Bad surprises – the challenge of mismatched expectations

 

 

Last month I stayed in several Airbnbs all around the country. A few of them had multiple private rooms that they rented out within the same house.

I have no problem with this. I’ve been able to meet some fascinating people through shared Airbnb spaces. 

HOWEVER, I like to know what I’m getting myself into. 

These places I stayed in last month made no indication in their listing that there were other guests staying in the space at the same time. They didn’t even mention that the bathroom was shared among all guests. 

Some surprises are good. This scenario isn’t one of them.

The thing with Airbnb is, it’s all about expectations. With hotels, everyone more or less already knows what to expect. There’s a basic template that almost all hotels follow. People know what to expect when they check into a hotel.

But with Airbnb, there is no standard template. There is no set of basic expectations that people can count on. I’ve stayed in a “glamping” tent, a 3-bedroom chalet right on the waterfront, a converted garage, a weird pseudo-hostel run out of an unused schoolhouse, a tiny spare bedroom in a crummy apartment, and everything in between. And those are some of the tamer listings on Airbnb!

The variety of Airbnb is what attracts may travelers to it.

Nevertheless, people still want to be able to know what to expect before they arrive. 

It doesn’t really even matter what those expectations are, as long as they’re accurate. Linens or no linens provided, shared spaces or entirely private, street parking or reserved spaces, stairs or totally flat…most people will be happy with what they get, as long as they expect it before arriving

So do your guests – and yourself – a favor. Don’t let them have any bad surprises. Give them all the details they’ll need before arriving, so once they get there they can just enjoy the experience.