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TIPS FOR A NEWBIE: What would you have liked to have known when you began?

Hello Everyone...

I am new to bookings AND I'm relatively new to BnB/Homesharing where I have been at it for about 6-9 months.  Knowing what you know about the industry and this company what would you have liked to have known when you began.

 

Dallas in TN

21 Replies

7
pibomarco

All online travel agencies are basicly the same.
I know that Booking.com is one of a leading OTA's, I am registered on 10 different OTA's and booking.com covers more then half almost 3/4 of all my bookings. Next one is AirBnB, Expedia,...

1 year ago
5
Blagoje Acho

Regarding booking.com I would suggest to activate payments by booking.com.

1 year ago
2
Jkangarloo

I disagree with Blagoj, and suggest taking your own payments. It's much better to be in control of your own finances.

1 year ago
5
Blagoje Acho

In what way I am not in control by using payments by booking.com?!

1 year ago
7
pibomarco

Sure Jkangarloo.. Get back to us when you won't be able to charge late cancelations & no-shows or when you will be receiving fraudalent bookings.

1 year ago
2
Jkangarloo

I charge a non-refundable deposit at booking, so I always have a validated credit card to charge in case of no-shows, and fraudulent bookings are detected immediately. When I've used booking.com payments I had issues with them refunding guests who should not have been refunded, refusing to refund guests when we were willing...if it works for you great, but I much prefer to handle payments myself.

1 year ago
7
pibomarco

You wanted to refund the guest, but booking.com didn't allow that? That was the only problem?:)

As I mentioned few times. I was handling payments by myself too. Got quite a few cases when I charged the card for a late cancelation or a no-show, the guest reported this transaction as unauthorized to their card provider, and MasterCard or Visa etc.. refunded them, and our account was charged, and you can not do nothing about it if you are charging cards on the distance (not phisicly). More and more guests awares that and are exploiting this.

1 year ago
1
Pam and Mark Tipping

My recommendation to someone just starting is not related to payment but more to making sure you have a day off now and again to rest. It is all to easy to just take booking after booking and before you know it you realise you have worked solidly for 2 months. Whenever you get a chance block off a day or 2 so that you have a life :-).

10 months ago
3
Torrdarach

I know the following may sound a little negative but I always tell the truth. I often say things that other people are thinking and who are too scared to say.

I would have liked to have known just how little respect guests have for other peoples property!

I would have liked to have known how much people eat at breakfast times so that they don't need to buy lunch!

I would have liked to have known how cheap some people can be!

I would like to have known how disgusting some people are, like *** in the shower that we experience at least twice a year!

If I would have known then what I know now then I would have invested a lot less in to the property and instead of 4 star "Gold" I would have aimed at a maximum of 3 star!

Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of people that I have become friends with and we have a lot of returning guests. There are some people that book, turn up, pay and leave again which is also fine. It is the handful of nasty people that really gets to me.

Who else is willing to speak the truth! :-)

10 months ago
7
fluff

You will always get the odd guest here or there that is a total nightmare. So far no excrement in the shower!

Huge piles of vomit, yes. Wrapped up inside the sheets for house keeping to find.

Copious other body fluids, yes.

We do provide makeup removal wipes BUT never get used, makeup stained towels instead (slap-own-face).

Hair dye on towels, yes.

Jump from the balcony into the pool, yes and thrown out.

Foul mouthed, verbally abusive, miserable, trouble making liars, yes.

Thankfully, few and far between, the majority being quite normal or even a delight to have around. Unfortunately these bad experiences tend to stick in your mind.

Break wise I try to nip off once every 3 months for long weekend if possible. The recharge is needed before you turn into a Basil Fawlty!

10 months ago
2
Silvia Black

I am astounded, disgusted and very disillusioned at how little respect some guests have for the property they rent.

If a cleaning fee is charged some guests believe they have to make it worth their while and leave the property as dirty as they possible can.

Luckily these cases are the minority, but it would be very help if Booking.com could add a sentence or two regarding the basic respect the property of others are due and how guests can ensure that owners will be willing to have them a guests again. A blacklist facility so that the same people do not go on and on misbehaving without any consequences will be helpful too.

10 months ago
7
fluff

Joey

We have had to "eject" customers on just two occasions.
They were told, by me, that their behaviour was both unacceptable to our policies and sufficient for police attention if we so wished. They are in breach of contract so therefore no refund. Any fuss and the police would be called.
Even a moron knows when they are that far out of order so they give in at that point.
Repercussion reviews, one gave us a good slagging off so received a curt and fact correcting reply.
The other gave us a top review and openly apologised for their behaviour!

