Instant book penalties?

in
Canada
Level 3
1,597 Views

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. 

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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?

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29 Replies

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
Berkeley, CA
Level 10

This is a big issue, so I'm responding to help give some more visibility

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Patricia1556 There is no penalty associated with not having instant book off.At worst it will send you slightly down the search listings but so will other things such as price, cancelation flexibility etc. All of these are under the hosts control.

We actually use Instant Book but I will have no hesitation cancelling any guest with poor reviews or whose stay doesn't make sense to us.

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

That's simply not true @Mike-And-Jane0 

 

Airbnb strongly encourages hosts to use IB because is provides a better and quicker booking experience for customers.

 

It most certainly penalises those who don't use it by pushing them down to the end of the search rankings.

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Patricia1556  I have never used Instant Book since I started hosting over 3 years ago. The day they make it mandatory is the day I delist. I want to communicate with guests before accepting their bookings. 

I disgree with @Mike-And-Jane0- Airbnb definitely penalizes hosts for not using IB. It is the foremost criteria in search ranking- other factors play an insignificant role. 

But I value quality of guests over quantity. I also prefer the type of guests who want to communicate with a host before deciding to book. I don't relate to people who want everything to be instant and anonymous.

As to why they penalize hosts for not using IB- they want bookings to come in fast and furious- they don't care about your level of comfort or safety.

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
Canada
Level 3

Sarah, doesn't that feel so far for the company's origin story? No one would let someone crash on their couch without vetting them first. Shame...

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

Lots of people do exactly that...it's called Couch Surfing 🙂

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
Canada
Level 3

Sofa surfing is the origin story for airbnb. 

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
Canada
Level 3

I stayed in Sayulita about 12 years ago after a nearby destination wedding. Love it! 

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
Sayulita, Mexico
Level 10

@Patricia1556  You'd be shocked at how it's grown in 12 years! 

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
Canada
Level 3

Yeah I'm sure... I'll have to plan to come again once borders open. 🙂

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
San Anselmo, CA
Level 7

@Sarah977  I couldn't agree more. We just started hosting on Airbnb for the first time this month. When we first listed our place we signed up for Instant Book because they make it seem so necessary. And yes, we did get bookings quickly, but it was out of control and I had to spend hours on the phone with Support to fix things. The first guest wanted to extend her stay by 2 days and we said yes, but those days had already been filled by IB. So I canceled the new guest (who had the same first name as the first guest which made things extra confusing), then found that the days I'd canceled were now blocked by Airbnb as my "punishment" for canceling, so my first guest couldn't extend her stay. Because I'm a first-time host, Airbnb worked with me and overrode their restrictions, but my husband and I immediately decided to get rid of IB. We too want to be able to communicate with our guests before making a commitment to let them stay in our home.

 

Nancy


Nancy

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Sarah977 Do you know or just suspect that IB is important in the search parameters? I thought the algorithm was a closely guarded secret.

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

We know @Mike-And-Jane0 because that is what Airbnb says.

 

Have a look at Airbnb Help under IB and also the part where Airbnb tells you a list of factors/criteria that push you up the rankings. 

Re: Instant book penalties?

in
England, United Kingdom
Level 10

@Helen3 I can't see the bit that says 'it pushes you to the end of the search listings'. I guess thats just not true then.

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