Potential Guest Demanding My Address

As a new host and with a strong desire to please, it is difficult not to bow to the very demand of a potential guest or current guest. That being said, I have only been booking my house for a month and I am booked at between 60-90% through the beginning of September with the small weekday gaps being filled in so I know I offer a great home at a great value.

Tonight I had an inquiry on VRBO from someone who clearly didn’t read a darn thing in my description. That was the first red flag. The first question was “Are you walking distance to restaurants and coffee shops?”. The title of my home is “Two Master Suites Walking Distance to The Hippest Restaurant/Shopping District in Portland” Seems pretty clear to me that I am near restaurants. Second question was “Do you have AC?” This is also clearly stated in my listing.

Here is the rest of our communication:

Me: Thank you for your inquiry on my vacation rental (1058807). My property is available from Jul 25, 2017 - Jul 28, 2017.

As the title description mentions, I am walking distance to MANY restaurants. :slight_smile: Woodsman Tavern, Pok Pok, Ava Gene’s, American Local, Maru, Tokio Table, Por Que No, Apizza Scholls and many more are between 5-15 minute walk away. It is ideally located between Division and Hawthorne. I do not provide my address until after a booking is made but if you look at the map on this listing and find the middle, that is where my home is. I am a 10 minute drive to downtown but most people who stay here love to just stay in this area. Downtown is more of a commercial center. This area is where local Portlanders go out.

Thankfully, I do have AC!! Very happy about that!

Are there only two of you? My home is a full house with 1400 sq ft and two master bedrooms. It is perfect for two women who want their own bedroom and bathroom and the price is half what you would pay at a hotel in downtown in the summer!

Please let me know if you have any questions. Hope to have you as a guest and I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Potential Guest: Thank you for responding so quickly. Yes just the two of us but each
needing our own space. It sounds great, but I would like to Google map the
street address.

Me: I can understand your desire to use google maps. I do the same when looking at hotels and it is a great feature! For security reasons, I do not provide my home address but I am 1 1/2 blocks north of Stumptown Coffee, which is about a 2 minute walk away. That address is 4525 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97206

Potential Guest: It is risky to book a rental without any picture of the front or
streetview. There are no exterior pictures of the house in your listing. If
you could send me one or two that would help. The location looks great.

Now, my knee jerk reaction is that this guest will be a pain in my rear. She hasn’t read anything in my description and is wanting either exterior photos or the address. With the info I just provided her, she could easily find my home if I sent her the exterior photos by using the little yellow man on google maps and walking down my street.

I am tempted to let her go. I don’t need the booking. But I am curious and would love to know if you provide the address and exterior photos of your bookings?

How do you politely turn down an inquiry? I don’t really want this guest.

My listing has an exterior view and if potential guests ask I give them my address.

The bigger issue here is that the potential guest is not taking no for an answer from you. You told her repeatedly that you prefer not to give out the address prior to booking and she won’t drop the issue. The polite way to turn her down is to say, “I’m sorry, but you and my listing don’t seem to be a good fit. I hope you find a listing that better suits your needs.”


I don’t know about VRBO, but exchanging address information on Air is a violation of the TOS and can get you booted off.

This is a nervous nelly guest. They are either inexperienced at booking online or just inexperienced at traveling in general. They are showing you exactly who they are so if you book them and they are difficult don’t be surprised. You have given way more information than you need to. Tell her that you are sorry but you aRe no longer interested in booking her reservation due to her distrust and pestering. I would.


Yeah, I agree Kona! I don’t want her as a guest. She hasn’t read anything on my listing and has been demanding. Frankly, I don’t need the booking and I want to turn her down but be polite about it.

Ellen, are you in the home and renting a room or a whole house? Mine is a whole house and I have an apartment in the basement but I am not always there.

She has no profile, no photo and no reviews.

I am going to reject her but want to be kind about it. On the other hand, I feel like saying “I am sorry but if you are not able to respect that I will not give my address out unless booked, please look elsewhere.”


Possibly I might just be having that kind of day, but two women needing a whole house and a bedroom each, just gave me a tiny vibe that maybe they are looking to earn some money there… Could be totally wrong however!

If it doesn’t feel right to you, just decline !


I am renting a bedroom in my house.

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Hi there!

Trust your instinct! There is a reason why VRBO and airbnb DO NOT allow the address to be shown before the listing… it is called SECURITY!

