Generally the message that I receive from a guest that comes with the request will say something like “Looking forward to staying.” And frankly I find that a little off-putting. Because I have not said yes and what does that message really tell me about this person? What’s the point of that kind of message? Especially if they also have no reviews and nothing written in the profile and have not been verified. It makes me want to write back and say don’t count your chickens. The kind of message that I respond to tells me who they are and the purpose of the trip or at least says something more along the lines of “I hope I get the opportunity to stay at your home” instead of just assuming it’s a done deal. Unless guests differentiate themselves from a stranger on the street, I’m not saying yes.
What is it about your listing that requires you to pre approve? Is it a shared house?
I think you’re putting too much into that sentence.
I get those messages ALL the time and I don’t mind since it’s the business and the booking that I’m in it for. I don’t care if they’re looking forward to stay or for whatever reason they’re staying - as long as they are normal, well-behaved guests who will make me some money.
I don’t expect people to be overly-humble but I definitely require people to be somewhat courteous.
You do know that you can ask guests for specific info during their booking process right?
You can ask people for the information you’re looking for if this for you is insufficient.
I ask for arrival details and the expected time of arrival as 1 of my questions guests have to answer during their booking proces.
P.S. I also write that I’m looking forward meeting guests in my replies to their booking or requests. That’s not always exactly true, but it is polite and it’s positive.
It is a shared house. I did instant book for awhile and I really did not enjoy it because even though Airbnb told me I could cancel anyone without penalty, that did not turn out to be true. Once someone instant booked and then told me they were coming with three dogs. I told Airbnb that while I did occasionally accept pets, three dogs was excessive and I personally did not feel that the guest should have used instant book but rather should’ve asked me if they could stay with three dogs. Airbnb told me I was out of luck because my description did not say anywhere that you could NOT come with three dogs. Another time someone instant booked and then told me he was coming at 1 AM. I again thought that he should have asked me about that first. Airbnb told me again tough luck. A couple of years ago Airbnb called me and personally asked me if I would last minute take a couple who was canceled on somewhere else. I said yes and thus began the stay from hell. Not only did they cook in spite of the fact that my description clearly states no kitchen access, they used my personal food to do it. The very loud slurpy sex started at midnight. The shower with the bedroom door open and the shared bathroom down the hall open started at 1 AM, while guests were in the other room. Then began half an hour of hocking lugies with the bathroom door open. The going in and out of my front door slamming it each time started at two, along with half an hour of moving around my patio furniture by dragging. Since then I do want to know who the guest is. I appreciate the messages that are along the lines of “Hey, I’m in town for a writers workshop on Saturday morning. My plane gets in at 6 pm so I should be arriving at 7 pm. Your place looks great. Let me know if you need more information.” But no reviews, no verification, no profile, and basically no information in the initial greeting doesn’t cut it for me. I have been doing this for four years and have had about 1500 guests so I do know the ins and outs but I needed to vent. Thanks.
Wow. How many rooms do you rent out?
Three. I am not an expert by any means and learn so much through all of you. It is my experience, though, that the guests that take the time to say something significant in that initial message turn out to be the best guests.
By the way the lady who many hours ago sent me that message has not responded with the additional information that I asked for, which has also been my experience.
I thought I had done a bunch @ 600 ish in 5 years. But I only have one room and my first year I only did about 60 bookings because I was still working full time. I know how much I have to hustle to keep up one room.
Do you find that Airbnb guests and Airbnb are becoming more and more hotel type stay oriented? It seems like your style of hosting is increasingly difficult to do.
My set up seems pretty much the same as yourself, and yes, I don’t feel comfortable with this as an initial message. It raises a red flag, borne out of experience, that they haven’t read my listing in full.
So I now respond variously along the lines of describing that “Just so you are aware, this is our home where we live, not an entire place to rent. We offer a small amount of B&B for a max 6 guests, and other people may be staying while you are here. However, there is plenty of room for everyone, enhanced by the lovely pub next door. We also have (had…) two friendly cats who are not allowed in guest rooms, but have access to the rest of the house. If our place is not what you were expecting, I fully understand if you need to cancel your booking/request/whatever”.
This has just about worked in weeding oddities out for the last couple of years, although not the four geneticists (so one would expect a brain amongst them…) who knew we had cats, but not that we lived there with them.
Can’t win them all!
Never ever ever take these guests who were “cancelled” on. They would be guests who have been kicked out. My mother had a listing I was a co-host for. We had guests from hell who we had to kick out. Airbnb helped them book my nearby listing and when realised their mistake contacted me to cancel the stay.
“Looking forward to staying at you house” says to me that you’ve done your job. Your place looks great, you took great pictures, and someone is looking forward to staying with you. If they’re new to Airbnb they might not have the lingo down yet. I’d much prefer that kind of message to getting nothing but a reservation request.
I’ve had several like that. When I asked the name of the person they were traveling with and the reason for their visit to my city, they were offended. Said it was “an invasion of their privacy.” I encouraged them to book with someone else.
If they’re new to Airbnb, don’t have reviews and haven’t completed their profile I ask them update it with government photo ID, at the very least. If they refuse, they don’t stay with me.
Even if this is not the case (perhaps there was some sort of last-minute crisis like malfunctioning plumbing or a previous guest who damaged the place), you are taking on a guest who is already having a negative experience with AirBnB, and you are much more likely to incur their wrath in their review of your place, IMO.
Let Air find them a hotel room, or another sucker, to clean up the mess.
You’re reading far too much into someone’s comment about staying in your place!!! Heck yes they’d love staying there, if you’d get off your duff and approve them. If you don’t, they won’t.
I could not agree more, at some point Air will make everyone either use IB or get off the platform so hosts will need to make a decision if they want to host or not. Shared spaces will be a thing of the past as they move into a hotel model.
Of course I could be wrong.
They really need to spin home-shares off into a special class, like they did with PLUS.
There are so many hotels and investment-style rentals now and the expectations have evolved to be very different from home stays. An anonymous apartment with key code entry is a totally different style of travel than sharing space with a host.
People can have shared spaces and IB and no need for certain hoops to be jumped through. I did it for a few months and could have continued doing it if not for the dog boarding business. I actually prefer the short bland message to the guest who wants to tell me their life story.
Exactly. I have both and I couldnt care less if they send a dot as a message as long as they can self check in they are good to go with me
well, one time I took in a couple of Polish kids who asked if they could book me because they just arrived to the house they previously booked and it was full of cockroaches and they were desperate to find another airbnb. They were nice.
As for guests yes, I want to know who they are and why they are coming to town and I appreciate they telling me in the introductory message. I think that just newbies do this like “looking forward”. I then ask what brings them to the city.
They would definitely lose me if I have to do instant book. While I have an ocean view and a sweet cottage, it is small and so out of respect for myself and the other guests I make sure I know something about who is coming. Someone who is a tried-and-true Airbnb guest can just send me a message that says see you next week and I am fine with it but if is a first timer, it’s not happening. Many places in California have made it illegal to rent short term as an absentee owner but still allow the homestays if the host is present. I cannot see Airbnb being willing to lose the money that those people add to their bank account.
They do not care about any one host, or any 1000 hosts. We all need to do what is best for our business.