I got thinking about all the hosts who have said their guests never bothered to read house rules or policies on their listing.
This is an ongoing issue that I think can be fixed with the implementation of an “Accept” or “Decline” button for reading and agreeing to the house rules and cancelation policy.
The way it would work in my head, would be when a guest requests to book, prior to payment, a new screen pops up with the house rules and the cancelation policy. A guest can then click accept or decline. If a guest clicks “Accept” another window will populate telling them that:
“You have agreed to the host’s house rules and cancellation policy. In addition to that, you also agree to these terms if house rules are broken during your stay.
1. Any violation of the hosts house rules will results in cancellation of their reservation.
2. Guest will not be permitted to book again on the platform for X amount of days or weeks.
3. Guests review privileges will be suspended for the listing in which they just broke house rules for.
4. Any damages to the listing by the guest automatically suspends their right to leave a review for that listing/stay.
They would then be asked one more time if they “Agree” or “Decline”
If the guest “declines” the house rules & cancelation policy, then the listing is no longer available to them anymore.
Instant Book would be similar to the above mentioned process.
I encourage other host’s opinions, thoughts, changes, feedback.
This is a great idea.
I currently send out a registration pack with house rules via email for guests to tick and sign.
But having this build into the booking procedure would be super convenient for guest and hosts.
Exactly! Hosts have been preaching this for years but somehow Airbnb has managed to hide the house rules even further from the guest. This is literally the biggest Airbnb mystery to me and I'm sure to a lot of other hosts.
On your listing page here are your house rules. Your written rules are hidden behind a "Show All" link.
When going through the booking process . . Here are your house rules, once again hidden behind a "Read More" link. Guests are asked to agree and continue but why aren't the rules front and center??
Yes, our written rules are well hidden which doesn't help, but I think it largely comes down to guests just don't want to be bothered reading. I don't get it, but that's just me I guess. I always read everything. I don't want any nasty surprises!
I have set a small task for guests within my rules, so I am tipped off when a guest hasn't clicked 'read more'. This happens 99% of the time. So I've gone one step further. As soon as I get a booking request, I reply with a saved message that includes my extra rules and a blurb about how 'you may have missed a section of the rules, yada yada', and direct the guest to supply the info requested therein.
I kid you not, guests (again 99% of the time) reply with 'yep, we're good with the terms and conditions, looking forward to staying!!' and still do not supply the requested info. So, it's all-right-there-in-front-of them-can't-be-missed, I've given them a strong hint, and....NOTHING. Extremely frustrating. I have to then ask the guests for the info, and just resign myself to the fact that they will not be following all of my house rules. At least when problems do arise, I can just point back to our conversation. I did my part. It's just frustrating having to deal with the fallout.
@Kath9 I just ask them to provide the full names of all adult guests in their request message, or if they have Airbnb profiles, to link them in. I abhor 'guest 2, 3, 4...'
I also have a booking 'code' I ask them to mention as well. The first ask is at the top of the rules, the second is at the bottom. That way I know they got everything in between (or not). Only one person has ever provided the booking code.
@Colleen253 my rules are the same... 'answer this question in your booking message'
about 20% of my guests have found it on their own in the beginning, others are directed there eventually by my post-booking message or my rental contract.
even this is not fool-proof, my recent guest who was offended that he was required to sign a rental contract was one of the ones who read and responded to the whole house rules message. So, even if a guest reads they still may not comprehend...
It's a struggle
@Mitchell77 yes, of course, it's quite sensible and really how many (all!!) of us have had to scroll thru a 30 page doc written by lawyers paid by the word in order to get to the bottom of some web page in order to proceed....
So, if it is so sensible and if just about every other web company you've ever dealt with has managed to do this, then it seems TO ME that this isn't a HOW problem but a WHY problem.
In other words, ABB knows HOW to show guests the rules, they just don't want to and WHY should they bother? They should bother bc not showing rules to guests is bad for YOU in the long run, but in the short run showing rules to guests is bad for ABB, bc hey, if Hosts have pesky rules that Guests may not want to follow then that might interrupt the booking flow and have ABB lose out on that service fee and really, what's the big deal if you wrote out what was important to you and you get stuck with a guest who isn't aware and doesn't care?. So, they had a clearcut choice and chose themselves. You will have to work harder to be sure that guests understood your rules, bc not only will ABB not show guests those rules, they also won't work with you to enforce them. You're on your own; act accordingly.
They have no problem when it comes to descriptions, but when it comes to "Additional" houserules, then it is often hidden...almost like even AirBnB doesn't want to respect your home-lol
I like the idea of requiring the guests to agree to the rules for the Airbnb they stay in while they are booking. When this happens, they will be required to read the house rules and will be better prepared to comply and have a great experience. 😄
@Colleen253 I think my biggest thing is that I don't really care if the guest honestly reads through my rules. For the most part, guests are good and follow common sense good manners like no smoking indoors. But what I DO want is Airbnb to back the host when a rule is broken. Airbnb would say "Sorry guest, you were made clearly aware that you can't xyz when you booked and you agreed to it. This should not come as a surprise. So your reservation is canceled and you have lost your deposit and you cannot review your stay." Something like that 🙂 Like you said, We do our part in listing our rules, now it is up to Airbnb and the guest to follow through.
@Mitchell77 @Colleen253 @Rajan2 @Emilia42 Most people when they see "Accept" or "Cancel" check the box automatically, so as not to read long boring texts. Don't you do this yourself when working with Windows or Google?))) Guests perceive Airbnb exactly the same as a set of standard templates and put their consent without reading it.