Guest just had to talk on phone

I don’t understand why guests need to talk on the phone or text. The platform is easy enough to ask questions. So this guest needs to call me so he decodes his number and i call him. easy enough questions and we make the deal. He pays through the site and it’s done. He texts about 4-5 more questions then asked if he can check in 5 hours early because they need time to get the house ready for the other guests. I say no, then he stops by my house yesterday to “check it out”. Im not getting a good feeling about this stay! will update after, its on Aug 10-12

Never go off-platform to communicate with a guest. It’s your only protection with Air and insurance. I agree, there are a lot of flags on this one.

Is he local that he can stop by to check it out? I’ve had issues with guests who show up day of, leave their stuff in the car, and “check it out” and I’ve told them up-front that they won’t get their money back. This isn’t a hotel.

Getting your house ready for other guests? Sounds like a party to me. I’d start messaging through the platform and clarify your house rules and the number of guests on the reservation.


Good luck with this one. Next time insist that all communication is to be done on the app only.
My experience with giving out your cell # was never good. If there is a problem with a guest Air can then see all the communication.


I assume this is the lakehouse listing which @bryan114 has previously had problems with parties.

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I don’t feel good about this either, and as it is two weeks away, you have time to defend your ground, so to speak.

I would message him via the platform, reiterating exactly what has happened, couched in the language of something like " I am concerned about your unusual request to check in so early, and the fact that you seem to prefer to communicate off platform.

" As your host, I am the person responsible for preparing the house for guests. Please can you explain why you felt the need to do so, and needed 5 hours for the task! It is also unusual for a guest to turn up unannounced to check my house out".

By doing this, you are creating an audit trail on the platform, with enough red flags to attract a bull. It will be interesting to see if he responds, and what with, but he might not.

Then call Air, tell them this person has made you feel extremely uncomfortable with their antics and would they please cancel the booking on your behalf without penalty.

What I’m not clear about is how many people he has actually booked for.


The host specifically says that parties are considered on a case-by-by case basis.

Cancelling because it looks like a party may not be appropriate if the host already authorized the party. The host may just be worried that 5-hours of setup time might mean they’re planning something elaborate that could cause damage, bother the neighbors, etc.

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Hope you have CCTV and a house rule that says only those who have booked and paid can be on the premises @bryan114

Why did you agree to communicate by phone and text and let him in when he ‘dropped by’?

@Joan has provided great advice about providing an audit trail of your off platform comms.

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HI all, it turns out that he cancelled the booking within the 48 hours. Looks like a may have dodged a bullet. We do have several cameras around the property and some in the common rooms of the interior.

I will definitely not go off platform for any reason in the future. I want to say thank you to all of you, it nice to have this place to ask questions but also to vent!!!


Wow, many of the VRBO owners that have been renting for years won’t rent to someone without talking to them. I got a call once from a lady who wanted to be sure she was talking to a real person that sounded like an owner before she booked.

How times are changing! To me, it’s sad that someone wanting to talk to you and ensure your home is a good fit for their needs is now considered a “red flag”.

Calling or e-mailing a host before booking is against Airbnb’s policy, so it’s not really a stretch to call it a red flag.

Seems like a simple way to deal with this is to tell the guest to book and that you will have the phone conversation with them during their 48-hour penalty-free cancellation period, after which they can cancel if they don’t feel the listing is right for them.


I understand that, but many guests that have been renting vacation rentals for years are used to actually talking to a real person before they book. It’s a change for them, and a broad-brush judgement of “red flag” is rather unfair.

A simple “I’m sorry, but I cannot call you before you book per the terms of AirBnB. but I’d be happy to talk to you during the 48-hour free cancellation period” is good customer service, IMO.

I’m the sole person to have mentioned red flags, so you must be referring to me.

You have misunderstood; I refer to the content of the telephone conversation, i.e. wanting an early check-in of 5 hours to prepare the house for other guests, not the fact that he actually called.


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