Potential guest wants to visit property before booking

Never had this request before, as our photos show it like it is and place most emphasis on the actual accommodations as opposed to local scenery.
This one had no profile photo nor reason for visit. They gave a phone # which was blocked by Airbnb so I gave them another way to contact us and make an appointment for viewing, but they never responded… probably just as well. Just wondered if anyone else has had similar requests and if so how they handled it?

For a short stay? No. And trying to contact outside Airbnb? Violation of TOS. No photo or message? No. So three strikes, they are out. I’d probably have reported them to Airbnb in hopes that they would stay off the platform.


I’ve had that request a couple of times

  1. an Assistant GM for a baseball team who was looking to book for about 5 weeks when he would be in town for spring training. He had contacted me October ‘17 time frame for Feb/March ‘18. He thought he’d be in town in November and was going to stop by. His trip got delayed, and I advised that I needed confirmation one way or another, as I was going to open the calendar up. He later wound up booking at a friends ABNB; private bedroom in a house, rather than my private guest house.

  2. a woman who was checking things out for visiting parents. She gave her approval and her parents booked for a week.

I fully understand when its for an extended period of time, no so much for a day or two. I look at it that saves me the future hassle if things aren’t a fit.


If someone was a known quanity I’d deal with it differently than someone who wants to be secretive or unknown and just call me.

I probably wouldn’t have agreed to this.


No. NO. NO. Never let a potential guest “check out your place in advance.” I don’t care if it’s your Governor, Mayor or the owner of the biggest company in your city. I don’t care if it’s for an extended stay or overnight. No. No. If they want an extended stay tell them to book for 3-4 days and then if they like your place – and others haven’t booked after their stay-- they can book for an additional period.

You can bet that that Baseball team manager would not do that with the Marriott or even Motel 6. Neither would the woman check for her visiting parents. These people have NO concept of how Airbnb works, nd they think they can order you around before they ever pay for the privilege of staying at your listing. If they’re this much of a pain before they pay-to-stay imagine what entitled idiot behavior they will have once they think you’re their personal servant!


@KKC: I understand your perspective but sometimes you go with your gut. In this instance …

  • Since I’m very particular about where I stay, I could relate to the request.
  • I also have a soft spot for elderly parents.

As it turned out, they were perfect guests, returned for a 2nd stay earlier this year, and will be back in 2019 for their granddaugher’s HS graduation.


I’m glad it worked out for you. I’ve done a lot of things that other people here wouldn’t and it works for me. Honestly, I don’t even want most bookings over 2 or 3 days.


I would do it for a long-term stay possibility, 30 days plus. But not for some random 3 night stay. Not worth the hassle.


I had someone who was a friend of a previous guest who contacted my off platform. Infirmity was an issue and they wanted to make sure they could navigate the short ramp (about 3 feet high) to the beach to walk their dog. They said they were visiting to check it out, I suggested they pop in for a cuppa. Day came and went, no sign of them. Never heard back from them. Rude.


I will gladly meet at Starbucks, escort them to the condo for a preview for a long term stay.

Short term—no. I have declined a request for a preview because I had guests in the unit. I explained to the potential renter that I’m sure if they rented from me would appreciate not having their privacy violated.

I’ve let Real Estate agents preview for their clients needing housing while theirs is under construction or while they are looking for housing & relocating, I’ve let a local preview who was out of her home due to water damage repairs, and another preview it for her mother’s stay.

If accommodations aren’t exactly what is needed/preferred most people can adapt for a few days. For a long term stay I want my guest to be happy. If the condo isn’t going to work for them, I want them to pass on the rental.


Airbnb doesn’t allow any exchange of identifying information (phone numbers, email addresses, property addresses) until you have paid - so it’s not possible for you to visit the home beforehand.

However there are plenty of photos so you can see where you are staying so there won’t be any surprises. Also I am a Superhost which means I have been rated consistently high and continually exceeded expectations.

I am also a guest and when I want to book a place I always read the reviews first and look at the photos next, and the villa has many positive reviews.

Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.

Kind regards,



I had the Bishops secretary come and inspect 2 of my STR’s…now regular and direct payment guests when there is something big happening at the Cathedral…lovely no hassle guests.

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I did it in a begining but very rarely those who want to see the place book. These people are very specific on what they want and need.


I have a saved message, the gist of which is that they can’t see the place because it’s not acceptable to the current guests to have people traipsing in. (I’ll let them come to see the outside if they want to but what’s the point?) If I’m feeling snotty I tell them that the photographs are perfectly accurate - implying that I’m not a liar :slight_smile:

It takes less than a minute to send and isn’t worth worrying about.

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The only people I’ve let see the unit ahead of time are our long term tenants that live in the building or nearby. They have been a steady and excellent stream of bookings over the winter and holidays when their family comes to visit. They can also recommend our listing to friends, etc. Lastly it helps create goodwill with our LTR tenants.


This thread once again proves we each have our way of hosting with differing reasons for conducting our businesses as we do. It also explains why savvy guest will ask about things we do not explain in our listing description.


They’re probably trying to rent directly from hosts to save on AirBnb fees. Shows that they’re dishonest. I would report them to AirBnb.

I know what you mean but I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. The media has been pretty unkind to Airbnb hosts in the last ten or so years. I think that there are still people who see that we offer great accommodation but have been just a little brainwashed by the media into thinking it’s all a big scam. Crazy I know, but I’ve had people say it to me.

Some people just want to reassure themselves that we, and our listings, really exist.


But also some people have something specific in mind and they want to look first.
I was many times dissapointed in what I booked so much that I didn’t want to stay but I already paid. Several times I checked out even earlier as it was a bad stay for different reasons. Especially when people book for example for family reunion or in my case workers for longer stays , they want to be sure they get what they need .

Any major booking sites such as booking.xom or Expedia , we can find info about hotels online and just go there . And ussualy hotels give us a better deal if we book directly with them. There is nothing booking or Expedia can do about it. But still they exist for so many years as people still book through them because it’s more convenient. And noone reports anyone . Airbnb is not some kind of regime, it’s just a booking site and If guests find ways booking directly with owner there is nothing wrong with that . Most hosts list on multiple sites anyway.

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I have accommodated this request one time, and have had it requested of me 2 additional times.

The one time that I did allow it, the woman was a time wasting pinched face individual who ended up taking up an hour of my time and then didnt book as a result.

I no longer fulfill this request. I realized that the kind of people who want to check out their holiday accommodations ahead of time are generally people I don’t want nearby. They are more trouble than they are worth.