Site Visits with Guests


#1

Been seeing a lot of questions around site visits with guests. We do allow hosts and guests to schedule site visits before booking a space, but currently this cannot be done through the product (although it may be available at some point in the near future).

For our more experienced hosts - what is your process for scheduling & coordinating a site visit?

And newer hosts - what other questions do you have about site visits in general?


#2

We always tell inquiries that they are welcome to visit the space. When they request a visit, we ask for full name, cell # and email address, then enter them into Full Slate, a scheduling program we use for our own photo sessions, but also for site visits and rentals. During the week I am usually there working anyway, and I live a half mile from the studio so it’s easy to meet someone there on off hours. Visits don’t generally take too long, and it is a chance to start a connection that makes them feel good about booking the space.

People generally feel the space is bigger in person, so I have to figure out how to capture that more clearly.


#3

We use Calendly for scheduling appointments like tours in our space - it works well because we set times that are available for us and they book one that works for them. No endless back and forth on scheduling a time.


#4

We encourage people to visit before they book–sometimes what looks like it will work for them on the site proves not to work in person, and I’d rather the client be happy elsewhere than uphappy here. As we’re open Tuesday - Saturday from 10-4 (and at the museum for an hour before and after that) it’s usually not difficult to schedule (although since I live in San Francisco I have occasionally come in to show someone around on a Sunday or Monday).

As Brad notes, it’s also a chance to form a connection with the potential renter, which is helpful across a number of dimensions.


#5

We also encourage site visits with potential Guests. We point out all the amenities and subtle features, equipment, time-saving solutions, and ‘Add-Ons’ services. This helps to eliminate surprises and provides Guests with a better event experience.

Usually, if the client is visiting our venue for the first time on the day of the event, they are rushed, late or distracted. Having a proper introduction and relaxed conversation days or weeks before the event provides time for both sides to discuss details, review the planned activities and convey expectations.

We offer the Guest a number of 30-mins. times slots to choose from and try to schedule tours ganged together when possible. This conveys upfront that we are only providing 30-mins. for their tour and that we have other business activities and tours happening before or after. If someone flakes on a scheduled tour, this is always a good indicator of how their booking might go. We have no problem turning down rental requests when it just doesn’t feel right.

Guests who tour our venue are more likely to book.


#6

EXCELLENT IDEA.
I dig what everyone is saying about making a connection, etc, but it’s just not always feasible. Our main issue is that we have a lot of other things going on and if I can send them a link to book a time, that would be spectacular.

I’m in the process of integrating calendly this week actually, so your timing is fantastic!


#7

We love doing site visits and highly encourage them. Great notes by everyone about it creating a sense on connection, comfortness, fimiliarity with the space, location, and so on.

We’ve had potential guests in the past cancel site visits last minute and we will reschedule with them. We like to encourage guests to read the listing so they have all the info they need when they arrive such as directions, code access, contact info, parking, etc; however, this is not possible for site visits as this information is only present after a booking.

Any suggestions?


#8

Are you allowed to link out to Calendly from the peerspace platform?


#9

Yes - we have linked to calendly in the platform with no issues.


leigh hardy

312.884.1561

www.indigoandvioletstudio.com

1411 w. irving park rd. chicago, il 60613

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#10

Hello,

I am new to Peerspace but not new to hosting events at my venue. I’ve been hosting events for about 7 years. I have awesome 5 star reviews on Yelp and my party hosts continue to tell me years later how memorable their event was. I have had many inquiries on Peerspace but can’t seem to get my first booking after being on here for 3 months. I seem to be getting a lot of first time renters to the platform…I’m assuming because they ask if they can pay after the event or how do they pay or how much. I don’t understand the confusion on the booking. I have approved bookings and the hosts let it expire with out any additional communication other than their original request. I take the time to respond to all of the questions and assuring them I can accommodate their requests. I have had requests to visit my venue before booking and I am always welcoming of this. I have had no shows. I am in a shopping center in a college area of town so I don’t think it’s a matter of renters driving by and leaving.

