I have recently had three potentail bookings, all from people with no profile information and no reviews.
I'm wondering what other hosts do in this situation?
You can ask for profile information. You can tell them you are considering their request pending that information. I will accept people that are new to airbnb as long as they are verified and provide information as to what they are traveling for. Go with your gut.
In the past I have approved the stays, but honestly, I am not going to do it anymore because newbies just don't seem to understand what Airbnb is supposed to be about. They think they are checking into hotels with 5 stars and when they don't get hotel 5 star facilities they leave a less than happy review. This has happened to me a few times now and it is threatening my Superhost status.
Also, I notice that Airbnb are now penalising hosts by blocking off the dates on their calendars if they don't approve a guest. This isn't fair. In my opinion if a guest has no reviews and provides no profile info they shouldn't be blocking off our calendar for that level of guest. If the person had previous, traceable reviews then I can understand blocking the calendar, but not for these "ghosts".
Thanks Dallas. Yes I noticed the same, that the dates had been blocked on my calendar. I messaged the potential guest and asked her to send me some profile info about herself and her visit, but without knowing when she would get back to me I had to make a decision about approving before my 24 hour window had expired. I find the Airbnb website quite bullish and pushy sometimes.
I'd prefer it if Airbnb would only allow people to join if they give some profile information. Without that, its a huge leap of faith to let someone in your home.
I think that they need to remember that we are the ones taking the risk, not them. Sure, I understand the pressure they can sometimes come under to be compliant and fair when a certain kind of host refuses bookings on the basis of race and/or sexual orientation, but Airbnb doesn't own the inventory in any instance and as such they shouldn't have the right to take that inventory away from hosts.
If a host is refusing to accept bookings from a certain demographic of guest then there are better ways of dealing with that than to simply apply a calendar blocking on the basis of what is a very simplistic algorithm. They could instead show a statistic of refusals on the listing so that prospective guests will know before inquiring that there is a good chance that they might not be approved and that they should look at listings where refusal rates are lower.
Airbnb started off so well, but honestly this past 3 or 4 months things have gotten out of whack and I am personally looking at alternative accommodation marketing sites to sell the inventory from.
I guess as a guest this logic is just kind of confusing because if you need positive reviews to book a stay but the only way to be reviewed is to have previous bookings, then how do you book your first stay without being seen as a liability ? I have been trying to book an air bnb for ages but to no avail because I have no reviews but like...how if no one gives anyone without reviews a chance?
@Taelor2 I know this is a catch-22. And it works the same for hosts- if no guest ever took a chance on booking a new listing because it had no reviews, a host's business would never get off the ground.
There's a few things a new guest with no reviews can do to up the chances of being accepted. I see you have bothered to do a little profile write up, which is important- many guests don't.
The next thing is how you communicate. If a host gets a message from a new guest that reads something like this, you have a good chance.
" Hi XX ( host's name), Your listing caught my eye and it looks lovely. I am looking to book a place in order to attend a course in photography at YY, so I would be out for most of the day, just home at night and on the weekend. In my spare time I tend to draw or read and like to make healthy meals.
I know I have no reviews yet, as this is my first Airbnb booking, so I understand hosts being wary, but I am quiet and clean, have no pets, am not a partier, so I hope you'll consider my request. I have thoroughly read through your description and house rules, which I promise to respect, and am aware of the cancellation policy and its rules.
I look forward to hearing back from you soon, as I need to make my travel plans, and thanks for your time."
Of course, you need to be honest, don't say anything that isn't true or misrepresent your intentions, or your first review will be a bad one.
A message that won't get you accepted:
" Hey there. I'm a student so my budget is limited. What kind of discount can you offer?"
In the first example, you've let the host know something about yourself and your plans, been personable and complimentary, acknowledged that you know why the host may have misgivings, let them know you've bothered to inform yourself about all aspects of the listing, and shown appreciation for their time and consideration of your request.
I've accepted several guests who had no reviews, but sent an initial message something like that, and they turned out to be great guests whose first review was mine.
Another thing is how you present yourself in your profile photo. Hosts can't see guest's photos until after a booking us confirmed, to prevent discrimination on the basis of race, gender, etc, but depending on the photo, hosts may decide to cancel the booking because the photo makes them uncomfortable. I'm talking about a profile picture of a cartoon character, or the guest's cat, instead of their face, or in some cases guests have been posing with a gun in their photo, or looking wasted at a party. When asking to stay at someone's home, guests need to understand what is appropriate, just as a bikini is fine at the beach, but not at a job interview.
You have a lovely smiling profile photo, which clearly shows your face, you aren't trying to hide anything, but I'd advise you to ditch the "Thug love" tee. It might put a lot of hosts off.
I agree, but if there are scammers out there, we have to be careful. I currently have someone trying to book with me and they have yet to provide their ID to AIRBNB for verification. That raises a red flag for me.
That's true, but at the bare minimum a person should have a basic profile setup to show some credibility. Here we're talking about users who don't have a profile picture and most probably no text in about me either.
I'm fairly certain you have the ability to unblock dates that Airbnb has automatically blocked because you declined a guest. I have had to decline guests on occasion because I had a potential conflict with the date & did not want to later have to cancel booking. I leave it blocked and appreciate Airbnb taking the date out of play until we know for sure it is available. It is very simple to unblock, and think it can be done even on the same day it was blocked.
I require profile information: photo, Approved ID, etc. in order to book.
As far as no reviews, if they are coming for only 1 or 2 nights for a valid reason (wedding, job interview, visit family...). I approve them but in my welcome I say something like "I see you are new to AirBnB, Welcome! I want to make sure your first stay is 5 star (*see what I did there 😉 *). Please make sure you have read my whole listing: Reviews, rules, information (*I don't say JUST rules, it sounds rude and I want them to get the gist of my reviews as well*), I am available if you have any questions at all. Please make sure to confirm your checkin time and names of any other guest that will be accompanying you as soon as possible. I look forward to meeting you (*I make sure to say meeting so they don't switch people or think they can bring a party*).