Response from Lex:
Hi Lisa, I usually don’t respond to reviews, but your review really stood out. Thank you for the kind things that you said about our space! I want to reiterate that it was an absolute pleasure hosting you and your son. You were great guests. I also want to provide a bit of perspective on two of the things that you mentioned.
You stated that our cleaning fee is high because guests return the apartment to the condition they found it in. The problem is that most guests do not return the apartment to the condition that they found it in. In fact, no one really could. We have a cleaning crew that meticulously cleans the space after every guest: deep cleaning the floors, carpets, bathroom, kitchen, restocking all of the toiletries (toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo, conditioner, hand soap and body wash) and makes sure that every person who steps into the space is wowed the way you were. We pay them $100 every time and only ask guests to pay a portion of that. This rate may seem high when compared to other parts of the country, but that is the going rate here in New York. I’ve directed guests and family members to other Airbnbs in the area when our apartment is full, and I can guarantee that other places do not deliver their spaces in the same sparklingly clean state that we do. I know that some people charge a low cleaning fee and then clean the spaces themselves by doing light sweeping and remaking the bed. I go above and beyond, because cleanliness really matters to me. I think every guest deserves a place that has been painstakingly and conscientiously cleaned.
The last thing I want to note is very close to my heart, please forgive me for being impassioned. Most people love our neighborhood because it’s extremely quiet. My mother lives in the country in Connecticut, and she always says that when she spends the night with us her room is quieter here than home. Nonetheless, you’re not the first person to say that there were “iffy” people in our neighborhood (or some variation of this). It’s hard because feeling safe is a subjective thing. I can’t tell you how to feel. We have cameras all around our property and ADT because we want our guests to feel safe, but the reality is that they aren’t necessary because our neighborhood is objectively safe. If my neighborhood had “iffy” people in it or was unsafe, I wouldn’t live here with my young family. On the contrary, my neighborhood is made up of property owners, like myself, who have good jobs, families, and work hard. The fact that you mentioned that no one bothered you is exactly what I would expect. And, if you needed help, those same people you labeled “iffy” would have helped you! It really bothers me when people (it’s not just you, we’ve had a sprinkling of comments about this before) come from other parts of the country, especially when in pursuit of a Brooklyn-experience, and then experience Brooklyn, and respond in fear. Almost everyone on our block owns their own home and we have a lot of elderly and young families. It is an urban community for sure. But, it nothing to be afraid of. And, when someone says that a place had “iffy” people it scares the next person reading the review into an assumption about the neighborhood that isn’t accurate or fair. Before you, we had two young girls from Dallas stay in our place for over a month. They took the train to and from Manhattan alone early in the morning and late at night (either together or alone). Not only did they feel safe, but they were safe. I work hard to be an excellent host, but some things are beyond my control (such as how you feel about the neighborhood). I just want potential future guests to have an accurate understanding of what our neighborhood actually is when they are making their decision. I've long wanted to address this point, and you gave me an opportunity. So, please know that this response is not just for you, but the few others who made similar remarks. Thanks!