If you give out your address to everybody who asks, then you set yourself up for some nasty surprises, e.g. robbery…

Apart from being against the rules of the sites, it is far to dangerous, you don’t know who these people are… how do you know if they are really interested to book and not just checking properties which are unoccupied? Too much private information!

Once they have booked and provided their credit card info, then it is ok to send them a photo of your entrance… but NOT before…

Be smart, be safe!


I think Ellen’s decline note was spot on. Mine is a bit too harsh… but honestly…? I would not waste another minute worrying over this person. You don’t owe her anything… she is not your customer… Just decline. You don’t even need to tell her why. Get her out of your life!


She hasn’t asked to book, just inquired.

Thanks to you all for the feedback and suggestions! I will let her down easily tomorrow. Not many homes in the area with 2 master suites! Buh bye to this woman!


There you go. Always follow your gutt feeling.Sometimes the money just is not worth the stress.


And yet she has the nerve to say [quote=“pdxwindjammer, post:1, topic:14269”]
It is risky to book a rental without any picture of the front or

You are much nicer than I. I would have pointed this double standard out to her immediately.

I have gotten to the point where I don’t need demanding guests either. If they strike the wrong vibe with me they usually find that my room is no longer available. Just yesterday a man asked how far I am from the airport. That is in my listing. He had no other message, no telling me why he’s coming to town just “how far are you from the airport?” On airbnb I will block off the dates and a few days later I open them back up again. In all honesty I’d been considering blocking the weekend in question anyway and it was a good reminder to go ahead and do so.

As for addresses, if one zooms in on the map (at least on the website) you can get a good idea of the address. Add the picture of the house with the address number showing and I can find the exact address about 60% of the time. So if you ever add a picture of your house be sure to obscure the address.


Guthend, that is funny! Mine is a fairly high end airbnb and I often get friends who want the luxury of having their own bedroom. I don’t think they plan on earning any extra money. :wink:

I have stayed in airbnb’s that have a photo of the front of the house and I always figure out where the house is by doing a google search and “walking” down the street with the little yellow man. I will not provide a photo and I will not provide the address. Better yet, I will not host this guest. If she is demanding now, she will be demanding upon arrival.


How is this for a reply?

"Although I respect your hesitancy to book a place without knowing the address or seeing an exterior view, the reason I do not have an exterior is that it will show my address. The reason why VRBO does not provide the address of a property is for the safety and security of the hosts. As hosts, we are opening up our personal homes to complete strangers, some without any profile photos, information about themselves or without any reviews (such as your profile) so we fly on blind faith that a stranger will take great care of our home. Trust needs to go both ways when booking a vacation rental.

I think you may be better suited to stay in a hotel or perhaps find a home owner who will provide you with their address and exterior photo to make you more comfortable.

Portland is a great city and I hope you enjoy your visit and find a wonderful place to suit your needs."


Hell to the NO!!

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Good response but too damn nice! Hahaha. I wouldn’t have wished her well!

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What kind of listing do you have on VRBO? If it is the pay per booking listing then the money won’t be released to you until after guest has arrived anyway. Book with confdence guarantee covers her.

If it’s the regular subscription listing and you take Homeaway payments then the guest is covered by the “Book with confidence” guarantee. Do your guests pay a service fee when they book? You can tell her that’s what she is paying with the service fee. However, the “guarantee” isn’t really much of anything because the guest is required to file a chargeback against you first (if you are a scam or property was misrepresented). And then only if their bank refuses to reimburse, will the guarantee kick in.

Your guest is being pushy. You already gave her the address of a nearby place to use Google maps for distances. She isn’t respecting this. If you provide the address now then you are just setting yourself up for her to keep thinking she can push you around.

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Oh, I didn’t know it was a VRBO inquiry, not that it matters.

If I really wanted to cut bait with the potential guest (who obviously has no experience with vacation rentals), I would make it short and to the point so there is no likelihood of her coming back and pleading further.

“While I appreciate your continued interest in my rental, I regret that it is not going to work for me so it is no longer available to you.”


Just sandy perfect!!!

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(hoo-hoo…ya’ made my day, along with the other 'likes"! Now I’ve got some energy to get out in the triple-digits and hit the home improvement stores in search of 24 (inexpensive, I hope) kitchen knobs to install.)

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I sent my reply to her and her response was “I’ve already decided not to stay in your place because you won’t show what the exterior looks like. Gives the impression you are hiding something
about the property. Move on lady.”

I am sooooo glad I refused to host her! Ifeel sorry for the next sap that ends up with this wretched beast! I hate to say it but it feels good to be able to turn someone down because I have enough bookings!