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Instant Booking [Again]

As many of you know, I was one of the select group of hosts that was not given an option to opt-out of instant booking. Advice received included re-listing, begging, and threatening to leave the Platform. I chose Option 2, and every time I spoke with an AirBNB representative [5 times I think] I would plead my case. The response was always sympathetic, and sweet, and then nothing would happen.

Today, this appeared on my booking page:

It is there! I can turn it off, if I want to. And now, I have to decide if I want to which is a totally different scenario. Before I felt stuck and as though my choices about how I want to run my own space were out of my control. Now that it is my choice, I am considering the pros and cons.

AirBNB has done the right thing here, at least for me. Those of us who share our homes should have this choice.

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I don’t know what impact IB will have in the future or if you will be given this option later you can always turn it on if you want.

One of the advantages of NOT having IB is that you can be on other platforms otherwise it gets very tricky and you WILL get double booked. I get a lot of bookings because I allow min stays and I have a lot of 5 star reviews (77 plus).

Also what a lot of us are doing is setting up our own private website and handling the transactions on our own ( square and paypal) make it easy and the costs is a little less then airbnb.

If I were in your shoes knowing what I know now I would turn it off because of the above reasons, I do not want to be tied to just one platform.

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Turn it off and see what happens? I have and like instant book but I also have a different set up than many home sharing listings.

I am currently the no 2 listing for my area and am hesitant to drop lower. This kind of placement can’t be bought after all. I have no openings in my calendar until the first week of November, so there is plenty of time to cancel or negotiate before the next person could slip in.

I am torn, to be honest.

And yet, feel more in control since I can make the choice.

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I think control is an illusion so I’m not much help there, LOL.

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Total illusion! My whole life demonstrates this failed principle. But sometimes the illusion is sufficient.

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I think it depends on your personal needs. I host two rooms out of my home. I had instant book turned on for about six months. I’m willing to forgo the extra income in order to be choosier with who I allow into my home.

I prefer to be able to vet guests by communicating with them before accepting. Do they provide a coherent informative message? Do they respond readily to questions I have? Do they show they’ve read the listing? Do their needs align with mine? As in, are they going to be hanging at the house all day, or will they be out and about? I prefer out and about. Can they clearly explain their travel plans and give me a clear expectation for a check-in time?

With instant book… you get more $$ but you have to tolerate a lot more. You’re dealing with the general population. Also you’re more likely to have to have confrontations and boot guests out. That’s not worth it to me at this point.

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SM, did this just appear out of nowhere? Or was it in direct response to you asking them? I really think that you should leave it off for a while and see how you like having the control.

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Just appeared, no notice. I meander around my listing every morning as I wait for my coffee to brew, and so I know that this happened in the past 24 hrs.

In spite of having had Instant Booking on since I started this parade o’ Guests, only three groups out of the 25 groups that I have hosted, and the 18 that are upcoming, have used that feature. And one of them was the SuperHost who canceled when she wanted to break house rules [see Hosting a Host thread] by arriving at around 2AM.

can i have a little nose at your website, am thinking of doing something similar

I concur with all of the above. Given the recent fun I’ve had, I’m now asking all booking requests to confirm that they accept the house rules. This isn’t going to necessarily filter out all the nutcases, but it’s a start.

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@smtucker, why not turn off IB and see how low you drop in the listings? You can always turn it back on. Personally, I hate the idea of IB and am unlikely to ever use it. Unless I’m depending on my Airbnb income to eat. In which case, I might choose IB over starvation.

And did I understand you correctly? Are you booked solid till November? Excuse me while I emulate the color of Bruce Banner’s alter ego.

@faheem Yes, my first open night, that I haven’t blocked for a little R&R on Cape Code is, actually October 30 open for three days, then November 5-7, and the totally booked until November 27th. There are always people coming to this area for as many reasons as you can imagine and to date, my reviews have encouraged others to book. It is all about the location and a private three room suite with its own private bathroom, I think.

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Hi @smtucker,

Yes, your location couldn’t be better. But I’m sure your place is also very nice.

I’m also booked solid but not due to AIRBNB. When I first signed up last year, almost all of my bookings were from AIRBNB. All of my reviews are 5 star. This year, all of my bookings are coming through VRBO and Homeaway.

Unfortunately, I recently cancelled a reservation because I had forgotten to update my calendar and an IB slipped through. Now my commitment rate is 50%, which seems to be an error. They are looking into it.

Well, since I wasn’t getting any bookings anyway, now I suspect I’ll get less than nothing.

So, what changed to cause the Airbnb bookings to stop coming? Just curious.

I have had more than 120 guests -70% of them coming throughinstant booking – my criteria is one positive review.

My only criticism of this is that a number of guests end up blocking One night of a block of three or more nights, sometimes in the middle, and then I have to discount the stray single nights, since I find them harder to rent, especially in light of the cleaning fee now having to be an allocated to only one night.

I am too chicken to turn it off, since I believe that it helps with your placement, and mine is in the top two or three in a large city like San Francisco. Otherwise, I would usually turn down request for one nights stay in the middle of a small block of openings.

Seems like a good resolution

I did IB for more than a year. It was quite a bit of work, plus i was always checking my phone, and room always had to be ready. 1 days stays can be a nuisance plus if they book you Friday, there is a chance that you will be stranded for Saturday and Sunday. Then the rest of the week can left unbooked too. I switched to longer stays, i have a minimum of 7 days, and took off instant book. I can say for sure, my life became much easier. Its more profitable despite the fact that i give weekly discount, and much less work with bed changing, and cleaning.
Also, it was hard for me to take off, i always had to be home, unless i blocked all the days when i am away.
I think 1 day stays are good for hotel but not so much for private houses hosts

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