My experience with Instant Booking so far

I will start this post by saying that I´m totally against Instant Booking but due to the fact that Airbnb sort of punish hosts that prefer to choose with with they want to share their home, I feel I was forced to turn it on.

So far, it wasn´t a good experience. From about 10 guests that booked through IB, 2 of them have used a different profile than their own so that make the communication a challenge for me. From my understanding, every guests that books with IB is prompt with a pop up window that shows your house rules and they must agree to them before procedding to book. My house rules are very short to make them easy to read and I though it will be wise to include a line saying to say that booking on behalf of someone else was not allowed, but still my second IB reservation arrived on behalf of someone else ignoring my new house rules. Then I got several others that haven´t read my listings details, and specially the check-in and check-out times that are also listed on my house rules so my conclusion was that most IB guests don´t read, they just book. And I got others that booked and then ask for more inforrmation about the place they have booked which should be the opposite. I also noted that communication with IB guests is complicated. I believe most of them associated IB to the way hotels handled reservations and you don´t talk to much to the hotel staff when you make a reservation, you just go there and check-in. This was hard to digest for me, because part of delivering a good stay to my guests was to build a sort of relantionship with them (even a tiny one) but how could I start a conversation with someone that books my place and his only word is “tourism” without the Hi, Bye, See You or just essentail human being contact signs.How do you respond to “tourism”? Hope all this was just a casuality and IB isn´t as bad as it seems by now.


Thanks for sharing that. Our first IB arrives tomorrow and I’m curious to see how it goes.

So far she hasn’t responded to the only 2 questions I asked in my welcome email:

  1. What is your husband’s name?
  2. What is your approximately arrival tome so I can be here to greet you.

But it’s still early.

Perezo - Maybe you just asked too many questions.

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Guests that book without using IB need to make an effort to be accepted at your place while IB guests don´t, thus the first group is more responsive than the second one. Communication is essential for me in any kind of business/relantionship. The experience so far wasn´t good.

I once had one whose only comment was ‘getaway’. I think that this is because Airbnb prompts the guest to tell the host the reason for visiting the area and ‘tourism’ or ‘getaway’ does that in the minds of some people. Also it’s hard (for me anyway) to write long messages on the tiny phone keyboard.

I responded with ‘You’ve chosen a great place for your getaway. You’ll find that there’s such a lot to see and do…’ etc. etc.

By the way, my ‘getaway’ guests were lovely. :slight_smile:

Hi @florbone,

You are probably aware of it, but you can ask Airbnb to cancel people who are ignoring Airbnb’s rules - in this case booking on behalf of someone else. Again, it’s not your rule, it’s their rule. See

And I’d recommend it. It’s a bad idea to host someone who is different from the person booking. And people who ignore basic rules and basic courtesy are not likely to improve on further acquaintance.

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I know, what an invasive host I am. Someone better mention that in a review!

Yes, I understand what you said but this didn´t happen to me in the past with the same frecuency than with IB guests. I asume that need to give IB some time. Maybe people with more time using IB can tell me more about their experiences.

I had used for few months, didn’t had a problem

I did not know Air was prompting guests in this fashion. Okay, a lot of stuff just started to make sense…

This stuff is invaluable to newer hosts, @jaquo - thanks for mentioning it.

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I certainly was not aware of it. How liberating! Thanks, @faheem!

Hi @Perezo,

I routinely ask people to tell me their full name and a little about themselves before booking. Not 100% of the time. Sometimes it’s the middle of the night and I’m not quite with it. Sometimes the full name is on the booking request, sometimes it isn’t. Then I google it. I don’t think this is a particularly useful exercise, and would only be useful if the person was a criminal or something, but it makes me feel better. It certainly wasn’t any use with the problem guests that I got.

And asking about time of arrival is a very basic thing. I usually ask people to call me from the airport and then when they are close. Usually they don’t.

It’s easy to tell good guests before they get here. They communicate well, respond sensibly to emails, fill out forms properly and return them promptly, don’t ask stupid questions, and don’t make unreasonable requests. Unfortunately, cancelling guests after booking is frowned upon.

There’s a nice lady from Israel who is coming here from October, for example, and I would be absolutely flabbergasted if she was a bad guest. She’s, like, the perfect correspondent.

(Sorry, I’m rambling.)

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@florbone Personally, I like IB; I also like short and sweet messages, although I’m more than happy to address long messages punctuated by questions. However, if I was hosting guests in my own home, under the same roof that I sleep, it would be a totally different situation and I would be incredibly careful.

@MissMiami How goes the 2nd rental since the change of pictures? Any improvement?

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@Mearns Fred, alas, no, regrettably I still have very few views and even fewer bookings…Thank you for asking and for your support :slight_smile:

We always ask for full names of every guest that is staying and say only those peolle will be premitted on the property. I say I need the names for insurance reason if questioned. Hehehe

In the words of Led Zeplin, ramble on, my friend (groan!)