Category Archives: PaloAltoBNB

“CORPORATE” COORDINATORS BOOKING FOR OTHERS

I was a bit surprised when I read the House Rules of another host who wrote that she never accepts reservations unless the person booking also is staying as a guest.

That surprised me because up to this point, I had accepted so many successful “corporate” bookings, usually for three employees, that I guess, I had been either lucky or well placed in terms of price and location to avoid any serious bookings by bad 3rd party apples so far.

I don’t doubt that there are some shenanigans being played by people covering for the actual bad assets staying at ones home, so I absolutely am not judging any host who wants to play it safe to protect their home or other place they are using for a BNB.

REAL-TIME BOOKING

One of these reservations for my consideration came across as I was walking out the door to drop by the house to move garbage bins in the middle of a heavy rain.  It was a 3rdparty booking, but it came late (around 8:00pm) for a SAME-DAY overnight stay, reportedly, for a group of three colleagues or “friends” coming from a local Google site.

When we started the BNB, we imagined this would be a great opportunity to help some last minute travelers and this seems to fit the bill catering to our open 24 hour policy. Rarely this occurs though.

However, historically, if you can say over a year is a decent history, looking at our own worst cleanups (which in general haven’t been toobad except for one unfortunate drunken party of a young adult crowd looking “to crash someplace” after an “event”), there is a tendency for last minute bookings for short stays to yield the most sloppy guests, even ifthe reservations were made by one of the guests themselves.

There are two things that were a little unfortunate to mar an otherwise smooth transaction (so far), was this particular young lady, who, by the way, has years of stellar reviews as a host and as a guest, made the Instant Booking reservation implying that she was one of the 3 guests.

Since the booking was already done, I had access to her phone number. I called her due to the fast moving situation.

I found out pretty quickly, she was making a reservation for her co-workers or friends coming from a nearby Google. It all seems plausible but in my case, she absolutely did not need to feign being one of the guests rather than introducing herself as the coordinator. She did not, however, at glance, appear to use Airbnb as a coordinator before, so maybe she was little gun-shy doing it of the first time under somewhat exigent conditions.

Her inexperience as a corporate coordinator showed up when I asked for the names of the guests and she only offered the first names. I let this slide, but when you ask for names, I recommend (reminder to self) ASK FOR FIRST AND LAST NAMES, NOT JUST “NAMES” so it is clear what your intent is.

So far, I have had great experiences with people coordinating for others, corporate or otherwise, let’s hope that continues.

Certainly, she’s putting her reputation on the line for her friends (or at least her security deposit).

So, we’ll see how this works out. I’ll find out here in about 12 hours when we clean up.

Please like, share and comment or contact me if you have any questions

CKY

 

 

Copyright © 2019 Challen YeeAll Rights Reserved.

 

What about shoes and wood floors?

We absolutely love the look, feel, and maintainability of wood floors, but do you take a chance in a BNB using them with so many different people coming and going?

We request our guests to not use their outdoor shoes in the house.

We offer them indoor slippers or let them know it’s okay to walk around in their socks, but slippers are best.

Vintage 1950’s era oak plank, refinished. Photo by Challen

SHOES ON?

When I grew up in Palo Alto, we did in an Americanized way especially since I worked out of the house for several years with my father’s roofing and industrial electric vehicle companies. Coming in and out of the house was done with shoes on.

As a result, we usually had pretty worn carpets and a floor that would probably make the traditional Chinese housewife go into mental convulsions.

 

CHANGING HABITS

It wasn’t until after I married my wife, who grew up in China, that she helped me realize how atrocious it is to wear outdoor shoes in the house (assuming you keep a clean floor). Well, you think about it, the germs and grime caught on your shoes from every public bathroom you’ve walked through is not something you really want transferred to your home floors. Moreover, the amount of dirt that is tracked into the house is quite significant, greatly increasing the wear and tear on flooring whether carpets, hardwood or even ceramic tile.

 

KEEPING THE FLOORS CLEAN

When we clean up our BNB we always vacuum and do a light mop (well rung) with a bit of mild soap to refresh the floors. It’s nice to keep any allergens down too which having carpets would just make too difficult and takes longer to clean.

I don’t meet every guest, but sometimes I get an opportunity. It’s always an exercise in ambassadorship and tact when you meet a guest who didn’t quite get that “no shoes” House Rule but the people we’ve met realize their error quickly enough with usually a slight blush. Usually you just do it (take your shoes off) and the guest gets it. By accommodating our rule, they participate in the enjoyment of a cleaner environment.

2017 Natural Oak, 3/4 x 3.5 inch planks – photo by Challen

TYPE OF WOOD FLOOR

As for the hardwood its self, since the house is not on a slab foundation, we used finished ¾” solid wood* (oak) throughout except for in the bathrooms where we used porcelain tile.   We used finished planks for the convenience of not spending a week to finish, but still have the option in the future for custom professional refinishing.

It was a big decision not to use tile in the kitchen where the chance of water damage is higher, but since our floorplan is relatively small, keeping consistent flooring across the common area makes the living space feel larger, cleaner, brighter, and better designed. Additionally, because of our smaller space, we used a “natural” white Oak instead of something lighter or darker. Too Dark colors make your space look smaller and less energetic, while too Bright colors, or something with less wood grain like Ash or Maple, are less forgiving and harder to keep looking clean as a result of any possible scratches or dings.

We almost went with a really bright Ash plank to make a modern look statement but chose not to, as Ash wood is also a bit softer than Oak and therefore more apt to damage. Although natural Oak and natural Ash or Maple, could be a similar in color, it’s the grain of the wood that can help hide imperfections while still offering a brighter result.

*Before installing wood planks, the product needs to adjust to your house’s environment by airing out for several days before installation. Ask your dealer for details.

 

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CKY

 

 

Copyright © 2019 Challen YeeAll Rights Reserved.