New potential guests with tons of questions

I am quite new to the Airbnb hosting (about 12 already hosted bookings) but what really started me to annoy are questions from potential guests who express interest in booking your apartment but have tons on questions first and not even about the apartment but about the city. They send me a message with specific questions (i.e. about jazz bars, galleries, art etc.), I answer very fast, listing several options, ideas … and I never hear back from them. Not even a simple thank you but we decided to book somewhere else … I try to be open and helpful to every potential guests but this is firstly time consuming and secondly quite annoying when they don’t even bother to reply. I am not a help line service.

Do you have those? How do you handle these?

I get lots of questions about how far attractions are from our house and how long it will take to get to them. Even though we’ve detailed the distances to most of the attractions they are asking about in both miles and kilometers in our listing, I answer their questions.

Have you added your recommendations to your Guidebook? If so and if you prefer not to answer questions individually you can ask them to look at your Guidebook and let you know if the want to know about something that’s not covered in your Guidebook.


You can imagine how many questions I get about visiting Hawaii. If they have specific questions about distances and things I answer readily. If they want to know about attractions, things to do and sightseeing, etc, I simply say, I can give you much more information after I have received your confirmed booking confirmation.



I think a lot of us have received those types of questions for free tour guide-type advice – what’s around, how far is it, when does it open, how much, what’s the best, etc. Some of the more unusual questions I’ve received…where is the nearest dry cleaner, can you recommend a “good” hair salon, the “best” wedding photographer.

It’s been a while since I’ve had those questions but my response is usually, “As soon as your reservation is secured, I’ll be sending a lot of helpful information and I will be sure to include the answers to all your questions at that time.”

When a potential guest who hasn’t read the listing thoroughly asks for information that is in my listing, I pick one of their questions and say, “As mentioned in the listing under Amenities…” Then I’ll add, “If something is not covered in the listing, please let me know and I’ll be happy to answer your questions.”

It works for me.


I have a quite extensive Guide Book and keep adding things based on my guests recommendations as well. I will direct them to the guide book next time :+1:

Bloková citace “As soon as your reservation is secured, I’ll be sending a lot of helpful information and I will be sure to include the answers to all your questions at that time.”

Good one, thanks

either ignore their questions and say something like, once booking is confirmed you will recieve a full guidebook, but then again if i asked question i would book before knowing the answers, so if it just a few quetions answer and be polite, even if they don’t book.

Them: Know any good (fun adult event or place)?
Me: I’ve got small kids, so i don’t get out much. But Timeout NY is an excellent free source of information about places and events. You should check them out!

Them: "How far is it from your house to X?"
Me: We are a 5 minute walk to the N line. There’s a fantastic website, google MTA Tripplanner - you can enter any two locations, and it will give you up to 3 different routes for getting there, including planned service changes! It’s awesome!

…i did help this one guy who wanted to treat his girlfriend to times square in NYC… I dug up so much great info for them (toilets in times square, new years eve, are a big deal) and i don’t think they even reviewed me.

If you don’t have timeout you probably at least have a local tourist website/ office. Let them do the question answering. :wink:

Yup! I do what @konacoconutz do.

It’s a bit of a fine line between wasting a lot of time and helping them. I’ve noticed that a good portion of the inquiries I get that do not convert to bookings for me don’t seem to book anywhere in my neighborhood. (I keep track of my neighbors’ bookings on a weekly basis).

If you are in a true vacation area, they might be deciding whether your area is suitable for them. And you might have to sell them on the area before you can sell them on your place.

But if your listing is best for people visiting families or business travelers, then don’t bother with those question-askers.

Great ideas. :+1: It’s reasonable that people should get all the answers after they book, and yet it’s still possible to be friendly about it.

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I get a lot of “How far is X from your place” my usual answer is “Hi, I have the same information as you do, therefore it takes just as much time for you to go on maps and look it up as it takes me.” I know it sounds harsh but, I find that many people are lazy and require hand holding. I am a host, not a concierge.

