This forum is dedicated to connecting hosts with other hosts. Sign up to get the latest updates and news just for AirBnb hosts! Note that we are not affiliated with Airbnb - we are just passionate hosts!
So, ok, I’m a new host. I’ve been on for about 2 weeks now, and I’ve noticed two things:
Love the insta-book feature!
Hate the non-insta books!
With the requests I get from new profiles with no reviews, I basically have been turning people down for the late notice, short stays, primarily when the profile says they didn’t provide government ID or Photo. I just tell them I don’t rent to people without those features.
My question: Would you say providing the government ID and photo is enough for you to take them seriously for a booking? Obviously the one night stays or two night stays are more of a question mark in my mind… but…
What about a 6 day booking worth $900? I got this one request and the guy is 21 years old, and took a typical 21 yo selfie with his IPhone in the mirror… lol. I feel really weird saying yes to him but he is putting down 900 bucks so I feel like that alone is a good sign. His explanation for his visit seems like normal for 21 years old… the house is in Tahoe and he is coming to the snow for his sister’s bday and he wants to visit reno as well, I don’t know, am I being overly judgemental of 21 year olds?
Do you guys consider a long term booking worth more money to be a better sign of a guest that is likely to be more respectful of the house?
Government ID might weed out a few bad guests, but it’s by no means a guarantee, especially if the guest has no reviews. Profile photo also might weed out some bad guests, but only if your listing is not a whole-place with self check-in.
Some host just have trouble with late-notice/short-stay reservations regardless of instant-book, so they setup their listings to prevent them. You can to if you think it’s a real problem.
Regarding the 21-year-old. If he had instant-booked, you wouldn’t necessarily know why he was coming or how old he is, right?
What kind of rental do you have? Stand alone house that you host remotely, a guest room down the hall from you, a garden apartment in the basement, a granny flat next door, a treehouse or tepee in your backyard? What you have on offer is just as relevant as the guest info, imo.
Good advice from the other posters and I figure you created a new post because you are new to the forum and joined because you have a burning question. Do a search and you’ll see your topic has been addressed multiple times and there’s a lot more good advice available. This forum is something I would encourage you to spend hours reading before you go much further, maybe even snooze your listing for a hot minute, but not too long as you are benefiting from the new host bump. But the fact you say you’ve already done multiple declines is concerning as they will hurt you with Airbnb.
The issue I see is that one guy is renting a 4 bedroom house and it’s his sister’s birthday. So he’s going to pack it with family and probably party there every night. New hosts like you get picked on for this. So if you accept the booking, reiterate that you need to know who is staying, get all their names, no unregistered guests, you will monitor it with cameras and you will cancel if he violates any of that. You probably won’t hear from him again.
In my room attached to my home but separate from me and no way to get in my house or have a party (200sf room) I’d accept guests like this all day, every day.
Also, if you are declining a lot of guest for late notice, being new, short stays etc you aren’t going to last long on Airbnb. Multiple declines will drop you in the search ranking or Airbnb might even suspend you account. Don’t waste people’s time, set up your account with the minimum stay you want and block late requests with the Airbnb settings, not by declining business.
In my first season of renting out my stand alone house on a ski hill I got lied to by a guy booking to have a “quiet dinner party” for his girlfriend and 4 friends. He had obviously read a previous guest review of my place that said they had booked to have a birthday weekend at my place and loved it.
He brought 12+ guests in total. They had an all nighter. Played beer pong in the dining room. There were booze splatters all over the kitchen and up the walls in the dining room, kitchen. I arrived at check out time and ended up supervising their escort out.
The only good thing was that one of his less drunk friends that stayed over had parents that had a condo they rented out at the same ski hill and he worked on making sure the place was left as clean and tidy as possible. Luckily there was zero damage to furniture etc and I didn’t notice the various beer sprays on the walls until after. Easy enough to wipe up BUT I did slam him in the review warning future hosts. He gave me a stellar review fyi but
The stress of wanting to get back into my place to survey any damage was not worth the booking.
I don’t have the ski hill property any more but now have an entire house I AirBnB with a pool. When I put up the listing in June 2019 my first 6+ requests within the first couple of days were ALL from new members with no introductory profile or reviews and minimal IDs.
I declined all of them.
Then I started to ask questions for the next requests coming in as this was getting to be too much of a trend.
I would explain politely that this is my home and I need to know more about the dynamics of the group, purpose of the visit etc… Turns out I helped future guests navigate AirBnB and was able to secure several successful bookings from people who had never used AirBnB before.
But I would avoid a 21 year old having a birthday party. Only from my experience.
I agree with loving the instant book as it seems people have been at least slightly vetted by other hosts. That being said, I don’t think new users are necessarily problematic. When I get a request to book I just ask them to confirm that they have read the listing, agree to the house rules and understand my cancellation policy. If they respond within the 24 hours then I accept them. I send them a message toward the end of the window saying that once they do these things I will be happy to accept their reservation and if I decline it is because I will be penalized for not responding within 24 hours, but they are welcome to try again if this is the case. So far it seems to work. Also, you may want to adjust your settings not to accept bookings without 24 hour notice and set up a minimum stay. That may help filter out people that won’t be a good fit for you.
Do you have a nearby co-host? If I were you, that would ease some of my concerns… if you do, your camera situation should alert you if things were tipping into party territory and you could have the co-host manage that if so. Otherwise, I too would be pretty picky about who came, especially to Tahoe, where I spent the entirety of my 20s (and part of my 30s) going to knock down parties during ski season.
That said, as a new host (6 months, 50 stays), I allow new members to book with me under certain conditions. I have IB, and my settings require Verified status and “positive reviews from other hosts”. I’d say a good 25% of my bookings are people who don’t qualify on one or both fronts. That’s a lot of income (and a lot of algorithm declinations)!
It makes me a bit nervous, but I have yet to have a single problem. My strategy is to respond like this:
"We would love to welcome you. Please get your Airbnb profile verified, and since you don’t have any reviews yet (maybe we will change that!), please tell me a bit about you and your husband. I hope you’ll understand that in the same way we share information about who we are, it’s important we have a sense of the visitors we welcome to our home.
Once you’ve done that, I’ll take a look and we should be all set!"
Please note, I have two standalone rentals on our land, and we live in the main house. Parties are not a likelihood for me, and my house rules underscore that. I also have my settings on 48 hours in advance. This is a sanity saver on multiple fronts.
As other posters have said, declines will hurt you. You want to think of ways to get comfortable with guests so that you can minimize them.
He booked for 5 guests. If his profile is accurate, I believe he has a 4 hour drive. Further interesting details… he literally booked Sunday night through Friday morning… My house can sleep 10. Quiet times are made clear in my posting. I even sent him a message asking more about himself and what he is doing up here to which he responded:
“We wanted to plan a trip to the snow so why not pick Tahoe and yes I understand the rules of the house. I’m 21 I live in Santa Clara CA I work at a restaurant and I go to school part time.”
Be sure to have your co-host reiterate them during the house tour. It does seem that your house is very cheap though at, if I’ve calculated properly, just $150 per night for a place that will sleep ten.
I’ve never had a problem with new users or with younger guests.
I use IB and hardly ever get requests but I do know that Airbnb doesn’t like hosts who decline too many inquirers so be careful.