URGENT TO ALL HOSTS!
I'm new to this community platform, but wanted to get this news out to all Hosts and Superhosts with properties on Airbnb.
Today, I was going through the listing statistics on the Airbnb dashboard for both of my vacation homes. I noticed that on both of my properties there were "things to work on" with an explanation point next to it. So, my curiousity made me click on the link and read about what Airbnb was requesting that I work on. After going down the list, it seemed that the only remarks that Airbnb had a remark about was the field that states this; "Accepted reservations _ Make guests feel welcome by accepting requests whenever you’re available". I'll start by saying that I do not allow Instant Booking for my properties. I do require that each guest first be accepted by myself or my wife. We may have questions for the potentail guests, so we don't like the Instant Booking. The problem is the common public doesn't just know how to ask a question on the Airbnb travel platform that they've been provided. Rather than just inquiring about the patio furniture, size of TV, cookware, garage size, etc ... They have a habit of actually making a full request for a reservation with specific dates. The potential guest then uses the reservation request to ask me a question. That's a problem for ALL Hosts and especially Superhosts. The reason for this being a problem is simple. In the event that the answer you've provided to the potential guest's question is not what they were hoping for, then you won't be booking them. Therefore, the days they've requested (but won't be booking) are held up for 24 hours. The dates are not able to be requested by any other potential guests for that property for 24 hours. ALSO, (this is the big issue), due to the fact that you won't be booking this mere inquiry, Airbnb considers this a denial by the Host. Making your percentage of "Accepted" reservation go down. You as a Host have done nothing wrong. However, as your percentage decreases, so does your placement of your property on the Airbnb site. ALSO, you have the possibility of losing your Superhost status. I spoke to Airbnb and went up the chain of management. They admitted that this is an issue for any Host, and especially a Superhost. Their only solution was to have the Host ask the inquiring guest to cancel their own reservation request, prior to the 24 hour window provided. As we all know, most Airbnb travelers are rookies on their vacation site shopping. We love all our guests, but most are not tech savvy at all. That's why they made this mistake to begin with. I don't see asking the inquiring guest to cancel their own reservation request as a logical remedy to the problem. It's a software issue that Airbnb isn't willing to work on unless we as Hosts make such a demand as a community. One of my properties is really new. Less thna 2 months on the Airbnb site. It's near a baseball spring training stadium. I've had lots of "inquiries". Some have been inquiries like I just spoke about. Not accepting such a reservation request, because it was ONLY an inquiry, has caused my "Acceptance" percentage on this new property to go below 60%. I've been told that my Superhost status, stated on both properties, is now at risk. This is a huge issue for all Superhosts. Let's band together and get Airbnb to correct this software statistic glitch that only Airbnb can solve!
Blimey I think this has just happened to me! I started last year, and have only had 12 requested bookings, which I accepted, and a few enquiries which didn't become bookings, but were replied to in the required time, then today I noticed 'things to work on and BAM it says I could be delisted as I have an 86% accepted reservations!!! The only booking I have declined was this week the very first time I have declined a booking
Totally ridiculous. I am so fed up all these rules that are so compromising for the host. I thought I would make superhost this trimester but because of the glitch that you mention above I am not at 86% for enquires that didn't become bookings?? This really does need to be adressed by them
One booking in twelve months, does that mean I'm a useless host? I don't think so Airbnb is only one of many booking agents and I have found that word of mouth outsells all of the agents. Quality of establishment and hosting is what drives me and that is one thing an agent cannot sell it's an experience.
One thing though Airbnb web site is not the easiest to work with which is most frustrating.
I cannot speak for other guests/people booking on Airbnb but I would NEVER enter all my personal credit card information into a website just to ask a question!! That just doesn’t seem logical.
@Emilia How do you mean, credit card information?
If the potential guest has already logged in to look at places on airbnb they have an account so only need to click on 'contact host.' The issue here is about the Airbnb system that is causing hosts to be wrongly assessed due to enquiries being seen as declined bookings
What we all need to do is petition this so it is corrected by them. This really does need to be sorted by Airbnb, the onus cannot be passed to the host to ask guests to cancel enquiries. That isn't a solution at all. Totally unacceptable.
Do they really think that guests would be bothered to cancel on a place they are no longer interested in? For fluffs Sake!
@Tif, if a guest is "requesting to book" they are sending you a message with all their dates and credit card info confirmed. All they need the host to do it click the "accept" button and the reservation is set to go. If you "decline" these guests, your acceptance rate will be affected. Guests who are clicking "contact host" are merely asking a question (they do not need to confirm their personal info or credit card info.) No pre-approval or decline is technically needed. You only need to respond to the inquiry to improve your "response time." In @Sean case, it sounds like guests are "requesting to book" to only ask questions. Therefore Sean will need to decline and risk his overall acceptance rate.
@Emilia Not necessarily I have just looked through my list and the enquiries show that they have chosen the dates and then sent an enquiry NOT a booking. These are now showing as declined !!! The irony is Airbnb send countless emails when it is an enquiry asking you to preapprove or decline the enquiry. One would assume that declining an enquiry is just that, declining an enquiry, but it is treated as a decline full stop and so therefore is 'punishable' for want of a better word
@Tif1, yes you can decline an inquiry but you do not need to. All you need to do for an inquiry respond so not to effect your "response time."
The link below explains enquiry's
So do I. And Airbnb has let this happen about 5 times to me. The first time the software would not let me remove the block on the days because I never declined the reservation request which was actually only an inquiry. It was punishment. I got that changed and the feature software changed. But the misuse of guests of the reservation request when they are only making an inquiry blocking our days for more than a minute is loss of business!
My experience is that hosts who do see the whole picture are not out of step and reasonably request changes. Supporting no change is out of step - even for an IT company
This week I had a booking request(different dates) from someone who had already booked on Booking.com (dangerous statement here) but had forgotten so contacted me on ABB. There was no way the guest was going to stay for 6 days - 3 ABB + 3 BC. I declined the booking as not doing so ensures a deluge of "hurry up!" emails as well as showing a decline on my history.
ABB is great but not perfect so don't get defensive when someone who has saved long to buy a property and worked hard to present it suggests improvement. Either the whole system needs improving or the ease of use and help support. No ABB host is an idiot irrelevant of what level they are. Lest we not forget, they do provide the realestate which generates ABB's revenue
I regularly find that the best support I get is doing a blind google for help on a particular issue rather than in the ABB help area. Other hosts can help but imagine asking a hotel from a different chain from down the road (or next door) to help you with a booking problem........
Hi Emilia. So far your analysis and proposed solutions are the still effecting the principle Host. Tif is 100% correct, and obviously in agreement that punishment to a Host’s status should not be made due to a Guest’s error or mere ignorance. As I appreciate any feedback, the sole purpose of my initial post is to get this Airbnb Host community realize that they’re getting burned without their control. You’re wrong in stating that I should NOT have to decline and risk my overall acceptance rate due to a guest’s inability to properly navigate and select the Airbnb platform provided to them. Instead, Airbnb should analyze the conversations (upon request by a Host) and eliminate those that effect the Host’s statistical data in a negative way. It wouldn’t be fair that your credit gets dinged for a vendor’s mistake. In fact, any person would raise hell over their credit being destroyed due to another person’s actions. In this case, your credit as a Host is being destroyed. That is unacceptable!