Long term booking turned down

I have been a super-host for over 2 years now and just opened my second Airbnb. I had a request yesterday from someone who just joined Airbnb, has no reviews, and wanted to book immediate arrival for 30 days for 4 adults and 2 kids. She tried to book just for 4 adults and only mentioned the two kids in her brief inquiry message. No explanation for why she wanted a 30-day booking, when she only lives an hour away. This would have been our first guest stay at this Airbnb, which is next door to our farm.

After discussion with my husband, who wanted me to open a dialogue with her and possibly accept the booking, I decided to forego the potential headache, declined and simply stated that we were not taking extended bookings at this time. So I want to throw this out to the Forum and see what others would have done. I’ve got hosting experience with nearly 200 guest stays, so this seemed pretty fishy to me. Plus we offered a 20% discount to our first 3 bookings since its February, and she would have received 20% off of a 30-day stay, already discounted 35% from the regular day price, which would have severely reduced our per day income.

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I would have done exactly the same thing, both on income grounds, and wanting to build up some good reviews whilst you have the new listing bounce and are visible.

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If you do not want extended stays, you need to change your settings to the maximum stay length you would accept.

The rest of this inquiry doesn’t sound like a problem to me (if I allowed long term stays, which I do not) - I would just ask them to approve a change request to add the two children, and if I were worried about their reasons for coming, I would ask them that too.

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We really don’t know where people live. They can put a hometown on their profile that doesn’t match where they live. I’d guess that at least 20% of my guests don’t live in the place on their profile. I find this out when talking to them.

I don’t have much in the way of red flags but I admit someone making a same day reservation for 30 days with no explanation makes me uneasy. If it were something like “we are having our house remodeled…” Scammers pick on new hosts and they might not have noticed you have another listing.

Your payment for a 30 day reservation follows different rules than a shorter reservation. I don’t know if they would consider you a new host or it’s only a new listing. And of course in most places you have to worry about them gaining tenants rights.
https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/285/how-are-longterm-reservation-payouts-processed

As Joan said you want to get as many bookings as possible when you first list.

I would have tried to get more info on their stay. I have had two long term stays of over 30 days. They were amazing! No turn overs to deal with and low maintenance guests; no lost days on the calendar. As long it is not a situation where you could see them turning into squatters; I would accept long term stays with joy.

One of my guests was from out of country visiting family. The other was from another part of a country taking a sabbatical from a high stress job.

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We allow guests to stay a max of 7 nights. Guests cannot IB for any duration longer than that, however we have gotten multiple requests for long-term stays (4 total since we began hosting in November).

We politely decline all inquiries on the basis of our only washer and dryer being down in the Airbnb…we need to be able to get to it at least once a week.

However, I know that 30 days or more typically moves into a long-term rental instead of a short-term rental. If you have STR insurance you may not be covered for stays 30 days or more. Just something else to think about!

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As @georgiahost said you need to get your settings straightened out. Also the decline will count against you, too late now though. I would have tried to get Air to cancel on guests behalf due to the incorrect number of people.

RR

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I agree with @Joan. I think the most important factor to me is that you’d likely miss all or most of the new listing boost by tying up the property for a month.

So—it sounds to me like it’s time to set the max stay to a shorter period—a few days, maybe a week, for at least the first six weeks.

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Kind of, maybe, probably not. You do of course set a maximum stay length but, if you have IB, you can also tick the box for “allow guests to send a request for longer stays”. IMO, it’s completely reasonable to set it this way. Our maximum stay is 9 days for IB, but someone can still send a request for a 10-day stay (and they do fairly often). However, they can also still send a request for a 220-day stay (which is a big ‘no’ for us). But it’s still worth allowing the requests for the most flexibility for both hosts and guests.

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I recently saw this and checked the box, however I do worry that declining will count against us.

Gary

No issues here. If anything, I’ve gotten some excellent bookings from it. We’ve had some stay for as long as 21 days now and it was a real treat to have a little break in a way. However, the apartments are in my home so I like being able to connect a little more with someone that is going to stay so long and it coming as a request allows that but an IB wouldn’t.

Acceptance rate only has to be 88%. It doesn’t really seem that hard to keep. My lowest of the 3 is 97% and I don’t accept anyone I don’t want to. Besides, almost always, if I tell someone I can’t do such a long booking for them and politely ask them to withdraw the request, they do. It doesn’t hurt a guest at all to withdraw a request and with politeness and diplomacy, I have good success at getting them to do it.

Mine is 100% . IB and I always say yes, Ima whore that way. Long term has never been available so I have not had to turn any down, I will see how it goes. I have not had a booking longer than 5 days in two years so idk.

RR

Our rates for our 3 apartments are: 100%, 99% and 97%.

The one with the 97% we jokingly refer to it as the “cursed apartment” :laughing: For whatever reason it attracts all of the people we cannot accommodate: people with children, people with 6 people, people with chemical sensitivity, people allergic to dogs, people with cats, people who need to park an RV, people who want 2 bathrooms, people who want to walk to the beach, people who want discounts, people traveling with birds, people who want to bring 4 guests but only pay for 1 guest (yes I’ve had that argument before :woman_facepalming:) as well, as my favorite, people who want to book dates that are not available so they put in dates that are available and then say, “but we really want yada-yada though they seem unavailable”. For whatever reason, that apartment, which is nearly identical to the one with 100% acceptance, attracts all of the not-appropriate requests :woman_shrugging:

FWIW, it doesn’t effect its search ranking or anything. I used to go through copious amounts of trouble to get these requests withdrawn without penalty but, honestly, it’s usually just easier to hit “decline” sometimes.

Is your max 5 days? Not even a week? In the summer, 6 or 7 nights is really common for us. And, in your location, I imagine you would get writers from L.A. for 2 weeks at a time or so. I know so many writers that do 2-week writing trips out to your area. They make for great guests! Just sitting around quietly staring at the wall and making faces all by themselves :laughing:

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I have my IB settings so that anyone requesting a stay longer than 7 days has to be approved by me first. So no, the decline does not count against me. It’s not my first rodeo. :slight_smile:

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I would NOT accept it. First of all, you want to get as many good reviews as possible during your new listing boost so that a bad guest with a bad review doesn’t have as much of an effect.

Second, in most states any stay over 28 days gives guests rights as a tenant (check your state landlord-tenant law). You don’t want to have guests make you subject to all the landlord-tenant eviction rules, etc. Someone local who needs immediate housing for 4 adults & 2 kids sounds like a family that’s getting evicted to me.

Third, Air payouts for long term rentals are different and take longer.

My maximum stay is 7 days, and I don’t accept requests for longer stays and have seen no negative effects from either. I also don’t accept bookings from locals although I rarely get any.

Finally, you don’t need to decline an inquiry. It’s not a request to book in spite of the blinking “Approve now” button. You don’t want to waste your 3 free declines on inquiries! For an inquiry, you should simply send that same message as an answer, and then wait for the inquiry to expire.

Thank you! I didn’t think to just let the inquiry expire.

As always, trust your instincts.

Good catch! I didn’t notice that it was merely an inquiry (and not a request) but see it now in the picture.

The private room in my home has that - ever since turning on IB, it’s been cursed by those requests. But I’m happy about getting more traffic and being #1 in searches, so I’ll make the occasional rant when I get someone who doesn’t respond to diplomacy or common sense.

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Our experience has been that if you feel uneasy about someone, don’t book them! Trust your gut. This is supposed to be about making money and the fun of hosting.