For many of you, hosting is important, but you’ve also got work, family, and your personal life keeping you plenty busy. So, tracking how quickly you reply to guest inquiries and monitoring the percentage of booking requests you’re accepting versus declining is probably not on the top of your to-do list. Some of you have asked about the specifics of these measurements, why they matter, and how you can improve them without much fuss—and we’re happy you asked! We’ve gathered answers from the folks who build these tools, so let’s dive in to see what they have to say.
What’s the difference between my response rate and acceptance rate?
For my response rate, does just the first message/inquiry count or do subsequent messages in a thread count, too?
We only measure a response within 24 hours of the guest's first message or inquiry. Subsequent messages in that thread do not impact your response rate.
What happens to my acceptance rate if I answer a question rather than approve, pre-approve, or decline a booking request?
The short answer is this: If a guest sends you a booking request and you only answer a question, but do not approve or decline before the request times out, that counts as a decline.
Let’s dive in a little further. It’s important to note the difference between an inquiry and a booking request. An inquiry is just a message—perhaps asking to clarify something about amenities, dates, or House Rules. The guest may be interested in staying with you and may even ask something like: “I want to book your home; is it ok if I bring my dog?” This is not a booking request. It’s an inquiry. You can respond to an inquiry with an answer, a pre-approval, or by declining. Declining an inquiry signals to the guest that their needs aren’t a good fit for your space and encourages them to request another listing. But none of these actions directly affects your acceptance rate. If you pre-approve an inquiry and the guest books your space, that counts as an acceptance. If you pre-approve and they don’t book, it doesn’t have any effect on your acceptance rate. And if you decline an inquiry, your acceptance rate is not affected.
A booking request means that the guest is officially asking to book your listing and is waiting for you to accept or decline. As far as your acceptance rate goes, we only measure the final outcome of the booking request, and there are just three possible actions you can take: accept, decline, or let the request time out. If you let a request time out—even if you answer questions but take no action to approve or decline a request within 24 hours—that’s considered a decline.
How do these rates affect me as a host?
That’s a great question. The technical answer is that low response rates can impact your eligibility for the Superhost program, and acceptance rates can impact eligibility to become a Plus host. And hosts who have very low rates could face penalties, including having their listings paused. But, it's important to note that one-off instances of not responding or declining a booking request rarely lead to any action being taken. We’re much more concerned where we see a consistent pattern of non-response or declines.
Can you share insider tips or suggestions on how to keep my response and acceptance rates high?
We think hosts are actually the experts in this area, so we’ll share some of your ideas here, too, but for response rate, one of the best ways to manage messages on the go is to use the Airbnb app on your mobile phone. You can also consider temporarily snoozing your listing if you know you’ll be unable to respond to messages for a while. If you’re taking a vacation, attending a long work conference, or just needing to unplug for a while, you can rest easy knowing there’s no response clock ticking or messages piling up in your inbox.
To snooze your listing and hide it from search results for a set period of time:
Your listing will automatically reactivate when the timeframe you set is over. The day before your listing reactivates, you'll get a reminder email.
Here are some tips hosts in the Community Center share for keeping your response rate high:
For your acceptance rate, ensure your calendar and booking preferences and settings are accurate and up to date. For example, if you can't accommodate same-day requests, update your listing to reflect the time you need between reservations. Hosts also tell us they find it helpful to keep their house rules updated so that guests understand what’s ok and what isn't before submitting a booking request. You’re less likely to get requests you can’t accept if you’re very clear about your expectations.
What is Airbnb doing to avoid penalizing hosts' acceptance rate when they decline unfit or illegitimate requests?
We understand that sometimes you may get requests that clearly violate your House Rules, or that are actually marketing attempts disguised as booking requests. These can put you in the awkward position of having to risk harming your own acceptance rate when there’s not a better action to take. To address this, the first thing we need to do is help you flag to us when there’s a problem. We’re exploring how best to do this, and while we don’t have a feature to announce at this time, we are absolutely aware of this pain point for you.
We want to ensure you’re empowered to decide who you welcome into your home and that you’re comfortable with the guests who stay with you. We understand that you only want to be held accountable to legitimate booking requests, and we’re committed to making sure that happens.
