Instant Booking

in
Monticello, UT
Level 2
291 Views

Hosts are half of what keep airbnb running, I will have to turn all my listings off with airbnb if I am forced to turn all of my listings on IB. IB simply does not work for 4 out of 5 of my listings. I also reserve the right to screen who comes onto my property, it is a security issue. We are completely off-grid out here and 45 minutes from the nearest town. It is absolutely necessary for us to have IB turned off for many reasons. I am appalled that those of us who have IB turned off are no longer showing up in top searches!! Come on airbnb, there are other booking platforms for guests to use. You are no longer the only game in town. FYI to those looking for other platforms, hipcamp allows you to have your rentals listed as REQUEST to book with NO penalties. Hipcamp is not just for camping any longer, if you have what can be considered a "cabin" also rv's, boats, basically whatever rental space you have then you can list it with them. It was a huge disappointment to see airbnb change the option for those who wanted IB turned off now can longer require government issued ID's! This means any one could make up a profile and be very difficult to track down should you need to for any reason such as damages done or theft etc. Why take away that security for the hosts?? I am not getting nearly as many bookings through Airbnb now though and frankly am wondering if it is even worth it to keep using them. Hipcamp is who saved our business last year with all the bookings I received through them. I really hope Airbnb starts listening to the hosts. We have the choice to close our listings if we don't have the choice to choose who comes onto our property and into our homes.

8 Replies

Re: Instant Booking

in
Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
Level 10

@Needles-Outpost0 

" if I am forced to turn all of my listings on IB"

IMO Airbnb does not force hosts to turn IB on (I myself never used it)

It seems to be default "on" when creating a new listing, but simply switch it off.:

How do i turn instant book on or off

 

Re: Instant Booking

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Emiel1  The OP's post wasn't saying that she didn't know how to turn off IB, but that hosts feel forced to use it if they want to appear high in the search rankings.

 

@Needles-Outpost0 I have never used IB, as I have a home share off the beaten track, althoygh not off-grid, and I agree that it's unfair that IB is the only thing Airbnb really uses in determining search ranking, when for some of us it would likely lead to a lot of inappropriate and troublesome bookings.

 

But I highly doubt that Airbnb will change this, as their focus is on making booking as easy as possible for guests, so that the money comes in as fast and furiously as possible. Hosts' concerns about making sure guests understand what they are booking and that it will be a good fit for both guest and host is really low on their priority list.

 

They could solve this by putting home shares and off-grid places in a completely separate search category, which has been suggested ad nauseum and roundly ignored, and not have IB be a search factor ranking on those, but that would make too much sense 🙂

 

 

 

Re: Instant Booking

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Needles-Outpost0 I actually quite like Instant Book as it allows us to cancel a booking if we are uncomfortable with it. It also allows us to see guest ratings and reviews. I do agree it is far less appropriate for home share hosts who actually have to live close to their guests.

Re: Instant Booking

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Mike-And-Jane0  The value in being able to cancel a booking by stating that you are uncomfortable with it is a non-issue and completely immaterial for hosts who require reservation requests, because we can hash things out with a prospective guest before their booking is confirmed. That's the reason we don't use IB.

 

Non-IB hosts can read guest reviews as soon as we receive their inquiry or request. We just can't see star ratings, which personally I put little faith in anyway, because they are entirely subjective and tell me nothing concrete.

 

So there is almost no need to ever have to cancel, because we make sure things are clear from both sides before the booking gets accepted or declined and look at a guest's reviews.

 

I have never had to cancel a booking, ever, and all my guests have been great. 

Re: Instant Booking

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

Agreed @Mike-And-Jane0. I have never had to cancel a booking and have had great guests but I appreciate the option to cancel, just in case. Contrary to popular belief, I keep instant book enabled because it gives me more control over bookings.

Re: Instant Booking

in
Orono, ME
Level 10

@Needles-Outpost0 You should also consider that there are many factors at play in the placement of listings in search results, not just instant booking. For instance, when more people click on your listing page you increase in rank. When more and more dates become blocked by bookings on other platforms, then your listing is populating in fewer searches, creating less traffic. 

Re: Instant Booking

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Emilia42  The thing is that when hosts are penalized with lower search ranking for not using IB, getting lots of views becomes irrelevant to search ranking, because the less visible a listing is, the smaller the amount of views- one determines the other.

 

Re: Instant Booking

in
Monticello, UT
Level 2

It isn't only the option to choose who stays but IB is also impractical for us being so far out as unexpected things come up from time to time if we don't have service to block dates this causes issues. Canceling  guest because you are uncomfortable is only allowed once without penalty which is fine with me, I haven't ever had to ask a guest to leave my property, then again I screen them first. 

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