Good day everyone,
Recently I logged into my account to see that '1 Host Requirement Needs Your Attention' under the Basic Requirements. The target for accepted reservations is 88%, and I have recently fallen to 86%. Seems fairly clear, correct?
I have my booking settings to Instant Book, with the caveat that all guests must be ID Verified. For whatever reason, AirBNB still allows unverified guests to make booking requests - something I don't typically mind, as I will explain my requirements to the guest, walk them through the Verification process and eventually, 9/10 guests do end up adding their ID and booking with me anyway.
The problem is this: AirBNB requires that hosts 'Accept' or 'Decline' requests when they're made. I always decline unverified guests, with a message outlining what I've explained above. Once they're Verified, they Instant-Book. I had no idea these 'Declines' were being held against me! When I spoke with Customer Service, they explained I should instead be asking the guest to withdraw their request, submit their ID for Verification and then Instant Book once all is said and done. This seems INCREDIBLY cumbersome for me to explain, and for the guest to adhere to. I'm not an AirBNB IT professional, why should I have to jump through these hoops when the settings on my listing are clearly intended for Verified guests only?
To me, this is the equivalent of allowing a listing to say 'no dogs allowed', then penalizing them by saying 'you only allowed 86% of your guests to bring dogs instead of the required 88%.' Don't let me select 'Verified Users Only' if you're going to turn around and penalize me for not accepting Unverified Users. Ironically, this number isn't even accurate as most of the Unverified Users do become Verified and book with me after I've declined.
Any thoughts on this? I'm being painted into a corner it seems. Their algorithms don't appear very well thought-out at times. I'm sure this is also damaging my listing's status in the search results. Customer Service just suggested to send them a completed Feedback Form. I asked if it would be better to simply not 'Decline' or 'Accept' but she said that would be worse. Sigh.
So sorry you’ve caught the Airbnb “catch 22” virus. The host forum details others.
The feedback form is the catch-all response for all issues. I’m sure there have been billions submitted.
Maybe our fearless admins @Laura or @Lizzie can offer some insight?
Ain't that the truth. The first response to me asking 'why can unverified users even make requests to book my home?' was 'There's probably just a glitch in the system.' If I had a nickel for every time I've been told my issues were glitch-related....Lord. I explained that it's always been the case, and then finally she said 'Oh okay then yes, they can request but you can decline.' Except she totally missed the point that if I decline, I'm penalized.
I understand your frustration, but what does this Airbnb "verification" mean to you? Do you know if the guest steals from you or threaten you with a gun or anything like this - you will not be able to squeeze his name out of Airbnb? Maybe, but just maybe, in some cases, they will give his name to the police if asked.
So dear Danielle, if you like me, want to know who has a key to your property, you should meet your guests at the arrival and ask for their IDs or passports, take a paper and write down all their personal information or even better take a picture if they allow. ONLY THEN you will host verified guests 🙂
Just make sure you state this in your house rules as we did.
That escalated unnecessarily. I don’t think someone threatening me with a gun is a concern I need to have as an AirBNB host in my city. Also, I’m off-site. Guests check in remotely, I have zero interaction with them so I couldn’t even if I wanted to.
I have access to their names when they book - and AirBNB has their identification. That’s good enough for me. I want to know I have a recourse should someone steal from me or damage my items. It’s only happened once, and AirBNB quickly and fairly settled the claim in my favour.
Fortunately I’ve had no other issues in the 18 months I’ve been active. I’m sorry you have to jump through those hoops, but I’m not prepared to do so.
@Danielle476 You have access to A name: it's just not necessarily the name of the person who's actually staying in your condo. Just because the person has verified ID doesn't mean that the name you've been given on their profile matches it: Airbnb doesn't check or verify that, and they don't care. You can say your name is whatever you like, as a host or a guest.
While that's true, I feel better knowing the guest has uploaded their ID so AirBNB has access to it if need be. Someone who has uploaded their government ID may think twice before damaging my home, versus someone who simply booked with an e-mail address. The more information I or AirBNB have, the better. I'm not letting someone book my home with a phone number, even hotels don't allow that. To each their own.
@Danielle476 I'm not saying you should accept guests with only a phone number: I'm saying that you may be lulling yourself into a false sense of security when you're accepting guests whose ID has been verified by Airbnb, especially as an offsite host who doesn't meet your guests.
Again, I get it. It’s my preference to have it set that way and it’s worked quite well for me. If someone wants to meet their guests, that’s great! I don’t have the time or the inclination.
I know whenever you hit the decline button for request to book it definitely effects your accepted reservation percentage. Would it be helpful to put in your listings/house rules that before requesting to book please have your ID verified with Airbnb. This might deter guests without verified ID's & prevent them from requesting to book or to get verified first 🙂
@Danielle476 Your condo is quite lovely and in only 18 months you have over 150 reviews! You are very successful with how you are hosting and what you offer. 86% acceptance rate means that in the last year and a half you have declined around 25 or so requests to book. Since you have 24 hours to approve or decline, rather than declining a guest who hasn't uploaded ID right away, perhaps you could give them 12 hours to comply before declining. Remind them that if they do not comply, they will be declined. Also, their dates may be taken by someone else who can IB.
Thanks for your kind words! This listing has only been active for 12 months but it’s done well so far. I’m happy!
I mentioned this scenario to Customer Service, but she said that if I left the request as-is and the guest Verified their account, they wouldn’t be able to Instant Book. The dates are left in limbo until I either accept or decline - they’d have to withdraw their request before being able to book again. 😞
@Danielle476 I agree with @Linda108. I have Instant Booking turned on as well. When I received those requests with no Ids, I asked them to upload ID within 24 hours. Otherwise, I will decline it. Once they notified me with uploaded verified ID, I just hit Accept button.
Most time the guests responded quickly. I did not have to decline any of those requests. Airbnb should put verified Id as a basic requirement for all users to avoid issues from those bad guests with just an email and/or phone number.