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I’ve had guests with poor group reviews who were great guests; they were probably unfairly tainted by someone in the group. Or maybe they learned from the prior bad review. I’d message the guest with my concerns rather than a straight up decline. If they don’t answer or have unsatisfactory answers then decline.
The few times I’ve had a request with no communication, I’ve replied asking them the purpose of their trip and to tell me a bit more about themselves. In one case the person then wrote me a lengthy email and I accepted her, but in a few other cases, they just cancelled their request and I felt I was right and I was relieved.
Thank you all for your comments & ideas. Strangest thing—about 4 hours after I received the reservation request, I received a message in my Airbnb in-box time/date stamped for the time earlier in the day of the reservation request. It appears to have been held by the Airbnb system.
The guest addressed my concerns in her original message. We discussed the rental a bit more. She is now booked.
We shall see what happens. I feel better about it now.
I once got a message months (yes months!) after it was initially sent. It knocked me down to a 99% response rate. When I got it I messaged the guest and apologized, she didn’t respond. The site can be terribly glitchy and I’m sure every host misses out on bookings because of it. I’m so glad I can do instant book.