Can you have Instabook for some bookings but review reservations for longer ones?

We use instant book settings, which so far has been largely worked well for us (a couple of exceptions notwithstanding), but we have a maximum stay of 10 days. I know that some guests want to book longer stays (beach workcations for example) and in principle this sounds great to me. I’d be happy to let a good guest stay for up to a month at a time, but only if I was confident they were going to be good guests. With the recent changes to Instant Book, I do not feel at all confident about that.

Is there any hack that would allow us to use instabook for shorter stays but require us to approve longer stays? I know I could just write something about this in our listing and people can send booking requests, but I assume that people who are doing a search for longer stays won’t even see our place as an option.

I’m guessing this isn’t possible but I wanted to tap the expertise of folks on this forum before giving up on the idea.


Maybe you could state in the description, discount available for longer stays inquire for the dates and we will send a special offer…
That way the only way you could get an IB would be at your regular nightly rate, which may discourage people to IB. But it also could backfire because people may not even click through. IDK


1 Like

There’s no way to set up IB for shorter bookings and have Request to Book kick in for long ones. All you can do is have wording in your listing.

It would certainly be useful for a lot of hosts if Airbnb offered an option like that, but considering that they recently did away with all the IB requirement options and replaced it with only “good track record”, or whatever the wording is and whatever that’s supposed to mean, it’s pretty obvious they want it to be easier for guests to IB, not acknowledge that hosts wouldn’t feel comfortable with long term bookings without prior communication and give you that option.

1 Like

Yes you can! You do it by having 2 different 'listings" (think of it as 2 different adverts for the same unit) with synced calendars.

Listing (1) would be your Instant Book listing the same as it is set up currently.

Listing (2) would be for longer stays and you would make these changes to it:

  • Make it Request to Book only

  • Increase the minimum stay to whatever you want it to be for but it must be for more than 10 days since your other listing has a maximum stay of 10 days.

  • Make a maximum stay on it if you’re concerned about getting requests for stays that are too long.

  • Set up your pricing, fees, discounts and whatnot that you prefer for longer stays

  • Adjust your house rules just for long term stays if you want

  • You could even require a signed agreement for longer stays if you want but you must disclose it in this listing.

  • Maybe change your listing description a bit if there’s something you want to highlight for longer stays

  • Put “Longer stays” or "long-term stays"or something in your title so that it’s not confusing for people if “both” of your listings come up for the same guest

  • For the same consideration, I suggest you change your photo order, especially your cover/main photo on this 2nd listing too

  • ***Sync the Listing 2’s calendar with listing 1’s calendar so you don’t get double-booked


The 2 listings option didn’t occur to me, as I’ve only seen it used for different set-ups like seasonal (pools or hot tubs only available part of the year, etc.) different options for number of guests, bedrooms, cabins, whole house vs. rooms, and so on, but it makes total sense that you could use it for long-term vs. short term with different cancellation policies.

1 Like

Genius solution, thank you, @JJD !

If it’s a new listing I guess that means I’ll also be able to benefit from the way ABB boosts new listings for a while, and I can reassure people who are worried about the lack of ratings by referring them to the other listing that now has half a year’s worth of reviews.

On the other hand, I’m going to have to re-familiarise myself with the tricks for how to decline dodgy requests to book, especially since I seem to recall those happened a lot when I first listed our apartment. Any listing marked as “new” seems to be a magnet for the most dubious guests.

So, one last question for those who are more experienced with request to book settings:

I know that refusing too many requests to book can hurt my status on ABB. If, after getting a RTB, I were to just block off a few days in the middle of a requested stay, would that automatically decline the stay without me having to reject the RTB? And would that then avoid any dings to my rating on ABB? (I would still send them a nice message to maintain my response rate.). Or would I have to go further than that and ask a friend to Instabook the place for a few days in the middle of the requested stay and then just request a refund a day later?

1 Like

I doubt that is possible on a pending request, but don’t know for sure. On an inquiry, no problem.
And how could a friend IB it if you have IB turned off on the long term listing?
If a guest reported that to Airbnb, they could hassle you. It seems too sketchy a ploy.

As a host who has always used RTB, I can tell you that I have never had to decline a request (although of course YMMV). If I explain to a guest why I can’t accept their request, or why it wouldn’t be a good fit for them, and that they should withdraw the request so they are free to look for another place, they usually do. I have this situation seldom- the vast majority of my requesters aren’t newbies, have good reviews, and communicate well.

As I have gotten more requests from guests who either don’t answer my questions, or don’t withdraw the request when they don’t meet my requirements since opening back up after Covid closure, (I never used to get non-communicators, newbies with no profile info, etc.), I have twice in the past few months called Airbnb, saying I don’t think I should be penalized for a decline when guest is not responding, or that they don’t meet my clearly stated requirements, but haven’t withdrawn the request, and both times Airbnb was helpful, told me to just let the request expire without declining, and they would make sure it didn’t affect my response rate or get counted as a decline. And it didn’t.

