Guest inquiry, but then doesn't respond

Jennifer1351
Level 8
null

Guest inquiry, but then doesn't respond

Hello,

I got an inquiry from a guest who wanted to book one night but asked if i would reduce the price slightly. I responded that I would since it was only one person, but asked what price she had in mind. She never responded. So I don't want to decline (necessarily) since I assume that is not good for my search ranking. I thought maybe  I could 'pre-approve" and ask if she's still interested, or if not please cancel the booking request.

I'm wondering what the best way to handle a situation when a guest inquires but then doesn't respond? And Airbnb keeps sending me notices to accpet or decline. Does declining an inquiry like this hurt your search ranking? What if I don't respond and just leave the inquiry open? 

Any ideas on the best way to handle this?

 

Thanks so much!

 

16 Replies 16
Corey-And-Michelle0
Level 2
Angola, IN

Colleen - thank you for your message!  We DO have that box checked so we are avoiding people instant booking who aren't verified and don't have good reviews, but we are still getting requests from near blank profiles and its the dealing with these requests that is frustrating since we're having to decline all of the guests who are unresponsive.  

 

We did just learn about the pre-booking message that will pop up before they can confirm a reservation so hoping that might cut down on some of these generic unresponsive profiles.  Here's what we put in our pre-booking message that goes out before they can confirm a reservation... 

 

Thank you for considering our lake cottage! BEFORE submitting a booking request, please make sure your profile is filled out and verified with a gov. ID.  Also, please let us know:

 

What brings you to Lake James?

What other guests are coming, if any?

 

Please confirm that you've read and agree to all of our house rules/policies.

 

We look forward to hosting you!

Corey & Michelle

Christine3175
Level 2
null

Hi Colleen. We are also new to Airbnb and having similar issues. We decided it was safest for everyone to require a government issued ID to be submitted and approved by Airbnb prior to booking. This rule is on our listing page under things guests may need to know, but we still get inquiries and requests to book that need approved or declined. I give the same response to everyone "Thank you for your inquiry. We would love to host you for your visit to Augusta!
We require a government issued ID to reserve with us. Once that is submitted and approved by Airbnb, it will allow you to instant book with us.
Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you, Christine"

 

But then this is where I feel like I am a newbie who doesnt know what to do. I have had guests tell they did it, but the site still wont let them instant book. I have found that I have to decline the request every time to free up the dates and then it works for them. But then its 50/50 if they actually respond, so I feel like I do a lot of declining. And I dont feel it's a safe policy to just take someone's word for it when Airbnb gives no indication or message telling me its done. I did go to the reservations requirement page and check that box, but am still kind of confused as to whether that will solve our issue. 

Colleen253
Level 10
Alberta, Canada

@Corey-And-Michelle0 That pre booking message is only for instant booking guests. Guests who can’t IB won’t see it.

 

“We DO have that box checked so we are avoiding people instant booking who aren't verified and don't have good reviews, but we are still getting requests from near blank profiles..”

 

Thats the box for IB. The reason you’re getting requests from unverified guests is you haven’t followed the steps through the Help article I linked. As I mentioned, that check box doesn’t exist in your listing editor. 

Corey-And-Michelle0
Level 2
Angola, IN

I did follow the steps through the article you shared with me.  My identity was already verified so I didn't have to do that part.  I followed the link to "reservation requirements" where it said "Your guests will need to verify their ID before booking with you. and the box there was already checked that says... "Require guests to go through verification".  Is there another link I'm missing?  Screen Shot 2022-01-31 at 6.15.29 PM.png

Colleen253
Level 10
Alberta, Canada

@Corey-And-Michelle0 No, you’re not missing anything. That box being checked means every trip request you receive should be verified already, or have to complete the process at time of request (when this happens the request will read ‘awaiting verification’.) The fact it’s checked means you shouldn’t be having any issues. See what happens going forward. If it’s still not working for you, try gaping back, unchecking the box, logging out, log back in and try again. This platform is glitchy. 

