New to AirBnb first booking help

Please can I have some help as I’ve just listed yesterday on AirBnb and have my first enquiry from a lady with a dog with no reviews.
What questions should I ask as I’m a bit aprehensive as taking the property over this week. Obviously I have no hosting reviews only travelling reviews.
Booking is for 4 nights over Christmas.

What questions is she asking you? Do you allow pets? Not sure what kind of help you’re looking for.


If you just listed your property today, and you already have a four day booking over Christmas, your price is too low.


That’s possible, but it could also be that there are no properties in her area that were available over Christmas (or none that are pet friendly). Given the limited information in the OP, it’s a bit of a leap to assume her pricing is an issue.


If there are no other properties available over Christmas then my point still stands that she has priced it too low. I appreciate I am making an assumption by saying this but given the limited amount of information it is one potential and quite likely reason why she got booked so quickly. Just my twopence.


In some areas, the winter holidays are the most busy for STR.


She’s received an inquiry, not a booking.

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Do you accept dogs? Have you ticked you accept pets in your listing if not then decline the booking.

I agree that you should review your pricing against local comparable pricing. Don’t use Airbnb’s smart pricing. Make sure you have premium pricing for Christmas/New Year.

I believe it’s the summer holidays for @Debster :wink:


@Debster Is it safe to assume that you are allowing pets? If you don’t allow pets, tell her so and that’s it.

However, if you are allowing pets ask her: How old is the dog? Is it house-trained? Is it particularly barky? What is the plan for the dog when you go out - will it go with you or be left in the apartment? Will it be crated or is it trustworthy in the house? Ask her things to get a feeling for how she ‘parents’ her dog. If she has no plan, then politely tell her no right away (this doesn’t bode well). Otherwise, continue the conversation about the dog until you decide if you feel comfortable or not.

Note that because it is only an Inquiry (as opposed to a Request) you only have to respond to her message. You do not need to pre-approve or decline.


Lady + Dog + No Reviews = No Problem – as long as you accept dogs

@Debster you say you’re “taking the property over this week”. Are you not the property owner? Are you local manager for a remote owner? Please clarify.


Thanks I’ll decline the booking and work out how to put on snooze. I have to rush off to work.

I usually ask what brings them to the area. Are they visiting family? How many in their group? My concern always is that they’re having a party.

If you don’t allow pets, then this is your opportunity to make it clear. If you do allow pets, then discuss the pet fee.

Best wishes.

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You need to do your research! Find out what similar properties are renting for and set your prices accordingly. Smart Pricing isn’t very smart, in most cases.

Taking reservations on a property you don’t own yet is risky. If you have to cancel, you’re going to be penalized in the search rankings, and you won’t be eligible for Superhost status for a year.

If you’re making significant changes, you definitely don’t want to be taking reservations. Guests will (rightly) feel you have misrepresented your listing if you are using photos showing different furnishings. You might be okay if the furnishings are significantly higher quality, but I wouldn’t risk it, myself.

You are buying real estate, not the previous owner’s business. Any existing reservations are the previous owner’s problem, not yours.

Has the previous owner canceled the existing reservations, or otherwise notified the guests? How are you going to get paid for these reservations if you honor them?

I think you need to let the inquiring guest know that your listing is not yet available, put your listing on snooze, and work out the above details before you launch.


One more thing - do I understand correctly that you are in Queensland, but the property is in Tasmania? If so, who is going to be on site to manage guest issues?

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Block off the calendar now. Don’t accept this booking. Get your feet under you first then open the calendar.

New host with no clue + Remote host + Lady + Dog + No Review = Big problems.


Debster- First you say it’s an Enquiry, then you say you’re going to decline the booking. An Inquiry isn’t a booking. You really need to snooze your listing until you are ready to host and have photos that reflect the place accurately, not change things after guests have booked. And you need to spend time while the listing is snoozed reading up on all the information on the Airbnb site in the “help” articles for hosts so you understand how it all works, as well as read daily on this forum and/or the Airbnb community forum, which is invaluable for other experienced hosts’ advice and to understand what situations you might run into when hosting.
And when you post a question on the forums, give as much information as possible, so other hosts can give appropriate advice- saying someone is asking to bring a dog, without stating here whether you allow dogs or not, makes it hard to offer you advice.

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Hi Debster.
I’m in NSW. I’ve been hosting for 3 yrs, had 800 bookings and we take pets. It’s been a steep learning curve. We do not accept instant bookings with pets. It must be negotiated prior.
Also, Airbnb do not cover damage caused by pets. We had people book our place for 4 days. They brought four bulldogs without permission and then did not stay themselves. The dogs went crazy, wrecked the joint, broke a window, ate furniture and we couldn’t get access. $1500 in damages. Airbnb didn’t care.
Just the long way of saying, think this through. You get lots more bookings if you accept pets. Buts a tonne more grief too.

So they used your place as a kennel and just left the dogs unsupervised?

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I’m not going to argue that Airbnb cared. But hosts can have a House Rule that dogs can’t be left unsupervised or uncrated. Airbnb policy is that for them to enforce a policy it has to be stated in the House Rules.

Also cameras on the exterior of places, especially remotely hosted is essential so a host can monitor what is going on at their place. If I saw four dogs brought in without permission on my security video without permission they wouldn’t get a chance to do $1500 damage.