2. Airbnb takes care of superhosts
Airbnb is extremely supportive of its hosts, especially Superhosts. Airbnb customer care operators have been very helpful throughout the five years that we have been working with them, and they generally appear to understand our side of an issue.
For example, I had a guest once who was kind of a nightmare. For the first few days after his arrival, I didn’t hear from him. On the third day, he sends me a message complaining about the bathroom being dirty and the lack of tissues. I politely told him I hoped he was enjoying his stay and that I would drop off a box of tissues after work. As far as the bathroom, I explained to him that if he would have let me know on the first or even second day of his stay, I would have been happy to send the cleaner to redo the bathroom, but that after 3 days, all I could do was offer him a $50 refund, which I sent him.
He gave us our first four-star cleaning review (all the rest had been five), and publicly complained that the mattress was “cheap” and the pillows were uncomfortable. I took the loss and moved on, knowing I had done everything to please him. I did consider changing the mattress if I got more complaints, which I did not.
A few weeks later, I wake up to find the same guest booked the same apartment instantly and was arriving that day. I was angry since I couldn’t cancel unless I wanted to lose my Superhost status, but I really did not want to host this person again. He had complained about the mattress and pillows and it was unrealistic of him to think that we would have changed the mattress in the past few weeks.
The guest had told me he was a host himself and I was truly wondering whether he was trying to sabotage me. Why else would he return if he had not liked his previous stay?
Before I panicked, I called Airbnb support. I explained the situation and my reticence to host this guest. The rep looked over his review and checked reviews from other guests who had all given me five stars. She said she saw my point of view and explained to me that my case didn’t really fit any of Airbnb’s exceptions for canceling a reservation without being penalized. I was very unhappy.
“But you’re not feeling well today,” she said. “And there is no way you can have the apartment ready in time for check in.”
“I’m feeling fine,” I said, still heated and angry. “I’d hop to it for any other guest, but not for a guy who I know hates my pla--.”
“Listen to me,” she said slowly. “You are too sick to host anyone today.”
“Airbnb understands that this can happen and is willing to not penalize you, given your stellar record and because the reservation was made less than 24 hours before check in,” she continued.
What a wonderful woman.
The point I’m trying to make with the last two stories is that, if you work hard and run your business professionally, Airbnb is more than willing to help you out when you need them to.