Is this some kind of a scam?
Hello everyone. Why do people send a message stating their first name and asking if I accept long-term stays? This has happened twice in the last week. These are new users with no review. They just created their profile this month. I feel like it's a scam. Can somebody explain to me what's going on?
Your listing shows long term stays can be booked, so the potential guests can see it themself instead of asking. But to keep your repsons rate you have to answer within the time-limit, so sent a short message on the inquiry like "what is the purpose of the long term stay ?" and that's all ! (there is no obligation to decline or pre-approve an inquiry). If it is a scam, you probably never hear again from them again.
In my experience it's usually a lead-in to try to negotiate a lower rate or otherwise ask for a discount. Occasionally the inquiry is because they are looking for a time period beyond what the calendar shows. I don't book anything longer than 30 days, and I hold firm on that. Anyone who asks me for a discount is an automatic decline.
i've hosted 6 years and never once sought the advice of other Hosts how to deal with inquiries or who I might or might not chose to accomodate. I find it irrelevant and futile. It's rather a matter of moulding your hosting based on your own personality and circumstances.
Here you've considered the advice of Noel who runs a Guest House, a completely different experience than yours as a live-in host, with a single room in your home.
Personally, I would find his 'general rule' totally irrelevant to my own experience, a live-in host like yourself.
For example, when I began I also insisted on Verified ID, and then after a few years experimented without. I discovered that it didn't make a scrap of difference, because I continued on the same path as I started, namely making sure that I screened or vetted the guest to my satisfaction. Thus when Instant Book was introduced I igorned it because I could see from its criteria that it is unsuitable for my circumstances and could only lead to unnecessary complications and cancellations.
Similarly, Guests without reviews has never been a hinderance, because everyone has to start, and when I began far less people were using Airbnb, so of course over the years many inquirers were new Guests.
I would only suggest that If you're not sure about an Inquiry or consider it a possible scam, either disengage or contact Airbnb to register your concern.
@Debbie even if they have a profile picture and a surname you can't see it until booking is done.
But you can see their reviews if there is any.
There are many new users on Airbnb and they still don't have any reviews. We hosted a lot of them and they were good guests. But long term rent is tricky, I don't thik Airbnb is a good place to find a tenant (no actual deposit, no personal contact before reservation) but people do search for an apartment through Airbnb and some hosts allowes it.
If you don't want long term bookings then just set your max days to less then 28 nights.
@Debbie One other thing about accepting long-term bookings that you may wish to consider: in some jurisdictions, after a certain amount of time, guests become tenants from a legal standpoint. Tenants have more rights and may be difficult to evict. You may want to investigate that before deciding if long-term hosting is right for you.
I can't speak for Idaho, but here in Ontario, it happens after a month. I keep my stays to 21 days or less to keep well clear of that type of problem.