I laughed when I read Josh Gondelman’s satirical article, “Welcome to Your AirBnB,” about the ultimately awful short-term rental experience. But when I thought about our experiences with short-term rentals, I realized that it’s not entirely funny. We once stayed in an apartment that was (1) full of cat hair even though we’d explained we were allergic to cats, (2) so crammed full of stuff we could hardly put ours down, and (3) had upstairs neighbors who shared their hard rock music with us until the wee hours of the morning. After two nights, we moved into a hotel, despite the cost. We never did get our money back but we considered it a learning experience.
Of course, you would NEVER force your guests to stay in a place remotely like that…of course you wouldn’t. But Josh’s spoof is a good reminder that we don’t always think about what our guests need and want. At the very least:
- Clean your place thoroughly. You might not mind living with a less-than-pristine home, but it’s not very nice to greet your short-term guests with a home that is less than sparkling clean.
- Make space for your guests’ things. You don’t have to stash everything you own in your parents’ garage or rent a storage space for your stuff. But be considerate: leave some space in the closet, in dresser drawers, and on bathroom shelves for guests’ clothes and personal items.
- Warn guests about your pets. It’s never a good idea to greet short-term rental guests with even the sweetest pet. Tell them about pets right away. Even if you’re boarding your pet or taking the dear thing with you, make sure guests know that a dog or cat or even a bird has lived in the home. It’s surprising how many people are allergic.
- Tell guests about noise. Not everyone cares about loud music or other noise in their environment, but it’s safe to say that many people do. Let guests know about the bar downstairs, the upstairs neighbors who play the TV at full volume until 1 a.m., the jackhammers at the construction site next door, or any other noise they might find particularly annoying or unpleasant.
What do you do to greet your short-term guests in a way that makes them feel welcome and helps them have a pleasant stay? Please leave us your comments.