Potential guest wants to call me before booking. Am I correct that this is a no-no?

I don’t particularly want to talk to her on the phone, but even if I did, wouldn’t the number be hidden on the app?

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Yes it’s hidden. Yes tell her you can’t until after booking.

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I have mixed feelings about this. I tend to be transparent in my dealings with future guests.

If they have questions about my rental unit, before they register and pay; I would rather have them ask now, than to have them go through the trouble of canceling later.

Some people think we are a hotel, and not a private-home vacation stay. I openly tell them of our home’s downstairs (non-handicap accessible) rental-unit, than for them to be disappointed we are not a hotel upon their arrival.

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No I wouldn’t phone a potential guest. That’s not especially because Airbnb don’t like it, but because I have found that people often just don’t understand me on the phone. (I’m talking about Americans/Canadians here - I have a pretty strong regional English accent that can be hard to understand even when I try to sound ‘normal’.)

Airbnb don’t want any contact away from the platform until the booking is made. Obviously, really. We are able to create free listings with lots of photographs, a map, amenity list and plenty more so they want their commission when we get a booking.

I’m a bit confused though - how did the guest let you know their phone number?

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I ONLY communicate using ABB, VRBO, etc communications method. And I do instant book.

No direct booking attempts, no cancel attempts due to complaints about off platform communications, etc. Everything there for OTA to see in case of outlandish claims or requests.

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Perhaps GardenGnome is also listed on Booking.com, like me, which publicly displays my home telephone number.

I don’t mind people calling me, as I can answer their questions and maybe recommend other area lodgings, if I have no vacancies on those dates.

When people realize how helpful I am on the phone, they might try re-booking with me in the future.

Yesterday, I told someone of the local RV camping spots, since my guest rooms are unavailable on the requested date. That caller said, he and his family would like to stay with me later, as I helped him find a nearby camp site.

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Klatchers has a good point about being wary of calls prior to a booking. The guest might be up to go good but sometimes people just misunderstand even if you don’t have a strong regional accent.

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She didn’t. She said she wanted to have a phone conversation. I told her that Air would block any phone numbers before the booking is complete but that I was happy to answer any questions through the app.

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That’s the perfect answer. Had it a few times and respond the same. So far so good, haven’t lost a booking we could fulfil by not engaging prior to booking.

JF

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Absolutely the best way :slight_smile:

If that was the case then she would have hardly asked the question on a site for Airbnb hosts - in fact, would have had no need whatsoever to pose the question anyway.

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I always tell them that AirBnb prefers that all messages be through their platform.

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I just had this happen last night. It is for a 3 night booking the first week of July. The guest wanted to include the night before and included their phone number “to discuss it”. They had 5 reviews so not a newbie. I told them to do a date change request through AirBnB and then sent one myself anyway. No reply so far (12 hours later). I was surprised their number showed up. My cancellation policy is (checks listing) Strict. Seems possibly open to abuse. I guess it’s one of those “making AirBnB just like booking a hotel room” things.

Extra: I see that this is not unusual to include number as the “booking is complete” ie if they cancel now they will lose 50%. It just seems strange as I am on IB so no probs with extra night which they had checked was available. I can’t really see the point of them “negotiating” a discount or avoiding paying $10 to Air for the extra night.

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I have a very searchable listing, If a guest wants to call me direct all they have to do is google the listing name. I get a fair amount of direct bookings this way. If they can’t figure that out then I am not going to worry about it.

RR

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You can include phone numbers and web links after a guest books.

The whole reason Airbnb doesn’t want you to communicate off-platform is so that you don’t privately negotiate a booking that leaves Airbnb out of the transaction. Once the guest books, they allow phone numbers and links to be sent. Of course, once they book, you can see each other’s phone numbers on the reservation.

I would bet that most guests that want to call a host before booking want to try to negotiate a deal off-platform.

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Seems to be the case for me, which I welcome. Direct bookings are the best, a real deposit and full control.

RR

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Yeah, I would think any host that is experienced with rental contracts and fully insured (i.e. most hosts that are already on multiple platforms such as VRBO, BookingDotCom, etc.) would have no issues with direct booking.

Inexperienced Airbnb-only hosts that are depending on Airbnb’s Host Guarantee/Host Protection would be taking a huge risk.

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I agree with this, but why can’t the questions (and subsequent answers) be via the online messaging? I often get the same types of questions and have drafted a set of answers that I respond with. Makes it very simple and provides good documentation in the event there is ever an issue.

To answer my own question -> I’d guess it’s a generational thing as the only times I’ve ever had someone call me (after booking) has been by 60+ year olds. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that”.

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As a 61.4 year old, I think you are onto something.

I saw an article that said that 50% of the Airbnb bookings are via the app. Any yet there are hosts here who are anti-texting, anti- app. Of course there is nothing wrong with that and as long as they are getting the 3 bookings a month that they want they should carry on as they are.

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HH_AZ: I am 63, and this is my telephone for calling Airbnb hosts with questions.

phone

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True but he eventually accepted my reservation change request so probably figured $10 wasn’t worth haggling over.

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