Inquiry from person who asked to see my house before booking...and is just staying for 2 days?

That was odd…and since this Chinese family came, this is the 2nd weirdest inquiry I got…this woman was going to come with ger family at the end of this month…after a couple of messages through AirBnb, she asked if it is possible to see my house before she pays for her stay. What??? First, that is unprofessional, and bad practice. I also did not think it was possible to give the exact location of the property before booking. Second, her profile shows she lives in my general area, so why does she need to book a stay at my place? (she is brand new to.AirBnB). When booking a hotel, do you ever see the room before booking? And weren’t my photos good enough? This gets a decline!

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What is the set up of your rental? Are you renting out a single room or several rooms? I wasn’t sure if the Chinese guests who stayed were just the parents or also the son. Was this person trying to rent for one of her relatives coming into town?

I have two spare rooms, which are upstairs, with a bathroom in between the rooms. The whole upstairs is exclusively the guest area. I did not want to list the two rooms separately so I have the whole upstairs as one room.

My bedroom and bathroom are downstairs.

The Chinese family…it is the son with his parents. He has one room and his parents have the other.

This person was going to book a stay for herself and her parents. The Airbnb account was in her name.

I wonder if maybe the significant other of the girl who wanted to book (or a roommate of the girl) either didn’t want the parents there (bad relationship) or there just wasn’t room for them there.

I’ve had a few of these as well. What I usually tell them is that the pictures are what they are. The 2 times I did let people see the place they were just tire kickers and found excuses to not book (the bed was too small or there is no kitchen).

So my 2 cents. Don’t do it, it’s not worth your time.


BB - how do the potential guests contact you before booking? Are they finding you directly on your website? Flopkey would flag me anytime I would sign the name of the cabin after my own name. I only did this when guests really wanted to speak to me on the phone first

Kasage- do you think you will book the dates no matter what? I would ask first what questions they have about the space and if anything is not clear in the pictures. Yes, it could very well be a tire kicker, or who knows…maybe she wants to start her own Airbnb and wants to check out your set up. Or it could be legitimate and she will book for her family whenever they come back to visit if your calendar is open. I guess it depends on if the place is clean and not booked.

I just find it odd that this person asked to see the place for just a 2-day stay. This has never happened before. I’ve guests stay much longer, without seeing the place first, and I got 5 stars in cleanliness, accuracy and value.

I had my photos taken by a professional photographer (using the free photography service) in every part of the house which the guests use. I asked what questions she has and what in the photos are not clear to her.

I think some people are just bored or curious…esp. since she lives in the area. I would just tell her you have a relative staying there now if you don’t want to bother with showing it. I think if she is serious about booking then she will book with or without seeing it.

Had the same stupid enquiry once before. Told them the photos show exactly how the apt is. Time wasters if you ask me. Don’t do it! And, you should only give out your address to someone who has already booked.

We had exactly the opposite problem. But we were new and fumbled the ball. Our third ever set of guests were moving to Toronto and were already at a different Air in the area. They wanted to stay three weeks and at first wanted to see our place, which seemed quite sensible to us. We hadn’t really considered long stays, and were particularly at odds about how to handle the kitchen, which had an ancient stove with only one burner that worked properly - fine for us, but obviously not for guests. Anyway, for some reason they decided not to bother seeing our place first; I thought it was because the place they were in was too far away, but it turned out they were literally five minutes away on foot. They hated our place, we hated them, total disaster. Within two days they decided to go to a different city. Left us high and dry in mid-July. Although we rapidly filled up with replacements, and it’s been clear sailing since. Oh - we bought a new stove - one upside of their visit, along with forcing us to think through our offering more carefully.

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Were they able to get a refund through Air? If so, what did they claim?

Yeah, we rejigged the booking and they got about two weeks worth of money back. They changed their mind after two days, but it was a week before they actually left. It ate up our earnings from our next few guests because their full payment had already been sent. Funnily enough, they left us a bit of a back-hand slap in the review, but it was basically favourable. We did the same thing, saying something along the lines that more experienced hosts would probably think they were great.

Yes… of course it should get a decline!!!.. I’ve also had this request and it’s a violation of the TOS for one thing… and just rude and inexperienced for another. Would be a bad or naive guest… One time, I had actually had the person enquire if they could do it, I said no, and they found me anyway via the public Air listing map (which is uncomfortably able to pinpoint my exact address) and showed up at my door wanting to see the apartment! I alerted Air, who thankfully changed the map to show a wider area. This was a little nerve wracking to say the least!

Yes. When I was planning to visit my son at his university in Korea, he asked the hotel to show him a room, and they gladly did. It got the thumbs up from him and I booked it.

You mean they paid for only one room at your place and took up two? Ohhhh mannnn I cannot wait for these people to leave!!!

sorry… my question was answered above… if I’d only read it…!!! And the system won’t let me delete a post. :slight_smile:

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wow, I don’t think here in America any hotel would allow us to see a room before booking.

lol, that’s ok, but yes I did not want to list the two rooms separately. I have the whole 2nd floor of my house as the guest area, which are two rooms and a bathroom in the hallway. between the two rooms. I have my own bed/bath downstairs.

There are many houses in my area which have the same setup as mine, and I see other hosts who have a house like mine are doing the same thing, when they have the two upstairs rooms unoccupied.

Tuesday is the big day!!! hooray!


I can’t wait!!! :slight_smile:

I had a very strange situation that leads me to believe that the people who wanted to see your place in advance may have been thinking of opening their own airbnb. A short time ago a couple who live less than an hour away came to stay for one night. When they left for dinner and I asked them if they prefer tea or coffee in the morning, the man said that I shouldn’t worry at all before they would be gone long before I woke up. When they returned from dinner his wife wasn’t feeling well and so they decided just to drive home. After telling me that, they stayed another 30 minutes to ask me about my airbnb business.

It was all very odd and I really think they were on a fact-finding expedition.

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In answer to your comment about seeing a room ahead of time… I have often done this, especially if the place I am staying in unknown and not very expensive. I believe this is not an uncommon practice in the U.S. or in other countries I have visited.