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!
@Sean I'm not sure your status as superhost, once achieved, will be eliminated due to this issue. If you read my other post you will see that my timed out reservation could not be rebooked by my guest. Because of your post, I was also concerned that my standing would be a reason why reaching superhost would be impossible, because I excelled in everything but acceptance of reservations...I too had not declined several inquiries, nor had I pre-approved them, so my rating was already lowered to 82% and I was being reminded of that everytime I checked my dashboard. Long story short, I just received a notification that I was now a superhost. Oh, and that timed out reservation reduced my acceptance to 79%, a full 9% lower than the target of 88%. A new reservation I accepted yesterday has not increased increased the percentage either. You can use this information, if it helps you keep your superhost status. They can take it away from me, since it must have been given in error. I only see it as a "carrot" anyway, and I'm perfectly happy with the number of guests I welcome already, so I'm not pushing for more exposure as a superhost.
Hi everyone, I am very new to this having just had my first two guests stay. I have had some enquires too. One decided the fences were not high enough for her dogs and another had mistaken the town she needed to stay in for her training course so told me she would not go ahead with the booking. I think what you describe has happened to me as it says I have to work on something.... I did respond to both people nicely but I think that was not enough.
“Inquiry” = Communication between potential guest and Host. No reservation requested. Nobody effected. A fast reponse by Host will help his/her “Response Rate”.
“Reservation Request” = Often mistakenly used in place of a simple Inquiry by the public or a potential guest. If you respond in 10 secs, your response rate looks astounding as a Host. However, that’s not the issue. If you answer the potential guest’s question (e.g. will you accept a dog?) and your answer isn’t desirable to the potential guest, you get screwed. You now have to (1) deny the guest, or (2) wait for the 24 reservation request to time out. Which will still be seen by Airbnb as a denial to the guest. Both options lower your Acceptance Rate (percentage), which effects your property’s placement on the Airbnb site and could cause you to lose your Superhost status.
So, that is the best description I can give you.
Nobody can fix stupid. Mistakes by the public will always be made. However, Airbnb CAN fix this issue for all Hosts.
The squeaking wheel should get the oil. Keep squeaking
I find my put downs by ABB telling me to pick my socks up or I might be fired mildly amusing when I go to compare with "super hosts" My responses are faster and guests ratings higher than the elite yet the threats continue. I suspect that is the upside of "algorithms"
I had to wait for a confirmation by my guest who was booking, that he wouldn't be bothered by renovation noise on both sides of my home. His response was late, since he was in another time zone and when I got home to find his email saying he was okay with that, the reservation was canceled by 45 minutes, and I could not accept it even though I had intended to. I wrote an apology and asked him to rebook, as was "suggested" by Airbnb , but the dates were blocked and he assumed it was already booked, so found another rental. So the booking that was timed out would not even unblock the dates for the original person booking. To add insult to injury, the woman who inquired about it the day before also got blocked, so 2 potential guests gone and $1220.00 in income. They should at least allow the original booker to unlock those dates.
ABB blocks them but I think you can go back in and free them up - though you shouldn't have to. Algorithms eh?
Having INQUIRY and REQUEST is too complicate for guests and for hosts. It should be just INQUIRY and instant booking.
@Branka & SilviaI agree that something like you've suggested would be much easier for both parties. I'd really like to see Airbnb and the Hosts on this forum come together and put announce some great ideas. This issue I've come across is one that deterorates our credibility as Hosts, and we cannot control it. I'm sure that most Hosts are clueless of this issue. Lets work together and give the public a more simple site platform, which will enable us to control our credibility as awesome Hosts!
I have a "pet(dog) friendy" property but I get asked for multiple dogs to stay when my listing clearly shows one only permitted. These blatant breaking of rules are declined yet my ratings are affected.
@Branka & Silvia That wouldn't work for me at all- I don't want people to have the option of Instant Booking with me. I want to be able to exchange messages with every potential guest before approving their booking.
Airbnb could easily remove the confusion for guests- if a guest hits "contact host" there should be a notice before the opportunity to send a message:
"You are sending an Inquiry to the host. This does not obligate you in any way and can be used to clarify listing information and ask questions before deciding to book. Is this what you want to do?".
And "You are sending a Booking Request to the host. If the host accepts your request, payment for your dates will be withdrawn from your account and your booking will be confirmed. If the host needs clarification from you, please answer their message within 16 hours so they can decide whether to approve your request. If you simply want to ask questions about the listing, location, or availability, please send an Inquiry message instead. Do you want to proceed with the Booking Request?"
I know the way it's set up now is confusing for guests and some hosts. But it really doesn't have to be confusing.
@Branka & Silvia Oh, okay, I get it. I was confused- thought you meant everyone should have to use IB unless they had questions. So someone would just send an Inquiry and a host could message with them and when comfortable, approve it for booking? Sounds good. Too clear and simple for Airbnb, though. They like confusion and unnecessary steps :-)