More importantly, I let guests with no reviews book. The requirement for previous reviews makes it an extra hassle for newbies who are already likely having some extra hassle figuring out how to book.
I have Pre-Booking message on there because I think it is a chance to start a rapport with the guest as they book and makes for some efficient communication. In my message, I greet them and ask what’s bringing them to my town, etc but I also mention that turning on Notifications will make for easier communication. Ever since I added that to my message, I have very few issues with guests not getting messages I send. I think it’s useful and also doesn’t eliminate anyone anyways because they are already Instant Booking when they come across it. Even without that requirement, there’s a box that you have to put something in before you can move to the next screen that says “say something to your host” or something like that - so it seems better to have them say something useful to me than just some random comment to continue booking.
I do have this requirement but not because I think it makes us any safer or prevents bad guests or whatever but it does speak to a certain level of cooperation from a guest before they book. I also approve requests without it but have on occasion asked them to verify ID “before the booking can be completed” for the same reason of basic cooperation, which is something I prefer in guests. Also, everytime, it has let me develop some rapport with someone, usually a newbie learning the system, prior to them even arriving (e.g. it’s a great chance for a conversation and for me to be helpful ,). It’s always been a positive thing but I guess if someone said, “screw you, I’m not doing it”, that would be good to know too.