How Short-Term Rental Property Managers Should Deal With “Bad” Guests
In a perfect world, all of the travelers who pass through your short-term rental properties would leave the place spotless and provide a glowing review under your listing.
In this world, you do get a lot of fantastically responsible, clean, and grateful guests, but every once in a while, a bad egg falls into your beloved nest.
An inevitable aspect of property management is dealing with the occasional less-than-charming houseguest, but we’ve got some effective ways of minimizing those cringe-worthy experiences.
The most practical approach to thwarting undesirable guests is to take preemptive measures. This means stopping the trainwreck before it happens – in other words, you need to avoid letting the wrong type of guests into your rental to begin with.
4 Tips For Short-Term Rental Property Managers to Deal With “Bad” Guests
Leave No Room For Interpretation
You need to be very particular about your house rules in the description beneath your listing. True, the type of travelers you want to avoid are likely the kind who generally disregard the rules anyway, but they may also be “turned off” by a listing with clearly stated guidelines (such as NO PARTYING).
You can also specify the sort of guest you are looking for by mentioning that you are happy to welcome courteous individuals who will respect the property and the neighbors. Travelers looking for a free-for-all will probably be more drawn to listings whose hosts have not gone out of their way to emphasize good behavior.
Do Some Research
A second preventative step you can take is some good, old-fashioned vetting. Airbnb’s guest reviews are a great resource for checking if perspective guests are respectful and considerate.
For guests without any reviews, don’t be afraid to reach out with some questions. You don’t need to scare off potentials with an interrogation in order to get a feel for their overall character; casual queries like, “What brings you to (insert location here)?” or “Have you ever been here before?” can go a long way in helping you to gauge a person’s nature. If you find out your potential guests are students celebrating spring break or some friends throwing a bachelor party, then you may want to reiterate your expectations or pass altogether.
Do Away With Spontaneity
Another great method of dodging some seriously horrendous host experiences is imposing a strict policy on last-minute bookings, which comprise about 80% of the fraud that plagues the short-term rental industry.
Think about it. Someone with a stolen credit card isn’t going to spend the next two weeks researching must-see attractions and planning the perfect vacation. They’re going to book now and spend that money as quickly as possible. Turning down same-day bookings might lose you a bit of income here and there, but, considering the statistics, it will ultimately save you a lot of headache. Airbnb, specifically, has some pretty rigorous fraud-prevention protocols, so you’re probably safe accepting late bookings through them, but with many other channels, you’re better off steering clear of spontaneous reservations.
Take Deep Breaths
If these measures didn’t hold up and a troublesome guest managed to fall through the cracks and into one of your prized properties, don’t panic, it happens.
Your best bet is to address the situation via the channel through which the reservation was made, rather than dealing with it on your own. Additionally, though it may be tempting to call out this individual on his or her poor behavior, leaving a bad review for a guest can be pretty detrimental to your business. Perspective guests can see reviews you’ve left and will likely be put off by an angry rant, regardless of whether it’s justified.
The number of people seeking short-term rentals is huge. Airbnb, alone, has over 150 million users! So there’s bound to be a few deviants mixed in with the scores of lovely and well-mannered travelers. As a professional property manager, it’s in your best interest to do all that you can to steer troublemakers away from your listings and reserve them for the kind of guests who will enjoy them respectfully.