Galashiels, United Kingdom Community Manager
There can be things you’d want your guests to be aware of before they (or you) confirm their booking. You can send messages to your guests once they send a booking request, but how would you do that with Instant Booking enabled? This is where pre-booking messages can come in handy!
Returned after receiving your feedback, the pre-booking message is an Instant Booking functionality that allows you to add a message for your guests. They’ll see the message before booking their stay with you, so it can be useful to give your guests a little extra information.
What should you say in your pre-booking message? What kind of info would be useful for guests to have, or what is your strategy around this?
Let me know in the comments and I look forward to hearing from you!
Thank you so much for joining in and sharing your thoughts here. Your feedback is incredibly valuable to us and helps us understand Hosts’ and guests’ needs, the pre-booking message being a great example of this.
I started this topic to discuss the pre-booking messages to help others who might be struggling or are unfamiliar with Instant Booking. Let’s stay on topic and make sure we have lots of ideas and suggestions to help out other Hosts. 🙂
Reading the comments, it seems to me that these hosts are conveying ideas and improvements to make the pre-booking message more effective, which ultimately helps hosts. How is that not staying on topic?
@Stephanie2468 you make a good point and I understand what you're saying. This feedback is left to propose improvements and I will make sure that it lands with the right people. I also agree with you that feedback for Airbnb left by Hosts ultimately helps other Hosts.
That being said, there are only so many things platform and/or policy changes can do to improve a Host's business. As you might agree there are many more aspects to hosting and hospitality, where the success of each of those depends on the approach of individual Hosts. I wrote this topic to tackle one of those aspects and get insights from Hosts that other Hosts could use to draw inspiration from and approach this specific aspect of hosting in their own unique way. Platform and/or policy changes help little with these aspects of hosting, hence the request to stay on-topic. 🙂
As I mentioned before I will still make sure this feedback lands with the right people, and I'd also like to ask everyone to make sure you also send this feedback directly to Airbnb using the Feedback link.
Please inform the Powers that Be we need more space for our pre-booking message. We are limited to such a short message it is really hard to convey everything a guest needs to know when our properties have unique quirks that may make them unsuitable for guests. We all know guests don't read the listing description so we need to reinforce things in the pre-booking message.
Also, please require Gov't ID again. Huge safety issue. Until you address this I will continue to require guests show me their ID before I will release the door codes. I have to look out for my safety since AirBNB clearly is not.
There is NO WAY I will allow IB, when the requirements for IB guests are this low (practically non-existent). It just does not make sense to let guests who have almost no Airbnb record, IB.
Likewise I would never ever wish to allow IB, whatever the Airbnb safeguards. I always want to retain full control over accepting people to stay in my properties. I very rarely decline any booking requests, but this gives me peace of mind.
I have never experienced any issues or booking limitations at all from requiring guests to write to request a stay. They seem perfectly happy to do so, and it gives me the chance to make any further initial enquiries that may be needed before a booking becomes committed. It seems far better to me to manage expectations on both sides in advance in this way.
I don't use instant booking anymore, but when I did, my pre-booking message more or less thanked guests for choosing my listing, asked them to tell me a bit about themselves, e.g. the reason for their trip and who they are travelling with and to confirm that they had read the full version of the house rules, paying particular attention to X, Y, Z (in my case, the cats and smoking policy and then whatever point was most relevant to that particular room, such as the stairs, any traffic noise etc).
However, it's important to mention that not all guests who IB respond to this message. Another host, I think it was Emilia43, discovered that guests who sent an enquiry first and then IBed from there, never saw the pre-booking question. This is obviously a glitch that needs to be fixed. All guests who IB should be presented with the pre-booking message when they book, because that is what is promised to hosts.
Also, I'm glad that the pre-booking message was reinstated. However, far more problematic in my opinion, is that hosts can no longer require guests to have verified government ID. I know that Airbnb will argue that it is now requiring all guests to be verified, but if you read the details of that verification policy, nowhere does it state that guests will be required to submit government ID. It says that hosts might ask for it if their building or local regulations require it. I am afraid that is not good enough, and therefore Airbnb needs to reinstate the filter allowing hosts to choose verified government ID.
Plus, we are still waiting on answers as to what the 'good track record' actually means. I know I can be a bit of a cynic, but I find it suspect that the wording around this is so incredibly vague and that hosts and the moderators still don't know the answers nearly two months on...
I agree with @Huma0 . Bring the verify government ID back. It gives us host especially those who rent a room in their home or those who have ADUs/guesthouse behind their main residence. I know I’d feel a whole lot better knowing the person, who is staying in/on my property, is who they say they are. And as @Huma0 states, not every guest reads the pre-booking message ( mine clearly states government ID required).
Please bring that requirement back!