Greetings! I have had five successful bookings, but only one I consider long term (a little over a month.) This guest was wonderful, and she booked sight unseen and has been a great guest. She is due to check out in another two weeks.
I have had several requests for long term bookings (a month or even more), and many of them would like to see the room before they book.
I have accommodated several of them, and as my gut feeling spoke to me while speaking over AirBNB messaging, they have chosen not to book and have been quite demanding while touring the space.
I have a shared space, and I make that quite clear, along with the fact that I live here with my pets.
Is it standard procedure to allow a potential long term guest to come tour? How do you all handle this?
I do have a moderate cancellation policy, and I emphasize that in my listing and the saved email to send to them once they inquire about the booking.
Thank you in advance for your responses!
I have no problem with letting potential guests see my listing before they book. Many have asked. I always say it’s fine, then invariably they cease contact.
It appears that you are unaware that for bookings of over 28 days, Airbnb’s long term cancellation policy overrides your moderate cancellation policy.
I’ve had a guest looking for long term booking come to look and then chose not to book. I think it goes with the territory; this guest went to see a number of listings before deciding which one to go with.
Ah, yes! I see the policy now. I guess I didn’t see that when I first
started my listing.
If you have any other pieces of advice for me (and yes, I’m aware of the
squatter issue; my listing is near the airport, and the usual long term
guests I get are contract medical or engineering or IT workers), I’d
This is what Airbnb says
They used to advise not to allow guests to see a place before booking as it presents a security risk for you as a host, but see they have softened their approach. This was because some unscrupulous ‘guests’ were using as an opportunity to scout out places to rob them. Others try and use it as an opportunity to persuade a host to go outside Airbnb to save the guest money or negotiate down on the price.
Personally I wouldn’t want guests coming to my place in advance of booking, but each host has a different approach.
Long or short term, DO NOT SHOW YOUR LISTING BEFORE THE GUEST ARRIVES
You are not a used car lot, where every yahoo off the street can come and check things out just for fun. If a potential guest can’t make a decision based on what you’ve written and the pictures you show, you really don’t want them as guests anyway.
How do I handle people who ask to come by and check out the place?
I Decline them. It is blatantly against AirBnb TOS
AirBnb really is NOT the best platform for Long Term rentals.
I am in a similar situation in that I have a shared living experience but no pets. I do almost all long term hosting. Most of my guests are not able to view the premises because they are nowhere near me. Once in a while I do get someone who requests a visit. I have accommodated them on occasion but I don’t like it and no one who has visited has ever booked. I don’t like it for safety reasons but I also don’t understand why they can’t make a decision based on the listing. Like all my other guests. If, based on my listing, photos, and reviews they can’t decide and/or are overly anxious then this probably isn’t the place for them.
With 6 years of hosting I find Airbnb to be an excellent platform for long term hosting.
In real estate they are called " looki loos". Too much time on their hands and indecisive. They will never be sure the other listing might have been better. If they can’t tell from multiple pictures and reviews, they are probably going to be problematic.
When my mum sold real estate she wouldn’t take only one half of a couple to see property, as they would end by saying, " I need to talk to x" thus wasting her time and missing people who were serious. She also pre-qualified them, reviewing credit history, jobs etc. That is part of how she was always top in sales.
Thank you all for your replies. Does anyone have a standard lessor
agreement that they have used with longer term guests?
I appreciate your helpfulness in advance!
It’s not against TOS nor has it been since I started hosting with them. The only change is that they used to say to be careful and that it’s up to the host. They do not forbid it.
But I agree with you, I wouldn’t do it. These are literally total strangers off the street who want to get inside your home.
Typically, I don’t allow guest to preview a room in my house, but rather suggest that they book a shorter stay. If they like the room and find that we are compatible, then they can extend their stay. Any discount that you allow for long-term guests will be applied to their extended reservation. (Note: The change must be applied to the existing reservation. I also suggest that the host put through the change request, as I’ve noticed that often the pricing gets wonky when the guest puts the change through.) On occasion, I have allow guest (or family or friends of the potential guest) to preview, but only after a lot of communication through messaging and only after I felt comfortable. Only once, however, has it resulted in an actual booking. If you have lots of pictures, detailed description, house rules, etc, I don’t think that I would bother with allowing previews. I have been a host for 3.5 years, am located in the SF Bay Area, where there are loads of listings and lots of demand for housing. As with everything, you will need to apply your own needs, standards, and location to your decision.
I have found that it’s best to stay within the Airbnb system. They handle all the billing and legal specs. I wouldn’t use a lease of my own design.
I’ve had a couple of guests who wanted to extend off the Airbnb system and it really isn’t that smooth. Things like a reduction in the hosting fee, when to take the room out of availability, when you actually get the check, and a few other issues. It always worked out but it was awkward and sometimes I didn’t really know if they would come up with the check or just decide to leave. Then since I had the dates blocked for them I’m missing bookings. I stick to the Airbnb system. If they want to extend they send an alteration and you’re done. They have you covered for pretty much everything.
Have you ever experienced where their credit card was declined? I have
heard so many stories about squatters, but I really specify that my place
is for one person and kids would be unsafe. I require them to be verified
and generally, I have had traveling professionals so far, and they’ve all
worked out. But many of you are right…the ones that seem particular to
"lookie loo" are quite demanding, and it might not work anyway.
I’m going to alter my listing to discourage tours and meetings and rather
stay for short stays if they are unsure and alter later if they believe it
Thank you all!
I’ve had one guest in 6 years who had credit card payment issues but I attributed that to international issues. I don’t know how a squatter would work? They don’t have a lease, they have no claim. It’s like a hotel. You don’t pay and you are removed. If they are a problem I would just as soon cut my losses and not let them back in if they go out. I have police who live across the street so would ask them to help keeping them off the premises.
I try to be clear with guests in that they are getting an Airbnb experience at an Airbnb price in a very expensive city. It’s not a hotel experience and it’s not even an B&B experience. It’s an Airbnb experience, a shared living experience. I explain that they are guests in my home. They aren’t renting anything. I explain to them that it’s the same thing as if they had a family member or a good friend here who they could stay. They should behave the same way.
Almost always people enjoy the adventure of travel and a big part of that is the people you meet and what you can learn.