Model Cancelled

Hi guys,

I had a booking today at 6:30pm and the guest didn’t arrive until 7pm and let me know that the model had cancelled and he needs to reschedule for next week. Although i feel bad, i did have another person interested this day who i denied since i had committed to this guest.

How would you handle this situation?

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If your guest’s model cancelled, that is not your problem. You supplied your location, you prepped it and were available. Don’t feel guilty for making money, these things happen.

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You’re right Deacon, thank you!

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If they leave you a bad review after not even using your space, send it up to help@peerspace.com and I’m positive they will help you out. Best of luck, these things happen sometimes!!

That was actually my next question. Thanks for reading my mind! :slight_smile:

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I figured it was on your mind! The reviews are a huge flaw in the platform.

Here’s a recent tale of mine: This morning, our toddler (I keep calling him ‘three’ and forgetting he is now four) had a little…um…food poisoning on our daybed and the pillows and mattress cover were ruined.

So after cleaning from about 4am to eternity (and we will not speak of the mattress cover, mattress protector or the pillows again), we spent about an hour turning a red blanket into a new mattress cover, got some beautiful burgundy pillows out of storage and made a brand new holiday themed motif for the day bed, complete with garland on the rails.

I emailed a photo to the guest hours before their noon rental and asked if it was okay.

The guest waited until 30 minutes before her booking was set to begin to tell me that she wanted the daybed to be back in its original state.

Nah no thank you, it was a two hour booking and there were…extenuating circumstances.

So I apologized, cancelled her booking so as to not misrepresent my space and get a bad review later on.

We left to see if we could find a replacement mattress cover like the ruined one.

She decided to come ANYWAYS, called up angrily, banged on the door, etc (this is after I cancelled the booking).

Peerspace’ response was to strip me of power host status, remove my instant booking ability and then tell me that I have to pay for her Lyft charges, despite informing her hours before her booking was set to begin.

About two weeks ago, our place was trashed by a music video shoot for Tom Hanks’ wife, Rita Wilson.

The shoot was booked for ten people and the guest said on camera that they would only be using our bedroom.

They ended up bringing over 30 people with no COVID compliance officer or filming permit and they broke two couches and several plants. When I showed the damage to the guests, I was called a liar and a scammer. Despite the hilariously extensive video evidence from my security cameras and screenshots proving there were more than 30 people present, Peerspace never paid me the overages for the additional people or the damaged property.

But you know what was in my head the whole time? “Ermagherd, will I get a bad review for this?”

The platform is deeply, deeply flawed and I realize now that we should never base any decisions on reviews.

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oh man! There definitely needs to be some changes it seems…

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One problem with Peerspace’s review format is that there is no chance for hosts to respond to bad reviews. And that is bad. Like all of you, I hate being held hostage to the threat of a bad review. But I have asked many guests whether they would not book a place due to a bad review and the response was unanimous: One or two bad reviews amidst a bunch of good ones is to be ignored. They know that some people love to complain.

As far as it goes for being stripped of the Power Host–I really think that that badge is absolutely useless anyhow. Nobody ever books due to the power host badge. They book because they like to look of the space and the price is right. They are probably so busy looking at the photographs they don’t even notice it. After all, I once lost the badge due to insufficient bookings. So . . . it wasn’t helping me get bookings in the first place. Next season, I had enough bookings to get it back. So, once again, not being a power host did not stop people from booking.

I agree with you 100%. I guess it’s just that annoying feeling of being constantly scolded or punished, despite doing nothing wrong.

After threatening a lawsuit, Peerspace covered the Lyft fees, but why in the world should I ever have to threaten to sue?

It’s well established over years of hosting that I am a man of my word and everything I say or do can be verified and backed up by security cameras.

But the reviews are a problem. I keep seeing that hosts are allowing people to come in 15-30 minutes early and staying 15-30 minutes late, or not reporting incidents because they want that five star review.

I come out to politely (and I do mean POLITELY) remind my guests when it’s time to start wrapping up. A little too often than I’d care to admit, I get attitude back. Ranging from trying to ignore me or them saying “OKAY OKAY WE GET IT, WE’RE WRAPPING UP SOON” in an annoyed tone, or rolling their eyes at me.

Were it not for the reviews, I’d be like “y’all are not talking to me like that in my own home - get out now”. I suck it up like a chump half the time and keep smiling like an idiot. It’s degrading.

These are our homes, these are our businesses. I feel it’s extremely unfair that entitled people run roughshod over our things and we feel obligated to let them, lest our reputations be damaged.

A simple ‘recommended’ or ‘not recommended’ is sufficient. I don’t want to read lowered reviews because someone couldn’t find street parking and didn’t want to pay $5 for a paid lot; that has nothing to do with my space and is irrelevant. Or a 3-4 star review saying nothing but how amazing my space is; what were the stars knocked off for if everything was great?

It doesn’t make any sense.

