New to Home Sharing?

 Here Are a Few Tips for Being a Great Home Sharing Guest

We do all our home sharing booking through Airbnb. So this list applies to people using the Airbnb interface, specifically. Though much of our suggestions apply to home sharing in general.

This list also primarily applies to listings where the host is present in the home, though many of these suggestions apply to whole house/apartment listings as well.

Before You Arrive and Booking the Trip:

  • Do not provide internet links or contact information until after you make your reservation or attempt communication outside of the Airbnb interface.
  • Use your real name. If your name is written in a different alphabet from the host’s language, provide a transliteration or a nickname. (Many Chinese guests like to adopt an English name, for example, but your host can probably also learn to say your real name too. It’s up to you.)
  • You are a guest in someone’s private home. Each home sharing listing is an autonomous small business. Airbnb does not own any of the listings.
  • Read the entire listing carefully.
    • Your host put considerable time in setting up the listing to accurately describe the space where you will be staying.
    • Make sure the space is right for you and your group. If you don’t like pets, don’t complain that a house has a cat, especially if it was stated in the listing. Instead, choose a different listing.  If you want to be near the beach, don’t reserve a space in the Valley.
    • Many problems and misunderstandings can be prevented by reading the listing.
  • For assured high level of service, select a Super Host.Super Hosts never cancel, respond quickly online and have received a 5 Star rating from at least 80% of all guests.
  • Review the rules and share them with the other members of your group.
  • Ask about the city, but do your own research when you can: While Airbnb does not provide exact addresses until after you have booked your trip, you can still get a general idea of where the host is located. Do your own internet searches to determine if the location is right for you. Your host will probably be able help you find local restaurants and information about favorite locations, but if the home is not convenient to where you want to stay, choose one that is.
  • Your host will review you after the trip:
    • You will be reviewed on a scale of 1 star to 5 stars for communication, cleanliness, following house rules.
    • Your host will also provide a written  review as well as a private message.
  • Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!
    • When making the reservation, introduce yourself, list the other members of your group, including children, say a little about your travel plans.
    • Make sure you have adequately answered their questions  and check your messages frequently. Don’t just make the reservation and then show up on the day of your trip without checking in.
    • The host does not have a 24 hour desk staff to check you in. Provide your host with information about your arrival time.
    • If you say you are going to arrive at 4, and you’re running late, let your host know. They are waiting for you. They understand that travel plans can be altered by circumstances beyond your control, but if you’re going to be more than an hour late, you really need to check in, repeatedly with updates.

After you Arrive:

  • Respecting the spaces you enter is very important. You chose home sharing so you could experience the community and live with a local family.
  • Respect their labor. Your host works very hard to prepare the space for you.  Leave the space as you found it. Unless the listing is expensive, don’t request discounts. If you absolutely have to, make a respectful suggestion.
  • Your hosts are not your servants. Do not bark orders or make unreasonable demands. (And you shouldn’t treat servants like that, either!)
  • Share your story: Where you are from, where you are going, how your day went, what sites you saw, the conference you attended, the new job you’re going to.
  • Respect the community where you are staying. If you are staying in a residential area, be very quiet, especially as you come and go at night. You may be on vacation, but your neighbors have to get up for work and school the next day.
  • Each home is different. One home may provide free access to the washer and dryer. Another may not, and another may charge a fee or provide laundry service. The host makes a great effort in determining how to share their space.
  • Respect the privacy of your host and other guests. Do not go into the private areas of the home, including other guest rooms, your hosts’ room. Your host lives and works in the home. They have very little privacy or time to themself.
  • Do not leave personal items in common areas, except toiletries in the bathroom.
  • Review the house rules and the listing. Do not expect the host to change their home to meet your expectations.
  • If you run into any problems and cannot resolve them with your host, contact Airbnb. If the listing is very different than the actual experience, you should complain. If on the other hand, you didn’t read the listing carefully and find the space doesn’t meet your needs, you should probably cancel your trip and book a different listing.
  • Your children are darling, but they are your responsibility. Do not leave them unattended or allow them to disturb other guests, and make sure that you or they clean up after themselves.
  • Upon check out leave the room as clean as possible. You don’t have to make the bed, but removing the sheets would probably be helpful and appreciated.
  • If you need something that isn’t provided, or if there is room for improvement, make suggestions while you are still a guest. Your host will let you know what they can and cannot do and they may surprise you.  On the other hand, don’t be overly demanding. This is a private home, not a hotel.
  • Say goodbye when you leave, either in person, or if you are leaving very early, in a message.

After You Leave

  • Leave an accurate and positive review.
    • If something  could have been better but you didn’t mention it while you were there, save that critique for the private commentary.
    • On the other hand, if the space wasn’t clean, or there was a huge difference between the listing and the actual experience, put that information where other prospective guests will see it.
    • You will review your host for the over all experience, cleanliness, accuracy of the listing, location, communication, value and arrival. You will also leave a paragraph describing your experience staying in the home, and you will be able to leave a private message as well.

 

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