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New policy about guest contact- any body else seen it?

Hadn’t seen it until via this thread but I have a HUGE problem with part of it:
When I first started using Airbnb, they had the Voice Connect feature which allowed me to connect by phone blindly to potential guest so we could chat and i could fully explain some of the quirks about how i do things and to make sure they would be happy. It saved me and them LOADS of time typing! As I say: 1 min talk = 10+ min typing and I have vision issues so it’s even more of a challenge.

I had an existing summer cottage colony doing weekly rental. My policy when booking new cutsomers is that I will NOT book them UNLESS we talk by phone first.
So I don’t ask them for phone number but do provide them hints on how to find me. If the initial contact is via Airbnb, i still use it to do the first rental with them.

And now there is a count on repeat guests in the app, wonder if the 2 are connected.

Most of this isn’t worded very strongly - so nothing and everything might be against the policy.

It feels like they will push to see what they can get away with, and IMO if you’re not offending the guest it’s not going to cross Airbnb’s path.

For what it’s worth, I do text a guest directly, once. It’s a few days after their stay. I thank them for staying, encourage them to book direct for a discount next time, and to assure them that I’ll delete their # unless they reply. It’s just a bookend to their stay. I don’t belive that’s against Airbnb’s policy or even GDPR, as it’s all in relation to the one booking they’ve made. I’m not asking for more contact details, and I’m not trying to fiddle with the original booking.

Having said that Airbnb had an outage yesterday where loads of booking & contact emails got delayed so they can’t be too fussy about the odd offsite contact.

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How is Furnished Finder working out for you? I was on it for 2 years and only got scammers or didn’t get the nurses I wanted. Granted, that was back in its infancy. I’d pay the money if I could get people instead of getting notices for people looking 50 miles away.

I know you weren’t asking me. We signed up for Furnished Finder last December to find a 13-week nurse renter. We found one within a few days. She was perfect. We did that because winter was typically slower for us with Airbnb.

If we ever get back to STR, we’d use Airbnb (or equivalent) for most of the year and then again rent out one of our two rooms to a 13-week nurse through FF in the winter.

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Lucky you! I kept getting recommendations for nurses going to St. Petersburg (across from me on Tampa Bay… 50 minute each way commute for them) and two scammers with the “I’ll come for 10 days with my daughter and pay you on the 14th…” Yeah, nope.

I’m hearing more positive things now though and may give it a go. Thanks!!

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I just reviewed this thread and this requirement struck me as a problematic prohibition:
“Asking guests for contact information after a booking in order to run background checks”
This is inconsistent with their push to shift to longer term rentals. I probably won’t use Airbnb for 30 day rentals anyway, because I would likely require a signed lease doc, and Airbnb makes that difficult, but no way without having the option of a background check.
If you click on Airbnb’s “background check” (deservedly in quotes) it says “If we have enough information (usually at least the user’s first and last name, plus date of birth) . . . we check certain databases . . .”

That Airbnb admits they don’t even necessarily have a user’s first and last name, sending these absolute strangers to our homes without even having their basic ID, is outrageous.

And if they want hosts to move towards long-term, they need to have a whole other set of criteria for long-term. Hosts would be fools to use Airbnb for long term as things currently stand.

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It’s not working out all. I’m getting too many semi-long-term bookings through Airbnb, and traveling nurses wait until the last-minute expecting your place will be available to them for the next 3 months. We have a roommate staying in our guestroom, now, I’ve had to take that room off Airbnb.

I paid for a 2-year listing and I will not be renewing. Total waste of money. I finally suspended my listing bc I was getting random texts from people (I assume) interested in my space. I forgot FF shares your personal information. I’ve considered asking for a refund and completely removing my listing, but not sure it’s worth the effort. I’ll just write it off on my taxes.

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I’m really sorry to read that they’re even worse than they were in the beginning. I had 6 months free when they launched as an early adopter and it wasn’t great but I figured I’d help them with QA (since I do software dev projects like theirs for a living). I signed up for a year’s paid subscription and it was awful. Back then they didn’t share your personal info, I don’t think, so the scammers didn’t text me.

Think I’ve only heard of 3 people (urban legends!) that have had success with FF.

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To be fair, there’s definitely a market for semi-long-term accommodations (>30 nights but <90 nights). At least where I live where there are virtually none, except for a few hotels, and the their extended stay rates are still more expensive than most motels. Considering I live in such a small city, I am spared all the scammers and bogus listings.

Travelers are skittish enough about using Airbnb in our area, much less FF, which probably has a fraction of the market share Airbnb has. I try to encourage friends who would make good hosts to list their spare bedrooms on Airbnb, but most are too skeptical of the type of traveler who comes to our city despite most of our guests being business travelers. Perception is everything where I live, even though I often have turn guests away bc we’re already booked. It’s a weird Twilight Zone for STRs.

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I’m an in-home renting-out-the-spare-room host(ess) and it’s been mostly fabulous and I’ve made friends for life in many of my guests. They can PM me for info as I’m an over 55 year old woman living with a cat. :wink:

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I just read it, thanks for posting.

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