This is what I don't understand about Airbnb IB

I have IB on but require guests to have at least one review by a host. Received a request for a pre-approval. I’m not sure why it’s a pre-approval. She qualified to book instantly. She did write, “I was wondering if any of the outdoor space is private or is it all shared?” … It clearly states in the listing that the backyard is share with my husband, me and our two dogs. I replied and told her it’s all shared but only by us. I’ve not heard anything back…What’s next? Am I supposed to approve or decline based on her question? If I approve, am I accepting her request for us to stay out of the backyard, because that’s not going to happen. What should I do next? TY! Sorry for all the newbie questions.

If you answered her inquiry you need to do Nothing! It was not a request to book apparently. If you are on IB she would have booked without your approval. You can pre approve but if she wants a private patio and you told her it is shared she most likely won’t book. Just forget about it!


Okay, that’s exactly what I thought. But I’ve had several ‘pre-approve’ messages like this. I may have to call Airbnb and ask. She could be shopping around looking for another place. That’s what I’m imagining, and I’m fine with it.Should I pre-approve and write that the backyard is shared. I only ‘messaged’ her because I wasn’t sure what to do. I’m thinking that Airbnb requires me to approve or decline?

Only if it is a request to book, stop worrying you’re fine!


Where do I learn the basics?

@brighteyes00 – there are Inquiries and there are Requests to Book. There are no ‘pre-approve’ messages.

When you get an Inquiry (which is just a question about your place), Air is trying to get you to “pre-approve” the questioner in hopes that that will get them to book. Ignore that! Answer the question and forget about it. If the person has more questions you will get further Inquiries. Answer them, as above.

If the questioner is serious about staying, they will send a Request To Book. Then you have 24 hrs to Accept or Decline.


Well put succinctly Ken. To add to your explanation, I would advise the OP to send any questions she may have about what the potential guest expects, like any animals present, hosts own home etc. I’ve banged on about this recently but my list of what to expect/what they are potentially paying for, has cut down on silly bookings.

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@brighteyes00 - loads of great advice above. I wholeheartedly recommend that you carefully study posts in this forum as well as the Airbnb help pages. The help pages are great and all well and good but at this forum you get real-life stories from experienced hosts.

We don’t always agree which is fine. Someone who has a whole house listing in Colombia is going to have different opinions to someone who has one bedroom to rent in a shared house in New York.

But nevertheless, the experience here is invaluable. And those of us who have been doing this for a while want to help new hosts.

Now, about Instant Book and inquiries. I have used IB for ever. But I also get plenty of inquiries. Usually these inquiries could be answered if people would only read the listing thoroughly. Which they don’t. So we have to accept that.

For me. common questions are ‘how far away are you from the beach?’, ‘are you near to the convention centre?’ and other questions that Google maps could answer in a few seconds. Same with asking how far away the airport is or the cruiseline port.

Sometimes it’s ‘can we bring our well behaved dog?’ (No). ‘Can we bring our baby?’ (No.)

I have answered the craziest questions!

I know that the logic is that we use IB so that people won’t have to send inquiries but they still do. As hosts, we just have to get used to it.

So read a lot here, read the help pages and post here if you have questions. Just consider us the Airbnb University :slight_smile:


@brighteyes00 You may want to check out this topic/thread as well. It’s a little confusing in places but cleared up a lot of questions I had about exactly what you are asking (and more!)

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PS. I’m also on IB, but have no restrictions as far as reviews. Anyone can book who has gone through the verification process.

guests will contact multiple places - asking same question
you should preapprove - everyone else did- if they haven’t come back to you assume they booked with another host