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Instant booking+ crappy guest sends request

Hey all-
We recently switched to IB and had a guest make a booking request. I was confused as they seemed to meet all the IB requirements (ID verified and the written reviews were fine). Well someone must have said they wouldn’t host again because he turned out to be extremely high maintenance and gave us 4 stars for silly reasons- ex: “too many hard surfaces” hahaha

I won’t get into those details but how do we prevent this in the future? Do you just reject requests to book when IB is on to prevent manually approving someone who is crappy? In hindsight I suppose one of the reviews was neutral but there were no red flags other than the method of booking (to me atleast)

You can NEVER prevent a “bad” guest from booking.

IB vs Request does not guarantee good — or bad— guests. One reason I will NOT IB is because by taking Requests to Book, I at least have a chance (should I choose) to look at the guest before they show up on my doorstep.

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I didn’t use IB in a former STR but now that I’ve started over I’m using it because I really don’t want my listing on page 10 until I’ve gotten some reviews under my belt. Liked it much better with real contact with people.

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@HudsonNY I’m not sure if you asked the guest many questions before you accepted the request, but many hosts who are accustomed to IB bookings don’t seem to have the same skills at vetting guests who send requests as those who don’t use IB, simply because you don’t get requests often.

I have never used IB and never gotten a bad guest. It’s a matter of looking at their reviews (a neutral, iffy, or bad review would prompt me to ask questions), the type of message they send with the request, and seeing how they respond to your messages to them.

Bad idea to just decline all requests. Airbnb will send you warnings if you do that.

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I had a recent guest give me 4* on accuracy because of SPRING BREAK TRAFFIC. And they came from a Spring Break destination. Also, apparently even though I say my office is on the same side of the house as their bedroom/bathroom, it’s not really “private” even though they were never there when I was working and they had complete privacy. Ugh…

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I read this as @HudsonNY didn’t accept the request but wants to prevent guests that don’t meet the IB requirements from being able to request to book. Unfortunately, you can’t, and you’ll even get some guests that submit booking requests even when they meet all of the requirements, although they usually ask some questions along with the request. For the case of missing profile info, I always told guests to finish filling out their profile (verified government ID was always what was missing) and then I would accept the request or they could simply instant-book.

However, if you have “recommendations from other hosts” enabled and it prevents a guest with several reviews from booking, then you are exposing something Airbnb tries to keep hidden from guests which is a discussion I never had to have.

So, if you are using all IB requirements, the potential guest must have “at least one review (regardless of rating)” and NOT have a review where “would not host again”.
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This is how Air actually does it. It is intentionally unclear. A potential guest can have any number of reviews and any rating score and STILL IB - unless some prior host selected “would not host again”.
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In this case, you KNOW that at least one prior host hit “would not host again”. So that is your red flag - and Air does not want you to know it. Some hosts do not wish to give an honest review - so this is a subtle warning to “stay away from this loser”. IMO, it’s prudent to pass on such a guest.

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Exactly! I wish I had a clear warning that a host said they wouldn’t host this person again- instead a polite request to book came through from someone with positive reviews and one neutral one- that makes it tricky to determine if there’s an issue or not with the guest or why they didn’t/couldn’t IB.

Uggg no unfortunately I did accept the request to book. They seemed polite and fine in their pre-arrival communication- but turned out to be better suited for a hotel if ya know what I mean :grimacing: Not a huge deal, but trying to figure out what happens next time I get a booking request from someone who didn’t IB- perhaps because a host rejected them for another stay

Just because you use IB doesn’t mean a guest who sends an inquiry or request simply doesn’t meet your IB criteria- that is a false notion.

I have had guests, particularly single women, who have told me they would never IB. They said they want to get a sense of the host they are booking with first by exchanging a message or two. Of course, in that case they should send an inquiry, not a request, but some guests are confused about that distinction.

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I just clicked on “would not host again” last night for my recent guest and gave him a fairly neutral review. They didn’t trash the place, they were polite and communicative but a pain in the neck. Very needy! So I’m assuming this happens a lot with hosts. Guests were not terrible but too needy and that just sounds awful in a review since I think needy is subjective.

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Yeah so I assume you have THIS checked:


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What it SHOULD and ACTUALLY means are very different. A Guest CAN IB WITH YOU if:

  • They have at least one review
  • Rating DOES NOT MATTER AT ALL (they can literally have a slew of 1 star reviews)
  • A former host did NOT HIT “NO” during review for “would you host again”.
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    Some hosts are afraid to give a proper review. Maybe they give 4-5 stars and write “ok stuff”. What the Guest will NEVER know (not in review) is the host hit NO for “would you host again”. So - this tell you that at least one host did not like them - regardless of why.
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    It is “technically possible” for a guest to do a request to book instead of IB. We used IB and never had a single Booking Request - all guests either used IB or did not book or inquiry at all.
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    So, if we DID use that checkbox, we would pass on all booking requests and avoid the potential implied risk.
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As much as I hate “coded language” please just say something in the review like might be better suited to a hotel… or similar to tip off that the guest can be a pain in the ass lol

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I’ve hosted over 800 stays and I have used IB exclusively for the past 6 of 7 years. Because I have a lot of short bookings, as in 25 bookings in a month, any kind of vetting is impossible. I love IB. But even with 5 star guests with nothing but good reviews I occasionally have had a klunker that I wouldn’t host again.

If you like the illusion of control then turn IB off. If your intuition or gut is always right, by all means, vet guests. But no matter what you do, you can’t avoid crappy guests. It gets a lot worse than a 4 star review and high maintenance guest.

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Yea ofcourse- like I said not a big deal but trying to learn as we go especially since we recently switched to IB.

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In the review I said “guests were communicative and polite. However, we were not able to accommodate a two hour late check out.” Hopefully that will warn other hosts.

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Yes, so they can change it any time they want without notifying anyone.

Interesting. I read something completely different a couple years ago. Not sure if it was wrong or if the filter has changed. What’s more interesting is that this contradicts what you copied from the Airbnb site “and no negative reviews.” Uggggh.

I think Jefferson is wrong or didn’t state his point correctly.

I had recent guests that left the property fine. Would I have the back… nope.
They were unhappy about the quantity of breakfast goods left and wanted a daily restocking.
The building is 150 years old and one guest had an asthma attack… go and stay in a new tile and ikea place! The carpets are cleaned in a regular basis.
Daily long bleats… nope… never again!

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Correct. A negative review in this context only refers to yes or no for “would you host this guest again”.
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The star rating of the guest literally does not matter.
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And absolutely agree that this seems to contradict the language. But it is what it is. Guest centric Air.

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