Pros & Cons of Pre-approval

Because I’m a bit of a control freak and what to make sure the guest and I are clear on what the rental entails and the house rules I do not IB. I’m also uncomfortable with pre-approvals just hanging out there waiting to for the potential guest to make up their mind.

What if I don’t pre-approve? Seems like it would be no biggie. If they want to book they will, right?

Just this morning I had an inquiry requesting info re: time and distance from my place to a local university where they will be attending a graduation. I sent them the info. I haven’t heard back from them which is fine with me. In the meantime I get a text from Air saying “you can pre-approve so your guest can book when they are ready.”

I don’t get it, what’s the point? Is it that hard for them to send me another message to say they want to stay? What is saved? Is there a rating benefit to the host?

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Just ignore it. You answered and that’s enough.


At first, I would pre-approve at the same time I answered the Inquiry but it rarely panned out in getting a booking. Two responded that they found another accommodation but generally, I would be waiting for a response that never came.

I realized inquiries were generally from people still shopping around. Pre-approving made me feel vulnerable…and needy.

No more pushing silly buttons.

If I am willing to accept the guest, I respond by answering their question(s) and add that if they would like to go ahead with reserving their dates, that would be fine with me.


IMO, preapprovals make no sense. Like @SandyToes, I did it a few times initially, but quickly realised that. Make the guest place a booking request, make sure he/she has answered all your questions and you’re comfortable accepting his/her booking, and then accept. That’s the way to go. Anything else is just out of order, and amounts to unnecessarily giving up control of the situation. And as a host, you don’t want to do that.

Oh, and it’s almost redundant to say so, but in my experience, inquiries most of the time don’t lead to anything, regardless.


I responded to a couple of inquries last week within the hour. However I was dinged a couple of percentage points on response time because I didn’t decide (accept/decline/special offer).

I recovered the points when I had a couple more inquiries and responded definitively.

Tried calling about this a couple of times but the wait was too long.

Another initiative we know nothing about?

I think they are looking for ways to force people into instant booking.

I’ve decided it’s a good thing I could give a rat’s derriere about points or being a SH or any of that other stuff. Frankly don’t care if I rent my place out or not. Saves me cleaning it. :sunglasses:

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It’s awesome to have that freedom isn’t it. I always feel so bad when I read here or elsewhere about people dependent on Airbnb income.

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what I am confused by is if we decline it appears they block us from renting from those dates, but if we don’t pick one or the other, that we lose response time ‘points’ for not choosing…Can someone point me to where there is information confirming we do not have to do either and it doesnt count against us? The inquiry subject comes in asking for 28-30 but the pre approval text is for 25-29th…which dates are the correct dates? Do I understand the guest has asked for 25-29th however the system wants to “counter” with 28-30th?

See this article

For an inquiry, you just need to reply. You do not need to pre-approve or decline.

Regarding the dates, this might be a mistake or a intentional trick by the guest (I don’t know why the guest would try to trick you, but just be aware). The guest is required to select specific dates for the inquiry, and that’s what will show in the pre-approval. They might want some other dates which for some reason aren’t available and you could only do that with a special offer, not a pre-approval, assuming those dates aren’t booked by another guest or blocked by Airbnb for some other reason.

I have no idea why the guest would input a set of dates, but then the pre-approval show as different dates- that sounds odd, for sure. If the dates the guest wants are shown as unavailable, a guest still has to put in dates to send a inquiry message, so sometimes the dates they actually want will vary from the dates they entered.

With an inquiry, you have to respond to the inquiry message within 24 hours, but you do not have to either pre-approve or decline, believe me, it doesn’t affect your stats. If you don’t message back within 24 hours, that will lower your response time stats.
If it’s a booking request, you do have to either accept or decline within 24 hours, unless you can get the guest to withdraw the request before that.
Declining an inquiry or a booking request does not block the dates- only cancelling a reservation blocks the dates.
Declines lower your acceptance rate. That’s why you don’t want to waste a decline on an inquiry- just message back saying why you can’t accept their booking. If they seem like a guest you want, then go ahead and pre-approve. Even on a booking request, you can always dialogue with a guest through messages before the clock runs out if you’re not sure you want to accept without more info.