What to ask when you get a request from someone new with no reviews?

Hello, I just got a request from someone with 1 mth on airbnb, no reviews and a one word request “Vacancy?”…
Any recommendations on what to ask them without being intrusive and making me feel a bit more comfortable about their request?

"Hi, XX, Thank you for the request. I see you are new to Airbnb, so you might not know how it works.
If the dates are open on the calendar, then they are bookable.

Please tell me a bit about yourself and your reason for travelling to this area. Are you aware that (list a few important things to know about your listing and/or rules that the guest would have had to read through your listing to know, or that could be deal-breakers)?

Looking forward to hearing back from you soon so I can accept your booking."

Something like that.


All guests get the same long welcome message, and answers to any comments or questions they wrote. Many, like maybe 25% are less than 2 reviews, some write me nothing. No IB here.
I usually get a response then respond to that and accept. If there is no response, I then write that I’ll confirm their stay shortly if they have read all and there are no further questions. Then I confirm, and send another long letter.
If anyone wishes to read the actual verbage just Dm me!

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The majority of my guests send an informative, friendly message along with their request. The few who don’t have always done so after I send them a message asking them a question and encouraging more engagement.

And it sounds like the OP’s guest doesn’t know the difference between when they should send an inquiry vs. a request.

I’m a bit confused here. You don’t have IB. So guests have to send a request and you reply with your ‘same long welcome message’ and if the guest doesn’t respond you still approve the reservation?

What’s the point of having IB turned off then?

I’m very interested in your message if you could DM me that, I’d greatly appreciate it.

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I think this is a scam “Message.” I’d reply with “Yes.” You’ve already spent more time on this than I would have.


Respond with “Literacy?”.


I could probably use ib with few problems, I just have never .
What I meant was I send the same welcome note to all requests, whether they write something, or have no reviews . Usually then they write something. Very rarely do I need to accept with no communication from them.

You do not accept messages. I am trying to send you my notes

Fixed it. Sorry, didn’t even know that this has to be set up…

Again, you say that you get requests without a message, yet you approve requests without any communication whatsoever.

How does this differ from from IB where you can set up automated messages as well after the booking is confirmed?

Are you vetting guests? To me this seems to be the only reason to not allow IB. It just sounded like as if you pretty much let anyone book your place. :sweat_smile:

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I honestly think I have approved 3 or less guests (out of 400) that didn’t say anything. I open text with all of them the day before, and if they don’t reply they will never find us on their own…
I don’t do IB just on principle I guess, especially since Air started with the fines for canceling, and because I am on 4 platforms. I want guests to be aware what they are getting and getting into, and encourage them to read the listing verbage, if they do not, then at least they have my welcome and booking confirmation letters. Several guests have retracted their requests either at my request ( kids, dogs etc) or because after reading my notes, realized it is not in their interest to come. I don’t want to have to cancel anyone and never have. I think I’ve declined two.

did you see my notes in dm?

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I can’t see any new messages. I will write you one and see if it works the other way round. Bizarro.

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Well took your suggestion and left a similar message. They withdrew their request with no response … so there goes 4 days of a booking… But I have to look at it philosophically… I’m being polite and wanted some reassurance- before letting a stranger in my place… if they can’t oblige… I reckon its not worth it.

hahah… yes something like that woulda been good since I lost the booking anyway…

I figure if a guest can’t muster some basic courtesy and communication, which the vast majority of my guests do without any prompting, they are likely to be problematic in other ways.

If they can’t be bothered to answer a simple, friendly welcome message, are they going to respond when I ask them for their ETA a few days before their arrival, or leave me waiting at home all day, not knowing when to expect them? Are they going to confirm, as I ask guests to do, that they received the map I send them to my hard-to-find house?

I had an inquiry where a guest asked a question the answer to which was evident in my listing. He sent another message quickly after that, saying never mind, he found the info in my ad and that he definitely wanted to book. I messaged him back in a friendly, polite manner, pointing out that as he was a new user and had no reviews, and hadn’t filled out any profile info, nor did he show as having verified ID, he would need to verify his ID, and tell me a bit about himself, as I was a homeshare host, before I could approve his inquiry. He did verify his ID shortly after that, but never messaged me back, so I just let the inquiry lapse.

I don’t know if he was just clueless, or a red flag, but I didn’t feel I’d missed out on anything. It’s just not worth it to me to spend time dealing with people who aren’t appropriately responsive.


Folks who are new to airbnb need some education. I write something like -

“I see you’re new to airbnb so I’m happy to help you learn how it works. Since hosts are opening their homes to you and the trust factor relies heavily on the review system, it’s important to share some information about your visit and who is staying. Though even once you have some reviews that’s good airbnb practice. So I look forward to hearing back from you and perhaps providing you with your first positive review!”

If they don’t respond, or are snippy in any way, I of course bail. Only once did a woman react so nastily and defensively to my message that I was relieved to know I would have been walking into trouble. Every other time the message was received very positively and put my mind at ease. What I really want to say is…renting on airbnb is not like booking a hotel room. Read up!


About three times I have given a guest their first review. As they were all great guests, I was able to give them 5* reviews and got some satisfation from being able to do that. One of them told me she had actually stayed at lots of Airbnbs, but either with her family or a group, and not booked by her, so she had just set up her own account because it was her first time travelling and booking on her own.

This is what I say…

Here is the address and check in instructions so you have it close by. XXX X The property is fenced and gated. The North Driveway gate will be closed. The South driveway gate is 150’ to the south just past the landscaped area will be open when you arrive. You are in Cabin C, when you come in the driveway follow it around towards the shed and park to the left of the shed in front of the cabin C parking sign. The walkway up to the cottage starts just behind the shed. We will open the gate just before 3:00 check in time. I will leave the cabin unlocked and the keys will be inside on the table. There is a remote control for the gate with the key. The gate will close on its own when you come and go. When using the remote you need to hold the button a few seconds. See you soon, from a distance…

I accept everyone, the good the bad and the ugly. I would be only a bit more concerned if they had a bad review than no reviews. If they have a bad review I say something, I am not sure what happened with that place in Paris but don’t it happen here…

It works for me, but my rental is stand alone and I get it that home share or remote hosts may not be comfortable with my heads in beds approach.



I’ve actually never declined a request. Gotten a couple to withdraw their request if they were asking for things that don’t comply with my listing.

But then, I’ve never had any guests with bad reviews send a request. And the ones with no reviews were fine.

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that makes great sense thanks, I will keep this in mind for next time, well worded. I had no response to my question - just a removal of request- I could have used the $- but no $ is worth the peace of mind- about having a unknown risk in my dwelling.