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Anyone asks guests' background/visiting purpose before accepting their bookings?

Is there any host who would ask guests about their purpose of visiting/background,etc. before accepting their reservation? No matter one night or one month?

I have been as a host since 2013 and just wonder will (or won’t?) other hosts/superhosts “filter” their guests before letting them check-in?

PS: my husband is a policeman…so might be his occupational Hazard . :stuck_out_tongue:

IME most guests offer a little bit of information prior to booking anyway.

We follow our gut and do probe a little more if we think they may be ‘trouble’.

To be honest though we have hosted such a cross section of guests over the years and quite often the ones that you think might be the most trouble are often the most best guests.


I ask every single time.

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Yeah,so true! I feel the same way!

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Me too! So I’m not alone!:wink:

copenhagenhost - that has been my experience, too - and the opposite - the guests we anticipated being the most enjoyable were not.

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I look for prospective guests who have offline verification, a clear photo, and send a polite message explaining why they are visiting and the composition of their party.

If they have done all that I consider that they are reasonable people who are used to play by the rules, as Airbnb displays a message inviting you to do so when you’re about to send an enquiry. If their message do not follow the rules, I ask them to do so, and most of the time I never hear back from them. Problem solved.

I think that I also indirectly filter guests because my listing is more expensive than comparable listings in my area (size and occupancy) so I guess that people send an enquiry cause they really like my listing, not because I am one of the cheapest options.

I rent a separate unit though, if it was a room in my home I would engage in a conversation to really screen guests.


I put a lot of emphasis on manner, starting with how they express themselves.

What if you had a guest write:

" we are two quiet professionals from Portland who are looking for some sun in March. We would love the chance to rent your studio."

Clear photo, ID verified and description of their business. Even the URL of their business.

Would you think they would then turn out to be the guests from the utter depths of hell itself?

They were.

There is no real way to tell about guests.


Anything else they said kona that would have served as a clue, just curious?

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I always ask a little about them, their trip, how they relate to each other (friends, family?) where they’re travelling from. If they’ve already mentioned some of this, I refer to it and thank them for the useful bit of background.
I also require them to confirm three things - that they’ve read the entire listing thoroughly, that they’re all OK with our house rules, and finally that they are all non-smokers.
I couch all this in a friendly way, let them know that I ask this routinely from all prospective guests, and explain that I need to ask to to be sure they’re a good fit for our place and really love the flat, knowing what to expect, and what’s expected of them. Many engage enthusiastically in this exchange, some simply reply, happily and freely; others I never hear back from, and very few actively avoid answering/resent being asked. The last two groups of people I’m very pleased to lose.
It isn’t foolproof - but so far it mostly helps select/self-select people in - and out!

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I really enjoy the lines you get from the folks who use Instant Book.

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Maybe that’s the bit to be scared of? Adjectives alert you to danger?

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Well after she booked, about a mont later or so she asked for an alteration from 10 days to four. This was supposedly due to business reasons, that she was going to shorten her trip from 10 days to four. Im going to shorten my trip to the Big Island, she wrote. I agreed thinking I’d have plenty of time to rent that space, but I never did. So I lost $1000 in bookings. Later when she arrived she let it slip she’d been at the Marriott on points those ten days. She totally lied and ripped me off!

Probably If she and the friend had not been in party mode, she could have been an ok guest. It was the confluence of circumstances that no doubt lead to her bad choices. Plus the friend that she had with her was a real surly b.

Good points – I do look at all that and the verification system is one of the things I like about Airbnb.

I rent two to three rooms in my own home so it the guest hasn’t said why they are coming, I ask conversationally – something like “Will you be here on business or tourism. We always like to help our guests see our town and make suggestions for hidden gems.” That usually elicits a response … And I love it if they say they are coming to visit family, because if they are a good fit for my house then they might be return guests :slightly_smiling:

– Lia

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OMG … they do sound ideal and not like the guest from hell … How can you tell is a good question :wink:

Now you’ve ruined my day !!! – Lia

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Or this one:
“We’re an adventurous couple from Alberta making our second trip to the Big Island. We love exploring and experiencing new things. We’ll arrive pasty white and hope to return ready to scale volcanoes.”

Well they turned out to be equally hellish. She was up here complaining the first night that the tinkling if small bamboo wind chimes sounded like a jackhammer, and kept her up all night, and by the way can you remove all of the wind chimes during our stay? The wind chimes in question were not even in her area of the rental. Upon leaving, they said everything was good and then proceeded to smack me down with the cruelest tirade you can imagine. In private feedback, but it still has left scars and makes me doubt myself months later. These are the people who want to make you quit doing Airbnb.

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Those are the best, especially when they leave the place nice and clean, and then say they visit their kids often.

kona: I would have fallen for those two hellish guests you described, no doubt. Nothing in their communiques would have raised a red flag with me. Moreover, nothing in their diction or tone would have given me a clue either, something I rely upon greatly.

You know what I have often wondered: after getting mostly over-the-top 50+ reviews (honestly I think they really are over-the-top), I wonder if some people now become hesitant to leave a bad review, because maybe, just maybe they think they would come across ‘strange’ by not writing something similarly positive as others previously have. I do wonder if there is something psychological to a ‘group influence’ to reviews. AirBnB starting their newest ad campaign with my place (the island) this February is of course a gift; or is it a curse, for it may raise expectations beyond what I have delivered thus far. Time will tell, but I hope the guests from hell you have encountered stay in your neck of the woods (err island I mean). :sunglasses:

There is likely something psychological created by the fact that you have to leave a review to see the other person’s review if you don’t want to wait out the 14 days.

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