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Our couchsurf hosting (mis)adventures thus far 
22nd-Mar-2011 11:01 pm
Since joining Couchsurfing.org in October 2010:

  • Our profile has been viewed 321 times
  • We have received 38 couch requests and 49 unique messages.
  • We accepted 8 couchrequests and 1 maybe.
  • One cancelled in advance and one didn't show up at all.
  • We declined 32 couch requests, mostly on the grounds of not reading our profiles.
    Only about 5 declines were due to calendar clashes with already accepted requests or our own travel plans.

That's about a 20% success rate for couchsurfers requesting to stay with us.

I am surprised by how low that percentage is, since we really look forward to reading every request that comes through. So unfortunately when it's brief and there are no indications they've read our profile (calling us 'guys', 'maaaates' or 'couple' is a huge no-no for us), it's really disappointing. Wouldn't you read through a host's profile thoroughly before sending a request to ensure they're not madman/psychos/sexual predators/insert-any-type-of-psycho-movie-thriller-antagonist-here?

Funnily enough - and it's just an observation - 4 out of the 5 requests we receive are from Germans. German isn't listed as a language we know anything about, and yet we haven't hosted a single German.

But the SO and I have agreed that unless the request checks our boxes, rejections are sent within 12 hours of receiving it. Afterall this is our home and we want to ensure anyone entering is respectful of the sanctuary we are creating. It is definitely a fine balance between meeting new (possibly strange) people and ensuring our safety/comfort.

If you were to welcome strangers to your home, what precautions would you take?

And if you wouldn't admit strangers, how well would you have to know the person before you'd allow them to spend a night on your couch?
23rd-Mar-2011 12:22 am (UTC)
Ouch. Too bad I'm poor or i'd help increase your success rate.
28th-Mar-2011 11:38 am (UTC)
Heh, I think we're comfortable with the current success rate. Hosting for us isn't about having a conveyor belt of people come through our home. We want to be sure we'll enjoy the couchsurfer(s)' company as much as we hope they'll enjoy ours.
23rd-Mar-2011 01:24 am (UTC)
If you were to welcome strangers to your home, what precautions would you take? - I would endeavour to find out more about them, that's the simplest way I can say it. I want to know they have read my requirements at least: reading would indicate a degree of seriousness that I would expect. I would want them to talk about themselves - so I can read between the lines to know who they are. and I would need a picture of them, or something they like if they are not comfortable with that - a picture paints a thousand words.

but I guess, mostly, I wouldn't admit strangers. I have had the unlucky past of admitting someone I knew fairly well and was a best friend and we ended up being NOT friends. suffice to say, we gave her free lodging and food and she spent most of that time whinging about us not cooking home (busy couple) and having a smelly/dirty home (new kitten and she expected us to lock the kitten up in a cell). so, I guess, not even people I know well would have much chance of staying with me again unless it's absolutely necessary, e.g. they can't find anywhere else to stay.
28th-Mar-2011 11:33 am (UTC)
That sucks and I can see that happening between friends, since one's home is one's sanctuary and we can be very particular about our personal space. There is an expectation that hosts go out of their way (to an extent) for their guests, but likewise there's an expectation that guests should respect their hosts.

Your precautions are totally spot-on.
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