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I'm a superhost with 5 apts. Airbnb just disabled my account!

I’m a superhost with 5 apartments. 400+ reviews, 82% five star. 100% response rate, no cancellations ever.

Airbnb just disabled my account. I can’t log on. I can’t see my calendar. I can’t view my messages to and from guests or send them. The pop-up message said to email "account.inquiry@airbnb.com". Fine. I did. Twice. No response. I called. Gave up after ten minutes on hold the first time. Got through the second. The lady had no answers to simple questions like:

  1. When are you going to get back to me?

  2. What happens to the guests who have bookings? (She said “usually Airbnb takes care of guests in situations like this.” Usually??? Which ones? How?)

  3. If guests aren’t coming, does that mean my apartments sit vacant earning no money?

  4. Should I have my housekeepers come and clean or not? If so, when? I can’t see my calendar. If they come, I have to pay them. I can’t risk not cleaning and having a guest show up.

  5. If Airbnb is really going to move guests into other apartments, what happens if they don’t get through to one?

Airbnb expects me to respond quickly to guests, to provide complete and clear information, etc. It’s very disappointing to find out that after all the money I have invested in renovating and equipping five apartments, they don’t provide the same level of responsiveness.

Up to now I’ve been 100% Airbnb, haven’t looked at any other platforms. Not any more. I’m definitely going to look at software that can manage multiple platforms so that I can spread my risk. (Any suggestions?)

Where are you situated?

Yes, Airbnb can be risky. It sounds like some hosts are having good luck with VRBO. If they disabled your account you must have violated some of their policies, or they think you did. Any problems with a recent guest? Do you discriminate against anyone or did anyone think you did? Are your listings in a city where you are only allowed one listing or a limited number of days?

1 Like

Difficult to comment as you haven’t provided any information about your circumstances. Where do you host? Are you in an area that limits the number of days you can host or in apartment complex that restricts short term lets?

Any business should always spread the risk and not rely on a single source of income.

The platforms you should use depends on which country you are in, what sort of property and what facilities are near you. For example if you are near major companies you could offer your apartments for business stays.

I’m so sorry to hear this happened to you. We’ve seen a lot of clients coming in lately to diversify the risk and get active on new sales channels. [Hostaway] is a channel manager that also provides your own booking website. It has full integrations with Airbnb, Booking.com, Tripadvisor/Flipkey, Expedia, Homeaway and many smaller channels.

Here are a few tips for you and common misconceptions.

  1. Adding new sales channels will not automatically lead to more sales.
    Some of our clients have worked up a good reputation on Airbnb for years and use us to get live on other channels. This can be disappointing, because travelers often book properties that have good reviews and/or low prices. When you add a new sales channel, don’t raise the price if you have 0 reviews. Once you have 10 5-star reviews you can start raising the prices.

  2. Not all channels have the same customer segments.
    People that use Airbnb are not the same that use other channels. The actual segment depends on the type of property, your location and the amenities provided. What is a great place to stay for a family on channel X may be the perfect business traveler property on another channel.

  3. Adjust the content based on the segment
    You have invested in increasing your conversion on Airbnb by adjusting rates, descriptions and photos. Once you have a solid reputation and know your customer segments, adjust the content to fit that. If your airbnb ad is focused on couples that are looking for a cheap, cozy holiday while your booking.com clients are looking for a high-class luxury holiday home, don’t expect the same descriptions and photos to work for both target audiences

  4. Start getting bookings on your own website immediately
    The sooner you start marketing your own booking website to your guests, the better off you’ll be in the future. Just like google and amazon all vacation rental sites optimize their offering to increase revenues. This may mean that one month you are on the top page and the next one you can be on page 15. Having guests come directly to your own website means you’ll always be on the top of the search results, while having to pay no commission. It takes on average 90 seconds to set up a direct booking website on [hostaway.com]

@Matthew_Haines

You can check out VacationHosting. We’re host centric and you can manage all your properties without hindrance.

Go to Twitter. They seem to actually respond to you much faster. I called daily for 2 weeks before going to Twitter, and then the issue was resolved within hours.

@Johnny and @Hostaways please do not post promotional links to outside sites. It is against forums rules. Thanks.

3 Likes

Depending on where you are situated, the local municipality, like New York City, would consider you an illegal hotel operator. Those storm clouds have been gathering for a long time.

Airbnb finally got back to me:

Ria, Apr 17, 01:55 CDT:
Hi Matthew,

Thanks for reaching out.

After taking a closer look, it appears your account was suspended in error. I’ve gone ahead and re-activated it for you. Everything should be back in working order.

If you have any questions, concerns, or problems accessing your account, just reply to this email. We’re here to help!

Thanks,

Ria
www.airbnb.com/help

3 Likes

@Matthew_Haines. Now the big question… are those reservations still intact?

Wow.
And don’t you just love their huge apology to you.

This doesn’t make any sense to me. Shouldn’t your first question have been ‘why did you shut off my account?’?

I’m not sure how to respond, because it feels like some critical information was left out of the story for whatever reason.

2 Likes

It’s great that they reinstated your account, albeit without apology. However, I am still left wondering… Would you please tell us what they claimed was the reason when you first spoke to them? Thanks!

I never got anything more specific than “security”.

Of course I asked why. They never gave me anything more specific than “it’s been forwarded to the security team” and “I don’t have the reason”.

1 Like

Can’t be sued when you are vague. Heck, you can’t even argue with a lack of information. Are your reservations still there? @Matthew_Haines

Yes, reservations are there. Guests continued to come and go. Contrary to what the representative implied on the phone, they didn’t rebook guests into other units.

I did have one guest who sent me a message that I was never able to reply to. And on the personal side, I am travelling right now, staying in an Airbnb in NYC, and the host messaged me asking if I was arriving, and I never got that message and therefore never replied. Fortunately she texted me on my phone, and I got that and replied as I was standing in the customs line at JFK at 10pm on the evening of check-in.

Well, that is a good thing. Sounds like a huge error.

That is scary. In NY and other cities, they have closed disabled accounts with their “One host, one home” policy.

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