminated label on things like light switches and dials. I held back for over a year because I didn’t want stickers on my own walls and light switches but the moment I put them up I got great responses immediately!

airbnb-home01

After a while I became used to the labels I put up and I regretted not labeling sooner for the convenience of my guests. I didn’t even consider it until I was an AirBnB guest myself and I thought to myself “it would be nice if the host marked things. I don’t want to accidentally break anything.”

 

Full length mirrors

When I started AirBnB I did not include a full length mirror in any of the rooms. It crossed my mind but I didn’t follow through. I thought it wasn’t that important because we had a giant mirror in the bathroom already. I opted-in for a light up vanity mirror instead. The feedback (all from female guests by the way) was to have a full length mirror. I went on Craig’s List and purchased a second-hand full-length mirror for the room. I would recommend all hosts to buy at least one full-length mirror.

 

Homemade Anything

Baking homemade muffins, biscuits, cookies – pretty much anything homemade makes guests happy. I was surprised by the responses from guests. Chocolate is probably the most beloved flavor, if and when my husband decides to bake. Jared’s a magnificent baker, unlike that wrenched wife who just eats! Just make sure you have a sanitized kitchen and a food prep license before doughing out the yums. You can also consider ordering baked goods from local bakeries in bulk – that’s what we do most of the time.

Snack Anything

From 2016 to 2017, I saw a 15% price decline caused by local competition and introduction of AirBnB’s Smart Pricing. I thought of experimenting with cost cutting measures starting from the snack tray.

When I started I poured in $5-10 worth of treats (chips, cookies, candy bars, power bars) between every single new turnover. After awhile I notice some guest never touch it and some guests took the entire bowl. I left out 20 something packs of Larabars for a two night stay with two ladies. The Larabars were all gone by the time they left. There was no wrappers so I’m assuming it was to-go. No offense to the Larabar makers but those gluten-free hipster bars taste miserable! I was more surprised anyone wanted to take them!

For a short while I took away snacks completely just to experiment. What I learned: don’t take it away completely if you don’t have to. I’m not saying most guests even care but there is usually the “one” guest that will throw a tirade when there’s nothing to eat or drink upon their arrival. I end up feeling bad. And losing points over a few bucks of candy is silly so I brought it back (with a lesser degree of generosity.)

I think it’s pretty bad if another host do not offer snack or beverages. Most of the AirBnBs me and my husband stayed at had no snacks but none of them took it as serious as me or aimed for 100% occupancy like I do. Snacks are not mandatory but I feel like it’s almost rude not to. Guests are very weary travelers, it’s inhumane if you don’t give them something to eat or drink!

 

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Refreshments behind one door, the other holds only dead dreams.

Don’t get me wrong, I AM a jerk Newman sometimes. I have a Santa shaped cookie jar. The cookie jar is seamless. To unknowing guests, it just looks like a charming ceramic Kriss Kringle. If guests really did read my listing before they booked (or after when I sent over the information with the door code), they would know the Santa head comes off and Santa’s belly is filled with snacks. Everything inside is up for grabs, as is all the soda, juice and beer in the mini fridge…which I hide in the closet. 😈

Cheers for headless Santa, cheers for delicious body cavity of Santa!


AirBnB Guests Hate:

Reading

Most of my guests are on some sort of a vacation and it’s hard to read when you’re on vacation since there’s a million things going on. New place, new plans, travel fatigue, all kinds of stuff. Although I do really wish some guests would spend 2 minutes to read, it’s a miracle if more than 80% of them actually do.

I embed the door entry code of all three properties into the really important notes so my guests are forced to find it to learn the important things like how to lock the front door and how to find the fire extinguishers before gaining entry into our house. It’s for their safety & protection as well as my own.

A print out of the house manual on the bed of the AirBnB guest room works great too. I had another host do that for us when we were traveling. That’s a really smart idea since the first place guests usually go after arrival is bed. Just make sure to laminate the pages. We used loose sheets of plain paper and they were crumbled and/or stained pretty fast.

 

Fridge Sounds

I always wondered why guests kept unplugged the mini fridge in the rooms. My husband and I got into a fight one time (this was a while ago over something I can’t remember) but he was in the dog house. I made him sleep in the guest room that was empty at the time. He then told me he knew why people unplugged it: at night when all else was quiet it was like a motor jack hammer in the room! Ooooups!

Don’t cheap out on the mini fridge like we did! Get a high quality fridge and pay attention to the reviews about motor noise. This is so overlooked. We ended up putting a towel on the table that the mini fridge sits on to cancel out the noise. It does OK that way.

