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Author Topic: AirBnB in FSU nations  (Read 486 times)

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Online msmob

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AirBnB in FSU nations
« on: October 11, 2018, 02:07:07 AM »
As JayH raised AirBnB in a Mendy thread and rather than allow it to be polluted, I would like to discuss being both a host and traveller with them in the FSU

We had two places in Sochi that we rented out ...  We've stopped it - having sold one place and the other is on the market

Our experience was that some Russians and Ukrainians don't understand how to behave when a guest and spoilt our opinion overall as most were wonderful guests.

Bad examples: booked late, wanted to pay cash and circumvent AirBnB - these were normally the guests who left the place in a mess and were the most 'demanding' and unreasonable

We had one lady booked for a month - seemed great and we contacted her three times throughout the month - as she argued with neighbours - but said. 'all good' when we checked   

She sneaked out - early on her final day and on inspection - after we noticed the place looked like a bomb had hit it - dirty, greasy - we found many valuables we missing ... So we contacted her ....  She went ballistic at the thought we had questioned her honesty ... she had put all our valuables in a compartment under our bed - forgetting to either put them back - or leave a note explaining where they had been put ...

Mattresses ruined by folks removing the protection leaving blood and other stains ...

Guests smoking - even though it CLEARLY states no smoking


Guests turning up at 2am - for a 2pm ( 1400) start of rental and we put them up in temp accommodation and they complain of a smell - when we could have just slept in the airport / railway stn ... non FSU ( S.American ) in this case ..

Our conclusion: We'd only do it again, if we lived on premises - esp in the FSU

NEVER experienced ( non transparent )  last minute price hiking on journeys across Europe to the FSU - but noticed that prices ARE more - if AirBnB 'smart pricing' is in play ..it's not necessarily the host

Booking.com ?  In the FSU I would run a MILE from being a host with them as they do not enforce 'no show' penalties and we had 'guest' who booked 8 places in Sochi then left 7 empty - the only 'alternative' Booking.com offer was THEY handle the bookings - they take 15 percent and payout at the end of the following month - NO THANKS ..Airbnb paid out at 1400 the day following







 











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Online rwd123

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Re: AirBnB in FSU nations
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2018, 05:44:03 AM »
As a guest -

Have used AirBnB in Russia and Belarus. I did consider avito but a lot of (i.e., all) hosts/owners wouldn't provide registration. All the places were fine, I think I normally picked super hosts.

In Ukraine I use a local rental company. A little more clunky but I think cheaper than AirBnB. The annoying thing with them is that you need to provide 500UAH deposit for the key, which means having to organise an exact time for checkout. I much prefer when hosts are happy for the key to be left in the mailbox.

Thanks for the info on your rental experiences. I was thinking of buying a flat and renting it out while I'm not in country, but sounds like it's not a good idea.

Online msmob

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Re: AirBnB in FSU nations
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2018, 05:50:39 AM »
As a guest -

Have used AirBnB in Russia and Belarus. I did consider avito but a lot of (i.e., all) hosts/owners wouldn't provide registration. All the places were fine, I think I normally picked super hosts.

In Ukraine I use a local rental company. A little more clunky but I think cheaper than AirBnB. The annoying thing with them is that you need to provide 500UAH deposit for the key, which means having to organise an exact time for checkout. I much prefer when hosts are happy for the key to be left in the mailbox.

Thanks for the info on your rental experiences. I was thinking of buying a flat and renting it out while I'm not in country, but sounds like it's not a good idea.

We were superhosts ... ;)

If you asked SC - she would agree - don't do it - unless you are around

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Re: AirBnB in FSU nations
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2018, 07:05:04 AM »
My experience with airbnb in Europe and Asia was good. My host always was very polite, responsible and friendly, got some tips for discovering the city...But I tried it in Russia twice and it was... awful.. In Moscow it was old dirty flat ( different from the pictures on the site) costs like hotel room by the way. In Novosibirsk it was not decent. I booked the flat. But when I came owner said me that that appartment is  unavailable and I should find other place . But it's only my subjective experience )

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: AirBnB in FSU nations
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2018, 08:47:02 AM »
Except for attempting to book for this coming holidays in Lviv, our experience has been generally very good. Airbnb rules do not allow a host to change the price after booking has been made. I made 5 bookings, one at a time, and and each host contacted us to say that by mistake they had already rented it to someone else. One host claimed that her relatives needed it and she had promised it to them previously.