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I don’t appreciate the review system at all, even though I have a slew of great reviews. There will always be someone that will say something negative, just to say something. I had one person who had an amazing shoot, and wrote she wouldn’t book the space again. I asked her why, and she simply said she didn’t mean it in a negative way, she just never shoots in the same place, twice. She was kind enough to remove it. But I have had other reviews that were frustrating, and were simply bad reviews because the guests resented things like being asked not to smoke, when our policy is quite clear. The problem usually stems from somebody, other than the person booking, not being aware of what we have asked and agreed to. I don’t think rebuttals are very elegant either, so having a way to dispute a review verbally probably just ends up with a lot of nonsense. Peerspace has actually gotten a lot more responsive when it comes to removing unreasonable reviews. I have to say I really appreciate that. Reading positive reviews is always a pleasure, but I don’t strive for good reviews, I strive to be extremely professional.

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absolutely. I just received one from a guest who was angry that I came out five minutes before their departure time and gave them a reminder that it was time to start wrapping and clean up.

Five minutes before the end of the booking and the model was still in lingerie, the photographer was still shooting, there were clothes everywhere and I saw the guest pulling more clothes OUT of a bag.

I was polite about it and hadn’t bothered them the entire booking. In her review she said that it felt like I was ‘throwing them out’.

I messaged her and told her that I kinda was, as their booking was ending :stuck_out_tongue:

Yesterday a guest was angry at me that I wouldn’t let him set off confetti bombs for a new year’s eve themed shoot…IN MY HOME. Like, what kind of person comes into someone’s home and thinks they’re going to set off confetti bombs?

I finally kicked them out after they ran 17 minutes over and I’m pretty sure he’s going to have a bad review waiting for me as well.

The deep flaw in this platform is that people will leave you a bad review as revenge for setting boundaries with them. It’s unfair, as the way to secure a good review seems to be to allow people to go into overtime for free and act as their butlers and allow them to do whatever they want in your home.

This cheesy review driven nonsense doesn’t feel like a professional platform at all. I say Let them go to Yelp if they want to leave reviews!

The wrapping up scene is always awkward for me. I’m looked at as the bad guy when I come in. I’ve started to send a text 30-45 min prior letting them know that their rental time is coming to an end, and that I will be in to do a walk thru. It’s hit or miss. 80% of my guest go over their time. It’s so frustrating. What do you guys do in regards to time? Overage charges? Etc…

My response is varied.

I tell them right at the beginning that there is another group coming in right after them, or that my family is coming home, etc. It’s not always the truth, but it’s easier to tell a lie in advance and save the nonsense sometimes.

I look at the amount of gear a crew brings and the amount of mess they make and I estimate how long it’s going to take them to clean up.

I come out or text them about five or ten minutes before they should start cleaning up and I tell them that they should begin their load out in a few minutes and remind them that we have another group coming in.

If they don’t start cleaning up, I remind them that they’re going to go into overtime, which is billed at time and a half.

This is part of the reason I no longer allow guests to move any furniture or decor. They try to rush to put everything back the way it was and they end up breaking something 100% of the time.

I recently received a lowered review because I came out five minutes before their departure time and told them that it was time to start cleaning up. I had a photoshoot immediately afterwards and the photographer was still shooting the model, there was a mess everywhere and the renters were pulling several outfits out of bags with the intention of continuing their shoot.

The other day I had a guest attempt to sneak in confetti bombs into my home with the intention of making a mess. He caught an attitude with me when I pointed it out to him. I had told him my family was coming over (including two children that probably shouldn’t be looking at a naked lady) and that we had an appointment in Encino (this was true). He still ended up going almost a half hour overtime and my family was literally sitting and waiting for him.

I was so pissed off that the guy’s attitude that I didn’t trust myself to talk to him. Finally at the end I had to tell them to continue their conversation outside of our home because we had to leave.

I’ll get a bad review from that booking and therein lies the problem with the Peerspace platform is it currently stands: Hosts are afraid to set boundaries for their guests because the guests leave negative reviews as revenge, no matter how polite we are about it.

I have had so many bad bookings lately that I am in the process of winding down my listings. Star reviews are cheesy and I think they attract an unsavory element that ties our hands and attempts to ‘game’ the system. We either put up with people ignoring our house rules or we end up with bad reviews. I won’t tolerate either of those options and I plan on either making my own platform, or just adding a studio rental page to my website.

My best recommendations are:

  1. Set those boundaries anyways. If you don’t, you will burn yourself out. Your self respect is worth more than anything. Go ahead and take the lowered reviews and hang in there as long as you can. Email help@ peerspace.com if you feel that you have received an unfair review.
  2. Advertise your space on Instagram, Facebook, etc, to build up enough velocity to bury negative reviews
  3. Advertise your space on Instagram, Facebook, etc and just rent outside the platform.

Sorry I don’t have more positive advice this time around - we have really been through the ringer this last month!

