Would love to hear everyone's "RED FLAGS"

I think this would be a fun and informative little chat on what everyone thought were red flags coming from guests. The red flags always turned out to be problem guests. I will give a few in no particular order and would love to hear yours. Especially the funny ones…

Bargain Hunters

I read a great article before I started Airbnbing about bargain hunters and how this host advised to never say yes to them. He said you give them an inch and they will try and take a mile. I have found this to be good information as the few times we have done so they were always problem guests. One including the dreaded Airbnb host whose is trying to take advantage of others and work the system. We have had many lovely Airbnb hosts though. We also are booked pretty solidly so we are not hurting for bookings. Your mileage may vary.

Marcia is trying to book for Jessica using Linda’s profile. “We do this all the time and Airbnb knows about it”

We have had mainly production companies try and use this tactic. We check with Airbnb first to make sure that the “business booker” has a known account with Airbnb and is allowed to book their many business members/clients. She did not and we asked her to have the actual person who wants to book with us create a profile and then book with us. She did and it was possibly the worst guest we’ve ever had. Now we know why Marcia was trying to book Jessica under some poor PA’s personal profile. Yay.

May we use your garage? (Inquired before we ever met this guest and before he stepped onto our property)

It’s not part of our llsting, so yeah, um, no.

Needless to say you know how this guest turned out.

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Hosting since 2014, 350 or so different guests, 1000s of nights booked. 100% IB with government ID for the last two years.

Here are my red flags:


My red flags:

  1. Deception of any kind.
  2. Elaborate stories regarding the booking or its purpose.
  3. Overly friendly and chatty … I have learned to be a bit suspicious of that behavior - it can be, but not always - manipulative.

My red flags are: 1) Anyone asking for a discount, I always decline but thankfully didn’t get any such requests last year, 2) poor reviews from other hosts 3) not a red flag as such but based on experience, I have some trepidation when I get a request from a French guest.


Red Flags:

Asks a ton of questions, even though everything you could ever ask and more is in the listing. Those who ask a zillion questions about what to do in Hawaii when they haven’t booked yet.

Bargain hunters. Instant decline

Kooky stories. Some can turn out well but have had more go bad than not.

Favor askers. Late check out, early check in. Friends over. I then know they Haven’t read listing.

Superhosts. Tend to be more critical. Sometimes but not always.

Have left nitpicks for other hosts (visible on the Chrome extension)

Anyone local.


I get the same from Swiss. They are never ever happy with my place.


I can’t work out if thats super poignant, or you got distracted! x


No, not poignant but obviously too clever by half. I don’t have any red flags. Red flag is another way to say “stereotyping” and I haven’t had any luck with that. It works for other people, or they think it does, good for them.


But your guests fit into a strict niche of in and out road trippers. It’s very unusual.


I wouldn’t say strict, not anymore. I’m still probably 60% road trippers but I’m getting more people for whom this is their destination. They still aren’t vacationing tourists though. They are here for school or work or visit family. I’ve never had problems with locals who book, few problems with fellow hosts, etc. I don’t think anyone has ever asked for a discount.

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I don’t get many discount seekers anymore… truth told. I used to when I was a new host.

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I confess it is stereotyping but experience is a good teacher. My red flags are:

  • San Franciscans (based on 5 sets of guests through the years)
  • Travelers from Missouri (same as above)
  • Mother/teen daughter combo (4 sets through the years)
  • Locals

It doesn’t mean I will reject their request ~ but on second thought…


I think you’ll win the prize for most interesting set of flags…now if only we could get some mother/daughter combos from Missouri to complain we could have some real fun. I guess it really is the “show me” state.


Mother of the Bride on Wedding weekend. Guaranteed high stress without filters or brains.


I’m not trying to be offensive with the next comment; only truthful about how I feel, so let me preface this with I think everyone’s relationship with their spirituality is their own & personal and NOT subject to my judgement. I am a Christian (only mentioning this because I want to avoid some one thinking I’m being discriminatory—this is not on my airbnb listing)

When a guest’s FIRST communication to me is, “I am a Christian so you know I will take care of your place.” I want to run away.

  1. Someone being a Christian isn’t necessarily connected to how well they treat my property.

  2. Sadly, for centuries too many people have used religion to try to gain other’s confidences, then used it to abuse their trust.

When someone uses their religion as part of a sales or confidence tool, warning signs blare. (E.g. Bakers & PTL club in the 80’s selling non-existent timeshares, Madoff using religion to gain access to investors).


But how do they know you are a Christian? Or is it just randomly that they announce this in their introduction?


yes, same question from me…they seem to know they’re talking to a Christian. Or do Christians just know!? :slight_smile:

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Being Christian is something they say in the original rental request.

I live in the area of the USA known as the Bible Belt so it is not uncommon to see on the signage on handyman or similar trucks “Christian Owned”.

I don’t announce it. No they don’t know my religion.

The initial out of the blue comment is what makes me feel uncomfortable.


I totally get it! Very presumptuous.


I’m pretty much with @KKC on this issue. I have used Instant Book for ages now so don’t get to decline guests any more (and haven’t noticed any difference in quality of guests).

The only ‘red flags’ I can think of are more like an alert of what to possibly expect, for example:

  • guests doing a 3 week internship - they’re going to want to cook
  • guests looking to move here and flat/job searching - they’re not only going to want to cook but possibly pick my brains and want a lot of interaction.
  • single (usually female) guests who have never travelled alone before and confess to being a bit nervous.

None of the above make my heart sink or anything, just make me extra careful over managing expectations.

Actually, I’ve thought of some real red flags now…!

  1. Guests who cheerfully insist in their profile and/or message that they are “laid-back” and “very clean and respectful” or anything along those lines. They are almost always the exact opposite.

  2. Other hosts. Often judgemental, nitpicky, snotty SOBs… horrible horrible people who take pleasure in looking down their noses at other hosts and giving them nasty reviews. This hasn’t actually happened to me yet but I’ve read enough from here and other groups to know that my heart sinks when another host books.