4 of the 5 contacted us a day or so later with the news that their unit had suddenly become available and we could have it for the holidays....at a much higher price. One gal raised her rate from $160 to $1400. Did she think that I was stupid?


With each host, I reminded them that such was against the rules. Only one apologized and offered it at the original rate. By that time my wife was so furious at the process that we changed our plans.


Other than the Lviv hosts, and one isolated experience in 2015, we have enjoyed Airbnb and have excellent ratings with them because we take good care of the places. In some cases we have returned later to the same host because we appreciated their good service.


My latest Airbnb was in Batumi, Georgia and it was wonderful, as usual. We have had good experiences all over Europe and Asia with very few exceptions.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 08:48:52 AM by mendeleyev »
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Offline Trenchcoat

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Re: AirBnB in FSU nations
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2018, 10:10:01 AM »
As you no doubt know Mobers the FSU people still largely use cash. When I booked through Bookings.com for the Apartment in Lviv they only accepted cash payment. This was kind of a pain as I prefer not to carry much cash for security reasons so it meant getting it out at a slightly higher rate out of the cash machines when there. Even still Bookings.com took credit card details to secure the booking. I've found that price can vary a lot between countries & locations between Ebookers & Booking.com, sometimes one is cheaper other times the other.

I've never tried Airbnb, I generally have found that even the more tourist/large scale operators you tend to get on Ebookers or Bookings.com can be a real pain with Apartments that I wouldn't wish to increase the difficulty level by using Airbnb. Of course it would depend who you deal with so luck of the draw but I've found even the large scale apartment operators tend not to be that great for the foreign tourist to deal with, difficult even. I would tend towards hotels these days unless in areas where it is prohibitive. The only Apartment I've been in that ended up as a smooth enough process was in Moscow but that had a 24hr manned reception with all rooms being in the same building/floor so it was more nearer a hotel really.

With valuables I wouldn't hire out an apartment with anything vraluable, its just asking for trouble, perhaps the lady did not wish to damage anything. I'm guessing she just forgot to put the stuff back/forgot about it.

Thing is Mobers when you rent out to people you're likely to get all sorts of odd bods. If it were me I would go into it expecting this and look to account for this in how the apartment is set up.

Even still there's going to be ones that defy belief and unfortunately this has to be taken as a likely eventuality. Something to account for happening and not focus on it too much. After all how much money have you not taken in by not renting out the apartments? Perhaps with your level of wealth it's not important but of it was then these sorts of goings on are the sort of thing to have to put up with. I think in general you tend to have difficulty in dealing with people who don't see things the same way as you do. That said some people are just brought up badly/have a very uncouth/poor attitude. I find that some people don't have much bearing sometimes that their behaviour is out of sync with what generally regarded as acceptable. In fact they seem to have no idea that acceptable behaviour even exists. I find that fat women in particular can be quite selfish and oblivious to basic standards in how to act.

I think part of the problem with Airbnb and Apartment rental in general is few hold the experience & professionalism to really run it well. It's all because it's generally 'amateur hour', a kind of mini have a go at being a bit like hotelier for a bit. Few have the sort of experience, training or professionalism of a good hotel. Some are oblivious to the sort of trouble a foreigner can encounter coming from another country and can be difficult to deal with. Another apartment I booked recently in Eastern Europe told me on arrival that the apartment I had booked was no longer available as both the bed & shower had been broken. She then said to me 'does it matter if the apartment is not central' lol! Now fortunately she found me another reasonably central apartment that was nice due to a last minute cancellation but had it not but had it not been I would not have wished to be sent out to some doss hole concrete block sink estate which was what I was starting to envisage. It's why I've comd around to Nightwish's thinking in that Apartment's are not always a great idea. I've now been in some very nice apartments in the FSU once I have got to them and in certain circumstances they can be a goid choice but in general they wouldn't be my number one choice if a decent hotel at the right price alternative existed.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 11:21:36 AM by Trenchcoat »

Online Maxx2

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Re: AirBnB in FSU nations
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2018, 10:27:27 AM »
This is what my Airbnb hosts said about me. The last two are from the same person.





Such a nice guest. I can only say very positive thing about him. He is very communicable, educated, intelligent, kind and polite person. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to any host. It's always pleasure to communicate with him and to host him.

He has been such a great guest, I totally recommend him to every another hosts.

