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Instant book... pressure from Airbnb

#1

HI Guys I’m. New on the forum but not new to Airbnb I’ve been hosting since 2010.but I paused my renting with AIRBNB because I live here and it wasn’t worth it. Recently I’ve moved so I listed again. AIRBNB KEEP PRESSURISING us to have instant book or we won’t show up in searches. They also pressurise not to have minimum nights as they say it means you won’t get bookings. I don’t need continual bookings and prefer a week or more quality over quantity as I rent out my entire house and so can’t check on them as you can in a room rental.
I also am a little miffed that Airbnb don’t want us to see the profile of booker until the e already books. To stop discrimination they say. This means that I have no say over who hires my home, or I have to cancel the booking once I see who they are and their history. This impacts superhost status if we cancel. And its the number one reason why I don’t want instant book.
I would appreciate some feedback on how others are handling this. How do you feel about instant book?

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#2

Welcome to the “New” Airbnb. You as host really don’t have a lot of sway over these changes. If you hold to your weekly stays and no IB, you will be lower in the searches. You could start out with what you want and if you don’t get bookings start playing with the suggestions that recommend.

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#3

I very much prefer instant book but I have a different kind of listing from you.

I agree with Lynick4442 that you can try what you prefer first and see how it goes. Many hosts here have all the bookings they want without using instant book. I also have no problem with not seeing their picture. However I can see information about the guest. If you don’t get the information with the booking request that you require then follow up with questions.

Ignore Airbnb’s advice, tips and pressure. You will get better advice on the forum although you will also get contradictory advice. LOL.

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#4

@Donna_Jack -
Try also listing on VRBO/Homeaway. That might be a better fit for you than AirBnB, since they specialize in whole-home listings and don’t allow shared properties. We rent out our vacation home in the Caribbean and get 80-90% of our bookings from VRBO/HA. We get higher prices, too, on VRBO/HA, than on AirBnB.

Also see the other post I tagged you on - you certainly can check on the guests if you have a whole home listing. It’s just not as easy as walking down the hallway.

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#5

Love it and I can’t imagine any other way. I can’t judge a potential guest’s character from a dodgy photograph and a profile that could be totally fictitious. I’ve been hosting since I had a B & B in my own home in the early 1980s and I have never developed that ‘gut feeling’ or ‘red flag’ thing that other hosts claim to have. Blimey, people even marry serial killers thinking that they are great guys. (Sorry, I was watching a Yorkshire Ripper documentary last night - but you see what I mean).

I’m a grown up person and Airbnb can’t ‘pressurise’ me to do anything I don’t want to.

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#6

I started using IB about a year ago and I like it. The problem is I regularly have to ask guests or Airbnb to cancel guests due to third party booking (forbidden by my house rules and TOS). This happens about once every 4-6 weeks so I actually have to ring Air to cancel if the guest won’t, otherwise I’d blow through my annual three “I’m uncomfortable with this guest” cancelations.

I had a change in my day job schedule so I had to switch my nightly minimum from one to two this month, and I’ve seen a huge drop in bookings. I was almost booked at capacity in March, whereas I still have about half of April open on my calendar. I get a lot of last-minute bookings, but those are usually one-nighters.

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#7

Maybe 50% of my guests can’t instant book anyway because either they don’t meet the requirements for it. That’s like my filter and I know to check if this is because they have zero reviews or a bad review?

If you do instant book, Airbnb says they allow you to cancel if you feel uncomfortable with the guest. You can’t do that if you require a booking request and you still can’t see the profile picture either way. To accomplish your goal, the most rational choice is to turn on instant book.

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#8

My advice here is to raise your nightly rate and add a length-of-stay discount. This feature won’t be available until you’ve hosted something like 10 guests. That way you add some financial incentive to book more than 1 day. You can also add a cleaning fee as a way to offset that. So you could do a set nightly rate with no discount but a cleaning fee. The longer the guest books, the cheaper the nightly rate becomes.

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#9

I

already have a cleaning fee and a discount for longer bookings and just raised my daily rate and cancelled smart pricing, my accomodation is a cut above the others they are comparing me to so I was losing out.

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#10

I am the most expensive in our immediate area, including apartments literally next door and the one below. This is not a reason to be losing out. Not everyone buys on price. I certainly don’t and it seems that Airbnb guests don’t either.

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#11

I agree. as mentioned just came back to abnb after a long break needed some fresh reviews and now have two bookings and Ive put my price back where it was in 2010 before the market became flooded with cheap rooms, as stated I rent out the whole home so need the right people.

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#12

I partially agree with @jaquo

AirBnB “shoppers” seem to be looking for cheaper places than the VRBO/HA “shoppers”. We get a lot of shorter stays and requests for discounts from AirBnB than from VRBO/HA.

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#13

Another one here who uses IB and doesn’t have a problem with it.
After almost 7 years of doing this, it’s clear to me that you can “screen” guests as much as you want but you never really know what or who is going to actually turn up.

I completely agree with @jaquo when she says that not everyone books on price alone. I’m cheap but not the cheapest and I’m almost fully booked most of the time even though my place is not that great - I don’t even have a photo of the bathroom up. But I am 100% reliable and have hundreds of good reviews. I think that’s why people book - they can trust me. There is such a lot of bad press about airbnb and a lot of dodgy hosts so my long-standing record holds a lot of sway.

You don’t have that @Donna_Jack, if I understand correctly. So honestly, I think you’re going to have to suck up IB if you want those new reviews.

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#14

Yeah I don’t do the race to the bottom either.

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#15

I’m a new host with a whole house rental. My listing has been up for a little over a month. I had a 2 night minimum stay, smart pricing and instant book turned off and had no action. I was beginning to think we’d never get a booking, so I turned on smart pricing and instant book. Within a couple of hours I had one inquiry and 2 instant bookings. The inquiry decided not to stay due to allergies, but the 2 instant bookings were perfect guests.

I’m not sold on smart pricing, but until we get some reviews I’ll leave it on. I don’t mind instant booking, at least so far. I’m 7.5 hours away, but have a good neighbor to keep an eye on things.

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#16

just hoping to get some reviews going again. Has anyone had any sucess with ABNBs short term rentals option. I would prefer to rent my place out for longer stays 2 months and more.
thanks.

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#17

Air is NOT the place for long term rentals. Google AirBnb squatter Palm Springs

Anything over 30 days is long term

Rr

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#18

wow thats awful for the homeowner … any other options. Im in Italy and VRHO or whatever doesnt work here. I dont want to get permanent Italian tennants as the law protects them here and friends of mine have had horror stories.
Im at the stage that I will ask for the full period to be paid in advance plus a 1000 Euro damages deposit.

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#19

I think RRR’s point was that you will have what are legally long term tenants after xx number of days, with the amount of time depending on local rules, regardless of which platform you use.

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#20

yes well Tourists are going home eventually and thats exactly why I wont rent to locals. Its also simple enough to renew the period ever 25 days therefore getting around the 30 day rule.
Anyone renting out on a longer term basis?

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