Potential guest wants to meet with me & see my place?

I had a guest ask this evening when he could come to my house and see my space and meet with me. I thought that was odd so I said no. First I asked what the purpose of the meeting would be. He said he was looking for a place to stay for a few weeks. My calendar clearly shows that I don’t have those openings. It seemed out of place to me and I’m wondering if it’s perhaps one of those scams you hear about sometimes where people are casing houses and stuff. How many of you have had requests such as this and is it standard but rare?

Never never allow this. It’s operating outside the TOS and could get you booted. How would you exchange the address info anyway?

It’s also a security risk and there’s absolutely zero reason to allow lookie loos tromping through your house. Just say NO.

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We have had a few of these inquiries. They’re usually from people who will be working on a contract nearby or students and are looking for a home during the week. They have said they picked a random date to inquire about because that’s the only way to start a conversation on the platform.

We normally say no to requests to see the property before booking, but no one ever followed through with a booking. And these are exactly the kind of guests we want because it cuts down on changeover cleaning, it fills the weekdays and leaves weekends free for other guests and it’s predictable. It also reduces the number of times I have to respond to inquiries and bookings from other potential guests which frees up time.

The last inquiry was from a person in the neighbourhood and his story seemed above board. So we did connect offline by phone (by directing him to our business phone number) and agreed to a meeting. At the meet and greet we were able to see with our own four eyes if he met our criteria (employed professional, non-smoker, etc.) We made it clear that they would have to book through Air and they did. That space is now booked weekly until January next year. Woo hoo!

If I were to make some suggestions, I would recommend doing due diligence - looking online for profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, school or professional associations etc. I would make sure the person is employed or registered in school and ask for a reference. For safety, I would have a second person with you at the meet and greet and make it clear from the beginning your expectations about house rules. We would not accept anyone who was “in transition” or unemployed or was going to be home during the day. I would also suggest making it a weekly booking, not one long booking, so that you can get a couple of hours a week to enter the space, change the linens (and get a cleaning fee) and ensure that rules are being followed.

It may be going outside the TOS, but I think that term was meant to prevent people from using the platform for leads and then exchanging cash privately. I personally feel that it’s necessary and justifiable to go offline because it’s a longer commitment and Air wins just as much as we do.

Just my experience and two cents.


I just accepted my first guest with a similar but shorter time frame. All summer she will arrive on Monday depart Thursday morning for 10 weeks. No messaging, needing to be here for check-in, no answering questions. Mine is coming for part of her training to be a nurse practitioner. She didn’t come by first but she did book 3 stays already and I am close to her clinic. I hope to get more of these types of bookings as Airbnb becomes better known among travelling professionals.


For some reason this has been happening a lot starting this year. Almost every person who wants to stay for a month or longer has wanted to view the apartment first. I’ve been ok with it but so far no one has actually booked.

I’m not sure why this just started though, I never had similar requests the last year and a half since I started and I’ve frequently taken longer bookings of a month or more. I probably wouldn’t do it for a person staying a few days or a week…

I’ve done this before, one couple wanted to see if my house was suitable for their children. Go with your gut feeling, make sure you ask lots of questions first, say what dates will it be what are you coming for etc…

In my case it was a family from the otherwise of the world who were staying here for 6 months and wanted their kids to go to local school, ended up not going through but there was nothing wrong with showing them around. But if it was some dodgy sounding people I wouldn’t have :sweat_smile::sweat_smile:

I really don’t know why you guys are taking chances doing this. Air would boot you right off if it caught you doing this, transactions (yes that includes just meeting them before booking) off the platform. Is it worth losing your account over?

I’m actually a little insulted when guests ask to see the place. Our location is accurately shown on the Airbnb map. Our listing is fairly thorough, text-wise. The photographs are accurate. I have loads of great reviews.

So why do they need to look? Am I lying in the listing? No. So please don’t insult me by suggesting that I am.

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It’s totally unnecessary and really of no benefit to the host and maybe even dangerous to your account status. I wouldn’t risk it.

The only guests who’ve asked to see my place before booking are people who are looking to book long term and people who plan to hold events or film shoots. I tell all of them that it’s fine to check out my place before they book. Interestingly, the people who are interested in a long term stay never follow through. I think maybe they are hoping I will offer a discount.

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Personally I feel hinky about showing my place to anyone prior to booking. I have heard of people using Air B&B in order to case houses. And honestly it’s just not worth my time. I don’t feel like doing it. I don’t make any money for my time by showing them the place but I do have to let one more stranger into my house who may not even book. Also I found it strange that this person did not know what my calendar availability was. The calendar availability is right there for everyone in the world to see. So for me, I asked some probing questions and found that my place wouldn’t work for him anyway because of the availability.

We are in a rural place without a lof of high-quality housing. We are starting to get lots of requests to rent longer term, but they are often just people who are considering taking traveling jobs that will inquire, take a lot of our time, and then never even respond with a “thank you for your time”, so we are left wondering whether they will book. We are learning to be a bit more wary of these kinds of requests, and not spend too much time with them initially. Our best guests are traveling professionals though— they come repeatedly, book for longer stays, and are … professional. I have a good friend who has lived in an Airbnb room half time for years now, and I’m sure it is a lovely arrangement for both parties.

Edited to add: We’ve shown the place to a few potential guests who are local, and looking for a place for an employee/ colleage , etc. If they are clearly local, then we do it, while trying not to let it take up much of our time. And clearly I need to review the TOS for Airbnb— we look for potential guests in our normal lives as well (and we have another business), so get contacted from a variety of avenues. But we say no to things that seem weird or just too costly in terms of time / distraction / effort.

No… absolutely no reason to show your place to Air guests. It’s against the TOS to deal with them off the platform anyway. I would advise against it. Plus most of the time they are lookie loos wasting your time!

She mentioned on another thread that she doesn’t just book on Airbnb and seems to do long term regularly.

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Long term if it was looking to book I definitely would want to see first. I am pretty obvious, marked on Google Maps and occasionally have people turning up at my door, last one who did then booked using ABB.