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

You didn’t lose anything. This was not a legitimate request.

I have instant book and I don’t think I’ve ever turned down someone new with no reviews. But after 10 years and 1000 + guests I’ve learned how to identify scammers.


Me too. I use IB so I don’t have the option of declining anyone.

I’m in business. after all.

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The only thing worse than no booking is a “bad” booking. We would prefer for our guesthouse to sit empty than have problematic guests. We home share, have a pool and a rescue animal “farm” so we have to vet our guests a little more thoroughly than some…especially during the summer months to weed out the locals who want to have a pool party. The stories we could tell!

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good point. and if i had animals - I would be over cautious… for sure…

One thing I sometimes read on hosting forums is new hosts asking how they can maximize their bookings and get steadily booked.

They don’t realize that should not be their first priority when they first start hosting, especially if they aren’t just “investor hosts”.

Many new hosts get taken advantage of by scammers and partiers because the host hasn’t taken the time to accurately and thoroughly describe their listing and in a way that markets towards the demographics of guests they want to attract, make sure they have important, enforceable, and reasonable house rules, have no idea how to vet guests or deal with bad guests, are clueless about Airbnb’s customer service and assume that Airbnb will come to their rescue if anything goes wrong.

There are very few hosts who can pull off the “heads in beds” approach, accepting any and all guests, without running into problems, let alone new hosts.
They should take it slow and understand there’s a lot of skills involved in hosting and it’s a learning curve. And that most experienced hosts don’t just accept every request that comes in, but have ways of vetting, communicating, and wording their listing that helps insure they get the kind of guests they want.

Yes, my private room listing may have some calendar gaps with no bookings, but I’ve never had a bad guest in years of hosting, never had less than a 5* review, and never had to get Airbnb involved with any guest issue. Those things are worth more to me than being fully booked.

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Good points… And funny thing is, just had a 2nd request -again new and no reviews- I asked a simple few questions and they withdrew. Not sure why/how people can scam if they have to be verified and their credit card is given and charged? What would they have to gain? I tried a fb ad for my area last year but stopped it as it seemed to attract locals that seemed more interested in a joy ride time- … Anyone had success with fb ads i wonder? I am trying for one week in a far away area where many of my tourists come from to see if it can help.

Well, there’s all kinds of scams, but the pro scammers usually send an inquiry message, not a request, and then try to get you to book off-platform, or send you phishing links, or it’s some money scam.

I think new users who send a request and then ghost you or withdraw their request when you ask some questions may either just be flakey, may have assumed that hosts just automatically accept requests, as if it’s instant book, and maybe are taken aback to actually have to communicate with the host.

Many new users don’t understand the difference between an inquiry and a request and just expected to have their question answered, not be asked any questions by the host, or told to please verify their ID with Airbnb, or provide some info about themselves.

Or they were still browsing around and decided on a different place, not realizing that if you clicked on accept, they’d be instantly charged. And a lot of new guests don’t actually have their payment info entered on Airbnb yet, so even if you accept, they won’t get charged yet- as far as I’m aware, guests can send requests before they’ve done that. Then you get those irritating “Awaiting payment” messages that can block your calendar for up to 24 hrs, only to sometimes never get confirmed.

We can speculate all kinds of reasons for a guest’s booking behavior, but unless it’s some obvious scam, we can’t really know.

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