Not sure how to deal with a request

Hi all
I’ve just started (a couple of weeks ago) as a host and so far, so good, I think. I’ve had a couple of requests from guests who have joined Airbnb recently and have no reviews and no picture of themselves. They’re new, so I guess we all have to start somewhere, so I accepted. However, I’ve just had a request to stay from someone who has no reviews and very limited profile (again no pic) who has been a member since 2013. I’m a little confused why there’s no activity and no profile for someone who’s been a member for so long and It’s ringing alarm bells. Would be keen to hear what more seasoned hosts think. Thanks in advance.

Ask nicely. “Please tell me more about yourself, your traveling companion(s) and the reason for your visit. I notice you don’t have any reviews, is this your first AirBnB stay? If so, it’s different from a hotel stay and I/we want to manage your expectations to provide you and yours with your best stay.”


Maybe the downloaded and never used the app. Maybe only a couple stays and the host did not review.
Personally I would not worry about it.

My advice to a new host is to limit your stays to 2-4 days at first, that way if you get a guest you do not like they will be leaving in a couple days.

Good luck



Some people don’t travel very much, I went to Nola and joined Air in 2016 then didn’t use it again until 2020. “Please share a little about yourself, your travel companion or your trip:)” is a part of my welcome note , which I send before confirmation. Remember, you have 24 hours to confirm, and can ask for more info. But confirming earlier is better in Airs eyes.
We have accepted many, many guests with no history, reviews or profiles. less that 1/2% have been slightly problematic.


You need to get over this.

Pictures have very little use other than to discriminate against people so Airbnb doesn’t show their picture before booking. After booking, the picture shown may or may not be useful. I’ve hosted over 800 reservations and I can’t think of a single time that a picture told me anything I needed to know. I have unconscious biases like everyone else and would rather not see pictures prior to a confirmed booking anyway.

You can have bad experiences with seasoned Airbnb travelers or with brand new ones. Treat each request and reservation as the individual they are.


May be a host? I joined in 2014 as host. Only 1 review of me as a guest which occurred in 2020

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Don’t worry about the photo. It won’t show until after the guest books, and even when it does, it might not be a photo of the guest. I had several guests whose profile photos were pictures of their kids, their pets, landscapes, etc.


Many thanks to all of you for your valuable insight. I contacted the person politely asking for more info and sometimes that’s all it takes for them to open up and show you who they are. They sound like a nice family and I was happy to accept their request. Once again, your replies are appreciated. Thank you.


Unlike other hosts here, I like to see a face photo of a guest. I am a home share host and while it doesn’t really tell me anything about whether they will be a good guest, and there is no reason whatsoever I would decline a guest based on what they looked like (exceptions would be if their photo was inappropriate to booking a home- being wasted at a party, virtually naked, posing with a gun, wearing a discriminatory tee shirt, or making a rude gesture at the camera), it indicates an openness and an understanding that home-sharing is not about anonymity.

So I have checked the box that says I require a profile photo, and so far, all my guests have had that. If I saw they didn’t after their booking is confirmed, I would politely remind them that I have that as a listed requirement.


A picture can reveal more than your unconscious bias had you considered that ?

I don’t think I can judge people based on how they look and I don’t want to. You do.

what if they are pictured with a gun or half naked or displaying inappropriate behaviour like throwing a gang sign ? Would you not judge them ?

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I think having you settings NOT set to instant book, then asking guests questions about themselves and trip is way togo.


Over the years, I have hosted the Taj Mahal, several daisies, a parakeet, plenty of roses, a newborn baby, a bunch of carrots, someone whose profile photo showed her in Halloween makeup, cartoons and many other oddities.

And they’ve all been fine @Swampy so don’t worry about that.

Also, because I hate organising travel and accommodation, and my other half takes to it like a duck to water, we travel under his (guest) account rather than my (host) account. So again, nothing to worry about.

I can’t tell how a guest is going to be by looking at a photo so seeing one is irrelevant to me. Bear in mind that some of us have been using IB for a long time with only the occasional odd guest but no real problems. :slight_smile:


As I’m writing this, there is a yellow box to my right that says . . .
‘Be kind to your fellow community members’, ‘Does your reply improve the conversation?’ and ‘Constructive criticism is welcome, but criticize ideas, not people.’
Not sure ‘You need to get over this’ fully fits in with this ethos?


There’s a lot of tough love on this forum. Not everyone sugar coats advice. If that sort of thing bothers you, skip over the posts you don’t like. Criticizing other posters’ tone isn’t going to gain much traction here.

You can never tell if a guest has a profile photo when they send a request. Photos are hidden until a booking is confirmed.

In addition to the reasons I cited in my earlier post here, I like to see a profile photo so that I know that the person who arrives is the person who booked.

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Have you read what I posted?

Based on your posts you’ve had a lot of troublesome bookings. I’ve hosted over 800 stays, 1000 guests and haven’t had the same problems. I’m beginning to think there is something wrong with you or your listing or your hosting style.

So yeah, I’m perfectly capable of judging people I don’t know.

It absolutely does because the reality is that pictures are not seen before booking.

but my latest post certainly does criticize people and no I’m not being kind.

Now I await the comment about how my behavior is unbecoming of a moderator.


You keep putting forth the motion that a host would want to see a profile photo in order to judge a guest.

As I’ve said, for me it has nothing to do with judging anyone.

I couldn’t care less the color of their skin, whether they are fat or thin, beautiful or ugly, young or old, are smiling or not, are posed kissing their same sex partner, etc.

I care that they understand that home sharing isn’t about anonymity and that the person who shows up at my gate is the same person who booked.

And if you got a guest photo in a MAGA hat, wearing a white supremacist tee shirt, carrying an antivax sign with a gun slung over their shoulder, I have a hard time believing you wouldn’t judge them and not feel the least guilty about not wanting them as a guest.

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Yes. And you and I discussed it before in terms of unconscious biases. It doesn’t matter if you are judging the color of their skin, that they wear a MAGA hat or whatever other thing would be in the picture that one judges.

I would judge them. I have been absolutely clear about this for about 5 years now. But let me state it all again for the nth time.

I 100% support Airbnb not showing a photo of a guest prior to booking.

We all have biases and if I don’t want my biases to impact my booking behavior then I don’t want to see a photo. I don’t think anyone needs to see a photo prior to booking. After you see the photo with a confirmed reservation then you and I and everyone else will judge. You can’t help it. All you can help is how you then treat the guest.

I use what the radical right now calls “virtue signalling” in my listing to try to get the antivax, gun toting, MAGA hatters to book elsewhere. But if they do book with me I will try hard to treat them like everyone else. Maybe even better so as to do what Jesus called “heaping burning coals on their head.”

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