New Instant Booking Requirement by Airbnb

Hi Everyone,
My listing is connected with Wheelhouse for pricing, and it has worked well for us in our first year with Airbnb. AS OF THIS WEEK AIRBNB REQUIRES INSTANT BOOK TO BE TURNED ON to use these pricing platforms. They really are strong arming us to use Instant Book with this new requirement, and I have found IB to be so stressful. Reviewing guests before booking them has been a much more pleasant experience.

What are your thoughts about this new requirement for Instant Book? Has anyone found a work-around? Have people here had a good experience with Instant Book?

I appreciate your insights.

I don’t use any pricing app, nor have I ever, nor will ever, use Instant Book, so it doesn’t affect me personally, but you certainly have my sympathy re Airbnb’s coersion tactics. It has always really pissed me off that Instant Book properties are the major factor in search ranking. That a listing with a 4* rating gets superior placement to a listing with a 5* Superhost, just because the former uses IB, is just so wrong.


Yes, I’m noticing that as well. It is a coercion tactic. And it now applies to ALL pricing apps!

I have used Instant book and check off every requirement that I can. They are also supposed to agree to my rules and answer some questions but that doesn’t always happen.

I have only cancelled instant book reservations twice (excluding the third-party booking that I catch when I ask for all guests names and selfies on the reservation). Usually because they won’t answer my questions or my gut says no.

I think I prefer instant book myself.


Yes, I have, I’ve been using IB for about seven years with no problems.

My rentals are separate apartments, although I am there on the spot if I’m needed by the guests. Also, I’ve never had those second-sight senses that some hosts have when they review and accept or decline guests. That doesn’t work for me - I’m hopeless at evaluating guests from the details in the profile and their messages.

It’s worked successfully for me - two apartments, both booked year round.

I’ve only once in many years had to ask guests to leave and other issues have been too minor to mention.

Quite a few of us, @KKC especially, have been saying for a long time that Airbnb would eventually move to an IB-only model. If they do, I’ll be fine with it.


I used it in my previous rental, oh 4 years ago when things didn’t seem as complex.

I use it in my rental here and feel fortunate that most guests are seasoned with lots of reviews.

Happy to report that I’m getting bookings again. Why? I don’t know, didn’t change a thing but maybe not fitting into a category is the ticket.

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That’s interesting, in light of the other thread where you said you couldn’t imagine why it would be uncomfortable to homeshare with a guest who was upset with the host or the housing situation. It’s like your brain can’t extrapolate and imagine a possible scenario, or a feeling, based on information given.

I find brain research fascinating. There is a condition called aphantasia- people with that brain chemistry cannot create mental visual imagery of things- they have no “mind’s eye”. They can think about something, but they can’t picture it. For instance, they can think about people they know and love, but there is no mental image of their face. They can think about a house they live or lived in, but they can’t form any mental picture of the house itself. Apparently they can, however, see visual imagery when asleep, in their dreams. But not in their waking state.

Most people with that condition don’t even realize they have it unless it comes up in conversation and they become aware that other people have mental imagery. Like someone might say to them, “I just can’t get that image of that horrible accident we saw out of my head”. They are confused, because they know they saw the accident, but reseeing it in their mind would never happen, even if they tried.

One guy in a video I watched said before he was diagnosed with the condition, he couldn’t figure out why he got over his mother’s death much more easily than his siblings, and had felt guilty about it. It wasn’t that he didn’t love her as much as his siblings, or ever think about her, but because her face, or a family scene with her never appeared to him, he just didn’t think about her, miss her, and feel sad as often as one would if her face popped into their mind unbidden.

As I said in that thread, I can’t imagine why it would be uncomfortable. As I also said, I have had in-home guests who have been non-communitive, sullen, grumpy or whatever, and it hasn’t bothered me.

So I’m not really sure why my comments in this thread are relevant to that.

My own brain doesn’t need to imagine situations, I can assure you. I’ve been in most of them.


For the record, I’m not saying they will. If I could see the future I’d have a much more lucrative job. I’m saying I would not be at all surprised. I also won’t be surprised if they increasingly favor the app over the website, have certain things you can only do on the app and eventually abandon the website for the mobile app model.

This isn’t based on any special knowledge. It’s based on learning years ago via a meeting at DogVacay corporate offices that apps can be dinked with much more easily and it was explained to me with tech talk I don’t understand. There are many apps like that already. Money and ticket transfers that can only be done on the app, not the website, for example.

Eventually all the “I refuse to use the app” people will be gone or they will adapt.


This is interesting and enlightening as to why businesses pressure users to use their app rather than their website.Why companies really want you to use an app for that - Marketplace

But that thread was about homesharing not with a guest who is grumpy or moody or unsociable, but who is mad at the host about something. And you said maybe you couldn’t imagine that because it had never happened to you.

They only have access if you give them access. But apps are also incredibly convenient for those of us on the go. So yeah, I give them access to stuff on my phone when I want to use a service that requires it.

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Thank you for sharing your perspective and experience, @Lynn. I think I needed to hear that people have had a good experience with Instant Booking, and I’m considering giving it a try. I had one booking this weekend, the second one cancelled, and the rest of the schedule is WIDE OPEN.

@jackie, given my limited experience with IB, I’m appreciating yours and others’ seasoned perspective given that you have had a good experience with it for so many years. I’m willing to give it another try and see how it goes. Certainly would be better than having a WIDE OPEN schedule during peak season! Ha! And now that I have one year of a relatively good experience with Airbnb, I feel a lot more reassured with the process.


@zillacop, glad to hear you’re getting bookings again! I think Airbnb has gone back to marketing as they used to, as of June 30, before the big Categories changeover.

In my area in Northern California, Airbnb has 92% share of the market, and VRBO has 8%. That’s a huge chunk. And we had a pretty good first year with just Airbnb. Mostly people staying Fri-Sun or Thurs-Sun for Napa wineries.

As I mentioned to others, I will turn IB on again and see how it goes. Hoping for more reservations.

I so appreciate the active participation in this forum. Your input is invaluable to me as a relative newcomer.