Compelling Reasons for a Stay

A thought that sometimes comes to the tip of a host’s tongue but without the words is,

“Does this guest have a compelling reason to stay in our house?”

instead, you just feel uncomfortable. Have you as a host ever felt like this?



As a host, you often go on your intuition whether to accept a guest reservation or not. The conflict occurs when in the case a host feels uncomfortable to the point it leads you to thinking you want to decline a booking request or inquiry. I find this case is RARE though one begs to understand his/her own feelings to be a fair judge.


There may be several reasons why a host may believe a guest is not a match without violating anyone’s rights, some are clearly delineated in the basic house rules related to:

Smoking, Pets, Parties, Max number of guests

Yet, there could be less definable reasons why a particular inquiring guests may be giving off bizarre vibes in how they offer their reason for their stay.

We have had over 50 groups stay with us and all except for 1 had what I would consider a compelling reason. Some may have had other issues but their reason to stay was reasonable and believable.


Common reasons are:

Flying in for a Business trip (seminars, company training, meeting clients), family vacation, loved one having surgery at local hospital, extra space needed for family gathering (holidays, funerals), reunions, small group retreat, visiting main office from out of state/country, child attending tech camp (Summer school).

Almost all are guests are from out of state or out of country with a few from some distal part of California and in a brief messenger communication they manage to  candidly express their reasons.

When all of these factors converge, combined with (when available) good reviews, this results in a compelling and reliable framework for the guest that follows through without issues.

In other words, it’s unlikely that anyone will have a vague reason why they are flying in from a foreign country to stay at your home. So you get use to a certain level of direct and honest communication and learn to be apprehensive of vague purposes.


For instance, I experienced the not-so compelling and actually quite vague reason which was: “Need a place to crash for one night after an “event” (“Event” was undefined and the guest were all local residents).  It’s this reservation that resulted in the most difficult cleanup job, which I will not detail, but… at least it was only a one-night stay.


You might imagine what type apprehensions you might have when another inquiry comes in from another local who, upon questioning, contentiously offers only a vague reason why they would want to stay… and want to book, not for days, but for multiple months.


A BNB is different than a Hotel

It helps to know that a BNB listing is not like a hotel where the potential difficulties caused by a higher risk guest are somewhat eased by large numbers of unrelated guests. One guest only takes one room of many units in a hotel drawing income from a mass of guests.

Conversely, a BNB home is a key income source, and can be THE key source of income for a family, so it is with great reliance on host’s judgment to best avoid unnecessarily risky contracts that may interrupt a steady income stream for their family. By establishing a pipeline of guests with compelling reasons  to hold and fulfill reservations will a host ensure a stable income and, perhaps more importantly, peace of mind.

When there are no reviews to support a new guest to BNBs, then the relationship is completely based on the rapport generated in a brief messenger conversation. I’m very glad by the fact that virtually all guests do not come across as entitled to stay at your private residence.

I believe most guests pretty much get it. They are respectful, if not kind and respectful, if not kind, humble and respectful while certainly not easily angered or triggered by a polite and logical question by a host of a private home.

I remember one woman was so polite, unassuming and understanding when I told her I made a mistake by allowing her to make an instant booking reservation (didn’t turn it off in time or thought I had turned it off) when I was in the process of working with another guest over the same booking period. The displaced guest was remarkably gracious. It’s beautiful people like her, who did not even have a chance to be my guest but, filled with understanding, helped me accommodate another person who she didn’t know. It’s considerate people like these I would want to do something special for if I have a chance, they make the world go around.


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