Corey-And-Michelle0
Level 2
Angola, IN

We're brand new to airbnb for hosting (have been traveling for several years on the platform and love it).  In the 3 weeks we've been open, we’re getting some really nice bookings with great guest reviews and we are looking forward to hosting them, however we’re also getting an equal number of requests from profiles that aren't verified and have next to no information.  Because we have instant book turned on, but are requiring verification and positive reviews, they are having to send us trip requests... we're politely asking if they will verify and fill out a bit more of their profiles, but many don't respond so we then politely ask them to withdraw their booking request because they aren't filling out the required info for our booking requirements.  Many of them aren't responding and we have learned that if we keep declining all of these requests that it will affect our ranking.  We’ve been lucky that a few have withdrawn on their end, but what if several guests don’t?  I’m not excited about having multiple declines on our account so quickly.  

 

Does anyone have a good suggestion on how to handle these?  

Colleen253
Level 10
Alberta, Canada

@Corey-And-Michelle0 You can  require all guests to be verified before booking, even those who fall outside your IB requirements and have to send requests. There is no box to check in your listing editor but you can get it activated through this help article,

 

https://www.airbnb.ca/help/article/272/can-i-require-guests-to-be-verified-before-booking

 

This takes care of part of the problem. The other thing you can do is add a house rule that states your requirements of guests, such as a well filled out profile, and whatever else you want. But this relies on people reading your rules, which doesn’t happen much of the time. Also know that most guests don’t have Airbnb notifications turned on and this is contributing to the lack of follow up from people. They don’t know you’ve sent a message. Unfortunate, but Airbnb doesn’t prompt guests to turn them on, nor remind guests to check for follow up messages from the host when they are trying to book. Makes for a lot of headache and annoyance for hosts. 

Jenée0
Level 2
Mooresville, IN

Oh thank you so much❤️ now I just have to figure out what browser I’m using and how to clear my cache 🤣

appreciate your response!

Jenée0
Level 2
Mooresville, IN

I think it is very frustrating that it appears as if you must respond to an inquiry even if there is no request to book. I’m concerned that just leaving this “open “ without preapproval or decline will hurt my ratings. Does anyone know?

Sarah977
Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Jenée0 You do have to respond to an Inquiry, but you don't have to pre-approve or decline- it won't affect your ratings. if you clear your cache after responding to the Inquiry, those annoying reminders will dissappear.

Jennifer1351
Level 8
null

@Sarah977 & @Kristine102 I just wasn't sure if I needed to respond further, but it sounds like, as Jeff said, as long as I reply to the initial inquiry that's all I need to do. 

Yes, thanks for the input. It's great to have this resource for questions like this.

Kristine102
Level 1
null

@Sarah977  You’re right. Vast number of them will send inquiry and never replies you again. 

 

@Jeff158 I think all inquiries comes with pre-approve request. 

 

Because all the inquiry I’ve received have pre-approve below it. 

 

Thanks everyone to contributing 

Jeff158
Level 10
Caernarfon, United Kingdom

@Kristine102 enquiry's do come with a pre-approve button but you don't have to click it. The help sheet below explains your options:

https://www.airbnb.co.uk/help/article/2410/what-can-i-do-when-i-get-a-booking-inquiry?q=Enquiry

Sarah977
Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Jennifer1351  Just so you know, lots of guests will send out Inquiries and you never hear back from them. She may have sent out the same Inquiry to 5 different places. It would be nice if they had the courtesy to meesage you back, thanking you for your response and time, saying they booked another place more suitable or that they'd changed their travel plans, but the vast majority won't.

Jennifer1351
Level 8
null

Thank you, that's great to know! I didn't know if inquiries were different from booking requests. Thank you once again, @Jeff158 . Your help and being around here is much appreciated!

Jeff158
Level 10
Caernarfon, United Kingdom

@Jennifer1351 if its an enquiry all you have to do is respond within 24hrs, which you did by messaging the guest, the clock counting down should disappear when you refresh the page.

Booking requests are different, you have to accept or decline within 24hrs.

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