7 Huge Airbnb Problems And How To Resolve Them
As a host, it can be easy to forget what it’s like in a guest’s shoes. Airbnb problems or trouble may even just slip your mind when you believe everything is handled.
When visiting a listing, guests have preconceived expectations about their stay. Going against that grain will often lead to unhappy campers.
Here are some of the most common Airbnb problems I’ve come across and how to resolve them. Better yet, you may even be able to prevent them before they even start.
Airbnb Problems: #1 – Running Out Of Toilet Paper
When nature calls, sometimes you just have to go. Yet, people absolutely despise doing business outside of their own home. When you’re out traveling it’s hardly a choice. That’s why, as an Airbnb owner, it is your job to make your guests feel right at home.
Regardless of your Airbnb’s current setup, checking up on your listing’s stocked items between each stay should be second nature. This advice is especially true if you have, or wish to be, an Airbnb Superhost. This high-level status is for hosts that have gone above and beyond in their service.
These necessities, like making sure there’s enough toilet paper available, should be a bare minimum requirement. Don’t put your guests through this type of trauma. Getting caught in a bathroom, especially outside of your own home, is a complete nightmare.
If you have multiple listings that you are not able to check out personally, consider hiring a housekeeping staff. Automating this process by scheduling your cleaning staff visits can make your business process even more time efficient and effective.
The same idea goes for any other types of toiletries or amenities that your guest would expect to be there to be in supply. Washcloths, bath towels, and anything else Airbnb requires you to have is the bare minimum. I like to plan on having four to five sets of towels or sheets available to avoid the pressure of having my housekeeping staff do wash before every check-in of the week.
A lot of your Airbnb features can be turned into an automated process. I explain more about my Passive Airbnb process here. Working smarter instead of harder these last few years has really increased my ability to make a profit from by Airbnb business.
Airbnb Problems: #2 – Key Issues
Ring, ring, hello? It’s me, your guest… in the middle of the night.
One of the most common and yet unfortunate problems with a listing is a lockout. Your guest will either lose or misplace a key creating an inability for them to get in. Not only can this give you a headache at 4 AM, but then you also have to waste time going over, making spares, and even changing the lock when keys go mysteriously missing.
The most painless solution that I’ve been able to implement that helps to avoid most of this problem altogether is by having a lock box. I can’t tell you how many headaches and nightmares that I have avoided by switching over.
A keyless lock lets you use a sequence of passcodes or numbers to open the door. Sometimes they even work with thumbprints or other forms of verification. They often run on battery or electrical power.
With my keyless lock, I can reset my passcode right from my phone. The brand that I used comes with a free smartphone application that lets me adjust features on the go. I can see whose coming in and out, as well as change and disable passcodes whenever I want.
With having the ability of each guest having their own unique code, I’m able to activate it for the length of their stay. Then when they leave, I remove the access. It’s that simple. To make things easy for my guests, I usually set the password to be the last four digits of their telephone number. That way, it’s hard for them to forget!
Getting my guests back into the house is just a few simple swipes on my phone away. The only thing I need to check up on is the battery. I make sure that it is on my checklist to swing by every few months to make sure that the device is still functioning and fully charged.
Airbnb Problems: #3 – Showing Up Unannounced
Showing up unannounced is mostly a problem for those who focus their business on Airbnb Arbitrage. If you share the living space with your guests, they can expect you to be around unless stated otherwise. Either way, where you’re planning on residing is a great item to make clear in your initial communication with your guests.
Guests hate to be caught off guard, especially if they’re on vacation or business travel and are just trying to take a moment to relax. If I need to stop by for maintenance or any other reason that I personally initiate, I like to give a twenty-four-hour notice. This pre-warned time gives any of my guests time to decide whether or not they want to be around when I show up. Not everyone enjoys awkward social encounters.
If a request from my guest I’ll, of course, show up sooner. Even if this is the case, it’s still important to let them know that I’m stopping in. Giving your guest a dedicated window of time that you’ll be arriving and sticking to your word is vital. Nobody wants to sit around and wait and worry that their day will be interrupted.
For the most part, if it’s only a night or two, my interruptions can honestly wait until the guest has checked out. Unless the property is damaged, there’s a fire, a wild party, or a crime is being committed it can be held off for a little while longer.
