What questions do you ask guests when they request a booking?

What questions do you ask guests when they send you a booking request? (not on instabook).
Do you have any tried and true questions you ask them before accepting?
Such as “Have you read and agree to the rules?”

Trying to go live shortly -so want to make sure I am doing this process correctly.
Thanks.

I ask them what brings them to our area, & if they will verify that they have read our entire listing, & understand our house rules. I then let them know we will respond to their request when we receive their verification, & thank them for their interest.

One thing I do is ask them, if they haven’t given me ample indication that they have thoroughly read the listing, a couple of questions that they would need to have read the listing to be aware of, as they aren’t mentioned front and center. And those are also things that could be deal breakers for some guests. Every host would have different questions in that regard. For me, it’s “Just checking to make sure you are aware that there are pets on the premises and that it’s a 20 minute walk to town and the beach?”

I know some hosts ask what brings a guest to the area, but to me that seems rather prying, IMO, and in my case, it would actually seem like a stupid question, as everyone comes here to vacation at a beach town.
I really don’t have any rules- as a homeshare host I can just verbally tell them when they arrive about please being conservative with water because I don’t have an endless supply, etc, but it seems like a good idea for an entire place host to make sure they are aware of and agree to the house rules.

You should also ask them to verify their guest count, letting them know that no unregistered guests will be allowed.

I know a lot of hosts are more formal than I, but I find that if I just sort of chat with them as I would a friend or neighbor, trying to establish some rapport, I get any info I need.

I agree with this. I understand why hosts like to ask questions, but anyone who is up to no good is going to lie anyway. (No one is going to say “I’m coming to your town to rob the bank and need somewhere to lie low - your place looks ideal for this”.)

I too find it intrusive when guests ask me such questions and really, I think that it’s none of the host’s business really. This is why I always use IB as a host and as a guest.

But of course, everyone is different.

I’m just saying that it’s a factor to bear in mind, :slight_smile:

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When you say “receive their verification” how does that work?

I verified myself- so I was under the impression that only those who
are verified can request.
Did you mean verify- by them saying they read your listing and
understand your rules?

Also this may be a silly question- but is it safe to assume that my
manual, post booking details and arrival details- are all hidden from
the public- and only revealed to guests who have booked? I haven’t hit
publish yet- so can’t tell- and the person at airbnb today - didn’t
seem too clear on this fact. I find some things as I build my listing
just a little vague and it’s assumed- that this is the case.

Thank you for your advice- that looks perfect…

I also use IB, but if I get no information from that IB I ask questions. Why are they coming, tell me a little about yourself.

I would say 90% of people have at least 5 reviews and know the drill of what to say to a host. I make sure they are verified.

Occasionally I get someone that’s just joined or someone wanting to do a 3rd party booking. That is a whole other story.

Some of my favourite guests have been new to Airbnb with no reviews so that’s not something that would bother me.

If a potential guest has asked in the Airbnb message system for a booking for a third party I tell them that Airbnb prefers that the guests who are staying have an account - if they call Airbnb they’ll be talked through the process. This is successful in probably 80% of cases.

Airbnb prompts guests to tell the host why they are coming to the area when they book. The best I had, and certainly the most succinct, was ‘weekend break’. :slight_smile:

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I think the responder was referring to verifying that they had read the rules and listing info.
No, a guest doesn’t have to be verified by Airbnb to send a request, but if you are verified and check the box in your settings that guests must be as well, they have to be. I’m not sure if they are actually blocked from requesting in that case, or whether it’s a matter of being able to decline them on that basis.

I know a lot of hosts put a great deal of faith in the “Verified” status, but i don’t and have accepted guests who weren’t. Anyone can submit ID to Airbnb, it isn’t some assurance that they will be good guests, or even honest.

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The person that was trying to do a third party booking lived here and wrote a confusing message about who was coming. Took a couple readings then some questions and told her it wasn’t possible.

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We routinely get “visiting family” but some will muster more detail, “meet new grandson”. And they’re always sublime guests who take up a minimum of my time. I still send them my thanks-for-bookng-yada-yada message but I’m sure I could get away with “fantastic. see you then.”

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Good points- I will rethink asking them what brings them- as I too am
at a beach area and it does seem a bit prying. And I will add the
verifying the amount of guests…too.

Perhaps this would be the spot for me to mention that I am on a busy
street (near a lighthouse) so there is traffic noise- or should I just
leave that for my manual? Also I have a clawfoot tub and no shower? Or
again -would this be better to go to the manual?

thank you.

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It’s not to safe to assume that your address will be hidden and only revealed to guests who have booked. It is a setting on your listing and I’m not sure what the default is so you’ll want to look at it and choose when you’d like guests to receive your address. It’s here:

→ Listing → Listing Details ~~ Location Sharing. And there you will have two things you need to check on and set to your preference. One is general vs specific location for guests who haven’t booked yet and then down at the bottom toggle for Address Privacy for Cancelations which covers guests who have booked (and it’s explained there in a blurb).