All that said, my max stay is 2 weeks, so I don’t have to be nearly as wary of accepting requests as one would be if dealing with long term bookings.

Yes it is!


1 Like

Well, they could book the place through the existing listing where people can use Instabook for short term stays. If I can figure out how to make the calendars synch then that should invalidate the requested booking.

Overall I’ve found instant book to be fine but there are some people who I wouldn’t have wanted to have stay there for an extended period of time (e.g. because they annoy the neighbours – we’re not on site and I have a neighbour who gets really irritated if people close the front door too loudly but she won’t tell them or us directly, instead she writes “anonymous” cranky notes) so I want to have more control over longer-term stays. And I feel like it would be really awkward if someone with 1 x 3-star rating requests to book and then I respond saying “sorry but I just can’t trust you’ll take care of our place.” So I guess I’m looking for ways to politely turn them away without them feeling like it’s personal. Even though it’s personal :smile:

But your suggestion is good, that I can just write heaps of rules and pre-booking instructions into the listing for longer stays, and then use that as grounds to decline the request.

What questions do you ask guests? And at what point do you decide that they’re non responsive and should be declined?

1 Like

As I said, most of the requests I get are from seasoned guests with 5* reviews, who send infomative, friendly messages with the request, which make it clear they have read the info, so I really haven’t had to ask many questions.
Occasionally I’ve gotten one of those request messages that just says “Arriving at noon”, so my tactic with those is to answer “Hi XX, thanks for the request. I just want to ensure that you are aware that…” (a couple of things that a guest would have had to read through the info thoroughly to be aware of).

Since I reopened after being closed for Covid, though, I added a vax requirement to my listing, and many guests have neglected to confirm that they are vaxed in their request message. Those are the ones I’ve had to prod, and some of whom have ghosted me, leaving me with a pending request with a ticking time clock. I gave them 12 hours before messaging them again, and if they still didn’t respond after another 4 hours, I considered them non-responsive.

I would never do long term bookings myself through Airbnb, unless it was a repeat guest who I trusted- it seems overwhelming to me to be able to vet a guest, online, who didn’t have lots of glowing 5* reviews. I’ve rented out the entire house in Canada I used to own on year-long leases, but I did that in the usual way, directly, and interviewed prospective renters in person, got references, damage deposits, etc. And most of them still turned out to be less than stellar renters. I wouldn’t want to try to vet guests for long term through an online platform, so I’m not really a good person to give advice on that.

One thing you could do is say on the long term listing that you only accept month-long bookings from guests with at least 5 previous 5* reviews (or ten, whatever). Then if you get a request where you don’t see that, you don’t have to say “I just can’t trust you with my house for a month”, you simply point out that they don’t meet your stated requirement.

Your idea for getting a friend to IB the other listing is clever, but if you did it more than a couple of times, Airbnb might take notice, since the requests would be overridden, but the IBs would then get cancelled right away. It would be a pattern that their algos might pick up. But I’m just guessing on that.

1 Like

I just made my maximum stay for 7 days. That makes guests “have to” request longer stays. I’ve had several so far, approved some, rejected others. Works perfectly for me.


If your max stay is 7 days, doesn’t that mean your listing wouldn’t show up in search when a guest inputs dates for a month?
And how do they input dates on a request that your calendar settings shouldn’t allow?

1 Like

@lisanddavid NanasPlace is right. You can choose to use the one listing, set your maximum stay of 10 nights and then tick the choice to “Manually review and approve reservation requests”. That way, guests wanting stays for your 10 days or less will be able to IB but anyone wanting longer will have to RTB.

That’s only if you don’t want different rules/settings/requirements for longer stays - which I thought you did for some reason thus the two listings solution. However, if I was wrong and all you want is to force a RTB for stays beyond your maximum stay then that is just a setting under Trip Length–>Max Stay.


I wouldn’t worry about that. You won’t need to refer them. The system does that. Your host rating will show on the new listing. It’s not as if it won’t show any history. There obviously won’t be reviews until you get them but your rating will show in the search and on the new listing page and it will have a link that says, “This host has 29 reviews for another listing”. Guests can click on that and see the reviews that you have for your first listing.

That’s what I’ve heard. I’ve heard that you can get an email wagging a finger at you for not accepting a higher percentage of guests. To clarify, declining requests will not affect your superhost status as Acceptance rate is not a superhost factor. The goal for Acceptance rate is only 88% so it doesn’t have to be 100%. I have many times fallen below the 88% and have never heard anything about from Airbnb nor had any decrease in search rank, etc YMMV.

