Last year I stayed with a couple in Nashville while I was attending a conference there.
They were friendly enough people, the room was comfortable, and the house was clean.
My strongest memory of them, however, is of how much they talked.
My conference was 3 full days of lectures, networking, and general “extrovert” activities. As a natural introvert, this took a lot of energy out of me every day. When I arrived back at my Airbnb, I just wanted to go straight to bed.
Yet I had to walk past the living room to get to my bedroom. All 3 nights I was there, my hosts were in the living room watching TV. All 3 nights, I greeted them, but then quickly followed up with how tired I was and how much I was looking forward to going to bed.
And all 3 nights, they talked to me for over an hour before I could gracefully make my exit.
This is a tricky balance for hosts. You want to be friendly and approachable. If you’re like many hosts, you are also on Airbnb partly because you enjoy meeting new people. So it can be hard to let interesting guests pass by without much conversation.
That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to non-verbal cues. If your guest is not sitting down, shifting their weight or yawning a lot, checking their watch, etc, those are probably pretty good indications that they don’t really want to talk right now.
Don’t take it personally. I’m sure you’re a very friendly person. Perhaps they, like I, simply had a long day. Try to be sensitive to your guests’ needs. Some guests will be happy to chat as long as you want. But for the rest, try to respect their needs and give them space if desired.