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A first for us: No info on potential guests

We tend to get well-seasoned travelers/Airbnb guests in our cottage, so this week’s request from a newbie with no ID verification, no photo and no reviews (she just joined so I get that) raised a red flag. Her message to us in the request was simply “Birds.” Okay…most people who come here are birders. No “Hi, we are birders traveling through your area and have never been to your canyon. Your place seems like the perfect location… etc.” Just “Birds.”

Today, another booking request from another newbie with no info. His message was just “vacation.” Airbnb accepted his account with only a phone number – no government ID, no anything else. Clearly no reviews.

I’ve accept folks with no reviews but they had more info in their profiles. Thanks to someone here on this forum, I was prepared with a statement (which I had copied) asking for more info to assure that we are a good match for these guests. I guess I’m mostly venting because we just don’t normally get this kind of requests. Am I the only one seeing these kind of requests?

Last year almost all my guests were newbies to Airbnb. All turned out well more hand holding was required

I too have had some request to book with no information. I just write back to please upload their ID and picture so that Airbnb may validate their indentity and then I can finalize the booking. They all did comply and were good guests.

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My first Air setup starting 2015, I remember you had to have the ID’s, phone numbers and a photo ID or they wouldn’t let you book anything. Think it’s really irresponsible on their part that they’re not enforcing this and leaving up to hosts especially when they use IB. I didn’t use IB back then and almost everyone wrote why they were coming, it was very reassuring to not be dealing with strangers in the night.

I think some of this issue stems from the the fact predominant form of communication for many is now cell phone text message. A few words or an emoji bouncing back and forth constitute a conversation.



*This single-word response is an attempt at humor
**Not including both comments, of course


I’ve only been on this forum for a little over 2 years and I’ve seen about a half a dozen posts like this one. We can try to rationalize why now and why you, and we may never know for certain, but we can give it a go :upside_down_face: E.g. non-tech-savvy travelers may not be able to arrange travel using methods they’ve used for years so they’re joining Airbnb (an explanation for more clueless newbies being on Airbnb). Travelers may be wanting something more distanced from other travelers (an explanation for why your specific listing is getting more of these requests).

Looks like you’re doing the right thing by asking more questions and politely declining if you don’t get the desired results and I’m sure you’ll do well with the travel recovery.

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A high majority of our (all wonderful except for those who left for the day with the 250$ “new” umbrella raised, it flew up, down onto the gutter an broke) guests have little info or reviews. We do not have IB on, and send them notes and hope for replies. The day before their arrival we start texting. If on the rare occaision there is no communications in both direction, they can’t get here and will have paid in full, so they better be communicative.

We’ve had “vacation” with IB, but one of the last ones was just a booking with no message at all. That’s annoying, and what’s funny is that he has six 5* reviews, including communication. They ended up being good guests and their money pays my bills.

But we usually never meet our guests, so it’s not like they are staying in our home where we are also living.

I think you may well be right on the impact of texting on our communication skills. Still, these two guests are not young folks so I’d think they’d be a bit more communicative.

This is exactly my point. I’ve taken newbies before with no problems. It’s the total lack of info/verification that bothers me. I do not do IB and this problem with people booking without any real info or communication is one reason I don’t do IB. Both guests I mentioned have responded with more info and taken care of their profiles somewhat. I don’t doubt they’ll both be fine guests but I’m rather taken aback by Airbnb’s lack of verification of people who ask to share our homes.

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Feel since I’m new in this area I have to do IB. I’ve only had four bookings so far, only two had one review each even though most had been on Air for years. Three of these guest wrote why they were coming. Don’t know why it reassures me but it does, maybe because it was what I was used to.
Guess if you don’t use IB and are not currently a super host, you will get filed on page 10. I just want to get things going and then maybe turn off the IB.
When I hosted in AZ, seems most of my guests used Air a lot, so I could read their reviews. But, it was a different scene with snowbirds coming to escape winter and many big time birders, a crowd I know and trust. Won’t be the same here although looks like I’ve attracted hikers/foodies, right up my alley.

If they are older, like me, and are responding on a cell phone, they may loath typing on the little device, lol. Auto correct has created some hysterical messages for me. Sometimes I catch them, sometimes I don’t.

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I’ve had many one word messages. If I remember rightly, when booking, guests are asked to add the reason for their trip. So things like ‘vacation’, ‘festival’, ‘fishing’, ‘job’ and so on make sense.

“Why am I making this trip?”

It’s just that we as hosts don’t see the question.

Luckily, I don’t need to know anything about the guests and to be honest, when I’m travelling I don’t see that the host has to know why I’m there.

Of course, it’s helpful if they say that they’re coming for a car show (for example) because then you can put car books in their room or leave customised magazines but that’s just a nicety. I don’t have to have info from guests if they don’t want to give it voluntarily.

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