If you want to confirm with the guest that they understand it’s noisy you could mention it if you want during the request. I sometimes mention that our studio doesn’t have a stove/oven but only when I suspect that they didn’t notice it, usually because they want a length of stay (which is why I get a request instead of IB) that would make me think they’d want a stove.

But where you want to mention it no matter what is under Potential for Noise on your listing. It is under Guest Safety on the main page of your listing settings. You want to mention it there to CYA with Airbnb so that someone doesn’t try to get a refund because it’s noisy. If you have it on your listing then it will be a defense to a complaint (and you’ll less likely to get one anyway).

And, similarly, you can mention not having a shower under Amenity Limitations which is also under that Guest Safety section. You want to fill that stuff out because it’s important info for guests and also CYA stuff.

But I don’t see any particular reason to mention those things in your manual. Mention it in the sections I noted and you can mention those things again if you want in your listing description but nothing in the manual will CYA and guests will have already booked before they get your manual.

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I’m not sure what you are referring to by “manual”. That usually means a binder or a few sheets of instructions as to how to work various things on the property that hosts leave in the unit itself- the house manual.

The house manual can also contain a reminder of the house rules, and check-out instructions. It can also have info on things useful to guests, like take-out places and phone numbers, the nearest grocery store, local emergency numbers, etc.

But things like the potential for noise and that there is no shower, only a bathtub, need to be made clear in your listing description.

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I meant their verifying that they have read the entire listing & understand my house rules. This (hopefully) alleviates confusion around amenities, etc.
As to your other queries, I am pretty sure only your confirmed guests will be privy to that info, but am going to defer to other hosts on this one. What say he, wise ones? :joy:

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I determine what to ask depending on what the guest writes in the inquiry. Some say who is coming, vaccination status, why they are going to be there, etc. Those are easy. My least favorite is one that asks if certain dates are available rather than check the calendar. I assume that guest won’t read and thus ask about things that the better guest usually volunteers AND point out that they are expected to read the entire description. I cut them a little slack if they are new to the Airbnb process. I often follow my gut and keep asking questions if get that creepy feeling.

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I’ve always been impressed that most of my requests are of the “Hi, (compliments about listing) and “my boyfriend and I are coming to visit friends”; Or “I’m coming out for a job interview”. There’s nothing more I “need” to know, but polite, friendly communication speaks volumes!

I’ve had a very few, I’d like to book your room” and those I chat up a bit first. One fellow, first-timer, was taken aback and proceeded to tell me that he was a professor and had published many papers in scientific journals and would I like him to send me one…He warmed up during his stay and left a great review.:blush:

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Well, not the manual of course because by the time they see it, the guests are in situ and have had the house tour so they know about the lack of a shower.

Make sure that everything about your rental is in your listing without exaggeration or excessive sales talk.

If there is traffic noise, say so in the listing. Also say in the listing that there is no shower. There are positive ways to say these things.

It’s best to be scrupulously honest in your listing blurb. Remember that guests can contact Airbnb and ask for a refund if they feel that your rental was misrepresented in any way.

I prefer, as do many hosts here, to underpromise and overdeliver. That’s why I chuckle when I see photographs on Airbnb that so obviously make a place look bigger than it really is.

For me, and probably many other hosts, it’s great to hear during the house tour “wow, this place is even better than it looks in the photographs”. The guests’ stay starts on a positive note.

I’ve stayed in rentals where my first thought is “this isn’t like the photographs” so the stay starts on a negative note.

If you show in your photos a bowl full of fruit and a bunch of fresh flowers then you need to be sure that they are in place at every turnover. Accuracy is so important.

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I love it when that happens. I’ve had guests say, “Oh, this is much nicer than I expected”, when I show them to their room and bathroom.

I used to knock myself out making sure the yard looked great and all that before a guest checked in, but I’m not so worried about those things anymore. Homeshare guests seem to think my garden looks great even when I know it needs weeding, pruning, grass cutting, etc. There just aren’t enough hours in a day to keep up with everything.

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Absolutely should mention that. For one thing, clawfoot tubs tend to be hard to get in and out of and for some older folks that’s an issue.

You are saying there is a tub with no shower curtain, no hand held shower head, literally no shower can be taken…only a bath? If that’s the case that seems like a serious negative. Like on the level of “there’s no toilet in the rental, it’s just a short walk down a lighted, paved path…” kind of negative. It doesn’t mean you won’t get booked but you would absolutely have to make it clear when they book.

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@Letsgo
Is there any way you could add a shower option in your clawfoot? It won’t be a deal breaker for everyone, but it’s seriously inconvenient in a short term rental to only have a bathtub. I don’t know how many guests you are planning to accommodate, but I can’t imagine 4 people getting ready to go out to dinner, or coming home from a day at the beach, all sandy and covered in sunscreen and salt water and waiting to each take a bath. And most men I know, and a lot of women, too, do not normally take baths, they shower. Some people think taking a bath is downright gross- “sitting in your own dirt”.

My old house in Canada just had a tub, but we changed out the tub faucet for one that you can attach a shower hose and head to, and mounted it on the wall (no extra plumbing work required). It was, however, a rectangular tub with tiled walls on 2 sides. A freestanding clawfoot would present more of a challenge, but something could probably be rigged up.

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