As a matter of fact, I try to pick one day a month where I try to schedule any general maintenance that I need to get done. I take this day off of my Airbnb calendar and try to get anyone I need in all on one day. This way, I’m not wasting precious time throughout various days of the month trying to get my listings in order.
When you show up on a guest unannounced, even though you own the place, it can feel like a massive violation of their privacy. Honestly, the easiest thing to remember in any working relationship is that communication is critical.
Airbnb Problems: #4 – Catfishing Your Listing
If there’s a vast difference between your listing and what your actual rental looks like, guests are going to be able to tell the difference.
All right, let’s give some hosts the benefit of the doubt. It can be challenging to try and mention every little small detail of your house on your profile. That’s where having an Airbnb Guidebook is extremely handy.
Creating a guidebook, although not required by Airbnb, is a vital part of your business’s success. It’s a great place to showcase the rooms available to your guests, how amenities work, and what type of accommodations that they can expect. A guidebook is perfect to clear up any misconceptions or communication.
However, when I say catfishing a listing I mean blatantly advertising something that your rental is not. Do not proclaim that your listing in a safe neighborhood if it’s not. Avoid the word ‘luxury’ if your place is barely above standard accommodations. There’s a fine line between selling yourself and stretching the truth too far.
If a guest feels like they aren’t able to continue their stay, suggest that they contact Airbnb about a refund as long as it’s within the 24-hour period of their check-in. However, the guest can’t get a refund just because they’re picky about not having more than one towel per person for each day of their stay.
Airbnb claims that a guest is only eligible for a refund if they fall into one of the categories provided in their Guest Refund Policy. This policy boils down to if the booking is misrepresented, is unsafe, involves animals not disclosed before booking, or if the host fails to provide access to the listing.
Airbnb Problems: #5 – Be Kind, Rewind
Guests that have issues with their hosts, or another guest, can make their stay a nightmare for everyone. This issue may not be a problem for you unless you’re living in the rental while your guests are there. However, problems can also occur over text, email, or other types of communication.
Non-verbal forms of communication easily get misinterpreted. It’s easy for the relationship to go awry when not face to face. One solution to look into is to having an Airbnb Co-host. The responsibility of listing is split between you and another, allowing guests to interact with more than one host in case complications arise.
Of course, before you accept any guest into your home, it’s important to do your research. Read a guests profile and see if they have previously used Airbnb before. Just as hosts receive a review at the end of the stay, so do their guests.
It’s essential to not only look at their rank but what the other hosts had to say about the individual. Getting context on the situation of the review is far more critical than the number posted.
Airbnb Problems: #6 – Last Minute Cancellation
Life happens, and while most people understand when situations arise, having to cancel on a guest can be catastrophic. If you cancel your reservation, it can drop you out of Airbnb Superhost status as well as the loss of profit for the booking.
Once canceled, Airbnb will transfer the payment to allow the guest to book a new place to stay. However, if you have a backup plan, things will work out just fine.
This Airbnb problem is just another example where having an Airbnb Co-Host can be valuable for your business and listing. If you get sick, have to leave town, or are just generally unavailable, your co-host can swoop in and complete any face-to-face interaction necessary. They can also message your guests as well!
Airbnb Problems: #7 – Getting A Bad Airbnb Review
A unique aspect about Airbnb is that it allows both hosts and guest to write an honest review. Each party can write without the pressure of the reviews affecting each other. The host and the guest’s review are not revealed until both are complete. Or, if a set period of time has passed.
If you are in disagreement with a written review, you’re allowed to share your side of the story in a response that posted underneath the guest’s review. As a side note, you only have 14 days to respond to a review.
If you’re having trouble trying to compose what to write, I have previously posted this article to help you out.
Handling Airbnb reviews, especially negative ones, requires a certain kind of tact and patience. Stick to the facts and make brevity your best friend. While many hosts can feel discouraged against leaving a negative review for guests, it’s vital for any other listings that your guest may try to stay at in the future.
I’ve Got 99 Problems, But Airbnb Ain’t One…
What, too cheesy?
Even if something does go wrong, take it in as an opportunity to learn from them. Sometimes the way the day works is just out of your control. Who can predict a busted waterline? A bed-bug infestation? Or a first-time guest that’s a little bit out of their mind?
Under these situations, it’s best to take a deep breath, put a plan in place, and move forward one step at a time.
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