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Has anyone noticed this

Has anyone noticed this change with Airbnb and changed your settings to allow “Only guests who agree to my House Rules and are recommended by other hosts.”

What are everyone thoughts on the new changes? I’m thinking of changing to this setting

If your current setting is as it shown on the pictures then changing it to the second choice will be a big change in your way to handle reservations as it will mean that now you will be accepting Instant Bookings.

Back before the IB setting was “Everyone” or “Only guests with positive reviews”. Now they are forcing each guest to agree to your house rules before proceding to book which seems reasonable. The change is more graphical in its sense as I believe they are opening a pop-up window infront of the user with your house rules.

Fortunately they have also repaced the “guests with positive reviews” with “recommended guests” which clears out things a bit. However for me it isn’t clear how many times the guest needs to be recommended to be allow to make an IB. Just think in the case of a guest that has 2 reviews where one host recommend him but the other one not. So, Is he a recommended guest or not? Will he be able to IB with me? Not very clear to me.

Yes, and not only that, but there are a lot of ‘on-off’ buttons now, pertaining to ages of children acceptable, smoking, etc.

Aloha Kirsty,

Yes we’ve been using this setting for months. We were nervous about instant book but we realized that we were basically just checking to see if they had positive reviews and then accepting anyway, so why not? It just saves some of the time and fatigue of responding by just letting recommended guests self-book. I do think that it gets us more bookings because some don’t want to wait for the back-and-forth.

It’s worked out well. We have mostly great guests and have not noticed any change. I still send them a friendly message thanking them for the booking but don’t feel as much pressure to respond like lightning. Most guests end up sending us a message when they book anyway so it’s really not that different. We do have an automated message that tells them the the room is usually ready by 3 but we would appreciate knowing what time they will be arriving to work out keys, etc.

This was my experience, too - some of the guests I’m most nervous about because of their photo or other reason turn out to be fantastic, and some I’ve really connected with during the process I couldn’t wait to see leave my home. My experience shows me it’s impossible to tell who will actually be a good guest and who’s going to be disruptive to the home and property.

My only issue is that not many guests USE instantbook. I LOVE it when they do. I’ve thought about offering a discount if they do.

I love InstantBook! Anything that will give me an edge with the business travelers and over my competition is great. If there is anything uncomfortable about the profile of the guest that booked, or if they don’t agree to my noise policy, then I deal with that on a case-by-case basis.

I always immediately respond with my boilerplate welcome message that emphasizes my noise policy and $250 noise fine, then gives a complete overview of the property and requests an ETA a the bottom. If I don’t get an ETA then I know they haven’t read it and prompt them again - no harm, no foul.

I’ll just add that I have a separate unit and I’m not inviting people into my homes.

Honestly, the two types of accommodation shouldn’t even be in the same search results by default. I have no idea how you screen for that - it would scare me to death. I have someone I’ve known coming to town Thursday to stay with me who I have known for 30 years and even that makes me nervous. How on earth do you guys do it!? Strangers in my home…I would be a nervous wreck.

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Just remember that bad guests usually leads to bad reviews. Not having IB won’t prevent you having bad guests but a little bit of upfront screening will make yourself feel more secure. For the people I know that have used IB I only took them to have one bad experience to remove this setting out. In my case I tried IB about a year ago but then I got a terrible experience with some guests that almost ruined my apartment and I after that I decide to take my time to screen my inquiries properly.

I would consider using IB only for selected dates for example when I need to fill an undesirable gap in my calendar of if I’m running out of bookings for the next days. Unfortunately IB operates for all dates (within 4 months) or none. It will be a great improvement if Airbnb let hosts choose select the dates on which IB will be turned on.

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Bad guest are part of the deal and so are bad reviews. You have 24 hours to communicate and cancel the guest after booking and that’s what I do. Clear and limited mutual expectations that are the keys to a happy match.