I think it would be a great benefit to Peerspace to add a Book a site visit at $25. When the renter visits the site they can open the peer space app and continue the booking…the $25 is applied to the booking fee. If they don’t want to book, I know my time will be more than worth the $25. They will have a nice welcoming experience with me and consult on their event that they can take with them. I am sure most Hosts on this site can relate to the value they bring to any renter who is trying to DIY and event. If this is a pro event planner who wants to visit, I still think it’s worth paying for the visit.


#11

That is an amazing idea!
Our photos are spectacular and I have even created and added a floor plan to my image stack (which has the full complement of 100 images) yet I just recently cancelled a booking that insisted on two unpaid site visits (on the second visit she refused to leave) and begun getting argumentative when I wouldn’t agree to a third site visit that would have been multiple hours so that she could ‘figure out where she was putting the decor’.

Keep in mind, this was for just a little four hour rental.

If renters were paying for a site visit, most of these issues would be resolved. If as host’s photos are good, then that should be enough to generate a booking.

I even think it would be fair to have the first site visit of 15 minutes be free, but then charge for each successive site visit. After all, I have never asked to tour a hotel or a photography studio before booking a short term rental!


#12

Thank you Deacon for sharing your experience. Airbnb guests don’t get free unlimited site visits. They book based on pictures and reviews. I think adding a way for renters to pay to book a site visit idea is good for Peerspace and us. The renters have options. one book a site visit, two book site unseen or three a combination such as book the minimum to try the space out before committing to an all day or very special event. It would allow Peerspace to have a record of the visit and there could be a button for the host and the renter to indicate if the visit does not result in booking, and why.


#13

THIS IS A DOUBLE POST- thinking maybe someone here has ideas.

Has anyone had the experience of a guest who has already booked, insisting on coming in for a 2nd visit for pre- production planning? If so, are you charging for your time? It’s a 40 min trip there and back plus time onsite for me and I let them know I’m very booked the week they are requesting. I gave them 45-60 mins on first visit! He took a ton of pics. It’s only 1200 sq ft, yet they keep insisting. They are also requesting additional time on the front end of the shoot (making the shoot quite early& long), if I can’t accommodate any other time. Any thoughts are appreciated.


#14

I have had that exact situation occur. This person did not want to leave either and felt entitled to hold up our day while looking around, brainstorming ideas. They then wanted to schedule a THIRD free site visit and spend multiple hours to “figure out the decor” they wanted to do for a pop up shop.

When I told her that she was welcome to book some time for that, she got a bit of an attitude and I cancelled their booking on the spot.

Ultimately, your sanity and happiness as a host is paramount and if a renter starts getting entitled with your space, you are better off dropping them then bending over backwards to accommodate someone who may not have the same level of respect for you that you have for them.


#15

I agree with sanity…lol
How did you cancel @Deacon_T without paying a penalty? or was it booked separately from this platform? Did you implement a per hour price to accommodate?


#16

I may have been charged a penalty then! I definitely had lost my power host status over it. But it was worth it.

Story time (and I have some great stories!) I had a rental on New Year’s Eve through a different platform. The renter had claimed that he was renting the space for a private viewing of a movie that he had worked on.

Since we have a 100" movie screen and a 65" HDTV, this is kinda normal, so we were happy to have them.

But in the weeks leading up to the rental, I knew something was off: he wasn’t asking any questions about the projector or the TV (I had expected questions about hdmi inputs, sound, and especially seating).

Having been in business for 20 years, I get really good hunches, but I ignored my hunch because I was afraid of getting on the platform’s bad side (all of the platforms have potential penalties for cancelling a rental).

On the day of the rental, they brought in big speakers and lots of liquor and about 30 people (they had booked claiming 1-15 crew members) and had a big RATCHET house party.

Now, I grew up in the hood, so I am very familiar with these parties, but we are in a condo in a nice part of town and the sound travels, so this is a huge no-no for our building.

