Is your listing a "party target?"

in
Frederick, MD
Level 10
714 Views

One of the biggest issues with new hosts is that guests will take advantage of the need for good reviews. Starting out, you may put up will all sorts of shenanigans that you won't encounter with the same frequency as you become more seasoned. One of the most egregious issues is the dreaded party. Parties can cause damage, police calls to your space, and even injury or death in extreme and tragic cases. Airbnb has banned parties, and yet the platform still seems to be ambivalent about assisting hosts who report them. So what can you do to ensure that your space is safe and party-free as much as you can? Are you inadvertently attracting guests who are ready to throw a party?

 

1.  Is your space attractive to partiers? Influencers post "best party houses" online and they seem to have some key features that are catnip to those Insta stories. Extra large spaces with pools, hot tubs, movie rooms etc are always a target. Both urban and rural communities can be a target. Your space may not be ready for a photo spread in Architectural Digest, but if its a whole house with a pool or hot tub it may be appealing to the wrong types of guests.

 

2. Do you allow high guest counts? Some hosts have a strategy where they try to pack in as many people as possible in order to make their listing appealing.  They might include sofas, air mattresses, cots, futons etc as sleeping spaces. This is another piece of the party puzzle. The more guests that can fit, the more likely that stay will turn into a "get together." Its always a good idea to list guest capacity as the number of adults who would normally fit in the actual beds in the space. The more people you seem like you will allow to stay in your space, the more party planners are going to target it.

 

3. What is your nightly price per person? If you have higher guest counts, your best bet to distract those who want a party from looking at your space is to make your nightly price higher per person. If you allow 10 guests at $160 a night, that is $16 per night per person. Guests on the whole DO NOT respect spaces if the nightly fee is too low. If your space costs less per guest than 2 tickets to a movie and popcorn, or a large drink at Starbucks and a McDonald's meal, they are unlikely to treat it with care or adhere to posted rules.

 

4. Do you allow one night stays? Unless you are next to an airport or train station, approach one night stays with caution, particularly on weekends. Partiers often don't want to pay for more time than they have to. Setting a minimum 2 or 3 night stay can help curb your party attractiveness.

 

5. Do you allow last minute stays? Party info is often disseminated on social media, so large crowds can gather on short notice. Most guests who are planning a legitimate vacation stay do so well in advance. 

 

6. Do you have Instant Booking without any filters? New hosts are encouraged to use Instant Book, but if you do, make sure that you set your filters to be as restrictive as possible. Ask for guests who are recommended by others only to be able to instant book (everyone else will need to send a message, including new people to the platform.) If you get an inquiry ASK QUESTIONS.  Don't be intimidated into accepting every reservation. If a guest is unverified, filter them out as well. 

 

7. Do you get a lot of local guests? This might not be a red flag, but it often is in terms of parties. If your guest lives nearby and mentions a "girls weekend" or "get together" chances are VERY likely that a party is about to happen at your space. They would rather destroy yours than mess up their own home! And its easy to make those liquor runs and get more supplies.

 

8. Is your space camera-free? Airbnb allows exterior cameras though they must be disclosed. If your house is a party target and you do not live on site or very close by to keep an eye on it, you NEED cameras. Airbnb will not shut down a party without images that prove its happening (and often even not then.) Have a pool or a hot tub? Get a camera. 

 

9. Are your house rules unclear? Beyond checking the box for "no parties or events" do you mention the consequences of such? Do you state what happens when unregistered guests arrive on your property? Do you reiterate your rules with guests? Are you even "okay" with having "certain kinds" of parties/get togethers/gatherings? This ambivalence will carry over to guests and the official stance on ABB and VRBO is no parties, period. Adjust accordingly and just say no. If you want to offer your space as an event location, do it through a more appropriate platform.

 

 

 

4 Replies

Re: Is your listing a "party target?"

in
Dallas, TX
Level 10

@Laura2592  What a great post! Thank you for putting that together. As you may recall, this exact same thing happened to me a month after opening my listing. In a way, I’m glad it happened to me early because I learned A LOT very quickly. Your post is going to help so many people. 

Re: Is your listing a "party target?"

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

I have to say, @Marissa160 , your resilience and positivity is invigorating! Are there any other learnings you think you could add to Laura's fantastic list?


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Re: Is your listing a "party target?"

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

As always @Laura2592 great insights and advice shared here. We're really clamping down on parties in Airbnb's but sometimes things to slip through - either due to guest lack of knowledge or sometimes, out of deception. 

 

Your guidance will really help those Hosts early on in their journey from suffering the dreaded house party!

 

Thanks


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Re: Is your listing a "party target?"

in
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 10

@Laura2592 

I'd also be inclined to ask, do you have good neighbours who can keep an eye on your property.

Do you allow Contactless checkin?

 

Contactless and Lockbox properties are understood to also be 'Easy targets'.

 

Tragically we have had a serious incident and death at an Airbnb property in Christchurch this weekend.

 

It was preventable and one question I would like answered is, "Where were the parents of these young people including of the 14 year old child who were involved?"

 

Once upon a time children were children until the age of 18, not 16 years.

The parents and Guardians of these children involved must also be held to account.

 

Police Notified of assault at Birthday party an hour before fatal stabbing

 

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/126081372/police-notified-of-assault-at-birthday-party-an-hou...

 

@Stephanie @Airbnb @Catherine-Powell 

@Brian @Nick @Liv @Laura2592 @Marissa160 and @everyone-else

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