Someone please explain to me why hosts are penalized for wanting control over their properties. Or if you feel instant book should be an option that doesn't carry penalities for turning off, I'd like to hear from you too.

The need for 24-hr response turnaround I understand... but instant book causes all sorts of nightmares for everyone but Airbnb it seems. 

29 Replies

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

Wow Mike why the need to be so petty? Sarah and I were  clearly paraphrasing, rather than using Airbnb actually words. Why pretend you didn't realise that was the case?  @Mike-And-Jane0 

 

Fact Airbnb gives priority in its ranking to hosts who use IB, this pushes those who don't down the rankings.

 

In Airbnb's own words....

 

Instant Book: Guests on Airbnb value a quick and easy booking experience and are most likely to book an Instant Book listing. Search aims to show listings guests are most likely to book, so Instant Book listings get a boost in the algorithm. 

 

And here

 

Search placement: Instant Book positively affects your response rate for your listing, which can improve your listing’s placement in search results.

 

I appreciate you have only been doing Airbnb for a few months and it takes time to become familiar with how Airbnb works but if you look at both what Airbnb says itself and what all those associated with them say, you will see that Sarah and I are correct on this.

 

If COVID has taught us one thing, it's that life is all too short. Please can we avoid the sniping and pettiness. We don't all have to agree but can we at least be civil?

 

Thank you.

 

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

So not using IB doesn't push you to the bottom of the listings. I have no problem at all with people helping each other I just prefer facts over fake news.

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
Canada
Level 3

It's not just searches... you also lose the security feature of government ID checks, among other inconveniences. Clearly Airbnb wants hosts to choose IB. Why? My guests and I pay good fees to Airbnb, shouldn't I decide what's right for me? 

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Patricia1556  Even if you don't use IB, you can tell guests that you require them to upload it in order to consider their booking. Same with a clear face photo. But I really don't put much stock in Airbnb's verified ID. I base my feeling about a potential guest on how they communicate and their past reviews. So far it's served me well.

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Patricia1556 You absolutely can decide whats right for you. Switch instant book on or off, decide if guests have to have government ID or not - Its all there for you to picking choose.

 

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
Canada
Level 3

@Mike-And-Jane0  Thanks... I understand the choice is mine... the choice to get pushed down in listings and to not have ID checked is mine. That is the issue, not IB. 

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Patricia1556 what would you suggest Airbnb use to determine who appears at the top of the search results?

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
Kendal, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Mike-And-Jane0 @Patricia1556 

what would you suggest Airbnb use to determine who appears at the top of the search results?

 

Before mind games and manipulative control comes into the fray, I'd say: Location; Suitability; Availability; Quality... Price..

 

I'd have to waver on Price as there are two options available here, High and Low. Of those, Airbnb would need to choose which pony to back, because as a business all they would be interested in would be the highest value return on the booking. Whichever listing could provide that would be the one at the top of the list.

 

If Instant Book never existed, what other sort of punishment could be imparted to reduce your rankings? Or looked at from another angle... There is a charge associated with buying the security of good quality guests via interview, as the lower quality can be dumped elsewhere -  (with IB) and those would need to be the IBers lookout. Although, inexperienced non-IB hosts could cop those as well.

 

There's then Cancellation Policy and Damage Deposit, both low values desired there.

 

I'm excluding cleaning fees, as if additional, then that's a penalty on the host caused by the host, but it could also be a strategic maneuver on their part.

 

What about SuperHost? Will that matter? That's a 'mind game' and 'manipulative' measure I think. Controlling otherwise rational and reasonable reactions for the guests benefit.

 

What are hosts benefits?  Damage limitation capability only. Really, having IB doesn't make much sense does it? We'd all be better off without it to make for a level playing field. (That good 'old fashioned' back to 'roots' way).

 

What would you suggest?

View solution in original post

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
Canada
Level 3

@Mike-And-Jane0  What most suits guest's search parameters. Ratings after that... But you keep mentioning only  "top of search," which is not the only penalty. I'm glad IB works for you... I just don't think hosts who don't want to use IB should be treated any different from those that do. 

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
Canada
Level 3

@Ian-And-Anne-Marie0 @Mike-And-Jane0  I 100% agree with Ian and Anne.... rather the point of my rhetorical question in the first place. We'd be better off without IB and clearly better off not to be penalized for choosing not to use it. Now how does that get conveyed to airbnb? 

 

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
Kendal, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Patricia1556 

We'd be better off without IB and clearly better off not to be penalized for choosing not to use it. Now how does that get conveyed to airbnb? 

 

I'm all for choice, but don't agree with the manipulative aspects of the implementation. When they intentionally designed the system this way, there would be little chance of changing anything. If anything, rather than levelling the playing field by removing IB, they're very likely to insist on levelling the playing field by making IB the default aided by pointing a lighthouse light at it. 😟

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
Saskatchewan, Canada
Level 10

@Patricia1556 I assume Airbnb has decided to capture bookings quickly before the guest changes their mind and uses another booking platform. At this point in time Airbnb is a very large booking platform and I don’t think they would lose bookings without IB. Hosts are very quick to respond and perhaps a bump up in listing search algorithms should replace IB with response rate. In the past week I’ve had three issues with IB:

1) Guest booked and when I received their full name and did a google search realized I could not host a criminal. I had to call and cancel the booking which was difficult to avoid penalties.

2) Guest booked and initial message was their flight would arrive past midnight and even though it is past my checkin time would it be okay? The answer is no it’s not okay and the guest said they would cancel. Then they sent me a request to cancel which would apply cancellation penalties to me. I still haven’t heard back from CS about that one and I declined the request. So now the guest is still booked but with no intention of staying.

3) Guest booked and after a good description of the suite being located in a basement with a nice family living upstairs they cancelled saying they didn’t realize it wasn’t an entire house. Now the cancelled guest has submitted a cash request for money to cover the portion of the reservation that wasn’t refunded. I’m not going to send cash as this guest may call CS and get a refund anyway! 
In two of these situations Airbnb has tried to penalize me with cancellation fees. In the last situation the guest lost his Airbnb fee. Who is IB benefitting, the guest, host, or Airbnb? 

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
Canada
Level 3

@Katrina79  @Ian-And-Anne-Marie0 @Sarah977Sounds about right. I started the thread to see if experiences were similar and if there was any rationale other than airbnb making fees to justify IB... now what?

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
Kilkenny, Ireland
Level 1

Hi everyone, following the pandemic and thinking to re-open again the airbnb I am concerned about turning on IB as I want to vet people thoroughly. Added to this in Ireland the government is restricting people to 90 days per year in certain towns. 

Is it a big disadvantage turning off instant book?

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Eoin8  I have never used IB, so I have nothing to compare it to. I know that hosts who live in places with fierce competition say they'd almost never get bookings without IB.

 

I don't get full occupancy, but I don't particularly want that anyway. As a home-share host, I appreciate a break from guests and prefer not to have a constant stream of them. But as I built up great reviews over a couple years, bookings got much more frequent, and before Covid hit, I was more or less fully booked. 

 

So guests did manage to find my listing, and as it's a bit unique for my area, it got booked. 

 

And by being able to communicate with guests and take a look at their reviews before accepting their bookings, I've never ended up with a bad guest nor one who arrived expecting anything other than what I offer.

 

So the only disadvantage to not using IB is that you will appear lower in search, but there are also advantages to not using it.

 

And it's not some irreversible decision. If you turn off IB, you can always turn it on again if you find you're simply not getting any bookings. 

 

 

Join the conversation