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I am new to airbnb and have been getting some bookings on my new house. One that came in last night just said “We are coming in for a concert.” The guest just joined airbnb this month, has a profile photo of a pair of shoes and no other details. I sent her a request asking her to tell me a bit about herself, who will be staying and to update her profile photo with an actual photo of herself.
I am tempted to decline but will await her response.
I have now changed my rules to include that guests must have a profile photo, confirm they have read my house rules and tell me about who will be staying in my home.
On another note, are the phone numbers that are next to my guest bookings their actual phone numbers or are they numbers assigned by airbnb and routed through the system?
About 60% of my guests are first time Airbnb users that signed up in the same month they came to stay with me. Most of them tell me something about themselves and the reason for their trip, but not always. As a matter of fact, I got a reservation just last night that simply said “sightseeing”.
Knock on wood, we’ve had about 50 couples stay with us so far, and though there have been annoyances, none of them have been terrible. No one has stolen from us, done any damage greater than a stained towel or sheet, or disturbed our neighbors.
On the flip side, there have been stories on this forum of guests with positive reviews and good profiles turning into nightmares.
I also have sometimes accepted these kinds of inquiries, on condition that they’ve answered all questions I’ve asked them to my satisfaction. I also ask them to upload a profile photo, or at least tell me how I can find them on social media. Words like “Facebook” and “Twitter” get blocked out by the messaging system but it’s easy enough to figure out what platform they are using depending on the info/username they send back… I do this to verify if they are who they say they are.
There are a lot of first time Airbnb users and they don’t have reviews but that doesn’t automatically mean they are a bad guest. And about the one liner intro, I try to remember that this is in response to the standard prompt in the messaging system “Tell [host] a bit about yourself and your trip”… some are just kinda lazy to say something about themselves (especially if typing on a mobile device) so they just quickly say what the trip is about.
It’s a bit of more work involved to try and prod the guest for info. But usually they are just so used to online booking platforms that don’t ask these questions, and/or they forget that they are staying in someone’s home and not a hotel, so they need an extra push to open up about themselves.
Use good judgment though. If they are still being vague and/or dodgy even after you ask them questions, then it’s probably best to decline. Happy hosting
Thanks for the replies! I have accepted people without reviews for later this summer so that isn’t the issue so much as the fact that they took the effort to upload a photo of a pair of shoes sitting on a rug. Why not add an actual photo? I did ask her to upload a photo and she said she would text me one, then said “that is me in the white blouse.” Not sure where she texted it to but I didn’t get a text!
Are the phone numbers listed on the reservation the actual guest phone number or are they phone numbers generated by and routed through airbnb?
I am new to airbnb too and my plan is to rent my flat when I am on holiday. I am wondering, is it possible to ask for a copy of the passport/ ID?
Also,I had my first guests last week, overall the flat was ok but they left some stains on the bed sheet and a red mark on a wall. What should I say when writing their feedback? should I mention that?
As @jaquo has said, if you are talking about the phone numbers beside the names of your guests on your list of Reservations, then yes they are the actual phone numbers of your confirmed guests.
As for this shoe-photo guest “texting” you a photo of herself in a white blouse, a plausible explanation is that she received the text message notification from Airbnb with part of your message and thought it was from you. She thought that by replying to that with a photo attached that you would see it. But if a guest replies to notifications via text/SMS, images don’t get uploaded through to the Airbnb system, but the actual words of the text/SMS remains and gets through to the message thread. That’s why you see her message “that’s me in the white blouse” but don’t see the photo.
I doubt the scammers and trouble makers are the ones with pictures of shoes on rugs. It will be the guy/girl who looks like butter wouldn’t melt in the mouth that is actually the one to look out for. Scammers are not idiots; they very much know how to avoid arousing suspicion.
And the reason for the short one word answers to the question ‘reason for your visit’ is because it’s in a box that Airbnb does not make clear goes to the host. The question says ‘what is the reason for your visit’ and no doubt many think it’s a marketing question so type a quick response.
She did end up uploading her photo and sent more details on who was staying. I went to approve her and her payment wasn’t set up. I let her know that there was an issue with her payment. Apparently her CC company flagged her payment to airbnb. She got that cleared up and I now have an accepted reservation with her.
I am new to this so there is a definite learning curve and I appreciate the input from all of you!
I also have accepted many reservations (I have instant book so accepting might not be the right word) from people with minimal information, no photo sometimes not even a name! I had one called “new user.” I mentioned it after accepting the reservation and they said they had no idea and changed it. Another was called “Man.” I thought WTH?! It turned out to the the Chinese name of the guest. She was female. Another was called “A.” I don’t really care about any of that. Guests are entitled to their privacy and I advertise “privacy.” That said, I’m onsite and most guests are here one or two nights so things can’t get too crazy.
Even if it’s not nefarious, that sounds like a total noob and I would just decline her. I have taken lots of bookings with no picture and there haven’t been problems. But I honestly don’t know why guests cannot simply upload a photo of themselves and give more of a description in their profile area. How hard is it?