Guests wanting to view before booking

I have had a guest asking if they can view my property before booking. The booking is for a month and will take in Christmas. I agreed for my husband to meet with him. He says it is because he was scammed on air bnb once as he was offered a different apartment when he arrived. There is no record of him having booked on air bnb before. He says his visit is due to a marital break up and that he has an eight year old child. What do you all think. I have lots of pictures on my listing.

I have gone with my gut and allowed it on occasion for longer stays if its convenient for me. That also gives you a chance to see who will be there for a month. Some hosts just require potential guests to book a night to determine their fit for the space, but some guests cannot do that. It is weird that he doesn’t show up as having booked, but if the “scam” booking got cancelled it might not show. He might show up and want to discuss direct booking so be prepared for whether you want to do that. With no history on him, I would be cautious about that. I should note that one guest whom I allowed to see our homeshare space before booking has now been coming on and off for two years, introduced us to his family, and become a dear friend.

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Make sure you have an actual lease for them to sign as tenants. Is the 8 year old coming and going or staying with him the entire time?

I’ve been asked that before and I say no because I have tons of pictures and can answer any questions they may have and to check my reviews. I’ve also had men try to book with the “marital issues” before and since I’m an in-home host, I turn those down because I don’t want the drama or an angry spouse showing up on my doorstep.

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That would be a hard no for me. If something were to happen to the person while visiting your place you have no insurance coverage from Airbnb. It would be your homeowners insurance.

As you said you have pictures and reviews.

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Presumably the “homeowner’s insurance” would be adequate for anyone who slipped on an icy sidewalk (or whatever), including the prospective guest.

While I can understand why a guest might like to view a place they are committing to for a month, especially if they have actually been scammed before, I wouldn’t accept a month long booking from a guest with no reviews.

Also, it would seem he is local if he can come view the place, so maybe tell him to book for 1 night, if you have an open night soon, and you could discount that night if both you and he agree to the month long booking.

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Like attracts like - intuitively, I would decline the pre-booking visit.

But I’ve been wrong about loads of things throughout my life. :confused:

There may be some downsides to having strangers come round to scope out your offer but if you feel secure in your own home then there’s really no harm in meeting them and then making a more informed decision around whether you wish to host them both, in your house, for a month or so.

There you are, how about that for a complete one eighty? :rofl:

Tell them to book one night next week and they can see it

Dear potential guest, there is no way for me to share my address on the platform AirBnb does not allow that information to be shared prior to booking. You could book one night and that would give you the opportunity to see it ahead of making a long booking.

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I will allow guests to see the apartment before booking (note that I have a 21 day max) but warn them that because both apartments are booked back to back year-round, a suitable time might be difficult to arrange. Although I tell them that they are welcome to suss out the exterior of the property, the deck, the garden etc.

I see this as an extra selling opportunity.

I think I’d also take the opportunity to educate this person a little and explain to him that Airbnb is an advertising company and credit card handler but that rentals are individually owned by people who have just one or two places
So just because one host was a problem that doesn’t mean that ‘Airbnb’ (i.e. individual hosts) is scamming.

By the way, I don’t like it when people say they want to see the place, although I’m pleased for them to do so. I want to yell ‘my photographs and listing details are accurate! I’m not lying!’ :crazy_face:

I guess they figure hosts can’t be trusted. Like the guests who decide to follow Google maps instead of the host’s directions, get lost or end up on a more lengthy route than necessary, then mark the host down on ease of check-in. :laughing:

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We charge a $75 fee for viewing before booking. It rolls into your total booking if you decide to book. If not, at least we are compensated for our time. We have over 60+ photos of our home on our listing. And a very complete write up and description. Most people who want to view before booking never end up booking. Overall, it is a waste of your time.

My experience too. So no more viewings.

And potential guests that ask me to hold while they decide if they want to book almost never book, either. So I don’t hold anymore, either

True, but I’m not going to have my insurance premiums increased because guests can’t view pictures. Again, it’s a HARD no for me.

Hi all In the end my husband drove over to show him round. Unfortunately he was 10 mins late due to traffic and the guest said he wasnt prepared to wait and it was further from Eastbourne than he thought. That was odd as its 11minutes and he said he had lived in Eastbourne for 10 years so surely he would have known that. Pity.

You’re well shot of that guest. You don’t need the grief.

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He’d never ventured out further than the mailbox.

My homes are in a community of smaller houses, so they are often booked by people wanting to visit friends or relatives in the community whose homes aren’t big enough for them to stay.

I’ve occasionally had people stop by during a turnover and knock on the door asking to see the inside. Sometimes it’s people whose family have already booked months from now, and sometimes it’s to see if their friends should book here. Always those turned into, or kept bookings.

A couple of ladies stopped by because their aunt booked there for her visit in 6 months (during high season) and they were concerned as their aunt tended to get scammed on bookings that were not at all what the pictures showed. They came in and excitedly took pictures for their aunt as the house indeed looked just like the pictures. (Which shouldn’t have been surprising, it was a new listing…). They thanked me profusely and their aunt left me the nicest thank you note when she stayed. She mentioned she was able to look forward to her months in the sun without worrying about it meeting expectations. She ended up booking several years in a row.

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15 Questions to Ask a Host on Airbnb

Does the property have Wi-Fi, and if so, what’s the speed?
Are there laundry facilities available for guests to use?
Is the kitchen fully equipped for cooking meals?
How is the mobile phone reception in the area and inside the property?
Will there be any shared spaces with other guests or the host?
Do you provide linens and towels, or should we bring our own?
Is there air conditioning or heating available?
Can you clarify if there is a television and what streaming services are accessible?
Are there any amenities for children, such as a crib or high chair?
Is parking available on the property, and is there an additional cost?
Are there workout facilities or a gym in the building or nearby?
Is there a workspace with a desk suitable for remote work?
Is the use of any outdoor spaces, such as a garden or balcony, allowed?
Are there any eco-friendly amenities, like recycling or composting options?
Are there any housekeeping or cleaning services provided during the stay?

All of those questions should be answered in the listing.

Frankly, if you sent me that list of questions as a potential guest, I’d block you from booking. And I am used to guests asking a lot of questions!

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Sorry for that. My bad