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So I created stricter guidelines for instant booking ...have you done this?

hosting

#1

I decided to set up my Instant booking and only allow people with positive reviews to instant book (you can set this in your booking settings).

I’m not sure if I’m running off of paranoia of being on this forum for the last 2 months or what. I’ve never had an issue before but since reading so many crazy negative posts I’ve decided to restrict my incoming guests a bit more.

One thing I did do is ADD to my initial Airbnb description this comment…

“New to Airbnb and aren’t able to instant book with me? Please send an inquiry introducing yourself. I love hosting new guests!”

I feel like offering this up allows new people to feel comfortable to inquire and try to book. What do ya’ll think? I worry about allowing anyone without reviews to instant book and then I feel uncomfortable and trying to work it out with Airbnb support when I feel icky about the booking.

This way people need to inquire and I can vet them first before approving the booking. Do you think this will work or will it pull me down in the rankings and get me less bookings?

I’ve been very c’est la vie about this whole thing so far and it has gone really well.

I only have become concerned since entering this forum and reading horror stories. I don’t have any, and I don’t want any in my future.


#2

what I hate about changing this to only accepting instant bookings from people with positive reviews is that some of my BEST reviews have come from people who booked with me on Airbnb for their first time. I loved them and they loved me. I feel so nervous here reading some of the posts now I’m worried someone terribly aweful will book with me and trash my place. UGH!


#3

It certainly is a very interesting approach, and I hope you can give us an update on how it went in 6 or 12 months. I like the idea, but I’m wondering if people will read enough of your listing to get to that line. The question is also if you will show up in people’s search results by doing this;


#4

What kind of place are you talking about. Your home where you live on site? I’ve had IB with no limits for about two years with no problem. I live on site but the airbnb is separated with a private entrance


#5

I started May 2017. Turned on instant book probably in July. And recently turned off govt ID and positive reviews and it makes life so much easier knowing people are booked and I don’t have a countdown timer in my face lol. Now only ever get the odd enquiry which so far has never turned into a booking lol.
We are off site hosts with a entire place rental.


#6

I feel like I will know this information sooner than 6 months. Currently I am almost always booked so if that changes I guess it will be as a result of this new restriction.


#7

It’s my home, a one bedroom condo. But when it’s booked I don’t live there.


#8

I guess I’m not really in a position where it MUST be booked. If it’s not rented then I get to stay in my space which I actually love doing. If it is rented I’m either traveling or squatting at my sisters place or friends. I actually enjoy when it doesn’t get booked sometimes because then I get to stay in my own house LOL!


#9

Wait if you have instant book on with restrictions can people who don’t meet the restrictions still send an inquiry?


#10

Yes. I have IB on and say “not suitable for children” and people with children still send inquiries


#11

Oh ok good.i don’t want to block new people, but I want to be able to have a little discretion depending on their requests.


#12

You can set your instant book requirements and if they don’t fit them they can inquire for a reservation.


#13

I wish more hosts set this restriction. Otherwise, what is the penalty for a guest receiving a bad review? They can still instant book with properties that have no restrictions on who can instant book.


#14

Rather than only accepting guests with a review @lisavanahn , why not remove Instant Book?

I think as a new hosts it’s always useful to chat to guests and understand why they are choosing your place and whether they are a good fit, before you accept their booking.

In that way you are open to all guests booking with you.

I did this for a year before I turned on IB.


#15

I agree with Helsi. Your setup has you jumping through more hoops than just getting rid of IB and using Strict cancellation and a Same Day setting under Reservation Preferences.


#16

I wondered the same thing? Just turn it off. Don’t IB until you are more experienced.


#17

I just use IB. I removed the positive review requirement since so many of my guests are first-timers. I still have the government ID requirement which I know has made it difficult, sometimes impossible, for some folks to book. I can live with that however.

Unlike other hosts on this forum, my inquiries, when I get them, almost always turn into bookings if my place is suitable. i am very honest about responding to an inquiry and will tell the potential guest that this isn’t a good location [the most common question] for their plans. Many of my inquiries these days are from people who want reassurance that there is a real human on the other end and that the human is not running a “professional” AirBNB company.


#18

This is my feeling as well. I’ve had a lot of first timers and they have all been great. My only problem guests have been ones with prior good reviews. My guess is that many, maybe most, hosts don’t leave reviews or don’t leave honest ones.

I briefly removed the govt ID requirement because I had a guest taking an emergency road trip and she couldn’t get the ID uploaded or approved or something. I booked awhile under that setting but then turned it back on since for the most part it wasn’t keeping people from booking.


#19

We get a lot of new Airbnb users, so as much as I’d like to, I don’t tick the recommended by other hosts box. I occasionally flip flop on requiring ID verification. Nearly all of our new users have been wonderful guests. We may have to hold their hand a bit more, but we don’t mind that at all.

If I were new to the platform, I think I’d prefer to go with an instant book property because I’d feel more welcome and any feared unwritten “rules” for inquiries are avoided. I’m assuming you don’t show up as an instant book property if the person searching doesn’t meet the requirements.


#20

I don’t really think this is much of an IB versus non-IB issue, but rather an assessment of your rental. It’s your primary residence and it is one bedroom condo. So what is the max number of guests? If you set to two, then you will have waaayy less problems than if your home sleeps a lot of people. Do your neighbors keep a look out in order to report to you if they see a bunch of people coming and going? If a party were to start, would the neighbors notice right away and notify you? Are all of your important docs stored somewhere or do guests have access to these items?

I know you said stories on this forum have scared you. Any particular ones? Think about what scares you and see if you have any preventive measures in place.


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