I seem to get a lot of guests that use fake dates as a way of contacting me which forces me to decline their request. is anybody else having this problem. This isn’t fair because then Airbnb dings me for “declining” these bookings when the guests are just trying to contact to either ask about dates that are unavailable or have already booked and want to ask questions. I would be interested to hear people’s feedback on this
I get this quite often - I don’t know why. Often though, it’s not guests but local cleaning services (or similar) soliciting for business. I just give a very quick reply to maintain the response rate then forget about it.
Declining or pre-approving a 'booking inquiry" is not mandatory, you just have to answer their first message.
You could pre-approve them for dates they’re not interested in or send a special offer with an extravagant pricing if you are worried about your acceptance rate.
Regarding how “acceptance rate” impacts your placement in search results, I asked 3 different Air CS representatives and they had no clue what the acceptance rate is and no visibility of that rating on their computer.
I’ve also had charities contact me asking for a free weekend that can be used in raffles or auctions.
@Susan_Armstrong – are you getting Inquiries? Or actual Booking Requests? As mentioned, declining an Inquiry does not affect your ratings or anything, as long as you answer the first message.
Asking about unavailable dates indicates Newbie guests, who really should be educated by you (the good Host) – all you need say is “those dates are unavailable”, or “if you can’t see my place on that date i means I’m already booked”. A simple response is all that’s needed.
People who are already booked, should be contacting you through the AirBnb messaging system, not an Inquiry. If they are using an Inquiry instead of the messaging system, again this indicates Newbie Guests, and again this education is something you should be doing as a good Host.
Booked guests certainly expect you to answer some questions about your listing; but more than one or two questions should be answered with “all of that is already covered in my listing description on AirBnb, please re-read hat is written there…”
As already mentioned, if you got an inquiry (as opposed to a booking request) and it sounds like that is what you are getting, then you just need to reply as fast as possible, You don’t need to either pre-approve or decline, afaik. And people who put fake dates in by definition are making an inquiry, not a booking request.
I get plenty of people who use fake dates as a way of contacting me too. It’s annoying, but since Airbnb unreasonably forces one to enter dates, they don’t really have an option. It would be better if Airbnb had a different class of non-date specific inquiry. If nothing else, it would save the hapless host from thinking that someone was interested in those dates, only to shortly afterwards discover that no, that person wanted to ask whether he could book the summer for a heavily discounted rate (or whatever). I actually got two of those yesterday. Aargh.
I have had to do it myself to contact other hosts in my area. If it is an inquiry a response is all that is necessary. It is confusing though. I am glad this forum exists to explain this stuff.