Here is what to keep keep in mind when looking for a host:
Is their calendar updated?
– While listings only show up in a search if they are available, hosts don’t always update their calendar. If someone hasn’t updated their calendar in 30 days, I tend to skip it. There’s nothing worse than going to book a place, only for them to cancel and say, “Whoops, sorry, it’s not available!”
Do they reply often?
– You don’t want your inquiry to go unanswered. These sites show the percentage of messages hosts reply to. The higher the better.
Are they an active user?
– Active users are good users, so see when they last logged on. If it’s been a while, your query might go unanswered.
Are they verified?
– Verified accounts are less likely to be people of suspicious quality, as the listing site has at least found some background information on them.
Do they have good photos?
– Any listing that doesn’t include a lot of photos of the place is probably lying about its quality.
Do they have verified photographs?
– Having verified photos means someone has been there, seen the place, and vouched that it actually looks like its photos.
Do they have reviews?
– If other people stayed there, had a good time, and found the apartment as advertised, you probably will too.
Have they been someone else’s guest before?
– If they were someone’s guest and that went well, it’s likely they aren’t going to be crazy.
Do they have multiple listings?
– This is important because many people use these sites to be property managers. They rent a bunch of apartments and then re-rent them on Airbnb. I try to avoid these places because they are usually not as nice as other apartments and lack the personal touch that comes when hosts rent out their own apartments.
These are helpful guidelines, but at the end of the day you have to go with your gut. And sometimes, in places without many hosts, you might have to be a little loose with this list.
But the more points a place meets, the safer I feel. You should never have a bad experience as a guest following these guidelines.
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