I'm really disappointed that the "Basic Requirements" update to the Dashboard essentially attempts to bully hosts into accepting an arbitrary percentage of their requests.
I can appreciate that Airbnb wants to cut down on preventable disappointments and practices that appear to be discrimination. I know how frustrating it is to be a guest (especially as a visible minority) and receive multiple declines with no good explanation. But setting a minimum percentage of accepted reservations is an absolutely wrongheaded way to go about solving this. No matter how much people might prefer Instant Book, experienced hosts know that Airbnb's porous verification system and unreliable Host Guarantee are no substitute for our judgment when the nature of a request is inappropriate to what we're offering. In no way do I condone discrimination against guests based on anything such as age, race, gender identity, etc, and I respect the importance of keeping an updated calendar, but there are many legitimate reasons that a decline can be the best decision. Hosts with certain kinds of listings, or in certain locations, are going to get inappropriate requests more than others, too, so those averages are completely irrelevant.
Some examples from my own experience:
- the guest has clearly not read the listing and believes it is a different kind of property (e.g. Entire Home instead of private room)
- the guest requires different dates or has a larger party size than has been manually entered
- the guest insists upon special accommodations beyond what is advertised
- the guest has been negatively reviewed by previous hosts
- the guest does not answer follow-up question within the 24 hour accept/decline window
- the request is for something other than accommodation, such as a partyor film shoot
- the host has a prior unpleasant experience with a member of the guest party
- the guest asks for exceptions to the House Rules, and therefore...
- the communication leaves the host feeling unsafe with the guest in their home
In all of these situations, the host's only reasonable option is to Decline. I don't mind being asked to justify the choice so that nobody feels treated unfairly. But I've been hosting and since many of Airbnb's tech crew were still in high school, and I do not appreciate seeing a warning message on my screen because the algorithm decided I need to accept a higher percentage of requests. Airbnb, please accept that humans often need to excercise judgment that computers can't.