 

Slow Drainage

We never showered in the downstairs bathroom before. We were unaware of the clog in the downstairs bathtub from years of build up. There were complaints about slow drainage from our guests. We purchased an auger from Home Depot and took out the gunk ourselves. We also brought the zip-it (also from Home Depot) to maintain the drains in-between.

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Zip-It @ Home Depot ($3)
auger-airbnb-drain cleaning
Auger @ Home Depot ($35)

Remember – if there’s any trace left from earlier guests, your current guests will not appreciate it. Any strands of hair left in the tub is a valid complaint in the eyes of guests. Guests are iffy about bathrooms (I would be too) so if you are low on time focus on the bedroom and bathroom. You can get away with the living room, the outdoor deck space and even the kitchen depending on the guest but not the bathroom.

 

Old Porcelain Throne

Old-New-Toilets-min
Old Toilet vs New Modern Toilet

Continuing from my last point, the bathroom is super important. Having a clean toilet matters – that is not surprising. However, a lot of guests want the PERFECT toilet. It can’t just be polished and clean but there should be some sort of scented item nearby like scented reeds or air fresheners. It’s definitely better if the loo is modern in design. No one wants a toilet that’s looks like it has been the resting place of a thousand butts for 20 years.

After hosting for a few months and seeing not exactly complaints but more like “meh” reactions about our 17-year-old porcelain throne, we decided to splurged on fancy low-flow toilets. The feedback for the bathroom improved almost immediately even though there wasn’t any issues with the toilet itself besides the age and design.

 

Spiders

To a lot of foreign travelers and seasoned apartment dwellers, the common house spider are a big no-no. For homeowners like us, we know it’s best to not bother them if we see them. House spiders are beneficial, they can kill other insects.

We live in the evergreen state. There are a breathtaking amount of 100 ft evergreens surrounding everything. It’s just a part of living with nature. We’re submersed into a forest like neighborhood and you can bank that there’s a lot, a lot, a lot of spiders and insects around us. The annoyingly delightful birds that wake me up in the mornings have to eat right?

That’s exactly what Jared thinks spiders could do to him ^

Everyone has a difference tolerance to insects. As a host…well, there’s not much I can do. I also don’t believe in killing spiders. I let them on their way because (and this sounds corny) but spiders are living things. For the most part, they’re completely harmless. If they don’t have a problem with me – I don’t have a problem with them. That’s the same philosophy I used to survived high school.

Wasps…

Spiders are not a big deal. We did have a mud dauber invasion last summer, that was terrible. I have hosted guests from France, Sweden, Hawaii, Japan, Korea, China, Latin America, Australia…pretty much every continent on Earth…any way, it doesn’t matter where you’re from, mud daubers are DEADLY looking and that’s universal.

mud-dauber-size
Mud Dauber – best no touchy…

Mud daubers are a type of wasp – less angry but just as ugly. They’re totally harmless if undisturbed but it scared the living daylights out of my guests (and me too) because they are gigantic and ugly as anything. We sought out a pest inspector who was useless and charged us $200 an hour for an inconclusive inspection totaling 20 minutes of work…great. The mud daubers eventually went away after 1 week or so on their own, great!

 

 

 

Have you been an AirBnB guest? Do you have anything to add? Have you been a host? What would you add to the list?

P.S. you gotta love summer.

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{ This is another installment of my AirBnB seriesFor the full introduction of my AirBnB story click here! }
airbnb-signup-lily
Click my link to get $40 in AirBnB travel credit! 🙂

 

 

28 Replies to “12 Surprising Things AirBnB Guests Love And Hate

  1. Great post. We are not Air B&B hosts but rent them quite a bit. Lately at Virginian Beach and in Barcelona. Your likes and dislikes are spot on! One additional thing we always ask about is the closest supermarket so we can shop for basics like drinks.

    1. Hi FM! Oh so true! I totally forgot about the location – I can’t believe I didn’t put that in. We get the “are you near a supermarket/grocer” question a lot! I need to add that to the list.

  2. WOW another A-MA-ZING post in the Airbnb series! I loved you detailed you are with all the tips. These will definitely come in handy for a lot of Airbnb hosts. It might sounds like Mr. FAF and I are from the previous century, but we have never stayed at an Airbnb before.

