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



I use instant book with the strictest guidelines and it gives me peace of mind because I’ve had some batshit people stay with me. I also am almost always booked up, though I wonder sometimes if I should raise my rates (I use a variable pricing tool though).


I’ve used IB from the start almost and have never had any restrictions. I’ve had one or two people who I wouldn’t be happy to host again but in the main, I’ve had great guests - mostly first timers.

As for the horror stories, I suspect that’s because of our natural need to vent to fellow hosts when something goes wrong. Every host gets a wrong 'un now and again. If a host reports a lot of horrible guests then I’m inclined to think that the host is doing something wrong - or at least, has unrealistic expectations.

Having said that I’ve always used IB, I’d just like to add that I live next door to one of our rentals and opposite the other. So I’m on hand to quell any nonsense at the source.


I’ve been on IB for 3 years, only require government ID, and had over 200 guest bookings. I’ve only had to leave negative public reviews for 2 of them and really they weren’t terrible, just didn’t clean up their own mess. I know other people here have some horror stories to tell but it hasn’t been my experience. Maybe, just spit balling here, it is a function of the sort of people who book in a particular area and why they are there. If you don’t live in place where people come to partaaay then maybe like mine you get guests who enjoy the peace and quiet and might return some day so are more respectful.


Ditto - I live above mine and guests know that. Maybe people should put a sign up like “Be aware the owner lives next door!” like those fake “Beware the dog!” signs on front gates.


Good idea! When I thank people for booking (I use IB) I always let them know that I’m right here on the premises ‘in case you need anything’ — which is code for ‘I’ll be keeping my eye on you’!



dont worry theyll still book, i have instand book turned on with you have to have reviews and ID. and plenty of first timers still message me and after reading what they say i accept or not! :slight_smile:


Me too! I mention that I’m always close by if they need anything. My hubby used to do a lot of walkthroughs with me. When he’d get a bit nervous about a young guest here for a concert, he’d give them the stern dad eye while vigorously pointing to our house saying, “And we’re RIGHT OVER THERE if you need anything.” I had to redirect his parental reflexes… :wink:


Thanks, yeah I have been doing this awhile so I have a number of these things locked down.

My neighbor across the hall has my number if anything shady happens to be going down. I keep my guest limit to four (I do have an air mattress so people can take the living room) and I have locks on a few of the closets that hide my most personal things.

I think the stories that have scared me the most here are the vomit ones. Coming home and finding it everywhere to clean up would be extremely disheartening for me.

Also that story about the bench getting taken from the bathroom. Everything in my place is special to me so if someone walked off with one of my pieces of art or even my super cool skeleton bottle opener (everyone asks me where they can get one and I have no idea because it was a gift) I’d be really bummed out.

So far I haven’t had that happen though. Since I switched to the stricter guidelines I have gotten two new bookings at my condo through inquiries. Seem like really nice people that just didn’t have any previous reviews so I approved them.

Overall I’m feeling better about the stricter guideline set up but I’m curious to see if my occupancy rate goes down with the tighter booking guidelines…


Because if your remove IB then you no longer come up as easily in the searches.

Just as Airbnb rewards a new booking by placing it higher they also reward people who set to IB because it makes it easier for the guests using the platform.


Even though I’ve created more restrictions I am technically still an IB location so I don’t think it will change the searches. Though I’m not entirely sure of this.


I know that @lisavanahn :slight_smile:

I was always on the first page or top of the second page with my listing even without IB.

Anyway just a suggestion from an experienced host …


Just seen from your most recent posts, you are not a new host. so removed information relating to being a new host.



EXACTLY why I did it. I haven’t had any really horrible experiences but I didn’t have restrictions set before and a young couple insta-booked with me. I think they might have been homeless and living out of their car…they stayed 2 nights and did an enormous amount of laundry, (they were still doing it when they were sposed to have checked out) and they took ALL the complimentary protein shakes I offer out of my fridge (28 for 2 days???), and the floors had been trampled on. Everything was really dirty. Overall they were nice and it’s not a horror story but they didn’t take great care of my space. After they had already IB with me of course I checked them out (I do that with everyone) and the profile had a 3 star review from a couple weeks ago saying the guests were okay but didn’t leave the place as clean as they expected.

If I would have had my restrictions turned on someone with a 3 star review couldn’t book with me and would have to inquire. Then I could check it out and decline. Honestly since they’d already booked I didn’t want to call Airbnb and cancel saying I was uncomfortable that they wouldn’t be clean enough. It seemed like a weak excuse to cancel.

I don’t know if this is going to save me from future disasters or problems but I feel like I have more peace of mind now.


I can’t imagine leaving that many protein shakes in the guests’ refrigerator for a two-night reservation. Just put out what a guest is actually welcomed to take/eat/enjoy to avoid feeling annoyed.


They are mine and that’s where I keep them for myself when I’m home. No one has ever abused the things I’ve left in my fridge before so it was a learning experience. I leave a little post it note that says they are welcome to enjoy the things they find in the fridge and it’s the first time in over 100 stays someone has taken advantage of it.


This is not a chance I would take. I used to have some unique things in my airbnb room and I took them out and replaced them with things I can easily replace. The African masks and the calligraphy custom done when my friend lived in Souzhou China are replaced by El Paso posters I bought online.

You might consider having a drawer or closet that is locked that you put things like your one of kind skeleton opener in.


I appreciate that. However when I say everything I do mean it. I would need to almost completely refurnish my place with new things. And it is what people love about it (the unique decor and style) and if all my stuff was gone I wouldn’t even want to stay there anymore.


Had another one like this tonight… as it happens I am a great location for their trip. I was surprised, however, to see her only first name, verifications, and country [US] but not her city or state. About 15 minutes later, she booked, and now I can see her town, state and country. Can other folks pay attention to this? Are you seeing this behavior as well?

I think AirBNB may be introducing additional shenanigans, probably to combat discrimination.


@lisavanahn What was the outcome of this? How did it affect you?


I also added these special requirements. I ask basic questions, ie purpose of trip, etc. And frankly it’s been a godsend. I book more on IB now than regular.


It’s been going really well! I’m still regularly booked and I am able to navigate chatting with inquiries of people who have no reviews and deciding if I feel comfortable hosting them.

I highly recommend setting IB on but making restrictions so people with no reviews need to message you before booking.

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