I should have immediately thrown them out when I saw that they lied about their intended use of our space, but once they were in our building, I started worrying about “good reviews”. This was mistake #2.

We asked them to turn their music down once and they did and then turned it right back up even louder. Then, I had my assistant ask them a second time, because I was fairly angry at this point and I was still worried about “reviews”. They completely ignored her and even laughed at her.

That was enough to make me come back out and I was fairly loud and direct about it (keep in mind that after so many years in business, I am extremely unafraid of people and I cannot be intimidated).

That got the music down for a little while, but around 11:30, it got louder than ever and we were getting warnings and complaints.

So I used our Alexa smarthome to turn off the lights and I came out with the intent of kicking everyone out. The place was a mess and everyone was hammered.

They had attempted to get aggressive with me (reminder: I cannot be intimidated by anyone) and the guy was in my face calling me a racist (this is unusually ridiculous, because we are both African American) and everyone is cussing me out at the top of their lungs.

The guy looks at me and says “get back in your little room and shut the f*** up”. That is legally kidnapping, so I said “Alexa, arm Ring in away mode” and told them that they had 60 seconds to leave.

I added the command “Alexa, trigger brother Epsilon” which instantly arms the motion detectors in my SECOND alarm system via IFTTT and sounds a SECOND siren and calls the police a SECOND time.

Within a minute, the police called our home and I informed them that we were being kidnapped.

I had almost 3 dozen drunk strangers partying up my home. I don’t know these people, I don’t know if any of them are armed. I could not very well turn my back on them and fumble for a keypad. I was literally saved by my smarthome.

When they later on attempted to play the victim and denied everything, I pulled the footage from the security cameras and sent it in to them and told the renter that he either owns up to it, or I was giving that footage to LAPD.

In another situation through Peerspace, a renter demanded that we leave our own home during their rental, which is extremely shady. They kept telling me that they were “under the impression” that I wasn’t going to be present, etc etc. It was intended to be a 'workshop/ , but it was so shady that it was likely that they were going to have a house party, or try something illegal in the space.

When I refused to leave my own home, they left and abandoned their TWO DAY rental and then left me a bad review.

Again, I pulled the security footage, sent it in to Peerspace and not only did they remove their bad review, but I still got paid for the rental.

More recently, on another platform I had two filmmakers who I was sketchy about because they were very disrespectful and persistent (I did not initially want to book them).

During day one of their rental, they damaged several items in our space (a brand new $800 table from World Market, a $230 folding screen, one of the steps in our home, an end table, a guy was literally walking on top of our kitchen island and counter top, put dirty grip equipment on two brand new linen couches, etc - real rookie stuff). They too attempted to deny culpability (and this time, this other platform did not handle the situation as well as they should have), but because I had that security footage, I filed a claim with my insurance company, who then went after the filmmakers and their insurance company, who had been dragging their heels.

Tomorrow our insurance company is paying out over $2000 in damages to us, because we had that footage and because we kept good documentation.

Just today I had to cancel a rental through another different platform. They were booking for a ‘photoshoot’ but suddenly demanded to move their ‘photoshoot’ to 2am and were talking about bringing liquor.

Moral of the story is this: none of the platforms want you cancelling renters willy nilly, but all of them understand that situations may arise AFTER a booking has been made and if you communicate with the platform, they will probably understand.

If they don’t, they the second moral of the story is that your safety and the sanctity of your home or business come first. Don’t break your back over response times, or cancellation policies, or live your life worrying about bad reviews. All of that leads to burn out.

In my day business as a commercial photographer, when I have a client who is trying to manipulate or control by threatening me with a negative review, I tell them to go right ahead, because my quality of service will speak for itself. I cancel contracts or refuse clients whenever I feel that a situation is likely to turn sour. It’s better to turn them away sooner than to regret it later.

To date, I have no negative reviews and I am much happier and see rentals as a long term, fun and exciting secondary income!