No photo on guests with no reviews

in
Redding, CA
Level 1
690 Views

We've been hosting in CA for sometime now and for the most part our guests have been great. We've recently had some really bad guests: 1 Woman rented our space and trashed it, then tried to rent it again w/another name using a different profile 2 days later! I have a family and it can be scary to have random people on your property. 

 

Recently Airbnb stopped showing profile pics before booking. I assume they're trying to stop hosts from discriminating. However, when a person wants to book my space with no reviews and no picture I'm in the dark. Recently a guest asked to book w/no pic and no reviews, we asked for some information, we accepted his booking and my wife freaked out when his profile picture was a kid, legs spread (pants on), holding a cigarette (we've had issues before), looking like some thug. Was he serious? Joking? We don't know. Profiling is wrong. Pictures are worth a thousand words. Renter equality is important. Host safety is crucial. Thoughts? 

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Re: No photo on guests with no reviews

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

Personally I have no reason to see someone's photo before they book. It's part of my IB rules that I only accept guests with a clear photo of themselves.

 

I only take guests with photo ID and vet guests before accepting a book. I think this is the best way to minimise risk for hosts who share their homes.

 

I presume with the bad guest you gave them a negative review to help warn other hosts and called Airbnb to cancel their booking and report them when they booked under another profile?

 

If your wife was concerned upon seeing the photo of a guest you could have asked Airbnb to cancel (presuming there was a legitimate reason).

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10 Replies

Re: No photo on guests with no reviews

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

Personally I have no reason to see someone's photo before they book. It's part of my IB rules that I only accept guests with a clear photo of themselves.

 

I only take guests with photo ID and vet guests before accepting a book. I think this is the best way to minimise risk for hosts who share their homes.

 

I presume with the bad guest you gave them a negative review to help warn other hosts and called Airbnb to cancel their booking and report them when they booked under another profile?

 

If your wife was concerned upon seeing the photo of a guest you could have asked Airbnb to cancel (presuming there was a legitimate reason).

View solution in original post

Re: No photo on guests with no reviews

in
Redding, CA
Level 1

Thanks Helen. Do you see the clear photo before or after they book? It sounds like seeing a photo before booking is not an issue for you. Yes, we left negative reviews and reported the bad guest. 

Re: No photo on guests with no reviews

in
Toronto, Canada
Level 10

@Sean546 @Helen3 

 

Photos are vital prior to accepting. A guest who has a "trashy" photo posted of them smoking or drinking is a good indication of how they will behave. If the first signal you send out as a guest is that you are a party animal or problematic in any way, g-d only knows what you will do when you are actually at the propety

 

Couple suggestions for you Sean. I rent out my guest house too and I am super careful about who I accept. What I do is

 

1) Mention in the listing that my wife and I live in the other section of the home. A party person would likely avoid booking with me knowing I live on the property

 

2) I am clear  in my house rules, perhaps you may want to read mine under my listing titled "5* luxury boutique and its a decent deterrent or the link is here https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/36105585?s=67&shared_item_type=1&virality_entry_point=1&sharer_id=561185...

 

3) I noticed in your description you mentioning that guests can have their own guests over for dinner. The problem with this is some guests with a relax interpretation may see this as an invite to have people over for "dinner" which may turn into a party. If a person is traveling as a tourist into another town, they often won't have friends there to invite people over for dinner. Thus this suggestion may be attracting more local guests to want to book your place. This leads me to my next point..

 

4) I rarely accept bookings from locals unless its for a good reason. Locals who read your description may interpret your house as a friendly home to bring their friends over which inevitably will lead to a problem that you will not have control over. Every bad experience when it comes to breaking house rules was the result of a local booking my place.

 

Lastly, there is a trick to seeing a profile picture before they book. It only works if they have a review and have left their previous host a review. You would have to look at the hosts property and the review they left their host and their picture would be visible

 

Hope this helps.

Re: No photo on guests with no reviews

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

Of course they aren't vital. There is no business reason for needing to see what someone looks like before they book. @Sean546 

 

If you see a photo like this of a guest on booking - you can just Airbnb to cancel the booking. Simple.

 

Had hundreds of guests over the four years I have been a host and have never had to cancel a booking purely based on a dodgy photo. How many guests have you cancelled purely based on their photo?

Re: No photo on guests with no reviews

in
Toronto, Canada
Level 10

@Helen3 @Sean546 

 

2 times and I knew right away they had bad intentions. One ended up cancelling on her own because she knew I was onto her intentions of using our home to throw a party.

 

Maybe it depends on where you are located. Toronto attracts a lot of locals that want to use your house to party and I would rather be careful then sorry. An average house in our city is 1 million dollars. If I have to pick between losing that or rejecting a guest who looks shady, I would pick the house. As a business person, I have to take risks but calculated risks and I manage them as best I can. Thus they are vital. I can tell you had I not rejected those 2 guests based on their photo and then realizing they were indeed trying to throw a party, I would have lost thousands in damages and lots of stress.

Re: No photo on guests with no reviews

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

I think you are missing my point @Sean546  of course we should vet our guests including checking their photo on booking.

 

What I am disagreeing with you about  is that it is vital to see a photo of the guest BEFORE they book. You just need to see it on booking and then you can do as you did and ask Airbnb to cancel.

Re: No photo on guests with no reviews

in
Toronto, Canada
Level 10

I get it but isn't it easier to screen prior to booking if there's a way to see their photo rather then call airbnb to cancel after the fact. It can be very challenging depending on the agent you get to get it cancelled after the fact.

Re: No photo on guests with no reviews

in
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 10

It might be,  but unfortunately there are some bigoted hosts out there who refuse to accept bookings from those of a different colour, or if a bigoted host perceives that someone is LGBT from their photo. This is why Airbnb had to introduce a system where we can't see what a guest looks like before they book.


So if you want to blame anyone - blame the bigoted hosts 🙂

Re: No photo on guests with no reviews

in
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Level 6

Hi Helen -

 

Can you describe how you manage this, please?  I have several booking requests this year with no photo, no reviews.  I understand that we all have to start somewhere, but when I started as a guest I HAD to provide a photo of myself that was recognisable to be accepted.  I host in my own home and I'm increasingly worried about zero screening or accountability for the guests...

 

Thanks,

Fiona

 

Re: No photo on guests with no reviews

in
Austin, TX
Level 2

I'm in the same situation.  No profile pic, no reviews. I asked them to invite all the guests to Airbnb and ensure they are on the reservation; I sent them the link on how to do this, however, they are saying it is too complicated to do so. This person is in their 70's and for what it's worth I've seen technology be very complicated for folks who didn't grow up with it. So I have compassion for them, and just really don't know what to do. We had someone recently break several things after throwing a party they claim they did not throw and I'm very sensitive now to having a poor guest (claimed they were from out of town but were locals). 

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