26th October 2020
How to Reduce the Risk When Using Instant Book
As an Airbnb host, you are most likely already familiar with Airbnb’s Instant Book feature, which allows guests to create bookings without approval needed from the host. This feature has many pros for both guests and hosts.
For guests, it saves the hassle and allows them to create reservations quickly whereas for hosts, it allows them to maximise their number of bookings as well as improves their listing’s search ranking. However, for hosts it does also have the con of making it more likely for a bad guest to be able to book so caution needs to be used when enabling the Instant Book feature.
Below are 5 tips to help you to automatically screen out potentially bad guests so that you do not experience any hosting issues in the future.
Open a dialogue with your guests
Set up an automatic message to go out to guests once they have booked to find out what the purpose is for their trip or when they expect to arrive. You might choose to ask if they have had a chance to read your house rules and let them know they can get in touch with you if they have any questions or concerns.
Set up a notice period for bookings
Make sure to set up the notice period so that you do not receive any bookings that you are not prepared to host. If you set up at least one day’s notice as a requirement then you will not be taken off-guard by new bookings coming through and you will also have time to get to know your upcoming guest.
Set a minimum and maximum stay
To avoid guests just booking one night for a party then you can set a 2-night or more minimum requirement. By setting a longer minimum stay then you won’t have to worry about cleaning the property or greeting new guests as often. You may also choose to set a maximum night if you are not wanting the same guest to stay for too long or if you like to keep the place available sometimes for personal use.
Add additional requirements
The Instant Book feature allows you to choose if certain requirements are needed before guests book. It’s a good idea to select that the Government Issued ID is validated and that the guest has only good reviews from other hosts as this will quickly weed out any potentially unreliable guests.
Cancel reservations if absolutely necessary
Airbnb allows guests to cancel Instant Book reservations without penalty if you provide a valid reason for doing so. For example, you may have doubts about someone who has bad reviews, who hasn’t been in contact with you or avoids your questions or if they have given you reason to believe that they will break your house rules.
It’s important to remember that Airbnb has a Non-discrimination policy so unless you have a reason to feel uncomfortable then you will be charged a penalty fee for cancelling. You may only cancel penalty free three times in one year also and if you cancel too many then you will be required to turn off the Instant Book feature.
If you follow these extra tips, using Instant Book can bring a lot of extra benefits to you as a host while minimising the risks. As with all Airbnb features, some work for some hosts while not for others but it is always good to try new methods to see if you can improve your hosting game. Luckily with Instant Book, you can turn it off or on very easily!