People who IB are often traveling on business (fab guests, big budgets!) or are looking for the convenience of getting their planning out of the way. I wouldn’t want to exclude me as a prospective guest and I am an IB user (seriously - I’m not going to sit around and wait for a host to respond. That’s just me and if that’s a problem for anyone, we’re not a match.)

It is really odd, and I’ve been doing it since June of 2015 and I have three kids. Sometimes late at night I think “I’ve got 5 strangers sleeping in my basement!”.

But it does fit for us. My kids are home schooled so the introduction to different people, languages, and cultures is awesome. We don’t get chummy with all of them but have gotten chummy with a lot. We have a big map of the world and our guests put a star on where they are from. Some places are remote and amazing. We sometimes search for images on the places so we can see what it looks like. Then my young kids look at the map and say “we need one from Japan” or “no one from Canada yet!” so they are interacting with the map and getting the lines begin to really mean something - and they mean people - real live people. When we hear the news now, such as about Ukraine, we remember the people we met, Poland? That’s not a remote place anymore, they know they are real people. Etc. We had a family from India and the guy was babysitting his daughter while his wife was at a conference. He just wandered up and hung out with us. We were busy, but put the plan aside and learned about castes, arranged marriages, etc.

I don’t know that we can keep it up. I’ve blocked off the calendar for any dates after 10/15, when our business insurance will have to renew or be replaced with a HO. We’ll see how it goes through the summer.

You can’t make assumption of which type of guest is the one that makes an IB as it is truth that you can’t assume which guests are a good choice for you. I remember having a Superhost at my place that broke my no smoking rule. However I agree with you that most of the IB guests are the one that don’t want to spend time waiting for the host answer and there is where the BIG problems of IB are tied. If they don’t want to wait for your answer, neither can’t you expect that will have the time to answer back to you when you need information for them. It turns the process into a cold hotel-customer transaction.

If you canceled their booking you have to pay for that!

You have 3 penalty-free cancelations per year with IB. I would imagine that if you need to decline the majority of inquiries then IB is not right for you or your listing (and possibly more clarity and/or simplification is needed in the listing).

IB isn’t right for everyone but I wouldn’t call my process cold.

The fact of the matter is that if you don’t have IB, that’s a clue to me as a guest (with my own personal travel criteria, my idiosyncrasies, etc) that we are not a good match! We’re saying the same thing :slightly_smiling: – sort of…

You are excluding me as a prospective guest which is not a problem because by only choosing IB hosts, I’m excluding you as a host. My over-generalization and assumption is that you (not YOU Monica, but a non-IB host) might be a little uptight (which could be unfair) and your assumption is that I might be a poor communicator or a troublemaker (which is my ex-husband might agree with)…

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Even the guests are recommented by other hosts that doesn’t mean they are good. I am a new host, i didn’t know the reviewsystem of airbnb. I thought i should give every guest good review and 5 stars if i didn’t they will give me bad review. I find i was totally wrong. Some guests they like to give negative review because they can not see what i wrote…that means even they are very bad guest they got my positive review…But i won’t do this anymore. I think i will be honst, if they are mean, i just give them negative review.

That’s absolutely amazing that you are able to do this!

You have to pay now even if you don’t have IB - albeit less but you still have to pay even if IB isn’t turned on. Think its USD$50.

Depends on type of Airbnb and location. I share my home, my airbnb room is RIGHT next to ours. I want to vet my guests a little bit before hand; I’m really fast at doing this within 1-2 hours of someone requesting. Secondly, you would have trouble in my city if you stuck by this method - there is only about 5-10 IB places and there more of high end places. So you would have slim pickings.

I’m thinking about turning on the recommended IB button, putting my price up a bit, and seeing what happens. Does it exclude first time guests though? all my first time guest have been really lovely, no issues (I’ve just hit 60 guests).

I think you had better check the guests yourself and don’t do IB. If you meet Chinese people, who like to cook spicy food in your kitchen you have to plan to do renovation…

I’ll take your Chinese guests off your hands!

