Tired of getting booking requests with nothing but a first name and no reviews... I just added this to my listing under house manual. I do not use instant book so all reservations must be approved by me.
I’m with you @Donald @Ben and everyone else and also realize the guests have no idea that airbnb hides thier profiles, and might regard our new sense of trepidation as unwelcoming, so I presented a softer version in my property narrative.
The responses have have been interesting. I’ve had to soften it more and do most of it in the pre-booking messages, which makes a lot more work and considerably more time to handle it all diplomatically...and I did consider instant booking and decided against it because after 30 years in customer service, i know a post booking cancellation is far more damaging than being straightforward up front so someone can find a good fit elsewhere and not have to stress about sudden change in plans.
Example: I’m very welcoming to all kinds of folks, but I don’t accept pets and I’m not safety prepared for toddlers and I don’t allow packing my place so people are sleeping on the floor. I’m amazed at how many try to sneak it through anyway, and with airbnb allowing reviews by guests who haven’t even stayed, that could ruin an established 5-star host in 5 minutes.
Guests truly have no idea what airbnb’s doing or why, which adds impediments to the majority who don’t have concerns about racism, which is counterintuitive to airbnb’s stated reasoning of “everyone’s welcome” because guests are actually encountering more scrutiny as a result if the new policy.
In addition to all of the other spontaneous algorhythmic advice and formatting changes launched (at least 5 in the last month) so many of which don’t match simple market research techniques, it’s as though there’s no objective review of the possible problematic results of alleged user-friendly intentions by airbnb before they roll anything out...like a techie free for all with no hosting experience playing with numbers, with only host feedback after rollout as a balance and i can’t imagine wholesalers have the time or even care to offer feedback about thier multiple listings because airbnb is just one of many marketing options for them.
Its literally going to wirk jn tye morning and duscovering someones reagfanged your desk without asking, making more work and taking more time for guest and host because we are inextricably connected.
Ive asked local vacay property managers in my local coastal mecca, and thier data shows listing on airbnb hasn’t boosted bookings by much...but it has created more work and distracted guests from all airbnb hosts by taking them to other websites and wholesalers to compare prices, which is basically airbnb shooting itself (and all hosts) in the foot by increasing competition.
As I step back and review airbnbs multiple platform “improvements” of the last year, I’m seeing more and more how wooing property wholesalers for the impending IPO has become the primary airbnb objective, except, like the rest of the rollouts, it’s short sighted in the areas that have been its “bread and butter”
With so many other multiproperty company logos appearing in airbnb listings now, other booking platforms listing the same properties, and more indie hosts being driven to the other booking platforms by airbnb’s new policies, hosts are discovering we get more screening and payment protections from other providers for the same (or less) fees, guests are leaving the airbnb site to compare prices for the same properties, and we are being asked to become more like commercial vendors.
All of this has eroded the warm, fuzzy, flexible that made airbnb so wonderful, so any corporate buyout will just homogenize it further.
Im asking, and the local property managers are saying they’re not getting many more bookings from airbnb for the work it creates, they’re still having to implement thier existing contractual obligations to property owners (many of which are contrary to airbnb’s relaxed no reservation deposit required and payment upon checking in policies) and the local property managers are finding that guests are confused by that, they’re getting negative feedback and confusion from guests about the policy differences, and guests are sharing about “comparison shopping platforms” now to leverage and renegotiate pricing and terms.
In the larger picture: Empowering guests, but not to airbnb’s long term benefit. Not so great for hosts here either, unless we’re willing to keep lowering our prices...and in my case that means nixing amenities that make my listing special and eventually making doing business untenable ...again defeating the uniqueness airbnb once was that created such a loyal guest base, and over time putting us out of business, which is short sighted self sabotage...unless you’re getting ready to sell out and don’t care.
It’s all about the booking fees and taking over the market for this IPO. The corporate double speak doesn’t match factual experience. airbnb is becoming the antithesis of what made it great, and is actually making it more confusing, time consuming, and difficult for hosts and guests to create that personal connection that made this platform special.
Its not so special anymore, it’s inspiring guests to shop around, and it’s more confusing, time consuming, and less safe for overall.
I’m sincerely hoping another tech savvy team will pick up the original threads and create another platform that’s what airbnb was before they decided it to become like another global retail conglomerate (named after the Amazon Rainforest) that’s also doing more to harm to it’s namesakethan helping it with thier insatiable global mega monopoly tactics.
i still screen every guest.
i do my own vetting in the pre booking messaging.
if there’s still no photo I message the booking guest to be prepared to show me current government photo ID and tell them why:
without positive ID if who’s staying, all parties are vulnerable for liability.
I had one newbie guest who booked as a single try to sneak in 2 others during a local wine festival. i don’t eve. charge for extra guests within my capacity, so it was pretty lame.
since I live on site, i caught it as soon as they drove in.
I was pleasant but firm that they needed to show ID’s and update the booking due the current # of guests for liability reasons. I called airbnb support and they agreed and messaged the guest to address it.
there were other issues with these guests, which boil down to newbies expecting us to be impersonal hotels, hence our need for transparency and good communication before booking.
in fact, this no photo policy has turned almost every booking for a new guest into a newbie experience interns of time and amount of communication required.
this is so true. I had a potential guest msg me today and say... "I have a picture. I'm not sure why it isn't showing up in my profile for you".
Airbnb is screwing both guests and hosts with this ridiculous picture hiding campaign.
I agree I hate it that AIrbnb has changed their policy on photos until the booking, I have had multiple problems with this since they started this.
Hmmm, That's a good question! Any way to know for sure? I can easily move the info to the main listing if it's not visible in the house manual prior to requesting to book
@Donaldthe House Manual is only for booked guests.
These are great ideas. I'd put them in 5 places:
In your listing text
In a photo text (or two)
In House Rules
In the Amenity Limitations section
And then also in a Saved Messages for all the folks who send an inquiry without paying attention to the 4 other places above