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I have never hit the “decline” button in 2+ years. Mostly due to a fear of penalties & a feeling like I “need” every booking. After reading several posts here (all the way back to 2016) & weighing the advice, today I went with my gut.
“ I found your listing a week and a half ago and was going to reserve it at the price of X a night and just today saw the listing had gone up just as I got all the money together to reserve. I was just wondering if theres anyway we could do the original price?”
Big red flag - negotiating price & indicating budget was maxed out (note that the price difference for the stay: $114;)
Profile created 2019; no reviews; no info besides a first name. Now, I have a $500 deposit requirement (that we all know isn’t legit since Air doesn’t hold the funds); if $114 is an issue, what can I expect if they do damage or bring extra people? Everything in me screamed “NO!”. So I sent a nice message about not negotiating prices & other options better fitting their needs & then hit “decline” so I wouldn’t get stuck having to decline an actual booking request.
Sounds like you read a lot so you probably came across posts that explained that Inquiries only require a response but requests need an accept or decline. However, I guess that actually declining a inquiry would keep someone from sending a booking request. (It also sounds like it felt really good too ). I’ve never thought of that way.
I bet if you had actually just responded with,
that they wouldn’t have sent a request
For reference, I do actually just respond, “No”, sometimes and I’ve never heard anything more from anyone I responded with just “no”.
A had a lot of inquiries asking for discounts. I always politely responded ‘no’ and not one of them ever responded or booked and the inquiries just expired. I think most of them were sending inquiries to a bunch of hosts to see if any would bite.
Yours is a little different in that the guest actually knows your previous price, so maybe they had already narrowed your listing down from a larger list and is now disappointed that it’s more expensive. Based on my experience, I probably wouldn’t have declined, but I certainly wouldn’t second guess myself over it if I had.
If you’re looking for confirmation that you did the right thing. You get my vote.
Was it an inquiry or a request to book? If it’s an inquiry, you just need to respond. In addition, I go into the calendar and block those says so that the system will automatically mark it “not possible.” I’m glad you followed your gut instinct.
It was just an inquiry, which I do normally just “respond” with a persuasive reason why they may not wish to attempt to book & they usually expire, but I felt like these folks were still going to try to book…and I didn’t want them…I’ve recently raised my prices, based on posts from another thread, in an attempt to weed out guests that have been troublesome. While things may have been fine, unfortunately these folks ticked too many of the boxes.
Thanks, Brian. It’s hard to know. I appreciate the support. I’ve concluded my #1 issue w/ problem guests is that I don’t always vet properly so I’m trying to be more selective & raised my prices slightly.
Airbnb makes it so difficult for us to vet guests. When they send an inquiry all I can see is their first name. I don’t get much information until they book since I don’t have IB.
I have cancelled bookings after getting their last name. One of the bookings, after going to their facebook page, I saw it was a young person (18 yr old) and he had comments about his upcoming prom. I cancelled that reservation and to my surprise, I didn’t lose the superhost status.
That doesn’t make sense. Declines affect your Acceptance rate regardless of whether it’s a request or an inquiry.
And just because you decline an inquiry doesn’t prevent them from sending a request, as far as I’m aware.
I see the guest’s message as not the same as guests who try to chisel you down, because the price did change. All you had to do was tell them the price changed due to market fluctuation and you’re sorry, but that’s just how it goes. If we waffle on an airline ticket, it might be higher when we go to book it 2 days later.
Why would comments about his upcoming prom be cause for cancelling? I’m sure perfectly responsible young people comment about their upcoming prom on Facebook. Or did the dates of his booking co-incide with that?
I’m not sure what you mean by
You can read their reviews, if they have any, and communicate with them to get a sense of them and their intentions. Hosts who use IB get NO information about a guest until after they book.
True. I never get advance info about my guests until they have booked and why should I really? I know that a lot of hosts talk about ‘going with their gut’ but after all these years, it’s something I have never developed.
I’ve had one or two guests who I haven’t exactly looked forward to because of their messages or their profile but they’ve turned out to be lovely.
Yes, I get some oddities too but Airbnb is a STR site and not a dating site.
I don’t have to find guests that are ‘a good match’ or ‘a good fit’. Those aren’t necessary parts of the equation.
Yes, the dates were right after his prom. There have been horror stories of high school seniors renting Airbnbs and destroying them here in South Jersey. I’m not taking any chances especially when their own parents buy their kids booze.
I was referring to no last name, name of city and no picture. Many don’t even have a little bio, just their name. I don’t go by reviews because in the past guests with great reviews were awful.
I much rather go to their Facebook page or their Linkedin profile. I’m trying to weed out the party folks. In the past they all have been under 25 years, high school students and college kids. Looking at their picture I can try to figure out if their teens or college kids.
There’s bit of an art to sorting through reviews as far as them being trustworthy or not.
For starters, any reviews that just say “Nice guests” or “Great guests!” are usually written by property managers who leave that exact same wording for all their guests, assuming they didn’t burn the place down. If you cross reference reviews, you’ll see this, so I completely discount those reviews.
If a review is quite brief and not particularly informative, the host was probably loathe to review honestly. Those reviews might be something like “XX was a nice girl who was pleasant to talk to.”
I also look for reviews from hosts who have similar rentals to mine, i.e home-share vs. entire place, because I want to know if they are suited to home-shares.
A review like “XX was a delightful guest with great communication. Easygoing and friendly and very respectful of the space and the host. Left her room super clean and tidy. Welcome back anytime”, is a review I know is believable.
P.S. That last example is the sort of review I like to leave. Not only do I want to make it evident to other hosts that I am reviewing honestly, I like to reward great guests by taking an extra few minutes to write them a review that will easily get them accepted in the future, as they deserve that.
And if they already have good reviews, I try to mention something positive that no one else has mentioned.
First, I told them that prices fluctuate with the market and we do not negotiate pricing. Second, I made my decision to decline the inquiry based on this from the AiRBnB help website. Perhaps I misinterpreted it but I read it to mean they cannot make a booking request once I decline the inquiry (& frankly that makes sense).
From the link below: “ You can also decline an inquiry, which prevents the guest from sending a request.”
It’s true that declining an inquiry will prevent the same guest from sending a request;
After further research, what I said is not true: declining an inquiry is no different than declining a request. They both effect acceptance rate. It’s better to run them off with the inquiry response (plus it’s fun too) so that they don’t even bother putting in a request and then save the declines for requests..