First Booking

We put up our listing in Airbnb as a dry run last Friday evening. Our intention was to get our guests from Singapore to book it retrospectively and give us our first review. Must kelong a bit lah, nabei.... if not how to do things? Everything law by law meh? Anyway, our guests really did stay over for 3 nights and we were happy to get their honest reviews. If it wasn't a 5-star review, so be it. At least we will have something to work on, right? So don't point a finger at me and say kelong ok? If you are so free, point at the court at 1 Supreme Court Lane, Singapore.

Our listing was done in a haphazard manner. The photographs were honestly horrible, so were our listing title and description. However, we had to fill those fields up first to get something up. If we were to be so stringent on every detail in the beginning, it will be difficult to get things moving. At least with a listing up, we can pass it on to the friend to kelong write an honest review for us.

Then the surprise...

Before we could even facilitate our plans, we received two rather urgent inquiries from real random Airbnb users. One was rather slow to respond and the other one actually booked our room for a night within minutes. I remember standing in the kitchen confirming with wife, "Huh? Someone coming? 2 o'clock check in? That's 2 hours from now you know?" 

She said, "Yah."

Oh boy. So we rushed to get things prepared. Till today, I haven't quite make sense of how things work. I will write in detail once I get the actual figures. It was something like a base fee and + a few dollars for each addition person + a cleaning fee. That would be how much it'll cost the guests. Less some administration charges Airbnb takes away, the nett was something like $80+ for that night. That sounds quite decent but it was only because 5 guests would be squeezing in that room. It was a big room and could accommodate even up to 6 adults so it wasn't the problem. It was a test on how I would feel about the whole arrangement. Up to that point, I was slightly apprehensive but I tried to keep my mind open.

The guest only came around 6pm. It was already getting dark out there. I opened the door and greeted them. Technically I didn't really need to do that because we told them how to get the keys so they could enter the house easy. However, their fumbling with the lock and keys annoyed me a little so I decided I would open the door for them. 

It was 5 black guys. I let them in and couldn't help noticing one of them having an extremely strong perfume. It's just me I guess. I am not a fan of such things. The first thing I did was asking them to remove their shoes like an army CSM. It's still my house you know and there are house rules, if not I would have to turn them away.

"Is it safe," wife whispered after seeing the guests.

I nodded and said, "Should be ok."

It felt a little unsafe to me, especially there was not enough time to change my doorknobs to locksets. So none of the rooms in the house, except for the baths and toilets, could be locked. That would be the first priority after the guests leave, of course. However, would anything untold happen to us that night? My gut feel told me we would be just fine. We had made arrangements to sleep in the backroom together. Should anything crops up, I reckoned I could hold the door long enough for everyone to escape via the window by slashing the insect screen open. There is an escape route via the Alfresco and through the garage that the people new to the house wouldn't figure out right away. 

However, could I hold 5 guys at the door long enough? Of course. Because the door to my room faces a narrow corridor where only 1 person can engage me at a time. Obviously I couldn't take on 5 men at once but my odds are decent for a 1 v 1 situation. Sun Tzu Art of War : With regard of NARROW PASSES, if you can occupy them first, let them be strongly garrisoned and await the advent of the enemy. Thus, I position my bed on the floor just in front of the door. The first intruder who opens my door shall get his knees shattered by a straight kick and face landing on my elbow when he falls. Over-thinking, yes. But hey, it wasn't as if I armed myself with my chopper in the room or something okay? 

The guests went out eventually at around 9pm, shortly after their arrival. Later I found out they booked a venue in the city to celebrate one of their birthdays and didn't come back until 5am next morning. They were quiet because I wasn't awaken by their entry. I slept soundly. I had no reason not to. Remember my gut feel told me the guests were good? I decided to trust my inner voice more sometime back and this would be a situation to prove it.

By 9am they woke and got prepared to leave. I called out to one of the guys to offer their breakfast if they wanted it. They didn't take it up. Eventually, we left house before them because the kids had swimming lessons. By the time we came home, the guests had already left. That was the end of our first booking.

The one who booked our room was sufficiently happy with his staying experience and left a favourable review. 

Not sure how many "stars" they gave us in that review. We are still unfamiliar with the app for now. Guess we'll find out later. I was just surprised how quickly things happened, especially there was so many things still work in progress. 

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