We’ve taken a different approach on this post as we wanted to let you know a few things from an airbnb guest professional. Who better a man than our past guest and now our good friend Danny Dover.
Danny came to stay with us for a week in May and is a truly inspirational guy. In fact he is one of the reasons we started this blog on ourbnb! He came to Europe for three months and was making Barcelona his base for his travels.
He is doing what he calls ‘ Life Listed’, it’s like a bucket list but it’s things to do before a certain date, rather than before he dies. What a fantastic logical thing to do but this, as you can imagine takes so much focus and structure of ones life to do!
His list is huge including the fun, the crazy, the strange and the exhilarating. He managed to get a whole bunch of them completed during his stay during his three months this side of the world. This guy inspires us and so many, he is also a best selling author!!
The great thing is he used Airbnb the whole time he was traveling, so he is somewhat of an airbnb pro guest:)
So here are a few questions we threw at him that may help you guys in the future…
What’s the first thing you look for when you go through the listings and what stands out for you? I usually go through AirBnB listings in waves. First I glance over the listings to get a general idea of market price. Then I pick out the ones that looks like deals. After I have about 6 or 7 picked out, I choose the winner by price, photos, reviews and wifi. (WiFi is big for me.) Usually I send out a message to the top three asking questions or for discounts.
Is the price the major factor? Price is a major factor but not THE major factor. I really like walking and I need wifi for my work so I also look for a place that is centrally located and has wifi. I consider price to be a limiting factor rather than a benefit itself.
How important are a hosts reviews on their listing? Host reviews are extremely important. I assume by default that the photos are not realistic (everyone wants to make their rooms look like a 5 star resort) so I rely on the reviews to get a perspective that is closer to the truth.
In general, after you make a booking how was the follow up from the hosts? The follow up has generally been fantastic. Responses have always been quick and the only small issue I have run into has been foreign languages. (Locally, AirBnB builds Google Translate into their messaging system)
What stands out for you that a host is a good one? The difference between good hosts and exceptional hosts is the personal connection. A bed is basically the same anywhere but the quality of a conversation can vary greatly. I was very lucky to get the opportunity to meet and chat with you two when I arrived in Barcelona. Our chats were one of my favorite parts of my trip.
Any tips for hosts from a guests point of view that hosts should be doing? Be friendly and patience! Usually when I arrive in a new country I am both confused and jet-lagged. I really appreciate it when a host take this into consideration and have everything ready for me so I can get settled when I arrive.
Can you see airbnb changing the way people will travel in the future? Yes I can and in many ways it already has made an impact. Hotels have been evolving for a long time. This is the just the next evolution.
What was your best experience with a airbnb host (besides us of course)!! Honestly, staying with you two was my best experience. Getting to know you and your family was one of the major highlights of my time living in Spain. It really helped me get to know the city and culture. I hate to write it publicly, but you guys rock.
Lastly, you’ll have to tell us about a bad one……(Hope that’s not us!) I actually do have an example but the story is rather long. You can read the whole story here: Suit Guy : Spoiler: It involves a colostomy bag, a language barrier and a well dressed man.
Please do have a look on his blog and maybe subscribe. It’s inspirational to us all that we can do the things we want, we just have to make them happen.
Thanks Danny for your time and good luck with the rest of your list. We look forward to seeing you on St Patricks Day in Ireland March ’13.. yep it’s on his life list!