Numbers are just part of the story
While it’s good to keep response and acceptance rates in mind, the bigger picture isn’t about these measurements—in fact, they’re just indicators of the actual hospitality you show to your guests and the connection you establish when they reach out to you. You impact your guest’s experience from the moment they contact you or request to book, and the host community rightfully takes a lot of pride in creating experiences of welcome and belonging for the people who stay in your listings. So, yes, please do care about communicating in a timely way and setting guests up for success while they’re trying to find a good listing match for their needs; but know that numbers are just one way to tell the story about how you host.
I have no problem with the way Airbnb monitor my response rate, it is important for guests to get early response to enquiries or requests. However I reserve the right to accept or reject as I please. It is my house and if I don’t feel comfortable about who has made a request, or if I feel they are not a good fit, I have the right to say no. There is an anomaly here. They say if you allow instant book you can cancel without penalty, but if you reject a booking request it feels like we are being penalised.
Precisely. Airbnb are not listening to hosts about this clearly!
There used to be no penalty if a host responded to a booking request within 24 hours with a question/s for the guest and that’s the way it needs to go back to being. More often than not as a host I need to check things with the guest before I accept them coming to my home, and when the guest doesn’t reply within 24 hours, as a host I now am penalised for that. So many guests don’t read the listing properly. They don’t read the house rules. So you can’t say that by virtue of them sending a booking request through, they’ve read and understood/agreed to all the conditions of a listing. It’s very rare I accept a booking without dialogue first setting expectations about their stay.
I agree Amy. Over 90% of our booking requests have not actually read the house rules! We have a strictly fragrance-free house due to our medical condition, and when we reply to them asking if they read the house rules and specifying them, in 90% of the cases the people making the booking request either don't reply at all, or reply that they didn't read carefully. So we have a very high decline rate, but all because people don't actually read the rules. It's not fair to penalize hosts for guests not reading the house rules!
I totally agree! We should not be penalized for exploring possible with potential guests, based on their initial comments. Kit in CA
I have the following issue.....Clearly stated on my listing " We do not hosts guests who live in Chicago and all guests making reservarion have to provide governemnt ID( to Airbnb) and have a current picure on their profile" (my Airbnbs are large homes in Chicago). This is to discourage parties. However when I get a request from a guest wiht no profile info, no id, no picture, who lives in Chicago ....I am penalized if I decline. That person should not have even requested. Its like someone asking if they can bring a dog if listing does not allow pets.
The other glitch in the system, I just learned, is if a guest does not want to provide id they can bypass instant book and sent a "request". If I accept they are not requried to provide ID. I always check guest profiles for info but did not realize to check if ID was also provided since it was my requirement when I set up the listing. This seems very disengenous on Airbnb's part not to have this explained somewhere. I found out from a customer service call.
I am a little confused. An equiry has dates attached, and if the enquiry is from a film crew, for example, wanting to use my home for filming and I don't want this if I preapprove, they are able to book my home against my wishes and if I decline I'm penalised!!!! So I answer them and explain my home is not a fit for their request but neither preapprove or decline AND then I'm penalised.
How do I ge around this?
@Airbnb I find the statistics collected by Air BNB to be somewhat informative. I don't experience the nagging, shaming reaction that some hosts have reported. Perhaps the way the information is worded or presented could be less "judgmental" in tone.
I get many inquiries here regarding using the place for movie shoots and photo shoots and it is very annoying and I often decline their requests . Does this affect my rating?
I think your question was addressed in the post, @Yu37 if you are correctly identifying these messages as inquiries. Why do you suppose you get interest from the movies? Most of us don't have such a problem 😄
How about you add a first line to your description, "Sought after by movie studios for shoots, but NOT available for that activity, the place offers guests..."
Just a thought
Airbnb is wrong to pressure hosts so much on the acceptance rate, because we end up accepting people who are not a good match.
Recently, we accepted a group of young people who assured us they were tidy. If not for the horrendous pressure to accept everyone we would have declined based on that red flag, if you need to tell me you are tidy you probably aren't. And of course, they were not tidy at all, they left chip crumbs in literally every room, including between the sheets in one bed, the dishes had to be rewashed, dribbles of food on the refrigerator, counter and tables. They generally required a level of cleaning needed for a week long stay, not 2 days and we would never have hosted them if not for the draconian acceptance policy.
Guests all tell us that getting a swift response is reasuring and increses trust. We have a special 'incoming' alert sound on airbnb mail.....it makes it easy to jump on the comuter and bash out an answer. Simon and Dorothy - Moulin Nauze - Dordogne France.