Q: verification, pictures, host recommendations and nature of trip

I notice that I can only automatically require those things if I have IB turned on so does that mean by Air’s standards that a host is not allowed to inquire about those things in a message? I would sure like to see those options available as a default. Only seems prudent.

I just got a booking request by someone who joined this month. No picture, no location, no reason for trip and only verification is an email address.

I have the exact same question and will watch this thread. I wonder if they do this to entice people to offer instant booking?

I do not intend to turn on instant booking at this point. Am I allowed to write in my listing, “I would like to host only guests who have positive reviews from other Airbnbs”?

Require? LOL. I ask for those things and don’t always get them. You can certainly ask about them in a message and would have to do so from time to time with IB on.

Guests are prompted for whatever auto-questions you set in IB, but it definitely doesn’t require them. I ask who they’re traveling with and ETA and less than half send it unprompted.

@GardenGnome, You can certainly only host those who have prior reviews, but you’ll be leaving a lot of money on the table and destroy your acceptance rate. I have IB and yet about half my bookings come from folks new to ABB.
I don’t know how to phrase this in a way that isn’t confrontational (and I’ve been trying for a few minutes!): All of us were new to ABB at some point and the community won’t grow without hosts/guests willing to take a chance on newbies…why do you think you should be exempt from hosting unproven guests?

Well, I was thinking of phrasing it as I would PREFER to host guests with positive reviews, but can make exceptions for the right people who offer me enough information about their travel plans or something along those lines.

I’m not necessarily planning to decline guests without reviews…I thought by putting that in the listing it would remind potential guests that they are reviewed, too. (Which may affect their chances of booking future Airbnbs)

I think many guests don’t necessarily think about that. I stayed in an Airbnb this summer with some of my family who were new to Airbnb and they didn’t know until I told them that they, as the people who booked, would receive a rating from the hosts.

Customers are used to reviewing people providing services, not the other way around.

But my real question is, if I don’t use Instant Book, am I allowed to even mention my preference for guests with reviews?

I know from reading this message board a lot in 2016 when I was heavily using Airbnb as a guest that they tend to side with guests not hosts.

Hmmmm I’ve re-read my post and don’t see where I say anything about not hosting newbies. My last 6 guests have all been newbies.

I was merely asking if those types of requirements that are built into IB booking (if the host wishes) are restricted to only that type of booking.

Here is my question restated for clarity:

Can a host who does not utilize IB require photo id verification, purpose of trip and host recommendation?

The first paragraph was a reply to you, but if you’ll re-read my post you’ll see the second portion was directed at GardenGnome. :wink:

Anyway, Airbnb previously let ANY host require Gov’t ID verification, but now that option is only open to IB hosts. It’s one more way to pressure people into doing IB (the big jerks)!

I imagine they figure as a “non-IB host” you’re already corresponding with the guests and can manage your own questions before accepting.

Like I said, it’s VERY hit or miss and I’ve had better luck asking those questions in the message thread. Guests seem to see the IB pop-up as just another screen to click-through.
I do think it’s a shame they don’t allow everyone to require Gov’t ID, but you’re not missing out on much with the auto-prompted questions.

There’s nothing in ABB terms that prevents you from stating the kind of guest you’d like. Obviously you can’t say anything discriminatory, but indicating a preference for positively reviewed people, or that you want X,Y,Z info from newbies seems totally reasonable. And with the new attention to acceptance rates it might be good to let people self-filter (that is, if they read!)

And that’s a good point about letting newbies know they’ll be reviewed, too. Based on my settings they can’t IB, so I have a saved message for “New to ABB” requests that says:


Thank you so much for your interest in staying at my place. I see you are a new user. Welcome! I just wanted to touch base with you so your first Airbnb experience goes smoothly.

Before I confirm your request, can you please tell me a little about yourselves and what brings you to TC? As its a new profile, you don’t have any reviews and there is not much info in here for me to get a sense of who you are.

If you haven’t already done so, please thoroughly read the listing and house rules, ask any questions you might have, and then when you arrive you’ll know what to expect for an enjoyable stay. Afterward, Airbnb will ask us to review each other. Since we strive to get 5-star reviews we want to be sure the suite is a good match for your needs, that you understand how Airbnb works and any concerns you might have are addressed.
All the best,

I give them a pass on any earlier messages that are cryptic or just say “vacation” because the site can be confusing to new people. Based on their response to my message I’ll accept or decline.