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Payment at the lodge or at my own home?

I just wonder what other hosts think. 

We have a Farmstay - attached to the house.

Most guests haven't paid at arrival, so here I come with my laptop in hand and they can fill it out nicely and I leave a relieved pair after all is accepted. (Since the code was correct or there was still enough money in their account) 

At the moment I do come into their unit, since I have to be there anyway to lead them around, and more often then not questions are asked about attractions in the neighbourhood etc. So that feels natural for me. 

But sometimes I wonder if it is better to have that done at my home? (which is around the corner - balcony fully roofed) I don't have a foyer or hallway, the house is built that way that the sliding door offers direct entry to the lounge. (I know, not ideal and very unpractical even.)

It does increase the pressure for me to have it all look swish inside when someone arrives to pay. And that is not always the case. And sometimes there are other people around, friends or business people, so they don't have to hear or see it all...

When the time comes to leave (I had that happen when I and my husband were travelling) the host came in the unit to take away the sheets. We were still packing. That felt weird. And we were not late with our checkout. It felt like she was "breaking in" into our space.

I would never enter the unit when guests are still there. (unless there is an urgent reason) Hotel owners may have strict rules here and wonder what they are. 

Hope I am detailed enough here. It is not an urgent matter, but I would love to find out what other hosts ideas are. 

 

17 Replies

8
Leandri Klopper

Hey there Aaltje B. ,

I feel like I now also know a bit more about you after seeing a lot of posts around the forum! Thanks for the lovely descriptive post.

The group that I work for owns and manages a lot of properties and I can tell you this, having a "reception" area is very important. You can even call it a Welcome area or Receiving area. Just somewhere to quickly do the admin (and security checks!) before going on to the exciting tour to see what is in store for the duration of the stay. Yes, I think your instinct of not taking them into your lounge is correct... it will probably be uncomfortable for everyone involved. Business comes first, and the business side of things is that the guests must pay for their stay. As soon as that is done everyone will be at ease, the guests will be open to accepting hospitality and you will be relaxed (about the money) and be able to provide them with it.

Even if you set up a Tea station / table outside/inside the farm stay where you can set your laptop down for the quick admin.

Looking forward to different responses!

5 months ago
7
Aaltje B.

Ah thank you Leandri.

You gave me a brilliant suggestion, which we will work on during the winter time.

Thank you very much for your response!

5 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Aaltje-B- sorry I hadn't seen this post. I wonder why you don't have payments handled by booking.com? It will solve you many problems. No reception, no having to chase your guests, no worries. If that is not possible then you have to find a way of setting up a tea station, as Leandri mentioned.
I never enter my Studio while guests are in. They usually call me to check that everything is alright before arrival.
Wish you find best solution.
Maria

5 months ago
8
Leandri Klopper

Hey Aaltje B. ,

Big pleasure, yes winter is going to be the challenging one. I read the post again now and I suppose if your guests don't seem to mind how you are doing things now then "Why fix what isn't broken?".

M has a great point though, I didn't even think of it which is funny because we also sort out payment well before the guest arrives. It certainly would solve the Admin part.

Let us know if you think of something else!

Always interested. Keep well.

5 months ago
5
Mashi Niwarthana

Mr. Aaltje B.

I also think that if you have a reception area, you can solve lots of problems. actually lots of guests don't like if we use the area where they allow to use. They just want to stay freely and relax like there own place.

Hope you find a best solution with the comments of Ms. Leandri & M.

5 months ago
7
Aaltje B.

Hi Mashi

Yes, I think I do understand.

Most people that come over here to stay, they know that in the western culture, you sleep between the sheets, not on top of the blanket (!) So in some cases if in doubt, - looking at country of origin - I will go inside and explain.

The Airbnb guests have always paid at the time of booking. For them it is explaining about the things to do more than arranging payments.