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Hi Lydia, are many of these guests booking your minimum time period? One option is to raise the minimum booking time. That should help some with people going over. Everything takes longer than people think, and that increases when the people are less experienced/professional.

One of the biggest lessons for me when I started booking my space was to stress that the booking period included the entire time they had access to the space. That I would unlock the door at their start time, and should be able to lock the door at their end time. And we reiterate in several times in our communications.

Perhaps text at 45 min, then show up at 30 min to stress that they have to be out at the scheduled time with you watching over. Thinking out loud, I wonder if you could write something brief for them to sign at the beginning of their booking that says:

I understand that our booking ends at ______ pm, and that overtime:
__ is NOT available
__ is available until ____pm, and is billed at 1.5 times the original rate

 x _________________________________________
       *signature*
   _________________________________________
        *print name*
   _________________________________________
        *date*

While it is already covered in the Peerspace agreement, this could be one more tool to help prevent them from challenging the overtime fees.

Problem clients can also be a function of the rate: the less expensive the space, with a lower minimum, the more likely there will be problems. Any knucklehead can come up with $200 to come in and disrespect a space, so you can play with your pricing to see if you can avoid some of the headaches.

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:100: Excellent advice and I second the advice you gave about raising prices and minimum times!

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Re: Brad_B, I agree with ALL of these things and haven’t had any issues thus far. I’m also very strict and discerning with my vetting process and do not accept instant bookings - Peerspace’s infrastructure doesn’t automate all the host-set pre-requisites like hourly minimums and extra services.

If I had to sum up what it means to be a host, I would say this…

The saying "you get what you pay for"works in reverse. “You get what you charge for” is just as true if not more so.

@Brad_B I think your comment about raising minimums and rates is the key to solving this issue.

I’m floored by the stories some other hosts like @Deacon_T post. In the 4 years I’ve been open, I’ve only ever had maybe 3 instance where I had to get uncomfortably confrontational with guests.

Usually it’s with events, but a couple of weeks ago I had to literally stand between the photographer and model and yell ENOUGH! I had given him 3 warnings about time, but he just kept shooting. The model was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s brother so I felt like a jerk, but whatever… the rules are the rules and I had somewhere to be.

Thinking back, the above situation arose because I broke my 4-hour minimum rule (this was a direct booking, not through Peerspace). The photographer said he only had 2 hours with the model and booked for 3. Either he was lying or things changed and he had more time.

So anyway… upping the minimum may reduce the number of bookings, but it ups the quality of the ones you get. That can be worth the dip in revenue.

You get what you charge for.

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I’ve gotten so many bad experiences recently that I stopped posting about them here, my very last booking, I had sent her photos of our Christmas tree before her booking, told her that decor could be removed if need be, etc.

She was here for four hours and at the end of the booking she talked about how great the photos turned out…

…next day, she filed a missed expectation report, claiming that she couldn’t get all of her shots. She was a longtime guest, but a bad one (for other reasons I won’t get into).

Another guest didn’t approve of my decor (after ignoring me for hours after I sent her the updated photos) and demanded I put everything back the way it was (which wasn’t possible due to my son having an accident with the original pillows). So rather than misrepresent my space and get a missed expectations complaint, I cancelled her little two hour booking and then she decided to show up anyways and try to confront me.

I ended up getting power host stripped, instant booking stripped and Peerspace was going to charge me for the Lyft ride she paid for (after I cancelled) to come to my house and,I dunno, fight me? I had to threaten a lawsuit for $23 to avoid paying it.

In general, my Peerspace guests have gotten so bad that I can’t use the platform anymore.

I know a lot of photographers that would like to book for a couple of hours and are really cool dudes, but I can’t even send them the Peerspace link anymore because I had to raise my rates and set my minimum to six hours (or it may have been four).

The horror stories I’ve shared are only the very tip of the iceberg of what we’ve had to deal with lately.

…none of it makes sense. Our space is impeccably clean, good to shoot in, we are extremely polite, professional and I give people lots of freedom and space.

Nothing makes sense anymore and I’ve begun just booking the space independently (for people who contact me through Facebook, etc - that’s worth specifying) so I’m not beholden to policies that aren’t consistently enforced and cheesy star reviews and revenge tactics when I set boundaries. When I book independently, I can say to a guest “if you stand on my furniture, Imma bounce you out of my home fast” and they know I mean it, instead of meekly stating “golly gosh gee, pretty please don’t stand on My furniture”

That’s nuts! So sorry to hear that.

I gave up on the Power Host thing about a year ago when I lost mine because I got sick and couldn’t respond to inquiries quick enough for a couple of weeks. Recently, I had it down to a 1 hour response time, but then missed ONE message for 24 hours over the Thanksgiving holiday and now I’m back up to a 4 hour response time. :man_shrugging:t2:

I also think I get a strike against me because I only accept a small percentage of inquiries. This is not because i’m overly selective. It’s because people contact me all the time for bookings that go against the rules as stated on my listings. Again… :man_shrugging:t2:

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