A week or so ago, after hosting for about 18 months, we Declined our first Inquiry. We are a no-pets/no-smoking listing to preserve the comfort of all our guests without having to deep clean up to 2 to 3 times a week. (We do back-to-back, have Noon checkout and 4 PM check-in.) Our pet policy is clear if one reads the listing & house rules (and it’s reiterated as soon as our friendly but firm confirmation message is sent.)
A lady asked “Hi! We have a small 7 pound chihuahua who is 3 years old and house broken. Would we be able to bring her with us?”
We decided to decline, cordially explaining our position stated above. Our thoughts were that even if they would have been “fine” coming without their dog, and may have simply Instant Booked at that point, we felt it opened us up to the possibility of our first non-5-star review. So, done.
But an hour ago, a new-to-the-platform guest asked, as a Request to Book:
“Hi. I am looking to book July 7 and 8, two nights. Is it ok that we check in earlier than 4pm on July 7 if we arrive earlier? I’m coming from Sacramento. My flight would be probably earlier. Also would you change the hot tub water after each guest? Thank you.”
Here’s the reply we sent:
Thanks for your inquiry! We won’t know if we can offer early check-in until closer to the date. It depends on whether there will be a guest checking out at noon that same day. If that ends up being the case, we will need a certain amount of time to properly clean and prepare the cabin in order to give you the best experience possible. We appreciate your understanding. What check-in time are you hoping for?
We don’t change the water between guests. The 300 gallon hot tub has an excellent filtration system, and we treat and adjust the chemistry between each guest. We do drain and refill the tub periodically according to the manufacturer guidelines.
Let us know if you have any other questions."
We’re now waiting to see her response. We’d probably rather not deal with this guest, and may decide to Decline. But if she is congenial and all seems fine, we could accept.
Because we don’t want to unnecessarily tarnish our Response Rate OR our Decline Count, we’ve decided that if she does not respond by dinner time, we’ll simply click Accept. This will lock her into the reservation (unless it goes into Awaiting Payment limbo - grievance for another time), requiring her to accept the situation or cancel the booking herself (we use the Flexible policy).
What are your thoughts, and does anyone know how many Declines in what period of time becomes a problem, or triggers messages from the platform?
All the best,