I have recently discovered one of the major downsides of using Instant Book!
Are you aware that it is only possible for a host to send a 'Special Offer' to a guest who is booking for the first time!
Subsequent stays by that guest are not subject to a hosts special offer.....there is no way a host can send one!
Once a guest has stayed at a hosts property, they lose the ability to send a booking enquiry. When the guest clicks the 'Contact Host' tab on the hosts profile they are automatically taken to their previous message stream with that host. And on that message stream are details of the previous stay! Host and guest can talk but, that's all!
I like to offer return guests a slightly cheaper rate but the Airbnb platform will not let me do that or offer any assistance in doing that!
Because I use instant book, a returns guests option to request a pre-approval disappears, and the only option is to re-book at the hosts current rate, and Airbnb policy is, if the host wants give the guest a special offer, the only way they can do that is refund the guest through the Resolution Centre.
Now my issue with this is, the guest's reservation may be for April 2020 and I don't receive the guest's payment until after they arrive here. But if I want to offer the guest a refund as a special offer, (which appears to be the only way I can do it) Airbnb will take that refund from my next payout in a day or two and forward it to the guest.....even though I won't be paid for another 5 months.
Once again it looks like Airbnb are trying to frustrate the good relations built up between hosts and guests!
Robin, there seems to be a simple solution for this problem....
With a returning guest you can communicate by means of the contact details that were released following the initial booking, i.e. phone & email. Therefore, you can inform the guest of the reduced fees and manually change the calendar with reduced price to be booked immediately.
Alon, once a guest stay concludes contact details are withdrawn and the message stream displays without any contact details. But I do take your point about altering calendar pricing details for the time the returning guest wishes to stay Alon, and I could convey that through the message stream. But, there are complications with that. You have be sure the returning guest is quick off the mark to take advantage of the reduced price before another guest jumps in and grabs those reduced price dates.
A good point Alon and I will give it consideration. I am just appalled that Airbnb seem to do everything possible to discourage a harmonious relationship between guests and hosts. You would think they would be encouraging return visits and providing the software options to help foster that!
Instead of that they encourage guests to find faults with hosts amenities and put roadblocks up to prevent preferential future deals.
Just seems a really odd way to run a hospitality business. Almost every other consumer service offers regulars incentives, Airbnb seems to discourage them!
@Robin4, It looks like this customer service rep is misinformed (once again)
This has happened to me several times since I use instant book and have a few repeat guests. And everytime I do the following: When the guest re-books click the 'Change/Cancel Reservation' button. Then send the guest a new rate to approve. I have done this both one year out and 1 hour before check-in. You can change the rate at any point.
Thanks Emilia, That's the sort of advise I would have liked to expect from customer support, so I could have thrashed out my issue with them, and I had thought about that initially but Emilia......this is where I come back to 'special offers' and IB!!!
Once I get notification that the guest has booked, they have paid, right?
I can send another offer through, as you say, 'Change/Cancel Reservation' which obviously the guest will accept, but the moment I do that and the guest accepts, Airbnb will take that 'changed rate' out of my next payout because, as I said, the guest has already paid Airbnb.
In this instance the returning guest wants to stay from 19th April to the 30th April 2020, and I don't want to have my discount taken out now when I won't get paid for the booking until next April! Anything can happen between now and next April ;-((
Can you understand my dilemma Emilia? And this is what I wanted clarification from with CX, but as you say, they were no help!
Airbnb offers no way to send a returning guest a special offer before they book!
Very frustrating!!! But thanks Emilia for being on the ball and trying to offer a solution.
@Robin4, This does not happen in the resolution center so it doesn't work like that.
I am not sure how it works on the guests end and what they see on their credit card statements, I would assume they would get a credited amount if the total has already been taken from their credit card. But from the host's end you will see nothing other than the revised payout the day after the guest checks in. So there is no discount taken out of the next payout if you've changed the rate using the "Change/Cancel Reservation.' Luckily, there is no dilemma. :-)
That is what I was trying to establish with CX Emilia but, she could not confirm that, and as I said to Kelly, you know what Airbnb are like when it comes to money, as soon as I offer a guest money they will take it from my account to refund a guest who has paid.
I would love to think you are right Emilia but I am not prepared to take the risk. The last thing I need is $100 taken from me now for a stay I will not get payment for for another 5 months, and CX essentially confirmed, that is what will happen!
Okay, but I can say with 100% certainty that there will be no money taken from your account.
Just like if a guest adds on a day to their reservation three weeks before they arrive, you will not automatically receive that extra money in your next payout. The updates will be made and your increase/decreased payout amount will be sent to you the day after your guests checks in.
I have a number of return guests, and ran into the issue of no "Special Offer" early on. Before I learned about the ability to adjust the price in the "change or cancel reservation" link, I left a cash refund for the guests, which was not ideal, but it did the job.
I now adjust the price for returning guests by changing the reservation (NB: Is that considered the "Resolution Centre"?) but have never had the "refund" come out of a payment prior to that guest staying. I know for a fact that one of my returning guests always uses the "pay half upon booking, pay balance later" option (I'm not even sure if that's a option or a requirement), which may be the reason that I don't see any money coming out of other payouts. The guest's balance payment is simply reduced by the "refund" amount. Not sure how my other return guests time their payments, though.
The first time I tried to reduce the price, I used the "send or request money" link, which directed me to use the "change reservation" link, so that's why I do it that way. Which option do you use?
@Robin4 out of all people I am surprised to see you pass an idea around of sending any money to guest prior to stay (because you are so experienced). If that’s the only way to handle it, the refund should happen when the guest leaves
And that's my issue Inna, I don't want to send money to a guest before they stay, I want them to pay less for their return stay when they book.
But Airbnb will not let me do that and I was hoping CX would offer me a solution to enable this, but all they could come up with was what @Emilia42 mentioned and changing an existing reservation via the use of the resolution centre.
I would love someone in that organisation to start thinking about hosts and guests instead of finding new ways of counting money!
@Emilia42 Has the right idea here. “Change” the reservation to discount the stay and you’re not out any money. Absurd that CS has no idea how any of this works. And it’s a bummer that you are forced to be reactive instead of proactive.
BUT @Robin4 you’re on to something with this idea; wouldn’t it be a great feature if we could send out offers to guests?!? I’d be happy to send out good deals to ideal guests, returning or new, if only this function existed. As it is now my pricing includes a: any lunatic can book bump.
Look if the stay was for next week or even a month ahead I would not mind going down @Emilia42 's path but what you are saying is, offer changes to an existing reservation.....which Airbnb has been paid for.
Now you know as well as I do, Airbnb are not going to refund money out of what they have received, they are going to refund it from my account which means they will take it from my next payout.
You can see where the problem is here can't you!