Realtor asks for booking, not to book but to advertise!

I had Instant book on my new listing when I got a request for a six day booking from a Realtor. It said if any of your guest are interested in relocating to this area will you refer them to me??? Lots of phone numbers that Airbnb blanked out. I wrote back and said I don’t understand, are you wanting to book or just advertising? To which he said, just looking for business. Responded again and the I realized I had to decline or accept his “bogus offer” I just declined but I hope it doesn’t look bad for me!
Has anyone else had a realtor do that to them? How should I have handled it?

Unfortunately, “declines” seem to result in your listing being placed lower for your search area. This happened to me recently when I declined four inquires within ten days of each other (I am now up higher because I posted a link to my listing on Facebook and asked my friends to access the link – voila, I a now higher in the search! And, I received two bookings in the last week). If something like this happens again, you can send them a “special offer” of $5.000 a night. The offer will expire in 24 hours. Yes, your calendar might be blocked for those dates for 24 hours but it’s better than becoming “invisible” in the search for your area. Hope this helps!

Kudos to them for coming up with a new way to find clients. But what’s in it for you? I’d even ask them. What incentive do you have for the referrals?

Did they send you an inquiry or did they complete a booking? You can accept inquiries and the guest can decide whether or not they book. Then it won’t harm your search rankings.

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You can report the user. There is a flag icon next to the words, “Report this user.” on the profile.


Sandy, I make a mistake by declining! It was only an inquiry and I now realize that I should have just accepted it! Ugh! I was annoyed because I was so excited that I thought I was getting a booking and I wasn’t. Is it acceptable for realtors to contact host like this? I just went back and looked at his profile it doesn’t mention anything about him being a realtor, etc - just said a member since 2016!

Searchedtobelost think you are right about this. I am also a licensed Realtor so I just told him that. I hadn’t heard of his brokerage and I have been in the business for many, many years in our little area.

EllenN my first thought was to report him but at the time, I didn’t see how to do it!

After my declining him, I may not get my first listing for a long time!

Yes, always accept these kind of things.

If you are lucky, they are stupid and book. :joy:

I often accept bookings for guests that are not suitable.
“You are welcome to stay, but please be aware that the place you are trying to book is 2 hours drive away”.

They never book, but it keeps my rating high.

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Agree always validate.

If you report a user it doesn’t count as declining them.

I already hit decline before a posted here. Very foolish on my part!

If I were you I would call Airbnb… You can explain the situation; that you didn’t understand that you should report the user instead of hitting decline and that you don’t want it to count as a decline.

I don’t think you did anything wrong or anything that will count against you. It was just someone soliciting so you had to decline them. What I don’t understand is, did they actually put down money for a six day booking? Or was it just an inquiry?

It’s ok. I declined a few people in my early days and my business is thriving.

I know it’s stressful getting started, but I urge you to relax. It’s really going to be ok. I’m not sure that declining is going to hurt you so much. It never hurt me at all.

Keep the big picture in mind. You’re in this for the long haul. There will be crazy guests, great guests, lots of bookings, then dead dead silence. It is very cyclical.

Hang on!!

It is a bit more complex than that. Declines can contribute to a higher placement in search results if done quickly.

I’m sure you either have done some analysis or have an anecdotal experience but my experience is that Air doesn’t like declines, as I have described my experience of late – declined four inquiries in a week +/- (all legit reasons) and then I disappeared in the search for my city searching for 2 people (unless I zoomed way in). I wasn’t on 17 pages! And, I declined very quickly each time. Glad I figured out how to fix my search ranking because I got two new reservations in the last couple of days.

@sandy2 I also had a couple of declines in a row recently but then got 3 inquiries and bookings a week later. I didn’t check my search ranking in between but it didn’t seem to hurt my business. There are probably a number of other variables besides declines=disappear from search.

Thanks everyone. I just got a booking so I know I haven’t completely fallen off the face of the earth! I am feeling better about everything but still just a little annoyed that a realtor was trolling the Airbnb site. I think when you have an entire house available, they really think it will just be a matter of time until you get discouraged and decide to just sell the house!