As a host on Airbnb, it is natural to want to know who will be staying at your property. Will your guest take care of your property, be easy to work with, and abide by your house rules? These questions can usually be answered by a guest’s rating and reviews from previous hosts. What if the guest requesting a reservation at your property does not have any reviews?
Should You Accept Or Decline A Guest Reservation Without Reviews?
This is a personal choice for hosts and will depend on a couple different factors. In the end, it is completely up to you whether you accept or decline a guest reservation without reviews. Some hosts have had excellent experiences hosting guests with no reviews. Others wish they could turn back the clock and decline.
Keep reading to see what other hosts look for when debating on whether to accept a reservation or not.
If you are a guest, should you stay at an Airbnb if the host has no reviews? Click HERE to find out!
Completeness of the Profile
When a guest user is lacking reviews, one of the first things a host will look at is the completeness of the user profile. Many hosts have come to the conclusion that an incomplete profile correlates to bad guest experiences which can include serious situations like intentional damage to your property or the possibility of theft.
An Airbnb profile is comprised of several sections. A 100% completed profile will have all sections filled out. Here is what to look for in each section of the profile:
Be sure that the profile contains an actual name. Airbnb does not verify profile names with identities but if you see a suspicious name or just a random letter instead of a name, you should be weary of that profile.
If a user sends you a request to book, you will not see their profile picture until after accepting the reservation. It is important to know however, if a user did not provide a photo, just a plain dark grey circle will appear where the picture should be. If they have provided a picture, that circle will have the users first initial in white inside. Once confirmed, the profile photo will show.
The photo should be a clear picture of a person. Although Airbnb doesn’t monitor or approve pictures, a picture that is missing, blurry, or not of a person should raise some suspicion as to whether the profile is legitimate.
The about me section is a place where the user can tell hosts a little about themselves including their location, job, and language. Did the user take the time to fill out this section? Is it just one word or one sentence or did user put some thought into their biography? This section isn’t crucial to the profile but if it is not filled out, be sure to pay extra attention to the other sections.
A user profile will show the date that user joined Airbnb. Generally, guests will take some time to plan their vacations so a very recent profile date may raise some red flags.
Within a user profile, Airbnb verifies a person’s ID, email address, and phone number. These will show up with check marks in their profile to show they have been verified. An unverified user profile may indicate a dishonest guest.
When a profile is incomplete and missing key information, and there are no reviews, you have a couple options. First, you can decline the reservation. Many hosts suggest “going with your gut” on this one. If a profile looks suspicious, don’t risk your property.
Your other option is to respond to the guest inquiry and ask them to finish filling out their profile before you accept their booking. Some hosts inform their potential guests that they would like to get to know them better and ask them to verify their identity.
It is a good idea to include a link to the identity verification page on Airbnb. If you potential guests complies, you can accept the reservation. If they refuse, you now know for sure that denying the reservation is your best option.
Did you know that as a host you can require that guests complete Airbnb’s verified ID process? Follow these steps to add an identity verification requirement to your listing:
- Locate the “Reservation Requirements” page
- On this page, find and check the box next to “Require guests to go through verification”
- Save your updated preference
First Time Guests
We all have to start somewhere, right? Many hosts claim that up to 50% of their renters are first time Airbnb users without any reviews. Rather than just denying the reservation, hosts like to reach out to the guest to gather more information.
You can ask them to tell you about themselves and the purpose of their visit. You can also ask if they have used Airbnb previously or if they are a first-time guest. Attempting to establish a rapport with your potential guest could give you a good idea about who they are and if they will be a good guest for your property.
They way your potential guest interacts with you will also give you an idea about what kind of person they are. If you ask a guest about themselves and their answers are short and suspicious, they may not be who they say they are.
On the other hand, if a guest is friendly and willing to establish good communication with you and answer your inquiries, it could be a good indication that they would be a suitable guest.
Not sure about the correct, most effective way to message guests? Click HERE for awesome Airbnb message templates!
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Declining a Reservation Request
As an Airbnb host, you have the right to decline a reservation request, however, be aware that when you decline a large number of potential reservations, it could affect your property showing up in search results and your reservation rates. In addition, waiting too long to deny a request can affect your response rate and communication ratings.
Red Flags from Experienced Hosts
Here is what some experienced hosts say to look out for when considering accepting a reservation without reviews:
- No profile photo
- Reluctance to tell you the reason for their visit
- Name is just one letter (for example, “J”)
- Profile says the person lives locally to the rental property
- Have not completed any reviews of their own
A Final Tip
If you decide to accept a reservation from a user without reviews and an incomplete profile but still have your doubts, you can opt for a live check-in. Instead of allowing the guest to arrive at your property and check themselves in, go and meet them face to face. This will allow you to evaluate the guest and situation. If you feel uncomfortable or see that the guest is violating your house rules, like bringing more guests than allowed, you can deny them the rental.
For tips about typical check-in times and procedures, click HERE.
How do I avoid a bad Airbnb Guest?
The easiest way to avoid a bad Airbnb guest is to fully vet your potential guest before accepting their reservation. Start a conversation with your guest and get to know them and the reason for their visit. Also be sure that your house rules are very clear and available for your guest to access. Good communication on both ends is a great way to ensure a successful Airbnb experience.
Can an Airbnb guest leave a review if the host cancels their reservation?
Airbnb review policy does not allow guests to leave reviews for properties they did not stay in. If a host cancels a reservation, the guest will not have the option to leave a review. However, if the host cancels the reservation unexpectedly, for example, one day before check-in, an automatic review will get added to their profile warning other potential guests of the cancelled reservation.