I am new to the forum and have enjoyed reading other hosts experiences and tips.
I hope my recent experience and air bnb’s recommendations might prove useful to others.
Recently I got a message on my listing page telling me I needed to work on the listing as my acceptance rate had fallen below target ( 86% with a target of 88%) . As I am a super host I am keen to maintain my status
I contacted air bnb to try and understand why. The reason given was I had declined two booking requests recently.
The “declines” in question relate to:
A) person trying to make a 3rd party booking - as we are aware this is against air bnb’s own rules ( I politely advised that 3rd party bookings are not permitted and recommended the person wishing to make the booking could set up an account)
B) A guest trying to make a booking for 5 ( my maximum capacity is 4) and this included 3 small children and my listing clearly states the apartment is unsuitable/unsafe for small children ( won’t go into detail but low wall drops right into concrete walkway and if they survive the drop they would then roll into the harbour).
I questioned customer services as to why I had been penalised for declining two requests that in one case did not meet airs own rules and the second because the guest had not read the listing or if they had , had chosen to ignore it. ( Not even sure how the second guest could have made the request as it exceeds the capacity of the listing and is unsuitable for children ( that’s another discussion!)
These seem very legitimate reasons for declining and so to be given a black mark is frustrating. In discussion with CS I was told they don’t look at the reasons for decline - Its just recorded as a decline ( Even though as hosts we are asked to detail the reason for decline) I asked what I should do if I get more inappropriate requests. It was suggested I asked the guest to withdraw the request. I think this is unlikely to happen (if I had been “rejected” by a host I might not feel inclined to have further interaction)….In the meanwhile the dreaded clock is ticking. They also suggested I let the request expire ( Thought that was a big No No) and then said I would probably make up the numbers soon ( What if I get another 3 requests in a row I have to decline because guests don’t read??) Not happy with the response I spoke to a second CS who seemed more “in tune” with my problem. We discussed the option of having another “button”, that is not accept or decline….but is something along the lines of “Inappropriate request” with the requirement to add free text explaining why the request was inappropriate.
Only having accept or decline gives us hosts only one option if the request is inappropriate and this inevitably results in us being penalised. In future as suggested by CS, I intend to ring air bnb and request they decline the booking so my metrics remain intact. I would welcome any others thoughts /suggestions