Still on the fence about Air

Hello All:

Reading the posts on this forum over these many months has me rethinking whether to get involved with hosting through Air at all or just go it alone using the web or other sites.

I would be offering a single bed room with private bath, amenities to include private fridge, coffee maker, microwave, cable tv, wireless wifi. No breakfast served but basics provided. Very comfortable, very quiet 14x14’ room. Basically, what you can find at most better mid-range motels these days.

To control my electric and heating costs, living in the Northest USA, only would be hosting during the more temperate months.

Also, and this has been previously discussed, staying with my full size bed. If that means only single guests so be it. The rate for one is the same for two. No long term rentals. One or two days and then out. My rate will not be that low. I have little to no competition in my area and no motels within a 10 mile radius. I know this will affect bookings but so be it. This is just to earn some extra income. Not a full time business… I have one of those I run from my home… Again, we discussed all this last year.

Question: are you given a prospective guest’s phone # when they initially contact you… Or do they have your yours? Seems much confusion back and forth via email can be averted if we can just talk like human beings.

You and the guest will both get the other’s phone number once a reservation has been booked. That being said, I’ve had 45 sets of guests so far, and there has never really been a need to speak with anyone on the phone. I’ve never called a guest, and only had one guest call me.

If you don’t mind my asking, what part of the NE are you in?

I’m on the coast of southern Maine. We opened our Airbnb room last July and offer pretty much exactly what you’re thinking of offering, with the exception of a queen bed instead of a double. We did well enough last summer that I am opening a second bedroom/bath suite for the 2017 summer season.

Getting the phone # after the booking makes no sense. They are locked in, correct?

I always call the motel I am going to stay at in advance. I only use pet-friendly places and while they are easy to find via various sites, I still speak with the desk to make sure. Sometimes owners change and so do their policies.

Point is, that phone call in advance can mean all the difference.

Can you link from Air to your web site? Phone # would be there.

I’m in Connecticut.

Yes, they are, and that’s exactly the point. Airbnb isn’t going to give you and a prospective guest any way to communicate directly with each other outside of their portal because then you would be able to complete the transaction outside of Air and they would lose their booking fee.

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Can you give them your phone # through their email system? Suggest the guest to call in advance?

@Cresentwrench. No. You can not exchange phone numbers when using the AirBNB platform. If you try to send it via the AirBNB message system, they will strip it out. If you try to send it using strange spacing, you are in violation of the TOS. To be honest, I don’t see how talking with someone on the phone is all that helpful, especially if they don’t speak English.

If you have a pressing need to talk with someone before they book, then AirBNB is really not the right platform for you.

As others have said, I have spoken with exactly one guest by phone. I much prefer to have all communications with the guest contained within the platform, just in case there is a misunderstanding in the future.


I have to agree with smtucker that nothing said in a phone call will serve to provide documentation in the rare case of a problem. I’ve been doing Air almost 3 years, close to 200 bookings. I’ve never needed to call the guest or had a serious problem. I’ve had some guests call me after booking for whatever reasons: on the road alone so can’t text, more comfortable with calls, etc.

The first 1.5 years I had a small private room with full size bed and bath across the hall but they were the only ones using it. Last year I added a private entrance and ensuite bathboom and last month a small refrigerator and microwave. I get quite a few couples and I have more bookings than ever. Not one person has ever complained about the “small” bed. My room is in the budget category so maybe my clientele don’t expect a larger bed at my price point. I get more singles than couples though.

The best way to find out if you are going to like it is to try it. You aren’t risking very much but you do sound like maybe hosting isn’t for you. You can learn a lot on this forum but every rental, every host and every guest is different. Just remember when you first start you’ll get that new host boost and you might get more bookings than “normal.”

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Can’t the people just message you in advance, just like “that phone call”? We travel with our dog a lot too, and she is above the weight limit many places state. However she is extremely well behaved and quiet. I’ve been able to communicate all of that without picking up a phone and she has been able to stay in a few places she otherwise wouldn’t have.

As others have said, private contact is not permitted until a guest has booked. I’m sure that you can understand this - Airbnb are providing their advertising service to hosts completely free until a booking is made and they don’t want to lose the revenue, naturally.

I’m not suggesting that the OP would go outside the platform but you can understand why Airbnb have this ruling.

I have never found a problem with the Airbnb message system and it’s good to have a ‘paper trail’.