Hi again and thanks to all those that helped calm my nerves over my first booking. I’ve just had a request to book for 20 days end November to beginning of December. They appear to have zero feedback and joined this year. They want to look at the apartment first in a couple of days. Any thoughts as to what I should be asking them are greatly appreciated. Is the ‘look at the property’ an attempt to bypass the system (2 from 2 would be the rottenest luck!)
Perhaps I should let them know I don’t transact outside the system in advance?
On further investigation I can’t see that their identity has been verified. Can I ask that they do this before accepting the booking?
@Craig760 when we book for longer than 10 days we provide (and importantly change) the bedding every week. This allows us to check the state of the property and is a small price to pay for peace of mind. Guests are given the choice of us doing the bedding change when they are there or when they are out - Its about even what people choose.
I host long term guests and do occasionally get requests to view the listing first. It's not necessarily something suspicious (unless there are other odd things about the guest's messages) because some people, especially newbies to Airbnb, can be nervous about booking something long term and worried it won't be like the photos/description.
However, I always say no. I just tell them that it won't be possible as it's against Airbnb policy to exchange any contact details prior to a booking being confirmed for security reasons, and that viewings are not allowed, but I'd be happy to answer any questions/concerns they might have. You could also offer to do a video tour, once they have booked.
I would also not want the guest to have my address until the 48 hour grace period to cancel has passed - this is something you can select in your settings).
I did do a viewing with my first long term guest, but only AFTER he booked. This was both to reassure him and me. The second one was supposed to do a viewing too, but couldn't in the end, so we just had a long phone conversation. Now I am more confident and experienced, I don't bother with this anymore, but I do like to have a reasonable amount of information from the guest and correspondence with them before accepting any booking, especially longer ones.
I do ask guests to verify their ID before accepting a booking (I also require them to have uploaded a profile photo, although you can't see this until after the booking is confirmed). It's rarely a problem. If a guest starts to get cagey about doing this, it could be a red flag.
@Huma0 I’ve asked them to verify their identity. May I ask, what would you offer in terms of towels and bedding services for a 20 day stay? I’ve never stayed that long in an Airbnb to know what to expect. My property has a washer dryer.
I give my guests the choice of either paying me a small fee to clean their rooms and wash/change their bedlinen and towels, or they can do it themselves and I will provide the cleaning materials and I give them at least one extra set of bedlinen and towels, but usually more.
However, I find that while some guests are very good about this and then it's one less thing for me to worry about, not all guests who opt to do it themselves will actually do it without a reminder. If left to their own devices, some will never wash the linens. As I'm a live in host, it's not difficult for me to tell if a guest is washing their sheets, but it's trickier if you are renting out an entire unit.
I agree with @Mike-And-Jane0 that it's a good idea to offer a linen change as a service so that you can also keep an eye on things. Personally, I prefer to clean the room/wash the linens myself so that it is done regularly and properly.