Guests who are New to Airbnb

We are new Hosts and just started with our 4 bd lake home in NC. We expected to get one or two fishermen to the area for tournaments, but we are shocked that just a few weeks after posting we are completely booked through September! Our first two bookings went well. We achieved 5 star ratings from each, and have learned a lot about what it takes to clean and prep for the next guest, especially when we live in Virginia.

My question is that some folks have started to request mid-week bookings to do some fishing, which is expected in this area because some tournaments last a week, or they are prepping for a tournament on the coming weekend. Some of these guests are new to Airbnb and have no reviews, nothing. I allow instant-book, as recommended, but get nervous when the guest cannot be researched.

I use Instant Book and don’t get nervous. Remember that in the old days before the internet, those of us who ran bed and breakfast establishments just had random strangers (guests!) turning up on our doorsteps :slight_smile:

I’m rubbish at evaluating people from their online persona and/or messages so there’s no point in not using Instant Book. You’ll get some people who are less-than-ideal but the chances are that you would anyway.


We get many, many guests who are first-timers with Airbnb. 99% of the time, they are great. We’ve never had any major problems. Just rarely you’ll get someone who is difficult. For IB we ask for a gov’t ID which helps to make sure you’re getting who they say they are.

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Although I won’t use Instant Book, I agree that 99.44/100th percent of Air Newcomers are great guests. We have a pair in the Cabana right now. I think, as Mike says, with IB I would ask for government ID as well.

FYI, summertime is when Floridians and Arizonans and other hot climate folks refugee out to the mountains of NC for some cooler weather… We’ll be there for 2 weeks in June!


I don’t have a whole house, I have an ensuite guestroom with private entrance attached to my house. I have Instant Book with Government ID on (at this time, I’ve also had it off). I have mostly one nighters and lots of first timers.

100% of my first time guests have been fine and I’ve had well over 100. Sometimes they need a bit more hand holding or have more questions but the actual stay goes well.


My first timers are great. Sometimes the seasoned ones arrive with heightened expectations and turn out to be snooty.

You didn’t ask but because you got booked so fast, I think your prices could be too low. My dear friend has a house on a lake in SC and is booked two years in advance. It’s a highly in-demand type of VR.


I, too, get mostly people new to the platform and they’ve been just fine. I have on instant book and once they book I’ll ask a question or two, which also helps get a feel for who is coming. If you get the heebie jeebies, do call Air and tell them you are uncomfortable hosting that group; you can get them to rehome them – you get one or two times of doing that (someone here will know the exact number). Nobody will say you’ll never have a problem, that’s impossible, but the rare problem is not a reason to not fully utilize the platform, in my opinion.


Me too. I think a lot of it has to do with the way you present your rental.

Let’s say that you’re walking across some waste ground - old garbage strewn around - drinking a can of Coke. You’ll finish your drink and toss the empty can onto the ground.

Now imagine that you’re walking through beautifully manicured gardens, a tourist location, with your empty Coke can - there’s no way you’d just throw it onto the floor.

By which I mean a sort of do-as-you-would-be-done-by thing. Offer a lovely and clean and organised apartment/room and 99 times out of 100 people will respect that and your values.


I only use IB with gov’t ID as many others do. I also have a maximum of 7 days so if people want to stay longer they need to get in touch. Never had a problem in 200 bookings but could be because of where I am. I do provide a guest handbook which includes a section educating newbies of AirBnB standards and what a 5 star rating means. I know this has been controversial with some hosts. Basically expect the best and plan for the worst as they say. Make sure your rules includes EVERYTHING you might be annoyed if guests did, even the 0.1%. For example I had some fisherman on a tour who were flying out and left 3kg of on the turn fish in my fridge. And my cats don’t eat fish.

If things ever do get a bit hairy canary, as we say in Oz, there are some great advice givers here to help.

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I also get a lot of new people. Other than a few that I have had to hand-hold through the Inquiry to Booking process it has gone well.

I’ve been thinking of adding a section to my welcome manual specifically for new people with a question and answer format.

New To Airbnb? Welcome! Here are a few things you might want to know:

Airbnb Fun Facts (number of countries/how it started etc)

What is in the Stars - Ratings and what they mean

How other homes might be different form ours and still be a home stay Airbnb

Can anyone think of other topics that can be short, helpful, and interesting?


I agree with everyone else. New people are no problem at all.

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I am probably right in your neck of the woods living very close to Buggs Island. I am of the “ everyone has to be new once” mentality but I know it can be concerning

All you can really do is base your decisions on experience. No matter what xbybody else says in here our area is unique as is everyone else’s. I am more than happy to assist privately if you wish to message me. We said when we started this venture a year ago, “who the heck comes to xxxxx?” Our answer has been … everybody