Newbie questions about declines etc

Apparently I am a newbie since these seem to be obvious questions but I am unable to find the answers thru the airbnb help pages…

  1. If a reservation request is made, can any of the dates be blocked? I am thinking that if a reservation request seems uncomfortable, then blocking a day or days within the request could be a ‘way out’?

  2. If a reservation request is made, it appears that the ‘prebooking’ things in IB are not there - for example, a verified ID, or the answering of prebooking requests (“what brings you to…” etc). Is that true?

  3. How can using a ‘special offer’ help in any of the above situations?

It seems to me that so much of what goes on these days is attempting to not ‘rattle the cage’ of the guest, that it would be good for us hosts to have more tools so that the rejection or the ‘filling out’ of reservation requests does not hurt…

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Request to Book – WHY would you want to block days in the middle?? Just decline the Request – reason “uncomfortable with this request”.

IB is a completely different “system” than Request to Book, no reason to expect answers to IB questions which the requester never sees, and if you accept an “un-verified” ID you are just asking for trouble (not that verification is very deep or useful).

Most of us use one system or the other, but not both. I for one will never use Instant Booking. When I get a Request to Book, I immediately send a message asking what brings them to my neck of the woods (if they don’t say so in the Request) and tell them I need to know at least that before I will approve a Booking.

Special offers will do nothing to help in either situation you describe. They are supposed to be used to “sweeten a deal” if a potentially well-paying guest is waffling about wanting to stay at your place. Or if a family friend books but you don’t want them to pay full rate… that sort of thing. Essentially special offers are worthless 99% of the time. The only time I’ve used a special offer was to give a third-time-returning guest a “special deal” because they had had to cut short their second visit due to a death in the family, and I told them I would give them off-season rate rather than the high-season rate when next they booked.

A Request to Book (or reservation request as opposed to an inquiry) always blocks the dates on your calendar and you cannot block dates until they either withdraw the Request or you Decline.

An inquiry does not block dates so you can go in, block a day or two of the stay and suddenly the algorithm shows that the guest can’t book. No dings from Air that I know of.

More than 3 declines and Air gets pissy.

I use IB but check the ID Verified boxes and also the box that if a host has put “would not host again,” they have to request to book or send an inquiry.

Our guests who were new to Air were always fine. If a bit anxious for whatever reason, you can always reach out nicely and “blame the 3rd party” for your inquiry. Worst case, just decline - but that does ding one of your stats.
Perhaps something like “Sorry to bother you but our insurance policy requires full name, addresses, and ages for all guests, and your ID needs to be verified with Airbnb.
Please note that Airbnb can take a few days to verify your ID, so would you please withdraw your booking request while you get that done. And, then, we would be happy to accommodate you.
If you don’t mind, what brings you to our area? Is there anything you need like recommendations for restaurants or things to do? Thank you for your understanding”.

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I’m going through exactly this right now. She sent a request to book and doesn’t have a photo ID so Air blocked the days while they got her paperwork in order (so to speak).

I asked her those questions and got weird answers that I’m not comfortable with so I think I’ll just let this one expire. We’ve had a lot of communication and now she’s pleading “scared of giving me a photo ID” as well as “I’m not good with the cyber thing.”

We’ll see what her next set of answers are.

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Why would you let it expire rather than decline? If you have Superhost, or care about it, letting it expire dings your response rate, which is counted towards that. Declining dings acceptance rate, which isn’t counted.

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the kind of response to a request for information or help that really is helpful, brilliant !!

  1. no
  2. yes
  3. none

Just decline the request. That is the whole point of it being a request instead of a booking, you get a say in the matter.

Declining a request only effects your acceptance rate. The Airbnb goal for you acceptance rate is only a mere 88%. Acceptance rate does not effect Superhost, only basic requirements. Futhermore, going below the 88% does not have an automatic penalty or any at all that I have experienced or heard about. One of my listings is at a 63% acceptance rate, it is fully booked, making more money than it ever has and I have not received as much as an email from Airbnb.

Declining dings your acceptance rate. I was just checking that out last night. SH gets 3 declines for “free.”

I always respond quickly - usually immediately or within a couple of hours. That metric is excellent on Air’s score for SH and for conversion metrics.

BTW, she withdrew the request because she wouldn’t change to 1 person for 2 nights OR withdraw the request and rebook. IDK what was up, but it all worked out.

Acceptance rate does not effect SH at all. And acceptance rate is a percentage so a numerical value (3) for declines doesn’t exist. Maybe you’re thinking about 3 free cancellations for IB hosts.

That is response rate, which is different and does effect SH.


Yes, this… 202022020