Thursday, January 15, 2015

Being an Airbnb Host.

In almost 2 years as Airbnb hosts, we've had basically no problems with any of our guests. We've had a few memorable bumps along the way, but they are more humorous than problematic.

We had one girl from Russia who had 2 uninvited gentleman callers that security kept away and she ultimately kept from returning. But, there were no scenes or awkward moments, just a couple of late night calls to me from security where I said "sorry, she isn't expecting any visitors."

We had 2 young guys stopping here on the way to go to the Coachella Music Festival. They smoked pot in our guest room, which really wasn't an issue other than not asking us prior to doing so. They wanted to listen to music on our surround sound system and disconnected one speaker which nine months later I've yet to figure out. But, that is as it's a low priority for me as I know such simple things can cause me great anxiety figuring out.

We had a guest from Germany that didn't realize that when the key fob doesn't open the door to the pool it means the pool area is closed, not the door is broken. "I thought people might want a swim before they go to work in the morning and the door was just broken." So he jumped the fence. Luckily, security in our strict building loves us so it wasn't a big deal. I explained to our guest, who had already been here almost 10 days at that point, that he must have noticed the pool was seldom used by anyone and that people usually are showering (unlike himself) and scrambling around with household details in the morning. The pool doesn't open until 8 as a courtesy so that is doesn't interrupt people's sleep. He was just going to sit with his computer and security didn't make much of an issue, other than to call me and ask him not to repeat it.

His wife stayed with us for nearly 2 months while performing here. She was very sweet, but peculiar. She was big on organic foods and not having things that were processed, but ate lots of chips and sausages. I don't care which one's you buy or from where, both are processed food. I dropped her at the Americana, a shopping Center in Glendale, and she spent 6 hours shopping, only going to 2 stores. A couple days later she and a friend spent 9 hours at the Beverly Center. Over her entire time in LA, she spent more time shopping than anything else, besides rehearsals and sunbathing. She joined friends and I for a day at Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead. She went to Hollywood with me once. But, she would not explore anywhere on her own. Even once her husband was here, who wanted to do many of the "traditional" attractions: Universal Studios, Disneyland, etc; she limited the amount of activity. Most peculiar: She never once used a washing machine in 2 months. At one point, our housekeeper put the only set of sheets we have that aren't 100% cotton down and she asked for them to be removed because she was getting a rash. We question what might have been giving her a rash...

We have nearly perfect ratings. I think we have had one guest complain about our air conditioning. Sorry to say, I think he has an issue. He was sweating the entire time he was here. We were not nor were any one else before or after him and it wasn't a particularly hot time of year. Recently, a guest suggested we put in bigger light bulbs by the bed so they could see better to read at night. OK? Actually, for some reason, one bulb was missing in one lamp and has since been replaced. But, all in all, people seem to enjoy their stay. Some guests we never see. Some we never met. Some we have had meals or enjoyed a drink. In one case, we took one to Vegas with us for a weekend.

We have hosted almost 90 guests in near 2 years from almost every continent in the world. We have learned a lot about Saudi Arabia from a longer term guest who was here as an older (30s) student at USC. We had a brief stay with a young man and his single Mother, who was the head of a NGO in Kuwait, which was incredibly enlightening contrast as they were shortly after our Saudi guest. We've had a British citizen of Indian decent living in Canada, Chinese Americans, a Chinese living in Singapore, Italian decent living in Germany, Ukrainian decent living in Germany, to people from Canada, Britain, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Columbia, Japan, China, India, Turkey, in addition to those mentioned above. And yes, we get Americans, occasionally even Californians. They all come for different reasons making each of their stays all the more interesting. The experience continues to be rewarding to us on multiple levels.

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