I’m in Seattle near the International District. My mainland Chinese families are lovely people, cook amazing, mouthwateringly fresh foods and when I treat them with respect they return the favor.

When I give my tour I specifically request that the kitchen be cleaned and the vent be used (I ask that of all my guests.) I even bought a couple rice cookers, a couple woks at Goodwill, a big bag of rice, and keep non-perishable Chinese condiments in my pantry. My kitchen is an amenity and my generous nightly rate and cleaning fee reflects its use. (I then pay my go-to gal to thoroughly clean between guests.)

At least families don’t practice their band at 11pm at night like the last group did (sometimes this stuff happens and you have to just laugh - there will always be surprises!)

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JSquared wrote: My over-generalization and assumption is that you (not YOU Monica, but a non-IB host) might be a little uptight (which could be unfair) and your assumption is that I might be a poor communicator or a troublemaker (which is my ex-husband might agree with)…

Oooohhh… JSquared - do you really get all perfect guests where you make a generalization that non-IB hosts are uptight? I understand some travelers/hosts only want to use IB and fair enough. As a traveler of course I would prefer to use IB if I had zero questions whatsoever - AND if it was just a short stay, etc.

I would love love love to be on IB but it’s impossible if you’re also on Booking.com, Expedia that are only IB sites. Only one site can be IB because two bookings for same dates can come within seconds of each other. It’s too easy to get a double booking and you just can’t cancel and say I’m sorry. But regardless of that- I found that IB people don’t read just like my reservation request guests don’t read. So it’s not about being uptight (mabye for some it is) but wanting to make sure the guest understands your expectations, and that you can meet their expectations, they have read house rules, etc. How many guests show up angry because they didn’t see the host doesn’t provide breakfast, they didn’t think to mention their three children?

I can tell if you someone writes me a reservation request that states all the people in the party, relation, ages of all babies/children - whether there will be visitors, they understand house rules, etc. - you can bet I would accept your booking within the minute I read it. I wouldn’t even have to ask anything.

But when I consistently have to ask for the ages of members and ask if they understand the waterfall may not run if it’s cold, or other little things then it weeds out the people who don’t read. Maybe your experience is that all your guests read all your rules for some reason. For example, my last Flipkey inquiry entered 2 adults…“I am interested in bookings these dates…look forward to hearing your reply.”

I asked about visitors and any ages of children/infants - turns out to be 2 adults with 4 children. That’s a totally different rate. I had a recent Airbnb guest inquire about 2 adults, and when I asked if there would be any visitors she mentioned she would like to invite over 26 people for a small gathering if I didn’t mind. I could go on and on.

But I have found from IB sites like booking.com and Expedia.com that they didn’t read any fine print so when I call them immediately after the reservation…I just ask them to cancel on their end. Yes, I could technically charge their credit card since they submitted the reservation - but I don’t want to bother with fighting a credit card chargeback after they go to their bank to complain, etc.

Air could care less if guests understand the property they are booking. They just want the non-refundable booking fee.

First, understand, it’s nothing personal. I’m describing how I personally shop, my own biases, and trying to remember my last Airbnb booking as a guest because it’s an actual user scenario. “Uptight” was a little judgy-sounding, but it’s how it felt to me when I was actually shopping for a place based on some of the copy I was reading.

The fact of the matter is that last time I traveled I ended up ignoring everything that was not IB because I didn’t want and didn’t have time to wait around for requests. There were plenty of IB options (in Portland) and as long as it was clean, close to the rail and could handle 4 people, I was happy. This is a real-world scenario in a competitive, urban landscape. Now if I was booking my own island in, say, Central America, I would totally wait!

Nope, my customers are imperfect. Just like I am. :slightly_smiling: And I totally get that using IB is risky if you are using other channels and that there is no single aggregator that allows you to reliably sync availability and/or prices in one place short of using the ical feature (that’s what I use with VRBO and just cross my fingers). But our customers don’t have that context and they have lots of choices in certain markets like mine.

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