10 months ago
7
Katerinka12

"I've never really had anything like guests vomiting in the sheets and so on"

Don't worry, it will come! :)

10 months ago
7
fluff

A song for you Joey...

You ain't seen nothin' yet
B-b-b-baby, you just ain't seen n-n-nothin' yet
Here's something, here's something your never gonna forget
baby, you know, you know, you know you just ain't seen nothin' yet

10 months ago
7
Katerinka12

.... And soon to come....very soon, you will open your eyes.... And see the truth....when you are in trouble... Just look for us...Katerinka12 and Fluff

10 months ago
3
cassid

Get glass covers for all your furniture, otherwise it will be destroyed.

Keep a tin of wall paint accessible, as you will need to repaint patches all the time.

Nail down anything valuable, random items go "missing"

Nail down your furniture because it will be moved even just for a night, beds moved, chair moved, bathroom items moved around, I have stayed in many locations around the world and I have never moved furniture of belongs of hosts/hotel

I supply make up removal wipes, cotton pads and cleanser, and when you are doing the tour, the guest is saying, that's brilliant, then you see the pillows covered in make-up, I can't do anymore apart of cleaning their faces before they go to bed!!

I have had guests literally filling up bags from breakfast to keep them going all day. In the past 2 weeks I have had a few locusts, they are eating other guests portion as well, disgusting and selfish behavior. Me, myself and I culture is just thriving, it's not a specific culture, its passes the race border. I had 2 guests this week and they had a huge amount of luggage, and they wiped out everything from the breakfast room except the plates, containers for cerael. I reckon they were touring the world, robbing food out of every property hence all the luggage.

I had a couple last week and it took me 6 hours to clean up after them, they stayed one night, were lovely people but utter slobs, I had to wash the beds down, there was all sorts wiped in the wood. I leave a box of tissues beside the bed. Then on leaving, " we will be back, we had a fab time" of course as I waved them off, little did I know about the sn** and p** all over the bathroom and the most disgusting room which was perfect when they booked in. The only good thing is that you can block them from booking you again.

I rang booking as, I wanted to put a policy in place so can charge for cleaning that is beyond normal, but they policies are pre-formatted. It's not the staff's fault but a structure issue that needs changing.

The last 3 weeks, my patience is wearing thin, way too many one nighters which is hard work when you do all the cleaning yourself . I am fed up with selfish guests who want 5 star accommodation for 1 star prices. I am in the 9's and I wish I was lower, I may need to look at decreasing my standards just to get more normal people in.

When you get a run of not nice guests, you forget the really nice ones who were just a pleasure to meet, and I hate that you end of focusing on the bad guests when you get run of them.

An issue I have is that there is no come back if guests destroy your property, they are let to continue booking and still part of the genius , no deterrent and they are permitted to cause chaos in another property.

If you have reddit, there is a thread called" tales from the front desk", you can see the refund, review driven guests and their bizarre requests, I worry in case this culture in grains itself more into our future guests.

10 months ago
2
Lucky Pete

We have a set of house rules that guests must sign before we check them in. This seems to help.

10 months ago
3
Weigelt

My suggestion is to prepare a notebook for each room. Provide a brief description of yourselves, information about the area, and rules, if you have any. This will minimize having to say the same thing a thousand times to new guests. Hope you enjoy the experience as much as we have.

10 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Providing House Rules and making the guests sign sounds to me as a great idea as people just do not read the full description of the listing.

"I am fed up with selfish guests who want 5 star accommodation for 1 star prices."
How true. And that's another mistake of a newbie (I made such mistake) to think you can attract more guests if yoy put low price. Wrong.

And forget about having the same lifestyle as you had before. You will be constantly on the phone communicating with guests and checking the bookings. Adventures as to go to vacation whenever you want will not happen. You will need to plan all your vacations (if any :)) in advance. Also you can't relax and reply late. You must reply to guests requests and bookings almost immediately. Many people find it difficult to do. And be prepared for long hours of no sleep as many guests would arrive late even they put in different time of check in. And some people think if they pay you money, you can wait for them 6 or 10 hours to arrive. They do not care about your plans and will not even apologize.

10 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

So far so good. Maybe I lucky but all of my guests leave my studio in the condition they found it. It helps perhaps that we live down stairs and they respect the house.

10 months ago
1
Duma Lodge

Wow guys, you just made my day. Happy to know these things don't just happen at my place. And thanx for all the awesome tips and advise.

7 months ago