Maxx is a friendly, sociable, honest and clean guest. We are looking forward to meeting him in our apartments. Sincerely Viktoria

Maxx was at our home during 16 days. they left home clean and tidy. thank you for this. I wish everyone guests like them

Very good clean punctual guests I recommend everyone Come and visit us again.


Maxx, a great guest, very sociable and cheerful person. We were very happy to meet him. We recommend to everyone, and again we wait that he will visit

Maxx, thank you for your visit!

I didn't meet Maxx but we messaged several times and the communication was good. He was really easygoing and helpful person, left the place clean and tidy. I liked Maxx very much and would happily recommend him to everyone as guest!

Maxx is very good guest, easygoing and communicative. He's treated the place like their own, and left my apartment clean and tidy. I would be happy to have Maxx back any time to host again. Thank you for your stay! Highly recommend!!!

Maxx is a fantastic guest! He stayed in our place for over 2 months and he became like a family. He is exceptionally polite and honest about everything. He is a great storyteller and can converse on multiple topics. It was a true pleasure hosting him. He took a great care of our apartment and was always available. I highly recommend him to every host. We are delighted to host him again.

I had a pleasure of hosting Maxx again in my flat for a month. Maxx is an incredible guest, he is a very educated man with many stories and facts that will blow your mind! It's truly incredible when a guest of yours becomes your friend. Maxx is a quiet guest, he leads a healthy lifestyle and cares about hosts as much as hosts care about their guests. This is truly a rare quality. I highly recommend Maxx to all other hosts. February 2018


So I am a saint in the Airbnb world
« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 10:30:48 AM by Maxx2 »

Online jone

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Re: AirBnB in FSU nations
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2018, 11:37:14 AM »
Archangel Max, Saint of the Western World!  Thanks for keeping up a good image for us ugly Americans.
Experience keeps a dear school but fools will learn at no other - Benjamin Franklin

Online Maxx2

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Re: AirBnB in FSU nations
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2018, 12:20:16 PM »
Archangel Max, Saint of the Western World!  Thanks for keeping up a good image for us ugly Americans.


You are very welcome kind Sir.  :welcome:  May you live a thousand years.    :clapping:

Online rwd123

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Re: AirBnB in FSU nations
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2018, 03:38:14 PM »
As you no doubt know Mobers the FSU people still largely use cash.
Not accommodation but -

A few times in Russia I got an uber car and the driver either cancelled the trip before we started or as we were leaving. Happened to/from the airport in Siberia and transit between DME/SVO.

One of the drivers told me that (from memory) uber take a 13-15% commission for credit card payments and 21-22% for cash payments. So they prefer to cancel the trip and have me pay cash based on the rate provided by uber. So with a cancelled trip they pocket an extra ~20%.

Online msmob

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Re: AirBnB in FSU nations
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2018, 03:29:34 AM »
As you no doubt know Mobers the FSU people still largely use cash.

and as you clearly don't know.. 

I've never tried Airbnb...


 AirBnb arrange payments from guest via bank cards - in Russia  - NOT cash

Here's yet another  thread you felt  the need to join in but haven't any experience of  :cluebat:


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Re: AirBnB in FSU nations
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2018, 08:56:34 AM »

I've never tried Airbnb, I generally have found that even the more tourist/large scale operators you tend to get on Ebookers or Bookings.com can be a real pain with Apartments that I wouldn't wish to increase the difficulty level by using Airbnb.


Airbnb is much easier and straight forward compared to Booking.com for apartments.   Per their policy all payments and handled by them - you pay Airbnb, and Airbnb pays the apt owner.  Fees are what is listed and do not change, and they have a good customer support staff (at least, for the guest side - I don't know how good they are for hosts)

With Booking.com, per what Msmob has mentioned about the extra fees if using their payment service, most, if not all, owners require you to deal with them directly.  I have used Booking.com to rent an apt twice - both times I had to send a deposit to the owner.  Once via Western Union and once via Paypal.  And then they required cash payment on check-in for the remainder.

Airbnb's review system has more impact.  Hosts are motivated to get 5 star ratings to get better visibility on the site (superhost), and guests are motivated to get good renter ratings to access more options when searching for rentals. 

This generally results in hosts providing a great experience, and guests displaying good behavior.   There are outliers.

Booking.com's review system is more casual.  Guests have no ratings, and have no motivation to provide one since they are not getting reciprocal reviews.


 

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