I've been an Airbnb host since 2012 and a Superhost ever since the Superhost program started, mostly as a home sharer who rents out the guest room in my L.A. house. It pains me to say that Airbnb is devolving now that its corporate status has raised - showing more and more disregard for hosts who share their home, and favoring instead real estate investors who lists houses/apartments they don’t live in, and rent out like hotels (because of course, the latter is what brings Airbnb the most $$$.) This is obvious from the way Airbnb’s algorithm works: 1) It greatly reduces the visibility of listings from hosts who refuse to do “Instant Book”. And agreeing to instant book is easy for someone who is renting a space they don't live in, but much more problematic for hosts sharing their own house with their guests. 2) Homes with pets (almost always home shares) are automatically disqualified from Airbnb Business and Airbnb Plus. 3) Hosts who deny requests get punished for doing so by having their listing’s visibility reduced, and pushed down the list.
It is unfortunate (and infuriating), because true home sharers are the type of hosts that Airbnb prides itself for in all its PR campaigns, and whenever it comes to fighting in favor of short term rental legislation: the retired couple opening their homes to friendly strangers from around the world, the person who lost their job and for whom Airbnb becomes a way to help pay the house mortgage etc… And, on the other end of the spectrum, their biggest PR nightmares often come from hosts who list homes they never live in - often the type of hosts who have less reasons to be selective with their guests, or considerate when it comes to their “neighbors”, or the community the home is in.
Airbnb needs to decide: is it a vacation rental platform for passive real estate investors, or the home sharing platform it advertises itself to be? Because, for hosts who are opening their own homes to strangers, using Airbnb only feels safe if they are allowed to deny some reservations and not be “punished” for doing so. They could be denying reservation to prevent sharing their homes with guests who they feel might be inconsiderate to their neighbors and their community, guests who they feel wouldn’t like the space, or even guests they just wouldn’t get along with. In my case, I get a lot of requests for month-long rentals, so most of my denying requests simply come from the fact I need a bit more than 24 hours and a single communication to decide to rent to someone who will be my housemate for a month. As a reminder: not accepting or denying a request within 24 hours makes you lose your Superhost status, and denying a request greatly reduces the visibility of your listing, and eventually disqualifies it from Aibnb Plus.
For me, the solution is simple: eliminate the automatic selection of “instant book only” (guests should be able to select that option if they want, but it should never be automatically selected, which is often is - without the knowledge of guests or hosts), and stop "hiding" listings of people who have denied some reservations (as long as the host responds to requests quickly.) I’ve tried to talk to Airbnb multiple times about this but, unlike a few years when Airbnb actually listened to their hosts, I did not get a response. A few years ago, I even spoke in favor of short-term rental – at local community events and even L.A. city hall. I will not speak in favor of Airbnb again until it starts showing appreciation for the hosts that are actually saving their reputation, and until it modifies their algorithm so that it doesn’t favor greedy real estate invertors over true home sharers. I encourage all other home sharers (or anyone who agrees) to do the same.
Thanks for reading my long rant...
Thanks Amy! I have reposted this on "Host Voice". Please like and comment there - hopefully, we can get Airbnb to at least hear our complaint:
You are very right! I also thought it was inconsiderate not to accept immediate reservations, airbnb you download your announcement of visibility, in my case, I had until recently activated the immediate reservations but my mother and I lived alone, and did not find it convenient have it like that for that reason, for security, not for not wanting to receive or not someone, and as you say, it may be appropriate for a person who does not live in the same house where one rents, but the essence of airbnb is not that, it is live with the host, something more warm and receptive between host and guest, not just to provide a service.
I think the problems for Airbnb start when cities restrict the use of entire houses or apts without the host being resident. It's hard to see how this will work with the direction of plus and the need for sufficient inventory to keep growing the business.
- it may paradoxically be in the interest of the small time host to have STR rental restrictions in place. In Seattle we heard from hosts who had 20 or 30 properties, and the city decided the limit was 2 properties per host. This may bring Airbnb back to the small time host again next year.
- Airbnb should provide better search by price - the current filtering does its best to show only plus, IB or superhost
- the current plus criteria should be simplified so that almost all properties can be verified for basics like wifi, towels, shower, safety etc. The plus prg has an underlying assumption that other properties can't make it, and are thus inferior.
Is this what you mean? https://www.airbnb.nl/my_reservations?all=1
Please not that mine is in the .NL domain, so you should adapt it to the UK domain.
I don't know exactly.
You can also go to your Profile Picture (On the desktop): In the right top corner, and choose transaction history.
@Cor Thanks for reply. The site is so stupidly designed that when I log into my account and click on my profile picture, Transaction History does not appear. I have to first click on Host in the top bar, go into Dashboard, Inbox, or whatever, then, when it is on that page and I click on my profile pic, Transaction History DOES appear in the drop-down menu.
Good ole airbnb- never achieve in one quick step what you can turn into a 3-step process. After all, we hosts have so much extra time on our hands.
@Cor Yes, I never really thought about it before, but I'm sure this community forum lessens the number of issues airbnb has to deal with through phone lines and Contact Support by a LOT. Free help. Kinda like the brilliant marketing idea of getting consumers to advertise businesses and pay for it at the same time. You know- shirts with the company's logo on them and such. I've never bought any item of clothing that has the company's logo or name displayed on it. I refuse to be "branded".