Whether you are a guest booking an Airbnb for a getaway, or a host preparing for a stranger to stay on your property, it is natural to want to know exactly who you are dealing with. It is very common for both guests and hosts to want to search the people they will be working with through Airbnb.
Airbnb requires both guests and hosts to create profiles and offers both the option to verify their profiles using a government ID. However, both guest and host information are very limited until after the booking. A common question I receive is how to look up a guest and a host on Airbnb.
How to Look Up a Guest on Airbnb
So how exactly do you look up a guest on Airbnb?
Unfortunately for hosts, you cannot search guest profiles on Airbnb, and you will not have access to a guest’s information like their photo, name, and phone number until after the booking is confirmed.
This can be concerning for some hosts especially if a guest is new to Airbnb and doesn’t have any reviews. However, as a host you do have some options to “vet” your guest even without being able to search their profile.
You can read our in-depth article on vetting guests here.
A guest’s personal information and profile remains private to avoid any discrimination in the booking process. The idea is that a guest’s personal information isn’t pertinent to the host until after the booking is confirmed anyway.
After you accept the booking, you will have access to the guest’s profile which will look something like this:
The profile provides the guest’s photo, name, location, preferred language, job, an “about me” bio, and whether the user has confirmed their identity, email address, and phone number. The profile will also show reviews that other hosts have left for this guest.
Airbnb will allow you to cancel a reservation penalty free if you have a valid reason. One reason is if the guest fails to provide an actual profile picture on their profile and uses an avatar or cartoon instead.
Here are some ideas and tips to ease your worries about hosting your property without being able to search the guest beforehand.
- Check the guest profile for red flags: If a guest doesn’t provide a photo, bio, or isn’t verified by Airbnb, you may want to contact them and ask some questions. If the guest doesn’t respond, you can contact Airbnb about canceling the reservation.
- Require guests to be verified: As a host, you can make Airbnb verification a requirement of booking your property. If you want to require verified ID, you will have to verify your own identity first. To require guests to complete the Airbnb verified ID process simply go to your reservation requirements page and check the box next to “require guests to go through verification”.
- Require guests to have a photo: Airbnb also allows you to require a profile photo for guests to book your property. You can enable this feature by going into your booking settings, click edit next to “guest requirements”, and select the box next to “profile photo”.
- Read guest reviews: If a guest is a regular Airbnb user, they are likely to have reviews from other hosts of places they have stayed. These reviews can give you a good insight to the person renting your property.
- Add “ID upon request” to your rules: Some Airbnb hosts reserve the right to check a guest’s ID when the guest checks into the Airbnb. If you are a host that lives off site, you can also ask your guests to email you a copy of their government ID.
- Ask pre-book questions: Some pre-book questions that may be helpful to ask to get to know your guest is each guest’s first and last names, ages, and purpose of their visit.
How to Look Up an Airbnb Host
Is it possible to look up an Airbnb Host?
Airbnb does not have a host search function through their website. If you want to find a particular host, you generally need to know the location, property type, and price range of their rental. Once you find the host through the rental search, you can view their profile.
To view a host’s profile, first you must find their rental. You can do this using the Airbnb rental search function. If you know the title of the property, you can search that as well. Once you locate the property, find the hosts name and profile photo.
When you click the host’s profile photo you will be redirected to the very bottom of the property page. You will be able to see when the host joined Airbnb, whether they are verified, how many reviews they have, and a bio about the host.
You will also see more information about the property rules and have the option to message the host from this screen by clicking “contact host”.
If you click the host profile picture again, you will find yourself on the host’s profile page. This page shows all the listings this host has, their guidebooks, a biography, reviews, and if the host has verified their identity, email address, and phone number.
After you have found a property that you would like to rent, if you have any concerns, the best thing to do is contact the host directly and ask any questions you may have.
Even though Airbnb doesn’t have a host search feature, some guests have figure out ways to utilize internet search engines like Google and Bing to look up Airbnb hosts.
One user found that if you type “Airbnb”, the hosts name, and the city of the rental in Google search, you can sometimes find the host profile you are looking for.
Another user was able to use Google to do a specific website search to find an Airbnb host. Follow these easy steps:
- Open a search engine like Google or Bing.
- Start the search with the word “site” to make it a specific website search.
- Follow “site” with the host’s name.
Your search should look like this: “site:www.airbnb.com John Smith”
This search should bring up a link to the host’s profile on Airbnb.
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Even though Airbnb doesn’t have a guest or host search feature on their website, both guests and hosts have found ways to find out more about each other before their Airbnb Stay.
Hosts can ask their guests questions or set their hosting preferences to require ID verification and profile photos. Guests can find a profile by searching for the property or using a third party search engine like Google.
Although ID is not required, verifying your identity through Airbnb’s Verified ID Process is recommended. Some hosts require ID verification to book their property. Other hosts reserve the right to check your ID upon check-in to ensure that the person who has booked the rental is staying there.
Airbnb does do background checks on members; however, it is a limited background check. Airbnb can use a member’s name and date of birth to check certain databases for criminal convictions, terrorist watch lists, or sex offender registrations. It is important to remember that there are limitations to these searches, and you can’t rely on these searches alone to decide if you should interact with someone on Airbnb.
Check out our article on background checks here.