Reservation request = request to book. You approve and vips you have a booking. Calendar blocked.
Inquiry = contact host. They are interested in your place and have made contact. You can pre-approve and they are free to book within the given time frame. Calendar not blocked. Anyone else can book while they decide. First come, first served.
This is confusing to potential guests. Here is what just happened to me:
Guest 1 contaced me about some dates which I pre-approved. Before she could book, someone else (Guest 2) came in and "requested" those dates, so it blocked out Guest 1, who had only made an inquiry. Guest 1 wrote me a message in which she was upset that I had "retracted" my offer. I explained the difference between an inquiry and request and I declined the request from Guest 2 so Guest 1 could book the dates. Then Guest 1 wrote back to say she had already booked elseware becasue I had declined her. So now I have no bookings for that weekend, and 2 different guests not happy.
I guess I should have just told Guest 1 "tough luck" but that seemed rude. I'm sure she didn't understand the difference.
It is important to understand the difference between and "Inquiry" and a "Request".
When it comes to an inquiry, you have 24 hours to either respond (message) to the guest, preapprove or decline. If you respond to them, that is all you need to do to maintain your response rate. With inquiries, the guest could be sending out several inquiries to several hosts.
If you get a request, the guest is wanting to book your listing and if to accept, they will be booked. When you get a request, you have 24 hours to accept or decline and if you do neither within the 24 hours, it will affect your response rating.
I hope this clears things up.
Thank you Dave and Deb.
I will be mindful of the time constraints around Reservation Requests, and won't assume that because we are in the midst of a conversation, that it is considered a "response".
One question leads to another...I noticed that you are described as "Level 10". What does that mean?
Best Wishes, Ruth
Exactly what does an inquiry look like when I receive one as a host? I seem to get only inquiries with questions and it's clear from the question that they are asking the same questions of other host/properties, YET there is still a count down message that I must approve or deny. It does not appear there is such a thing as an inquiry that is not a request as well.
@Marilyn157 It clearly says Inquiry in the box above the message stream. With buttons to either per-approve or decline. A Booking Request clearly says that in that box, as well, with buttons to accept (not pre-approve) or decline.
You can ignore the countdown on the Inquiries-just messaging back the guest within 24 hours is all that's required in order not to be penalized. Never click the decline button on an Inquiry, as declines count against you. If you feel okay about the guest, click on pre-approve, if not, just message them back. The Inquiry will expire in 24 hours. You can ignore those pesky messages to pre-approve and if you clear your cache, they should disappear after the Inquiry has run out.
Thank that helps! Just confused because I have sent messages back and forth on inquiries, thinking the inquiry would expire. Yet, Airbnb still sends me a warning that I need to accept, decline or special offer on items that are marked as inquiries. Should I ignore those warnings? I wish they would make it clear that ignoring is ok.
@Marilyn157 Yes, on an Inquiry you can safely ignore those messages. They are worded so as to make hosts think they have do one of those things, but that's just because Airbnb's goal is to get bookings and collect guest fees.
A Booking Request is different- you do actually have to either Accept or Decline within 24 hours or get dinged on your response and acceptance rate. But you can still message back and forth with the guests before you do that, as long as you click on one of those options before the clock runs out. If the guest is asking for things you don't provide, or indicating they want to bring their dog, when you have a no pets listing, you can message in such a way so as to encourage the guest to withdraw the request before 24 hours so you don't have to decline. You can mention to them that if they don't withdraw the request, as hosts get penalized for declining, if they don't withdraw it, you'll have to Accept, but only on the condition that they don't bring their dog. And that if they don't withdraw it and you Accept, their credit card will be instantly charged by Airbnb.
"Hi XX, Sorry, but I have a no pets listing, which I don't make exceptions on, so won't be able to accommodate your dog. I wish you luck in finding a pet-friendly listing. I encourage you to withdraw this request ASAP, so you don't get charged by Airbnb for a booking that doesn't meet your needs, which would mean you'd then have to cancel and wait for a refund"
Thank you, so helpful. Its been intimidating to get those warnings, but now will just ignore on inquiries and I will use those strategies for avoiding need to decline on requests that will not work. Thanks so much!