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Bad experience with newbies

Hey,

I’m thinking how to avoid kind of guests we had today. I receive booking requests mostly from newbies, who have just registered their AirBnB account. I ask them to upload an identity document to AirBnB at least, but today I’ve realized that they have no idea about the AirBnB at all. Today we had a guest who agreed on leaving the apartment around 9 am - we already had a booking for today before so I told him explicitly that it’s a requirement, otherwise we’re not able to accept the booking. The guy agreed and returned the keys after 11 am. He made a booking for 2 people and brought an extra person without asking, not even mentioning about it. They came yesterday late at night, and they couldn’t get to the building, because they haven’t read the email from AirBnB - there was a security code to the gate, my mother needed to open the gate for them. They clearly haven’t read the house rules - it’s a strictly non-smoking apartment, and they obviously smoked inside. The guy stopped answering to my AirBnB messages after he got the keys.

I’m wondering if you have some hints to reduce a chance of having guests like that. Do you accept booking requests from newbies? Do you have any special way of dealing with them to avoid problems?

Yeah that’s a tough position to be in. My friend had similar issues but then he just called in to airbnb support and in the end they gave him $100 dollar credit (to be used for travel).

The best way to avoid such guests are selecting only guests who have multiple good reviews from other hosts.

Is anyone having a problem with sketchy requests? Our last three requests had no photos, no profiles nor verificatios. We even received one this evening that was sent merely from a person who signed the message with only the initial “J”.
A couple of months ago after receiving a request I immediately received an email from a person who told me that his identiy had been compromised and my latest request was not really from him.
What is going on with all of this? This has just happened in the last few months.

Has anyone else had these types of issues? It is getting a little creepy.

I’ve been doing this for a year. Even with a million rules now posted on my listing, I still get people who I have to hound out for check-out time, who ignore all my rules, who wear shoes inside, who do drugs, eat and drink in their rooms, etc etc. My listing is far from the “Welcome! Come enjoy my home!” I started out with. I also just decline everyone sketchy. If your price is low enough you’ll always get more requests.

I had a guest who booked and when he arrived I realized his confirmation had a false name (“The Dark Knight”). I have had frightening strange requests from people with phoney photos and background. I always report them to AirBnB but don’t know if they do anything about it. Ultimately AirBnB’s policy is that it is up to you to screen your own guests.

Most of my inquiries and guests (11/15) are newbies to the site with zero reviews. So far, everyone has been great. I always ask them to tell me about themselves and the purpose of their trip if they don’t include this info in their inquiry. I keep communicating via email until I am comfortable with the info and the tone – if their responses are too brief or elusive I ultimately decline the request.

I tend to accept traveling families, older couples, and people in town visiting family. My decline rate is pretty high but I don’t care – my apt has been booked for 15-22 days of the month and I’m fine with that. The cost of making more money by accepting every request isn’t worth it to me.

Change your settings to only book verified guest.
You might loose some people, but I basted over 70 trips and they were all good. I even had newbies.
If they really want to stay at your place they will figure out the verification process.
Also 9 am is a little early for a guest to check out.
If you have a switch over on the same day, maybe have the other guest that is checking in just drop off their bags? For check in a reasonable time is 3 pm anyway, so you are doing them a solid to bring their bags earlier. For check out a reasonable time is 11 am. That should give you enough time to prepare the room for another guest.
Good luck!

I explain to potential guests that I’m handing them the keys to my home and I need to know that they’re a real person and that if they back up a moving truck and steal all my stuff - I can find them.

Official photo ID on file is the gold standard. Some newbies don’t appreciate the risk hosts assume, they’ve all been happy to comply once I explained it to them. This goes double for older guests. They’ve never considered the potential for fraud and aren’t the best at adding “verifications”

Very wise! If my spidey senses tingle, I just say “no”. The cost of damages or forgone revenues from down time isn’t worth it.

So far, I havent had these issues. But I do have a $300 deposit and that could be applied to cleaning out the smoke…hotels charge $250. And you can keep the extra guest fee out of that amount.
I do think as I get busier, I will insist that incoming guests verify that they have read the house rules…they can cut and paste them and send to me as verification.

It is always a shame when guests like this let themselves down and other ‘newbies’ as we all started there at one point, so it seems unfair that only reviewed guests get selected.

If you are in a situation as above, again I would recommend, taking the time to introduce your ‘newbie’ guests to the accommodation (around 10minutes), give them a small tour and hand them a booklet with the WiFi code and House rules.

Mention the rules that you are most strict about i.e. smoking inside - let them know where they can smoke if the wish to.

This kind of exchange set the tone for the rest of the stay, you will also get to know them on a more personal level and out of this, you will know whether they are going to be trouble or not and so can prepare yourself for any issues down the line. You will never be problem free as such but you can reduce the impact of said problems of new guests.

However, unfortunately, there will always be those who are disrespectful and break the rules but in the grand scheme of things, this is rare.

We’ve accepted quite a few newbies, including those with no profile, no photo, no reviews. As long as their email communications are good and I can cyber-stock them via Google or Facebook or LinkedIn and get comfortable that they’re not axe murderers, so far, so good. I encourage them to complete their profile but don’t require it

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Personally I prefer to host newbies, having said that there are probably a few reasons for this:

  1. We’re fairly lax on the rules. They pretty much amount to don’t kill the cats, don’t eat anything in bed that can stain the sheets, if you’re going to come in after midnight don’t blast the music. As we never have people arrive the same day that others are leaving checkout is totally up to them.
  2. Prior to airbnb we hosted for seven years on couchsurfing (250 to 300 guests) which is totally free and helpx (30 to 40 guests) where they do 2 or 4 hours of ‘work’ for you with no exchange of money.
  3. We make an active effort to hang out with our guests.
    I’m fairly certain that the above creates a much more inclusive environment for our guests, and newbies tend to appreciate it just that bit more. Never had a negative experience in all of the hundreds that have come through the house and I believe it’s because we go to the effort of creating a connection.
    Having said all that, I have noticed that airbnb guests are that bit more demanding (no for $42 a night you do not get the right to ask me to go request the neighbours keep it down at 9.30 on a Friday night)
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