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Reviewing a guest who never reserved

Does anyone know if there is a way to review a guest who never reserved? This last year I have had several experiences of potential guests simply never telling me they were not going to reserve. For example: a few weeks ago I had a request for information with many questions, I answered, then the person wrote back with many more questions including a request for a special offer. I again took time to make a detailed response, made a special offer, pre-approved…and then never heard a word back from them! This took time, energy, and created a great deal of uncertainty for my planning for that weekend. This seems to be more and more common. It is just impolite to ask dozens of questions and then not take 30 seconds to shoot off a message saying “no, not reserving”.

Impolite maybe - but reviews are for guests who stay at your property - not for people who simply inquire.

The vast majority of information a guest might want should be on your listing, so answering additional questions shouldn’t be too onerous.

What did they want to know that wasn’t in your listing profile?

Next time, try not to spend some much time and energy or provide such detailed responses - then you won’t feel so frustrated.

I think this is part of being in sales. As someone who has been self-employed for most of their life, I have learned not to stop my life because a client says they will arrive at a particular time. This has been reinforced with my AirBNB experience. It isn’t a booking until they book. And you don’t know an arrival time until they actually arrive. The service industry isn’t easy!


@Helsi, if you have guests that actually read your description then I want your secret! I have very clear and concise listings and yet 80% of the questions guests ask are answered in the listing. I try to straddle the line between replying politely and referring them back to the listing, and wanting to scream - it’s in the first paragraph of the description!

Having the “saved messages” has been a big help for me. @drl did you know this feature exists? It might be a timesaver for you as well.

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At first, because of so many questions, I made up my information list. Now when someone sends a list of questions, I send them the information list. When they follow with a question ON the list, I copy and paste the passage. But no more spending more than a minute answering an inquiry.


superhostnyc, Thank you! …That’s the thing, all her questions were about things that (I thought) were clear in the description…including basics like possible arrival/departure times and even the “total price”!
I have the impression that people usually take a quick look at the photos and then send a message to ask about what concerns them, instead of reading the description.

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Perhaps it would help if make your information list in short, bullet form, as follows:

#4- Wading slipper-type shoes_. The island is surrounded by hard sand flats, further away coral; bringing soft shoes that cover your toes and ankle are a good thing to have when exploring about.

#5- Snorkeling equipment: Bring your own or you can rent them locally on the way to the island. For divers, there is a place for renting tanks also.

#6- Fishing equipment: The island is usually surrounded by constant marauding schools of fish (jacks, snappers, etc) feeding around it. The island does have two light-spinning sets.

I have addressed the 12 most commonly-asked questions and answered them in one page.


I don’t know if it’s a secret, but I honestly don’t have too many people that ask for information that’s already in my description.

If people do ask lots of questions I will send them back something like “do have a look through my description, I put it together to cover what I hope will be all the information you need about my property, area and local transport. If after reading it, you would like information about my listing please feel free to ask. For information about what to do and see in the area visit XX, for transport visit XXX”.

I don’t provide special offers and I don’t pre-approve people.

Don’t let people who are merely inquiring take up so much of your energy -.They have the information if they want to book, they will book, if they want information they can read the listing.

The total price is not in the description. Actually, hosts never know the total price the guest will pay as the Airbnb fee is not a set percentage.

Not all, but many travelers ask the total price as a means of trying to fish around for a discount. They just want to see if you reply back with a lower amount. It’s so easy for them to just enter in the dates and number of guests, and pretend like they are about to book (to view it). Plus, I don’t like to quote them any kind of booking fees.

Someone who asks waaaaaaaaaay too many questions is a red flag and should be declined for that reason. It often signals a newbie who doesn’t know how to use the platform, and could be a problem. Decline when it starts getting ridiculous. You don’t even need a reason but if you had to give one, it might be, “sorry but all of these questions are answered in my listing. I don’t think you would be a good fit for us.” It’s not incumbent on you to explain how the platform works.

I sometimes get people asking all sorts of questions about traveling to Hawaii. I refer them to the guidebook I write or tell them that once they are a confirmed booking I will be able to answer their questions in greater detail with the guest document I send out.

But sometimes if something keeps happening a lot, you need to look at yourself. Have you given enough information in your listing and is it clear? Make sure it is clear enough. Look it over again.

@Helsi i’m curious, what do you mean you don’t pre-approve people? I thought if a host didn’t pre-approve or decline it might go against us in our response/time stats? what is the issue with pre approving that you’re not keen on? can you turn off pre approval?

Just need to get over it really. It happens sometimes. Nothing to get worked up about.

I don’t like pre-approving because I understand it can block your calendar for 24 hours.

If it’s just an enquiry you don’t have to pre-approve or decline. It won’t affect your response times.

This confuses me. If they have never stayed at an AirBNB before and you don’t pre-approve, they can’t book at all right?

drl – We all get those on occasion. We all have spent an inordinate amount of time in answering them (when we were new to the game). We all eventually develop templates, form letters, bulleted lists of FAQ’s, curt replies, etc.

We use whichever applies to our mood at the time.

(…sounds like you’re ready to start creating “response A”)

no an enquiry doesn’t give the ‘pre-approve’ button but if you do get an actual request and the pre approve button is there don’t you have to either pre approve or decline within a certain time to not damage your response rates?

Correct, within 24 hours, IF you get a request (not an inquiry).

Hi @smtucker

Not at all.

Guests can inquire or they can send a booking request.

If they inquire you can send them a pre-approval which is open for 24 hours. This means they can confirm a booking anytime within the 24 hour window.

If it is an inquiry you don’t need to send a pre-approval or cancel. It is simply an inquiry.

If they send a booking request you must respond within 24 hours.

If you have a look on the BNB information for hosts - it has all the information there - probably explains it a lot better than I can :slight_smile:

This information is all on the basis that you don’t have Instant Book on - I don’t know if this works differently.

Hope this helps


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