    You are tooo sweet for not killing spiders. Poor those little things. They usually don’t survive once I lay my eyes in them in our house. I’m really not into spider webs!!
    Ms. Frugal Asian Finance recently posted…List of Asian Personal Finance BloggersMy Profile

    1. Lol I once talked my friend out of killing a spider on the phone. I don’t want spiders touching me or being near me, but they’re OK little buggers :p

  3. I’m a frequent AirBnB user and I wish every host followed your list. I have some unusual experiences with various hosts including:

    1) The bathroom had clearly not been cleaned since the last guest.
    2) The bathroom light did not work and wires were hanging out of the wall. They did provide 1 candle we could light which we burned through in a couple of hours.
    3) A NeST Thermostat which had a mind of its own on what temperature the house should be.
    4) A mystery switch that we had to figure out how to turn on so that we had hot water.
    5) A host’s friend coming to collect and wash sheets from previous guests while we were in the room. We had to stay up until she brought the fresh sheets back.
    6) Hosts still cleaning the room after check-in time.
    7) Ceiling fans with about half an inch of dust on the edge of the blades.
    Mr. Freaky Frugal recently posted…Instant savings with discounted Gift CardsMy Profile

    1. Oh that sounds like a nightmare! Having no light in the bathroom is unacceptable! None of those things has happened at my AirBnB although the quality shifts a lot. What were the reviews of those? Never stay with AirBnBs less than 4 stars. Super hosts are super for a reason!

      I admit I don’t put dust as a priority (I can’t reach most places) but I provide dusters for guests. The NEST thermostat can be remotely controlled so the host was probably messing with it on his/her phone.

    1. No way, really?! What were the ratings of those AirBnBs? We have foaming hand soap and the regular gel ones (and hand sanitizer next to that too!)

    1. Haha thanks Mr. SMM! I’ve always wanted a label maker! My husband thinks they’re a waste of money since you can just stick a dot sticker. Hubby has no artistic vision :p

  4. Thanks for sharing! Your Airbnb series are really helpful. It’s a great intro for people who are thinking about it. We can’t do Airbnb right now, but may try it out when we move into our duplex. Separate entrance, but no dedicated parking spot. We have good public transportation, though.

    1. Thank you Joe and thanks for stopping by too!! A duplex is a GREAT idea! I wish I had gone with something like that before we brought our townhouse.

  5. This is amazing!! We just came back from a 3 week trip in which we stayed half time in Airbnbs and half time camping. I can definitely tell you that, as a guest, snacks are huge! 90% of the places we stayed in did not offer ANY snacks or drinks, so we expect that and don’t throw a fit (we usually have our own snacks and drinks, duh).

    However, the one place that did offer us free candy… yes!!! We were starving and it was so nice to splurge with some Kit Kats – and yes, that’s a splurge when you’re on vacation 🙂

    My parents do Airbnb with one of their homes, so I’m going to encourage them to incorporate some of these tips!

    Also – if there are no tissues, I am a sad Airbnb’er. And one of the Airbnbs we stayed at had a mouse friend, as we referred to it. Mouse poop everywhere. It was a delight (not).

    1. Oh my gosh that sounds terrible!! It can be a mix bag with AirBnB if they’re not superhosts – I hope you left them a justified review, that’s so gross!

      I suspected most hosts don’t offer snacks and but I thought hosts would have something basic like tissues at least! We always keep boxes around.

      1. Yeah, tissues seem really basic, right? It’s like… you can get them for pennies at Costco or on Amazon. I know, because I have Subscribe and Save for tissues (I have allergies!) 🙂

        Yeah, that family was a superhost (the one with the mouse droppings). It was a small town with very few Airbnbs available, so… I guess that’s the best? It’s a shame, because it’s actually not that small of a town and it hosts a ton of tourist-related events. Very weird! Great opportunity when I move there and start an Airbnb empire though! Haha! 🙂
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  6. I’ve never had a problem with spiders. I’ve actually played with them when I was little 😀 hahah! Wasps, on the other hand, yikes!

    Unfortunately, these little details could lead to a less than perfect review. I’ve seen people complain on AirBnb about the host not having enough pots and pans. I can’t even imagine what bugs could do to guests who are scared of them. Yikes again!
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  7. I think you’re doing it the right way. Vacationers really want that personable experience with an AirBnB that they can’t get with a hotel but also want their privacy as well if they don’t want to deal with the hosts. I think it’s a fine line between the two and will really depend on the guests you have in tow. For me, it’s key to have a separate entrance and living quarters when I’m renting else I’m not really interested.

  8. Wow, you are killing it with AirBnB. It sounds like you are a great host and it shows that you are almost always booked. Never thought about getting a food prep license to make baked goods. Good point if I ever decide to ride the train, I love baking but wouldn’t want to get sued because somebody thinks that chocolate chip cookies they ate got them sick.
    David @ Zero Day Finance recently posted…How I Saved $18,432 With The Zero Day ChallengeMy Profile

  9. WOW, now I can see why your occupancy is so high. I’m an avid Air BnBer and I can honestly say that I’ve never had a host leave out snacks! We’re honestly not picky [leaving coffee out is much appreciated]. And you have freshly baked goods!? I feel like I would never leave!

    Also totally bookmarking this post for when Mr. NA and I start our own AirBnB empire

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