Just yesterday I had a guest with only 1 review (it was posted in Spanish, and the location said 'Mexico') check out of my house. They left it filthy and did not follow the house rules. I requested an extra $70 for cleaning up their mess, only to get a call from one of them stating that they are NOT going to pay the $70, period. I stated I would leave a bad review as the house was left in poor condition. The man laughed and said "haha, we don't CARE about a bad review...we just go and create a new account!"
So, this is a warning to all of you hosts: beware of guests who 'just joined' (probably for the 20th time) and have 'no reviews' (i.e. probably 1 star negative reviews every time they do get into an Airbnb).
BEWARE!!! I hope Airbnb will figure out a way to prevent this from happening to the extent it apparently is, after reading other hosts' posts on this topic.
I will only rent to guests with several positive reviews moving forward. This was the second and last time I have been stuck with horrible pigs.
@Sam3410 You'll also see many stories of horrible guests with many positive reviews. They can offer some insight and guidance - especially if they clearly come from hands-on hosts who had direct -personal interactions with the guests rather than property managers putting out some boilerplate.
If you care about your home being looked after well and your rules being followed, don't rely on prior hosts' reviews to guide your judgment! Hosts with a lot of experience tend to agree that the best predictor of how a guest will behave is going to be how they communicate during the request process. It helps to leave Instant Book deactivated, and be prepared to ask some pre-booking questions (especially considering that your homes accommodate a huge number of guests, who can do a lot of damage even if the one who books has a perfect record). You can also benefit from communicating your expectations for cleaning etc. in the listing and House Rules - guests can reasonably object to only finding out after booking that they're expected to do your laundry.
Wow, it's amazing Airbnb would spend money on professional community posters like you instead of fixing their broken policies. It is obvious you are here only to influence the public opinion on this topic. Here is the deal: I am hands-on host and I have been hosting on Airbnb for over 10 years now. It is absolutely an indicator how many positive reviews someone has. And yes, there are many people staying at my 2 houses, but the person who made the booking 'vouches' for the entire group. In my experience of hosting thousands of guests over the years I can say folks with good reviews care about their image and want to maintain it, hence they keep their group in adherence to the house rules.
Instead of preaching what to do, you should take my comments as well as the hundreds of other posts on the topic of fraudulent 'new' accounts seriously and figure out a way to increase security, reduce fraud, and keep your hosts out of harms way.
I understand that you are totally frustrated, and want to send a warning out. You said that you've been hosting on Airbnb for over 10 years. I looked at your listing, and your properties are very nicemand you have some nice reviews. Did you create a new profile, because your existing one has a start date of October 2016 and just 36 host reviews?
@Sam3410 I don't agree. Some of my best guests were first time airbnb users, and some of my worst guests had 5-10+ gloving reviews. Hosts mostly don't tell the truth. I have never trashed any guest in a review, even the worst ones, but I would NEVER, EVER say I would welcome them back, or that I recommend them to others unless that was true.
More of a red flag than a new guest with no reviews is whether they have any details in their profile, whether they have added their gov. ID as a form of identification or if they only have an email or phone, and what kind of communication skills they seem to have in the messages, are they polite? do you they give you a little background? are they responsive to your replies, etc.
Good points. I don't agree with you not trashing anyone, ever - if you don't speak up, how will other hosts know to decline that guest? I feel you are doing your fellow hosts a disservice...
I do now require a guest to submit their ID, I just changed that setting.
So far I have kept the instant-booking feature on as I believe it yields a higher booking turnout, so I don't usually communicate with them prior to booking. I will see how it goes now that I am requiring positive reviews as well as a gov ID for them to book. If there are still issues, I will disable the instant booking. You are right, it would absolutely allow me to get more of a feel for who I am dealing with.
That's what I was going to ask. If you check the box that a government ID is required, does that help?
I guess in theory a family could create new accounts with IDs from different family members, if they really wanted to.
What a world.
I trust you have communication with the instant book guests after they make a reservation? Just because someone has instant booked, doesn't mean you can't vet them. I have all the restrictions ticked for IB (Govt ID, positive reviews etc. etc.) as well as the requirement for all guests to have profile photos.
Then I will communicate with the guests the same ways as those requesting to book, i.e. find out a bit more about them, ask them to confirm they have read the full listing/house rules, reiterate some of the most important points etc. If I pick up any red flags at all, I will ask them to cancel within the 48 hour grace period or call Airbnb and asked them to cancel because I feel uncomfortable hosting the guest. You cancel an instant book guest up to three times a year penalty free.
@Sam3410 There are no "professional community posters" here, paid by Airbnb. Everyone on this forum, except for the handful of forum moderators, who are clearly identified as such, are simply other hosts who give freely of their time and experience to try to help out others.
There are often accusations such as yours, from new-to-the-forum posters when they get a response which states reality. Just because a host states the reality doesn't mean they agree with Airbnb policy, nor that they don't sympathize with another host's complaint.
This forum is a wealth of helpful information from users, not Airbnb staff, so please try to be polite and not jump to conclusions about people you know nothing about.