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Instant Book "turned off" without my knowledge

I just wanted to make you guys aware that Air will now disable Instant Book for hosts. Here’s what happened:

  1. Whenever we have orphan nights, frequently get guests who are last-minute, local, have no reviews, and instant book our apartment to party and/or smoke pot. Since we live upstairs with a 10-month old (the odor carries through our ventilation), we aggressively try to prevent these folks from booking. We mention this in our house rules and our messaging to said guests and said prospects.

  2. We cancelled a number of these reservations over the past few months. The most recent (Oct 8) was smoking pot in his car outside of our house. My wife called Air and summarily cancelled the reservation.

  3. We haven’t received a single reservation since then. I was pretty booked through October until early this past week. But once a few empty days without bookings went by, I decided to investigate further.

  4. I searched my listing as a guest and found that my listing appeared in searches when I had the IB search filter turned off. Once I turned it on, my listing disappeared. My setting in my host dashboard clearly indicated that I accept IB reservations.

  5. I spoke with Air support. It took 4 calls and several hours, but they finally fessed up to the fact that my listing would not be Instant Book-able. It could only be reverted in an automated way once the system saw a sufficient number of new reservations that don’t get cancelled. This is asinine to me - I stopped getting reservations, but the only way to get out of this is to get new reservations?!?

Prior to this my listing averaged 60-200 views/day. Since Oct 8 it’s received <20.

It’s interesting to me that you saw this big a change just because Instant Book was turned off. Do that many guests only look at Instant Book properties?

This has been reported previously. I looked quickly for the thread and gave up. I think it was a Colorado host and he was being punished for cancellations also. And I don’t think he’s the only one who has posted about that.

This is a great illustration of why anyone who doesn’t have IB on isn’t going to be as competitive as someone who uses it. That is, if you want to be booked all the time. Some folks have no need or interest in that.

Hmm…I need to check if this has happened to any of my listings. Bookings have dropped off. I haven’t cancelled anyone though. I think only once ever did I ask AirBnB to cancel an IB and that almost a year ago.

Well, I just checked. None of my listings show on Instant Book even though I have IB on all of them, if I’m logged out and use google in incognito mode and search in my area. When I’m logged in and search Parkersburg, WV with the IB filter turned on, they show up.

Would some of you please check and see if you get the same result? Search Parkersburg, WV with and without IB filter on and see if my listings show up please?

Since I have not cancelled any reservations or had any guest complaints that I know about, I wonder what happened?

I searched for some open dates for the first home (Nov 15-23) and it was showing (about 8 down) and then I turned on instant book and didn’t see it on the first page. This was on my computer and with the map opens so the listings are in a column.

Once I think someone said turning it off and then back on actually fixed it?

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I tried that on the third one of mine (Romance and comfort)…did it work?

Nope, sorry. …

Have you noticed a slow down in bookings lately?

Absolutely. On all three. I just turned IB off and back on for all of them. So I guess that didn’t fix the issue.

Time to call, I think…

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@Keugenia All three came up for me with IB turned on. Maybe your fix worked but there was a delay.

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I miss the old days when there was a little IB lightening icon. I guess they removed it because it made it too easy for hosts to monitor their listings. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

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Hope so! Maybe I’ll try again myself. I’m on the phone with AirBnB right now.

I have always had my listing on Instant Book, but it did not come up on searches using the Instant Book filter. All searches done incognito.

Just recently I took off the requirement for host recommendations (good reviews) and now it shows up using the IB filter. Could be coincidence, but if you require host recommendations, maybe turn it off for a few minutes and check your listing that way?

According to AirBnB rep, it’s a bug in the system they are working on. Maybe all y’all that have IB turned on should check to see if it’s working and report it to AirBnB if it’s not.

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I did but mine seems to be on.

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@georgiahost and @Keugenia If you’re searching incognito and you have the ‘reviews from host’ turned on, there’s no way for it to know if you have ‘reviews from hosts’ or not because you’re not logged-in, so IB properties that require a ‘review from host’ won’t show up if you’re not logged-in. They system assumes that you can upload a photo or can verify your ID but it doesn’t know if you have reviews and that’s not something you can add before booking.

However, if someone is logged-in and has reviews from hosts then your IB listing would show up. It’s harder to look for because you’d have to have a friend that qualifies with reviews from hosts, log-in and then look for your listing.

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@Keugenia I checked and mine are good. I check routinely, especially after cancellations and such.

So, yours show up as IB for me when I am logged in as me as I likely have all of your qualifications met, including positive reviews from hosts. However, if I search incognito, your listings don’t come up for me as IB. Do you have “reviews from hosts” as a requirement to IB? Because if you do, they won’t come up in an incognito search, only if someone is searching who is logged-in and has reviews.

This really sounds like you must have “Reviews from Hosts” as an IB requirement.

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