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Biting the Instant Book Bullet!

I’ve been lurking on the IB threads for a while now and wondered if it would help my biz, especially as I’m on-track for SH in January and am looking for all competitive advantages in my area.

So I started using IB, checking the “verified, ID, and recommended” boxes and WHAM!!! My views have more than doubled and I got TWO reservations for 3 and 4 days respectively right away.

Both parties actually read the HR and introduced themselves, making special mention of my cat-as-an-amenity (their words) in the listing!

One person without reviews also wrote and then ghosted, but I’m OK with that as she wanted to day trip to Ft. Meyers (@KenH did she find you? :wink: ) and that’s a 2 hour one way trip.

Very excited about this and it’s all thanks to reading all your stories. :slight_smile: Thank you!

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Being on IB is the number one thing a host can do to improve their business.

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I was shocked to see how quickly the number of views, impressions, and page visits skyrocketed when I added IB. And how quickly I got 2 longer stays within the first week.

Fingers crossed!

I was afraid of using IB because I started out listing as a guest room, but I converted my until to a MIL and switched to IB maybe a year in. I love IB and it did bring a major boost in my search ranking and listing views.

I require a recommendation as well. I wish AirBnB would let me accept IB bookings from new guests while rejecting those with the thumbs down, but I have a hard time seeing them adding this feature.

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Yes, that’s why I was concerned as well. I’m unable to convert to MIL suite, though, and when they added the additional features to IB about reviews and host recommendations, I had a better degree of comfort.

I’m glad newbies and zero reviews have to inquire because I want them to feel comfortable and understand the listing. I enjoy making sure they’ll be comfortable.

Now to hang the new TV on the wall. #PowerToolsAreMyFriends

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I think you could drop that requirement. You have cancellations available if you have a guest you are uncomfortable with; the first three you don’t even have to call Airbnb, just do it yourself online.

Over 700 guests and I’ve only cancelled 2 since I went to no recc required.

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I may drop the recommendation when I get over my current rough patch. I have had a few people with past reviews send a request to book and I’ve accepted them all. The written reviews were either positive or vague/stuff that wouldn’t bother me (like checking in late), so I still felt comfortable hosting, and all went well.

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Do you know by how much? I think the actual numbers would help hosts considering turning on instant book.

I agree since “recommendations” excludes guests with no reviews.

Originally, around 80% had no reviews and most had created their accounts just before booking.
Now, less than half of my guests have no reviews. I hope it’s the number of good reviews and the Superhost status that is bringing more experienced Airbnb users instead of a big drop in the number of new Airbnb users.

Yes, I do (tech geek here). I went from an average of 90 views to 141 within days. After 3 weeks I have a daily average of 215 views.

The 90 represents as low as 72 and highs in the 105 range. To go from that to 141 to over 200 daily is quite a jump in the first 3 weeks.

I only rent a room, so that factors into the equation - lots of families want entire homes (and those book out like crazy around here, especially if there is a dock). So I’m impressed and it’s raised my search rankings “against” the other homes in the area that were more booked than I have been.

I won’t drop the requirement - no reviews can still message me - because I want to chat with them first. I’ve had the “Air booted me and this is my new account” convo a couple of times and am glad those bullets were dodged.

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Haven’t gotten any recent bookings. We are NOT IB users, which may have deterred her.

I start with a saved message. I have 2 - 1 for people who actually answer the questions in the listing and a 2nd for those that just say “I want to stay.”

I also check the AirReview app on my Chrome browser to see what I can find out about them.

I simply ask the reason for the visit, that they read and agree to the HR, confirm they understand about the cat, and ask if they’ve ever used Air before because we’re not running a hotel. From there I can usually figure out what’s going on - if they’re evasive or combative I simply state “This does not seem to be a fit for your accommodation needs. I suggest you check out other places in the area as I’m unable to approve your request.”

It’s all on-platform so CS can see it and I can explain if CS decides to give me a hard time (so far, so good, knock wood).

I’m completely unemotional and professional in dealing with them. Calm and simple.

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How do you negotiate this convo? I’d like to start having it too, tactfully of course.

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I’ve seen it posted here multiple times that a guest that doesn’t meet this requirement won’t even see your listing in a search.

Every market may be different, but about 1/4 of my bookings are from unreviewed guests, so I know they’re able to find my listing. And I can find it when I’m using incognito and searching my market. However, perhaps the majority of my bookings would be from new users if I allowed them to IB.

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IB is unquestionably faster. I don’t even show up without it. What I will stick by is the “magic question” in the rules. This is shared accommodation and not a hotel.

Wow. Looking back over the last year I average between 20-30 views a day. I’ve never had more than low 40s even with no limitations on who can book at all (other than my calendar is only open 3 or 6 months out, never more.) Yet I still book 80+ % of my available days by the end of each month.

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I’m shocked that in El Paso you’re not getting more views. I would dearly love to have 80% of my days booked and I really would love a 3 month business traveler or travelling nurse. But they’re like unicorns…

I never gave it much thought since I have nothing to compare to. If I weren’t booked so much I’d probably be paying more attention to metrics like that. Last I calculated I was running 86% of available days. I’m doing a Dec experiment. I’m not blocking any days. I had two days go unbooked, 17/18 and so far the 30/31 are still available. Smart pricing has upped the price a little so I’m not surprised they are still open.

Sometimes I think it would be impossible to ever be 100% booked for a month (unless it was one booking for the whole month) because Airbnb’s algorithm would move me down in search to give other hosts a chance to get some bookings.

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I think they WILL see it IF they don’t have the Instant Book filter on.

I suppose it could vary in different markets or something but this hasn’t been my experience. When I first started using IB this past Spring I had the “reviews from previous hosts” as a requirement but still got plenty of requests from guests who didn’t. They couldn’t IB but they could still request.

I can see no correlation whatsoever between a “bad guest” and how many reviews they have. If anything, most of my annoying guests have had 10+ reviews. I think only one annoying guest didn’t have any at all. But, I really think there is not a correlation. However, I understand the baby-step @casailinglady as I also took it when I started IBing. It’s awesome, I can’t even imagine not having IB now. I only require Govt ID but only require it so as to get guests that at least put a little effort into their profiles.

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