In the past, for new hosts who were worried about maintaining their Response Rate,
experienced hosts told these new hosts that a host did not need to either Pre-Approve or Decline an simple Inquiry (as opposed to a Reservation Request).
In the past merely sending any sort of message back to the guest was enough to fulfill your obligation regarding Inquiries.
This has now changed.
Sometime recently, AirBnb modified its policies so now hosts DO have to either Pre-Approve or Decline Inquiries to maintin their Response Rate.
The new policy is outlined here:
I have contacted Host support to specifically ask about the policy change, and they did verify that the currently active policy is different than it was in the past.
So the new advice is this: hosts DO have to either Pre-Approve or Decline Inquiries within 24 hours to maintain their Response Rate.
(Just like they have to with actual Booking Requests.)
There has been a lof of discussions about this in the past - in my area there has always been the clock symbol running and the demand to pre-approve or decline within the deadline, so I was never reassured by what the US members told us.
What about sending a special offer - would that still count so that the response rate does not take a hit ? Or has that option now disappeared ?
@Marit Anne I think the Special Offer button is still there... but I am unsure if that counts as a response.
Let me ask the AirBnB support person I am messaging with.
(It would make sense if it counted as a response, but best to be sure...)
@Matthew then all hosts need to understand that once you hit pre-approve, that guest may book regardless of any parameters your listing usually requires (good reviews, verified ID, etc)
This seems especially dubious since we also now know that ALL declines are being held against us.
@Matthew Some hosts used to think that pre-approve wasn’t a big deal & that guests would still have to be verified & have a real profile but in reality once you hit pre-approve then you are locked in to accepting the guest just exactly as they are. No, I don’t think pre-approve could hold you to a “can I come early/late, or with too many people” or any of those but if you have restrictions on guests who may IB then all bets are off once you hit pre-approve
I use IB but still get inquiries, not that many, I seem to have more people book who think they are making an enquiry.
I have always pre approved even those asking for a discount, just pre approve and move on. Now If they wanted to bring more people than I allow or something weird I may address that with a no.
I find myself declining guests more often than not because they arent very upfront WITH providing the most basic details of their stay and its like pulling teeth with them. This has always been my struggle but I still get requests to book. Not sure if i should increase my price to get more quality and less quantity.
@Zacharias you just need to be careful about this bc recently ABB made our decline rate one of our measurements that keeps you from being included in certain categories. So, if you are getting actual Request to Book and they aren't telling you what you need to hear then I would do anything I could to do something other than Decline. (Make a Special Offer used to be a choice...) (& I've seen hosts who reinforce something about their Rules: "you must send ID, or fill out my contract, or only have the 1 guest you've booked for, or whatever" and then they hit Accept and let the guest deal with CS to cancel. Dicey but one strategy option)
Both my listings have IB so I rarely see Request to Book