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Request overload!

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WS Üyesi WS Üyesi kullanıcısının resmi
Request overload!

Hey WS!

I wanted to reach out to experienced hosts that may have some advice on how I can better advertise/ and manage my hosting load. I am from Santa Barbara were the weather is pretty ideal year around so there is no real "cycle season" My better half and myself have been hosting for almost 2 years now and have enjoyed the experience. That said we have begun to wear tired of having to deny requests due to what we feel is an excessive amount of hosting. To put it in perspective If I were to honor every request we would likely only have one night a week alone with each other.

I am on the edge of making myself unavailable because looking at my local members activity I am the only person actually hosting at the moment for at least 30 miles north or south. I have the most enticing profile and am also the only person with above 50% response rate. I dont want to miss out on the opportunity to meet people and help other cyclist but I also think that it sucks to get someones hopes up and then have to reply with a no.

Any advice on how I can keep myself available and also keep my sanity.

I have dabbled with the idea of limiting my availability to certain days of the week but I feel like that is pretty rigid and may arbitrarily make myself unavailable to desirable guests.

Another thought was to post my schedule in my profile which will require some managing and also will be more information that I would like to provide about my life on the inter webs...

Thanks for any pointers,

Paul

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How many requests are you

How many requests are you receiving?

Regardless, why stress? Your being available to host on WS is no guarantee of hospitality to anybody, don't feel guilty about saying no. Host when you want to, whether that be once a week or once a month. For the other requests, a prompt and polite message letting the member know that you won't be available is all that is required of you.

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It sounds to me that you're

It sounds to me that you're simply a "victim" of being in a desirable area. We regularly decline hosting requests if we need time to ourselves or just don't feel like it. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. Your personal life trumps any sense of obligation towards the community. What's the point of sacrificing your own needs? Those come before anything else.

Maybe you could add a little blurb to your profile indicating that you're in a popular area and receive a lot of requests, and therefore can only accommodate a limited number of cyclists ...nothing personal.

I think you're otherwise doing everything just fine by declining requests as needed.

...Michelle

WS Üyesi @wsadmin@ kullanıcısının resmi
Keep yourself sane!

I just recommend keeping yourself sane and happy. Turn it off (become unavailable) for a month or a week at a time. Too often gracious, giving hosts in desirable locations get burned out, and that's bad for everybody. You have no obligation to host all the time.

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Balance

Hi Paul,

We're in a similar situation located on the fringe of Downtown San Diego. Here are my 2 recommendations for how we have dealt with the situation:

1. Balance is key. It's better to come up with a few days a week that you are willing to host, than to turn it off completely. You could write in your profile that you only host on Tues, Wed, Thurs, or whatever.

2. There are a couple of really good bike shops in Santa Barbara. Post a flier at one or more of the bike shops, "seeking hosts for traveling cyclists", and your number. You can recruit a few bike friendly folks in your area, do a quick basic training of how it works, and suddenly there will be more host options for cyclists. Or, volunteer to give a presentation, sort of an event, at one of the bike shops where you can reach a larger audience all at once. This could be huge, and could instantly alleviate your problem while at the same time creating more opportunity for traveling cyclists. Potential hosts should know that even just a spot in the back yard for a tent and access to a bathroom can be huge.

Judd

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Thanks! Great advice :)

Hi Judd,

Thank you very much for the perspective and advice. I am going to run by REI and our LBSs and spread the word. I Think setting days will be a great step in the right direction and I will prob put something in there about it does not hurt to ask but we prefer specific days.

Right now I am in a townhouse so we can only really host inside... Would be kinda lame to put them on my back porch lol.

Have a good one and thanks for taking the time!

Best,

Paul

WS Üyesi WS Üyesi kullanıcısının resmi
Thanks to all!

To All who helped,

Thank your to everyone who gave feedback. It is really awesome to get the extra perspective. I am going to take it all in and come up with a solution that keeps me available but also sane! Great to be part of such a cool community!

Best,

Paul Nugent

Unregistered anon_user kullanıcısının resmi
Personal limitations and standards

Like Randy Fay stated before: you have no obligation to host.
As I've written before in other parts of our forum I added some personal rules to my WSL-account years ago.
My rules are developed throughout the time of WSL-membership and they serve my personal need to really enjoy the presence of cyclists who sleep, eat and drink at my place. To "enjoy" WSL-company is a must for me. I am not just a free hotel/restaurant for travellers. When I added these conditions the number of requests dropped at least 50% and cyclists who do not fit in my standards, my traditional Dutch meals and drinks don't come. The result is that I only get those people who are open to experience my local food, habits and know my limited time scedule ahead.

WS Üyesi WS Üyesi kullanıcısının resmi
I would definitely go

I would definitely go "unavailable". For instance, we have two spare bedrooms but during this past summer, both our kids were home from college so I became "unavailable". Sure I missed out on some hosting but family (and sanity) does come first. Only host when you WANT to host otherwise it will rapidly feel like you are being taking advantage of or possibly an unwanted obligation.

WS Üyesi WS Üyesi kullanıcısının resmi
I definitely understand where

I definitely understand where you're coming from, Paul. It got very busy here in Amsterdam this summer, and perhaps like you I have trouble saying No. So this month I put myself as unavailable because I need some time to concentrate on work and studies.

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Request Overload

After 11+ years of hosting, last year running an election, and being in a popular area (Las Vegas, 5 miles from Strip), I have put myself unavailable for the first time this year. I was physically and emotionally spent. I HATE saying no. In the past, I would tell people some of the circumstances and ask them to see if they could find another host, but if they couldn't I would be available. This year, I just couldn't even do that. I just went available again, but if I need a break, I will go unavailable for a while. I just feel too bad saying no, and I hate missing out on meeting people. There have been other good suggestions here; I think it just depends on your own personality and circumstances. I will always accept people that I have already hosted though because I love to see them again.

Unregistered anon_user kullanıcısının resmi
feeling bad...

This sentence in your comment "I just feel too bad saying no, and I hate missing out on meeting people" is your pitfall.
You cannot solve all the problems in our world. If cyclists ONLY depend on WSL-addresses, they put themselves in a very poor and vulnerable position. Stupid to travel without too little own money. If you make trips, you basically have to take care of your own survival.
Looking at the number of requests at your account (44 requests LAST YEAR !), you must very popular. However, the WSL-map shows 12 other addresses more. Some even without any requests.(!)
I assume you are just the victim of your own goodness.
Although in my neighborhood (The Netherlands, close to the sea) are enough campgrounds and several hotels near by, I added a map with directions where cyclists can stay overnight. A covered lookout point on top of dunes, dry(!), for free (but not allowed), cool and romantic sunset over the sea.
Because of all these facilities in my vicinity, people have enough choice. I never feel bad.
You just have to learn to say "no" in this world. If you don't, YOU will not survive in this world.

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Requests Overload...

Paul, I edited my profile to say 'one night only'.

We felt that a few bikers stayed a bit long (3 or 4 nights) but they were all very nice, trustworthy and respectful.

Maybe you could alternate weeks with your hosting availability..??

Recruiting other hosts nearby is a great idea.

Bob..

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Paul

Thanks I also feeling over worked some times. I read all above and don't feel so bad saying no now. I toured and didn't use warm showers but once. So it is easy now to help at my level of comfort.I like to help but to a point.