COVID inquiry had a weird vibe

Got an inquiry. This is all it said:

What extra cleaning steps are you taking to ensure the safety of your guests during this Covid-19 time.

Nothing about them, why they are coming to the area. Um that’s a hard decline! It seemed like a survey and not an inquiry.

I had a similar inquiry and I sent them the link for Airbnb that explains the new cleaning procedures. Not sure if Airbnb blocked it since it was a link.

Yeah smart answer! I gave a general response.

I have this response saved:

I wanted to share with you some of the steps we are taking to keep us all safe. Most of these things we have always done but we are stepping things up. In addition to cleaning and sanitizing bathrooms and kitchen and cleaning every surface, vacuuming and mopping the floors.

We wash ALL the bedding EVERY TIME, bedspreads, shams, blankets, sheets pillow cases and the zippered pillow protectors, shower curtain. Everything. Every. Time.
We use lysol or Clorox wipes on all light and lamp switches, door knobs, cabinet knobs, remote controls, umbrellas and hand rails and put out a new sponge in the kitchen. We have removed decorative pillows, throws, house manual and anything that is not easily washed every time.

All of this and more without charging a cleaning fee.

Please make our job a bit easier by following the checkout instructions, if you use it clean it. If you take an extra blanket from the closet or drawers leave it out so it gets washed.

I have had more than a few people ask about cleaning, I would not decline them because of it.



Reasonable question as far as I’m concerned, sounds like your petty attitude has essentially just left money on the table, as they say.



We are at 97 percent occupancy as far as our open dates. Every inquiry says at least something other than the one sentence. It’s not the question, it’s the approach.


They didn’t want to bother sharing anything about themselves until they knew that your place would suit their needs (e.g. to feel secure about your cleaning routine during a pandemic). Why should they? They aren’t booking yet. They aren’t even asking to book, it’s just an Inquiry. To send you an Inquiry they merely clicked on “Contact Host”. Do you share personal info or try to form a relationship everytime you send a message through a website to just get more information?

I very much prefer polite and thoughtful communication. I also request that my guests let me know who is traveling with them and what is generally bringing them to the area but that is only when they are actually booking, not just asking for more information.


There’s nothing “weird vibe” to me about that Inquiry. It’s a big concern for lots of people right now and why would they bother to write out why they are coming to the area, etc, when they are probably just trying to weed out places at this point that aren’t doing proper cleaning. They probably sent that question to several hosts.


Me either. And I’ve been thinking about it. We’ve been fortunate to have superior guests since we opened back up at the end of July (especially with so many reports of bad guests). I actually expected that people would ask about the cleaning and specifically prepared for that. But no one has.

At first, I was worried about people not asking because I thought maybe it was a sign that they wouldn’t comply with the mask rules and local regulations. Fortunately, so far that has not been a problem. I think that the rule regarding visitors specifically stated “due to covid” and the mask rule might assuage their questions ahead of time (but not sure).

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Actually I do on Airbnb. When I send an inquiry I say a little about myself and why I’m traveling. I also call the person by name.

My preference and I can take the vibe I got from them and run with it.

Same with discount seekers.

I wouldn’t ask for a discount or send a one sentence inquiry.

That’s totally different. If I get a booking request or inquiry, when a guest sends a nice message, addressing me by name, saying something nice about my place, or that it’s exactly what they’re looking for, and lets me know a bit about them and their plans, I feel good about them and as long as they don’t have bad reviews, I would accept them easily.

I’ve had a few other requests which were just one liners, like “Will be there at noon” or “Looking forward to coming”, but I always answer those nicely, prompting them to say more by asking if they have read my listing info and are aware that… That has always resulted in a much more forthcoming message, as I think they realize they were a bit terse. Those guests have turned out to be just fine.

If they only messaged something demanding, like “I’ll need parking” or “Can I get a discount?” that would be a decline.

This Inquiry you got- sure it could have been worded a little better, but not everyone has decent writing skills, or thinks much about how they say or ask something, and all they were doing was asking a question, they weren’t rude. And making sure that they’ll feel safe in a place re COVID is a new and unusual concern, so I would think many hosts may be getting some similar inquiries.

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For an Inquiry or a Request? Sometimes people confuse the two. An inquiry is not really personal and is just a question from a website. The guest doesn’t see your “booking questions” or anything.

Why? It’s absolutely irrelevant and useless information if you aren’t going to book that place. I completely expect and, in my own way, require (an unlisted no assholes rule) good communication, but an inquiry just doesn’t require personal information, it’s only an effing question. If I need to know something about your listing to see if I should even consider booking it, I shouldn’t have to divulge why I am traveling or anything about myself. What if your answer to my question eliminates your listing for me for some reason? Then you are just some stranger that knows way too much about my business for no reason whatsoever. You shouldn’t know anything at all about me until I want to book.

An inquiry is a question and nothing else. It’s part of your hosting duties to answer questions. Maybe you are some crazy anti-masker who doesn’t disinfect and so it may be safe to stay at your listing. I don’t know, you are just a face on the internet and I am having to travel during a pandemic. I would want to know that before I considered booking and I’d feel like I would have a right to ask about it before I told you any of my personal business.

Do you understand the difference between an Inquiry and a Booking Request? Because it doesn’t sound like it.


No issue with this. I do an alligator roll and they are gone. lol. Two different issues. No reason to expect personal information from an Inquiry though.


I wish that my potential guests would ask me this before booking. I’d like to know that they are on the same page as me.

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Over time one asembles a selection of pre canned replies.
I just use one of those and add a personal touch if and when the request has used a personal touch.
… and finish with … hope this answers your question / concerns with kind regards …
Costs nothing to be polite even if the requestor is not.


Yes I was polite but very brief in my response.

People say that they don’t think the inquiry was weird but I must agree with @Altitudeadjustment here: there was no “Hello”, or “How are you?” or, “We are interested in your place”. To me that’s a bit rude really. We had an enquiry the other day where they asked us a lot of detailed questions and we provided lengthy answers. There was no thank you or appreciation. After a few messages back and forth I realized that this sets the wrong tone for a potential booking and we declined. The bottom line is this: if a guest can’t be friendly and show appreciation in the inquiry, it is quite possible that this is carried through in the actual booking if indeed they do book. I, too, would have declined that inquiry or just let it expire. It cost nothing to say “Hello” or “I am interested in your place” which puts a totally different spin on the enquiry.


You can’t just let an Inquiry expire. You have to message back within 24 hours. And there is ever any reason to decline a Inquiry when simply messaging back fulfills the requirements.


Yes agreed! I felt like it was a survey honestly and not an inquiry.

My husband always says he wants to host people we would like. And we like everybody except discount seekers and inquiries that sound rude and demanding. This one fell under demanding. Those types tend to look for something wrong as soon as they step in the door. Or they would have messaged us multiple times a day during their stay.

I’ve learned the hard way to always follow my gut.

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I messaged back. Luckily they did not have verified identity, so they would have had to request to book… At that point I would have declined.

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