This an interesting way to look at it. Do you have a saved message stating that or do you type that out? There are many places that I know the distance from my house already and I’m familiar with the best routes, traffic and so on so it is not much effort for me to simply answer their question. Laziness takes many forms and hosts are not immune.

Let me edit as I know that sounds harsh but, I would worry that a guest would give me a bad review if I addressed their questions in such a pointed way.

Again, I am a host. Not a concierge. If they have an address they can look up the information just like I can.

Hey, if it works for you, who am I to say anything, right? As a potential guest, if I asked a question that I would have to look up the answer to (how long to drive from your place to the IKEA store?) but which you probably know off the top of your head and you replied to me to “look it up,” I definitely would not book your place. Maybe that somehow keeps you from booking in folks you don’t care to host and I’d be one of them.


Yes, I helps me to weed out the people I do not care to host. It’s been my experience that while these type of people do not care to do the research themselves, they also skip over taking the time to read the house rules. My listing actually says “Please do not ask me to look up how far the listing is from your destination”. I have had guests book my place then complain that they are heavily allergic to cats even though I have a cat in the home, her picture is on the listing and I state she lives in the home. Also, my place is a little tricky to get to, so I sen very specifi directions on how to get to my place and tell the guest not to go by GPS insteuctions as it will take them to the wrong entrance. Guess what!!! They end up getting lost and tell me “I went by GPS” 9 times out of 10, it’s the very same guests who are needing hand holding…i.e want me to look up addresses for them.

Another thing to keep in mind is that many of us hosts have full time lives. Yes, I know its hard to believe that outside of sitting by the computer waiting for Airbnb guests to contact us, that we actually have lives outside of Airbnb. Hey some of us even have Full time jobs. Airbnb is a house sharing venue independent of the hotel industry and our rates are such that it allows guest to stay in a place without having to pay hotel type rates. The expectation of some guests is some times distorted. Airbnb is not a bed and breakfast and it is not a hotel.

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I’d be one of those that would refrain from booking, well of course, unless there would not be any better alternative available.
Such an un-welcoming answer would scare me off …but where I live the distance is only part of the equation: time of the day and weather are other factors.


Almost all of our guests have questions about where things are and what to do. It’s seldom a problem; we have a long list of recommendations on our site and have a well-memorized 2-minute verbal rundown that includes three bombproof restaurants and one bombproof hiking trail. We do an in-house room and a glamp tent, and the rundown is a very frequent part of check-in.

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I recently asked four hosts how far they were from the Alfa Romeo dealership as I needed to be in walking distance while my car was serviced. All were happy to answer my question. As a host I was recently asked where a grand mother could get her hair and make up done for a wedding. I googled places and sent her the details. I usually don’t get too many questions but have been on both sides.

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I agree and even after a guest has booked, hosts should still be selling. After all, if the booking is some time in the future, the guests can always cancel. This can happen if a) there are plenty of other accommodation options in your area and b) you’re coming across as unfriendly.

Even during a guest’s stay, hosts should still be in ‘selling’ mode - ensuring a good review and hoping for repeat or referral business.

I don’t mind answering questions at all. Yes, they can use Google or the guidebook or many other sources but I’m not here to show them how dumb they are by not doing that. I’m here to host them, and make sure they have a good time. If that means answering a few questions then fine. My job isn’t to show them up as dummies.

If I’m in line at the supermarket or in the doctor’s waiting room or whatever, then it’s easy enough to take a minute on the app to answer. If it’s nightime and the guest has half a brain they realise I’m sleeping and are grateful for an answer in the morning.

Having reviews saying ‘attentive and helpful host’ can’t hurt.


I agree. We get lots of enquiries asking how far we are from places and it only takes me a second to plug it into google maps and tell them. If it helps me get bookings I don’t mind at all.