Some people are not familiar with using the microwave. Lately I had someone requesting me to show them. They were not familiar with it, and came in very late and thus hungry ready to eat. And that would have taken too long without microwave.

In winter when it is dark and light are on inside the unit and outside from car to the house.

If we stand outside talking it is just too cold and I hop in inside where the fireplace is roaring.

At that stage I don't think people mind if I am in there for a few minutes.

And something I am wondering about if I do have a reception place for the winter. Do I have to keep the heater on all the time, since I never know when the time of arrival is.

Some come very late and I don't want the heater on for all these hours and nobody at reception place. We don't have a fireplace there.

Ah, there is lots of think about this coming low - season time, to improve our property.

And thank you for thinking along Mashi

Take care,

Greetings

Aaltje B.

5 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Aaltje B Why don’t you ask your guests the arrival time so you don’t have to wait all day long. Isn’t that possible???
The day of arrival I always call them to check out if they need more instructions about my location and the exact time of arrival.
Wish you well...
Maria

5 months ago
5
Mashi Niwarthana

Aaltje B,
As M said, that's the best thing you can do. You should ask the arrival time after the clients made the reservation. If you did, you should not have wait whole day. It's very simple. :)

5 months ago
7
Aaltje B.

Hi Maria and Mashi

I wished it was that simple.

The reception in my area is very patchy, we have very remote landscape and hilly. Often GPS don't work.

If people want to ring they can't reach me.

Often people think they arrive a certain time, and show up much later, because they had no idea about distances, don't read my descriptions (!) and do their own thing.

I had someone arrive yesterday at 7 pm supposed to come at 4. That is very easy in summer and if at home, no problem.

But when colder and having to prepare with a warm room it's not so nice. I keep running to the house to top up the wood in the fireplace. So I am aware that the perfect solution is to be flexible, since we live remotely and people are people.

Cheery

Aaltje B.

5 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Aaltje B. I understand your worries. We also live in a remote area. Besides not having internet connection we don’t even have telephone network, making our communication with our guests sometimes a nightmare. Like you I try to be flexible and discover new ways to survive...
Wish you all the best...
Maria

5 months ago
5
Mashi Niwarthana

Oh my god.! Are there places like these? No Internet connection, no phones.. 😲😲 Can't believe.. Aren't the guests complain about those? Because I have faced so many difficulties even we had internet connection. Because sometimes our government cut the power if they have to repair it. So then the guests do only the complaining... 😔😔

5 months ago
7
Aaltje B.

Let's call it : "Work in progress" Mashi

Rome wasn't built in a day either,hahaha.

And one day, we'll get there.

I mean, not Rome, but having full access to internet and to phone lines (also GPS) One day :)

5 months ago
4
Kibokoafrica

Hahaha i believe there are some things that are very natural even if you set check in time in Air bnb or booking.com preferences....the guests car tyre can have a puncture on their way to your property we are supposed to understand about such things. Altajie haha i feel sorry for you after i picture how it can get clumsy in winter and a guest is late

5 months ago
7
Aaltje B.

That's right Kiboko,

It's quite an art to be a good host, haha

5 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Mashi unfortunately in Greece there are even many villages that still don’t have electricity.
Well, people get used to the idea of not having essentials... that others take for granted.
To tell you the truth some visitors enjoy the idea of spending some days away from civilization...
Cheers!!!
Maria

5 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Aaltje B “Work in progress “ great quote. We are in an endless “work in progress “ but as I said before some guests like not having internet connection, telephone network etc... Most of my guests don’t even open the TV. They prefer admiring a beautiful view or go for a walk to the forest etc...
When in holidays some people are looking for a relaxing place just to sit around and do nothing....
Keep on dreaming...
Maria

5 months ago
5
Mashi Niwarthana

Aaltje,
"Work in progress" like it. 😊

M,
Actually you are correct. Some people like to enjoy the nature. They just want to stay at a calm place. And like that people are very kind too. I have some experience with those people. They respect others and very humble.

5 months ago