No response from first time guests

I’ve recently received more requests from 1st time guests, which is not a problem, but I reach out to them when they request and ask them some questions to make sure they are are aware of our rules and features.
When they don’t respond to me in a reasonable amount of time (in fact the app now tells me whether my message has even been read) I see that as a red flag.
Any tips? I’m a seasoned host (5 years) but this is new for me.
Most recently their requesting message gives me little to go on as well, so I rely on a response to gauge guest quality.

If it’s an inquiry all you have to do is reply. After that I’d ignore them. If it’s a request to book then you have to decline or accept and in that case I’d refer you to a repost of a similar question from a few months ago:

It seems that sometimes new users are on a fishing expedition and don’t respond if a host starts asking questions. I think I dodged a bullet a few days ago when I got a request to book with a message I didn’t understand. I have instant book but currently require a good review to use it. Others must request:

I’ll never know what they meant but at least they withdrew the request. I blocked that night after they withdrew then I got a request for a direct booking for the next night by one my repeat guests so it all worked out.


Thanks for your response.

If it’s an inquiry, I respond ASAP and if they don’t reply back, I ignore them and hopefully book someone else since it doesn’t block the calendar.

If its a RTB and they don’t respond after a couple of hours, I message again and ask them to either reply so they can be approved or withdraw so they can stop blocking my calendar for other guests. Some have thought they used IB and then asked me to approve, others have gone silent and I repeat the “withdraw request and open my calendar,” or others have found someplace else.

If they don’t respond within 6 hours, I contact ABB and ask them to contact the guest to withdraw the RTB as it’s busy season and I don’t need 6 days blocked for 24 hours.


I use IB so I’ve not had a problem with this but I’m wondering what it is you need to know and why?

Some people don’t see why they should be asked questions when (to them) all they are doing is booking a room and don’t understand why a host might have a good reason for questioning them.

I’ve had guests who have mentioned this to me in the past so it’s something you might consider.


I use IB and people still send me questions and I have to answer them. When I do, in order to keep up my response rate, and get silence, it’s frustrating.

I always make sure that the future guest agrees to the HR and cat. :smile_cat:


If its a RTB and they don’t respond after a couple of hours, I message again and ask them to either reply so they can be approved or withdraw so they can stop blocking my calendar for other guests.

Thank you. This is my thinking, however when I have contacted Airbnb they respond that they cannot contact the guest. :roll_eyes:

:speech_balloon:Update: I just contacted Airbnb and this time they agreed to contact the guest and ask them to respond. Thank goodness.

I can see that this most recent requester hasn’t read my former response. I can only surmise they 1) don’t have the app so they don’t know I have responded, or 2) they have requested of multiple listings.
I still have some time, but I don’t want to decline unnecessarily. I have declined others recently with good reason (outside of my stated rules).

:speech_balloon: :speech_balloon: 2nd update:

Airbnb contacted the guest and in turn she contacted me with assurances she understood the listing details.

All is well that ends well.

Thanks to all for your assistances!


I also use instant book, however if my potential guest doesn’t have previous reviews I want to know that they understand what they are getting.
My years of experience have taught me that poor communication typically leads to disappointment on the part of the guest because they didn’t properly read through the listing or house rules. And in turn I am disappointed because I get an uncooperative guest or a poor review from them.


I’ve had this happen, too. I then ask ABB CS to see if there are multiple requests for the same dates from that account and push for an answer. If yes, then I ask them to remove the request so I don’t get dinged by ABB for declining a RTB.

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“Having” the app has nothing to do with a guest not being alerted to there being a message waiting for them. No one needs to use the app. They can use the desktop version on their laptop or even on their phone.

If a guest doesn’t have notifications turned on, they don’t receive an alert of the message.

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I didn’t know the app does that. I see this feature in WhatsApp but not on Airbnb.

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I understand that my statement may have been misleading.
Typically a guest in the Airbnb platform that has the app has notifications turned on, therefore they will know that I attempted to contact them because the app notified them.
In this case the guest informed me that she is depending on email notifications AND only checks her email once/day.
Having a guest depend on email that she checks only 1/day may lead to communication glitches during the stay.
I find this is another risk of hosting first-time guests. In this case I am accepting that risk.
There is an element of “education” in hosting a new guest on the system. That is all I was saying.

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I think it is new. Yesterday was my first time noticing it in that it told me my message was “not read”.

I still don’t quite understand. If the guest doesn’t use the app, and only uses email, which she checks once a day, what does that have to do with being new to the platform?

(Maybe you meant not being able to communicate more than once a day was problematic with a newbie)

Some people are not into smart phones and apps. Whether they are newbies or not. I don’t use the app myself.

But if she uses a cellphone at all, she doesn’t need to use the app, she can get alerts that she has a message from you by SMS, which is another alert option. That works even on an old-school dumbphone. Maybe if she knew she had a msg. from you, she’d open her email and check it.

I mean that not being able to communicate more than once a day is problematic with ANY guest. There are any number of reasons why I might need to contact them in short order.
Of course that is why normally Airbnb includes a phone number, for such urgent instances. However if at all possible I like all communication to be on the platform so there is a record of the conversation.

Let’s just agree to disagree. I don’t believe we are going to see things the same way. But thank you for your response.

You’re trying to fix the guest’s problem as far as communication. I know people that don’t text even though they have that technology. They will NEVER click the SMS button for notifications. It drives me bonkers when I have to communicate with them in real time and, in this case, when you don’t want to call them, it’s a communication issue.

I agree and I can see this going south quickly unless you can get the guest on board to at least get the SMS alerts. Because we all know that using the phone means that we’re communicating off-platform and now we have to write the message “As discussed during our phone call…”

Good luck!


Oh, I wasn’t disagreeing with you about it being inconvenient and possibly problematic if you can’t communicate with a guest more than once a day, sorry if you got that impression.

That’s why I said maybe they could turn on SMS alerts and then reply by messaging when you contact them, rather than just waiting to see if they have an email notification once a day.

But if she won’t even agree to that, that’s definitely irritating.

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