Pressure on hosts from Airbnb to accept bookings

Status changed to: Under Consideration

Airbnb is pressuring hosts to accept bookings in two ways, Instant Book and the new policy to permanently block your calendar for not accepting or denying a booking request within 24 hours. I have always thought that Instant Book is counter to the founding principles of Airbnb and have said so at every opportunity. The new policy of blocking your calendar causes problems for us when we try to extract some information from a potential guest and they just do not respond within 24 hours. This leaves the only recourse of denying the request (and I do not think this is what Airbnb wants). We have many newbie guests who have no profile (I thought there was once an effort to prevent this) and are very reticent to share any information even though they are coming to our home. This is NOT a hotel and we need to VET guests without time pressure from Airbnb.

 

Airbnb has been very good in almost every way, but I sense more and more of the corporate mind at work.

Comments
Morgan in
Houston, TX
Level 1

Couldn't agree more. I may be busy at work and/or traveling so that I need some notice to not only vet the person but to ensure that my place is totally ready for them. 

Rudy And Bea in
Haarlem, Netherlands
Level 3

I like the fact that the tuner . Allows you to remember to "reply" within hours but I dislike that it forces hosts to decline or approve. As you said, many guests do not give much information of themselves, have questions, input incorrect amount of guests and the price needs correcting. Airbnb needs to ensure hosts are completely comfortable to accept guests before they do, not just force them to accept with a ticking clock.

Andrew in
Hopewell Junction, NY
Level 10

I'm ok with the 24 hour timer. What bothers me is that hosts now appear to be peanalized for denying requsts.  This might make sense for Whole House Rentals. But for shared rooms in the house you live in I dont' think there should any limitations or consequences for denying. 

 

Cathy in
Bloomington, IN
Level 10

The pressure to use IB is offensive. I can only host on Airbnb if I maintain control over who is coming to my home. If discrimination is a problem, investigate complaints and get rid of those hosts. 

Barbara in
San Jose, CA
Level 2

I absolutely agree. Safety is my #1 priority in considering a booking and a policy of forcing the dates to be blocked if I decline one seems counter to Airbnb's policies.

 

Many of my guests come from the other side of the world and 24 hours is not long enough for me to request and receive info if I need more from the potential guest in order to feel,comfortable in my home.

Pond in
Costa Rica
Level 1

We had a quest just recently who claimed one person but 7 men arrived. I asked who was who. The person that booked showed up the next day but his friends arrived late that night and this made us feel uncomfortable. I charged them the difference before they entered my property. We had no problems but next time this happens I will request an ID and hold onto it. These men were locals and I don't have this problem with foreigners. Could you develop a request for ID as an option and have that sent to us before quest checks in.

Amit in
Kolkata, India
Level 2

Many a time a prospective guest doesn't answer my question yet Airbnb is in a hurry to close my deal with that person. Secondly, due to time zone issues, many a time we can't respond as fast as we want to -- since we are asleep! In such a case, a prospect can be notified that in the host's country it is , say 3am, and he or she might take a few hours to respond. Thank you

Eloise in
Winslow, AZ
Level 10

airbnb will hopefully see the error of Instant Booking as it most definitely is totally against the original philosophy of airbnb and the shared economy.  The numerous problems with Instant Booking should be obvious to airbnb and I am at a total loss at trying to figure out why they would try to force this on everyone.  I have already told every airbnb Customer Service tech that I have talked to how I feel and that if this policy becomes manditory I will no longer be a Host.  I have a hard enough time getting prospective Guests to read my house rules which I require before I will accept any request and when a Guest gets nasty when they find out that I will not break any house rules or airbnb rules I can only think how bad this Guest would be if I had Instant Booking.  The policy of Instant Booking is essentially nothing more than giving permission to the Guest to do anything they want.  I have had enough of putting up with high maintenance, entitled, passive aggresive behavior during my professional career, I definitely will not put up with it in my home.  By starting a dialogue with prospective Guests before I approve their request I am able to establish a connection with them and for the most part by the time the Guest shows up at the gate of my humble home we are practically friends and thats what I love about Hosting.  Instant Booking will take that away from me along with the ability to make my own decisions about who comes into my home.  

My head hurts just trying to figure out where this horrible idea came from and why; outside of the obvious money making bottom line.  

I hope something positive will happen and soon as I am worried at the direction that airbnb is headed in.

Diane in
East Moriches, NY
Level 10

Eloise I couldnt have said i better myself!! This idea of Instant booking is ludacris and boggles my mind! They think just because they have their ID & credit card that that is enough and all that is required to execute a satisfactory stay in someones home.  That is NOT enough! There are personalities that have to be evaluated and first impressions speak volumes! Even if I were the guest (as i plan on being 1 day) I would want to dialogue with the Host before I come. I dont expect to walk into someones home knowing nothing about them or or their home or their expectations.

I hope everyone takes the time to complain. And if it comes down to it - deactivating their space.

Keith in
Columbus, OH
Level 3

I stopped using IB for most of my listings but keep it for others along with a very "strict" cancellation policy.  All my listing are in my home.   For my other listings I require a guest to supply me with the following information:

 

New to Airbnb? No reviews in the Airbnb System? Read and follow this before you submit a reservation request to me!

Hi, if you are new to Airbnb or have no positive guest reviews in the Airbnb system you must follow these instructions before submitting your reservation request to me. Failure to do so will slow the process down as I will not move it forward without these steps being taken. I put these instructions together from other successful Airbnb hosts. I will not rent to you until these steps have been taken. I'm not trying to be mean or give you a hard time. This is me being honest about what I'm looking for as I attempt to rent to new members of the Airbnb community.

1. Use your real name and include your correct information in your Airbnb profile. Also, fully verify your personal information through the Airbnb verification process. (email address, social site information, twit, Lnkdin, phone number, etc.). I read every profile in detail so don't skip anything. This is how you build trust with potential hosts.

2. Do not ask to reserve or pay for your stay outside of the Airbnb system or with cash. Trust worthy hosts will not agree to this arrangement as they lose all insurance and financial protection provided by Airbnb if they do.

 

4. Provide a current and accurate picture as your Airbnb profile picture. Personally, I never rent to anyone who does not have a current and accurate picture. (by the way, hosts will see you in person when you check-in. They will not let you check-in if you don't look like your profile picture. Most hosts will ask to see ID as well)

 

5. Important - Complete the "Describe Yourself" section in your Airbnb profile. Do not skip this step or you will appear to be hiding something. This is your chance to build trust with potential hosts by letting them learn a little about you as a person; your interests, likes and dislikes, travel preferences, your family, etc.

 

6. Be thorough and completely honest in the actual reservation request to potential hosts; providing the names and ages of all guests, reason for your stay, occupations of all guests, home town, and any other information that may help the host begin to trust you and build a personal connection with you. The more detail that you can provide, the better. Since you are new to Airbnb or have no reviews, this is your chance to overcome these limitations and improve your chance of your reservation request being accepted.

If you follow this advice I will quickly and fully consider your reservation request, and other future hosts will have the information that they need to make an informed reservation decision.

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