So I’ve been hosting now for a few months and have had several great groups of Airbnb guests thus far. What a relief! Fingers crossed for many great guests to come.
One curious thing that’s popped up. Just to test the waters, I’ve also listed my place on VRBO and FlipKey. Although I haven’t received many inquiries from either site, nearly ALL of the inquiries I’ve gotten have been very suspicious or raised red flags. They’ve also been very short - usually 2-3 very brief sentences (as opposed to many Airbnb inquiries that vary in length, with many having several normal-sized sentences).
For some examples, many of the inquiries from VRBO and FlipKey have asked where my place is located (even though my listing says what area I’m located in and shows a circle on a map that clearly indicates my specific neighborhood - but not specific address). A couple inquiries even asked whether my place was close to some other place, which was very far away (I’m in Los Angeles and one inquiry asked if I was close to San Diego (!!).) Nearly all of the inquiries have asked about attributes that are prominently described in my listing, such as what my nightly rate is (right there on the listing), what are the sleeping arrangements (described in very good detail in the listing), is there an elevator (in my personal home, mind you), do we allow smoking (very prominently: NO), and do we offer transport to the airport (um, really?).
I realize that some people are just lazy and don’t bother to read the entire listing. However, ALL of the many inquiries I’ve received from Airbnb (except for 1) have appeared to come from normal folks who’ve read the details in my listing. Their messages to me have seemed normal and conversational and I’ve only seen one inquiry that raised any red flags.
Has anyone else had experiences like this? I have a big enough sample size now to be able to see a very weird pattern. Anyone else get a bunch of weird inquiries from VRBO, FlipKey and other sites? If so, any theories as to why this might be? I’ve just raised my rates on those sites so for any future inquiries I will at least feel like the hassle and worry associated with guests from those sites will be potentially worth it.