I don't use Instant Booking. But I would if I could add some criteria to potential Instant Booking guests.
My house sleeps 12, in 5 bedrooms. One of those bedrooms is a "Kids Room" with 2 bunk beds (ie sleeps 4 children).
I am more than happy for families to book who have 4 (or more) children.
I am not happy for 12 adults to book. This is when I run into issues as the house invariably turns into a party house.
I would also be happy for guests who have previously stayed (who I have given 5 star ratings to) to also Instant Book.
I like the idea of a "returning guests only" option for Instant Book.
@Emily6 - good point, bumped this thread. We had a 12ppl 5 bed thing with bunks last year (twins over doubles). Due to broken bunks, we dropped to 10 and communicate with every guest asking that they validate their ppl counts in advance. We did switch to Instant book after dropping to 10, and so far so good, as we simply tell them after they book about our rules and have them validate understandign in text.
Interesting. I actually did change our listing too, it now has a base rate for 8 people and then a per person cost on top for each extra guest over 8. I've found it results in more bookings. But I've also found that occassionally people will try to book for 8, but actually have 12 staying (thereby paying less). I feel (though admittedly have no evidence) that people are more honest if they have to "request to book" vs "Instant Book" as they need to get your approval to stay and you can interrogate them a bit more about who will be staying. Whereas with Instant Book they feel they can get away with more? This is just a gut feel, but also another reason why I won't switch on Instant Book for now.
This conversation also opens up the challenges around when people do book for 8, but have more than 8 staying, how near impossible it is to charge them accurately (and how reluctant Airbnb are to believe the hosts - even if they are experienced Superhosts - unless they have definitive evidence of additional guests staying, which short of hiring a private investigator with a long photo lens is impossible to get). Anyway.... I digress 🙂