With all the uncertainty in our current world, the thought of allowing unfamiliar guests into your home is a risk we should consider. Although many guests are considerate, responsible and respectful of your home we must have a plan to assure we are not allowing the few bad ones in. The idea is to create marketing directed to your ideal groups or guests. Families, business travelers, leisure travelers, and snowbirds, while creating steps on how you can spot the party goers. Undoubtedly maintaining good faith practice to ensure you prohibit any discrimination.
Once you have put your plan together you are ready to begin receiving inquiries and screening your guests properly. The following is our best practices and steps to ensure you are allowing the right guests into your home:
This process takes no experience, just a few minutes to ensure verification was done properly. Many booking channels like Airbnb and VRBO provide this feature and make it simple for guests to do. We typically like 4-5 verifications before allowing a booking which are the following: Email, profile picture, government ID, phone number, and age. Most guest will also have no problem in sending verifications like Government ID.
This process will usually reveal your guest intentions and plans while using your home. Many guests will happily share their plans as many will usually like your opinion and expertise recommendations of the area, they will be staying in. Some will be direct and let you know their plans will be to host a gathering, event or party. Be wary of the guests who explain they will be celebrating birthdays, or bachelorettes and do not be afraid of asking the extra questions.
Clear and defined house rules will save you some headaches. Direct your guest to reading them and verify they have read, agreed to, and plan to follow the house rules. You can even go a step further in having them sign a house rules form. Be stern and even create a “zero tolerance policy” if need be. This is a reminder to guests if you host a “party or event” breaking our house rules, we have the permission as hosts from Airbnb, VRBO and other booking channels to discontinue bookings, ask guest to vacate your property and issue no refund.
Yes, this may sound extreme and may discourage some guests to book but only ask guests you feel uncertain about. Trust your intuition and ask the right questions.
Guests who may have booked in the past through Airbnb & VRBO will usually have reviews by other hosts. These are a tall tale signs on hosts previous experience with guest. Positive reviews will tend to reflect on their stay with you. If a negative review is written by a host, this may answer your doubts but also provide benefit of the doubt as many misunderstandings may happen and allow the guest an opportunity to answer any questions you may have about the review. Lastly, pay attention to guest’s area code in their phone numbers. Guest who have local numbers in our past experience tend to host the parties and events in your home as opposed to out of towners. Local guests have the ability to invite other locals into your home for events and parties.
These tips will help you screen guests and decide the right guests to allow in your property. Use your instinct as well as resources to determine guests plans while in your home. The more experience will also benefit you and allow you to spot potential unruly guests seamlessly. There will be times you will have a negative experience with guests, but do not be discouraged as there will be many more great experiences that outweigh the negative. Do not forget to use Airbnb, VRBO or other booking channels means to protect you, as it is also in their best interest to protect you and your home.