There used to be a place, next to the superhost stats that showed the basic requirements stats. That’s where the Acceptance rate stat was shown; however, it’s been gone for a couple of months now. I don’t know if it means that they are no longer disclosing hosts’ acceptance rate to hosts or if they stopped tracking it.


@JJD I was wondering where the “Basic Stats” had gone- I couldn’t find them anywhere. Clicked through many things, trying to figure out where they had moved them to. So you’re saying all the basic stats, which were based on the whole time period since we started hosting, as opposed to the Superhost stats, which are based on the previous 365 days, aren’t shown anywhere anymore?

And guests can input dates of June1st to June 30 on a request, even if your max stay setting is a week? I didn’t think the system allowed guests to override the settings.

My max stay is set at 2 weeks, and recently had a guest who had booked for 2 weeks, which I accepted and was confirmed, then a day later put in another request for another subsequent week, with a night between those 2 bookings.
I asked her if what she really wanted was a continuous 3 week booking, explaining that the blocked day she couldn’t book in between the 2 bookings was due to my one day prep setting, but that I could open that up if she wanted.

She said yes, she didn’t want to have to find another place for that one night, so I turned off prep day and she changed the request dates for the second booking to start the same day as check-out for the first booking.

If she wanted 3 weeks to start with, and the system would have allowed her to put those dates in a request despite my 2 week max, why wouldn’t she have done that in the first place? I assumed the 2 week max prevented a 3 week request.

1 Like

The system allows the host to choose to let the system override the setting.

It’s the settings. Or in your case, it’s because you don’t use IB.

When you set a max stay length you have the option of choosing to accept RTBs for stays beyond your max stay length, but only if you use IB (because if you don’t use IB then everything is already an RTB so there’s no exception to make).


Thanks for the explanation.


This is what I do as well. In settings you have to select the option allowing guests to request stays outside your parameters which some hosts miss or don’t understand.

My max is 4 days and I get requests occasionally for a longer stay, but my target market is 1-2 nights and they can almost all instant book. If I get a request from someone with a 3 star rating, I know a host has given them a “would not host again.” I ask them what they did to earn that poor rating. Sometimes they withdraw their request with no further communication and some have very good responses and I’ve never had issues with them.

1 Like

For sure, unless a guest has a bunch of bad written reviews, just because they have a 3 star rating doesn’t mean they should be automatically dismissed. If they only have 3 reviews, they may have gotten 5 stars from 2 of the hosts and a 1 star rating from some weird host with unreasonable expectations, or done something they had no idea was wrong.

I could easily have given the guest who showed up with her boyfriend, who booked my private room, that clearly says for 1 guest, a bad rating, and many hosts would have, but she was a total newbie and really had no idea that she couldn’t invite someone to share her room. She was otherwise a sweet and respectful guest, as was her boyfriend, and after schooling her on not being allowed to have more guests than booked for, and that many hosts would have booted her out and given her a bad review, I don’t imagine she did that again and would be a fine guest.

There’s nothing wrong with giving a guest the benefit of the doubt and asking them what happened for them to earn a poor rating. If they trashed someone’s house, they will likely not answer and withdraw the request, but they might explain that they had booked with some old biddy fusspot who followed them around, criticized the way they did everything, and wanted them to pay for a little rug they spilled something on that was old and stained to start with. There’s some awful hosts out there as well as awful guests.

And we know that hosts have had really objectionable guests who had a bunch of 5 star reviews, so ratings are only one part of guest vetting and not necessarily reliable.

I think RiverRock, who says they accept everyone, once said she accepted a guest who had a terrible review, and when he arrived, said to him, “Whatever you did at that place in Italy to earn that bad review, just don’t do that here”, to which the guest laughed, and he turned out to be totally fine.

1 Like

I already have that checked, but using an incognito browser I can see that when I tick “I’m flexible” and seek a 1 month stay, I don’t show up in search results (at least not in the first 5 pages) so I think I might have to do a separate listing to encourage this to show up. That way I can have more control over pricing too (ABB only allows discounts for stays in 4 week intervals but in Sydney where stays longer than 3 weeks don’t count toward STR limits, I can offer pretty sharp incentives for 3+ week stays!).

And yeah I will probably put in extra rules for the longer stays listing, like require more info from guests and explicitly state that only guests with stellar track records are eligible for long stays (I know that’s no guarantee but my worst guests have been those with few or no reviews, maybe not because they’re fundamentally different types of people but just because they haven’t yet internalised the ABB rules and ethos).

Now isn’t that interesting! I remember it being there and hadn’t noticed it had disappeared until just now. That’s awesome if acceptance rate doesn’t threaten superhost status.

1 Like

Acceptance rate has never been a criteria for Superhost, as far as I’m aware.
One thing that was, that they thankfully ditched a few years ago, was that at least 50% of your guests had to leave a review. As if we have the power to make guests leave reviews.

1 Like